Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The DEEP

Thinking Ahead

but not too far ahead.

John 12:12–15

The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:

“Hosanna!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’
The King of Israel!”

Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:

“Fear not, daughter of Zion;
Behold, your King is coming,
Sitting on a donkey’s colt.”

Q: When is a triumph actually a disaster?

A: This.

This event, known as the triumphal entry, looks and sounds great, but there’s a problem. The problem is the palm branches and the shouts of Hosanna. They’re nationalistic symbols celebrating the messiah who will release His people from the yoke of Rome.

But Jesus isn’t that kind of messiah. He’ll release them from the yoke alright—the yoke of sin.

Rome isn’t the issue.


Q: When is a disaster actually a triumph?

A: This.

This “triumphal entry” will set in motion the final sequence of events that leads to Jesus’s crucifixion. It’s a disaster, or at least it looks like one to anyone who understands who Jesus is and what Rome does with rebellious people.

Most importantly, this looks like a disaster to the ones who want it to be a disaster—Jesus’s enemies. They know all about Rome and they know that this can help set in motion a sequence of events that can get Him killed. They can see ahead to how this can play out.

But fortunately for us, Jesus’s enemies can only see so far ahead. They can’t see the ultimate, holy purpose for the “disaster.”

They’re thinking one step ahead, but not two.


These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Saturday DEEPs are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/community

The weekly study guides, which include the Monday–Friday devotionals plus related questions for discussion or meditation, are available for download here:

https://www.ailbe.org/resources/itemlist/category/91-deep-studies

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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