Read Mark 11

Key Verse: Mark 11:9 “…Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”

Have you ever thought you’d like to be famous? A household name? You know, someone whom people recognize on the street, write articles about and adulate? And, as you fantasize, you undoubtedly see yourself accepting all this adoration rather quietly and modestly. “I don’t know what all the fuss is about. I’m just an average person–your everyday nice guy.” Pretty heady stuff, nonetheless.

But there’s something headier still. Being adored is one thing; being revered is something else. When adoration turns into worship you’ve become a god or goddess–people hang on your every word, emulate you, canonize you. You’ve joined the elite troop of religious cult leaders and sports heroes. When you speak, people listen, because you speak with authority. The advertisers come to you with lucrative endorsement contracts. The world is your oyster.

So the last thing you want to do is antagonize your admirers. A fan club should be cultivated, not castigated. You want to please them, meet their expectations, fulfil their agenda.

Jesus’ admirers had an agenda. It was expressed in the word, “Hosanna!” This shout means, “Save now!”, with the emphasis on “now”. Many of the Jews in Jesus’ day had had enough of Roman occupation. They needed, and looked for, a leader who would rout the Romans and establish the messianic kingdom. Jesus was the answer to their prayers. He had created a stir unlike any other zealot with messianic tendencies. He was a miracle worker, an outspoken teacher, and a charismatic leader of unparalleled magnetism. How ironic that He should enter Jerusalem on a cold! How humble! How sweet would be His ultimate triumph! Or so they thought. But He’s got to do it now: the time is ripe. Save now!

It hadn’t entered their minds that Jesus had His own agenda. Nor did He need their political support. He was the totally submitted Son of God, who put His Father’s will ahead of His own. So, instead of glorying in the adulation and capitulating to the not-so-hidden agenda of the people, Jesus capitalized on the exposure by cleansing the temple area. He didn’t cultivate the people, He drove them away, disappointing and angering a lot of fans.

Have you prayed any “Hosannas” lately? “Here’s the agenda, Lord. Do it no! Not Your will, but mine be done.” And then we wonder why God is strangely silent.

Maybe it’s time for you and me to remember Jesus’ prayer, “not my will, but Thine be done.”