God’s Word for You
Luke 19:37-38 Our Triumphant King
by Pastor Timothy Smith on Friday, January 25, 2019
37 When he approached the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with loud voices for all the miracles they had seen, 38 saying “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” and “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
The term “crowd of disciples” is used loosely here for everyone who was following Jesus. But they were convinced that they were right in judging that Jesus was the Messiah. Perhaps some of these people had been duped by a false Messiah before. Perhaps some of them had a simple faith that was ready to believe quickly and without much thought or study. Be that as it may. They were right on this day. Whatever their degree of faith or learning or understanding or ability to comprehend, they were right, and they praised Jesus as the Messiah, and it was a good day for them all.
The donkey carrying the Son of God began to make its way down the path that would carry him across the Kidron Valley and up to the gate of the city—the gate known as Beautiful (Acts 3:2,10). This gate is closed off today, and has been for many centuries, but at this time it opened into the city at a point right before the gate of the Temple itself. At sunrise a person with a clear eye could have seen right into the Holy Place, gloriously illumined by the rays of the rising sun.
The people burst into song. One of the things that they sang was a line from Psalm 118: “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Psalm 118:26). The other three Gospels add that the people quoted verse 25 as well by singing, “Hosanna!” (Matthew 21:9,15; Mark 11:9,10; John 12:13). Hosanna means “Save, please!” but had become a word of praise.
The other sayings Luke records are “Peace in heaven” and “Glory in the highest.” The Hebrew word for “peace” is shalom, and sometimes this isn’t clearly translated in our versions. For example, the Hebrew of Job 25:2 says, “Dominion and fear are with God; he makes peace in his high heaven.” Also: “In this place I will give peace, says the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 2:9).
Luke reported that when Jesus was born, the angels sang: “Peace on earth” (Luke 2:14). It was fitting that now, when his work was nearing its completion, mankind should sing the response: “Peace in heaven.”
The angels also sang, “Glory to God in the highest” at that time, and now the people were responding with almost the very same words. One of the most beautiful prayers in the Apocrypha concludes with the words, “All the host of heaven sing your praise, and yours is the glory forever” (Prayer of Manasseh 15). God is glorified forever by the obedient work and sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf. This is why he continues to bear the marks of his crucifixion even with his resurrected body (John 20:25,27). Those marks are not defects, but the trophies of his victory. They are a visible proclamation of the gospel, sacred and priceless and eternally glorifying God and our Savior Jesus.
“Peace be with you,” was Jesus’ greeting in those days (Luke 24:36; John 20:19,21,26). This is the peace that passes over our heads; beyond our understanding. It is the peace that is ours forever through our triumphant King.
Pastor Timothy Smith