Monday, January 30, 2012


Everything in the life and ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ was extraordinary. So it was in His birth, His teachings, the choosing of His disciples, and His lifestyle. His life, from beginning to end, was characterized by an unrivaled and unexpected humility.

His presentation as King to the nation was not as expected. He entered Jerusalem on a donkey. To be sure it was a special donkey—dispatched to its duty by the Lord Jesus Himself (Matthew 21:2-7). The donkey was even privileged to fulfill Old Testament prophecy (Matthew 21:5). But it was still, nevertheless, a donkey.

S. Lewis Johnson commented on the occasion: “Now if this is the official presentation of the king to the nation, and if this is the royal procession, and if this is a king, it’s a strange king indeed. Because he’s a king who doesn’t even have an ass of his own to ride upon; he has to borrow an ass. And furthermore, instead of followers who are soldiers dressed in shining or resplendid armor, he has a group of peasants with palm branches. Instead of having swords and weapons of warfare they have palm branches. What would a Roman soldier or one of Herod’s men have thought of this rustic procession of a pauper prince who’s riding on an ass and a hundred or two or more of weaponless, penniless men? I’m sure they were very much unimpressed.”

The chief priests and scribes were not impressed. They became indignant when the children praised Jesus (Matthew 21:15). They questioned His authority (Matthew 21:23-28). They wanted to seize Him (Matthew 21:46).

They were like the fig tree that Jesus cursed (Matthew 21:18-22)—all religious foliage and no fruit. They were like a son who feigned obedience but who ultimately did not do what he was told (Matthew 21:28-32). They were like wicked vine-growers. The landowner sent slaves to bring in the harvest. They beat one, killed another, and stoned the third. So he sent another, larger group—they did the same to them. He sent His son, “saying, they will respect my son” (Matthew 21:37). But they killed him in order to seize his inheritance (Matthew 21:21:38-39).

They rejected Him. He was not the kind of king they had in mind. He was a threat to their power and pride. They were relentless in their opposition. But He is the chief-cornerstone! To reject Him is to be crushed by Him and scattered like dust. That’s what happened to them.

A King on a Donkey. “The Stone which the builders rejected” (Matthew 21:24). 1 Peter 2:4-8, “And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For this is contained in Scripture: ‘Behold I lay in Zion a choice stone, a precious corner stone, And He who believes in Him will not be disappointed.‘ This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, this became the very cornerstone, and a stone of stumbling;’ and ‘a rock of offense;’ for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.”

He was rejected by chief priests and scribes, but was praised by the children. In this present age He is likewise rejected and accepted (John 1:12-13, 3:36; 1 Corinthians 1:18; 1 John 5:11-12). Let us be careful to esteem Him as He is—“choice and precious in the sight of God!”

Pastor Jerry

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