A week before passover, Jesus came to the town of Bethany to visit with Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha (his BFFs). A crowd gathered at Simon’s house nearby, where Martha served dinner. Simon was a Pharisee (one of the 1%), but also a follower of Jesus since being cured of his leprosy. However, the crowd was more interested in the miracle that Jesus performed for Lazarus, i.e., raising him from the dead after Lazarus had died and been buried for four days.
Simon, Lazarus, Martha and Mary planned a great dinner party with friends from all over the surrounding area, including Jerusalem. After the party, the numerous guests used word of mouth (remember that? it’s a kind of manual Facebook communication), to tell all of their friends, who told all of their friends, that Jesus would be coming to Jerusalem for the passover celebration. So, the next day, all of these “friends of friends” headed out to greet this great prophet and spiritual leader upon his entry to Jerusalem. In the custom of the day, they paved the road with their cloaks and with the broad leaves of palm trees — kind of a red carpet (except not actually red). But this was something the 99% would normally do for the 1%, and that was not in line with Jesus’ way of life as a homeless, travelling preacher and material-free Son of God. So he rode in on a young donkey, to remain humble and to fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah:
Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!
Shout, daughter of Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and having salvation,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
– 15 Zech. 9:9