The week before Jesus' crucifixion is considered to be the most eventful week of His life on earth, and His triumphal entry into Jerusalem was one of the greatest highlights.
Jesus, the Son of God and long-awaited "Messiah," had arrived just as prophesied by the Prophet Zachariah over 500 hundred years earlier, (Zach 9:9), and was openly making His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey.
As His procession entered, the people formed a canopy of palm branches and hailed Him as their king.
Verse 12: "The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!"
For John to say the crowd was "large" means that perhaps thousands had become Followers.
It was customary for people to spread their garments in the pathway of royalty, and to wave Palm Tree branches in homage to rulers.
"Hosanna," as used in this verse, means, "O Save."(Psa 118:25-26) The psalm was a Passover song, and the people would have been familiar with the words.
They were sure He was the leader who would restore their country to its former glory and were praising God for giving them a king. However, they were blinded to Jesus' true mission.
Verses 14-15: "And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, 15"Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!"
Some of the other Gospels say that Jesus sent the disciples for the colt, to find a room, and make the necessary preparations for Jesus and His disciples to hold Passover.
Amazingly, the Prophetic Scripture below is from the book of "Zechariah," (written some 520 years earlier):
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey," (Zech 9:9).
Verse16: "His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him."
Only Jesus understood what was going on until after the crucifixion. Then, with the help of the Holy Spirit, the disciples could understand the prophecies and the things that had been done to Him.
Verse 17-19: "The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. "The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign. So the Pharisees said to one another, "You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him."
Those who had seen Jesus raise Lazarus remained faithful, and continued to tell others what they had seen, but did very little to prevent Jesus' death.
The Pharisees, seeing the large crowds, became even more desperate to do away with Jesus. They were frustrated, and started blaming one another, and, another of John's Ironies, they began to pronounce curses upon themselves.
The Passover Season was a time when Hopes for deliverance ran high. People would sing and refer to the Messiah as, "the King of Israel." Many of them recognized Jesus as the Messiah and expected Him to deliver them from their enemies.
But they had turned a deaf ear to the words of the prophets, and later turned against Jesus when they realized He was not going to fulfill their mistaken ideas and expectations.
The Greeks Seek Jesus:
Verse 20-22: "Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." 22Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus."
These Greeks had probably converted to the Jewish faith and had come to worship and take part in the Passover. The name, "Phillip" is a Greek name, and he was the only disciple with a Greek name.
Philip was from Bethsaida, just north/northeast of the Sea of Galilee, close to these Gentile Cities. Philip may have known these Greeks; which could explain why he was the first one they approached.
Phillip and Andrew told Jesus what they said, and...
Verse 23: "And Jesus answered them, The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified."
Wasn't that a strange answer?
In John 2:4, John referred, to "Jesus' hour," as being the time of His crucifixion. Jesus' entire ministry, included a journey to the cross that would affect the whole world.
It is almost as if the Greeks had somehow prompted, or reminded Jesus, that His time was near.
Verse 24: "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit."
Isn't this deep?
Unless a kernel of wheat is buried in the ground, it will not become a blade of wheat producing many more seeds. Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sin, and to show His power over death.
His resurrection is proof of his Eternal Life; and because He is God, Jesus death provided a seed that can give this same eternal life to all who believe in Him; a life filled with the Holy Spirit to guide, comfort, and to accomplish His will.
And, when our days on this earth are over, we will be with Him for eternity.
Verse 25-26: "Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life."
What depth of commitment does Jesus require? Is it enough to be good, and go to church on Sunday; or, are His Followers to suffer hunger, imprisonment, rejection, and even death?
This kind of faith requires a new way of thinking. "Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind..."(ROM 12:2).
Followers of Jesus must be willing to follow, serve and if necessary, die for Him.
The night before Jesus' crucifixion He washed His disciple's feet and began an accelerated training course for their future mission.