Palm Sunday always has me all up in my feelings. It is a day of HOPE because we know what the arrival of Jesus in Jerusalem ultimately meant for us. But there is always a twinge of sadness in my heart on this day.
Matthew 21:9-11 “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!” 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.””
Mob Mentality at its finest. Mob mentality or herd mentality describes how we as humans adopt behaviors based on our circle of influence. Our point of view can be altered by those around us. In Matthew 21, the mob mentality worked for the greater good. However, this crowd that was honoring, praising, loving, exalting, worshipping Jesus as they waved their palm branches would be shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” (Luke 23:21) just one week later. Mob Mentality at its worst.
The definition of imitator is “someone who copies the behavior or actions of another”. So who or what are we imitating?
George Washington wrote, “Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for ’tis better to be alone than in bad company.”
Mark Ambrose wrote, “In your free time, you will choose who to hang out with. If I were to show you your friends, I could tell your future.”
John Mason said, “The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate – for the good and the bad.”
And my favorite quote (thatonerule), “If you hang out with chickens, you’re going to cluck, and if you hang out with eagles, you’re going to fly.”
So if the world is full of clucking chickens, how do we soar like eagles? Remember, at times in our nation, the eagle has been endangered and the chicken has not. Mob mentalities will be loud and large…
We can be influenced so easily in this world. We have to be so careful who we surround ourselves with. What do the following verses say about friendship? Read Proverbs 12:26, Proverbs 13:20, and Proverbs 27:17.
I love to see my children display a good quality that I know a family member instilled in them. But oh, how cringe-worthy it is to see or hear them imitate a behavior that is less than admirable. Children are going to imitate what they see on a consistent basis – the good, the bad and the ugly.
There are so many animals and insects in this world that mimic the appearance or imitate the behavior of a much more dangerous species to either camouflage themselves or deceive prey. The South American leaf fish simply act like their environment. They look like dead leaves floating in the water. But when seeking their prey, that seemingly dead leaf moves with such speed that their prey doesn’t even know what happened.
God never intended us to live like clucking chickens like all the rest of the chickens in this world. He certainly doesn’t want us to blend into our environment or be caught off guard when the enemy wants to devour us.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2
If we do not know His will, we will surely blend in and conform to this world imitating the crowd. And the crowd might SEEM right at the time… the enemy sure wants to fool you that it does.
“Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Ephesians 5:15-17
We have no excuse these days because we have the Word of God to guide us. When Jesus told his disciples to “deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me,” (Matthew 16:24) He was not asking them to sign up for a life of luxury for that will come in eternity.
Our doors look pretty today as we have them decorated with palms to celebrate what this day means for us. But as the next week unfolds… Let’s remember that we also have to pick up our cross to follow Him daily. And that my friends, does not look as pretty.
Don’t be a clucking chicken like everyone else. Soar like the eagle God called you to be.
A portion of this came from my Bible study Ephesians Sealed in Christ.