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March 31, 2018

The Humility of God

by Erin Golangco

...Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,


“Say to the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”

 

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

Matthew 21:1-11 (https://pcpc.us1.list-manage.com/track/click?u=eba67192d3a27da52e93fefb8&id=40d389dbec&e=82a9a8f891)

 

Who is this? Have you ever tried to describe someone very precious to you, and all the words seem woefully inadequate to capture that person’s character and worth? That is how I’ve felt reflecting on Jesus’ person this week. All words seem to groan under the weight of all that He is and has done.

Who is this? The crowds were anxiously asking this question as Jesus came into Jerusalem. Imagine the sights and sounds, how people pressed and fought to see this man called Jesus enter Jerusalem. It was the week of Passover, and likely stories of Jesus’ power to heal likely preceded Him from nearby Bethany where Jesus had just raised Lazarus from the dead. Pilgrim Jews were eager to receive this man who worked miracles in their midst. Could this be the one that would save them from Roman oppression?

For the first time in His public ministry, Jesus wants all eyes on Him as He enters His final week on earth. He wants people to see what kind of King He is, and that His way of conquering is not through force or dominance, but through humility and death.

Sinclair Ferguson points out the fact that Jesus draws attention to only one special characteristic about Himself—paradoxically, His humility. He calls His disciples to learn from Him, for He is gentle and lowly in heart (Matthew 11:28). This is embodied in how He rides into Jerusalem. He comes not on a chariot or a war horse (Zechariah 9:10), but as the Prince of Peace, humble and mounted on a donkey (Zechariah 9:9). Jesus establishes His eternal rule not by way of the world’s glory, but instead the world’s shame and disgrace all the while exhibiting the most tender compassion and grace for His people. He is precisely the kind of king we need. And what a King He is!

Who is this? I want to borrow from the words of Gregory of Nazianzus, who gives such a poignant picture of Jesus’ person, work and worth:

“…He is sold, and cheap was the price—thirty pieces of silver; yet He buys back the world at mighty cost of His blood. A sheep, He is led to the slaughter —yet He shepherds Israel and now the whole world as well…He is weakened, wounded—yet He cures every disease and every weakness. He is brought up to the tree and nailed to it—yet by the tree of life He restores us. He is given vinegar to drink, gall to eat—and who is He? Why, one who turned water into wine, who took away the taste of bitterness, who is all sweetness and desire…He dies, but He vivifies, and by death destroys death…”

Who is this? I want to be more like the blind beggars who unabashedly called out to Jesus for mercy, pleading in desperation that they may recover their sight (Matthew 20:29-34). Would we all have fresh eyes to behold the power of the cross and the astounding meekness of our Savior, and may His perfect holiness be our humility.

#####


About the Author

Erin Golangco
Director of Small Groups
Park Cities Presbyterian Church

Erin Golangco works at PCPC as the Director of Small Groups. She attended the University of Oklahoma and graduated with a B.A. in Classics/Business. Since 2005, she has held roles in sales, operations, and consulting prior to joining the PCPC team in early 2014. She is married to Paul and a mother to their young daughter.

 

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God's Holy Fire from Heartlight

God's Holy Fire is a daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
  • The Always Friend

    [Jesus said,] "If you love me, show it by doing what I've told you. I will talk to the Father, and he'll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you."

    John 14:15-16 MESSAGE

    Key Thought

    Love is shown by the actions that back up a person's words. We show our love for Jesus by what we do, by obeying what he has taught us. Jesus, however, doesn't expect this demonstrated love for him to be a one-way street. He shows us his love for us by having the Father send another Friend like himself to us. This Friend, the Holy Spirit, is called the Advocate or Comforter or Helper in other translations. The Father sends this Friend so that we will never be alone. We can be confident that we will always have the presence of God in our lives!

    Today's Prayer

    Father, words can't express my thanks for the gift of the Holy Spirit. I know that even when I am by myself, I am not alone. I know that when earthly friends forsake me, or those close to me betray me, your Presence is my Helper and my Friend. Thank you. Please forgive me for not seeking this Friend's help and support in times of trouble. Please make the presence of this Friend very clear as I live my daily life. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.


    Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.

    Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

    Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

  • Anticipating the Overflow

    On the final and climactic day of the Feast, Jesus took his stand. He cried out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me this way, just as the Scripture says." (He said this in regard to the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were about to receive. The Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.)

    John 7:37-39 MESSAGE

    Key Thought

    Jesus is looking forward to the outpouring of the Spirit and the time when the Holy Spirit lives inside those who believe in him. We are now in that time. This outpouring isn't a limited supply of water like a cistern, but an unlimited supply of refreshment. It isn't a well of water that sometimes goes dry in the long hot summer, but a supply that continuously overflows. And what is this water, this source of refreshment? The Holy Spirit! The Helper Jesus sends to us. So why don't we experience the overflow? Could it be because we don't seek this overflow, don't expect this overflow, and don't ask Jesus to send this overflow (Luke 11:13; Romans 15:13; cf. John 4:13-14)?

    Today's Prayer

    O Father, I am tired of trying to live my life alone, left to only my own power and strength. I ask for this overflow Jesus promised. Fill me with your Spirit and bring the overflow of your power and grace. Fill me with your Spirit so that I can serve you and honor you as you so richly deserve. Fill me with your Spirit so that I can be a blessing even in tough times. O Father, I anticipate the overflow. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.


    Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. The Thoughts and Prayer for God's Holy Fire are written by Phil Ware.

    Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

    Scripture quotations marked MESSAGE are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

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