As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. “Go into the village over there,” he said. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately let you take them.”
This took place to fulfill the prophecy that said,“Tell the people of Jerusalem, ‘Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey – riding on a donkey’s colt.’”
The two disciples did as Jesus commanded. They brought the donkey and the colt to him and threw their garments over the colt, and he sat on it. Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting, “Praise God for the Son of David! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Praise God in highest heaven!” The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked. And the crowds replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” – Matthew 21:1-11 (NLT)
Polarization is synonymous with the politics, but it doesn’t get its beginnings in our time and place. When Jesus enters Jerusalem with five days before his crucifixion, we see a polarized atmosphere. Some are rejoicing in while others despising Jesus. We see adoration by people waving palm branches and throwing their outer garments on the road for a donkey to walk on, and proclaiming to Jesus, “Hosanna” (save us). The negative response is visible in verse 10 when Matthew records the whole city being in an uproar. Jesus was a hero and a villain in Jewish eyes. All people believed Jesus was someone who wanted to overturn political and societal structures. This made him a hero in the eyes of the oppressed and poor but a villain to those in power. A parallel is found in Matthew 2 when the wise men tell King Herod of the newborn king of the Jews. This news deeply disturbed Herod and all Jerusalem with him (Matthew 2:3). At the heart of this disturbance was the threat to the status quo. This is still the main threat people have with Jesus. He tells us to love our enemies, to sacrifice our resources and wellbeing for others, to pick up our crosses daily and follow him. The people of Jerusalem were wise. Jesus disturbed the status quo. They were right to fear for their livelihoods in this life, but they were wrong to believe this was the only life there is.
Are you willing to let Jesus disrupt the order of your life? Are you wanting to cling to the status quo? Are you OK with Jesus changing the people you are friends with or how you spend your money?