Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the historic one-year lectionary.
Our Gospel reading for Advent 1, from Matthew 21, shows a coming of Christ, as He enters Jerusalem, with a donkey, a sign of a humble and gentle king, not one coming in war. Jesus has apparently made arrangements beforehand, though they seem to be news to his disciples. The donkey and her colt are available for Jesus. Instead of leading the donkey, as a healthy man would, Jesus is seated on her. This is a sign of honor, as also are the cloaks and branches laid on the road. It was a sign of great importance for a man to walk on a rug or garments, rather than on the ground. The crowds further emphasize their reception of Jesus, shouting out, identifying him as the Son of David, not only the rightful king but also as the one who comes in God’s name. This is more than a kingly welcome. It is the welcome you would give to God.
The arrival in Jerusalem of Jesus is precisely that. God has come to dwell among His people. He has come as the humble, righteous, and merciful Son of David. He has come to rescue his people from the tyranny of the false kings. He has come in peace to overthrow worldly power. Matthew further notes that he has done it to fulfill the prophecy. As always, Matthew shows Jesus as the one who fulfills the requirements and predictions of God’s words. He is the mighty Lord who accomplishes all that has been written of him. He is the savior.
In this season of Advent, our prayer is that Jesus would show himself as the same kind of king in our lives, that he would come to us as the gentle but mighty king, and that he would rule in our hearts and lives as well. Hosanna to the King. Thanks be to God.
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