In John 12:12-19 we find that things are coming to a head in Judah. All over the nation people know about the Messiah. The chosen people of God have either seen him or heard others witness of him. Jesus traveled throughout the countryside from the North to the South, from the East to the West. From the healings he performed North of the Sea of Galilee, to the teaching Jesus did in the hills above Tiberius; from the towns like Sychar in Samaria to the towns West of the Jordan in Canaan, people all over Judah have been following Jesus, coming out of towns in droves to hear Him, believing in Him.
We have what is known today as an establishment class – an elitist class of people who believe they know what is best for the masses. They manipulate social environments and even processes in our election system to promote themselves. They make promises to the masses and regularly renege on them. What we see here today is what Israel had in their day. They did not have elections, but they did have arrogant leaders who believed they needed to micromanage everyone’s lives. Jesus was teaching the people that their relationship is between themselves and the Lord. He was teaching a heart change spiritual relationship with the Father. This made individuals responsible to God and took power from those in the temple, the professional class of clergy.
Don’t misunderstand, Jesus went to synagogue every time He was near one. He made great treks on foot to get to the Jewish festivals. Attending church was so important to Jesus “he gave himself for it.” (Eph 5:25).
Therefore, there are two groups of people in Judah. Those seeking a leader and those fighting to retain their power. This is the dichotomy we have even today. There is no wonder that we see so many people right in Bethany who heard Jesus was coming, gathered in Lazarus’ house, listened to the testimony of many who witnessed his resurrection, now they wanted to come and see. (Jhn 12:9)
The people in Bethany, whether citizens thereof or from Jerusalem, very much want to welcome Jesus. They naturally want to usher Jesus into Jerusalem, they want Him to be their leader. They still want to make Him king. (Jhn 6:15) They believe He will deliver them from Roman oppression, the people never saw that the real oppression was through the temple leadership that drove them away from the Father.
The truth is that we should seek the Savior for our freedom. The chains that bind us to the world are stronger than we are, but they are broken by the Savior. Seek a deep and abiding relationship with our Savior and be free. Those laying palm fronds at Christ’s feet this day so many years ago saw Him as a king of Judah. The freedom and liberty they sought, albeit misguided and worldly in focus, is only born from the King of Kings. He has the power and all Israel recognized this truth.