Today’s Bible Reading: Matthew 21:1-17
Recommended Reading: Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:28-40; Acts 2:22-24; Acts 4:24-31
In June 2002, Queen Elizabeth II celebrated 50 years as Great Britain’s monarch. The nation threw a huge party, the Golden Jubilee Festival, with 20,000 performers participating.The royal family and a crowd of a million people watched as varied entries, such as giant food plates, 50 Hell’s Angels, representatives of five decades of London taxis, scantily dressed butterflies and even a dancing Taj Mahal paraded down London’s ceremonial mall.
In comparison, the parade for an earlier king was much more humble. This procession took place in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, a week before Jesus died. The King, Jesus, rode into town on a donkey. True, even this celebration required attention to details: a donkey, a colt, cloaks to cover the animals, palm tree branches and crowds. But these elements seem so minor. As guys, we’d want Jesus’ entry into the city to be the biggest and best parade ever; we want to proclaim, “Here comes the King!” Yet this episode portrays very little of Christ’s kingly authority and power. We wonder:
Why did Jesus arrive on a donkey? Why did He act so unkingly after the parade and even go on to cause a disturbance in the temple? Why were His most enthusiastic supporters a group of disabled people and a bunch of kids?
Throughout his Gospel Matthew explains that Jesus is God’s promised King. As Jesus’ earthly life and ministry near their end, Matthew wants to remove all doubts about who this King is and why He came – to rescue us from sin. However, like the religious leaders and crowds on that early Palm Sunday, we can easily misunderstand Jesus. In the craziness of everyday life, we can carelessly forget just how great and powerful our King is. Amid the hustle of family and work, we can quickly grow complacent about all He has done and continues to do for us.
Human emperors and kings come and go. Queen Elizabeth occupied Britain’s throne for more than 50 years. Yet that’s just a wink of time in comparison to eternity. Jesus reigns as King forever! As His royal subjects, we can shout our sincere praise:
Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest Heaven! – Matthew 21:9
Excerpted with permission from the NIV Men’s Devotional Bible, copyright Zondervan.
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If you took charge of planning a celebration and parade for Jesus, God’s promised King, what would the event include? Why? Why do you think Jesus’ “Triumphal Entry” into Jerusalem was actually a humble entrance? As you think of Jesus as King, does this perspective affect how you approach Him with your needs? Does it make a difference in your efforts to follow and obey Him? What can you do to increase His reign in your life? Join the conversation on our blog! We’d love to hear your thoughts about our humble King, Jesus! ~ Devotionals Daily