Monday, April 11, 2022

When Jesus is Not What You Expected

Monday, April 11, 2022

The people who were in front and those who followed behind began to shout, "Praise God! God bless him who comes in the name of the Lord! God bless the coming kingdom of King David, our father! Praise be to God!" Mark 11:9-10

When Jesus is Not What You Expected
Yesterday was Palm Sunday, one week before the resurrection. This begins Holy Week, the week our faith is built on – when Jesus would give His own life so we could be forgiven and have eternal life Jesus, the King of Kings, is expected to arrive in Jerusalem with a triumphant entry. The crowd was gathered, and the excitement was high.  It was a springtime Sunday in about the year 30 A.D. The Holy City of Jerusalem was crowded with pilgrims who had come for the annual Passover celebration, and now the King was expected to arrive!  It was sure to be a spectacular event.  Everyone had a vision of what was surely to be event to remember. Everyone had an expectation of what Jesus – the King of Kings – would be like. 

Jesus' Entry into Jerusalem
It was an event to remember, but it didn’t go exactly as the people envisioned.  As Jesus rode into Jerusalem, the people spread their coats in front of Him and greeted Him with palm branches.  The King came, but it was not the spectacular display everyone thought it would be.  There were no instruments and caravans.  There were no majestic white horses, only a humble donkey, carrying Jesus, who looked just like the rest of them. He was not the king that many of them expected.  

The people were excited. They cheered and shouted:
Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord — the King of Israel!

Only a king would be greeted this way (2 Kings 9:13), and the people wanted Jesus to be their king.  But most of the people did not understand what kind of king Jesus would be. They expected their Messiah to be a great political and military leader who would free them from the tyranny of the Roman Empire.  Jesus is a different kind of king.  Whereas most royalty comes determined to rule, He comes determined to serve.  Whereas most monarchs spend time building their egos with the perquisites of office, He comes with a totally disarming humility.  Whereas most kings would have ridden a white stallion, or in a chariot with an army all around, King Jesus rode a donkey, a symbol of meekness, of peace.  He knew what He was doing.  A different kind of king; a different kind of kingdom. He didn’t meet their expectations. He could have changed to meet their expectations if He was trying to please men. If He wanted to impress the very influential people in the crowd, He could have changed. But Jesus had a higher purpose. He was about His Father’s business – and His Father’s business is our salvation and eternal life.

Have you seen the King?  Did you miss Him because He wasn’t what you expected?  Sometimes we have an idea in our minds of how something is going to go down.  We have preconceived notions and expectations we are counting on.  We can be thrown off guard when it turns out differently or we can be pleasantly surprised and outrageously blessed.  It is a cliché but very applicable here – God is still on His throne, no matter what. And that means whether He arrives, whether it is on a donkey or a white stallion, He is still the King of Kings. He may not show up the way we think He is going to, or the way we want Him to, but He does show up faithfully.

Not only is He the King of Kings, but He is the King of our lives. We can have faith and trust that however He shows up in our lives, and whatever His answers are, they will always be the absolute best answers for us, because He always has our best interests at heart. He always works things out for our good and His glory. 

Don’t miss Him when He comes your way. If you are only looking for Him in a certain way, or in a certain answer, you might miss Him. If you miss Him, you will miss a blessing. We have the opportunity to see the King and for Him to come into our lives every day, if we are open and surrendered to Him completely, instead of stubbornly resisting because of our own expectations.


The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting, "Hosanna to the Son of David; BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Hosanna in the highest!"  Matthew 21:9

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