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Who is This King of Glory?


Jesus and His disciples were headed into Jerusalem, the Holy City, for Passover, one of the most Holy Feasts for the Jewish people. This seven day celebration looked back on God’s deliverance in the days of Moses and ahead to the days when the coming King would finally establish His Kingdom in all of its fullness. This annual celebration was a big deal for any devout Jewish person, and they anticipated it for months leading up to the day. The day had finally arrived, but the disciples had a problem: their rabbi was acting weird.


Jesus stopped just outside the city and assigned two of them an important mission. They were to go into the next village, where He detailed the precise location they would find...a donkey...tied on a leash...on the front porch of a complete stranger. From here, he instructed them to take it. Not ‘ask permission.’ Not offer an explanation. Nope. Just straight up “snatch the donkey off that dude’s private property” like some kind of shady black market deal. He told them if they were stopped, to simply reply, “we need it.” Uhhh...okay, Jesus. Those are some extreme lengths to go to secure a common service animal. I can only imagine what they were thinking.


They returned from the first century equivalent of Grand Theft Auto and Jesus beamed as He sat upon the donkey and they made their way into the city. And then the disciples watched in awe as crowds began to gather around laying palm branches in the road, pronouncing Jesus as King.

As He passed, they shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” That might not mean much to you and I, but it could not be lost on anyone in the crowd. The phrase was a direct quote of a well-known prophecy given hundreds of years earlier, detailing what the people of God were to shout in the Holy City on the day their long-awaited Messiah appeared. Their “Hosanna” (literally, “Lord, save us!”) was inviting their King to take His throne.


But it was all wrong. Jesus was riding the wrong animal. You see, every conquering king came to town on an imposing warhorse to show his might and to assert his power, followed by the chariots of his commanding officers with swords drawn, in all their regalia. All of this posed a formidable threat to any onlooker or village who would dare to challenge the new administration. Yet here comes Jesus, feet dragging upon the ground, accompanied only by the “hee haws” of this pitifully small specimen that was the sole representative of His cavalry. But it wasn’t a mistake. It was the overthrow of a system, because the animal a King sits on reveals the kingdom He sets upon you.


The animal a King sits upon reveals the kingdom He sets upon you.


A donkey was known most as a beast of burden, and they served three main purposes. First, when you had to go on a long trip, an epic journey from one place to another, all of the heavy baggage was placed upon the donkey’s back to carry. Second, if during the trip you became weary or sick, the donkey carried you. Finally, donkeys were a popular means of production in their cities. If someone wanted grain, often it was a donkey that would be out pulling the plow. If they wanted water, it was a donkey turning the mill.


Jesus showed up on a beast of burden because He came to take yours.


Jesus’ arrival announced definitively that this King isn’t like the ones who came before Him. He understands that the baggage you’re carrying on this journey is too heavy for you. He knows you will face places in the road where you will become weak or weary and will need to be held, and so He calls:


“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30


Further, this King came once and for all to show that He is our means of production. Where we are hungry, He says, “take and eat the bread of life.” Where we are dying of thirst, He offers, “I am the living water. You may drink and never thirst again.” Jesus’ first royal declaration in the city walls was to challenge the age-old system of us trying to be our own provider and sustainer. A new King was in town. And He was just getting started...


Read what happens next in my book, En(d)titlement!


Adapted from En(d)titlement, © 2023 by Chuck Ammons. Available on www.amazon.com 


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Creative. And Insightful.

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