By Chaplain (Col) Stephen W. Leonard, USA, Ret.

“The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, crying out, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD, even the King of Israel.’ “ John 12:12-13
“What shall I do, then, with the One you call ‘the King of the Jews?’ Pilate asked them. ‘Crucify Him!’ they answered.” Mark 15:12-13

One crowd, shouting hosanna to the King as He entered Jerusalem on the Jewish first day of the week; a day known today as Palm Sunday. The second crowd, on a Friday, the day before the following Sabbath; the day of crucifixion, Good Friday. 

One crowd with triumphal shouts of praise, the second crowd with angry cries of “crucify Him.” Were these two crowds the same? For some of them, yes. 

But how do these people change their opinions on a dime? There are the emotions of the crowd trending toward a mob. And there is the direction of some within this mob greatly influencing the rest who were truly fickle. How do you avoid being a part of this crowd? 

Who were these people? Clearly those who had no authority for their opinion, which could be changed on the whim of emotion. 

I follow on Facebook a fan site of a particular NFL team. All these myriad fans have ideas of what quarterback the team should sign or draft, and the opinions bounce all over the place, vociferously with great passion. But the fact is, none of them are the team’s coach. In other words, they have no authority to make a decision. The coach is paid to make it. They have no say in the matter, or as is often said, they have no skin in the game. And no matter how wild or knowledgeable their opinions are, they are of no consequence. 

But you have skin in the game in this matter. This is no mere game. This matter determines your life; this is your salvation. So then, by what authority will you shout “hosanna” on one day of the week, and “crucify Him,” on another? Read Hebrews 6 about those who fall away from their profession and by this sin are “re-crucifying the Lord of glory.” 

How are you to keep from being part of such a fickle crowd? Today, that is, in contrast to 30 AD? By acting and speaking according to true authority. 

The Scriptures record that “Jesus taught as one who had authority.” Those who believed Jesus’ teaching, acted on such eternal authority. Those who changed their minds were acting on their own “authority,” which was really nothing more than fickle, self-derived, facile opinion. 

You have a genuine authority which can govern your life today, one which eschews fickleness. You can fully trust the incarnate Word of God, Jesus, who also is the embodiment of the written Word of God. Many times He testified to this truth; the authority of His written Word. 

He is your only true authority! Jesus’ commandments, stemming from His God-authored authority, teach you how to live. You will never be fickle when obeying the Word of God. Simply, with sincere faith, you must read it, hear it, meditate on it, actually memorize it, and, finally, live your life according to it. 

Your own opinion, on the other hand, distinct from God’s Word, and derived from within yourself, will cause you to be blown around “by every wind of doctrine,” tossed about by “the waves of the sea,” and crafted together by “deceitful schemes.” (Ephesians 4:14) 

Divorce yourself from the crowd of the world, the flesh, and the devil. These three are the substance of fickleness. More than that, they are the definition of evil. 

Rather turn completely around, cling to Jesus, live under His authority. Essentially, live your life according to His Word!


“See from His head, His hands, His feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down: did e’er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown.”
(3rd verse of Isaac Watts’ hymn, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” 1709)

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