Summary: The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of mercy, where the King rides into the capital on a humble donkey, instead of a powerful majestic horse. The Kingdom of God is completely unique… if compared to the kingdoms of this world it is an upside-down kingdom.
“They Hailed Him as King” Luke 19:28-40 (Year C Palm Sunday)
King Jesus, why did you choose me, a lowly donkey to carry you to ride in your parade? Had you no friend who owned a horse—a royal mount with spirit for a king to ride? Why choose a donkey, small, unassuming beast of burden trained to plow not carry kings? King Jesus, why did you choose me, a lowly unimportant person to bear you in my world today? I’m poor and unimportant, trained to work not carry kings—let alone the King of kings, and yet you’ve chosen me to carry you in triumph in this world’s parade. King Jesus, keep me small so all may see how great you are; keep me humble, so all may say, “Blessed is he who cometh in the name of the Lord,” not what a great donkey he rides. —Joseph Bayly in Psalms of My Life. Christianity Today, Vol. 33, no. 5.
The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of mercy, where the King rides into the capital on a humble donkey, instead of a powerful majestic horse. The Kingdom of God is completely unique… if compared to the kingdoms of this world it is an upside-down kingdom.
The words of Mathew chapter five are at least familiar to most of us… “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Those words are often referred to as the beatitudes. They are a part of the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus… the King… set forth a series of Kingly decrees. In the ancient world it was common for a King to pronounce decrees, telling citizens of his kingdom what was expected of them and in the process the King would pronounce his glory and tell the citizens of his kingdom why he deserved their adoration.
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus does this very thing, only in his kingdom the kingdom of God, it is not military might, physical prowess, or earthly wealth that is important… it’s meekness… humility… mercy… peace… justice… which is highly regarded in the God’s Kingdom.
King Jesus came into the capital riding on a donkey. Imagine, the Lord of eternity, the King of the Universe riding on such a humble beast. During Jesus earthly ministry his primary method of teaching was the use of parables and symbolism.
In riding on a donkey while being hailed as king, Jesus showed us the beautiful nature of the Kingdom of God. Earthly kings are to be served… earthly kings are boastful and proud… While Jesus, the King of Kings… came to this world humbly as a perfect expression of God’s love and compassion.
Mark 10:45 says, “… the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” and Isaiah 55:8 says, “… my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.”
Everything about the Kingdom of God is unique. While earthly kings are boastful and proud, King Jesus was meek and peaceful… while earthly kings are exalted and adored; King Jesus was mocked and he was merciful…
Though Jesus was, and is, the Son of God, he did have earthly parents. His mother was Mary and his father was Joseph. Jesus earthly lineage makes him a descendant of King David. You’ll recall that when David was young he destroyed Goliath and he had found favor with God because of his faithfulness and courage.
God made a covenant with David. The provisions of the covenant are found in 2 Samuel 7:16 where it says, “And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.”
The promise that David’s “house”, “kingdom” and “throne” will be established forever are significant because they show that the Messiah will come from the lineage of David and that He will establish a kingdom from which He will reign.
The covenant is summarized by the words “house” promising a dynasty in the lineage of David… “Kingdom,” referring to a people who are governed by a king… “Throne” emphasizes the authority of the king’s rule… and “forever” emphasizing the eternal nature of this promise to David and Israel.
Now, Some Pharisees were looking on as the people hailed Jesus as King, recognizing his earthly lineage as a descendant of King David as well as his authority and miracles as the Son of God.