Nobody has a clue what is happening…apart from the Pharisees.The disciples don’t get it, as usual. It’s not until later when they look back on things that it all starts to make sense. Isn’t that the way of life? Often when we are in the middle of something we don’t realise its significance until well afterwards. It’s like watching someone tipping that first domino, knowing that a train of events has been set in motion but also knowing that you won’t really know what has happened until all the other dominoes have fallen and the pattern they have made can be seen.
Decisions we make as people, as a church, a denomination and a country. Unintended consequences. Expediency. Lack of foresight. Lazy thinking or plain self interest. We have all done it and will all do it again.
Perspective is one of the gifts of the Gospels. They are not diaries. They are accounts, written with hindsight, something I think we often forget. The writer of John is watching the dominoes fall and making sense of the pattern for us.
A prophecy fulfilled. A crowd behaving oddly. Waving palms and shouting for the King of Israel is treason, but this Jesus can raise people from the dead. They had seen the ultimate miracle for themselves, so maybe, just maybe, it’s worth the risk.
The pharisees know that their moment is not yet here. The crowd are fickle. Their time will come. But not yet.
Each time I read this story I wonder where I would stand, and who I would stand with. And wish once again that I had the gift of perspective.
Author: David Wiggs
I am the webmaster for Purley United Reformed Church and have been involved with the church since my late teens. I work in Croydon and live in Caterham.