The King Is Coming!
By Linda Sue Pochodzay Edwards
Text Version | Afrikaans
The dusty roads leading into Jerusalem were anything but quiet. A buzz of excitement filled the air as preparations for Passover, the biggest holiday of the year, were being made. It seemed that everyone from everywhere was trying to get to Jerusalem to celebrate. But it wasn't only people . . .
The roads were crowded with donkeys and camels which was the common form of transportation, and not only that, most people also brought other animals with them. The bleating of sheep, the mooing of cows and the cooing of doves could all be heard, as well as the laughing and singing of children. The mood was boisterous and joyous as people greeted old friends and family members they hadn't seen since the previous year.
“Hey! There's Uncle Ezra and Aunt Mary.” Joshua excitedly exclaimed to his father. “Is it all right if I go the rest of the way with them?” he asked.
“If it's okay with them, I don't mind,” his father replied. “Just make sure to hold onto that goat! If that goat gets away, there will be no feast for you, young man,” his father teased as he tousled Joshua's hair.
Holding onto that goat was no small feat for Joshua. It seemed that the animal was always wanting to go in the wrong direction, and when it did go the right way it was only because it was trying to get into another person's feed sacks. Joshua tugged and pulled, and with much struggle, finally caught up to his Uncle Ezra, Aunt Mary, and their children.
“That goat of yours is giving you a difficult time, is it?” Uncle Ezra questioned with a grin. Joshua gave the rope another tug and nodded. “Well, we will be there shortly,” Uncle Ezra said. “I'll take the goat off your hands for a little while. You and Samuel haven't seen each other in so long; you have a lot of catching up to do. Go, run and play, but . . . remember to stay close. Don't go wandering off where we can't see you.”
Joshua and his cousin Samuel pulled a couple of figs out of their sacks and dashed to the edge of the road to sit under a tree to have their snack. They chattered almost non-stop about the Passover. “No school for eight whole days!” Joshua said excitedly. “Just think of the fun we can have!”
Samuel was more excited about the celebration meals. “There's going to be so much food!” he exclaimed. “Not only are we out of school for eight days, but we also get to eat for eight days!” The boys were so caught up in their excitement, they forgot that the crowd was moving along, passing them by. Uncle Ezra and Aunt Mary were nowhere to be seen. Jumping up quickly, they hurriedly squeezed their way through the crowd trying to catch up, hoping that they hadn't been missed.
As the boys were trying to catch up to Samuel's parents, they passed a small building that had a mother donkey and her young colt tied to a post. “Aw, look at the little colt,” Samuel said gently, as he reached out and tried to pet it.
“Yee Haw!” the mother donkey screeched, unhappy that someone was trying to touch her baby. Samuel quickly pulled his hand back and put it in his pocket.
As the two boys stood there admiring the little colt, two men, who were Jesus' disciples, came along and started to untie the donkey and the colt. “Yee Haw!” the donkey screeched again. Hearing the commotion, the owner came out of the building.
“What are you doing?” he questioned. “Why are you loosing the animals?”
The two disciples, having had a previous discussion with Jesus, were ready for this question and knew just what to say. “The Lord needs these animals,” was the simple reply they gave the owner.
The owner didn't question further. He let the two men take the animals.
Now, that made Samuel and Joshua curious. They wanted to know who the “Lord” was and why he needed the donkey and the little colt. They followed closely and quietly behind the two men.
Just outside the town, they watched as the men took off their overcoats and laid them on the little colt. Samuel and Joshua were quite surprised that the little colt wasn't fearful at all, and this time even the mother donkey didn't seem to mind that someone was touching her baby. They watched as a man got up on the colt and started riding it into town.
“How can he do that?” they heard someone from the crowd ask. “How can he get on and ride a little colt that has never been trained?”
“And just look at that mother donkey,” someone else exclaimed. “She doesn't seem to mind at all!”
Most of the people in the crowd recognized the man who was riding the little colt. They had heard his teachings, and many had seen at least one miracle. “It's Jesus! It's Jesus!” they loudly proclaimed. Many of them took the garments they had brought with them for the week of celebration and laid them on the ground. Other people had brought palm branches on their trip to fan themselves, and they laid those on the ground. Some of them used their palm branch fans to wave in the air, causing a breeze to keep Jesus cool and comfortable.
Even the children joined in! Samuel, Joshua, and some of the other young people climbed nearby trees to get more palm branches to lay on the ground. They made a long carpet out of clothing and palm branches, reaching all the way down the road and into town for the donkey and the colt carrying Jesus to walk on. All the while they were laying garments and palm branches on the ground, they were waving and shouting, “HOSANNA! HOSANNA! Blessed be the King that comes in the name of the Lord! BLESSED BE THE KING! HOSANNA!”
The people in the crowd had recognized that day that JESUS is the KING of all the earth. They recognized Him as their Messiah who would one day rule over everything. But there were a few people that were not happy about all this. Some of the Pharisees (teachers in the temple) told Jesus to tell the people to stop shouting and to stop calling Him the King, and to stop worshipping Him.
Jesus responded to the Pharisees saying: “If these people were to be quiet and not worship Me as their King, then the rocks would cry out in worship.” Jesus and the donkey, and the colt continued on their way into the city of Jerusalem, as the shouts of the people continued. “HOSANNA! HOSANNA! Blessed be the King that comes in the name of the Lord! BLESSED BE THE KING! HOSANNA!”
Joshua and Samuel were excited and had certainly never seen anything like that before, but they were beginning to get nervous and worried. They were afraid they were going to be scolded for not staying nearby. When they finally reached Samuel's parents, they timidly tried to explain. “Please don't be angry. There was such a huge crowd of people, and there was so much happening, we couldn't help it. We got lost in the crowd.”
They were pleasantly surprised when they were told that Uncle Ezra, Aunt Mary, and the other children had also been slowed down by the great crowd of people who gathered around Jesus, and they had kept their eyes on the boys the whole time. They all agreed that it was a wonderful way to begin the great Passover week celebration.
1. Why were so many people going to Jerusalem?
2. How many days did they celebrate Passover?
3. Who untied the donkey and the colt?
4. What did the people spread on the road?
5. What did the people shout?
6. What was Jesus' reply when the Pharisees told Him
to make the people stop worshipping Him?
7. In what ways can we worship Jesus?
Jesus is the King and He deserves our praise!
A VERSE TO LEARN
"Blessed be the King that cometh in the name
of the Lord" (Luke 19:38).
Look up Matthew 21:15-16 and read it out loud. Hosanna is a special word of honor
to the Savior. Who was praising the Lord and crying out Hosannas to the Lord Jesus?
Why would you want to praise God in good times? But how about in bad times, when things
aren't going your way? Why would you want to praise Him then?
Can you think of ways we can praise God with our bodies, our voices, our hands and arms,
our knees and musical instruments? For example, just like the people in Jerusalem that day,
we could imagine Jesus coming toward us on a donkey. Praising Him, we could lift up our hands,
as if we were waving palm branches, and we could bow down low, as if we were placing palm
branches on the ground before Him.
[After discussion:] Maybe you can write a poem or a song with words of praise to God
and someone can add the music.
In Psalm 119:164, David said he praised God seven times a day. Let's stop now and ask God
to help us remember to praise Him throughout the day, in the morning when we get up and
in the evening before we go to sleep.
Dear God, thank You for giving me times of
joy and celebration. Help me to remember
that Jesus is the King over all things and
I need to praise and worship Him.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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