Yesterday was Palm Sunday; when many years ago, men and women lined the streets of Jerusalem, waving palm leaves and shouting ‘hosanna’, as Jesus rode in on a donkey. It was five days before he would be crucified on the cross; a few days before he would stare down at the people around the cross, and maybe think, “Wasn’t that man waving a palm leaf gladly at me, last week?” or, “Wasn’t that the man I healed from leprosy?”

I wonder how in a few days, a mob that shouted in ecstasy as he entered Jerusalem, stood silent as he was humiliated by the priests, wounded by the soldiers and finally killed?

How could hundreds who had received his healing touch, now turn silent?

Isn’t that a thought many of us have?

“I spent my whole life looking after my children, and now look at the way they speak to me!”

“I stood by my congregation through difficult days, now they want me to leave!”

How could such happen we wonder.

It’s so good, isn’t it, when the palm leaves are waved at us! We love being acknowledged! We love awards that sit on our mantelpieces, telling all how appreciated we are.

“Hosanna!” our friends shout.

“He’s the greatest!” our children scream.

“What a provider!” whispers the wife looking at us adoringly.

And then the crucifixion! The wounds! The killing!

“How could the same ones, who appreciated, acknowledged and accepted me now hold knives?”

I look at the cross, what does that dying man feel?

There is no look of anger as Jesus looks at the people.

There is no feeling of revenge as his gaze wanders to the blind man he made see!

He looks upward: Heavenward, where his father reigns.

He did not do it for the lame, the blind or the one with leprosy; he did not heal for their appreciation.

He did everything for God.

And as you my friend hear those hosannas, as you get those trophies, as people on podiums or pulpits make appreciative speeches about your achievements, you need to lift your eyes away and say, “It is not for the praises of man, that I do what I am doing, it is not for earthly rewards I walk the extra mile; it is for the One who placed me here on earth, and whatever happens later from the same hands I helped, does not matter at all..!

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