In part 1 of the topic “Why the change in the crowd?” I looked at why the crowd had changed from shouting “Hosanna”, to shouting “Crucify him”.
I concluded that the first crowd was made up of Jesus’ supporters from the North, who were staying outside the city with him, and coming into Jerusalem with him in the morning.
The second crowd was organizes by the chief priests and temple leaders. It was gathered very early in the morning, well before Jesus’ supporters had come into the city.
What struck me about this is that the chief priests, temple leaders, and pharisees represented what society would have considered to be among the most spiritual people in society. Yet these people were the ones that were most threatened by the new wave of the Spirit that had come in the form of Jesus Christ. It is a natural inclination to be suspicious of change, to be resistant to ideas that might threaten your place in society, and to be wary of a new religious movement.
Then I thought of us today in our churches. Are we suspicious, resistant, and wary of new things. Do we like things just the way they are? “If it ain’t broke. Don’t fix it.” Over the last couple of years I have heard a couple of astute church leaders suggest that if the congregation is quite happy with the status quo, then some faith stretching exercises are in order. What happens when a new Pastor comes into our church (I am speaking generically here) and suggests that significant change is neccessary in order for our church to move beyond its plateaued state? Are we part of the crowd that shouts “Hosanna!”, or are we part of the crowd that shouts “Crucify him!”
Making sure that you have the right reaction to change will have a major impact on the future ministry of your church.