Years ago there was a book that examined the wisdom of crowds. When popular opinion sways a group to do something… is it good or bad? As you might expect, it’s sometimes good… and sometimes not so good.
Jesus is on his way into Jerusalem for the last time and a crowd is already there. The city is booming with traffic due to the upcoming Passover feast. And now they get word Jesus, the miracle worker, is on his way. And the crowd suddenly has great wisdom.
‘The next day, the news that Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem swept through the city. A large crowd of Passover visitors took palm branches and went down the road to meet him. They shouted, “Praise God! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord ! Hail to the King of Israel!” Jesus found a young donkey and rode on it, fulfilling the prophecy that said: “Don’t be afraid, people of Jerusalem. Look, your King is coming, riding on a donkey’s colt.”’John 12:12-15
Palm branches, praises, riding a donkey… cheering on their king. The crowd gets it right. But Jesus knows this will be short lived. In just a few day from now this crowd will demand his execution. Here the crowd gets it wrong.
Here’s our thought for today:
Choose your crowds carefully.
Just because there’s a lot of people and they are loud, it doesn’t always mean they get it right. In a day and age where our every online search and like is calculated and fed back to us in the way of similar articles and ads, it is easy to get caught up in confirmation bias. Before long everyone around us is just like us. But is that a good thing? I guess it depends on how long the crowd is actually wise.
This event reminds me that the wise thing to do is not follow the crowd… but the one on the donkey.