THE KING OF PEACE APPROACHED JERUSALEM IN FULFILLMENT OF OT PROPHECY WITH MESSIANIC SIGNIFICANCE
Here we enter into the Passion Week which culminates the revelation of the Son of Man with Messianic significance. The Miracles have been performed and now the Mission of the Messiah as the Suffering Servant lies ahead. The consummation of the kingdom will have to await the redemptive mission and the intervening years of delay before His powerful return in triumph and judgment. All of the details prophesied in the OT are sovereignly orchestrated to show how the reality completes all the types and foreshadowings. The meekness and humility of the King of Peace stand in contrast to the type of powerful entrance into Jerusalem that would have been expected. All that the disciples had difficulty understanding about the suffering and rejection and death of the Messiah would soon be played out on the grand stage of Jerusalem.
Donald Miller: Jesus’ arrival at Jerusalem was a dramatic moment. It was the point toward which he had been moving with determined intention for months (9:51). Fully aware that death would be the result, he chose to make an open proclamation of himself as God’s Messiah in God’s city. The events associated with his dramatic arrival sprang the trap which led him to the Cross.
I. (:28-34) REQUISITIONING THE COLT TO RIDE ON
A. (:28-29) Messianic Significance of the Setting
1. (:28) Messianic Significance of Approaching Jerusalem
“And after He had said these things, He was going on ahead,
ascending to Jerusalem.”
– City of Peace
– City of David
– Holy City of God
2. (:29) Messianic Significance of Mount Olivet
“And it came about that when He approached Bethphage and Bethany,
near the mount that is called Olivet,”
Morris: Bethany was a village about two miles from Jerusalem on the eastern slopes of the Mount of Olives.
Donald Miller: The place is significant (vs. 37). Zechariah had spoken of a time when “the Lord will become king over all the earth. On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives” Zech. 14:9 and 4). . . Jesus, therefore, appeared on this Mount to proclaim himself Israel’s true Deliverer.
Deffinbaugh: The Mount of Olives is a hill outside of Jerusalem, which Luke tells us elsewhere is a “Sabbath day’s journey” from Jerusalem (Acts 1:12). It is a place of great significance. It was on the Mount of Olives that king David wept, along with his faithful followers, as he fled from Jerusalem and from his son, Absolom (2 Samuel 15:30). According to Zachariah 14:4, the Messiah was to appear on the Mount of Olives, which would be split in half, forming a great valley. It is here that the “triumphal entry” was staged. During His last week, Jesus spent His nights on the Mount of Olives (Luke 21:37). It seems also to be from the Mount of Olives that Jesus ascended (cf. Acts 1:12).
B. (:30-31) Messianic Significance of the Lord’s Instructions
1. (:30a) What’s the Big Deal About the Colt?
“He sent two of the disciples, saying, ‘Go into the village opposite you,
in which as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one yet has ever sat;’”
Donald Miller: Animals which had never been used ere commandeered for especially holy purposes (see Num. 19:2; Deut. 21:3; I Sam. 6:7). Furthermore, the whole event was a conscious enactment of an ancient prophecy: “Lo, your king comes to you . . . humble and riding on an ass” (Zech. 9:9).
Ray Fowler: So here’s Jacob’s prophecy in Genesis 49: “The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs and the obedience of the nations is his. He will tether his donkey to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch; he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes.” (Genesis 49:10-11) For the Jewish person in Jesus’ day, steeped in the Old Testament as they were, this tethered colt here in Luke’s gospel would evoke associations with this prophecy in Genesis and provide yet another reason to see Jesus as the Messiah.
2. (:30b-31) What’s the Big Deal About Orchestrating All the Details?
“untie it, and bring it here.
And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’
thus shall you speak, ‘The Lord has need of it.’”
Morris: it seems best to understand the expression as a pre-arranged password. When the animal’s owners heard these words they would know the ass was for Jesus and would let it go.
Significance of Lordship of Jesus
C. (:32-34) Messianic Significance of Obedience to the Lord’s Instructions
1. (:32) Obeying Finding the Colt
“And those who were sent went away and found it just as He had told them.”
2. (:33-34) Obeying Explaining Its Commandeering
“And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them,
‘Why are you untying the colt?’
And they said, ‘The Lord has need of it.’”
II. (:35-38) RECEIVING PRAISE AND ADULATION
A. (:35-36) Messianic Significance of Physical Displays of Praise and Adulation
1. (:35) Messianic Significance of Regal Enthronement
“And they brought it to Jesus, and they threw their garments on the colt,
and put Jesus on it.”
2. (:36) Messianic Significance of Red Carpet Treatment
“And as He was going, they were spreading their garments in the road.”
Donald Miller: act of homage rendered to royalty (II Kings 9:13).
Lenski: This was a spontaneous act of submission which was combined with the highest honor. The imperfect tense states that this was kept up. The robes were picked up in the rear and laid down again in front.
B. (:37-38) Messianic Significance of Verbal Expressions of Praise and Adulation
1. (:37) For His Messianic Miracles
“And as He was now approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen,”
2. (:38) For His Messianic Mission
“saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord;
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’”
Geldenhuys: they call upon Jesus Himself as the blessed King that comes in the Name of the Lord, as His representative and deputy; in other words, as the Messiah, through whose coming peace has been established between God and His people so that the All-Highest is now truly glorified. From Matthew xxi and Mark xi it appears that the excited multitude gave vent also to various other exclamations and panegyrics. The atmosphere was in the highest sense laden with Messianic expectations, and the enthusiasm of the multitude knew no bounds.
III. (:39-40) REBUKING THE PHARISEES = BOOMERANG REBUKE
A. (:39) Messianic Significance of the Reaction of the Pharisees –
Pharisees Want Jesus to Rebuke His Disciples
“And some of the Pharisees in the multitude said to Him,
‘Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.’”
Morris: They would have objected to the enthusiasm on general principles and they certainly did not want to see Jesus proclaimed as Messiah. They were not in favour of the use of force unless the practice of their religion was directly involved, and they would have opposed anything that might provoke Roman intervention. There was no hope of stilling the tumult by appealing to the people, so they ask Jesus to calm them down. In a striking saying Jesus affirms that the shouting is inevitable. If the people were to keep quiet the very stones would cry out, which may have been a proverbial saying (cf. Hab. 2:11).
B. (:40) Messianic Significance of the Reply of Jesus –
Instead, Jesus Rebukes the Pharisees
“And He answered and said, ‘I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!’”
Crying out in a testimony of both praise and condemnation
Ralph Wilson: Jesus could be saying that if the disciples are silent the rocks themselves would be forced to offer praise. Indeed, praise is sometimes poetically attributed to objects and animals (Psalm 96:11; 98:7-9; 114:1-8; Isaiah 55:12). But Jewish writings sometimes mention mute stones bearing witness when sin has been committed — in this case the sin of not offering praise when praise is due (Habakkuk 2:11; Genesis 4:10; and Joshua 24:27).