If I Were King!
President for a Day
What would you do if you ever became
President of the
In 1848, General Zachary Taylor was
elected President of
The Grand Parade
In today’s passage, we read about the
story in which Jesus
had the opportunity to serve as King for a day. In contrast to
It is the first day of the week, Sunday, the day after the Jewish Sabbath and the day after his anointing by Mary at the home of Lazarus. Jesus has intentionally avoided any open or public recognition of his Messianic or Kingly title. He silenced the demons that said too much and after feeding the five thousand, he actually hid when the people tried to make him king. However, the time had now arrived to openly reveal that he is the long awaited Messiah.
Luke tells us that Jesus sends his
disciples into a nearby
town to get a colt that no one has ever ridden. The town of
The imagery goes all the way back to
Genesis, to Jacob’s
final blessings upon his 12 sons before he dies. The father of Reuben,
Jacob promises that one day the 12 tribes will be united under one king and this kingship will pass from one generation to the next until finally the Messiah will come. Notice what Jacob says will happen until that time, vs 11, 12
He will tether his donkey to a vine, his
colt to the choicest branch;
wash his garments in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes will be darker than wine, his teeth whiter than milk.
Until that time his donkey or colt will be tied and in waiting. The message is clear, there is no rush all the events are planned, and all will be in place when the day arrives. A colt that has never been ridden will be ready. The prophet Zechariah borrows on this symbolism and writes:
greatly, O Daughter of
The prophet reminds the citizens of
I wonder if Jesus had arranged earlier in
with a certain farmer to use one of his colts. Could he have
day when he would ride triumphantly into
Now I ask, if you were made king for a day would you come with power or humility?
With power or humility?
Power has many forms and many faces. There is the upfront, in your face type of power. It is physically intimidating. This expression of power is reserved for places like the hockey ring, the football field, or the streets of our drug infested cities. Jesus could have gathered a band of Jewish Zealots together to fight the Roman garrison. They would have given their lives for their country.
We are more familiar with a softer side of power. It does not seek it inflict physical harm but, it can be just as destructive. The soft side of power seeks to control and manipulate. It makes others feel guilty. It never gives an inch in a disagreement. It only understands win-lose solutions.
The soft side of power is just as destructive and harmful to family relationships and the body of Christ. Richard Foster explains that the band of 12 hand selected disciples provide us with a prefect model of abusive power. They were constantly arguing, constantly bickering—who would be first in line, which man would get the best seat. There arguments must have been intense for all four gospel writers recall them over 30 years later.
Today in the church we do not argue about who will be first, but who will get their own way. Who will control the selection of songs and music for worship? Who will control how mission dollars will be spent? Who will control what educational material will be used in Sunday school? Who will control the design of a new building or addition?
When Jesus rode into
According to Greek legend, Achilles was
the mightiest of
the Greek warriors in the siege of
Jesus also knew that if he went to
Throughout the Bible, we read about women and men who had to discover that the power of God was most appropriately displayed through vulnerability. Rebekah gave birth to twin boys—Esau and Jacob. When the boys were older, she used her power to manipulate her husband, Isaac into blessing the youngest, Jacob. Her maneuvering contributed to the break up of the family. Animosity between the two sons became so intense that Jacob had to run for his life. The relationship was not restored until Jacob was willing to become vulnerable before his brother.
When the mother of Moses placed her son in
a basket and
set it adrift on the
Consider how you approach relationships in your life. In your interactions with others, do you tend to dominate and control the conversations so that you can convince everyone to your opinions? Do you tend to manipulate circumstances so the outcome always aligns with your plans? Or are you willing to be vulnerable in how you approach others? Are you willing to allow others to see your weaknesses? Are you willing to allow others to hurt you?
The day that Jesus walked into
I am in it now
The day that Jesus rode into
We need to ponder this matter of identity carefully. In our media driven culture people tend to swing to one of two extremes. They either become so obsessed with an inflated view of their own self -importance or they limp along crippled by the chains of insecurity. The latter can be just as damaging as the former. When we think too little of ourselves, we become hesitant about volunteering to serve. When we belittle our gifts, we become tentative about calling on a friend who is depressed or lonely. When we do not think that we can make a valuable contribution, we become reluctant to take on important responsibilities.
Years ago Charles Schulz gave Charlie Brown a baby sister. CB was elated but genuinely concerned about the terrible condition of the world that his new sister was entering. He began to share those concerns with his friend Linus. Before Charlie Brown got very far Linus interrupted his friend by saying “I think that the world is better than it was six years ago.”
Charlie Brown protested: “Don’t you read the papers, don’t you watch the television? How can you say the world is better today than six years ago?” To which Linus replied, “I’m in it now.”
Those words spoken in the wrong context might sound quite arrogant but Charles Schulz put some profound words of wisdom onto the lips of that blanket totting little boy. If each person were willing to truly live as a child of God, why wouldn’t the world be a better place because of our existence?
Jesus walked through the streets of
Queen for a Day
So what would you do if you were King or Queen for a day? Would you pass the day away with a cozy nap, alone in a boarding house unimpressed by the temporary title? Or would you prefer to issue some grand edict to eradicate an evil or injustice? Somewhere back in the far reaches of my memory I recall a TV show entitled, “Queen for a Day.” If memory serves me, some lucky woman was chosen Queen for a day and lavished with prizes. The format of the show reveals what some people would prefer to enjoy the material blessing that they think should accompany the title. Ironically, the day that Jesus was proclaimed King rather than issue any edict he entered the city with humility. Rather than demand obedience from the chief priests and Romans with the strength of a conquering army, he was accompanied by a ragtag group of fisherman, tax collectors and whores, exposing his own vulnerability. Rather, than enjoy the pleasures of the monarchy, he prepared for his own painful death.
Now consider, what would you do if you were King or Queen for a day?
 Glendon E. Harris, “Final Week in a Three Year Diary,” Pulpit Resource, Vol. 20, No. 2, April 12, 1992, 7,8
 Richard Foster, Money, Sex, and Power, (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1985)
 Glendon E. Harris, “Vulnerably Victorious,” Pulpit Resources, Vol. 10, No. 2, April 4, 1982, 2.
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1445 Welch Rd
Walled Lake MI 48390
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