KING OF KINGS
Read: Isaiah 9:2-7, Matthew 21:8-16
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder. For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” (NIV: Isaiah 9:2-7)
“A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!” When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?” The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’ ” The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 1But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “ ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’ ?” (Matthew 21:8-16)
Study: Isaiah wrote of Israel’s hope that God would send a faithful heir of David’s royal line to rule forever. In Israel, donkeys were for kings as well as common people. But Zechariah 9:9-10, which Matthew cited, distinguished a king on a donkey, who came in peace, from the war horses and chariots of a conqueror. People hailed Jesus as the “Son of David,” God’s promise come true at last. Some who watched Jesus no doubt hoped he would lead a drive to kill the Romans and restore Israel’s power. His ride on a donkey pointed in a different direction. “When the chief priests and legal experts saw the amazing things he was doing and the children shouting in the temple, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ they were angry.” They didn’t want a gentle king, a “Son of David,” who said to love your enemies. Do you?
Pray: Lord God, during Advent we renew our trust in your gift of hope. So much in our world, globally and locally, tugs me toward hopelessness. Renew and reinforce my ability to live in hope this Advent. Amen