Zechariah 6: A Political Messiah
I think about the people of Israel during the time of Jesus, and, as you remember on Palm Sunday, they were expecting the Messiah to be a spiritual leader but also a military and political leader. Maybe someone will finally be able to get rid of Rome once and for all. If anybody could, certainly the Messiah would be able to. I am not an expert on popular Jewish culture of the first century, but I wonder if part of that came from passages like we find in Zechariah 6.
Zec 6:12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:
Zec 6:13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
I think that as you read this, it could certainly be taken as political. The Branch seems to stand out as the Messiah and according to the commentary of John Gill, the Targum affirms this reading. Beyond that, He is going to build the Temple and sit on the throne. In order to do that, you need some form of political power. An iterant preacher and carpenter by trade did not seem to fit the job description. An average person would not have the authority to do these things.
However, when He was finally marching into Jerusalem, it seemed to be the time. Maybe He was finally going to grab all of this political power that the people of Israel had been waiting for. He had supernatural power, and He seemed to fit some of what the people wanted. Maybe He could take the political part as well.
Jesus did indeed build the Temple, and He does sit on the throne. It might not have been what the people were expecting, but that doesn’t make it any less true.