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Matthew 21:1-17, Triumphal Entry

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,
‘Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!’
— Matthew 21:9

NL Daily Devotion for Sunday, April 14, 2019

by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff


Main Idea: Jesus made a scene and became a voice for the voiceless.

It’s getting hot in Jerusalem. Word of Jesus has spread. Those in power are getting scared. Those without power are feeling hopeful. Maybe something is about to change.

The writer of Matthew was concerned with identifying Jesus as the one the prophets had pointed to. The Matthean author regularly quoted scripture to reinforce the idea that Jesus was the one sent to save them. The prophets said the savior would arrive on a donkey, and so Jesus arrived on a donkey. Like Moses and Elijah, Jesus would save them from Roman occupation and religious and political corruption. Even their chant, “Hosanna!” meant “Save us.”

Like any corrupt governing system, those in power were desperate to prevent change. But Jesus came for change. He overturned the temple when he saw how corrupt it had become. The temple was making money off the suffering of God’s people. Enough was enough.

Many of us are taught to be polite, not to make a scene, to be seen and not heard. But Jesus was quite the opposite when faced with corruption and injustice. Jesus was not polite. Jesus made quite a scene. Jesus would not be silenced. What might happen if we dug deep for the courage to be impolite when faced with injustice? To make a scene by protesting or marching? To listen to those with no voice? To speak for those who cannot speak for themselves? What could we change by changing our own attitudes toward what is polite or what is right?

Holy Jesus, you came to Jerusalem seeking not empty worship but faithfulness to your commandments. Guide us now as we begin this week of contemplation and keep us close to your side as we retrace the steps of your final earthly journey. In your name, we pray. Amen.

Later Event: April 15
Psalm 118:26-29, Extol?