Palm Sunday – Sunday, April 14, 2019

April 14, 2019  

Luke 19:28-40

One might think of Jesus as a Marginal King.
He wasn’t a king of nobles.
He did not have a royal court surrounding him. No jester. No throne.
There was no war horse for him to ride.
There were no army battalions marching in behind him.
No one showered his entrance into Jerusalem with flowers.

Jesus rode in on a borrowed donkey. Two of his disciples threw their cloaks on the colt, garments that were probably stained and dirty from the dust on the road. Other people spread their garments on the path the donkey walked, garments that were probably equally as grimy as those the disciples wore.

The multitude of people praising God as Jesus road by were his disciples, not just the twelve but many others who followed his teaching. They weren’t royalty either. According to the gospel of Luke his disciples were people who fished, they were tax collectors, Samaritans, the blind or crippled, they were women and children…
His parade into Jerusalem was not fancy; this was not a parade with royalty in chariots waving.

As one scholar wrote “Jesus was the king of the oppressed and suffering. He shared their hardships, relieved their suffering, accepted them when others deemed them unacceptable, gave them hope, and embodied God’s love for them. Now they came to march with him into the holy city” (The New Interpreter’s Bible, volume 9, p. 370).

They shouted: Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven” (Luke 19:38).

Their words were echoes of Psalm 118:26, where it is written: “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Luke changed the words to specify that Jesus was king, and he added that Jesus would bring peace. But otherwise, Luke echoed the psalmist.

Consider the fact that the disciples believed, actually they believed and they hoped Jesus brought peace to the world.
Their hope for peace shows us that Christ’s kingdom was not and is not like a typical kingdom on earth. Christ’s conquering army was an army of angelic hosts, and they were singing. Jesus Christ healed wounds, he did not inflict them. Jesus freed people from their sin, he did not capture and enslave them. Jesus brought people in from the margins, he did not marginalize them. Jesus was a Marginal King.

Recall the words the angels sang when Jesus was born. According to Luke, they sang: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those he favors.” (Luke 2:14).

Is this the king we worship and praise?

The King of peace? The king of misfits and sinners? The king of the poor?

There are those Christians who long for Jesus to be the King of prosperity, the king who preached that life with God promises wealth and comfort. Do not believe them.
Reading the gospels, we know this is not who Jesus was and is not who Jesus ever could have been.

Mary, his mother, knew the kind of king her son would be when she sang her song of praise: His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. (Luke 1: 50-53).
This is our royal Christ, the Marginal King.

He calls us and others out of the margins, asking us to follow him. He heals wounds. He warms hearts. He calls his followers to live lives of peace.

And he asks us to follow him as we journey through our lives, loving others as he has loved us.

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.”

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.”

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.”

Amen.