Excerpt from
The Jensen Family

Probably he got caught in a steel trap like this one over here," their dad said, pointing to an exhibit in the next case.
"But how could he get free from that?" Julie asked.

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– posted 12.04.2009

#64- Palm Tree People

A Character story about patience.

"Well, did you learn anything in church today?" Mrs. Jensen asked as the family drove home from church on Palm Sunday. Joshua bounced in his car seat, enjoying the view.
"Most of it I knew already," Julie confessed. "But it did seem all the more terrible that the people wanted Jesus to be crucified when just a few days before they were waving palm branches and calling him their king."
"You're right," Mr. Jensen added. "Many of the people were only looking for someone to deliver them from Rome, not from their sins. When Jesus failed to do that, they turned against Him."
"That's what Mr. Martin, my Sunday school teacher said," Jason commented. "He said people still do that today- they want to call on God when they get into trouble, but they want God to leave them alone when things are going O.K."
"Good point, Jason. I sure don't want any of us to be like that, eh?"
"Mom," Jason asked after a lull in the conversation, "why do you think the people waved palm branches when Jesus rode into Jerusalem?"
"Good question. Actually in our lessons this morning we learned that palms were not native of Jerusalem. Probably they were purposely brought by the people from Jericho. When we read Ezekiel chapters 40 and 41 which speak of the coming kingdom when Jesus will be king of the whole earth, we learn that palms are a great part of the capital city of Jerusalem then. Since the people were hoping for a kingdom right then -on their terms of course- perhaps they had the palms cut and ready for the big event." Mrs. Jensen looked over at her husband. "You're awfully quiet, Dear. Something's on your mind, isn't it?"
"Huh? Oh, I was just thinking about something I was sharing in our class this morning about palms. Perhaps the Lord chose palms to be special in His coming Kingdom because they so beautifully illustrate Him."
"A tree? Like what way?" Julie asked.
Mr. Jensen glanced out the side window. "Well, these oaks or maples carry on their life just under the bark. The inner wood is really just dead cells. When rodents eat around the bark of a small tree, they kill it. This is called girdling."
"Yeah," Jason agreed, "rabbits killed Jonathan's new apple tree last winter that very way."
"But this can't happen with palm trees. The inner wood of the Palm is the life of the tree. It is alive throughout. Now, the Bible says that we are 'dead in sin' without Christ. Yet it also says that, 'in Him was life.' He is like a palm tree whose life was more than 'skin deep.'"
"That's interesting," responded Mrs. Jensen. "That brought to mind the hurricane in the Atlantic last summer. Many of the palm trees survived even those strong winds. Our maple tree out front would never have made it."
"Yeah," Julie added. "You remember the big tree out front of Karen's house? They had to cut it down last week because a big storm last year cracked it or something, and it started to rot. They were afraid it might fall on someone."
"So how come palm trees can do so well in a storm?" Jason wanted to know.
"What's the difference between a maple leaf and a palm leave?" Mr. Jensen asked.
"The palm leaf has a lot if thin leaves on one stem and a maple leaf has one big fat leaf on a stem."
"Right. The thin blade on the palm leaf means they don't collect the wind in a storm. This, along with the flexible trunk and strong roots all help it to weather the storms. Again, Jesus was not only able but also willing to 'weather the storms' of rejection by taking our sins on the cross, so that we could have eternal life. His resurrection proved that even death could not conquer Him."
"Huh," Jason mused. "That's interesting."
"And did you know that the fruit of a palm tree grows sweeter as the tree grows older?" Mr. Jensen continued.
"Is that right?" Julie responded. "The apples on the old tree out in the back woods are not as tasty as they used to be."
"That's for sure," Mrs. Jensen added. "When we made applesauce last fall I had to add a lot more sugar so that it wasn't so sour."
"And that's true of most fruit trees," answered Mr. Jensen, "most, except the palm. The fruit of the palm will grow sweeter as the tree gets old and scarred. In fact, a palm will not bear any fruit until it is mature, perhaps even 50 years old. Can you think of why this might make us think of the Lord Jesus when we think of palms?"
"Well, Jesus was older when he started doing miracles and preaching," Jason offered.
"And because he was hurt- you know, on the cross- we have eternal life," Julie added.
"Those are good. Anything else?"
"To me," Mrs. Jensen added as the car pulled into the driveway, "He is like the palm because He is 'sweeter as the days go by.'"
"Boy, that's good, Mom," Julie praised.
"It sure is. Now listen kids- the Lord said that He wants us to be like palm trees too." Mr. Jensen grabbed his Bible off the seat and opened it toward the middle. "Yes, here it is in Palm, er, I mean Psalm 92:12. It says, 'The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree.' That means that the qualities of the palm that we see in the Lord Jesus should also be evident in our lives."
"I see what you mean," Julie said. "I guess Palm Sunday has a lot more meaning than I ever thought, eh Jason?"
"You can say that again!"

- - - - - - - - -
QUIZ:
Look up the following verses and try to match them to the qualities of a palm mentioned by the Jensens.

1) Life throughout the wood a) Psalm 92:14_____
2) weather the storms b) II Corinthians 4:16_____
3) sweeter when old and scarred c) I Peter 5:6______








ANSWERS: 1-b 2-c 3-a