Mark 10:46 – 11:11
Mark is the only gospel that gives us a fairly clear indication of each day of the week during the first Holy Week, from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. Matthew and Luke do not distinguish between Monday and Tuesday. John appears to skip from Sunday to Thursday. So we are going to use Mark as our guide for Holy Week 2021.
Jesus and his disciples are leaving Jericho going to Jerusalem. The trip for them would have been about 15 miles with a 3,400 feet elevation gain. (If you want to experience something like this without going to Israel then travel out to Guadalupe Mountains National Park and climb to the top of Texas at Guadalupe Peak. The weather and the terrain are similar but the trail is only 4.2 miles.) Jesus and his disciples, who were used to walking and in their 20s or 30s probably made it to Jerusalem in about 6 hours.
But first, they encountered Bartimaeus – a blind man sitting next to the road and shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!” When Bartimaeus is told that Jesus is calling him he jumps to his feet and runs to Jesus. Bartimaeus RAN to Jesus! I think there is a message here for us!
Jesus asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” Some of the disciples probably thought, “Jesus! He’s blind! What do you think he wants?” But Jesus wants us to be clear about what we want from him and he wants to hear us say it. “Master, I want to see!” Bartimaeus answered. What do you want from Jesus?
In the first six verses of chapter 11 we have a strange little story about what Jesus knows. They are entering Bethphage and Bethany which are on the east side of the Mount of Olives. Jesus sends two of his disciples ahead and tells them what to do and what will happen. Is this a miracle of Jesus’ foreknowledge or a product of his familiarity with the village of Bethany, home of his friends Mary, Martha, and Lazarus?
Jesus got on the donkey and began the climb to the top of the Mount of Olives and then down the western side. Along the way “many people spread clothes on the road, while others went to cut branches from the fields.” This was one way that the Jewish people welcomed a famous person.
The people shouted, “Hosanna! God bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” This cry of greeting comes from Psalm 118:25-26 and is a plea for help from God in the form of a Messiah. This is spelled out even more specifically in verse 10, “God bless the coming kingdom of our ancestor David. Hosanna! to God on high!”
Jesus then crossed the Kidron Valley and went into the temple to see and to be seen. Then he and the disciples returned to Bethany for the night.
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(Tuesday & Thursday; 8am to 2pm; Ages 1-3)
Rev Pat Bell, Pastor
First United Methodist Church Sealy
200 Atchison Street
Sealy, Texas 77474