Mark 11:1-11

As Jesus and his disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks, ‘What are you doing?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it and will return it soon.’”

The two disciples left and found the colt standing in the street, tied outside the front door. As they were untying it, some bystanders demanded, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They said what Jesus had told them to say, and they were permitted to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it, and he sat on it.

Many in the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others spread leafy branches they had cut in the fields. Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting,

“Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessings on the coming Kingdom of our ancestor David! Praise God in highest heaven!”

11 So Jesus came to Jerusalem and went into the Temple. After looking around carefully at everything, he left because it was late in the afternoon. Then he returned to Bethany with the twelve disciples.
Jesus' entry into Jerusalem was filled with irony. Though the crowds were singing his praise, Jesus was weeping as he road into the city. In Luke's account of the Triumphal Entry we read: "But as they came closer to Jerusalem and Jesus saw the city ahead, he began to weep. How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes" (Luke 19:41-42).
Many in the crowd that day had certain expectations of Jesus as he rode into Jerusalem. Many assumed that he was riding in to conquer Israel's enemies. One commentator writes: "No doubt in that huge crowd there were some truly converted people... But by and large what Israel wanted was its own kind of Messiah, a Messiah of the earth, a political deliverer. And that was deplorable. No wonder Jesus was weeping."
We can fall into the same trap today. We often have our own expectations about who we want Jesus to be for us or what we want him to do for us, but Jesus is not a genie in a bottle. Mercifully, he does not always give us what we want, but he gives us all that we truly need. He knows our hearts better than we do. He know when, by faith, we are seeking his kingdom and when we are full of self-seeking motives. Jesus' way for us to find restoration and peace is often a very different road than what we have in mind. God's thoughts are not our thoughts; his ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).
1. How did Jesus fail to meet the expectations of the crowd on Palm Sunday?
2. How does Jesus fail to meet some of your own expectations of him?


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