John 12: Looking Back
I find it interesting in John 12 the people wanted proof of what Jesus had done. I think that we can sometimes put on chronological snobbery and assume that people in the past were incredibly gullible and willing to believe anything. However, I wrote about that two days ago, so I’m not going back there again other than to point out verse nine.
Rather, I want to focus today on the disciples regarding Palm Sunday. It stands out to me that John reports the fact that the disciples did not recognize the fulfillment of prophecy until later on. As they were experiencing the events that were going on, they apparently did not put the pieces together.
Joh 12:12 On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
Joh 12:13 Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Joh 12:14 And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,
Joh 12:15 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt.
Joh 12:16 These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.
I think that it shows us something about the value of memorizing Scripture as well as the value of reflection. The disciples clearly put the pieces together because they knew the prophecy. If they did not know the Bible, they would not have been able to figure that out. The obvious implication for us is that we need to know our Bible as well or we might miss something important.
Secondly, the disciples remembered this later. They were clearly thinking about their experience with Jesus, and they were then able to put together the Bible and the event. Do we actually consider our past and then reflect on where God is at work? Maybe we don’t have specific prophecies that relate to our individual lives like this one about Jesus’ life, but we do have things like the fruit of the Spirit. As we grow nearer to Christ, these qualities should become more evident. How are we doing? Are we growing? Are there things that we could be improving on?
The disciples were clearly human, and they were not perfect by any means, but I do think we can learn from their example.