Soul and The City
“Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting: . . .” Mark 11:9
The crowd outside the walls gathered with those at the city gate and proceeded into the city. Many of them were Galileans who had seen the works Jesus had done in their region and now streamed out to adore and honor Him. But Jerusalem as a whole always received Him coldly, because it was hardened and priest-controlled.
Now picture Jesus’ approach to the city as the same way He approaches our souls. From the souls, as from the city, come varying responses of rejection and reception.
There were skeptics there, groups of Sadducees who looked on with superior doubt. As the parade of people made their processional, the religious evaders turned away as the crowd swept by and shook their heads in disgust. Who of us has not seen the skeptical part judging the faithful part of themselves?
There were the Pharisees who saw Jesus as a threat to all their treasured traditions and religious rules. Jesus had rebuked this group of all kinds of sin – the cheats, liars, blasphemers, haters and the impure. Between Jesus and the Pharisees there was a war to the death. Look at yourself to see if there is any hard, selfish, narrow, judgmental presence of religion. Kick out your inner Pharisee immediately.
There were Roman soldiers walking the streets. They had no connection to the Jesus haters and Jesus lovers by which they found themselves surrounded. Truth, eternal life, meant nothing to them. Many today have a cold-hearted disposition and an iron-clad detachment to the will and ways of Jesus. We must ask Jesus to change our stony heart.
There were some in the crowd who let themselves go. They spontaneously welcomed Christ. They spread their garments to receive Him as King and Conqueror. Shouting Hosanna! There is wild hope in every heart that at the bright, strong presence of Jesus, to immediately reach out to Him. Make it your aim to know the heart of the One who releases the promises.
The struggle of the heart cannot go on forever. It must choose. It must say decisively, come or go.