Each morning when I do my reading in Matthew, I come prayerfully, hoping that God will show me something new in the text. Most mornings I feel like that happens, but some mornings it doesn't. This feel like one of those mornings.
As I look at Chapter 21, I see that the theme is about how the Jewish people had largely failed, and were once again failing, in their mission to display the kingdom of God to the world. The kingdom of God is one of freedom and equality and of care for people, but the leaders had made it one of power to the strong and of following the rules. It is evident that the average people were oppressed, and the leaders of the people were primarily interested in maintaining their position rather than promoting the kingdom of God.
It's pretty obvious then that Jesus was in some sense a revolutionary figure and it's no wonder that He was seen as a political threat. He rides into town and is greeted by the people as a king. NT Wright says that the riding on a donkey part seems humble to us, but to the Jewish people at that time it had definite royal overtones. The Jesus way would clearly upend the system that keeps the low people low and the high, high.
I definitely want to be part of the gentle revolution, the one that lifts up the people who have dealt with shame or felt that they are ignored or marginalized for whatever reason. I also see that doing this would be somewhat uncomfortable. It's always easier to maintain the status quo, to hang out with the people who are just like me, and to seek wealth and comfort.
Lord, help me to be part of your revolution.