TODAY’S READING: ZECHARIAH 6-10
“Behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord.” – Zechariah 2:10
“Behold, I will bring my servant the Branch.” – Zechariah 3:8
“Behold, the man whose name is the Branch.” – Zechariah 6:12
“Behold, your king is coming to you.” – Zechariah 9:9
In yesterday’s post, I wrote about the four gospels presenting a different aspect of Jesus. The four pictures of Jesus presented in the gospels are:
- Jesus as the king in Matthew
- Jesus as the servant in Mark
- Jesus as the man in Luke
- Jesus as God in John
Amazingly, Zechariah presents these four pictures of Jesus. Each time he says, “Behold.” To behold is to perceive through sight or apprehension. To behold is to gaze upon. Typically, behold is used as a command, an imperative, something we must do. Therefore, these four pictures of Jesus are something we should fix our eyes and minds upon. These four pictures of Jesus need to be etched in our hearts so that we might know and understand God.
Zechariah first says, “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord.” (Zechariah 2:10). Zechariah is saying “Behold, the Lord” or “Behold, your God” who dwells in your midst.
Matthew 1:23 says, “‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means God with us).” Matthew says, “Behold, your God who dwells with us.”
While, Luke does not use the word behold, he tells us that virgin’s son will be called the son of God. Luke 1:35 says, “And the angel answered her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy – the Son of God.'”
As Zechariah said, this child to be born would be the son of God who dwells in our midst. John 1:14 says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-2 tells that the Word is God. But, this Word became a person, a man, who dwelt among us. He was in our midst. And, while he was in our midst, he was glorious as the only son of the Father could be.
John is bringing together what Matthew and Luke have said. So, John declares “Behold your God.” John 1:29 says, “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, ‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'” John the baptist then sees the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove on Jesus. John then says, “And I have seen and borne witness that this is the Son of God.”
Behold, Jesus is the Lord, the son of God.
Second, Zechariah says, “Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch.” Here Zechariah is saying, “Behold, my servant.”
Matthew says about Jesus “Behold, my servant.”
Matthew 12:13-18 says, “The he said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him. Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all and ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: ‘Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.'”
Behold, Jesus, the servant of God.
Third, Zechariah says, “And say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall branch out from his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord.”‘” Here Zechariah is saying “Behold the man.”
John 19:4-5 says, “Pilate went out again and said to them, ‘See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.’ So, Jesus came out, wearing the brown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, ‘Behold the man!'”
Pilate, symbolizing all the rulers of the world, says that Jesus is not guilty. Pilate finds no fault in him and says, “Behold the man.” Jesus is the perfect man. He is the perfect man who will build the temple of the Lord. He is the perfect man whose body is the temple of the Lord, the dwelling place of the fullness of God.
Behold, Jesus, the man.
Finally, Zechariah says, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9)
John 12:14-16 says, “And Jesus found a donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!’ His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him.”
I suspect the disciples began to know this passage was about Jesus the day of his crucifixion. For, John 19:14-16 says, “Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, ‘Behold your King!’ They cried out, ‘Away with him, away with him, crucify him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar.’ So he delivered him over to be crucified.”
Behold, Jesus, the king.
So, we are to behold Jesus, the son of God, the servant of God, the man, and the king. When we dig into these statements by Zechariah and how each gospel uniquely presents one of these aspects of Jesus, then we have a foundation by which we can see and know God in the rest of the Bible. If we do not take a long look at the four pictures the gospels present and understand them deeply, then we will have a muddy picture of who God is.