Matthew 21:1-11 (The Triumphal Entry, Part 3)

As we have seen, Jesus made His entrance into Jerusalem at His first coming upon the colt of a donkey, a lowly beast of burden, as an indication of the nature of the kingdom He came to establish and the deliverance His kingdom would provide to the meek and poor and afflicted.  How does Scripture describe Jesus’ second coming, and what is the significance of such a description?  See Rev 19:11,14; cf. Heb 9:27-28, 2Ki 6:15-17, Isa 66:15-16, Hab 3:8,13,15.  Consider that the kingdoms of this world lie in the power of the god of this age and are typically established by the exercise of fleshly power.  Reflecting the nature of him who masquerades as an angel of light, such kingdoms are also typically established with an element of righteousness and serve as an agent of judgment upon the wicked; cf. Jer 25:9, 27:6, 43:10, 50:17-18, 51:20-26, Isa 14:4,12-14, 44:28-45:4.  Has the establishment of a kingdom in this manner ever brought lasting peace?  Why is that?  Cf. Isa 10:5-16, 47:5-11, Jer 51:49, Gal 6:7, Gen 9:6, Mat 26:52, Rev 13:10.  How is Christ’s kingdom the exact opposite?  I.e., how does the establishment of His kingdom in peace and righteousness make possible the righteous judgment of the wicked?  Cf. Luk 9:56, Joh 3:17, 8:15, 12:47.  In the day of Christ’s judgment upon the nations, will any be able to say of Him who came to seek and to save the lost and laid down His own life for even the most vile of sinners that in His judgment He acted with any element of unrighteousness, or with selfish, self-serving motives?  Can the same be said of the founders of the kingdoms of this world?

How many disciples did Jesus send after the colt and its mother?  See Mat 21:1.  What did Jesus instruct the disciples to say to any who would question them about taking the colt?  What does the appellative that Jesus uses to refer to Himself in this circumstance indicate about His own and others’ understanding of His authority?  Cf. Luk 19:33-34 and NAS text note.  What does it likely indicate about the relationship to Him of those from whom the donkeys were borrowed?  I.e., is it likely that they were completely unknown and / or hostile to Him?

Consider that the laws of many ruling nations, including those of Rome with which the Jews would be familiar, provided for the practice of angaria, which allowed a significant figure to impress people and/or their property (such as a horse or donkey) for service; cf. Mat 5:41, 27:32.  How is Jesus’ use of authority as Lord in this manner very different from that of the Jew’s Roman lords which they loathed and against which they bristled?  Cf. Joh 13:13-14, Mat 20:25-28.  See also Jesus’ example of borrowing in Mar 11:3 (especially in the NIV and NET which indicate that He would be returning the donkeys to their owner very quickly) and contrast Psa 37:21.  What does Jesus’ example teach us about what the proper attitude and actions must be when borrowing from others?  Cf. 2Ki 6:5-7.  Observe that although Jesus had only a very brief need of the donkeys, still He was careful to first obtain permission, and then to assure that they would be immediately returned.  What does His example teach us about the value God places upon the rights of a property owner?  Cf. Act 5:4.

Consider that although Jesus had no place to call home (Mat 9:58), because He traveled extensively and was master of a significant number of disciples, we might suppose that He would at least have had His own donkey; what does the fact that He did not also indicate about the nature of His lordship, as well as His meekness, humility, and poverty?  How was His example quite contrary to that of many religious leaders who claim to follow Him today?  Consider that if Jesus had His own donkey, what difficulty might it have posed to obtain the foal of a donkey to make His entrance into Jerusalem and so fulfill Zechariah’s prophesy?  How does this help us to understand the deeper meaning of the prophecy as relating also to the Messiah’s poverty?  Cf. 2Co 8:9.  What ought Jesus’ example of denying Himself even modest riches in this world for our sake inspire within His true followers for the sake of others?  Cf. 1Co 9:6-15a,19-23, 2Co 11:7-9,19-21a, 12:13-15.  In what way did Jesus’ poverty on the one hand remove any stumbling block the humble might have with Him as their Messiah, but on the other hand become a stumbling block for the proud?  Is it any different today?  What does this teach us about the self-selecting nature of His kingdom and those who will enter it?  Cf. Mat 5:3.

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