Receive Him: Palm Sunday

“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” – John 1:12  

Today’s Scripture Reading: Mark 11:1–11

If we were to imagine Jesus showing up, we might picture ourselves welcoming him with open arms. He approaches us as a humble servant. And so we imagine our hearts would be open to him, that we would warmly embrace him. He moves towards us, as one like us, yet like us in our most stripped-down and vulnerable state.

But there is something uncomfortable about that. There is something frightful about deity exposing itself like this. It exposes us. We find it painful to dress up, when God, himself, is dressed down. We find it impossible to pose as something we’re not, when he is displaying the reality of what we are. So, we don’t naturally embrace him when he shows up on the young colt of a donkey.

Yet, that is exactly how God shows up in Jesus . . . on a donkey. He “became flesh and made his dwelling among us.”[i] Or, more literally, “He pitched his tent among us.” God stepped into human flesh and lived right next door! That exposes us. And that makes us uncomfortable.

So, we respond by dressing him up. We keep his deity, while making him unapproachable, or difficult to reach. Difficult to reach, unless of course, we’re dressed up also. We dress him up, so we can dress ourselves up. So we don’t have to expose ourselves. And this allows us to feel good about ourselves, because we now feel worthy to approach God. And also because we’re better than most everyone else.

If you’ve put your faith in Jesus, by asking him to be the Forgiver of your sins and Leader of your life, then you’ve already received Jesus, just as he came to you. And you embraced him, just as you are, in all your brokenness and shame. But the journey with Jesus doesn’t stop there. The journey continues . . . and this journey requires vulnerability. Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”[ii] A life of learning, a life of being yoked to him. Yet not “yoked” in an oppressive way, but in a natural, “let your hair down” way. It’s restful because we receive him, as he is, and embrace him, as we are.


  • Have you put your faith in Jesus, by asking him to be the Forgiver of your sins and Leader of your life?
  • Are you learning from Jesus, studying his life and words and becoming more like him?
  • Are you living in truth, being real with God and everyone else in your life?

[i] John 1:14

[ii] Matthew 11:29