Sunday, April 9, 2017


Details.  Most good stories are filled with details.  And, often enough we miss many of them because we get caught up in the movement of the story.  When the story of the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem is told in the gospels, Matthew and John omit a detail included by the other two gospel writers.  Luke and Mark tell us that Jesus rode a colt into the city that had never been ridden.  Anyone who watches western movies knows that wild un-ridden horses have to be broken by cowboys who hang on until the bucking horse becomes a broken horse ready for riding.  Yet, Jesus gets on this not yet ridden horse and rides him into the city with no trouble at all.

The un-ridden colt has no problem with Jesus riding him into the city.  And neither is he bothered by the noise of the shouting crowd, or rough palm branches being waved in the air and across his head.  Unfazed.  He is such a gentle ride that he is hardly seen at all.  He just blends into the fabric of the story in such a way that his extraordinary behavior is almost missed.  Of course, the rider was the one who could look demons in the eye and tell them to be gone and they were.  Not only were demons sent running by His look, but He also looked into the eye of the storm and restored peace.  A nervous and excited colt was surely no problem for Jesus who had such power over wild things.

But, perhaps, we know this best because of the way Jesus has looked at us, seen a wild and headstrong spirit, and brought order and peace into our lives.  We read the stories of it happening to folks like the centurion at Calvary, Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus, a wild troubled man named Augustine, and John Newton who transported slaves.  And we know our own story, too.  It is the story of someone whose heart was set apart from God by our sin and who then became one of God's set apart people because of grace.  Wild animals, terrible storms, and headstrong hearts are all broken by the look of the man on the cross. 

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