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 NLT
Illustration of Matthew 21:4-7 NLT — "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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Zech. 9:9-10
  • Isa. 62:11-12
  • 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.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.