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In my head, I have been wrestling with something. Suppose I had been present when Jesus finally arrived at Jerusalem. He was riding on a donkey to the cheers of a crowd? What would I have been thinking?

It would depend on who I was like!

Disciples, crowds, religious leaders, Romans, militant Zealots, ordinary people going about their business… Each brought their expectations. Hope, fears, and confusion, to mention a few.  

And of course, there was Jesus’ reaction … then … and now

In this Vincentian Mindwalk join me in exploring their possible reactions .. and mine, both then and today.

The possibilities

  • Crowds: The crowds who welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem may have been motivated by a variety of factors. Some may have recognized Jesus’ messianic authority. They believed that he was the savior they had been waiting for. Others may have been drawn to Jesus’ teachings and miracles or simply caught up in the excitement of the moment.
  • Religious Leaders: The religious leaders opposed Jesus They may have seen his entry into Jerusalem as a threat to their own authority and power. They may have been fearful of the crowds who were welcoming Jesus. Would Jesus’ message of humility and compassion could undermine their own teachings and traditions?
  • Romans: The Romans who were occupying Jerusalem may have been indifferent to Jesus’ entry. It was just another religious event. However, they may also have been on alert, knowing that Jerusalem was a volatile city during the Passover season, and concerned that any disturbance could lead to rebellion.
  • Ordinary People: The ordinary people who were present when Jesus entered Jerusalem may also have had a variety of reactions. Some may have been drawn to Jesus’ message of peace and compassion. Others may have been skeptical or fearful. Many may have simply been caught up in the excitement of the moment without fully understanding the significance of what was happening.
  • Disciples: The disciples who were with Jesus may have had mixed feelings about his entry into Jerusalem. They may have been excited and hopeful, seeing it as a sign that Jesus was finally going to establish his kingdom on earth. However, they may also have been fearful, knowing that the religious leaders were threatened by Jesus’ authority and message.

The bigger questions and implications

Of course, the big question.

What was Jesus thinking? Why did he allow the acclamations…riding on a lowly donkey?  What did he think of their reactions?

The symbolism of Jesus’ entry on a donkey and the cheers of the crowd created a powerful moment that continues to inspire and challenge people today.

Today we can ask How do I experience Jesus’ entry into the heart of our lives and times?

Just as the religious leaders of Jesus’ time struggled to understand his message of love and compassion, we too may need to re-examine our own beliefs and perspectives in light of Jesus’ teachings. We may need to let go of our own desires and expectations and be open to the ways in which Jesus calls us to love and serve others.

Just as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, a symbol of humility and service, we too can seek to serve others with a spirit of humility and generosity. We can work to build bridges across cultural, social, and political divides, recognizing the importance of reconciliation and compassion in a world that often values conflict and division.


  • Can you recognize that Jesus is riding into our lives on a donkey?
  • Does our celebration of Jesus’ entry into the Jerusalem of our lives spur us to service?