The Book of Luke, The Triumphal Entry - Lesson 206
Luke 19:28-44, And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. 29And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, 30Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. 31And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. 32And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. 33And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? 34And they said, The Lord hath need of him. 35And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. 36And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. 37And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; 38Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. 39And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. 40And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. 41And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 42Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. 43For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, 44And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.
The events described in this passage begin what we know of as the Week of the Lordís Passion.
It is thought that this entry of Christ into Jerusalem took place on the Sunday before the Friday of his crucifixion.
We have already been given what took place prior to this as he made his way past Jericho with his twelve disciples plus a multitude of other followers.
His reputation as a miracle worker had been verified again and again as he had performed a number of spectacular miracles, each one resulting in attracting greater crowds.
Jesus had fed and healed the multitudes, had given sight to blind Bartimaeus, and his compatriot and had performed the most spectacular of miracles, that of the raising of Lazarus from the dead.
All of these miracles ignited the peopleís expectation of a victorious entry into Jerusalem by the Messiah of Israel.
The ministry of Christ demanded a climax in Jerusalem.
Ever since the transfiguration of Jesus, He had been speaking to His disciples of going to Jerusalem, where He would be put to death.
All Israel knew that it would be in Jerusalem where the Messiah would be enthroned as their King.
For all Israel knew the prophesy of Zechariah about the Messiahís entry into Jerusalem.
Zechariah 9:9, Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
All eyes were on Jerusalem, and Jesus was near that city.
It was the time of the Passover feast which brought many spiritual pilgrims to Jerusalem but it was a Passover like none other for in this Passover there was an expectancy of the coming of Israelís Messiah.
There was an expectancy of deliverance from the heavy rule of Rome and I believe this is what fueled Christís exciting entry into Jerusalem.
But this expectancy was not shared by the Pharisees who looked for a Messiah to enhance their standing in Israel and they saw none of that in this preacher from Galilee.
We know this from their reaction to Christís miracle of the raising of Lazarus.
John 11:44-53, Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. 46But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. 47Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. 48If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. 49And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, 50Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. 51And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; 52And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. 53Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.
The Pharisees were afraid of losing their place.
But the people were desperate for deliverance from their place.
The people were looking for Messiah and Jesus was the most likely candidate so they examined every move he made, looking for any indication of his identity.
In contrast to this desire of the people, the Pharisees and religious leaders, as we have read in John, determined that He was simply a threat and not the Messiah.
So they decided that he must be stopped from further gathering of the people who would naturally press him to become their king.
So this is the setting as we come to this passage for Christ intends to make it plain to the people that he is the Messiah that Zechariah spoke of.
Luke 19:28-34, And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. 29And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, 30Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. 31And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. 32And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. 33And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? 34And they said, The Lord hath need of him.
The Mount of Olives is a hill outside of Jerusalem, which Luke tells us elsewhere is a "Sabbath dayís journey" from Jerusalem.
A Sabbath dayís journey was the distance that a Jew was allowed to travel on the Sabbath, a distance of about 2000 paces which is a little under one mile.
Jesus paused on the Mount of Olives, before entering Jerusalem.
He sent two of His disciples ahead to procure an animal to carry him into Jerusalem.
In fact according to Matthew 21:2 he sent them to procure two animals: 2Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me.
The ass is female and the colt is a male animal
This is the first time Jesus is said to have ridden an animal.
But as we have read in the prophesy of Zechariah the purpose for riding into Jerusalem on a never before ridden foal of an ass was to fulfill prophesy and in so doing identify and declare himself as Messiah.
Jesus gave very clear instructions regarding the procurement of these animals.
The knowledge as to where these animals were could have come to him in a very natural way or it could have come to him in a supernatural way.
We do not know but the disciples were sent with very specific instructions to go to a certain place and there they would find the donkey and its colt.
They were not to ask permission to take the animals but were simply to loose them and bring them to Jesus.
But if they were asked why they were taking them their response was to be, Because the Lord hath need of them.
No further explanation was to be given.
So the two disciples went into the village, and without previously asking permission, started to take the animals.
All this was done in the sight of the animalsí owners.
The two disciples did precisely what Jesus instructed them to do.
They were told to locate the animals, to take them, and to give an answer only if they were challenged, which they were.
Iím sure that any one of us would have said something like, "Hey, what do you think youíre doing?"
Imagine someone coming up to your house and with you watching, get into your car, that has your keys in it, starts the engine, and begins to drive away without a word to you.
But what would you do if that someone said, "The Lord has need of it?"
Well the amazing thing is that once the owners were told, "The Lord has need of it," the owners stopped any objection, and allowed the two disciples to lead the two animals away, without any idea of when they would be returned.
Now this was no valueless transaction for wealth in that time was measured in terms of the animals a person owned.
This could indeed be compared with the taking of a manís car.
So what was it about these words, "The Lord has need of it," that satisfied the ownerís of these animals.
I believe it was in the fact that Jesus Christ knew the owners of the donkey and its colt.
This term "Lord" was understood by the animalsí owners to refer to Jesus of Nazareth.
The term "Lord" conveyed to these animal owners that Jesus was not only Messiah, but God, and therefore He had every right to possess these animals, whether He ever returned them or not.
This was the same authority which gave Jesus Christ perfect control over the animal which had never been broken and which would normally have refused to carry Him, or to go where He wanted it to go.
Another interesting fact is that these animals were taken by the Lordís disciples in a way which shows Jesus Christí authority to take anything that is held by man.
The application here is that Jesus, as the Messiah, has every right to possess what is ultimately His.
So, in reality Jesus was not borrowing these animals as if they were owned by another, for as the sovereign ruler of all things he was in fact their owner, and the owners who asked what the disciples were doing were simply the stewards of the animals.
Everything belongs to Jesus Christ.
Col. 1:16-17, For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.
We may say we own things but in reality we are simply stewards of things.
God owns everything.
If you were able to create, you would own what you created.
One time there was a proud scientist who was debating with God.
He said that what God did in creating man was no big deal and that he could do the same.
So God told him to go ahead and show him his creative powers.
The scientist reached down and grabbed a handful of dirt and was about to form it into the shape of a man but was quickly interrupted by the command of God, Now wait a minute young man, Make your own dirt!
Now if you were indeed able to make your own dirt and create a man you would own that man, and likewise God as the Creator of man, owns man.
Man is not free. God is free to do with what He created as He chooses, for man is simply clay in his hands, moldable to any fashion those hands choose.
So, for the Son of God to lay claim to these two animals was consistent with His right to lay claim to all of His creation, including man.
We are His possession, to dispose of as He chooses.
Now if we really believe that Jesus Christ possesses all things, and that He has the right to lay claim to them at any time, this is a life changing belief.
Am I willing to let go of that which I think I own if the Lord has need of it?
There may be a call that comes to my ears to support a Christian work.
Is that a call from the Lord?
Does the Lord have need of that which I hold stewardship?
Missionaries come through and state that the Lord has need of their lives in a certain place.
Their lives are His lives to use as he has need.
And when we hear of that call on their lives we may also hear that the Lord has need of that which is in our wallets or our purses.
He may come and say to us that he has need of our children to carry the message of the Gospel in places that we do not feel comfortable about.
But do we own our children or are we just stewards for God called to prepare them for his service?
It is easy to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives but do we acknowledge Him as Lord of what we call our possessions?
But as he did in the lives of those stewards who cared for his animals he continues to lay claim on the possessions of men.
He has chosen to carry out His earthly work, not by supernaturally creating the means, but by laying claim on those means which He has placed in the hands of men.
Our willingness to release possessions into His hands acknowledges the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
We know that when the Kingdom of God comes, the King will come, and He will possess His kingdom, and all that is in it.
Nothing will be exempt. Those who have renounced and resisted His ownership will resist Him no longer for he will indeed by sovereign.
His enemies will be defeated and destroyed.