As the Messiah approached Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the crowds cheered, the pharisees, who were the religious leaders, complained and Jesus wept. In one sense it is a scene unique in the scripture when certain prophecies and hopes all line up. Yet each group is caught up in their own hopes and desires, shouting so loudly that if it were even possible, they would drown out the voice of God speaking in their presence.
How often I hear today, “Your boss hasn’t said much these last two thousand years” to which I could say, “Nothing that you seem to have heard, but that is not to say he has not spoken.” The Bible reveals two things: on the one hand God speaks and on the other people either listen to him and/or ignore him. Now why would anyone not listen to what God has to say? Our children are like most children. You call them, no response; you call them a bit louder, still no response; then you call out, “Who wants chocolate?” and the stamping of feet and the reply of “Me!” comes reverberating down the stairs followed by the children themselves.
How simple it is to hear what we want to hear and to see what we want to see. Yet when we only react to what we want to react to we miss a world of blessing that could have been for us. Though many of the people on Palm Sunday did receive the promise Jesus was bringing, many chose against him and his message.
In doing so life continued on as normal for another nearly forty years and then the city was destroyed and tragedy finalised. Now it was not that the people did not hear Jesus, but that they decided not to listen to him, because what he had to say was not what they wanted to listen to.
To be told you cannot save yourself is good news for the humble, but brutal for the proud. We want to be masters of our own destiny, and we can be. God has spoken, is speaking and will continue to speak. It is always worth not just hearing but listening to him. For there is more on offer than some chocolate!