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  • Joe Steenholdt

Matthew 21:1-11 - The King Has Come

Many want Jesus to fit their own agenda, but we can be glad He came as a King with eternal purposes.

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Read Matthew 21:1-11

Listen to passage & devotional:


Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 31

Q. Why is he called “Christ,”

meaning “anointed”?

A. Because he has been ordained by God the Father

and has been anointed with the Holy Spirit

to be:

our chief prophet and teacher

who perfectly reveals to us

the secret counsel and will of God for our deliverance;

our only high priest

who has set us free by the one sacrifice of his body,

and who continually pleads our cause with the Father;

and our eternal king

who governs us by his Word and Spirit,

and who guards us and keeps us

in the freedom he has won for us.



In ten days, you may hear this passage read or see children waving palm branches to commemorate “Palm Sunday.” The entry into Jerusalem on a donkey at the beginning of the week that would lead Jesus to the cross was another significant event showing how Jesus fulfilled Old Testament Scripture as the expected Messiah-King.

The anticipation had reached a fever pitch in Jerusalem. It was abuzz with many traveling into town for the Passover, including many who had heard Jesus’s preaching and witnessed His miracles. Jesus’ earthly ministry was primarily spent in Galilee and outside of Jerusalem. Yet, Jerusalem was always where Jesus was heading in the end.

In Matthew’s account, we can see how Jesus is aware of all that will occur. He knows where the disciples can fetch a proper donkey for His royal entrance. The crowd recognized the connection to what the prophet Zechariah said, and how David had also sent his son Solomon riding in on a donkey at the beginning of his reign (1 Kings 1:33).

Jesus, the Christ of the tribe of Judah and line of David, was riding into Jerusalem as her prince of peace. He was being recognized as such through the reception and shouting of “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” However, many missed what Jesus had come to Jerusalem to do and what this visitation of the Lord meant.

Dig Deeper

Jesus failed to meet the expectations of most of His own Jewish people in His days on earth. Most of the religious leaders fiercely opposed Him and charged Him with blasphemy. Many everyday folks were weary of the years under foreign rule and longed for Israel to be a powerful and united kingdom of God’s special people as in the days of David and Solomon, and were allured by the authority of His message and power of His miracles.

Those who recognized that He might be the long-awaited Messiah still missed the greater purpose of His coming. Jesus knew that before He was to be exalted as King of Glory, He must first lay down His life as the Suffering Servant. His kingdom was not earthly nor temporary but of another world and one that will never end.

The catechism gets at this eternal aspect of Christ’s reign as our King. He reigns through the governing power of His Word and Spirit, and He rules and protects those He saved from His throne of grace.

It could have been easy for anyone else to get caught up in the excitement of that day and try to ride that wave of popularity. But thanks be to God, Jesus had eternal salvation in His sights. The King had come to Jerusalem to suffer, die, be buried, and rise again, securing freedom for His people forever.

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The King of Glory and the Lord Who Saves

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Seek first God’s kingdom and righteousness



Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - Galatians 2


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