April 25, 2020

The Prophet

Matthew 21:1-11

“Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

—  Matthew 21:9

Did you notice that Matthew doesn’t include the words king or kingdom in the crowd’s shouting? He’s the only gospel writer who leaves that out. This is interesting because in the rest of his account of this story, Matthew goes further than the others to show how Jesus was in charge of the whole event.

This odd omission is explained when Jesus reaches Jerusalem. “Who is this?” the city wants to know. “This is Jesus, the prophet,” the crowds reply. They’re focused on Jesus as a prophet. The crowd in Matthew’s gospel sees a different piece of the puzzle but still doesn’t have the whole picture.

We sometimes talk about Jesus being a prophet, priest, and king. That’s true, but the prophet part can be easily misunderstood. A prophet is a mouthpiece for God. But Jesus is God! And that is Matthew’s point. Jesus wasn’t there to give new prophecies; Jesus was there to fulfill prophecies. That’s a much bigger deal!

Jesus is such a big deal that in the original language the text indicates that he “shook” the city, as with an earthquake! I sometimes forget how big a deal Jesus really is. Sometimes I need to remember that approaching Jesus is far greater than what I can really wrap my mind around.

Dear Jesus: Wow! It’s almost unbelievable I’m talking to you. You’re a bigger deal than world leaders and celebrities, a bigger deal than professors and the wisest people. You are God. And you’re listening to me. Wow! Amen.

About the author — Scott DeVries

Scott DeVries has served as a church pastor and as a ministry ­coordinator in the Holland, Michigan, area. He currently works at ­facilitating connections between the more than twenty ministries and 1,100 churches of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. He has a passion for prayer, church organization, and studying the Scriptures in their original languages.

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