The Triumphal Entry

Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. 3 And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.”

4 All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying:

5 “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 So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. 8 And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying:

“Hosanna to the Son of David!
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Hosanna in the highest!”
10 And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?”

11 So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.” — Matthew 21:1-11.

Now Jesus, along with the disciples and the crowd, draw near to Jerusalem. Old Testament prophecy is about to be fulfilled as Jesus the King enters the city riding on a donkey. He sends His disciples to find the donkey and colt and to bring them to Him. He is greeted with an enthusiastic welcome and the homage of clothes and branches being spread before Him as He enters the city as King and ‘Son of David’. People want to know who Jesus is.

Only Matthew mentions the colt’s mother, probably to emphasize that it was a young colt, not yet weaned and therefore not yet ridden (cf. Mark 11:2), and because the quotation from Zech. 9:9 prophesies that the coming king would ride on “a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Jesus chooses to make the fulfillment of prophecy unmistakable.

The Triumphal Entry is clearly a symbolic act. Zech. 9:9 was recognized as messianic by Jews, and the shout “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (v. 9) as well as the spreading of cloaks on the ground (cf. 2 Kin. 9:13) indicates that the crowd recognizes Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah. Note David’s proclamation of Solomon as his designated heir by having him ride into the city on a donkey (1 Kin. 1:33, 38, 44). (RSB)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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