Picture a sumo wrestler…an aging rock star…a mad professor…a spiritual person. What did you see? Mother Teresa? A Buddhist monk? The Archbishop of Canterbury? Yourself?
Here is a description of a Christian disciple.
It all begins, not with a set of instructions, but with a pronouncement of blessing. There are people who might be considered unfortunate, pitiable even. But they live under God’s favour. They are the luckiest people in the world.
Matthew 21:1-16 (Mk 11:1-10; Lk 19:29-38; Jn 12:12-15)
Grand entrances. Wedding. Royalty.
Verse 10 – “Who is this?” Note:-
(a) the deliberate ‘staging’ of the entrance. He is in sovereign control, (and yet uses human means).
(b) the nature of the entrance. Similar to ancient ‘victory parades’. Solomon, 1 King 1:33. 2 Kings 9:13 – ‘They took their cloaks and spread them under him on the bare steps. Then they blew the trumpet and shouted, “Jehu is king!”
Everybody has an outside and an inside; a public exterior and a private interior. On the outside are all the things that other people can see and hear: the actions you perform and the words you say. On the inside is that collection of thoughts, feelings, motives, and attitudes that we call ‘the heart’. Yes: each person has an outward appearance, and an inner reality. But to what extent is that outer self that we present to others a true representation what we really are, deep inside? …
Kid McCoy was a US boxer, world champion in 1896. He became involved in a barroom brawl, when a drunk insisted that the boxer was not who he said he was. McCoy flattened his opponent, who struggled back onto his feet and said, “It’s him alright. It’s the real McCoy.”)
1. People, then, as now, have confused and conflicting ideas about who Jesus is.