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How a humble king arrived

October 20, 2022

Daily Scripture

Zechariah 9:9, Matthew 21:5

Zechariah 9

9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion.
Sing aloud, Daughter Jerusalem.
Look, your king will come to you.
He is righteous and victorious.
He is humble and riding on an ass,
on a colt, the offspring of a donkey.

Matthew 21

4 Now this happened to fulfill what the prophet said, 5 Say to Daughter Zion, “Look, your king is coming to you, humble and riding on a donkey, and on a colt the donkey’s offspring” [Zechariah 9:9]. 6 The disciples went and did just as Jesus had ordered them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and laid their clothes on them. Then he sat on them.
8 Now a large crowd spread their clothes on the road. Others cut palm branches off the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds in front of him and behind him shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord [Psalm 118:26]! Hosanna in the highest!”


Daily Reflection & Prayer

Isaiah wrote of Israel’s hope that God would send a faithful heir of David’s royal line to rule forever (cf. (cf. 1 Kings 9:3-5, Isaiah 9:2-7). Zechariah 9:9, which Matthew cited in Matthew 21:4-5, distinguished a king on a donkey, who came in peace (cf. 1 Kings 1:31-35), from a conqueror’s war horses. With Rome’s military power ostentatiously displayed around Jerusalem (especially at Passover time), Jesus deliberately followed Zechariah’s “template” to show himself as a humble king.

  • Jesus came to Jerusalem like a king arriving, but one who came in peace. Why did that make “the chief priests and legal experts” angry? Some Israelites profited from the status quo with Rome. “The aristocratic priests belonged to Jerusalem’s wealthy ruling class…. they probably also have political objections.” * Many wanted a military king like David who led Israel to victories in war. But Jesus’ followers praised a gentle “Son of David” who said to love your enemies. Do you?
  • It’s unlikely that those who shouted that Jesus was the “Son of David” analyzed the theological fine points that title might imply. When the “proper” religious authorities objected to the shouting and to its implications, Jesus said he valued people’s joy. We say our journey is “to know, love and serve God.” How can you think clearly and precisely to “know God” without losing the ability to “love God” through joyful expressions of praise like those as he rode into Jerusalem?

Lord, Jesus, help me learn and understand all I can about your saving life, death and resurrection while retaining the capacity to simply cry with joy, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of  Ginny Howell

Ginny Howell

Ginny Howell serves as the Worship Experience Director for Resurrection, leading the church’s efforts to provide radical hospitality and an excellent worship experience across all of our locations. She’s a mom to three, g-momma to one sweet little boy, and shares much of her time with her closest companion, a rescued Pit Bull named Lola.

You can tell my mood quite often by what I choose to wear. Several years ago one of my children accused me of only having two colors in my wardrobe as they evaluated my pile of laundry that was about to go into the washer. I clearly pointed out that there were, in fact, three colors in my wardrobe. Black, which was about 85% of my clothing, 10% was denim and accents of hot pink rounded out that last 5%. After a lengthy discussion about whether “denim” was a color, I conceded that I did actually only have two colors in my wardrobe.

Since then, I’ve been a bit more intentional about what I wear, and why. I no longer buy what I think will match with everything else I have (since all the black sweaters I own already match each other). I started paying attention to clothes that match my mood, my mindset or my intentions. Some of my favorite shirts say things like “Ignite Change” or “Dream Bigger.” When I am trying to be a bit less serious, I wear my ripped up jeans that I picked up at a thrift store. Most of the jewelry I wear reminds me of people or places I love. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll often see me working at the church in dark jeans, a black shirt and a long gray sweater (look at how much diversity I’ve added to my wardrobe…ha-ha), but if my clothing is outside of the very basic/classic, it’s not by accident.

One of the first items of clothing I purchased that was radically outside my comfort zone was a bright orange sweatshirt that says “nice is the new cool” in big bold white letters. The color alone made it a challenge to think I would ever wear it, but the words had me hooked. I must have bought it at least nine or ten years ago, and whether it’s the brightness of the orange or the context of the message, people remark about it every single time I wear it. Last week as I was visiting someone in the hospital, a man in the parking garage mumbled past me “the new cool…”

There’s one thing I really wish I could change about it though, and it’s not the nearly obnoxious bright orange color. I would replace the word “nice” with the word “kind.” I’ve heard it said that Midwesterners can out-nice anybody, and the phrase “Kansas nice” isn’t necessarily a compliment depending on how it’s used. Niceness sounds all well and good on the surface, but when you compare it with kindness, nice just doesn’t cut it.

Nice readily offers up a seat at the table that isn’t being used. Kind gets up out of the chair they are sitting in for another before that person even notices the seats were all taken. Nice oozes politeness and geniality. Kind cares deeply in words and actions. It comes naturally to me to be nice. I think that is true for most of us. Kindness requires humility and doesn’t serve any other purpose. We must set aside our own egos and get out of the way for the divine within us to be realized through acts of kindness.

When we step a bit further and go a bit deeper with a commitment to kindness, I believe we genuinely have an opportunity to change the world–not just for others, but for ourselves too.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* HarperCollins Christian Publishing. NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, eBook: Bringing to Life the Ancient World of Scripture (Kindle Locations 220539-220542). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.