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We all have coats. Winter coats. Raincoats. Coats with hoods. Old coats. Plain coloured coats. Bright colourful coats. Coats for outdoor activities. Coats for special occasions. You may even have a favourite coat. Our closets probably have many coats. In the ancient world, people did not have coats. They had cloaks. The wealthy no doubt had cloaks embroidered with patterns. The religious had cloaks with symbols of their faith (Deuteronomy 22:12 commanded the Israelites to make tassels on the four corners of their cloaks; and in Matthew 23:5, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for having extra-long tassels on their cloaks just to show off). The military had cloaks, no doubt in colours to represent their regiment or legion. And ordinary people had cloaks – farmers, merchants, businesspeople, even the poor – remember the how the blind man in Mark 10:50, desperate to have Jesus heal him, throws his cloak aside, jumps to his feet, and approaches Jesus. Cloaks were important: remember how Paul, imprisoned by the Romans, wanted a particular cloak, so in 2 Timothy 4:13 he asks Timothy to get it for him. So important was a person’s cloak that Exodus 22:26 says that if you took someone’s cloak as a pledge for repayment of a debt, you must return it by sunset because this is all that person has to sleep under. The cloak was as important to people in Jesus’ day as a coat is to us today – even more so, especially for those who live on the streets at night, work in the fields during the day, and protect themselves from storm and sun throughout the year. It is fascinating then that on one Sunday about two thousand years ago, as a popular preacher rode a donkey down the Mount of Olives, across the Kidron Valley, and into Jerusalem, Matthew 21:8 says, “A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.” It’s a deeply symbolic action! Spreading cloaks before someone was a way to acknowledge that person as king – just read 2 Kings 9:13. On Palm Sunday, the crowds lay their cloaks before Jesus on the donkey to declare him their king. It is compelling to think that it did not matter if the cloaks were beautifully embroidered, with tassels on four corners, in a bright colour or a drab pattern, or if the cloak was one of many from a person’s closet or the only one a poor person possessed – for those seeing Jesus enter Jerusalem that Sunday, the first day of Holy Week, one of their prized possessions, maybe their only possession, was spread on the floor before their King Jesus. This Sunday is Palm Sunday. I do not expect any of us to rummage through our closets and pull out our coats to spread on the pathway to the church building. But in our hearts may we do so! May we lay our lives before Jesus and say with the crowds of two thousand years ago, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” And then, may we follow Jesus as he takes up his cross, gives up his life, and is then raised up in glory at the resurrection. Jesus is our King!

視頻大意翻譯(video Chinese translation):



在古代,人們沒有外套。他們有斗篷。毫無疑問,富人有繡有圖案的斗篷。宗教人士的斗篷上有他們信仰的象徵(申命記22:12命令以色列人在斗篷的四個角上做流蘇;在馬太福音23:5中,耶穌斥責法利賽人在他們的斗篷上有超長的流蘇只是為了炫耀)。軍隊有斗篷,毫無疑問,他們的顏色代表他們所屬的團體或軍團。普通人有斗篷—農夫、商人,甚至窮人—還記得馬可福音10章50節的瞎子,他不顧一切地想讓耶穌醫治他,把他的斗篷扔到一邊,跳起來,靠近耶穌。記得被羅馬人囚禁的保羅想要一件特別的斗篷—在提摩太後書 4:13 中,他要求提摩太為他拿一件斗篷。斗篷對一個人是如此重要,以至於出埃及記 22:26 說,如果你拿某人的斗篷作為還債的保證,你必須在日落前歸還它,因為這是這個人睡覺的地方。


大約在2000年前的一個星期天,有一位受歡迎的傳教士騎著驢子走下橄欖山,穿過汲淪谷,進入耶路撒冷時,馬太福音21:8說:“眾人多半把衣服鋪在路上.還有人砍下樹枝來鋪在路上。”這是一個極具象徵意義的行動!在某人面前展開斗篷是承認那個人是王的一種方式—讀列王紀下 9:13。在棕梠主日,人群在驢子上將斗篷放在耶穌面前,宣佈他是他們的王。




Grace and peace Pastor Callum