Jerusalem was the administrative capital: made the laws and controlled the population through the temple leaders.
The rest were small scattered villages – and Jesus grew up in the hill country of Nazareth, on the fringe of society, and at the age of 30 began his career as a wandering rabbi / teacher. Matthew Mark and Luke tell us that he lived in the rural areas for most of his ministry: travelled around the Sea of Galilee, and then moved further north to Tyre and Sidon, and then went to Decapolis – all outside of the Holy City of Jerusalem
This is a deliberate decision to confront the centre of power:
People knew that Jesus was coming into Jerusalem. He was not just another random traveler… there was preparation … news was out that something special was to happen…all the scriptural signs were in place. And so they poured out into the streets to welcome the man who would make everything right.
Mar 11:10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Hosanna in the highest heaven!"
And just when Jesus has everything right – he loses the plot: did you spot it?
Mar 11:11 Then he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple; and when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve
- Instead of action he tells stories
It seems like his revolution is losing steam – so much so that in Mark 13 the disciples begin to panic:
Mar 13:3 When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately,
Mar 13:4 "Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?"
And then disillusionment sets in with everyone else – and by Friday the crowds who had cheered for Jesus now reject him.
Even his own disciples have lost faith in him: Judas betrays him, Peter denies ever knowing him, and the other 10 simply run away.
And then he is crucified and people mock him:
Mar 15:31 In the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking him among themselves and saying, "He saved others; he cannot save himself”
In 1Co 1:18 Paul says that the message about the cross appears to be foolishness.
He persevered - even when people called him an April fool.
You see: Jesus had a bigger dream:
· He resisted the political gain of a regional ruler – and instead dreamed of a world-changing faith.
· He gave up the temporary satisfaction of a change of rulers so that the whole world could experience the life-transforming rule of God.
Jesus was ready to look foolish – in order to obey the will of God.
How often don’t I think I know better?
How often is this not the moment when I shake my fist at heaven and tell God he has got it wrong
How often is this not the moment that I tell God he is foolish for not doing it my way
- are we willing to live God’s way, even when the people around us think it is stupid
- are we willing to become God’s April fools?
Allow me to challenge us to trust God’s way of living – risk becoming become April fools for God – and May fools and June fools!.