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

Friday, October 1, 2021

[Jesus told his disciples to bring him a donkey and its colt from a nearby village.] This took place to fulfill the prophecy that said,

"Tell the people of Jerusalem,
'Look, your King is coming to you.
He is humble, riding on a donkey —
riding on a donkey's colt.'"

The two disciples did as Jesus commanded. They brought the donkey and the colt to him and threw their garments over the colt, and he sat on it.

— Matthew 21:4-7 NLT

Key Thought

Several things are important in this passage and the following verses (Matthew 21:8-11):

  1. Jesus is in control. He is Lord and has asked for the donkey and its colt to be brought to him.
  2. He is fulfilling prophecy when he enters Jerusalem.
  3. He defuses the royalty issue by showing his kingship is not about power or about being a warrior: He will enter Jerusalem as royalty, but on the back of a donkey as the royalty of the peasants.
  4. Jesus' ministry, except for what he will do in Jerusalem, is over. Galilee is no longer mission central; Jerusalem is. His crucifixion looms, and he enters Jerusalem to embrace it.

We must remember that Jesus had all power during his earthly ministry. God could have had him enter into his reign as King in any way he chose. God's plan had him living as a normal human being with no status, rank, or privilege. Jesus' claim to power was character, righteousness, humility, integrity, and compassion.

Jesus entered Jerusalem to do what he had 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 child, ever be humble and 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

  • Zechariah 9:9-10
  • Isaiah 62:11-12
  • John 19:1-3, 12, 14-16


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Illustration of Matthew 21:4-7 NLT — "Tell the people of Jerusalem,
'Look, your King is coming to you.
He is humble, riding on a donkey —
riding on a donkey's colt.'"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

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.