Free Bible Commentary
“Matthew 21:1-11”Categories: 50 Days with Jesus
“When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, “The Lord has need of them,” and immediately he will send them.’ This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: ‘Say to the daughter of Zion, “Behold your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.”’ The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats. Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest!’ When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, ‘Who is this?’ And the crowds were saying, ‘This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.’”
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Why did Jesus choose to ride a donkey the last two miles of His journey into Jerusalem? Was He too tired to walk? Was the terrain too rough to traverse? He did so in order to fulfill Messianic prophecy from the Old Testament (verses 4-5). Jesus was the King that God had promised to send into the world and save His people. He did so to be conspicuous. He would not slink into the city by stealth and try to escape the notice of His numerous enemies who wanted to kill Him. He did so in humility (read Zechariah 9:9). He would not ride in mounted on a steed like a victorious king returning from recent battle. This was the last week of Jesus’ earthly life. He rode in humbly, overtly and prophetically to carry out the final, painful portion of God’s plan of salvation.
The reception that Jesus received from the crowd was one of sheer jubilation! They rolled out the red carpet for Him. They covered the ground with their coats and with palm branches (John 12:13), and shouted “Hosanna in the highest” (verses 8-9). Verse 9 is a quotation from Psalm 118:25-26, a Messianic Psalm. Hosanna means “save now”. They recognized Jesus as God's salvation. This term was used to petition kings when appealing to them for justice. They saw Jesus as their King. They even called Him, “the Son of David,” a title reserved for the much-anticipated Messiah. Isn’t it amazing that in a few, short days that much of the same adoring crowd would be shouting, “Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him!” (John 19:15)?
People can be fickle can’t they? They can love you one day and turn on you the next. They can be whipped up into an emotional frenzy and lose all sense of rationality. Isn’t it comforting to know that in this crazy, mixed-up world in which we live, we can always count on God to be there for us; to carry out His plans for us from start to finish; and to love us to the very end? Jesus loved you enough to come to this world of pain and suffering, experience the trials and temptations that you experience, and to die for your sins and arise for your salvation. And nothing was going to stop Him from doing that for you. Can you praise God for His undying love for you? Will you try your best to stay true to Him and serve Him faithfully, even as the world around you seems to be losing all touch with reality?
Please read Matthew 21:12-27 for tomorrow – Jesus cleanses the temple
Have a great day!