Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve”(Mark 11:11).
The story of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem the week before Passover is told in all four gospel accounts, but Mark presents it differently. The other gospel writers have Jesus going to Jerusalem several times in his ministry and great things always happen. But if we only had Mark, we might think this was the Lord’s first visit. To the other gospel writers, this is a triumphal entry into Jerusalem with Jesus being proclaimed a king. But to Mark, the big parade seems over before they ever get to Jerusalem – and there is no mention of Jesus being proclaimed a “king.”
In Mark, Christ’s entry into Jerusalem is an anti-climax – a real balloon popper. Professor James Edwards puts it like this: “The whole scene comes to nothing. Like the seed in the parable of the sower that receives the word with joy but has no root and lasts but a short time, the crowd disperses as mysteriously as it assembled.”
The disappointment in this story continues with the next, but there is an additional point here: Christianity is more than excitement, hype, and parade. It is fundamentally about discipleship. There’s nothing wrong with the new, innovative, and exciting – unless their presence and our thirst for them distracts us from very difficult business of following and being Jesus in the world.
That is our calling.