JUST LIKE HE SAID HE WOULD
“DON’T ARGUE WITH A DONKEY”
A. Presentation of the King (vv. 1–11).
This was in fulfillment of Zech. 9:9.
Christ will not come with justice and salvation (victory) for Israel until He returns in Rev. 19:11–21, riding a white horse.
John 12:17–18 indicates that many in the great crowd were there because of the raising of Lazarus. The crowd quoted Ps. 118:26 in its praises;
Note in v. 11 that the city called Him “the prophet” but not the King! Unfortunately, the Jews “did not know the time of your visitation” (Luke 19:41–44,) and rejected their King.
1 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples,
2 Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me.
3 And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.
21:1–3 On the way up from Jericho, Jesus came to the east side of the Mount of Olives where Bethany and Bethphage were located
This significant event is better understood against the background of the excitement and pageantry that accompanied the Passover celebrations. First, as already noted, the attendance at Jerusalem was vast; and, as is usual with large crowds, there was a festive mood and the people were ready for any excitement or spectacle. Second, as there was insufficient accommodation in Jerusalem, many pilgrims lived in booths (tents) in the surrounding environs. So there would have been many pilgrims close to the route Jesus followed from Bethany; a crowd of some tens of thousands could well have participated in the triumphal entry. Third, Jerusalem’s inhabitants traditionally welcomed the arriving pilgrims with an antiphonal chant based on Ps 118:25–28. Jerusalemites would chant the first half of each of these verses, while the arriving pilgrims responded with the last half, and in unison they would sing v.29, concluding with Ps 103:17. What a scene to witness: Jerusalem’s inhabitants going out in the evening to meet the pilgrims arriving from Jericho after their long, slogging, day-long climb, the hills around Jerusalem reverberating to their antiphonal chants (the psalms of ‘ascent’ were used for this purpose, hence their name).
He sent two disciples to Bethany with the foreknowledge that they would find a tethered donkey, and a colt with her. They were to untie the animals and bring them to Jesus. If challenged, they were to explain that the Lord needed the beasts. Then the owner would consent. Perhaps the owner knew Jesus and had previously offered to help Him. Or this incident may demonstrate the omniscience and supreme authority of the Lord. Everything happened just as Jesus had predicted.
4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,
5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.
21:4, 5 The requisitioning of the animals fulfilled predictions by Isaiah and Zechariah:
“Tell the daughter of Zion,
‘Behold, your King is coming to you,
Lowly, and sitting on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
6 And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them,
21:6 After the disciples had spread their garments on the animals, Jesus mounted the colt (Mark 11:7) and rode onward to Jerusalem. It was a historic moment. Sixty-nine weeks of Daniel’s prophecy had now run out, according to Sir Robert Anderson (see his computations in the book The Coming Prince). Next the Messiah would be cut off (Dan. 9:26).
In riding into Jerusalem in this manner, the Lord Jesus made a deliberate, unveiled claim to being the Messiah. Lange notes:
He fulfills intentionally a prophecy which at His time was unanimously interpreted of the Messiah. If He has previously considered the declaration of His dignity as dangerous, He now counts silence inconceivable. ... It was hereafter never possible to say that He had never declared Himself in a wholly unequivocal manner. When Jerusalem was afterwards accused of the murder of the Messiah, it should not be able to say that the Messiah had omitted to give a sign intelligible for all alike.
7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.
8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.
21:7, 8 The Lord rode to the city on a carpet of clothes and palm branches, with the acclamation of the people ringing in His ears. For a moment, at least, He was acknowledged as King.
9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
21:9 The multitudes shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” This quotation from Psalm 118:25, 26 obviously applies to the Messiah’s advent. Hosanna originally meant “save now”; perhaps the people meant, “Save us from our Roman oppressors.” Later the term became an exclamation of praise. The phrases, “Son of David” and, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord,” both clearly indicate that Jesus was being recognized as the Messiah. He is the Blessed One who comes by Jehovah’s authority to do His will.
Mark’s account records as part of the crowd’s shouts the phrase, “Blessed is the kingdom of our Father David that comes in the name of the Lord” (Mark 11:10). This indicates that the people thought the kingdom was about to be set up with Christ sitting on the throne of David.
In shouting, “Hosanna in the highest,” the crowd was calling on the heavens to join the earth in praising the Messiah, and perhaps calling on Him to save from the highest heavens.
P. Hosanna to the Son of David!
J. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!
P. Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
J. The King of Israel!
P. Blessed is the Kingdom of our father David, that comes in the name of the Lord!
U. Peace in Heaven and glory in the highest! Hosanna in the highest!
However, the nation’s leaders, too, were in the crowd—the Gospels mention them three times (Luke 19:39; John 12:19; Matt 14:15); their presence is both sinister and negative. John 12:19; Luke 19:39; Matt 21:15–16 together present the confusion which reigned among them; it seemed to them that their worst fears about Jesus were materializing before their very eyes. The common people, on the other hand, though happy to welcome their King, still focused on the physical benefits of the Messiah’s reign, and not on the spiritual Kingdom that Jesus offered (Luke 19:37, 42 supplements John 12:17–18 in indicating that the crowd’s acclaim was because of Jesus’ spectacular works, not because of His spiritual message). This combination held no hope: with the hierarchy’s antagonism added to the populace’s interest only in His physical provision, Jesus would not force His spiritual Kingdom on them. Jesus, alone in all that crowd, was sad, for He could see the course of Jerusalem’s future history. As a consequence of the nation rejecting Him, God would punish them most severely, and that punishment would start with the destruction of the very Jerusalem He was about to enter. Luke 19:41–44 prophesies that destruction in such remarkable detail that it alone vindicates Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah.
Mark 11:11 records that, once in Jerusalem, Jesus went to the temple—not inside the temple but into the courtyard. Presumably it was the house of God, but He was not at home in this temple because the priests and people refused to give Him His rightful place. After looking around briefly, the Savior withdrew to Bethany with the twelve. It was Sunday evening.
- What type of ‘PRAISE’ are you offering?
- Jn. 4 (….ye worship ye know not what…)
- Matt 15:8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. (KJV)
10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?
11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.
21:10, 11 Meanwhile, inside the city there was bewilderment as to His identity. Those who asked were told only that He was Jesus the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee. From this it seems that few really understood He was the Messiah. In less than a week, the fickle crowd would be crying, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
- The People weren’t referring to Jesus as the King because of spiritual matters but what they knew him to do physically (i.e. feeding 5000, etc.,). Are we guilty also of only looking and praising the Lord for his ‘physical blessings’? Seldom do we hear in a testimony how the Lord has changed our attitudes, given us a forgiving spirit, talk us to love the hard to love, to be more spiritual minded, live more holy. We hear about the blessings of a job. Blessings of ‘physical’ deliverances. Blessing of bills being paid. Blessings of physical healings. On and on. BUT WHAT OF THE SPIRIT? To focus on the physical and be blind or ignorant of the spiritual message is the JOINT THE CROWD CRYING ‘HOSANNA’…. Which by the way is the same crowd that 5 days later would be crying CRUCIFY HIM.
Jesus, by several of His actions, displayed His deity and divine rights. By detailing the scene in Bethphage, He demonstrated His omniscience; by riding on an unbroken foal, He exhibited His power over creation; by commandeering the colt, He exercised His sovereign right; by accepting the acclaim of the populace, He displayed His readiness for the messianic office; by refusing to silence the crowd, He asserted His divine right to man’s acclaim (Luke 19:39–40); and by stating that the stones would cry out, He affirmed Heaven’s acknowledgment of that right.
(The prophetic significance of what was happening made it impossible for Jesus to quieten His disciples; for if man did not do it, then God would have the very stones identify Him as the Messiah.)
April 3, 2007 – The Reason for Christ’s Sacrifice – John 1:19-29
The Jews eagerly awaited the Messiah’s arrival. The problem was they were looking for someone who could alleviate the pressure of Roman rule. But God was not interested in temporary relief from an oppressive government. No, He wanted to offer the whole world freedom from the bondage of sin.
John the Baptist understood the Messiah’s role on earth. In John 1:29, he saw Jesus Christ approaching and he called out, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John the Baptist’s words described how the Lord would carry out God’s redemptive plan.
In the Old Testament, sacrifice was an integral part of God’s plan. The fourth chapter of Genesis describes how Abel offered God an animal sacrifice on his behalf. In Exodus 12, Moses orders the captive Israelites in Egypt to protect their households from the plague by putting lamb’s blood on each doorpost. And Leviticus 16 describes how Mosaic Law established an annual Day of Atonement. On that day, the high priest would offer a blood sacrifice for the whole nation.
God made Jesus Christ a blood sacrifice for the entire world. He warned His people in Malachi 1:8 that a sick animal was unacceptable. Sacrificial lambs had to be unblemished and healthy. The One who would redeem the world had to be perfect and sinless. Only Jesus, who was God in flesh, could save mankind from the oppression of sin.
April 4, 2007 – The Message of the Resurrection – Matthew 28:1-10
The apostles’ dreams were shattered. The man they had loved and followed for three years, the one they believed was the Son of God, was dead. But then the two Marys disrupted their hopelessness with incredible news: Christ had risen from the dead, just as He’d promised!
As believers, we can certainly imagine the excitement Jesus’ disciples must have felt. For them, the resurrection’s message was encouraging. The empty tomb proved that everything Jesus said was true. In Matthew 17:22-23, the Lord told His disciples, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men; and they will kill Him, and He will be raised on the third day.” If Jesus could make and live out this claim, then He’s clearly sufficient to keep all of His promises.
In John 3:17, Christ said He had not come to condemn the world. He came to save all who believed in Him (Mark 16:16; Romans 8:1). Through His death on the cross, Jesus purchased our salvation. The empty tomb is our guarantee that we’re eternally secure in Him. Jesus rose from the dead, ascended to Heaven, and is seated at God’s right hand. The Father accepted His payment on our behalf.
Christ’s death bought our freedom from sin and secured us a place with Him in Paradise. In John 14:2, He says, “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places ... I go to prepare a place for you.” That’s a promise to celebrate.
Even the Donkey Knew
By Micca Monda Campbell
“Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me.” Matthew 21:2 (NIV)
For thousands of years people have been asking the question, “Who is Jesus?” Skeptics first began inquiring about Jesus’ identity during His earthly ministry. As He traveled from town to town performing miracles and fulfilling prophecy, many would ask, “Is He a prophet or a teacher?” Even though Christ clearly stated He was the Son of God, some still questioned His identity and still do today.
The celebration of the Passover in Jerusalem was one of many times our Lord’s identity was questioned. As Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, the citizens cried out, “Who is this?” Everyone noticed His arrival. Some were moved with joy by His presence and laid palm branches on the ground in His honor. Others watched in wonder. The Pharisees were most likely filled with envy and indignation. However, Scripture tells us that although He was the King of Glory, Jerusalem knew Him not (Acts 13:27 , KJV).
Earlier that Sunday morning, as Jesus and His disciples neared the city, He said to two of His disciples, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me.” (Matthew 21:2, NIV)
Most Bible teachers claim that Jesus rode the donkey through town in order to fulfill the prophecy found in Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem ! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (NIV)
Not only was prophecy fulfilled, but we also see an example of Christ’s all-encompassing knowledge when He revealed where the donkey could be found. More so, we also catch a glimpse of Christ’s ability to make Himself and His authority known to all living things as the untamed donkey yields to his destiny.
Donkeys, as well as their colts, were known as mean, stubborn creatures, and yet, having never been ridden before, amazingly this wild donkey submits to the authority of Christ. In doing so, the donkey testifies that Jesus is Lord. In this truth lies a very important insight. Within the heart of every living soul, whether man or beast, is the knowledge of God. He placed that knowledge there Himself.
The evidence of God is not only written on every heart and displayed in nature, but it’s found throughout Scripture as well. One recorded fact that proves Christ’s authenticity is found in the donkey’s humble obedience to submit to Jesus’ command. I believe that Jesus is sending us a message through an animal less intelligent than we, “Open your eyes - even the donkey knew Me.”
It’s true, if an untamed donkey can recognize the glory of the Lord, so can we even though we can’t visibly see Him. If we could see God, He’d just be another object like the sun and the moon. That would make Him a small God. He’s much bigger than that. The Bible tells us that God is a spirit. He is not anything you can see or touch. But that doesn't mean He isn't real! In fact, He is more "real" than the things you see around you that will eventually die or disappear???but God never will.
The greatest evidence that God is real occurred over 2000 years ago when this invisible God became a visible person, Jesus Christ, who claimed, "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9). God not only desired to reveal Himself then, but He wants to show Himself real to you everyday through a loving relationship with you.
Deep within you know, just as the donkey knew, that Jesus longs to enter your heart and take His rightful place as Lord of your life. Don’t let a donkey out smart you. This Easter season is the perfect time to get to know God in a real way. You’ll be glad you did.
Dear Lord, I confess that You are God. Forgive me for my sins and come into my heart and be my King. Thank you for forgiving me and saving my soul, In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Micca Campbell’s Testimony DVD
Do You Know Him?
“Finding Easter,” an ETC article
Read the Book of John in the Bible and get to know Jesus and His ways.
Have you ever questioned the identity of Christ?
Have you ever wondered if God was real?
How do you know God is real and Christ is the Savior of the world?
What evidence is there in your life that proves you believe this?
Romans 1:9, “But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is!” (MSG)
Psalms 14:1, “The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.” (NIV)
Acts 14:17 , Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy." (NIV)
Psalms 90:2, “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” (NIV)