The term “fake news” has really become a big issue this past election season and even into the presidency. And it isn’t just regarding the professional news media, it’s also all over social media because, with social media, anyone can post anything about anyone and anything—including themselves—to make someone look a certain way. In fact, just this week, Germany introduced a bill that would prohibit social media outlets to allow “fake news” or face a fine of up to $53 million. Good luck with monitoring that! But why did they do this? Well, as you may know, it can get confusing finding out the real truth, because people confuse opinion with fact. This side said Donald Trump is this and he’ll destroy the world in his first 100 days; while the other side said Hillary Clinton is that and she’ll do the same thing. Then, if you sift through and find the real facts, you’ll find opinions about the facts and then that turns into fake news because people think commentators are newscasters. It’s become this crazy cycle, hasn’t it?
Fake news has been going on in other arenas as well. It seems every time you turn around, there’s some new research on some food or drug product that contradicts something said about the same product six months ago. And there’s a new book or a new documentary about some historical figure or historical event that sheds some kind of “new light” on the subject, then it spurs some debate on TV and you don’t know who to believe. We see this even with The Bible.
Let’s take a look at The Triumphal Entry in Matthew 21, starting with verse 7.
7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[c]
“Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!”
Isn’t it interesting, when you look at verse 10, how the whole city was stirred about this Jesus? Obviously, many knew something about who he was and what he had done. But isn’t it also interesting in the next verse that there were apparently plenty others who asked: “Who is this?”
What I want to focus on with this blog series are the people who saw what was going on and inquired about it—they inquired about this Jesus. Today, there are people who are just the same. They may know that this man named Jesus lived 2000 years ago, and he was some sort of prophet or something. They know some people think he’s God or something. We can assume they know that’s what a church is for. Some have a basic idea of what Christians ought to act like and they may even see us as good Christian people. But 2000 years after Jesus lived, people still want to know who this Jesus is even if they don’t step foot in a church.