It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Another way to look at Luke 19:29-44

Did you notice something different in Luke' description of Jesus' ride into Jerusalem? Did you notice something missing?

In Matthew, Mark, and John, crowds are there.

The something different: He comes in riding on a colt not a donkey. I checked the other gospel versions. In Mark 11:7, he's also on a colt, but in Matthew 21:7, he rides on both. (Don't try to imagine this, oh, go ahead.)

The something missing: The palms

Allen & Williamson in their Preaching the Gospels without Blaming the Jews:
Luke's omission of these branches is significant. Branches recollect 1 Maccabees 13:49-53. For three centuries Palestine had been under foreign rule. In 141 BCE, Jewish rebels defeated the Syrian oppressors. When the Jewish victors recaptured the temple, they waved branches. The branches became a symbol of Jewish independence, By omitting them, Luke signals that the church is not a revolutionary movement and encourages his community to live within Roman rule even while criticizing that oppression and recognizing that God will judge Rome ...

Sharon Ringe, in her commentary on Luke says that palm branches were used to greet a general returning after a victory. "Instead, people cushion Jesus' ride with their own clothing, divesting themselves of symbols of their status instead of putting on trappings of war.

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