14 November 2018

Welcome to Wednesday’s Podcast.

Our reading today is Matthew 21: 1-17 but today we’ll focus on verses 8 -9

A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’
‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’
‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’


Today I’d love us to think about breakthrough.  Google defines a breakthrough as: a sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development.  The term is borrowed from the military – in warfare breakthrough means ‘an offensive military assault that penetrates and carries beyond a defensive line.’  Or it can be defined as moving through or beyond an obstacle.

Let me ask you this question: where do you need a breakthrough?  Relational? Family? Work?

There are moments in life where he hit a situation – an insurmountable challenge where we need a breakthrough.

On Monday, our third child Phoebe was three weeks old. The story of our family – or specifically having children – is the story of breakthrough.

For each of our three children we’ve needed medical help to conceive.

I still remember that feeling in the pit of my stomach as we sat with a doctor who would share some test results where we would learn that for us to have our own children would be very difficult.  It turned out that we were to become one of the 3.5 million people in the UK who experience infertility. They reckon it affects 1 in 7 couples.  It has been at times excruciatingly hard.

Let’s turn to today’s passages – I’d love us to think about the crowds and about their desire for a breakthrough.  These verses are usually read a week before Easter on Palm Sunday.

Matthew paints a scene: Jesus on the colt (baby donkey) and there are the crowds waving branches – the shouts and praises of hosanna – all these moments are all foretold – packed with prophetic meaning. The whole of Biblical history has pointed to this moment: Jesus slowly making his way into Jerusalem as king.

So, back to the crowds for a moment.

They are desperate for a breakthrough. They want things to change and can’t change them by themselves.

I’ve been there. I’ve experienced that feeling of helplessness. Of not being in control.

God’s people were in the grip of the Roman Empire. All the promises of God seemingly lay in tatters.

They longed for the Messiah to come and put it all right, hence why Jerusalem was pulsating with hope. The atmosphere electric and with the deeply held belief that victory is not far away… the Messiah was coming.

Back to the crowds for the third time.

So, here’s my question – why do some of those people shout ‘hosanna’ one day and then a few days later ‘crucify him…’


The breakthrough did come – just not in the way they expected.

Jesus goes on to show us that the path of victory was via the cross of surrender.

This is what I’ve learned. It’s very tempting to let disappointment set into our hearts when things don’t work out as we expect. When God doesn’t do what we want him to in our timing.

It’s in those moments that we learn that he really is God and he does what he does. We don’t always understand it or like it. But we are called to trust Him – because he will work it out in his way and his timing in the end.

Isaiah 55:8 says this:

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.

If you’re waiting for a breakthrough – I’d love to leave us with this verse from a song. Google the song; it’s called ‘Sovereign Over Us’ – I have found it so helpful.

Reflect on this verse:

Your plans are still to prosper
You have not forgotten us
You’re with us in the fire and the flood
You’re faithful forever
Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us


Lord will you help us to stand firm this day and call out for a breakthrough. Help us to know that you are always working. Amen

READING: Matthew 21:1-17

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.’

This took place to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet:

‘Say to Daughter Zion,
“See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”’

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’

‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’

‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’

When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, ‘Who is this?’

The crowds answered, ‘This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.’

Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money-changers and the benches of those selling doves. ‘It is written,’ he said to them, ‘“My house will be called a house of prayer,” but you are making it “a den of robbers.”’

The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David,’ they were indignant.

‘Do you hear what these children are saying?’ they asked him.

‘Yes,’ replied Jesus, ‘have you never read,

‘“From the lips of children and infants
you, Lord, have called forth your praise”?’

And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.