Have you seen any reports on the coronation of a king, or the visit of a head of state, of a president? The crowds come to cheer him. Journalists surround him. He arrives in a coach or a beautiful car, the red carpet is rolled out before him. He will make a speech and will attend a banquet surrounded by all the notables and ministers. It’s a very important event. One day it was Jesus who was hailed as a king. He made a triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the capital of the country. We will discover this account that you will find in the Gospel of Luke in chapter 19. And here is our question: What are all these children around Jesus doing?
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Full text of this story :
JESUS ARRIVES IN JERUSALEM
Imagine a long procession of people of all ages, young, old, children. Those are the pilgrims who are going to Jerusalem for the great feast of the Passover; at the head of this procession, there is Jesus and his disciples. As they are approaching a village, Jesus says to two disciples: – Go to the village, there in front of us. As soon as you enter it, you will find a female donkey tied there and her calf beside her. Untie them and bring them to me. The disciples are surprised. How are they going to untie these animals? What will people say? Jesus adds: – If someone asks you: “What are you doing here! Why are you taking these animals?”. You will answer them: “The Lord needs them but don’t worry us will bring them back”, and they will let you take them. Do you know why Jesus is doing this? He will accomplish what a prophet foretold a long time ago. – Jerusalem! Jerusalem, he had said, look! Your king is coming to you. He is humble and gentle. He is riding a young donkey. Never have we seen a king sitting on a donkey. Kings proudly ride their most beautiful horses. They arrive as conquerors to the sound of trumpets, surrounded by their royal guard. They want to show their wealth and their power, their domination over the people. So does that mean that Jesus is not a king like other kings? The two disciples arrive in the village. At the turn of the path, they find a donkey and its young. They untie them. – Hey! But what are you doing, these animals are ours! Why are you untying them? – Because the Lord needs them. Be reassured! We will bring them back to you! They let them go. Once near Jesus, they put their coats on the back of the young donkey Jesus sits on it. People lay out their clothes on the road as rugs. Others go to the fields. They cut branches of palm trees, olive trees, twigs. They make him a guard of honor and praise God aloud. – Glory to God! He has done great miracles for us! Glory to God! They cry out for joy because they are convinced that Jesus will become the king of the land. He will drive out the Romans and make them all rich and happy. – Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed be the king who comes in the name of the Lord! He will deliver us from our enemies. He’s going to be our king. Long live the king! Long live the king! Glory to God! The children are jumping and screaming for joy. They praise God. But the religious men and the Pharisees get angry. They can’t stand seeing the crowd cheering for Jesus. – Don’t you mind all this noise? They ask him. Can’t you hear what they’re saying! You could silence them, couldn’t you! – No! Not at all! Jesus answers them. If these people, who are there, keep quiet, if they stop glorifying God, then, the stones themselves will begin to cry out and praise God! They are approaching Jerusalem. A great sadness seizes Jesus. He cries because he loves this city and its people and He knows that in a few years a great misfortune will happen because of their wickedness. He would like so much to save them from this catastrophe, but they don’t want to hear anything. They still do not understand that he did not come to rule the country but to reign in their hearts, to change their lives. – Ah! Jerusalem! He says. If you had understood how to be saved. If you recognized that I am the promised savior. If you wanted at last ask forgiveness for your sins and obey your God! But you do not understand it and a great misfortune will happen. Jesus experiences great anguish. Tears are running down His face. They are now entering Jerusalem. The inhabitants are moved. They wonder. – What’s happening? Who is this king who comes seated on a young donkey? We have never seen that! The cheerful crowd responds: – But! It’s Jesus! This is Jesus, the prophet who comes from Nazareth! The king is coming on God‘s behalf! And the children, from the smallest to the oldest, are jumping for joy. They surround Jesus singing the praises of God with all their heart.
1, 2 3, 4 AND YOU AND ME! Do you think you can be sad and happy at the same time? Yes it’s possible. When Jesus arrives in Jerusalem, He weeps because of the calamities that are to come and He rejoices in hearing the songs and the praises of the crowd and especially of the children. What do you think makes him happy today? Yes, He rejoices when He hears children praise Him. Do you praise him? Do you remember to thank him? I suggest that you think about all that He gives you every day, the air you breathe, the food that is on your plate, your parents, your friends and especially His goodness and His love for you. You will find many reasons to say: “Thank you Jesus! I praise you! Thank you for loving me!”
4, 3, 2, 1 AND WE PARENTS! Despite the protests of the religious, not only did Jesus let the children praise him, but He found it normal that they did so, even if it was not in keeping with the religious standards. It is good that our children learn from an early age to freely express the gratitude and praise. Let them spontaneously praise the Lord in their own way in their own words. And we, let’s be models, parents, who, like David, sing to God: “Your goodness is better than life, my lips celebrate your praise. I will bless you all my life, I will lift up my hands in your name” You will find this text in Psalm 63.