The King and the Kingdom

     "The next day the great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees, and went out to meet Him, and cried out, Hosanna! Blessed is He WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, the King of Israel.  Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written, "FEAR NOT, DAUGHTER OF ZION; BEHOLD, YOUR KING IS COMING SITTING ON A DONKEY’S COLT."  John 12:12

     It was the time of Israel’s annual observance of the Passover feast. This was one of the most important feasts celebrated by Israel...the time when God spared the first born males from death back when the Israelites were slaves in Egypt. God told the Israelites to take a lamb without blemish and sacrifice it. He directed them to splash some of the lamb’s blood on the crosspiece above their front door and on the posts on each side. Then God promised, "…when I see the blood I will pass over you…" Exodus 12:13.

     Josephus, the Jewish historian, wrote that hundreds of thousands of Jews came to Jerusalem from many nations to observe the feast of Passover. It was not unusual for Jerusalem to swell from around 200,000 to a million people at this time.

. The Presentation Of The King To Israel

     Early on Sunday morning four days before Passover sounds of great commotion were heard coming from the Mount of Olives located east of Jerusalem. Suddenly a great throng of people burst over the brow of Mt. Olivet like a storm. They were cutting down palm branches and casting them along with the coats off their backs, down the road where a donkey colt would carry Jesus. As they did so they shouted, "Hosanna! Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord. Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father, David; Hosanna in the highest!"  Mark 11:10

     Husbands and wives were joined by their children as they ran together to catch a glimpse of Who was receiving such a tumultuous escort into the city. And now Jesus appears at the crest of the mount riding an ass down the road that would bring Him down to the Kedron valley. There the road turns north until it makes a horseshoe turn back south on the other side of the valley. At the Golden Gate Jesus enters the city of Jerusalem and goes straight to the Temple court.

II. The Prophecies Of The King Of Israel

      There are actually over 300 prophecies in Israel’s scriptures that were fulfilled in Jesus Christ. We can only touch on some of the most notable ones.

The patriarch Jacob
      Before the old patriarch Jacob gave up the ghost he placed this blessing upon Judah, "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes. And to Him shall be the obedience of the people  Genesis 49:10."   The scepter was the symbol of King’s authority. "Shiloh" is understood to mean, "(until He comes) whose right it is." When Jesus was born the scepter of Judah was physically in the hand of King Herod Agrippa, but Jesus was the one whose right it was. Psalm 45:6,7 gives us this insight, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. You love righteousness, and hate wickedness; Therefore, God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions."

The Davidic covenant

     To most people it is  an unknown document but upon that covenant rests the legal claim of Jesus Christ to the throne of Israel. In it we read, "And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you.  Your throne shall be established forever." 2nd  Samuel 7:16. The 52 verses of Psalm 89 are written in regard to the confirmation of this covenant. In addition, the Davidic covenant is confirmed in Isaiah 55:3 and Acts 13:34 using the phrase "the sure mercies of David."

     It was also through the royal court prophet Isaiah, that God gave us these words heard around the world during the Christmas season, "For unto us a Child is born,  Unto us, a Son is given;  And the government will be upon His shoulder; And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end;  Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this." Isaiah 9:6,7.

     To the weeping prophet, Jeremiah, God spoke, "Behold the days are coming,’ says the Lord, that I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth..." Jeremiah 23:5.

     To the greatly beloved prophet, Daniel, the Lord God gave much revelation about King Jesus. Please read especially Daniel 2:44; 7:13-27, and 9:24-27. The following words are from Daniel 7, "I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like a Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven!  He came  to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; And His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed."

     It was Micah who gave to us the city where King Jesus would be born, "Micah 5:2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting."

      To Zechariah, the prophet to the returned remnant of Israel, was given the revelation of the presentation of Jesus, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout,  O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey,  a colt, the foal of a donkey." Zechariah 9:9

III. The Pondering Of The King By Israel

     The question almost everyone asked was, "Who is this?" And the overwhelming answer was, "This is the prophet, Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee." (Matthew 21:10,11) Was this all He was? Now the nation must ponder Him as the promised King of Israel. He has ridden into the city on a donkey instead of a high spirited stallion. A donkey was symbolic of a king who reigns in peace. This is the way Solomon was presented to Israel and this is the way Zechariah prophesied the coming King would be presented.

     Jesus was also presented with palm leaves. This was symbolic of a triumphant conqueror. Most of Israel was looking for the coming King to be a deliverer and break the yoke of gentile rule from off their necks. There were prophecies that justified this viewpoint but they were missing the timing by 2000 years. Jesus had already revealed that He and His disciples must bear the cross before they wear the crown (Luke 9:22,23). When the time is right the saints of God will have palm branches in their hands (Revelation 7:9).

Over the next four days the religious leaders of Israel campaigned to turn the people against Jesus. The real deceivers convinced the majority that the one fully righteous and true man was the deceiver. And so, the shouts of "Hosanna! Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!" would be changed to "Crucify Him, crucify Him!" when as a nation Israel rejected their King.

IV. The Principles of Jesus’ Kingdom

Jesus had much to say about His kingdom. The four gospels record over 100 references Jesus made about the kingdom.

The Kingdom Will Be In Mystery Form Through The Church Age

Most of what Jesus said about His kingdom was spoken in the form of a parable. "The kingdom of heaven is like…a sower…grain and tares…leaven…a pearl…a merchant…a net" etc. Only to His disciples did Jesus explain the mysteries of the kingdom. - Matthew 13:11

The Kingdom Is Spiritual Before It Becomes Physical

A lost person must be born by the Holy Spirit before they can "see" or "enter" the kingdom of God. John 3:3,5. This refers to a spiritual birth into God’s family that is not visible to the human eye. In this regard, Jesus could say, "the kingdom of God does not come with observation" Luke 17:20. Jesus could also say to Pilate, "my kingdom is not of this world" i.e., like the kingdoms of man. John 18:36 Paul could also write "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God." 1st  Corinthians 15:50

It is the spirit of man that is made alive unto God in salvation. It is this spirit nature that possesses citizenship in God’s kingdom. Philippians 3:20. As lost people are saved God recruits the citizenry of Christ’s kingdom.

God’s People Are To Continually Pray, "Thy Kingdom Come…" Matthew 6:10

When we pray this prayer as believers we are first praying that God’s kingdom will come in our hearts. We are inviting Jesus to take the throne and be in authority in every area of our lives…our thoughts, words, deeds, plans, relationships, activities, etc.

We are also praying that God’s kingdom will come in other hearts... that the Holy Spirit will energize and empower God’s people to share the gospel of Jesus to those who have not heard and that He will bring conviction to the heart of lost souls so that they will open their hearts to Jesus.

God’s People Are To "Seek First" The Kingdom of God.
Make This Their Highest Priority - Matthew 6:33

     How sad that with many Christians the kingdom of God has little or no priority at all. It is only when the believer gets their priorities in order that they get their lives in order. Only those believers who humbly serve in ministry to others will be the greatest in the kingdom of God. Matthew 18:4

V. The Kingdom of Jesus Will Come In Power

"…and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory"  -
Matthew 24:30 (See also Revelation 19:11-21)
     His kingdom will begin with rewards for the saints and judgment on Christ rejecters. It will continue in justice and righteousness. Revelation 20 tells us He will have an earthly reign of a thousand years and Revelation 21 and 22 tells us it will continue forever in the New Heavens, New Earth and New Jerusalem.

 kingdom of Jesus will be a kingdom of peace
       The Bible tells us it will also be a kingdom of prosperity, health, long life expectancy and a creation free from the curse. It will also be a time when the love of God will flow freely and abundantly upon and among those who made their choice for Him.

Copyright © 2002 Thomas E Berry
All Scriptures quoted from NKJV unless otherwise noted