Tuesday, August 16, 2011

One Less Quiver in the Preacher's Arrow

In his commentary on the Gospel of Mark from the NIGTC series, R.T. France (on pg 430), speaking about the composition of the crowd at the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem in Mark 11, points out that the crowd which praised Jesus, singing "Hosanna" is not the same crowd who would later crucify him. He bases this on the fact that the processional following Jesus to Jerusalem began in Jericho. The Greek phrase, putting their identities beyond doubt, according to France, is proagontes kai oi akolouthountes - the ones going before and the ones following. This is the same pilgrim group that has been traveling with Jesus throughout Act Two of Mark's Gospel.
There is no warrant here for the preacher's favorite comment on the fickleness of a crowd which could shout 'Hosanna' one day and 'Crucify him' a few days later. They are not the same crowd. The Galilean pilgrims shouted 'Hosanna' as they approached the city; the Jerusalem crowd shouted, 'Crucify him'.

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