A week from today, this passage anchors the Sunday School lesson (“The King as a Servant”) in the quarterlies by Christian Light Publications. Here’s a four-verse chunk out of the middle:
- And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.
- And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
- And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?
- And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.
When I read the passage a few minutes ago, this expression clicked for me: “in the highest.”
Such a familiar ring… Could it be…? I looked it up. Sure enough!
There were multiple multitudes on two vastly different occasions which exuberantly shouted their acclaim for the long-awaited King:
- “Glory to God in the highest!
- “Hosanna in the highest!”
Here, listen to the first group:
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:13,14).
Angels and humans proclaiming Jesus — for some reason, I am blessed by that.
I really have nothing more to say than that. But I’m adding how the other Evangelists recorded the second event:
“And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest” (Mark 11:9,10).
“And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest” (Luke 19:37,38).
“Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord” (John 12:13).
Too bad that for most of them it fizzled out in a week or so, turning into murderous rejection.
By God’s grace, my own praise shall grow. That is my commitment.