Links Daily Devotional

True Greatness, Part 12

“Behold your king is coming to you… humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9, ESV)

Who is this king prophesied some 500 years before his birth by the prophet Zechariah?

Prior to the first Christmas, an angel appeared to a Jewish carpenter named Joseph, whose wife was pregnant. “Do not be afraid…” the angel said. “For that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit and she will bring forth a son and you shall call his name Jesus… Emmanuel, which is translated God with us” (Matthew 1:21, 23).

This king is Jesus. The Scriptures state further that he is “the heir of all things, through whom He (God) made the whole world…the radiance to the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature…” And the one “who upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:2, 3).

He is God with us.

Yet he entered this world in a hay trough, the child of poor parents, in the tiny village removed from the bustle of the big city. In adulthood he grew to fame, and the people wanted to take him by force and make him the king that Zechariah had prophesied would come. He chose rather the posture of a servant. His entrance into Jerusalem came not in a four-horse chariot, but on a donkey—and not even a donkey, but the foal of the donkey.

I love Jesus. I love who he is and what he is like. But of all his human character traits, nothing exceeds that of his humility. His life was a model of humility from the beginning to end. At the outset of his ministry, he laid out the benefits of a life of humility: “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). Later, he requested his disciples to, “…learn from me…for I am humble and gentle and you will find rest for your soul.”

Jesus was Emmanuel. He was “God with us.” But he chose to live as a servant. He could have avoided the pain and humiliation of a crucifixion. But instead he chose to “humble himself and become obedient unto death…

“Therefore, God highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name above every name so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

Jesus is Lord. His way is the way of true greatness. His path leads downward, but at the end there is none higher.

“For I have given you an example… do just as I have done” (John 13:15).

Jim Hiskey

December 18, 2012

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