Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The Jerusalem multitudes and Christ

It's a common myth that somehow Jesus was not received by the crowds in Jerusalem and the surrounding area. Mark 12.37 tells us instead that "the common people heard him gladly," and often the gospels speak of "the Jews," those referred to are not the crowds, but the Temple leadership and officials.

On Palm Sunday (the Sunday of the Passion) when Jesus enters the city, the crowd gives what is -- in context -- a clearly Messianic confession: "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.'" (Matt. 21.10-11) Jesus is not only "a" prophet, but "the prophet" of Nazareth, which refers back to Matt. 2.23 (" He shall be called a Nazarene") which in turn refers back to Isaiah 11.1, which St. Jerome saw as the reference cited by St. Matthew.

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