Parades are gaudy and ostentatious but we all seem to love them…even Fido! But aside from dressing up to the fullest some of us just are happy to be merely spectators.
As a spectator, where do you like to stand in a parade? Do you just enjoy sitting on the curb waiting for the many bands and floats to go by or do you join in and follow the parade? After the parade has finished where are you? Do you just pick up your chairs and go home and this day is forgotten?
Did you know that even Jesus had his own parade? It is found in Matt 21 and came about so that Zech 9:9 could be fulfilled ” your king is coming on a donkey.” Just as in our parades to day then there were several spectators who reveal to us of people’s responses to the “Son of David.”
First are the disciples who did Jesus’ bidding and prepared his “float” on which he would ride. They prepared the coverings and joined in the celebration, perhaps even leading the donkey and her colt. Perhaps they moved aside the crowds so Jesus could ride unimpeded.
The crowds: instead of being bystanders, they went ahead and kept shouting “Hosanna “Lord save us” to the Son of David.
The city: thrown into an uproar! They began to question each other…”who is this?” Others in the crowd said “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee. We remember what Nathanael had said about this: Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” and later the religious leaders taunted Nicodemus “you will see that no prophet comes from Galilee!”
The blind and lame: came to him in the Temple and were healed. As he was busy there the children began to cry out in the Temple: “Hosanna to the Son of David.”
The religious leaders: became indignant when they heard the children crying out and questioned Jesus who said “have you never read?” They feared the crowds because they believed John to be a prophet. Jesus asked them if the people believed why had not they? Again after telling two parables to the religious leaders he again said “have you never read the scriptures…” Instead of being repentant, they wanted to arrest him but were afraid of the crowds who now were saying this Jesus was also a prophet.
All of this reminds us the parable of the soils. The four soils are four hearts and so today we have four hearts in our passage. The footpath: some heard and asked “who is this?” but when the answer came back Satan snatched it away. The rocky soil: the blind and lame came but like many who came and experienced Jesus’ compassion, they did not endure after their healing (to our knowledge). The thorny soil: the religious leaders who heard, saw the evidence but the status of their position and the wealth that they had accumulated, like the rich young ruler, choked out the word. It produces nothing and so Jesus said that the kingdom would be taken from them and given to another. Lastly the cultivated soil : the children with humility proclaimed the Messiah as truly the Son of David. Later, the disciples who have yet to produce will come to realize the whole truth after the resurrection.
So where are you in the parade of life? Are you merely a spectator or are you a participant? Which soil reflects your heart today?