Monday, May 12, 2008

GRAND ENTRY...this weeks devotion

Thank you for joining me today for this weeks devotion. It is my prayer that your heart will be challenged and stirred by God's Word!

Do you remember the Star Wars movie, "The Empire Strikes Back"? In this movie, Luke Skywalker is sent to be trained as a Jedi Knight by a Jedi master. The one to whom he is sent has the reputation of being a great warrior and perhaps the only one who can prepare Skywalker to face Darth Vader. We are made to wonder what this great warrior will look like. Will he tower over those around him as Darth Vader does? Will his muscles ripple as he moves and will he speak with a commanding authority which pulls others to him in obedience? Of course, if you are familiar with this movie, the one we finally encounter on the screen is short, pudgy, and wrinkled and walks with a waddle.

The surprise that moviegoers had in meeting Yoda was probably not unlike the surprise of some who had encountered the latest candidate for Messiah over two thousand years ago. Jesus came into Jerusalem with plenty of fanfare, but surprisingly He came in on a donkey rather that a war horse.

A conquering king or one seeking an earthly kingdom or prestige would have ridden on a war horse. Horses are "parade" animals and they can prance down the road with dignity and elegance. A donkey is a servant animal, or a "beast of burden". Common people used donkeys to carry their loads. They clunked down the road with tiny little strides, bouncing around whoever was riding. In comparision to a war horse, it was like entering in an old VW minibus instead of a modern luxury SUV.

MATTHEW 21:1-11 "When they approached Jerasulem and came to Bethphage at the Mount of Olives, Jesus then sent two disciples, telling them, 'Go into the village ahead of you. At once you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. (3) If anyone says anything to you, you should say that the Lord needs them, and immediately he will send them.' (4)This took place so that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled (5)Tell Daughter Zion, 'See, your king is coming to you, gentle and mounted on a donkey, even a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.' (6)The disciples went and did just as Jesus directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their robes on them, and He sat on them. (8) A very large crowd spread their robes on the road; others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them on the road. (9)Then the crowds who went before Him and those who followed kept shouting: HOSANNA TO THE SON OF DAVD! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD! HOSANNA IN THE HIGHEST HEAVEN! (10) When He entered Jerusalem, the whole city was shaken, saying, 'Who is this?' (11) and the crowds kept saying, 'This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee!"

Many of the people who had gathered were hoping that Jesus had come to fullfill the "Son of David" prophecy (Zech.12:6,8-9) which had spoken of another military hero. But the Messiah who had entered on a donkey made no claim to this military power they were seeking. He was simply not what they had expected.

In the movies, Yoda showed that he had far more power than he appeared to have. Jesus Christ eventully manifested His great and awesome power. It was a different kind of power than what was expected, instead of a power to change governments, it was a power to change lives!

Are you leading others?

What are people looking for and expecting in your leadership?

Do others see servanthood in your heart and in your actions?

Most people would see the term "powerful servant" as a oxymoron. Servants are weak and subject to the ones they serve. But Jesus came into this world to turn everything upside down and make it so the "first will be last and the last first" (Matt. 19:30). When Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, He was serving notice that the power structures of the world were changing. Now the greatest servant of all would be the most powerful king of all.

So...what can we learn from Jesus' example and how do we follow His footsteps? Obviously, riding down the freeway on donkey is not a viable option! Nor are many of us likely to become the center of attention in a parade. However, what happened on Palm Sunday shoud say some things to us about what kind of leaders we should aim to become. Here are some essentials:


We may not ride on a donkey, but we should aim for having the same spirit in all that we do.


Power is not to dominate others or to enhance our own ego. Power in itself is not bad, how it is used is what determines if it is good or bad. We should use our power in our leading as Jesus change lives.


The people of Christ's day did not expect Him to be the kind of Messiah He was, but He was the kind of Messiah that God called Him to be. Remember this when people in your realm of influence pressures you to "do it like it has always been done."

In last weeks YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I asked the question, "what are likely to do when making an entrance at a party or gathering." The top 3 results are:

1. 50% voted that they "arrive early and help with the work".

2. 28% of those polled said they "slip in when no one is looking."

3. 21% voted that they "scout out who is there before making their move."

I conclude this weeks devotion with this...when entering a crowd of people, (whether it is a party or a gathering or a dinner) what is your focus?

Is it to be the center of attention

or is it to serve others like Christ did?

Would you arrive on a war horse or a donkey?

My prayer is that this week as you have influence on those around you, (those you work with, those in your family, those in your church, and even those that are strangers that you rub shoulders with) that you will speak Gods love and truth in the power that God has given you.

Have a blessed week!


1 comment:

Cheri said...

Hi Laurie, hope you had a great Mother's day!

Thanks for this reminder to be a servant- even when you may not always want to be.

If the King of Kings was a great servant, than shouldn't I strive for that also.