Matthew 21:1-11 (The Triumphal Entry, Part 2)

As we have seen as Christ made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Mark and Luke make clear that it was upon the colt of a donkey that He rode.  What additional detail do they add about the colt?  See Mar 11:2, Luk 19:30.  What does the fact that the colt was still with its mother and had never been ridden indicate about how young the colt must have been?  What does this also indicate about Jesus’ size, and how much He could have weighed?  Contrast 1Sa 2:29 (cf. 1Sa 2:35!), 1Sa 4:18, Eze 34:2, Rom 16:17-18, Phil 3:18-19.  Observe that although it was only the colt that was necessary for the fulfillment of the prophecies so that Mark and Luke only mentioned the colt, Matthew records that Jesus in fact commanded both the colt and its mother to be brought to him; what does this indicate about our Lord’s concern even for animals and their comfort from distress?[1] Cf. Mat 9:36, Num 22:21-33.

Besides emphasizing the fulfillment of the prophecies in Zec 9:9 and Gen 49:11, what additional significance might there be that no one had ever sat upon the colt of the donkey?  See 1Co 1:27-28.  Consider too: what sort of “rodeo” might we expect when someone rides for the very first time a young donkey that no one had ever even sat upon, let alone a king making an entrance to present Himself to the subjects of His kingdom?  What might the fact that Jesus was able to make His entrance without incident in such manner indicate about the acceptance of this king by other realms of creation beyond that of man?  Cf. Rom 8:19-22, Jer 12:4, 14:5-7, Joe 1:18-20.  Note: while donkeys are by nature more amenable to carrying loads as a beast of burden than a horse, it is not as if they do so without a period of proper training.  Nevertheless, it is said that “if donkeys trust their handler, they will allow themselves to be pushed around and made to do unfamiliar things, and will make no fuss.”[2]

How were people accustomed to kings entering their city that continues to this day when a political dignitary makes a formal appearance, especially at the inauguration of their rule?  In great contrast to the foal of a donkey, upon what did the kings of this world throughout history make their entrance?  Cf. 2Sa 15:1, Est 6:7-11.  Throughout Scripture, what does a horse represent?  Cf. Exo 14:9,23, Jos 11:4, Job 39:19-25, Psa 147:10.  In contrast to the strength of the flesh that a horse represents and in which those of the world put their trust, in Whom does Scripture exhort the people of God to trust?  See Deut 17:16, 20:1, Psa 20:7, 33:16-17, Isa 31:1,3; cf. Zec 4:6.  What then does this help us to understand about the nature of Jesus’ rule inaugurated by His entrance in this manner into Jerusalem, the city of the great King, and how does this contrast with people’s expectations of the kingdom they supposed the Messiah would establish?  See Mic 5:2-4,10, as well as the first two words of Joh 12:15.[3] Are people any different today in seeking political rulers to deliver them instead of looking to the Lord for deliverance?

 


1. “Both the foal and the female donkey were brought to Christ at Mount Olivet, and both made the trip to Jerusalem. Since the colt never had been ridden, or even sat upon (as stated by Mark and Luke), its dependence upon its mother is very understandable (as implied by Matthew). The journey to Jerusalem, with multitudes of people in front of and behind Jesus and the donkeys (Matthew 21:8-9), obviously would have been much easier for the colt if the mother donkey were led nearby down the same road.” (http://www.apologeticspress.org/apcontent.aspx?category=6&article=773).

3. His temper is very mild.  He comes not in wrath to take vengeance, but in mercy to work salvation. He is meek to suffer the greatest injuries and indignities for Zion’s cause, meek to bear with the follies and unkindness of Zion’s own children.  He is easy of access, easy to be entreated.  He is meek not only as a Teacher, but as a Ruler; he rules by love.  His government is mild and gentle, and his laws not written in the blood of his subjects, but in his own.  His yoke is easy.  As an evidence of this, his appearance is very mean, sitting upon a donkey, a creature made not for state, but service, not for battles, but for burdens; slow in its motions, but sure, and safe, and constant… Zion’s King comes riding, not on a prancing horse, which the timorous petitioner dares not come near, or a running horse, which the slow-footed petitioner cannot keep pace with, but on a quiet donkey, that the poorest of his subjects may not be discouraged in their access to him.  (Matthew Henry).

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