Monday, March 1, 2010

To Lead, or to Follow?

Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" Mark 11:9 (NIV)

As Jesus entered Jerusalem seated on the donkey colt that his disciples had procured for him, people along the way assumed their position. This verse states that some went ahead, and some followed. They were all shouting the same thing, however. “Hosanna!” Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

This verse from Mark identifies two distinct groups in the crowd: those who went ahead, and those who followed. The Merriam online dictionary describes a leader as “one who directs the action,” while a follower is, “one in the service of another, or one who imitates another.”

As I thought about this, I began to wonder what determined the position of each individual on that day in Jerusalem. I also wondered if there were differences between the two groups; for instance, I wondered which group would most likely be more loyal, the leaders or the followers. I know that I’m speculating here, but it seems likely to me that those directing the action may have been attention seekers caught up in the drama of the situation, while the followers may have been the true servants of Christ.

You see, everywhere Jesus went in the days leading up to his entry into Jerusalem, He repeated the same invitation. “Follow me.” This is what he said to each of his disciples, to Levi the tax collector, to the rich young ruler, and to those that he healed. In fact, the same invitation was later extended to any and all, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23 (NIV)

A week after Jesus’ triumphal entry, a large crowd once again surrounded Jesus in Jerusalem. This time those directing the action of the crowd shouted, “Crucify Him!” and “Give us Barabbas!” Were these the same leaders who directed the action the week before? Where were Jesus’ followers on this day? Were they part of the crowd, too?

These questions make me wonder about those who went ahead, and those who followed Jesus during his entry into Jerusalem. I also wonder which group I would have been a part of. Would I have been caught up in directing the excitement and drama of one or both days? Or would I have simply followed my Lord, regardless of where He might have taken me?

Better yet, what is my position today? I may be shouting, “Hosanna,” like the crowd ahead of and following Jesus, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. Jesus says that I must deny myself and take up my cross daily,and follow…

I'm participating in Monday Manna today, hosted by Joanne at An Open Book. Please stop by and pay her a visit.


  1. Oh - this is VERY good, Sharlyn. I love your insights - such an important reminder. And I LOVE how we all look at the same verse and learn something different. Thanks for participating!

  2. Sharlyn

    Great posts. You've given me some things to think about that I never considered before.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat


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