King As Come
Christopher B. Harbin
Psalm 118; Matthew 21:1-11
Just in case anybody has missed it, we are in the midst of an election year. Everyone seems to be lining up in support of their particular candidate. Many feel disenfranchised from the system as their nominees have not made the cut in primaries of one or another party. Many competing interests are at stake: the Iraq war, the economy, business interests, tax rates, government spending, health care, aid for those in poverty, education, environmental concerns, energy policy, peace, justice, and "The American Way." Amid concerns over "who will be the greatest in the realm," is the issue of who will profit. What will we get out of it? We all have our own pet issues to put forward, seeking to advance our own causes over those of another. Is there any way to really know what causes our candidates will truly advance, however? Once elected, we have little voice left in the process.
A similar conversation was going on among the disciples leading up to Jesus' triumphal entry. Jesus had talked about his impending death, but no one wanted to hear that, so they discarded it. No one else had Jesus' death on their platform agenda. They were ready to acclaim Jesus as Messiah, David's royal son, the anointed of God, and prophet to usher in God's ultimate reign. They were also, if not more concerned with what they would get out of it. Two of them had asked for specific bequests for power in the coming reign. Jesus answered by healing two blind men who recognized their need to see above any desire to wield power.
The disciples were privy to Jesus' teaching on power, authority, and service. They were privy to Jesus' words about the kind of king he had come to be. That does not mean they had accepted his words at face value. They were struggling to see that Jesus really meant the message of love, forgiveness, and mercy that he proclaimed. Perhaps they had been surprised too many times in too short ...
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