“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 an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” (Zech.9:9)
This Old Testament prophecy to the nation Israel about the coming King was fulfilled when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on “an ass’s colt” (Jno.12:14-15), along a path strewn with palm branches instead of a red carpet. He did not ride in an ornamental chariot, or even sit astride a conqueror’s steed. Instead, His blessed feet dangled on either side of a small donkey. Zechariah says that this King comes to us “lowly.” Neither His position nor His kingdom is lowly; but, rather, it is his demeanor that calls for this unlikely adjective. “I am meek and lowly in heart,” said Jesus. That is why when we meet Him in the gospels, this King washes feet, holds little children in His arms, tells stories, cries at funerals, sings with friends, fries fish over a camp fire…and rides into town on a donkey.
When God took the form of man, He gave us a picture of man at his best; and the Man, Christ Jesus, demonstrated the very attribute that gains the respect of God the Father: “Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly” (Psl.138:6). Ironically enough then, the highest point in our Christian lives may not be when we are the most respected, but when we are the least noticed. But beware: humility cannot be sought after, or else it becomes just one more bid for glory (Col. 2:18). It was Andrew Murray who said, “Pride often clothes itself with humility.” This is why James admonishes, “Humble yourselves in the sight of God,” not in the sight of man (4:10).
One day Jesus will return to the earth and then He will ride the conqueror’s charger, with all the trappings that are rightfully His as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. But I will not fear that King, because with all the pomp and glory and majesty, I will recognize Him as the One Who once lived among us, meek and lowly; the One I came to know and love personally, as a little child.