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Joni and Friends Blog

Want Versus Need

“When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’ Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples! ‘I tell you,’ he replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.’ As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it.”

Luke 19:37-41

When Jesus entered Jerusalem four days before His crucifixion and saw the joyous crowds worshipping Him, He knew very well what they were thinking. They expected an earthly king who would overthrow Rome and bring in the good life. In response, Jesus began to weep. Why did He weep? Pastor Ed Underwood notes that the Lord could see through their shallow praise.* He knew their hearts and their real and desperate need. In that moment they didn’t need a Conqueror; they needed a Savior. They needed liberation from the penalty and power of sin. By dying on the cross for them, He would give them what they needed, not what they wanted. In a similar way, we might ask God to change our circumstances. That’s what we want. But God knows what we need, and He may use those same circumstances to change our hearts, leading us into a deeper dependence on Him.

Lord, I know I’m sometimes like those fickle crowds in Jerusalem that broke Your heart. I want my life to be less troublesome, less challenging, happier, smoother, and easier to manage. That’s what I want. But that may not be what I need. What I need most, Lord Jesus, is more of You in my life. 

*Ed Underwood, “Jesus and the Day after Election,” (accessed February 22, 2016).


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