Our Gospel this week is Mark 1:1-11, taken today from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).

“When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.’ ” They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!” Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.”

Jesus comes to Jerusalem for the Passover and the people hail Him as “the one who comes in the name of the Lord” (v. 9). It certainly sounds like they understand the teachings and why Jesus is there. However, in the next breath they shout “blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David” (v. 10).

People still have the wrong expectation of Jesus, that He has come to restore the kingdom of Israel. Even after His resurrection (Acts 1:6) His disciples still ask this! Jesus tells us time and again it is not an earthly kingdom, but the kingdom of God.

We must also understand what we are asking when we pray for restoration of our country and our world. We must change our hearts and lives to be His people. God doesn’t want us to be the way we were, He wants us to accept His call and become part of His new kingdom.

Loving Lord, we are wrapped up in our own desires and expectations. Help us to see the promise You have for us and fulfill the purpose for which we were created. Amen.

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