Today’s household object is the newspaper and the Bible passage is Matthew 21:6-11.

Newspapers used to be the only way to find out the news, with the printing press giving ordinary people access to the news and to books. They are often a symbol of public opinion, and Palm Sunday shows us the crowds cheering Jesus into Jerusalem. The media of the time (grapevine and gossip, as Gordon Giles puts it!) spread the news that Jesus was about to ride into Jerusalem, and the crowds gathered accordingly. ‘Hosanna’ means ‘save us’ and is a direct quotation from Psalm 118:25.

Public opinion on Palm Sunday favoured Jesus, but only a few days later, another crowd gathered to hear Pontius Pilate ask what to do with the same man and stirred up opinion which demanded the release of Barabbas and the crucifixion of Jesus. Public opinion then, as now, was fickle. Jesus was both hailed and harrowed by unthinking, uninformed and desperate opinion. We need the truth of God’s word to anchor us, giving us attitudes and opinions that reflect who God is rather than what people think. Newspapers and the ‘media’ are not enough to guide us into truth; only God’s word can do that.