The Kingdom, by Witness Lee

More excerpts from this title...


We continue with Matthew 21:4-9. This passage seems to be unrelated to the matter of being ambitious and seeking greatness. Here the Lord Jesus was truly the King. Yet He was not ambitious. He had no ambition of being a king, but He was, in reality, the King. The kingdom was His, and the people were for Him. How then did He enter Jerusalem? Did He ride upon an excellent Egyptian horse? No! He came as the unique King, riding upon a donkey, in genuine humility. He came as a King, but He came in the form and the appearance of humility. This is very good. How marvelous it would be if some of the dear ones among us would be very useful, very much anointed, and full of life, yet their form and appearance would be so humble. We should not have the attitude: "I am really anointed! I am very gifted, and I must have the highest position." We should never be like this. The Lord Jesus came as the King in a humble way. He did not ride on a horse or even on a grown donkey. He rode upon a baby donkey. Nearly everyone was for Him, yet He entered the city in a humble way.

Then the people spoke for Him. They took off their garments and spread them on the road. My concern is not to pass on the doctrinal knowledge of this portion of the Word, but to point out its significance in life. We need to see the living significance. The significance of this instance of the Lord’s walk is that, although He was King, He did not assume any form or appearance. He came as the real King in a humble way, and He did not speak a word for Himself. The people spoke for Him by casting their garments and palm branches on the road.

When the Pharisees saw this, they were jealous, but they pretended to be religious. Actually, they were not that religious; they were simply jealous of the Lord Jesus. They were bothered that a little Nazarene should receive such a celebration. Even the little children in the temple were crying and shouting, "Hosanna!" The Pharisees considered such crying to be out of order. Why was He allowing the children to shout and cry for Him in the temple? That is the place for people to worship God. They should come into the temple with reverence. Why didn’t He rebuke all of these children? It seems that the Pharisees were quite religious. Actually, however, it was not a matter of being religious; it was a matter of jealousy.

Because they were being religious and scriptural, the Lord Jesus said to them, "Have you never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings You have perfected praise?" (21:16). His response indicated that it was not wrong for the children to cry and to shout "Hosanna!" It is absolutely scriptural and fundamental. The same response can be made to the Christianity of today. Some people have come into our meetings and asked, "What kind of Christian service is this? With all the shouting, it is like a basketball game or a football game." But I would ask them, "Have you never read the verses in the Old Testament about shouting and praising loudly?" (Ezra 3:10-11; Psa. 5:11; Psa. 95:1; Psa. 100:1).

(The Kingdom, Chapter 29, by Witness Lee)