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Devotion: Not my kind of king

“When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, ‘Who is this?’ The crowds answered, ‘This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee’ ” (Matthew 21:10,11).

There are plenty of things that are not my cup of tea. In other words, if I had my choice, I’d choose something else.

Not what I would choose

Sorry, friends, but standing outside on a blustery November morning in steady drizzle watching a grade-school soccer tournament is not my cup of tea. Come to think of it, if you were to replace the preteens with world-class players, I’m still not in. Full disclosure? Even if it was warm and sunny, soccer is not my cup of tea. I’m not saying you can’t like it. It’s just not my cup of tea.

And I’m confident I’m not the only one.

Brussel sprouts are not my cup of tea. Yes, I’ve tried them. My wife loves them, and I love her. So, I tried them the way she makes them, oven-roasted and spiced up. “They’re so good. You’ll love them! They taste like French fries,” said she. Nope. Not so much. They’re not my cup of tea.

And I’m confident I’m not the only one.

A homeless man riding into town on a smelly donkey and claiming to be a King of kings? Umm, I’ll be honest. Not my cup of tea. Are there any other candidates trying out for this part? This one is not my kind of king.

And I’m confident I’m not the only one.

Not my choice to make

The people who saw that man riding into Jerusalem so many centuries ago had exactly the same gut reaction. Yes, they asked about the commotion. “Who is this?” Those who had heard his claims were able to answer, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.” But Jesus wasn’t their cup of tea. He wasn’t their kind of king.

And don’t be fooled. Jesus’ handpicked disciples were no different. Sure, they were singing his praises on Palm Sunday, but by Good Friday they had all scattered, abandoning their leader. One had betrayed him. Another had repeatedly denied him.

Jesus was the exact opposite of everything people looked for in a king.

Even the one God had sent to be his forerunner, John the Baptizer—the one who had so boldly proclaimed, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)—even he sent his followers to Jesus when he was languishing in prison to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?” (Matthew 11:3).

Should any of this really be surprising? After all, Jesus was the exact opposite of everything people looked for in a king. Even the prophet Isaiah knew that, and he never saw Jesus. “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem” (Isaiah 53:2,3).

No sinner in all honesty could ever say, “Jesus is my cup of tea. If I had my choice, I would choose him as my king!”

Thanks be to God we have no choice. There are no other options. Jesus is our King, “righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9).

I did not choose him. He chose me.

And that made all the difference.

Author: Peter Prange
Volume 10, Number 3
Issue: March 2021

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