We Had No Idea

[I am pleased this Maundy Thursday to have permission from by my dear friend, Robin Schmidt to share this beautiful narrative she wrote that Pastor Doug Walker included in his own message at Grace Chapel on Palm Sunday, March 20, 2016.]

Palm Sunday…a narrative from the perspective of one of Jesus’ closer followers…as I imagine he might have told the story based on narratives from the four gospels…

Often, we think we know what’s happening…we lean on our own understanding, our own perspective…only to find out…

We had no idea…


We knew what every good Hebrew boy knew…we knew God’s law, we knew the questions to ask on the night of Passover…we knew Messiah would come and establish David’s throne forever.

And like every Hebrew had been asking for hundreds of years we wondered…when would Messiah come?

We had no idea.

When the baptizer was in full swing preaching repentance, turn to God, get ready for the kingdom of God, Andrew was among those following him.  But one day John, who seemed like a prophet (and we hadn’t seen one of those for a long time) John pointed out another man and sai,  He is the one!  The one I said was greater than me because he was before me!

o Andrew followed this new teacher/rabbi, wondering Who is this man who John says was here before him?  We had never heard of him.  Who was he?

We had no idea.

When this new rabbi told Peter to go fishing in the morning, the Morning!  Peter got a little sarcastic and was lik, O, Teacher, hatever you say.  And then the nets pulled in so many fish it almost sank the boat!  It might have if James and John hadn’t pulled alongside.  Peter freaked and fell before Jesus the teacher and said, et away from me I am a sinful man.

Well sure Peter, you and everyone else, but why did you say that to the teacher?  And how did you get so many fish, in the morning?

We had no idea.

When we were out on the lake and that crazy storm hit.  We were sure it was over for us.  Yet the rabbi was asleep- in all that weather!  Can you imagine?  Someone woke him up and he spoke to the storm, the water and the waves, and they calmed.  The storm stopped.

Who does that?  Could this be Messiah?

We had no idea.

James and John thought it was, in fact they were so convinced they wanted to secure their place in his new kingdom.  Their mom asked Jesus to put one of her sons on each side of Jesus.  Nice move dudes.  Jesus said those weren’t his places to give, but could they drink the cup of suffering?

Suffering?  Sure let me suffer on the right or left hand of the king!

What suffering would Messiah experience?

We had no idea.

When Jesus started talking about all kinds of suffering he would have to endure, Peter tried to set him straight.  Messiah suffer?  May it never be!  But he was harshly answered, rebuked as a stumbling block to God’s ways.

Poor Peter. He put his foot in it that time.  So maybe Jesus would suffer, but then maybe he wasn’t the Messia?

We had no idea.

And then Passover came and we headed to Jerusalem. To observe the festival and remember when God set his people free from slavery.  Wouldn’t now be a good time for Messiah to set us free?  But when would he come?

We had no idea.

And then Jesus, he does this crazy thing.  He rides into Jerusalem on a donkey!  Like a king.  People lining the street yelling,

Hosanna, Save us!  And he didn’t agree to ride into the city on the back of a donkey, he arranged it!  He sent a couple of guys to go get the donkey!

What?!  Is this it?  Is David’s throne to be established now once and for all? Freedom from our oppressors!  Is Jesus the Messiah? Could it be?

We had no idea.

Then the Passover meal itself.  It got a little weird at the end.  Jesus was talking about his body and blood.  And he offered us a cup, like a man offers a cup to the woman he wants to marry.  What did he mean?

We had no idea.

Then it got even weirder…he said someone was going to betray him.  What? ! Who?

We had no idea.

So there we are, with our teacher, who just rode into Jerusalem like a king, on Passover no less, perfect time to free God’s people.  We were on pins and needles, also exhausted.  Was this God’s time?  Was freedom near?

We had no idea.

Then Judas shows up with Roman soldiers and high priests and it looks like a battle is about to erupt.  And Peter, ever the first to react, draws his sword and cuts off a kid’s ear.  But Jesus tells him to put his sword away and heals the ear.

And Jesus goes with the soldiers.  He just goes.  No fight.  No battle.  No freedom from slavery on Passover.  He just goes with them.

Wha…? What happens now?

We had no idea.


Notes:

Also posted on Robin’s blog: Choosing Comedy.We.Had.No.Idea

Hear Doug’s Palm Sunday Message of 3/20/2016 at http://graceepc.org/archives/category/messages