When they had come near Jerusalem and had reached Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, just say this, ‘The Lord needs them.’ And he will send them immediately.” This took place to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet, saying,
“Tell the daughter of Zion,
Look, your king is coming to you,
humble, and mounted on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them; they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Jesus’s entry to Jerusalem is an interesting story, because it is the one time He allows people to treat Him like a King. In His last days He will really play the part of a servant, but here He allows the people to throw their cloaks on the ground so His donkey won’t have to walk in the dirt. They shout His praises as He enters the city, calling Him the “Son of David.”
Yet, He is still a modest, humble King. He doesn’t ride a great stallion, only a donkey. His path isn’t covered by some great red carpet, but by palm branches. And it’s not even His donkey, He is only borrowing it! Jesus was not the kind of King the people were expecting, and I think this entrance to Jerusalem exemplifies that.
I also notice in this story that while Jesus was famous enough to make enemies, He was not so famous that the people of Jerusalem knew who He was. Communication back then was not what it is now, so the people of the city had never heard of His miracles or teachings. They didn’t know who he was, what He had been doing, or why these crowds were cheering for Him. And I think that’s important to keep in mind in the coming chapters.