Monday, April 10, 2017

The Day After Palm Sunday

I need to go back to read the Gospels as narrative, from beginning to end.  This morning, I was thinking about the disciples and Jesus and what they might have talked about the morning after Palm Sunday.  Then I couldn't remember if every Gospel has a triumphant entry into Jerusalem or not.

And do I take the Palm Sunday story literally?  I'm very cautious about taking any part of the Bible literally, as something that actually happened the way that the Bible tells us.  But let me play with this idea.  And when I talk about disciples, I'm not limiting myself to just the named twelve.  I assume that there were plenty of people who tagged along from town to town who were just as worthy.

Would the disciples have understood the triumphant entry?  Had they seen enough by then to understand the response to Jesus?

Surely there would have been at least one disciple who said, "We are now on the radar screen of lots of people who might do us harm.  We've managed to avoid the Pharisees, but it won't be that easy to escape the notice of Rome.  We're headed towards serious consequences."

I am sure that some disciples would have welcomed those serious consequences--they're the ones who would have assumed that Jesus was here to start the political revolution and that the days of Roman oppression were numbered.

Likewise, there must have been a clueless disciple who assumed they were on a path to fame and fortune.  Perhaps that disciple said, "At last!  We'll be able to stop living this nomadic life.  We can make some money and finally have some stability.  Maybe we can even start a family or two."

I suspect the bulk of Christ's followers didn't spend much time on introspection--most humans don't, after all.

But if all the Holy Week events really happened in a literal week, could they really have remained oblivious? 

Probably at least one or two would have stayed completely clueless from beginning to end.  Probably even more.  And I'm sure there were some who thought they were all on a much different trajectory, who considered possibilities that are lost to us now.

Those early disciples aren't that very different from any of the rest of us.  Do we understand the story?

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