Jesus knew his FRIENDS
Now, at the peak of his popularity, thousands followed him as they expected him to start ruling as the Messiah. As Jesus was about two miles east of Jerusalem at a little town called Bethany, he stopped at the house of Lazarus where his friends Lazarus, Mary, and Martha were throwing him a party. Jesus had friends but was not friends with everyone! True friends do life together and will reciprocate your care for them, often better than family (Prov. 17:17; 18:24; 27:10; John 15:13). Jesus had previously raised Lazarus from the dead (11:38-44). So at the party thrown in Jesus’ honor, his words to Martha about being the resurrection and the life was indisputably true—Jesus has power over death and life (11:25, 26). Jesus’ has a no-strings-attached love for sinners (Matt. 11:19)!
Jesus knew his FOES
Jesus orchestrated this miracle to create a frenzy of interest about who He was and force people to choose what they believed about Him. While Jesus called all people, many came, but few stayed as disciples and some even hated him. Jesus did this miracle on purpose right before Passover (which was the biggest Jewish festival) when Jerusalem would be packed with worshippers. Seething with jealousy at his popularity and that Jesus is about to start his kingdom without them, the religious leaders look to kill him. Not only that, but realizing that Lazarus is the reason people are believing in Jesus, the religious leaders desire to kill Lazarus as well! It’s not that there isn’t enough evidence for the unbelieving heart to believe, but that the dark heart doesn’t want to submit.
Jesus knew his FUTURE
Upon leaving Bethany, Jesus sends his disciples to get a colt which fulfilled the prophecy that the Messiah would arrive as a peaceful king on a donkey’s colt (Zech. 9:9). As he rode from Bethpage over the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem, the people used palm branches to wave over him. They also said ‘Hosanna’ (‘Save now’) to their arriving King and laid down their cloaks in respect. Though Jesus knew most would reject him and some would kill him, he trusted God’s plan. Security for the believer isn’t from knowing the future, but from their God who controls the future!