[Matthew 21 – The Message]
He rode on a donkey, across the palm fronds, amid the accolades of the people, into Jerusalem, to his death.
Just like the crowd, I want to welcome him because of the hope he brings my soul. Yet I know I am as fickle as this crowd. It is not their praise that kept him going. Not their loyalty that set the stage for redemption. (Nor is it mine. Nor is it mine.)
Then he goes into the temple and disrupts the normal order of things. Commerce and power are really not the priority. And then there is the fig tree – which always catches me by surprise. Perhaps his words were less a curse and more an unveiling of the truth. The tree was always a dry stick.
His view of the world was so different – what he saw, what he pointed to, what he railed against and advocated for – all these were different from the norm. He contends that ‘the way things are’ is not the true nature of things, but a twisted disfiguration. His authority rests in that true nature – his nature … and potentially our own.
So, his stories make it clear. Its what you do, not what you say that makes the vineyard grow, that opens the doors of inclusion. God’s kingdom will not remain in the hands of those who abuse it.