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Thursday, March 21, 2013

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Jesus rides into Jerusalem not on a white charger with lance in hand to drive the hated Roman military forces out, but on a colt "that has never been ridden." The question the owner asks is the one Jesus anticipated, and the response of the disciples is simply, "The Lord needs it."

The scene that follows on this borrowed colt has turned the world upside down. People are throwing their cloaks on the colt and spreading their cloaks on the road, and disciples are praising God joyfully with a loud voice. What does this all mean?

The acclamation of Psalm 118 proclaims a royal entry to the ritual of the enthronement of a king. These words ring to the heavens proclaiming a messiah that brings to fulfillment God's kingdom in the one who rides on the borrowed colt: "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heaven."

The Pharisees' request of Jesus to silence his disciples was an impossible command. If these words of acclamation and praise were to be silenced, even "the stones would shout out."

Gracious God, in your Son, Jesus Christ, you have entered into our hearts, and with the crowd we too proclaim, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” Amen.

Paul Berge
Professor Emeritus of New Testament, Luther Seminary
Master of Divinity , 1963

Luke 19:28-40 (NRSV)

28 After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

29 When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples,

30 saying, "Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here.

31 "If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' just say this, 'The Lord needs it.'"

32 So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them.

33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?"

34 They said, "The Lord needs it."

35 Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it.

36 As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road.

37 As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen,

38 saying, "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!"

39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, order your disciples to stop."

40 He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out."

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.