July 3

Matthew 21:6, 7

And the disciples went and did just as Jesus had directed them, and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid on them their garments, on which He sat. (NASB)

This unusual mount on which Jesus rode says or indicates nothing to us.  Even if we went back to the day when the generations before us used horses, mules, and donkeys, they would be unimpressed.  In their day, a large white stallion would be impressive, but not an unsaddled donkey!

When the elderly King David ended the competition among his sons for succession to his throne, he had Solomon ride on his mule (1 Kings 1:44).  Earlier, when Absalom avenged Tamar’s rape, the king’s sons rode mules (2 Samuel 13:29).  The point: Israelite royalty did not ride horses.

Horses were commonly used in war and were often the symbols of conquest.  In Jesus’ day, donkeys were for riding—they were for transportation.  Is it possible that Jesus mixed symbols?  He rode into Jerusalem as royalty, but he did not enter as a conqueror in the typical sense.  It was not by military power that he entered.  It was to do the will of God that he entered.  He would become the King of kings and Israel’s royalty by dying, not by military might.  They would become a part of God’s kingdom by desire, not by military might and conquest.

Through humility he conquers.  He rules through the willful surrender of the person, not through the conquered humiliation of the person.  He is honored as King because he deserves to be King.  The person who honors Jesus Christ does so by choice, not by necessity.  Jesus rules a person when the person desires him as King. The resurrected Jesus rules through his love, not through our terror.

Suggestion for reflection: How does Jesus Christ rule you?  (Read 1 Timothy 6:11-16.)

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