“The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God! Blessings on the One who comes in the Name of the Lord! Hail to the King of Israel!””
Interestingly, from John chapter 12 until the end of the book, the writers focus is on Jesus’ last 6 days before His crucifixion and His resurrection and ascension. It is an interesting fact, because it is almost half of the Gospel of John. This tells us that John obviously wanted his readers to fully understand Jesus’ last days, His last words and last miracles as a matter of utter importance.
He starts with mentioning the Passover, which we now know was when Jesus was crucified. This is an important fact, as it shows us why so many were in town (Jerusalem). Another reason why there was a lot of people in the crowds was because “many…. had seen Jesus call Lazarus from the tomb, raising him from the dead, and….were telling others about it” (John 12:17). Jesus, as we know from the other gospels came into the city riding on a donkey; a direct fulfilment of scripture. The crowds were full of jubilation for Jesus, so much so they were venerating Him as the ‘King of Israel’, the ‘One who comes in the Name of the Lord!’ Yet these very same people, 5 or 6 days later, were the ones shouting ‘Crucify Him’ to Pilate when he asked the crowds what to do to with Jesus.
This presents us with a clear and provoking challenge. There is no doubt that Jesus’ miracles are amazing, wonderful and attract us to the person of Jesus. Yet unless you encounter Jesus for yourself, like Mary and Martha, whose lives were completely changed by being with Jesus, you will just be like a crowd goer, attracted by the waves of wonder, but soon drown in the sea of disbelief when the storm comes. Don’t be a person who gets caught up in the crowds but be a follower of Jesus because you have personally been changed by Him. Let your foundation be Jesus Himself.