From seeing to believing

In today’s gospel we see Jesus in an encounter with the Pharisees as time rapidly approaches the events we know as Holy Week. The Pharisees and other religious leaders have had about three years of reports, stories, encounters and more about this itinerant preacher from Galilee. How is it that the son of a carpenter is so well versed in Scripture and such a gifted orator? What about the reports of healings, driving out demons, healing leprosy, and all the demonstrations over the power of nature? The pieces of the puzzle are all there waiting to be joined into one clear mosaic. He is the one who teaches with new authority, who commands the power of the sea, the one who implies he has the power to forgive sin! But they just can’t put it together. They just can’t see it. Continue reading

Approach to the City

This coming Sunday is the sixth Sunday in the Lenten season called Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion. Luke portrays Jesus’ entry into the holy city in four scenes (vv. 28–48), the first two concerned with the acquisition of a colt for the short trip from the Mount of Olives to the city and the entry itself (vv. 28–40). These two serve a common theme—namely, Jesus’ royal personage. As will become evident, the whole process from obtaining a colt to the crowds’ proclaiming Jesus king is wrapped in the eschatological expectation and scriptural allusion (esp. Psalm 118 and Zech 9:9). Continue reading