ADVENT STUDY: When Big Debuts Aren’t So Big { Day 10 }

Advent Study: He is Faithful: Entering publicly into Jerusalem

READ: Zechariah 9:9;  Matthew 21:1-5

“Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” { Zechariah 9:9 }

Aren’t the words ‘king’ and ‘lowly’ an oxymoron? Is that how you picture a king entering into his city, amongst the crowds of people offering praise and adoration- on a donkey? This isn’t the picture of royalty and prestige that we equate with royalty.

“As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to Daughter Zion,‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'” {Matthew 21:1-5 }

Yet Jesus seems to have broken all the stereotypes from the very beginning. This wasn’t the first time he’d made a grand entrance on a donkey. His first donkey ride was when he was nestled in his mother’s belly. Mary and Joseph had traveled nearly 100 miles across the desert on donkey and foot while Mary was nine months pregnant with Jesus. Talk about worst case scenarios while expecting a child! It wasn’t the ideal situation, but in those days all precious cargo was carried on donkeys.

Mary had already resolved to be at peace with God’s plan to send Jesus to us. In Luke 1, she told the angel who delivered the news to her that she was pregnant with the son of God, “May your word to me be fulfilled.” She might as well have said, “I’ll be at peace with your words- whatever they are.” Even though this has never been done. Even though it didn’t make sense. Even though this was the most unconventional way to bring the son of man into the world, she trusted the words of her Lord.

God’s promises don’t always come with a plan, but they do always come with peace. Click To Tweet

We find Mary in one of the most uninviting circumstances called a promise. Yet it was what she had done before she set out to fulfill her destiny that gave her strength for the journey. When she received the news she was pregnant, she did something very strategic and wise…she went to visit someone who was also pregnant and a little further along than she was. Someone who was also carrying a miracle and was succeeding in nurturing and growing it. She went to visit her cousin Elizabeth. In order to fulfill her purpose, she surrounded herself with those who were on the same mission as her. She shares her heart with Elizabeth:

“Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord. And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.” {Luke 1:45-47, ESV }

Here’s why Mary rode confidently into undesirable circumstances with her promise held close to her heart: she had already decided her soul would magnify the Lord.

What we magnify gets multiplied.

She conceived a child of the Holy Spirit while she was unwed. It changed her plans and she was disgraced, lied about and rejected. She magnified the Lord.

She had to travel across a desert, unsure of what would happen once Jesus was born or if she would even survive giving birth in such unconventional ways. She magnified the Lord.

She gave birth in a cave and wrapped him in strips of cloth that were often used for burial purposes and laid him down in a feeding trough for animals. It was the lowliest of lows. She magnified the Lord.

When our first focus is on the Lord, the rest are just details. We don’t have to get caught up in how, when or where. We can walk boldly into the words He’s spoken and simply magnify the Lord in all that we do.

Miracles don’t always come the way we think they should come. They can be hard earned and messy. We often expect them to enter with a marching band, parade and well packaged for all to see and they slip in quietly on a donkey. Jesus didn’t come to be the king of our world. He came to be the king of our heart. He didn’t desire to be loved, admired or appreciated, He simply wants to love us in the way only He can. The kind of love that doesn’t need to be put on a pedestal but is willing to be hung on it instead. An extraordinary love that is willing to come in ordinary ways.

  • Is there an expectation you have of Jesus that could be stereotypical or false?
  • What area of your life could you spend more time magnifying the Lord than magnifying the problem?
  • Moving into 2017, write out the promise(s) that God has given you how you plan to walk confidently in them.

Lord, thank you for being simple and beautiful. Help us to find freedom in the simple and beautiful things in life too. Show us your heart and shape ours to look like yours. Meet us in our circumstances and unleash your love on us. We may not know our next step but we find peace in just knowing you. ~ Amen.

Kristin Bonin
Kristin Bonin
Hello! I’m Kristin Bonin: wife, mom, friend, speaker and writer. My name means “follower of Christ” and that’s pretty much who I am. Aside from being a sweet tea drinkin’, front porch sittin’, warm weather lovin’, southern girl (yes, we really do leave the “g’s” off at the end of words), I am also highly skilled at driving my kids to their extra-curricular activities, warming up pre-made food and asking Siri for help with homework. In the middle of my crazy, I somehow manage to find my Jesus and have learned to chase after Him while I’m also chasing the kids. I am a mom of girls and wife to my husband Chris, who is an avid runner and pun master. If time wasn’t a factor, I could read all day long and I am particularly fond of the Bible. Studying it and applying it is my heart and joy. You can find more about me at

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