Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Wed, 09/12/2009 – 11:19
Bible Book: Genesis
Chapter: 21
Verse: 1 – 14
Text: Matthew 21:1-14

Matthew claims that it was a calculated act of Jesus when He sent two of his disciples to fetch a donkey for Him to ride. When the pilgrims who accompanied Jesus on his way to Jerusalem saw Him riding the donkey, they apparently burst into a spontaneous song of praise (probably Ps 118:26).

According to Luke they “began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles Jesus had done” (Luke 19:37). For Matthew the key to understanding what happened here lies deeper than the joy of the miracles that Jesus performed for people in their need. He sees it as the fulfilment of the prophet Zachariah (comp. Zech 9:9).

This helps us to become aware of the two contrasting meanings of the “Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem”. On the one hand it was a triumphal procession. It wasn’t for nothing that Jerusalem was all stirred up (verse 10); it sounded as if a new king was entering the city!

On the other hand Jesus is depicted here as a humble man. He was not riding a horse, but a donkey. He didn’t go to the palace in Jerusalem, but to the temple where He drove out the merchants and healed the blind and the crippled.

In the rest of the gospel of Matthew tells us that this “second meaning” was to become more and more clear during the next few days until Jesus hung from the cross, completely stripped of all dignity.

What is the meaning of depicting Jesus as a humble man?

It doesn’t mean that Jesus was somebody who was always content to be the least and who wanted everybody else to have their own way. Verses 12 and 13 completely deny this way of thinking.

But it does mean that Jesus chose to identify with those in the community on whom the rest of the community looked down. In verse 14 we see Jesus in the company of the blind and the crippled. (Jesus’ humility is the fruit of His holiness.)

If you and I choose to follow this humble King, we have also chosen to identify with those who are despised by the rest of the community. Even today it may be the blind and the crippled. But more often than not, the people who are despised by others are those who are socially unacceptable. Those who, according to the community, are HIV positive and suffer from AIDS “because they have broken the rules of the community”.

Author: N du Toit (Ds)
Language: English

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