The Native: The Gypsy Robe
7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
8 Who [is] this King of glory? The LORD and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift [them] up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he [is] the King of glory. Selah
The Jews had formed their opinion of what The Messiah would look like. Prophecy after prophecy had been passed down. They felt they would know Him when they saw Him. Israel longed for a Conquering King. One that would sweep in, and flood Rome out of existence. They expected Jerusalem to rule the known world. Israel wasn’t looking for a Shepherd to reveal the unknown, and to open up the Eternal.
46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.
I suppose that the twelve year old setting in the Temple was not what they had expected. If He had looked like David, perhaps they could have understood better. Young David had killed a lion, and a bear. This was a Carpenter’s Apprentice. To look at Him, was not to see the regal King they wanted, ah, but when He spoke.
The Bible says that He both asked, and answered questions of the Doctors. Is it possible that some of those veterans said, “He doesn’t look like what I expected?” If so, they followed it with, “He sounds like more than I could have ever hoped!”
It’s not unusual for a King to hide in pauper’s clothing. To visit His subjects, He donned a fleshly robe. To borrow from the theater, He donned what they would call a Gypsy Robe.
In the American theater, specifically Broadway musicals, there is a tradition that dates back to the fifties. It started with members of the chorus, or ensemble. They were known as Gypsies, because they passed from one show to another.
Theater people consider this to be a good luck charm. The youngest recipient was twelve year old Brynn Williams in 2005. The member of the chorus, or ensemble, who has been in the most shows is awarded it.
The robe is then passed on to another actor in another show, until the robe was filled. Then it would be retired at one of three locations, including the Smithsonian.
15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
The word Gypsy is appropriate because of the history surrounding it’s meaning. Groups of the Romani people were mistakenly referred to as Gypsies, thinking they originated in Egypt. The legend is that they were exiled as punishment for harboring the infant Jesus. While this is probably just a myth, the analogy is apt.
We were spiritually trapped in Egypt, bound and scarred, needing someone to rescue us. To do that, He had to become one of us.The Lord Jesus spent thirty three and a half years on this Earth in a robe of flesh.
For the majority of that time, He limited Himself to the boundaries of mankind. As a man He slept, as a man He ate. On the outside, He looked like everyone else. The Robe was accomplishing it’s mission. It concealed His greatness until He was ready to reveal it.
Then, at a Wedding in Cana, it started. From there, people realized that He was unlike any other. At 12, The Doctors of the Law had gotten a preview of what was now unfolding. As God, He raised the dead, walked on water, and healed the leper. God in a Gypsy robe walked among men. He revealed something far greater than an Earthly King, the revelation of an Eternal Savior!
The Ruler Of Heaven, wrapped in a fleshly robe, born in Bethlehem to die for us. Prophets had simply passed away. Moses transitioned to Joshua. They all said goodbye, folding up their earthly robes and closing their eyes. Jesus was different. Unlike David, He didn’t need His own grave. Jesus borrowed one from Joseph of Arimathaea. He used it for three days and three nights, and gave it back.
Jesus said, “…lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.” Jesus went to the grave to destroy our sins. He walked out of it to give us a new life. He put on a Gypsy Robe so that one day, we could put on an Eternal one.
1 Corinthians 15: 53-54
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.