Friday, May 17, 2013

Jesus's Clever Way to Say, "I am the Messiah"?

I've been wondering about the story of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey.  Could this have been Jesus's first public messianic proclamation (relying on his Jewish audience's connecting it to the Zecharaiah prophecy*)?  Is it probable that the Jewish audience would have recognized the messianic proclamation, but that the Roman authorities wouldn't have understood it?  Would the Roman authorities have understood the crowd's palm branches and chanting of "son of David" and "Hosannah" as messianic?  Or would they have thought that it was just some sort of strange greeting for a weird religious dude riding on a donkey?   If they wouldn't have recognized the messianic implications, then did Jesus find a clever way to say to his Jewish audience, "I am the Messiah," without tipping off the Romans?  

Further, would this leave the Temple authorities in a dilemma?  Do they inform the Roman authorities, who would try to arrest Jesus and perhaps cause a riot?  Do they themselves try to arrest Jesus and perhaps also cause a riot?  Do they do nothing and hope Jesus does nothing?  Do they hope for an opportunity to arrest him in secret, so there's no danger of a riot? 

Even further, would Jesus be clever enough to know that he had put the Temple authorities in such a dilemma?   Would Jesus now be in charge of events for the last week of his life?  Remaining in the safety of the crowd, until it left in the evening, and he along with it?  Choosing to remain in Jerusalem Passover night at a secret location, and then retire to the seclusion of the garden and wait for the Temple authorities to take advantage of their golden opportunity? 

*"Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
    Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
    righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,

    on a colt, the foal of a donkey."
(Zechariah 9:9)


Anonymous said...

Hi, I am from Australia.

What does anybody really know about Jesus?
Did anybody actually hear or witness Jesus claiming to be a/the "messiah"?
And does any of that help anyone to practice Real Spiritual Life in 2013?

For a completely different Understanding of the Spirit-Breathing Spiritual Way of Life taught and demonstrated by Saint Jesus of Galilee while he was alive, and the development of the power-and-control-seeking cult ABOUT him, please check out these references.

Bilbo said...

It seems to me that by choosing to ride a donkey into Jerusalem Jesus was proclaiming that he was the Messiah. The crowd's reaction seems to confirm that they understood this to be the meaning of his action. The reaction of the Temple authorities also seems to confirm it.

Real Spiritual Life? But there are good spirits and bad spirits. Both kinds "practice" real spiritual life. I imagine the point should be to try to practice being good.

The Christian view is that Jesus is God incarnate, who shares His spiritual life with all who acknowledge Him as Lord, transforming us, slowly into His likeness.