Christ’s humility

The “Triumphal” Entry

Friday, April 21, 2017

“All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass” (Matthew 21:4,5 KJV).

Do you ever wonder why Jesus Christ rode on a donkey the Sunday before His crucifixion?

In today’s Scripture (cf. Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-19), Jesus’s crucifixion on Calvary’s cross is just five days away. Leaving Bethany, He travels to Jerusalem (a mile to the northwest). Israel’s believing remnant in Jerusalem is excited to hear that Messiah is returning to “the city of the great King” (Psalm 48:2; Matthew 5:35); in anticipation, the great multitude throws their garments and palm branches on the ground. As Jesus enters the city, they cry out, “Hosanna [“O save!”]: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:9,10; Luke 19:38; John 12:13; cf. Psalm 118:26).

While often called the “Triumphal Entry,” there really was no victory being celebrated in today’s Scripture—the victory was to come later! What we need to realize is that Jesus Christ was humble (“meek”) here: as a King riding on a donkey into Israel’s capital city, He demonstrated He desired peace with Israel (a fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9). He had not come to destroy her, though He would have been just in doing so; He had come to save her from her sins, her enemies, and her satanic bondage (Matthew 1:21; Mark 2:17; Mark 3:22-30; Luke 1:68-75; Luke 9:55,56; Luke 19:9,10; Acts 3:24-26; et cetera).

Just a few days later, Jesus Christ appeared weak and defeated. He never fought back as the Roman soldiers mercilessly abused Him; He allowed Himself to be crucified on Calvary. It was His meek and lowly coming; now was not the time to pour out His wrath. He resurrected and ascended into heaven as a royal exile. Revelation 19:11 says Jesus Christ will return to Jerusalem on a white horse, a sign of war and wrath (Zechariah 14:1-4)—that will be His true triumphal entry, for He will conquer Satan’s world system forever!

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Is it truly a good deed if done for selfish reasons?

Hated But Humble

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you (John 15:18,19 KJV).

We are hated but humble!

A new Christian emailed me in exasperation. Tired of how people had treated him, he wanted to go to heaven and leave this planet of such great evils! He explained he did not care how he lived anymore—even if those frivolous actions made other Christians or lost people stumble! Thankfully, the Bible truths I shared with him helped him recover himself out of the snare of the Devil.

That brother needed to be reminded Jesus Christ was treated most horribly. He was hated without a cause(John 15:25). People have various reasons for hating us. Some are justified. Perhaps we lied to or about them, or stole from them, or cursed them out! However, they had no reason to hate Jesus Christ. He did nothing wrong—to them or anyone else. All Christ did was preach God’s truth and love, and they demanded His crucifixion!! Despite how they treated Him, He still lived righteously for the sake of His Heavenly Father whom He represented. Brethren, let us do the same, remembering not to live unto ourselves, but unto the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us and rose again (2 Corinthians 5:15).

Philippians chapter 2 exhorts us: “[3] Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. [4] Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. [5] Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: [6] Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: [7] But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: [8] And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Why do we suffer?

The “Triumphal” Entry

Sunday, March 20, 2016

“All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass” (Matthew 21:4,5 KJV).

Do you ever wonder why Jesus Christ rode on a donkey the Sunday before His crucifixion?

In today’s Scripture (cf. Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:28-40; John 12:12-19), Jesus’s crucifixion on Calvary’s cross is just five days away. Leaving Bethany, He travels to Jerusalem (a mile to the northwest). Israel’s believing remnant in Jerusalem is excited to hear that Messiah is returning to “the city of the great King” (Psalm 48:2; Matthew 5:35); in anticipation, the great multitude throws their garments and palm branches on the ground. As Jesus enters the city, they cry out, “Hosanna [“O save!”]: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:9,10; Luke 19:38; John 12:13; cf. Psalm 118:26).

While often called the “Triumphal Entry,” there really was no victory being celebrated in today’s Scripture—the victory was to come later! What we need to realize is that Jesus Christ was humble (“meek”) here: as a King riding on a donkey into Israel’s capital city, He demonstrated He desired peace with Israel (a fulfillment of Zechariah 9:9). He had not come to destroy her, though He would have been just in doing so; He had come to save her from her sins, her enemies, and her satanic bondage (Matthew 1:21; Mark 2:17; Mark 3:22-30; Luke 1:68-75; Luke 9:55,56; Luke 19:9,10; Acts 3:24-26; et cetera).

Just a few days later, Jesus Christ appeared weak and defeated. He never fought back as the Roman soldiers mercilessly abused Him; He allowed Himself to be crucified on Calvary. It was His meek and lowly coming; now was not the time to pour out His wrath. He resurrected and ascended into heaven as a royal exile. Revelation 19:11 says Jesus Christ will return to Jerusalem on a white horse, a sign of war and wrath (Zechariah 14:1-4)—that will be His true triumphal entry, for He will conquer Satan’s world system forever!

Bible Q&A#245: “What is meant by, ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself?’

The Carpenter from Nazareth (and Heaven) #9

Sunday, September 27, 2015

“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:1-4 KJV).

Have you ever stopped to consider why Jesus’ earthly trade was carpentry?

According to the Law of Moses, Israel’s high priest had to first be washed with water, and then anointed with oil, before he could function in that office (see Exodus 29:1-7; cf. Leviticus 8:1-13). That high priest could then offer animals’ blood for the atonement of Israel’s sins (Leviticus chapter 16). In order to function as Israel’s “High Priest” (today’s Scripture), Jesus Christ was water baptized and then anointed with the Holy Ghost (Matthew 3:13-17). Then, His sinless blood was shed on Calvary, for Israel’s sins (Isaiah 53:8; Daniel 9:24).

Now, when our dispensation ends, Israel’s New Covenant can be established (Jeremiah 31:31-34). As the Old Covenant of Law was ratified with animal blood (Exodus chapter 24), so the New Covenant will be ratified by Jesus Christ’s shed blood (Hebrews 8:8-13; Hebrews 10:1-39). That New Covenant will redeem national Israel (Acts 3:19), her believing remnant, and enable them to become a house, Jesus Christ’s “house” (today’s Scripture). Verses 5 and 6 continue, “And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house we are, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.”

So, today’s Scripture contrasts Moses leading Israel under the Old Covenant with Jesus Christ leading Israel under the New Covenant. During the seven-year Tribulation, which will be operate once our dispensation ends, the book of Hebrews urges believing Jews to stay doctrinally pure, until Jesus Christ returns at His Second Coming to begin that New Covenant (cf. Romans 11:26-29).

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Should we pray for sick people?

The Carpenter from Nazareth (and Heaven) #8

Saturday, September 26, 2015

“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:1-4 KJV).

Have you ever stopped to consider why Jesus’ earthly trade was carpentry?

Christ Jesus, the night before dying, spoke a very long prayer, John chapter 17. Some of the words He uttered to His Father, God, were: “[4] I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. [8] For I have given them the words which thou gavest me… [14] I have given them thy word….” Three years of sermons and validating miracles had concluded.

Faithful Jesus Christ had formed a believing remnant in Israel, who could now carry on without Him, ministering to the rest of Israel. He would be crucified shortly, and go back Home to Heaven. They, however, had the doctrine He had taught them, the edifice of sound doctrine in their inner man. The Holy Spirit would come later and teach them additional revelation (John 16:12-14).

And so, Jesus Christ had one more thing to do. In perfect accordance with the Old Testament Scriptures, He let them arrest Him and He laid down His life at Calvary. “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). Paul writes in Philippians chapter 2: “[5] Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: [6] Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: [7] But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: [8] And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Israel’s Apostle could now faithfully function as her High Priest as well!

Filthy Feet with Hideous Hearts

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

“[Jesus] riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?” (John 13:4-6 KJV).

How willing are you to grab someone’s stinky feet and wash them?

A pastor friend of mine frequently refers to how Jesus bothered to wash the disciples’ smelly feet (today’s Scripture). Imagine what those feet were like. They had been in sandals for many hours (it was now nighttime), sweating in that hot Middle Eastern sun all day, caked with sand. What gritty, filthy, stinky feet!!

Here we have “the Lord from heaven” (1 Corinthians 15:47) coming to Earth and wanting to wash the dirty, foul-smelling feet of sinners! But, that is not all. The hearts of sinners are much more putrid-smelling to God’s nostrils. Yet, He still chose to come to Earth and wash those dirty hearts that were connected to those dirty feet.

John concluded the passage: “[12] So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? [13] Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. [14] If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. [15] For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. [16] Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. [17] If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”

As the Lord of glory, Jesus Christ could have made sinners wash His feet. Instead, He followed the local custom and humbly chose to wash their feet instead. (Peter was shocked!) What lesson can we learn here? Simple. If the Almighty Creator was meek, we have no reason to be prideful!

The More Excellent Ministry #5

Friday, August 29, 2014

“For the love of Christ constraineth us… God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:14a,18bc KJV).

Our flesh is ever so weak, but Christ’s love—the unconditional love He has for us—drives us to push ourselves aside and think of others instead.

God never saves anyone to sit and do nothing. Romans chapter 6 is the simplest passage regarding Christian living, and when read with chapters 7 and 8, one unquestionably learns how the Christian life operates. (Read these three glorious chapters to get a blessing!) Father God wants us to let Christ live in us via the indwelling Holy Spirit taking verses we study and believe, and bringing them “to life” in our lives!

When we trusted exclusively Paul’s Gospel, the Gospel of God’s Grace—Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day (1 Corinthians 15:3,4)—the Holy Spirit instantly placed us into Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). That moment, we died with Jesus on Calvary’s cross and we were raised again with Him “to walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:1-6). We are “dead, freed from sin” (verse 7). Now, Jesus Christ’s life is in us; we are dead to self-living. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me…” (Galatians 2:20). We read in 2 Corinthians 5:15, the context of today’s Scripture: “And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”

In Matthew 20:28, Jesus Christ identified the more excellent ministry: “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” As His Father instructed, Jesus did not come to be served (self life), but to serve others (Christian life). Christ’s love for us drove Him to Cavalry’s cross, so His love for us—yea, for lost people—compels us to tell them of that love exhibited at Calvary: “For God commendeth his love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). 🙂