What Jesus Did! 'Behold the King!' — Matthew 21:4-7

Sunday, October 1, 2017

This happened to make clear the full meaning of what the prophet said: "Tell the city of Zion, 'Now your king is coming to you. He is humble and he is riding on a donkey. He is riding on a young donkey, born from a work animal.'" The followers went and did what Jesus told them to do. The followers brought the mother donkey and the young donkey to Jesus. They put their coats on the donkeys, and Jesus sat on the coats.
— Matthew 21:4-7
Illustration of Matthew 21:4-7 — "Tell the city of Zion, 'Now your king is coming to you. He is humble and he is riding on a donkey. He is riding on a young donkey, born from a work animal.'"

Key Thought

Several things are key in this passage: First, Jesus is in control. He is Lord and has asked for the colt to be brought to him. Second, he is fulfilling prophecy as he enters Jerusalem. Third, he defuses the royalty issue by showing his kingship is not about power or being a warrior: he enters as royalty, but the royalty of the peasants on the back of a donkey. Fourth, Jesus' ministry, except for the work he will do in Jerusalem, is over. Galilee is no longer mission central, Jerusalem is. Calvary looms and he enters to embrace it. We must remember that Jesus had all power. God could have had him enter into his reign as King in any way he chose. God's plan had him being a normal human being with no status, rank, or privilege. His claim to power was character, righteousness, humility, integrity and compassion. Jesus enters Jerusalem to do what he has declared all along his journey to Jerusalem: to die and be raised. Jesus is King, but of a Kingdom that the world cannot and will not understand. To us, God says, "Children, behold your King!"

Today's Prayer

King of the Ages, Alpha and Omega, Almighty Sovereign Lord, thank you for sending Jesus to be our King. May we, his loyal subjects, reflect his passion and share his grace. May I, your humble child, never worship power or the powerful here on earth. I want no rival to Jesus my Lord in my heart. In the name of the Son of David I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus and his followers were coming closer to Jerusalem. But first they stopped at Bethphage at the hill called the Mount of Olives. There Jesus sent two of his followers into the town. Jesus said to the followers, "Go to the town you can see there. When you enter it, you will find a donkey tied there. With the donkey you will find a young donkey. Untie the two donkeys and bring them to me. If any person asks you why you are taking the donkeys, tell that person, 'The Master needs these donkeys. He will send them back soon.'" This happened to make clear the full meaning of what the prophet said: "Tell the city of Zion, 'Now your king is coming to you. He is humble and he is riding on a donkey. He is riding on a young donkey, born from a work animal.'" The followers went and did what Jesus told them to do. The followers brought the mother donkey and the young donkey to Jesus. They put their coats on the donkeys, and Jesus sat on the coats. {Jesus rode along the road to Jerusalem.} Many people spread their coats on the road for Jesus. Other people cut branches from the trees and spread the branches on the road. Some of the people were walking ahead of Jesus. Other people were walking behind Jesus. The people shouted, "Praise to the Son of David ! 'Welcome! God bless the One that comes in the name of the Lord!' Praise to God in heaven!" Then Jesus went into Jerusalem. All the people in the city were confused. They asked, "Who is this man?" The many people following Jesus answered, "This man is Jesus. He is the prophet from the town of Nazareth in Galilee."

Matthew 21:1-11

Then Pilate ordered that Jesus be taken away and be whipped. The soldiers used some thorny branches to make a crown. They put this crown of thorns on Jesus' head. Then the soldiers put a purple robe around Jesus. The soldiers came to Jesus many times and said, "Hello, O king of the Jews!" They hit Jesus in the face. After this, Pilate tried to let Jesus go free. But the Jewish leaders yelled, "Any person who makes himself a king is against Caesar. So if you let this man (Jesus) go free, that means you are not Caesar's friend." It was now almost noon on Preparation day of Passover week. Pilate said to the Jews, "Here is your king!" They yelled, "Take him away! Take him away! Kill him on a cross!" Pilate asked them, "Do you want me to kill your king on a cross?" The leading priests answered, "The only king we have is Caesar !" So Pilate gave Jesus to them to be killed on a cross. The soldiers took Jesus.

John 19:1-3, 12, 14-16

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.