A King Unlike What You Expected

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the apostle Matthew. More specifically today’s passage is found in the first twenty-two verses of the twenty-first chapter of this New Testament book. “And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, saying 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. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath n eed of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee” (Matthew 21:1-11).

 

            “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them. And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased, and said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise? And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany; and he lodged there” (Matthew 21:12-17).

 

            “Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungred. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, if ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Matthew 21:18-22).

 

 

            When you come to the twenty-first chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus you will encounter what is the beginning of “The Passion Week.” Upon beginning to read with and from the first and opening verse of this particular chapter you will find the Lord Jesus preparing to enter into the city of Jerusalem as He would make His way from the city of Jericho. If you turn and direct your attention to the words which are found in the previous chapter you will find the Lord Jesus in the city of Jericho and making His way from Jericho unto the city of Jerusalem. It is in the final verses of the twentieth chapter we encounter the Lord Jesus who was preparing Himself for the journey unto the city of Jerusalem. What makes Jesus’ journey unto the city of Jerusalem all the more captivating when you take the time to think about it is that He had been teaching His disciples for some time now that He must needs make His way unto Jerusalem. The Lord Jesus would teach and show His disciples how He needed to journey unto the city of Jerusalem for it would be there in the city of Jerusalem He would suffer many things of the chief priests, the elders of the people, the scribes and the entire religious system which was present therein. From the time the Lord Jesus was in the coasts of Caesarea Philippi until this point the Lord had been showing and teaching them how He must needs journey unto the city of Jerusalem for it would be in the city of Jerusalem He would indeed suffer many things at the hands of the chief priests, the scribes, the elders, and the religious elite of that day.

 

            I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are found in the twenty-first chapter of this New Testament gospel and I can’t help but be brought face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the Lord Jesus and the knowledge He had concerning His need to journey unto the city of Jerusalem. The Lord Jesus would immediately following Simon Peter’s profession and declaration of His being the Christ and the Son of the living God would declare unto His disciples that he must needs journey unto the city of Jerusalem where he would suffer many things at the hands of the chief priests, the scribes, the elders of the people and ultimately be killed and put to death. Within the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew we find more than one occasion where the Lord Jesus would indeed teach, show and prepare His disciples for a journey which He needed to make unto the city of Jerusalem. This journey unto the city of Jerusalem was one that would be incredibly unique when you take the time to consider it for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous suffering the Lord Jesus would experience. It would be upon His journey unto the city of Jerusalem the Lord Jesus would indeed suffer many things at the hands of the chief priests and the scribes there in the midst of the city before ultimately being put to death and rising from death to life on the third day. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it helps us to understand the words and language we find when we come to the twenty-first chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew.

 

            I am absolutely convinced that if you want to truly understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture there is a great need to consider the words which are found within this gospel beginning with the sixteenth chapter. It is what we find within this gospel beginning with the sixteenth chapter that calls and draws our attention to the incredible truth surrounding the Lord Jesus beginning to teach and show His disciples those things which He must suffer—and not only those things He must needs suffer but also those things He must suffer at the hands of the religious elite and the religious system of that day. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly is for it calls and draws our attention to the knowledge and understanding the Lord Jesus had when making the journey unto the city of Jerusalem. Jesus would move throughout Galilee, Judaea and even Jerusalem during those three and a half years He walked upon the earth. There would be countless times the Lord Jesus would indeed travel and journey through the regions and coasts of Judaea and Galilee and now Jesus would begin teaching, showing and preparing His disciples for a different journey unto the city of Jerusalem. It would be this journey unto the city of Jerusalem that would ultimately carry with it tremendous suffering at the hands of the religious elite—and not only tremendous suffering but ultimately being put to death.

 

            Having said all of this I invite you to consider the following words which are found in this New Testament gospel beginning to read with and from the sixteenth chapter. It is what we find within this gospel beginning with the sixteenth chapter that calls and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the journey the Lord Jesus would indeed make unto the city of Jerusalem knowing full well what would happen to Him and what would take place there. The Lord Jesus would indeed make His way unto the city of Jerusalem knowing that there in the midst of the city He would experience tremendous and intense suffering, opposition, persecution and even be put to death. If you and I were willing to be honest with ourselves we would have to admit that if we know that our journeying unto a specific place would inevitably lead to our suffering we might think twice about actually making our way there. How many times would you and I deliberately and intentionally avoid certain places if we knew that in those places we would experience suffering, persecution, opposition and perhaps even be put to death. This thought and reality is actually quite interesting when you think about it in the context of the apostle Paul for here was a disciple and apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ who knew that he must needs journey unto the city of Jerusalem. The apostle Paul knew that he must needs journey to Jerusalem and that he went bound in the Spirit unto this city and that bonds and afflictions abode him wherever he went. The apostle Paul did not know precisely and specifically what awaited him there in the midst of the city of Jerusalem and yet he would deliberately and intentionally make his way unto it.

 

            With this in mind I invite you to turn and direct your attention to the following words which are found in the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew concerning the words which the Lord Jesus would teach and show His disciples concerning His journey unto the city of Jerusalem and those things which would befall and come upon Him there. Consider if you will the following words which are found in this New Testament gospel beginning to read with and from the sixteenth chapter:

 

            “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist; some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church: and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day” (Matthew 16:13-22).

 

            “And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead. And his disciples asked him saying, Why then say the scribes the Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist” (Matthew 17:9-13).

 

            “And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: and they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry”  (Matthew 17:22-23).

 

            “And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again” (Matthew 20:17-19).

 

            It is absolutely necessary for us to read and understand the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the Lord Jesus and His need to journey up to Jerusalem. There in the coasts of Caesarea Philippi the Lord Jesus would begin teaching and showing His disciples how He must needs journey unto the city of Jerusalem and there in Jerusalem suffer many things at the hands of the chief priests, the scribes and the elders before ultimately being put to death. Coming down from the mountain the Lord Jesus would speak unto Peter, James and his brother John concerning John the Baptist, however, He would also declare unto them that the same thing that was done unto John the Baptist would also be done unto Him. Of course we know and understand that Jesus wasn’t beheaded, however, we know and understand that just as they opposed, despised and rejected John the Baptist before ultimately putting him to death so also would they despise, oppose and reject the Lord Jesus before putting Him to death. Within the seventeenth chapter of this New Testament gospel we again find the Lord Jesus declaring unto His disciples while they abode in Galilee how He must be betrayed into the hands of men and how they would kill him before he would be raised from death to life on the third day. What’s more is that when you read the words which are found in the twentieth chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative you will find that as Jesus went up to Jerusalem He would take the twelve apart in the way and would speak unto them concerning their journey unto the city.

            Within the twentieth chapter of this New Testament gospel we find Jesus doing more than teaching and showing His disciples that He must needs journey up unto the city of Jerusalem. As you read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will encounter the tremendous truth that Jesus was in fact making His way and traveling unto the city of Jerusalem. If you begin reading with and from the seventeenth verse of this particular chapter you will find Jesus going up to Jerusalem and taking the twelve disciples apart in the way for to show and teach them something. That which the Lord Jesus would teach and show unto His disciples would be that they went up to Jerusalem and how there in Jerusalem the Son of man would be betrayed unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes before they would condemn Him to death. What’s more is within this passage of Scripture and on this particular occasion we find the Lord Jesus declaring how the chief priests and the scribes would not only condemn Him to death but would also deliver Him to the Gentiles who would mock, and to scourge, and to crucify Him. That which makes this particular passage so incredibly intriguing when you take the time to think about it is when you consider the fact that Jesus would now at this particular juncture add to the picture that He would be betrayed, that the chief priests and scribes would condemn Him to death, and would deliver Him to the Gentiles who would mock, and scourge and crucify Him. What an incredibly unique and powerful declaration would be made of the Lord Jesus on this particular occasion for the Lord would once more teach and show His disciples those things which He must needs suffer at the hands of the chief priests, the scribes and the elders—and not only of the religious leaders of that day but also of the Gentiles.

 

            What we find when we come to the twenty-first chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative is Jesus actually drawing nearer and closer unto the city of Jerusalem as he came to Bethphage and unto the mount of Olives. It would be there at Bethphage Jesus would send two of His disciples into the village over against them with a very specific purpose. These two disciples would be ordained and appointed by the Lord Jesus to help fulfill prophecy and the word which was spoken by the ancient Hebrew prophet. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in this passage for they call and draw our attention to the tremendous and wonderful truth of these two disciples whose names we do not know who would be ordained and appointed by the Lord Jesus to help fulfill prophecy. If there is one thing I cannot help but be absolutely captivated by when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture it’s that these disciples might very well have thought the task and assignment given them was somewhat insignificant and yet they had absolutely no clue they were actually helping to fulfill prophecy. One of the greatest truths found within the New Testament gospel is how those things which took place during those days were specifically designed and divinely engineered by the eternal and living God to fulfill prophecy and that which had been spoken by Him through His servants the prophets. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for when we come to the twenty-first chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew we find two disciples of the Lord Jesus being invited to the narrative of the suffering and crucifixion of the Lord Jesus.

 

That which would take place on this particular day would indeed be the beginning of what has become known as “The Passion Week” which would be the final week Jesus would move within and throughout Jerusalem and Judaea before ultimately being betrayed by one of His own into the hands of the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of Israel who would deliver Him unto the hands of the Gentiles who would scourge, mock and ultimately crucify Him. There is something incredibly unique and powerful about the words and language we find in the opening verses of this passage of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to the reality of the Lord Jesus and His preparation to enter into Jerusalem. Perhaps one of the greatest truths I find about this passage of Scripture is centered upon the reality that Jesus knew that His going up unto Jerusalem would inevitably lead to His suffering and ultimately His death and yet He would still take the time to ensure He performed and completed this task. As you read the words found in this passage of Scripture you will find that the sole purpose for this task and assignment given unto these disciples was that the prophetic word spoken by the ancient Hebrew prophet might be fulfilled. If we are to truly understand the words and language found in this passage of Scripture we must needs understand that everything which took place here in Bethphage was to fulfill the prophetic word which had been spoken by the prophet—something that is somewhat of a theme within and throughout this gospel narrative. Time and time again we find events which took place during the days of the Lord Jesus fulfilling that which had been spoken by the ancient Hebrew prophets beginning with His being conceived within the womb of a virgin.

 

I absolutely love the words which are found within the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible reality of the events surrounding the life of the Lord Jesus and how the events of those days fulfilled the prophetic words which had been spoken by the prophets. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly is for it calls and draws our attention to the tremendous and wonderful truth surrounding the Lord Jesus and how His entire life and many of the intricate details within it would ultimately fulfill prophecy. The days of the Lord Jesus were not only days of the manifestation of the kingdom of heaven but they would also be days of prophecy fulfilled. How absolutely wonderful and incredible it is to read the words found in this passage of Scripture and to see how these two disciples were personally invited by the Lord Jesus to be a part of prophecy fulfilled. You cannot read the words found in this passage of Scripture and not encounter and come face to face with the incredible truth surrounding the Lord Jesus personally inviting these two disciples to step into a place of prophecy fulfilled during those days. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for it was about more than simply Jesus finding a donkey upon which to ride on. What we must needs recognize and realize is that not only did the events of this particular day fulfill prophecy but it was not the first time a son of David had entered into the city of Jerusalem riding on a donkey or mule. If you turn and direct your attention back to the Old Testament books of Kings and Chronicles you will find how before David went the way of his fathers he would ordain and appoint his son Solomon to be place upon his own personal mule and move throughout the streets of the city of Jerusalem.

 

When I read the words found in this passage of Scripture I can’t help but be brought face to face with the narrative surrounding Solomon the son of David who was specifically chosen, ordained and appointed by the living God to sit upon the throne of David and reign in his place upon his death. Solomon who was born unto David and Bethsheba would indeed become the next king of Israel who would sit upon the throne of David in the midst of the city and before he would be anointed as the next king of Israel David would personally have him ride upon his own mule and move throughout the streets of the city of Jerusalem. This is actually something unique and interesting when you consider the contrast between two different narratives found during the days of David’s death and the succession of the throne of David in Jerusalem. There would be one of David’s sons who would self-proclaim and self-exalt himself to the throne of his father and proclaim himself as the king of Israel. What we find within the Old Testament, however, is that while it was indeed true this particular individual would proclaim themselves as the next king of Israel it would be David who would actually have the final say and authority on who would sit on the throne in his stead. It would be David working together with Bathsheba and others to not only have Solomon “the son of David” ride upon his personal mule but also be anointed and proclaimed as the next king of Israel. Consider if you will the following passages of Scripture and the pseudo or false king who dared appoint himself to the throne and the true king who would not only be appointed by David himself but would also be anointed and proclaimed the rightful heir to sit upon the throne of David:

 

Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat. Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her satnd before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat. So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not. Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? And he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after Absalom. And he conferred with Joab the son fo Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him. But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David were not with Adonisjah. And Adonjiah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zhoeleth, which is by En-rogel, and called all his brethren the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah the king’s servants: But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not” (1 Kings 1:1-10).

 

Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bath-sheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heart that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not? Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon. Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O king, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? Why then doth Adonijah reign? Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm thy words. And Bath-sheba went in unto the king into the chamber: and the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king. And Bath-sheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, What wouldest thou? And she said unto him, My lord, thou swarest by the LORD thy God unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne. And now, behold, Adonijah reigneth; and now, my lord the king, thou knowest it not: and he hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the sons of the king, and Abiathar the priest, and Joab the captain of the host: but Solomon thy servant hath he not called. And thou, my lord, O king, the eyes of all Israel are upon thee, that thou shouldest tell them who shall sit on the throne of my lord the king after him. Otherwise it shall come to pass, when my lord the king shall sleep with his fathers, that I and my son Solomon shall be counted offenders. And, lo, whilel she yet talked with the king, Nathan the prophet also came in. And they told the king, saying, Behold Nathan the prophet. And when he was come in before the king, he bowed himself before the king with his face to the ground. And Nathan said, My lord, O king, hast thou said, Adonijah shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? For he is gone down this day, and hath slain oxen and fat cattle and sheep in abundance, and hath called all the king’s sons, and the captains of the host, and Abiathar the priest; and, behold, they eat and drink before him, and say, God save king Adonijah. But me, even me thy sevant, and Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and thy servant Solomon, hath he not called. Is this thing done by my lord the king, and thou hast not shewed it unto thy servant, who should sit on the throne of my lord the king after him? Then king David answered and said, Call me Bath-sheba. And she came into the king’s presence, and stood before the king. And the king sware, and said, As the LORD liveth, that hath redeemed my soul out of all distress, even as I sware unto thee by the LORD God of Israel, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne in my stead; even so will I certainly do this day. Then Bath-sheba bowoed with her face to the earth, and di reverence to the king, and  said, Let my lord king David live for ever” (1 Kings 1:11-31).

 

And David said, Call me Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada. And they came before the king. The king also said unto them, Take with you the servants of your lord, and cause Solomon my son to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon: And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with t he trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon. Then ye shall come up after him, and that he may come and sit upon my throne; for he shall be king in my stead: and I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and over Judah. And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada answered the king, and said, Amen: the LORD God of my lord the king say so too. As the LORD hath been with my. Lord the king, even so be he with Solomon, and make his throne greater than the throne of my lord king David. So Zadok the priest, and Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites, and the Pelethites, went down, and caused Solomon to ride upon king David’s mule, and brought him to Gihon. And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon. And all the people came up after him, and the people piped with pipes, and rejoiced with great joy, so that the earth rent with the sound of them” (1 Kings 1:32-40).

 

The words which we find in this passage of Scripture are absolutely and utterly captivating when you take the time to think about it for within it we find one of David’s sons—and not only one of David’s sons but one who was born unto him by Bath-sheba—proclaiming and elevating himself to the throne in Israel. Within this passage of Scripture we are brought face to face with Adonijah who was one of the sons of David who worked with Joab who was the captain of the army of David and Abiathar the priest to proclaim and elevate himself to the throne in the midst of Jerusalem. What makes this all the more intriguing when you think about it is this would be the second time one of David’s sons would presume to take it upon themselves to try and lay claim to the throne of David in the city of Jerusalem. If you turn and direct your attention to the books of Second Samuel and First Chronicles you will find that Absalom—another one of David’s sons—would exalt himself to the throne of David in the midst of Jerusalem. What makes his treachery and insurrection all the more dangerous when you take the time to think about it is when you consider how he didn’t merely lay claim to the throne of David in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. Absalom would begin his treachery and insurrection by first turning the hearts of Israel away from his father David before seeking to place himself in a position where he would be able to lay claim to the throne of his father. Not only this but so grievous was his treachery and insurrection that David together with those who were willing to depart him would leave the throne and would flee the city of Jerusalem lest Absalom come upon him like a torrential flood.

 

Upon reading the words which are found in the Old Testament books of Second Samuel and First Chronicles we find the narrative of one of David’s own sons attempting to usurp and lay claim to the throne of their father while he was still seated upon the throne. If you take the time to read the words which are found in these Old Testament books you will find that eventually Absalom would be caught in the thicket of a tree by his hair and would hang their suspended between earth and heaven. What we find next is Absalom being killed by one of David’s own men. As a direct result of Absalom being put to death we find the insurrection and rebellion in the midst of the city of Jerusalem being calmed and David ultimately returning to the throne which was present in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of that which is found in this passage of Scripture for in the first and opening chapter of the Old Testament book of First Kings we find another one of David’s sons attempting to lay claim to the throne of his father. What makes the words and language in the first chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative so incredibly unique and powerful when you take the time to think about it is when you consider the fact that Nathan the prophet, Zadok the priest, Benaiah the son of Jehoiada and even Bath-sheba would work together with the king to promote the true king who was destined to sit upon the throne of David in the midst of Jerusalem. The LORD promised David that if he walked in His commandments and followed Him in all his ways there would never be an heir of his to sit upon the throne in Jerusalem. Not only this but the LORD would promise David an enduring house that would last through the generations—a house that would be directly linked to the throne in Jerusalem.

 

As you read the words which are found in the first and opening chapter of the Old Testament book of First Kings you will find David working together with Bath-sheba, Nathan the prophet, Zadok the priest, Benaiah and his servants and mighty men to elevate Solomon to the throne in the midst of Jerusalem. What’s more is that David would ordain his son Solomon to ride upon his own mule in the midst of Jerusalem being not only being anointed as the next king of Israel but also before being proclaimed the next king of Israel. We dare not and must not miss the significance and importance of this for what it brings us face to face to is a powerful type and symbol of another Son of David who would enter Jerusalem riding on a donkey. There is a great need for us to recognize and understand the words which are found in this passage within the Old Testament book of First Kings for it calls and draws our attention to the wonderful truth surrounding Solomon being a son of David and not only riding upon the king’s own mule but also sitting upon the throne of his father David.

 

If there is one thing we must needs understand when reading the words which are found in the twenty-first chapter of this New Testament gospel it’s not only Jesus entering into Jerusalem riding upon a donkey but also that which was proclaimed concerning him. As you read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find that Jesus’ riding on a donkey would be to fulfil the prophetic word spoken by the prophet according to the word of the LORD—“Tell ye the daughter of Sion, behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.” The events which would take place at the beginning of this chapter would not only bring about the fulfillment of the prophetic word of the Lord which was spoken by the prophet Zechariah but they would also be a powerful reminder of another son of David who would enter into the city of Jerusalem riding upon a mule. As you read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you can and will find those who went before the Lord Jesus and those who went behind Him proclaiming “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.” Oh please don’t miss and lose sight of the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for the words which we find here call and draws our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the proclamation that was made concerning the Lord Jesus as He entered into the midst of the city of Jerusalem.

 

The Lord Jesus would enter into the city of Jerusalem meek and lowly riding upon a donkey rather than entering in riding upon a white stallion. The Lord Jesus could have chosen to enter into the city of Jerusalem riding on a horse or even being charted around in a chariot. Jesus could have entered into the city of Jerusalem as a conquering king and as a warrior who was going forth to conquer. There are a myriad of different ways the Lord Jesus could have entered into the city of Jerusalem and yet what we find within this passage of Scripture is the Lord Jesus entering into the city of Jerusalem meek and lowly. This time the Lord Jesus would enter into the midst of the city of Jerusalem as a Lamb who would ultimately be led to the slaughter. Perhaps one of the questions I find myself asking when reading these words is whether or not many of those during this day understood the symbolism and typology that existed within Jesus’ entrance into the city of Jerusalem. Were there many men and women during those days who truly understood what was taking place among them as the One who was indeed their King was entering into the city? Were there men and women who were present who not only looked back to the days of another son of David who entered into the city of Jerusalem riding on a donkey but also who looked ahead to this Son of David who was ordained and appointed to sit upon the throne of His father David? It is truly astonishing and powerful when you take the time to think about and consider the words found in this passage of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding the Lord Jesus entering into the city of Jerusalem meek and lowly but as a King.

 

            One of the greatest truths found within this particular passage is that although the Lord Jesus would enter into the city of Jerusalem meek and lowly He would in fact enter as a King. The prophetic word would speak of the Lord Jesus as a King who came unto the city of Jerusalem meek and sitting upon an ass and a colt the foal of an ass. When Jesus entered into the midst of the city of Jerusalem he would indeed enter in as a King yet not as the King the people would expect. I can’t help but wonder what the expectation surrounding Jesus of Nazareth when and as he entered into the city of Jerusalem riding upon a donkey. The apostle Matthew writes and records how the multitudes which went before the Lord Jesus and those that followed would cry, saying “Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the LORD; Hosanna in the highest” and we must pay close and careful attention to these words. These words call and invite us to recognize that when the Lord Jesus entered into the city of Jerusalem He would come meek and lowly for even He Himself would declare unto His disciples and followers that He was meek and lowly and that His burden was light. Now here we have Jesus actually preparing to enter into the city of Jerusalem and yet entering into the midst of it riding on a donkey rather than a horse are being drawn in a chariot. There were no proclamations made concerning Jesus by His disciples but rather only by those from the multitudes who would go before Him and those who would go behind Him.

 

            As I sit here today thinking about the words which are found in this passage of Scripture I can’t help but find within it a tremendous indictment centered upon the proclamation the multitudes made concerning the Lord Jesus. The multitudes which went before and those which went behind the Lord Jesus would proclaim Jesus as being the Son of David thus directly linking Him to the throne of David, to the lineage of David and even to the house of David. Not only this but their declaration would also acknowledge that Jesus was coming in the name of the LORD. What we must needs recognize and understand is that this proclamation would indeed emphatically proclaim the Lord Jesus in the streets of Jerusalem as the Son of David—and not only as the Son of David but also as a king. The words which are found in this passage must not be overlooked for they call and draw our attention to the tremendous and wonderful truth surrounding the proclamation that was made concerning the Lord Jesus. Jesus would not only enter into the midst of the city of Jerusalem meek and lowly riding upon a donkey but He would be proclaimed as being of the house and lineage of David who was the king of Israel. What we must also pay close and careful attention to are the words which the prophet Isaiah emphatically proclaimed concerning the Messiah which was to come in the ninth chapter. I am absolutely and completely convinced we must needs recognize and pay attention to these words for they help us to understand the truth surrounding Jesus and that His being the Messiah would in fact make Him the Son of David who would indeed sit upon His throne. On this particular time Jesus would enter the city of Jerusalem—not to sit upon a throne but rather to suffer and die upon a cross.

 

With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are not only found in the ninth chapter of the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah but also the words which are found in the fifty-third chapter of the same prophetic book. It is in the ninth chapter we learn of the Messiah and Christ that he would indeed rule and reign upon the earth, however, it is in the fifty-third chapter of the same prophetic book we encounter and come face to face with the awesome and incredible truth surrounding the Messiah and Christ who would indeed be One who would sit upon the throne of David as the King of Israel and yet would suffer. One of the greatest stumbling blocks many within the city of Jerusalem and in the coasts of Judaea faced during this week was thinking and believing that Jesus entered into the city of Jerusalem to sit upon the throne of David and to once more establish the kingdom of Israel. What we find, however, is the Lord Jesus not entering into the city of Jerusalem to sit upon the throne of David nor even to set up the kingdom of Israel once more. The Lord Jesus did not enter into the city of Jerusalem as a conqueror who would overthrow the tyranny of Roman oppression but rather entered into the midst of it to suffer, to be killed and ultimately be raised from death to life. This first time the Lord Jesus would enter Jerusalem—not to sit upon an earthly throne but rather to suffer and be killed and crucified. What’s more is that before Jesus would ever sit upon the throne of his father David in the midst of the earth He would sit down at the right hand of God in the heavens. There are countless passages of Scripture that speak to Jesus’ being set down at the right hand of God after suffering in the flesh, being killed and crucified, rising from death to life on the third day and ascending unto the right hand of the Father in heaven. Consider now if you will the following words which are found in the ninth and fifty-third chapters of the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah:

 

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: And the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).

 

Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the LORD reveale? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: Yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: The chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed> All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgmgent: and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many: for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:1-12).

 

I sit here today thinking about and considering the words found in these passages of Scripture and I can’t help but be brought face to face with the incredible truth surrounding Jesus’ entrance into the city of Jerusalem at this particular time. Jesus entered into the midst of the city of Jerusalem meek and lowly riding on a donkey and when the multitudes saw Him there were some who went before Him while others went behind Him. The multitudes which followed the Lord Jesus and went before Him would not only proclaim “Hosanna” but they would also speak of Him as “the Son of David.” If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand when considering the words found in this passage of Scripture it’s that when Jesus entered into the city of Jerusalem He didn’t enter to sit upon a throne. Despite the fact that Scripture clearly declared and revealed He would indeed sit upon the throne of His father David He would not enter into the city of Jerusalem on this particular occasion to set up a throne nor even an earthly kingdom. In fact throughout His public ministry He would speak of a kingdom which was not of this world but rather of God and from heaven. Time and time again you will find the Lord Jesus speaking of the kingdom of heaven as well as the kingdom of God thus indicating the tremendous truth that the kingdom which He would come to establish would indeed be a kingdom of heaven rather than a kingdom of the earth. I am absolutely convinced there might have been those in Jerusalem who thought and anticipated Jesus would come and set up an earthly kingdom and sit upon an earthly throne and yet the truth of the matter is that He would do neither.

 

What makes the words found in this passage of Scripture all the more intriguing when you consider it according to the gospel written by Matthew is that the very first thing Jesus did was not lay claim to any earthly throne. As Jesus entered into Jerusalem the first act you will find Him performing is entering into the Temple. What’s more is that not only would Jesus enter the Temple of His Father who was in heaven but He would bring about a thorough cleansing and purging within it. The apostle Matthew writes how Jesus went into the temple of God and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple. Not only this but Jesus would overthrow the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of them that sold doves. Pause for a moment and consider what this sight would and could have looked like as Jesus effectively overturned and overthrew all the commerce, exchange and merchandise which were present in the temple of the living God in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. It is absolutely impossible to read the words found in this passage of Scripture and not encounter and come face to face with this tremendous and incredible reality. Jesus would indeed enter into the temple of God in Jerusalem and yet on this particular occasion He would enter with a very specific purpose. Perhaps the question I can’t help but ask myself is how many times Jesus had entered into the Temple and witnessed and beheld the events which He now saw. Was this the only time Jesus entered into the temple of God in all His trips to the city of Jerusalem where he witnessed and beheld those who bought and sold in the Temple and those who sold doves? Was this the only time the Lord Jesus witnessed and beheld the money changers and spilled their coins all over the grounds of the Temple?

I have to admit that as I read the words found in this passage of Scripture I am captivated with and by the tremendous and incredible truth of the Lord Jesus’ entrance into the Temple of the living God. Jesus would indeed enter into the temple of the living God on this particular occasion and yet the very first thing He would do was bring cleansing and order within it. We dare not and must not miss and lose of this for it calls and draws our attention to the absolutely wonderful and powerful truth surrounding the Lord Jesus and His time within the city of Jerusalem. Jesus would indeed enter into the city of Jerusalem meek and lowly riding on a donkey as the multitudes went before and behind Him proclaiming “Hosanna” and proclaiming Him as the Son of David. With this being, however, we find that after entering into Jerusalem Jesus would make His way to the temple. Oh there is not a doubt in my mind His journey unto the Temple was not coincidental but was entirely and altogether by design. There is a great need for us to recognize and understand that Jesus entered into the Temple knowing exactly what He would see and what He would find in the midst of it. The question I continue asking myself is how many times the Lord Jesus had gone unto the Temple of God and witnessed and beheld these money changers and the tables of money present within it. How many times had the Lord Jesus entered into the Temple of the living God and beheld the buying and selling of that which would have been used as sacrifices unto the living God? Is it possible the Lord Jesus went unto the Temple on more than one occasion and witnessed and beheld what was taking place within it and yet could not and chose to do anything?

 

There is something incredibly unique and powerful about the words found in this passage of Scripture for Jesus would indeed enter into the city of Jerusalem meek and lowly riding on a donkey and yet He would not come to sit upon a throne nor even overthrow the Roman government which had exercised its will over Judaea, Galilee and Jerusalem. Jesus did not come to set up an earthly kingdom nor did He enter into Jerusalem to restore the kingdom of Israel as it was during the days of David—and especially the days of Solomon. When the Lord Jesus entered into the city of Jerusalem He would come to suffer in the flesh before ultimately being put to death, killed and crucified. Jesus knew that He would come unto the city of Jerusalem to suffer in the flesh and be killed before ultimately being raised from death to life on the third day. With this being said, however, we must needs recognize and understand that shortly after entering into the city of Jerusalem Jesus would enter into the Temple and bring about a great cleansing. Pause for a moment and consider what king would enter into the midst of the city of Jerusalem and rather than sitting upon a throne would choose to enter into the Temple of the living God and clean house. How absolutely incredible it is to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and think about how the Lord Jesus would not set up nor would He sit upon an earthly throne in the midst of the city but would choose to enter into the Temple of the living God and bring cleansing to it. Rather than cast off and overthrow the Roman Empire the Lord Jesus would indeed bring cleansing to the Temple of the living God.

 

As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the absolutely wonderful truth found in this passage of Scripture. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of what took place within it for Jesus would indeed enter into the city of Jerusalem as a king. The truth of the matter, however, is that Jesus would not enter into the midst of the city as the king many among the multitudes thought and expected—this despite the fact that His entrance into the city of Jerusalem would be very much reminiscent of the entrance of Solomon the son of David into the city as he was being set up and established as king of the nation and kingdom of Israel. Jesus’ entrance into the city of Jerusalem would indeed be an entrance that would proclaim Him as King and yet the kingdom that He had come to set up and establish at this particular time was the kingdom of heaven and of God within and upon the earth. Jesus did not come to the earth on this particular occasion to sit upon an earthly throne nor even to establish an earthly kingdom. Instead that which the Lord Jesus came unto the city of Jerusalem to do was to set up and establish a heavenly kingdom which would be manifested in the midst of the earth. What’s more is that as you read the previous passages found within the gospel narrative written by the apostle Matthew you will find that Jesus’ going up to the city of Jerusalem would have nothing to do with a kingdom, a throne or anything of the sort. Jesus would teach and show His disciples how He must needs journey unto the city of Jerusalem that he might suffer in the flesh at the hands of the chief priests, the scribes and the elders of the people before ultimately being put to death leading to His resurrection from the dead.

 

There is something absolutely wonderful about the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for they call and draw our attention to the incredible truth surrounding the Lord Jesus and His journey unto the city of Jerusalem. The Lord Jesus would indeed make His way unto the city of Jerusalem and would even enter it as a King and yet He would not come to sit upon a throne but to die upon a cross. Jesus came not to overthrow the Roman government but would instead be killed and put to death by the hands of the Romans as Pontius Pilate would give the order to have Jesus executed and crucified. How truly wonderful the words which are found in this passage of Scripture truly are as they call and draw our attention to the wonderful truth that Jesus knew His mission and assignment at this particular time. There is not a doubt in my mind Jesus knew and understood that He was ordained and appointed to sit upon the throne of his father David in the midst of the earth, however, He knew that at this particular juncture He would need to suffer in the flesh before ultimately being killed and crucified. Oh how truly astonishing and captivating the words found within this passage of Scripture truly are for the call and draw our attention to the incredible truth of the Lord Jesus entering the city of Jerusalem as a king and as the Son of David and yet He would prepare to suffer in the flesh before being crucified and buried in the earth until He would be raised from death to life. What a truly awesome and powerful truth this is that Jesus would deliberately and intentionally enter into the city of Jerusalem as a King and yet would fulfill His role as the suffering Servant first. Oh that we would recognize and understand this Jesus who deliberately and intentionally chose to lay down His life that He might suffer in the flesh and be crucified upon a cruel Roman tree for the sins of you and I.

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