How do we live out the Christmas songs we sing? “Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let Earth receive her King! Let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing…” How should Earth receive her King? How does every heart prepare him room? Luke 19:28–40 spells out how we can properly receive Jesus as King. In this passage, Jesus enters into Jerusalem as King, and we see the contours of a proper response to Jesus as King.
First, we submit to his word (Luke 19:28–34). Jesus instructs his disciples to unty somebody else’s colt because the Lord has need of it. In another context we would call this stealing! But the disciples do exactly what he says, even when it sounded strange to them. Similarly, when Jesus’ birth was prophesied to the young teenage Mary, she responded, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). When we recognize Jesus as King and Messiah, we submit to his word.
Second, we align to his purposes (Luke 19:35–36). When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the people took off their cloaks and laid them down. This is a symbolic act for a public recognition of a new king (cf. 2 Kgs 9:13). As a new King enters into Jerusalem to bring a new Kingdom, then people will either submit to or rebel against that kingdom. The act of taking off their cloaks was a physical act of submission to the King. Similarly, our King has come to bring peace on earth, we must submit to His reign and align to His purposes.
Finally, we praise his coming (Luke 19:37–40). The whole multitude of disciples rejoices and praises God for his coming. The coming of the King is surrounded with praise, and the people bless the One who comes in the name of the Lord. Praise is always intertwined with prayer; by praising the One who holds peace in heaven, prayer erupts to release that praise on earth (cf. Ps. 118:25–26). Praise fuels our prayer as we meditate on the One who can release peace on earth.
So what? Let us submit to the word of our King and align to his purposes as we praise his coming.