Advent – Jesus Is Your King
Advent – Jesus Is Your King
We were made to have a king. That’s why every fairy tale has one. That’s why you can flip on Hawaii News Now and see stories about the royal family, even though we’re not British and we live on the opposite side of the planet.
We were made to be ruled. We want to have a king. And that’s why, as C.S. Lewis said, “Where men are forbidden to honour a king they honour millionaires, athletes, or film-stars instead: even famous prostitutes or gangsters.”
We all want to honor somebody. Maybe it’s a sports star. Maybe some YouTuber or Instagram influencer. Maybe it’s someone you know who seems like they’ve got it all together. Perfect family, perfect career, perfect house, perfect lifestyle.
We all want to find a king to follow, but the problem is that our kings never come through for us. They always let us down. So we just move on to our next King.
Then comes this King who calls himself the King of kings. The King who’s better than any of our kings, or our king-substitutes. That’s how Jesus was perceived by the wise men from the east, who worshiped a young child rather than Herod the king of Judah. And that’s what Jesus proclaimed himself to be 33 years later when he rode into Jerusalem in the triumphal entry:
When the large crowd that had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, they took palm branches and went out to meet him. They kept shouting: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord — the King of Israel!” (John 12:12-13).
Palm branches are a symbol of victory. That’s what you wave before a king who’s just conquered your land. In other gospels, it says people put their cloaks down on the road in front of Jesus. That’s a symbol of submission. It says you’re willing to bow before the king and yield yourself and all your possessions to him and his rule. These people are ready to submit to King Jesus!
And when Jesus finally appears, the crowd is intrigued to see what he’s arriving on:
Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written: “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion. Look, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt.” (John 12:14-15)
That’s taken straight from Zechariah, where it says:
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem! Look, your King is coming to you; he is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem. The bow of war will be removed, and he will proclaim peace to the nations. His dominion will extend from sea to sea, from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth. (Zechariah 9:9-10)
Zechariah says this king will rule from sea to sea, which means he’s going to rule over everything. He’ll be absolutely sovereign. But he also says this king will proclaim peace to the nations. Peace! That’s the significance of the donkey.
Jesus isn’t coming on Air Force 1. He’s not coming with a whole bunch of F-22 fighter jets, and a long procession of tanks and soldiers and helicopters. He’s coming on a donkey.
It wasn’t uncommon for kings to ride on donkeys in those days, but they only did it in times of peace. If you ride into battle on a donkey, you’re not going to last very long.
So Jesus didn’t come to do battle, he came to make peace. And since he’s absolutely sovereign over everything, he has the power to make peace.
Jesus the King came to bring peace between you and God through his sacrifice on the cross. He came to bring peace between you and your estranged family or difficult neighbors. He came to bring peace to your stressed-out, anxious heart.
You just need to trust him and follow him as your king.