December 26

Text: Matthew 21:1-3

And when they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them, and bring them to Me. "And if anyone says something to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and immediately he will send them." (NASB)

Matthew saw in Jesus a person who consciously fulfilled God’s announced intent.  Jesus deliberately did things in ways that declared to the Jewish people, “This is what God intended!  I am the Messiah who God promised you!”  God gave the Jewish people many reasons to believe in Jesus’ divine mission.  Those evidences would increase in obviousness after Jesus’ resurrection.  To many, those evidences would become “Why did we not see this earlier?”

The incident was deliberate.  It declared, “God is doing precisely what He promised to do.”  It also declared Jesus’ popularity with typical people.  Average people saw what many learned leaders never saw.  Average people welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem as Israel’s king.  The learned questioned.  Many of the average people rejoiced!  Many of the learned people felt threatened! 

From the beginning, Jesus’ presence affected different people in different ways.  He still does!  There is no consistent way all people have reacted to Jesus—ever!  It will not happen today!  In regard to Jesus, do not expect everyone to think like you think or to conclude what you conclude.  Never decide that you possess all the facts to be considered.  Never decide that God thinks exactly like you think.  No one is free from the influence of sin—no matter how committed to righteousness he or she is.

The occasion of Jesus’ triumphal entry must have been a time of incredible excitement!  People paved the road with tree branches and their clothing.  People were shouting, “Hosanna.”  A multitude lined the street, and a multitude led Jesus into the city.

Jesus’ entrance captured the attention of the city.  His entrance caused such notice throughout the city that many asked, “Who is this?”  I suspect it had the same meaning of our “What is happening?”  Jesus’ arrival was not a small, unnoticed happening.

Suggestion for reflection: How has Jesus’ influence on you escaped your notice?  (Read 1 Timothy 1:12-17.)

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