There’s a famous scene from the movie Aladdin where the poor peasant boy of the same name pretends to be a prince to impress his desired princess. There are horses, soldiers, a monkey and even a marching band. They wave flags, sing a song, shoot off fireworks and march into town. 

“Prince Ali” sits atop his majestic animal throne and is paraded into town, all in an attempt to win the heart of a woman who is real royalty, by disguising himself as such. In truth, he is a fraud, a fake and perhaps worst of all, a nobody. Throughout the film, his heart and his head remind him of this fact. Of being found out. It drives him to become almost the exact opposite of the person he truly is and the person the princess wants him to be. For most of the movie, Aladdin is the prince of lies. 

Most of us have built the scene described in Matthew 21 up in our minds until it reaches Prince Ali parade proportions.

“They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!’” 

Sounds like a pretty big deal, doesn’t it? And it was, but not for the reasons you might be thinking. The parade was probably pretty small. Jerusalem is a huge city and it was occupied by all sorts of religious observers there to celebrate Passover. Whether a nominal or zealous Jew, you probably had found your way into Jerusalem. In a city filled with tens of thousands of people, a gathering of perhaps a few hundred might not have been something to write home about. The cries of Hosanna, the laying down of cloaks and the waving of palms - all things done to welcome victorious kings returning from battle - inflate the feeling that this procession was a pretty big party. It could probably only be heard from a few blocks away. 

They must believe that this Jesus is a king, but king of what?

The Jews? The nation of Israel? All those in attendance probably had differing opinions and ideas as to who King Jesus was and would be. A mighty warrior. The restorer of Israel as a sovereign nation. It doesn’t seem Jesus intended on being any of those things.

When you aren’t concerned with pomp and circumstance, you can give up the mighty steed for a donkey’s colt. When power isn’t your goal, you’re ok with giving up majestic robes for peasants' cloaks. When people are your purpose, you lay down everything else to pursue them. 

That’s who he was. That’s who he is. King of what you ask? King Jesus of heaven and earth - and hopefully, your heart.

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