Matthew – Fulfilled.
Imagine driving on a trip and you come to a fairly large city. You are hoping to just pass through on your way to your final destination, but you are stopped because of a parade. Ugh. All major routes are blocked because of the crowds. All you can do is park the car, relax and see what is going on. In one way, it seems the parade was an impromptued, unplanned event, but in another way everyone seems to know what they are doing. All eyes and motions are focused on one Person. They are shouting praises like you have never heard before. People are throwing down branches and their own coats on the ground for this Person to ride over on an animal. You can’t just watch, you have to ask, “What’s going on here? WHO is this?”
Matthew 21, The Message
The Royal Welcome
21 1-3 When they neared Jerusalem, having arrived at Bethphage on Mount Olives, Jesus sent two disciples with these instructions: “Go over to the village across from you. You’ll find a donkey tethered there, her colt with her. Untie her and bring them to me. If anyone asks what you’re doing, say, ‘The Master needs them!’ He will send them with you.”
4-5 This is the full story of what was sketched earlier by the prophet:
Tell Zion’s daughter,
“Look, your king’s on his way,
poised and ready, mounted
On a donkey, on a colt,
foal of a pack animal.”
6-9 The disciples went and did exactly what Jesus told them to do. They led the donkey and colt out, laid some of their clothes on them, and Jesus mounted. Nearly all the people in the crowd threw their garments down on the road, giving him a royal welcome. Others cut branches from the trees and threw them down as a welcome mat. Crowds went ahead and crowds followed, all of them calling out, “Hosanna to David’s son!” “Blessed is he who comes in God’s name!” “Hosanna in highest heaven!”
10 As he made his entrance into Jerusalem, the whole city was shaken. Unnerved, people were asking, “What’s going on here? Who is this?”
11 The parade crowd answered, “This is the prophet Jesus, the one from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Think about it…(there is a ton to think about…take time.)
–Jesus comes, at just the right time, to the city in triumph knowing that in a few days the hearts and voices of the shouting crowd will turn to jeering and mocking. Those who shouted, “Hosanna to David’s son!” and “Blessed is he who comes in God’s name!” will later shout, “Crucify Him!”
–This chapter begins what is called the Passion Week. He had said to his disciples more than once, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and there the Son of man must be betrayed. He warned them several times, in plain language, without parables, that He was going to die for the sins of the world. Scripture fulfilled. Mission completed. The followers don’t get it…yet.
–Jesus walked everywhere He went. This is the only time he mounted an animal of burden to enter a city. Scripture fulfilled.
–He lived a life of simplicity, humility with little provisions, only what was necessary. We spend a lot of time thinking about stuff and more stuff to acquire and “must have” in order to “do ministry”. Mm.
–“Our Lord Jesus travelled much, and his custom was to travel on foot from Galilee to Jerusalem, some scores of miles, which was both humbling and toilsome; many a dirty weary step he had when he went about doing good. How ill does it become Christians to be inordinately solicitous about their own ease and state, when their Master had so little of either! Yet once in his life he rode in triumph; and it was now when he went into Jerusalem, to suffer and die, as if that were the pleasure and preferment he courted; and then he thought himself begin to look great.” –Matthew Henry’s Commentary
–What parade are we stopping to enjoy?
–Do we join the parade? Or wait for it to just pass us by…?
–Are we as fickle as this crowd of onlookers?
–Do we gripe at our inconvences in ministry? Maybe it’s time we walked a few miles in the sandals of Jesus.
–Jesus is coming back, you know. All of heaven will be opened up, the clouds rolled back like a scroll, and He will descend for the last time as King of kings and LORD of lords. We will join the faithful crowd of witnesses already gathered around his throne in sincere, undying, relentless praise to the One who died and rose again for us. You and me. Wow. Just wow.
Dear Heavenly Father,
As we read the beginning of the end of the sacrifice of Your Son, our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, we are humbled. There are not enough words of gratitude and praise. I am glad you see and know my heart. This world is so temporary and so tainted with evil. Your Kingdom is perfect and forever. Blessed is HE who will come back for His own. I’m ready, Lord. For now, help me to move and dance in the rhythm and flow of Your Holy Spirit living in me. In Jesus Name, Amen.