Triumphal Entry


Have you ever come into the middle of a conversation, and it sounds really interesting, and you try to get what everyone is talking about, from the context?

I mean, first you are quiet and you just nod your head, “mmhhm, mmhhm,” and you hope no one has noticed you have just inserted yourself. Inside you are scrambling to piece it all together. But, at some point you realize there is just too much you don’t know, you have too few puzzle pieces for you to understand what’s going on.

I think that is how we hear the story of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. We try to get why this event is so momentous it shows up in all four gospels as the commencement of Passion Week. But, there is just too much important background information that is missing for us to really grasp the importance—and symbology—of what was happening in this scene.

First, we will look at the passage, then I am going to tell you four stories, so you will have all you need to understand what is going on. Then we will go back to the passage and piece it all together.

(There was something going on with my microphone, so throughout this talk you will hear glitches. Hopefully, the talk itself will overcome that minor annoyance)

Triumphal Entry, Mark 11:1-11
Grace and Peace, Joanne

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The Widow’s Mite


In the passage that comes before this one, Mark talked about a scribe who had asked Jesus about the greatest commandment. And he was impressed with Jesus’ answer.

Jesus was also pleased. He told the scribe he was very close to entering the kingdom of heaven. With such a warm endorsement from a scribe, this was a rare teachable moment. The right moment, in today’s passage, for Jesus to talk about Messiah. And to teach His disciples the difference between a false reading, and a true reading of scripture.

In this half-hour video, I’ll give a talk that falls into three divisions:

I   Christ for the World, Mark 12:35-37

II  Court of the Women, Mark 12:38-40

III Coins of the Widow, Mark 12:42-44

At the end of this teachable moment Jesus had with His disciples, you and I will learn that the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. 

It is God’s pleasure to give to us. Then, real lovers of God, worship Him by joyfully sharing His spiritual and material wealth with others. In this way, they uphold the receiver’s dignity and deflects attention from the giver

What do you and I have that we can now see God is calling us to share with someone else, as a matter of generous love towards God Himself? This kind of sharing ends up making all of us richer.


The Widow’s Mite
Mark 12:35-44
Grace and Peace, Joanne YouTube Channel


[§Coins in hand | Royce Bair https://www.flickr.com/photos/ironrodart/, flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/]

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Render Unto Caesar

Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.

MARK 12:17 (NIV)

Money does have its proper place.

Yet, first century Christians continued to struggle and wrestle with this very difficult issue, so both Peter and Paul helped them by explaining Jesus’ teaching. Peter said, “For the Lord’s sake accept the authority of every human institution.” Paul summed it up like this:

Believers render to all what is due them

In fact, the whole verse says,


Render to all what is due them: taxes to whom taxes are due, respect to whom respect is due, fear to whom fear is due, and honor to whom honor is due.”

Romans 13:7 (NIV)


Every believer has a dual citizenship: in the country you live in and in the kingdom of God.  Even when our government does not govern the way we feel is wise, or good, or even honest, it still regulates and stems crime, and promotes the public welfare.

You and I are obligated to pay our taxes, to be mindful of the laws and rules we are called to uphold, and to be involved in the process of public policy making by voting.

This is rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.

Jesus Himself paid His temple tax even though He was Lord of the temple and Lord of the Sabbath. We also have responsibilities to our families, and to our work.  We are to be people of integrity, being honest in our labors, doing what is right, even at personal cost, even when we do not always agree with those who are in authority over us. God requires us to do what is right.

Jesus gave a great answer, really.

BUT

That’s not what left the Sanhedrin’s delegation drop-jawed—‘utterly amazed,’ as Mark described them.

What took their breath away is what Jesus said in-between the lines. Give a listen, and find out how . . .

Render Unto Caesar
At Grace and Peace, Joanne


[Roman Coins | The Portable Antiquities Scheme/ The Trustees of the British Museum / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0) | •Tiberius Coin | cgb / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

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Seasoned With Salt by Joanne Guarnieri Hagemeyer


What did you want to be, growing up?

What did your parents want you to be?

Did you ever have a sense of destiny? What about childhood promises you made to yourself—when I grow up, I will always have a clean house, or I will never get hurt again, or I will make all my own decisions.  Childhood dreams and childhood vows drive us a lot more than we realize. In this YouTube talk, we’re going to see how the disciples’ theology drove them a lot more than they realized, too.

RecapSo, this chapter began on a high mountain, both figuratively and physically. Peter, James., and John had the transcendent experience of seeing Jesus glory, conversing with Moses and Elijah, and hearing God speak personally to them to listen to Jesus, God the Son. Very soon after, Jesus and these three found themselves in a valley, again, figuratively and physically. From their peak spiritual experience, they found themselves plunged into the chaos of overwhelmed disciples, a demon-possessed boy, an angry crowd, and a desperate father.

Evidently, there was a house nearby. Jesus took His disciples aside, once they’d entered the building, to explain why they’d experienced such failure in casting out the demon. This is where Mark picked up the narrative, again.

Seasoned With Salt
Mark 9:30-50

[Jesus in Peter’s house | James Tissot, Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain]

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