Chapter 32 illustrates passages that illustrate Jesus’ lowly Peace March (Palm Sunday) into Jerusalem (see Luke 19:29-46). His message and the way he presents himself couldn’t be more opposite of the procession surrounding Herod as he rides into Jerusalem. To me, this story emphasizes the ongoing struggle of ruling with love (faith, freedom, hope, joy) and fear (weapons, threats, compliance). And maybe not even ruling, but even how a person can present themselves in various social situations.
An obvious connection I can’t help but make relates to the presidential candidates given I write this the week following Super Tuesday. Despite having to name a candidate, I feel it is easy for us to recognize candidates and/or messages they share publicly that align with love or fear. Unfortunately, I feel it is because of fear many Americans experience may cause them to associate themselves with a candidate who promises to rule with fear practices. It is an opportune time to capitalize on this fear given the close proximity of November 2016. I’m guessing a connection to politics has been made/will be made hundreds of times over again.
I also recognize that people I encounter in my daily life may at times conduct themselves via fear tactics versus love (i.e. if you don’t do get task A complete by this date, there will be consequences vs. if you need help or support getting task A complete by this date, let me know). And I myself am not excluded from aligning myself with the fear tactics at times, nor do I think anyone can claim otherwise. But what this chapter and included passages tells me is that I must not forget the teachings (and behaviors that exemplify his lessons) of Jesus as well as the consequences that no doubt occur as a result of our choice to subscribe to them or ignore them at times. As we all know, this was the beginning of one end to Jesus’ experiences. Fortunately for us, and something I need to keep thinking about as I conduct myself each day, it was the beginning of something so much more that allows me to be who I am and why I am here today. Do I conduct myself as Jesus, riding into town on a lowly donkey, spreading peace, love, and joy or do I capitalize on the fear of others and spread more of it in order to serve my own interests?