The Gentle King

Written on 06/19/2018
Luke Estrada

Matthew 21:1-10

21 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 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.3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying,

5 “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.’”

6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. 8 Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 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!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”


The president of my university makes it a point to eat lunch every day in the cafeteria with the rest of the students. He sits at a table by himself, eats his meal, cleans up and heads back to work. He isn’t closed off from the students, in fact, he does it to make himself more available to us. But there’s just something so intimidating about that open table. I’ve almost sat with him a couple times, but I always talk myself out of it. It just doesn’t feel right. I almost wish he had business people surrounding him, making a wall to keep us out. I almost wish he wouldn’t eat in the cafeteria at all, that way I could keep my picture of him intact. I want to see him as a mighty scholar in a cloudy tower overlooking the school, thinking about new programs and wise counsel for the faculty. When he eats with those cheap plastic forks, that image is shattered.

It’s easy to rally around a leader who holds their head high. Who rides into the capital city victorious, powerful, and awesome. It’s easy to look to someone like that and trust that no matter what they undertake they will be successful, that they’ll make you successful. But our king didn’t do that. He entered into Zion on a donkey’s back, humbly, meekly.

I think we like the idea of an elevated leader because that allows us to raise ourselves up. Not so in the Kingdom of God. Our leader lowered himself, our mighty king, with the power to call 10,000 angels, the power to bring himself down from the cross, he humbled himself to a lowly death. And what are we supposed to do with that? Get lower. Low enough to sit in his shadow. As close to the earth as we can get.


Put on Meekness today. Be intentional about it.