Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice Greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly and riding upon a donkey, and upon the colt of a donkey.
Read Zechariah 9:9-17 This is about the coming of Jesus and his Kingdom.
Read Matthew 5:17-20 Here Jesus refers to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Read 1 Samuel 8: 5-22 Here the Israelites demand a King for themselves.
Notes: God gives the Israelites a king when they asked for one, after warning them that kings are human and tend to be demanding. Then in Zechariah God promises the coming of Jesus as a king who is just and has salvation. Then in Matthew Jesus refers to His Kingdom as the Kingdom of Heaven.
As you can see from these verses the Hebrews were expecting another earthly king, but one who was more perfect, and less demanding than their other earthly kings. They could not conceive of the idea of a heavenly king coming to earth. There are many verses in the New Testament in which we get the idea that the disciples and the people did not understand the idea of a heavenly kingdom. They believed that the Messiah would be an earthly king! There are many verses and parables where Jesus attempts to enlighten them, but many people do not have the ears to hear or the eyes to see God’s word.
Think about some of these questions: If you were to create a kingdom how would it be? How are you going to govern? How are you going to protect? How much freedom are you going to allow? Can there be too much freedom? What happens if there is too little freedom? You must make your subjects happy and content and well fed. How are you going to do that? Think about the problems involved…what if someone is unhappy? or disagrees with how you are planning to do things?
When we look at what Jesus says about the Kingdom of Heaven we don’t see him talking a lot about government at all. He really spends time telling us about God who is loving, and that those who wish to be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven should strive to be servants. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5 right after the Sermon on the Mount that “unless a person’s righteousness surpasses that of the pharisees and the teachers of the law they cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Now, that is a real problem for most of us if we are depending on our keeping the law to get us into the kingdom of heaven. Thankfully, God’s idea of righteousness is different from our worldly view of righteousness. Righteousness is not about being a perfect person. It is about loving God faithfully, and pursuing him and trusting that he is a God who keeps the promises he makes…or the very basic idea of righteousness is to have faith in God…not just to believe that God exists.
When God tells us in Zechariah 9 that the King will come riding on a donkey, and then we read that this is exactly what Jesus did…Jesus fulfilled every single prophecy about the Messiah that God gave to the people of Israel through his prophets. There is not a single one that he did not fulfill!
Jesus is the heavenly King come to earth…to bring forth the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. We cannot simply be Christians who treat the Kingdom of Heaven as some place that you go to when you die. As I recently heard someone state, “We cannot treat our Christianity as simply a life insurance policy for the hereafter!” If we do that then we are only experiencing a very small part of what God has for us. As Jesus states in Matthew 22:32, Mark 12:27 and Luke 20:38 God is a God of the living, not a God of the dead! I like Luke’s version, he adds “for to Him all are alive!”
I don’t know about you, but I want Jesus to be my King and the Lord of my life while I am still alive…I don’t want to wait to meet him and spend time with him until I am dead! There are so many things in life to experience, and it is much better to experience them with Christ as your King, than looking for a human King or president to “save” you…if you look at the record of the world leaders today, they are the same types as those listed in the Old Testament…the same types as God warned the people of Israel about. The Kings/leaders of today, are takers…they are not givers. God is a giver! He gives and gives and gives and takes pleasure in giving to us.
Now, don’t go thinking that if you follow God you will be gifted with great amounts of material wealth…that is not what I am talking about. God will give you what you need to bring about his plan for your life! What God gives us is not always a tangible material good, sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. The gift of salvation and freedom from the things that weigh us down emotionally…the freedom to love others the way they should be loved! Not to be loving them for their status in this world, or for their physical beauty, or for what they can do for you! To simply love people for who they are, as they are “warts and all”…the way that God loves them! God loves people from the point of understanding everything about them and loving them anyway! This is how he wants us to love them also! These gifts of salvation and freedom are only a couple of the gifts that God gives to his believers. There are many other gifts listed in the Bible that he gives to his people in order to allow them to use those gifts to glorify Him.