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The Synoptics on the Triumphal Entry

Luke 19:
28  Having said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
29  It happened, when he drew near to Bethsphage and Bethany, at the mountain that is called Olivet, he sent two of his disciples,
30  saying, "Go your way into the village on the other side, in which, as you enter, you will find a colt tied, whereon no man ever yet sat. Untie it, and bring it.
31  If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say to him: ‘The Lord needs it.’"
32  Those who were sent went away, and found things just as he had told them.
33  As they were untying the colt, the owners of it said to them, "Why are you untying the colt?"
34  They said, "The Lord needs it."
35  They brought it to Jesus. They threw their cloaks on the colt, and set Jesus on them.

36  As he went, they spread their cloaks in the way.
37  As he was now getting near, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works which they had seen,
38  saying, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest!"

39  Some of the Pharisees from the multitude said to him, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!"

40  He answered them, "I tell you that if these were silent, the stones would cry out."
41  When he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it,
42  saying, "If you, even you, had known today the things which belong to your peace! But now, they are hidden from your eyes.
43  For the days will come on you, when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, surround you, hem you in on every side,
44  and will dash you and your children within you to the ground. They will not leave in you one stone on another, because you didn’t know the time of your visitation."

Matt 21:
10  When he had come into Jerusalem,
all the city was stirred up, saying, "Who is this?"
11  The multitudes said,
"This is the prophet, Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee."

Matt 21:
4  All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying,
"Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your King comes to you, Humble, and riding on a donkey, On a colt, the foal of a donkey."  (Zechariah 9:9)


The Prophecy

Matthew reveals this to be a fulfillment of the prophecy of Zechariah. He quote Zec 9:9, but to understand Jesus' weeping over Jerusalem and his prophecy of its destruction in Luke 19:41-44, we have to read the context of Zechariah chapter 9. It was written during the Babylonian captivity. Israel was oppressed by enemies and marauding forces. But Zec 9:8 says, "I will defend my house against marauding forces. Never again will an oppressor overrun my people, for now I am keeping watch." But what is always implied  in these types of promises is the condition of faithfulness to the Lord. It is upon this basis that a King is promised in Zec 9:9 who would bring peace as Zech 9:10 declares: "I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth." However in contrast to this "because they did not recognize the time of God's coming to them" they would again be beseiged by marauding enemies and the city destroyed. This was fulfilled in 70 A.D. when Titus - who would become the Roman Emperor - marched into Jerusalem and destroyed it - along with the temple. That was the hand of God, just as He had used the Assyrians and Babylonians in the past to accomplish His purposes.

"The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath." Acts 13:27

Application: Have you recognized the time of God's coming to you?

"He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.  Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God--  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God." John 1:11-13
Jesus comes in a way not expected. He humbly comes riding on a colt - a young donkey. The donkey represents the ordinary Christian given a great commission to carry the Lord where he wants to go to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth. Being young means that the donkey is inexperienced and untrained. And being a donkey he is looked down upon in comparison to a horse. He is the poor man's horse. Jesus' disciples were ordinary men. They were not among the religious elite of Israel. Do you feel you're just an ordinary Christian? Do you feel that you're a donkey in the Christian community? Then be prepared to take Jesus where he wants to go.

The Coming of the Kingdom

I have little doubt that to his crowds of followers and to his disciples this was the beginning of the Messiah's reign in Jerusalem. To them this was the coming of the Kingdom of God. But they were mistaken. For the Messiah would first have to deal with their sins before establishing a Kingdom on earth acceptable to God. Nonetheless it was appropriate to acknowlege Jesus as king and to give him praise. The Pharisee reckoned this blasphemy, but Jesus replies that "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." And indeed the stones which cry out today. For John the Baptist says, "I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.", and that is what has occurred in that the Gentile believers are the stones which cry out. "Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham." Gal 3:7 and "If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise." Gal 3:29
"As you come to him, the living Stone-- rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him-- you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ." 1Peter 2:4,5

Following the Crowd

It's easy to follow the crowd. It's easy to go to Christian meetings and sing songs and publically express one's devotion to Christ. But it's quite a different matter when you are in a crowd that despises Christ. For this same crowd that praise him would also despise and abandon him, some of whom would even have him crucified, and that only a week later. Those who follow things that are popular do not necessarily reveal their true devotion. For it is in the midst of persecution that the depth of one's true convictions are revealed.

NIV used in comments
The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources Jan 29,2022