Matthew – God’s Purposes
Matthew 21 palm
Matthew is careful to narrate the story of Jesus in such a way to show us the fulfillment of all the prophets said in detail. God told the prophets. The prophets told God’s people how the Messiah would come, what He would do to save us, the suffering He would go through, and how laying down his life for ours for our sin would be our victory. The end of Jesus life on earth begins with publicly announcing His entrance as King…on a donkey’s colt…as written years earlier by the prophets.
Matthew 21, NLT
Jesus’ Triumphant Entry
Matthew 21 coltAs Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead. 2 “Go into the village over there,” he said. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately let you take them.”
4 This took place to fulfill the prophecy that said,
5 “Tell the people of Jerusalem,
‘Look, your King is coming to you.
He is humble, riding on a donkey—
riding on a donkey’s colt.’”
6 The two disciples did as Jesus commanded. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt to him and threw their garments over the colt, and he sat on it.
8 Most of the crowd spread their garments on the road ahead of him, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Jesus was in the center of the procession, and the people all around him were shouting,
“Praise God for the Son of David!
Blessings on the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Praise God in highest heaven!”
10 The entire city of Jerusalem was in an uproar as he entered. “Who is this?” they asked.
11 And the crowds replied, “It’s Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Since it was Passover, there were probably about two million people in and around Jerusalem. This was the only time in His ministry that Jesus actually planned and promoted a public demonstration. Up to this time, He had cautioned people not to tell who He was, and He had deliberately avoided public scenes.
Why did Jesus plan this demonstration? For one thing, He was obeying the Word and fulfilling the prophecy recorded in Zechariah 9:9. This prophecy could apply only to Jesus Christ, for He is the only One with credentials that prove He is Israel’s King. We usually do not associate the lowly donkey with kingship, but this was the royal animal of Jewish monarchs (1 Kings 2:32). There were actually two animals involved, the mother and the colt (foal). Jesus sat on the colt with the mother walking beside.
By comparing Matthew’s quotation with the original prophecy in Zechariah, we discover some interesting facts. Zechariah’s prophecy opens with, “Rejoice greatly” but Matthew omitted this phrase. When Jesus approached the city, He wept! How could He (or the people) rejoice when judgment was coming?
Mathew also omitted “He is just, and having salvation.” Our Lord’s coming to Jerusalem was an act of mercy and grace, not an act of justice or judgment. He did have salvation for them, but they refused to accept it (John 1:11). The next time Israel sees the King, He will ride in great power and glory (Rev. 19:11).
This colt had never been ridden (Mark 11:2), yet he meekly bore his burden. The presence of the mother helped, of course. But keep in mind that his rider was the King who has “dominion over … all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field” (Ps. 8:6–7). The fact that Jesus rode this beast and kept him in control is another evidence of His kingship.
Matthew 21 weptThere was a second reason for this public presentation: It forced the Jewish leaders to act. When they saw the spontaneous demonstration of the people, they concluded that Jesus had to be destroyed (see John 12:19). The prophetic Scriptures required that the Lamb of God be crucified on Passover. This demonstration of Christ’s popularity incited the rulers to act.
The people acclaimed Jesus as their King both by their words and their deeds. They shouted Hosanna, which means, “Save now!” They were quoting from Psalm 118:25–26, and this psalm is definitely messianic in character. Later that week, Jesus Himself would refer to this psalm and apply it to Himself (Ps. 118:22–23; Matt. 21:42).
Keep in mind that this Passover crowd was composed of at least three groups: the Jews who lived in Jerusalem, the crowd from Galilee, and the people who saw Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead (John 12:17–18). Sharing the news of this miracle undoubtedly helped to draw such a large crowd. The people wanted to see this miracle-worker for themselves.
But the Jews still did not recognize Jesus as their King. What caused Israel’s spiritual blindness? For one thing, their religious leaders had robbed them of the truth of their own Word and had substituted man-made traditions (Luke 11:52). The leaders were not interested in truth; they were concerned only with protecting their own interests (John 11:47–53). “We have no king but Caesar!” was their confession of willful blindness. Even our Lord’s miracles did not convince them. And the longer they resisted the truth, the blinder they became (John 12:35ff.).
Matthew 21 eho is thisGiven what I know, how willfully blind am I to God’s Truth in the Person of Jesus Christ? Is He my Savior in which I put ALL my hope and trust? Is He LORD of my life? ALL of it? Do I allow Him to guide my thinking, being and doing?
Am I convinced…for life?
Dear Heavenly Father,
Open my eyes to see you clearly, to follow you with focus and clarity and to live for you unashamed reflecting only Your glory. I humbly bow before you, King of my life and Lord of all my days.
In Jesus Name, Amen
And I’m singing…King of My Heart…
Let the King of my heart
Be the mountain where I run
The fountain I drink from
Oh, He is my song
Let the King of my heart
Be the shadow where I hide
The ransom for my life
Oh, He is my song
‘Cause You are good
You are good, oh oh
You are good
And let the King of my heart
Be the wind inside my sails
The anchor in the waves
Oh oh, He is my song
Let the King of my heart
Be the fire inside my veins
The echo of my days
Oh oh, He is my song
‘Cause You are good
You are good, oh oh
You are good
You’re never gonna let
You’re never gonna let me down
And You’re never gonna let
Oh ’cause You are good
You are good, oh oh
‘Cause You are good
You are good, oh oh
Songwriters: John Mark McMillan / Sarah McMillan

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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