The Humble King
Today is Palm Sunday according to our calendar; we remember the time when Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem riding on a donkey. Most people may know this when they hear the phrase “Palm Sunday.” This is the inauguration of what we know as passion week. The week leading to Christ death and resurrection. This event is known in the Bible as the triumphant entry. What was this about? The four gospel writers speak about this; but we will look at the account in Matthew 21:1-11
You read about the same event in Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44; John 12:12-16
Of the four gospel writers, Matthew and John were there. Luke and Mark got the information from the apostles. They all agreed that Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem and people welcomed him as king.
What is significant about this day?
Matt.21:4 This was the fulfillment of a prophecy. The coming of the king of Israel (Messiah). The prophet Zechariah spoke about how the King Messiah would be known; how he will make his entrance.
Zech.9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. ESV
Jesus intentionally fulfilled the prophecy, this is the only time in his ministry that he allowed the crowd to hail him as king.
John tells us that on one occasion people tried to force Jesus to become the king they expected. (John 6:15). This time Jesus let the crowd hail him king. It was time.
People celebrated their expected King Messiah. (v.8) very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
-They shouted “Hosanna to the son of David. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” Hosanna in the highest! (v.9)// Psalm 118:24-26
People celebrated Jesus in such a way because they believed him to be the expected Messiah King. However, the expectation they had was not the same as Jesus’ expectation of his mission.
The crowd expected a king like David, a revolutionary leader who would rise to power and challenge the Roman rule.
-They expected a political king; and they saw Jesus as that figure
– Political king
– Palace in Jerusalem
– Geographical deliverance
– Save us we pray
– Global king
– A cross outside the city
– Universal deliverance from sin
– I will, but not yet, not as you expect
Jesus was the expected king, but when he entered the city, he did as a humble king, as the suffering servant that Isaiah speaks about. People had forgotten or not understood the prophecy. Your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey. People missed the imagery of the donkey; leaders didn’t ride on donkey unless they were going on a mission of peace. Jesus is entering the city gentle and humble, on a mission of peace. It didn’t take long for people to realize that Jesus wasn’t going to do what they wanted. Jesus days later, they would shout to Jesus, away with this impostor, crucify him, crucify him.
Jesus was and is the king that entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey, nearly two millennia. His identity is not depended upon your opinion of him. He is the king of Kings.
When he was born magi from the East came looking for the king. Matt.2:2
Mary his mother was told he will be great and he will reign on David’s throne forever. Luke 1:32-33
-During his trial, he was asked by Pilate if he was the king of the Jews. (John 18:33-36)
( v.36)Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”
(v.37)Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
Jesus will once again come to earth and this time, not as a baby born in a manger, but as supreme king; where every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that he is Lord. He won’t come back on a mission of peace, he will come to put an end to evil and to repay those who knowing who he is refused to acknowledge him as Lord. Rev.19:11-16
A different picture now, the mission is not peace, but war against God’s enemies. God’s enemies are those who reject the offer of Salvation through Jesus. Refusing Jesus is to declare yourself an enemy of God.