Summary: We need to make sure we follow the right leader
Once upon a time there was a very sick man. He had gone to many doctors, undergone numerous tests, and was prescribed lots of medicine. But he was still very sick. He tried everything from home remedies to herbal tea to mega-doses of certain vitamins along with his prescriptions. He still didn’t feel any better than before. Then he heard of a doctor who could cure diseases and illnesses that others couldn’t. So he called and made an appointment, all the time thinking, “Finally, I’ll feel well again.”
The doctor gave him a thorough exam and, after examining the test results, told the man that all he had to do to become healthy was lose about 60 pounds, exercise regularly, and eat more vegetables, fruits, and grains. The doctor also told him he didn’t need that medicine he was on.
The man was furious when he heard this. He demanded that the doctor prescribe some new medicine for him, possibly some experimental drug not yet on the market, which would cure his illness. The doctor patiently repeated his advice. "You don’t need medicine," she said. "You need to change your lifestyle." Well, the man cussed out the doctor and left. For the rest of his life, he would tell everyone who would listen that doctor was a quack who shouldn’t be allowed to practice medicine.
Once upon a time there was a woman who had run up a lot of debts, so she embezzled money from her employer. Of course, the company found out and pressed charges. Most of the money had been spent on alcohol and she had been arrested many times for driving while intoxicated. Her most recent arrest was a result of causing an accident that had killed the other driver. She didn’t know what to do, until a friend told her of an outstanding defense attorney who seldom lost a case. So she called him and he agreed to see her. She thought, “Whew. He’ll get me off the hook and everything will be fine.”
When they met the attorney studied her case and said, "What you did was wrong, and you may have to spend some time in prison. After you are released, you will need to get into an ongoing program of recovery from alcohol abuse. You will also need to get a steady job and repay the company the money you stole. If you will do this, you may be able to get your life back together again."
The woman was furious. She yelled at the attorney, "I don’t need you to give me a lecture, I need you to get these charges dropped. Whether I drink or not is my business, not yours!" She stomped out and began letter-writing campaign to have him disbarred for refusing to help a client.
Once upon a time there was a small nation that was deeply troubled. For centuries the people had been held down by foreign armies. Many of the citizens of this nation had become cynical about life, and as a result they cheated friends and neighbors in the marketplace. There was no peace, no prosperity. But then there appeared a tiny ray of hope in the midst of the darkness. There was talk of a messiah who would fix everything for them--a messiah who would overthrow the foreign army, establish a strong, independent government, and bring peace and prosperity to the nation.
Word came of a man from Nazareth, who was able to heal people, cast out demons, and even change water into wine. People came from all over to hear him speak. And he could hold his own when the scribes and Pharisees confronted him. The people felt that finally the messiah who would lead an army against Rome and reestablish Israel as a strong and prosperous nation was coming.
One day this man rode a donkey into the capital city of Jerusalem. The people poured into the streets and cheered his arrival. They waved palm branches, spread garments on the road, and shouted, Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!
We’ll come back for the ending of this story later.
It was October 29, 1896 when Charles Lindbergh was given a ticker-tape parade in New York City in honor of his solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean. 750,000 lbs. of ticker tape poured onto the streets. BUT THE BIGGEST TICKER-TAPE PARADE was on March 1, 1962, for astronaut John Glenn after he became the first American to orbit the earth in a spacecraft. The sanitation department cleaned up 3,474 tons of ticker tape, confetti and other paper along a 7-mile route of jubilation.
EVERYBODY LOVES A PARADE. And it was no different when Jesus came to town. Josephus, a Jewish historian, estimated the crowd to be as high as 3 million, or about one-half the population of Judea and Galilee.