It is only Day 1 but the Lord is already encouraging me and speaking to me through the first devotion in the “40 Days of Lent” reading plan in YouVersion.
Today’s passage was Matthew 21:1-11. It’s not like these are new verses. I’ve read them in many Easter seasons over many years. I’ve taught through Matthew in Sunday School. But don’t you love how God reveals something to you every time you come to His Word?
One thing I like to do as I study scripture is write down any names of God (or highlight them) and underline any words indicating God’s character. This can really help me pay attention in longer passages that may not have that information spelled out very clearly.
““Tell the people of Jerusalem, ‘Look, your King is coming to you. He is humble, riding on a donkey— riding on a donkey’s colt.’””
Matthew 21:5 NLT
I really hadn’t done this for Christ yet. So today I see verse 5 say that He is King (a name) and that he is gentle (a character trait). This is quite a paradox, isn’t it? The powerful King, approaching the City of God. Yet gentle and mounted on the colt of a donkey.
Son of David is another name for Christ (v9) and surely, He above all is blessed! His purpose is also something I just recently started noting (with a different color of underline). Here we see He came “in the name of the Lord.” I also noted that the people called Him a prophet – which is what some people still of think of Him as today.
According to the Olive Tree Enhanced Strong’s Dictionary in my Olive Tree Bible app, the word translated “humble” in the NLT or “gentle” in the NASB comes from a word that means “meek.”
“Meekness toward God is that disposition of spirit in which we accept His dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. In the OT, the meek are those wholly relying on God rather than their own strength to defend them against injustice.”
Gentleness or meekness is the opposite to self-assertiveness and self-interest. It stems from trust in God’s goodness and control over the situation. The gentle person is not occupied with self at all. This is a work of the Holy Spirit, not of the human will. (Gal. 5:23)
Your KING – having a disposition that accepts His dealings as good and, therefore, not resisting.
Your KING – trusting God’s goodness and control. Not occupied with self at all. Empowered by the Holy Spirit.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
Galatians 5:22-23 NLT
“Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
Philippians 2:6-8 NLT
Lord, we are so thankful for your Word that teaches us and for your powerful example of life lived in the Spirit. Help us to desire the powerful work of the Holy Spirit in us so that we would not resist your work in us and through us. Show us where we are occupied with self and not trusting in your goodness and control. Help us to let go and cling to you. Amen.