Go into the city and get a donkey
1) The Faithfulness of the Disciples
Some say Jesus prearranged this and some say that He knew the man would give Him the donkey and the foal. Either way it shows that Jesus was in control of His circumstances and every step He took was in obedience to God and on a course to the redemption of mankind.
Some people believe that Jesus did not plan on dying but when the crowd drew so much attention to Him then His life was ended prematurely. As we can see in scripture this was not the case because Jesus repeatedly talked about how He was going to die, therefore, He knew in advance what was going to happen.
Jesus knew the owner would question them and so he told them what to say. Can you imagine Jesus telling you to go to a house and get a car and the keys would be in it? We would be nervous as we approached the house and even more nervous as the man came out to question us.
The call to follow Christ means we have to trust Him even when what He is calling us to does not make sense. Many people have been called to plant churches, go overseas or taken many other steps of faith without knowing how things were going to work out. When Jesus tells us to do something we have to trust Him for the results.
The Disciples did what Jesus asked them to do and trusted Him for the results.
This was to fulfill the prophecy
2) The Fulfillment of Prophecy
Matthews audience was majority Jewish and His goal was to show them over and over again how Jesus met the requirements for the long awaited Messiah. Matthew was showing the facts and 10 times in the book of Matthew he said “this was the fulfillment of the prophecy.”
Josh McDowell and Lee Strobel who were both atheist or agnostics, came to Christ because of the facts of the Bible and through relationships of Christians.
Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
One of the prophecies of the Messiah was that He would come humbly. The entering of Jerusalem at this time was the exact timing that the Messiah would enter.
Daniel 9:25 Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again[a] with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.
The literal translation is seven sevens and sixty-two sevens which comes to 483 years after Artaxerxess decree. I say these things not that head knowledge always helps but to know that Christianity is amazing and you have to do something with all the facts. This was the exact date that the Messiah was supposed to come and they missed it. No other religion matches the things Christianity can stand on. No other religion talks about God becoming flesh to dwell among us. (John 1) God came to us to save us.
The wrong view of Jesus will keep you from knowing Him
3) The False Teaching of the religious leaders
It really does come down to Jesus Christ and who you say He is. Many people have the wrong view of Him or they say things like the Bible is not accurate which is not true. There are many good church going people that have the wrong view of Jesus. Remember these people were all going to church so to speak, but they had been taught that the Messiah would come as a dominant ruler.
The donkey represented peace not war. A conquering king would ride in on a war horse but not Jesus He came humbly as predicted by the Bible. The second time Jesus comes He will come as a conquering King (Matthew 25:31) but they taught that He would come as a conqueror right away.
Isaiah 53 Who has believed what he has heard from us?[a] And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected[b] by men; a man of sorrows,[c] and acquainted with[d] grief;[e] and as one from whom men hide their faces[f] he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken,smitten by God, and afflicted 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. 8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief;[g]when his soul makes[h] an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see[i] and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,[j] and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,[kbecause he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.
They missed Jesus because the religious leaders of the day taught them the wrong things about Him. The advantage we have today is we can check what the religious leaders are teaching and we should. (Acts 17:11) We should never take a persons word for things and go and examine the scriptures ourselves to see if what they are teaching is true.
Although Jesus came humbly, He was also showing His Royalty by riding into Jerusalem on a donkey because all pilgrims were expected to walk in. Its imagery goes back to Solomon who rode in on a donkey showing the line of David and fulfilling the prophecy of 1 Kings 1.
The people laid down their coats and cut palm branches which are why we call this palm Sunday. It was ancient custom for citizens to throw their garments on the road for a monarch which showed respect and submission to his authority. Palm Branches represented salvation and so in essence they were saying that Jesus was their salvation and the laying of garments was representative of saying you can walk over us, or we are beneath you.
This was laying out the red carpet for Jesus.
They were acknowledging who He was but they still missed who He was.
Mark 7:6-7 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written,” ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 7 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’
You can say the right things but not believe the right things.
This includes the two blind men who were just healed who earlier acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah, were healed by Him yet when it came time to say who Jesus was they could only say that Jesus was a great prophet.
They were shouting Hosanna to the Son of David
They were shouting: Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord
They were shouting: Hosanna in the highest
These are from Psalm 113-118 and they were shouted and sang at the Sabbath. This was sung to call out for the Deliverer to come or to save us now.
The issue was they were not interested in Jesus saving their souls just their nation.
The people were heading in to celebrate Passover which we learn from Exodus 12 was when the death angel passed over all the Israelites who had sacrificed a lamb and coated the door frames with its blood. The first born of all the Egyptians were killed that night and so it was the day the celebrated when death was passed over them because of the sacrifice.
It is what Christ is today because when we die we will not have to experience eternal death because of Christ sacrifice for us. When we accept what He did for us on the cross then we get passed over by death as well.
Jesus timing into Jerusalem was the perfect timing of a family selecting a Lamb for Passover. That day would be the day the families would select a lamb for sacrifice which shows that Jesus was a perfect sacrificial lamb.
Even though all this was being said, even though the scriptures declared when the messiah would come, and even though they were in the middle of Passover they missed Jesus.
How many times are you in church and you hear things but it does not register what you are hearing?
We say the Lord’s Prayer or John 3:16 so often that it does not mean anything anymore. The people sang these songs and repeated the psalms but they missed their meaning completely.
You can say things without even knowing what you are saying. You can come to church out of routine and it can mean nothing to you. We have taken the scriptures and church for granted and we miss why we even have them.
The whole city was shaken
It was estimated that there was around 250 thousand people there for Passover and the crowd was in a fevered pitch. Like the roar in a stadium they were shouting and singing.
Who is this?
4) The False Conclusion of the crowd
Matthew 16:14-16 14And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son ofthe living God.”
What is all this screaming about? And the crowd answered, “He is a prophet from Nazareth”.
They shouted one thing but believed another.
“Christians all too often think of Jesus in comfortable categories as their friend and helper and forget that he must be worshiped as Savior and Lord of all.” (Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament)
What would you say to someone who asked you why Jesus came to earth?
LOVE: Too many people think that as long as you got love that is all that matters. These people had love for God but they missed the Savior
Show us the way to God: Some believe that Jesus was a prime example of how we all need to live our lives for God.
James 2:19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!
Sacrifice: this was not what the majority thought of when they thought of the coming Messiah. When the people discover that Jesus is not going to do what they want then they turn on Him.
The people had the right words but the wrong hearts. They loved Him when He was raising the dead (lazarus who was probably with Him) healing the blind (also with Him) but not when He did not save them from the Romans.
Many people stop following Jesus when it is different than what they were taught. If you are taught that Jesus is there to be your Genie and make you healthy wealthy and wise and then you get a disease you can become disillusioned.
Too many want Jesus plus.
He gave us back our relationship with God but for some reason that is not enough.
Who do you say Jesus is?