“Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’ ” The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.” And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.” And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant, and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “ ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?” And leaving them, he went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there. In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once. When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
The King Arrives
Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, where He would bring about redemption. This was the last week of Jesus' public ministry, so He sent two disciples to acquire a donkey before entering. He instructed them to say the Lord needed them to avoid any problems if anyone questioned their actions. God's rescue plan was carefully planned, with no detail being a coincidence. This event fulfilled what Zechariah had prophesied. The disciples complied, and Jesus rode into the city. The crowd cheered Him on as they spread their cloaks on the ground and cut branches to lay at His feet. The commotion stirred everyone up, and when asked who Jesus was, they replied that He was the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee. The city was buzzing with uncertainty, but it was all part of God's redemption. Although it was unexpected, God was in the process of saving humanity.
When Jesus visited Jerusalem, he did not come to partake in the traditional Jewish rituals. Instead, he came to the temple to chastise those who had desecrated it. He reminded them of the scriptures and healed the sick and infirm who had gathered there. The children also continue to shout “Hosanna!” as they had done at his entry, and the religious leaders are indignant. Jesus approves of their praise and then leaves Jerusalem to spend the night in Bethany.
The following morning, Jesus returns to Jerusalem, famished. Upon passing a fig tree with no fruit, He responds with severity and places a curse upon it, causing it to wither immediately. His disciples, shocked at the episode, are reminded by Jesus of the power of faith. This episode is a reminder of God's covenant blessings, as referenced in Jeremiah 8:13, that the people of God had been given, but refused to receive or listen to the King.
Who Made You King?
When Jesus arrives back at the Temple to teach, the chief priests and elders approach him and ask where his authority came from. Jesus responds by requesting an answer to his own question about John the Baptist's baptism, knowing that if they admit disobedience to God they will anger the people, and if they deny John's authority they too will face the people's backlash. With no other choice, the elders answer they do not know, to which Jesus replies that he will not give them an answer.
Happy New Year!He Will Save His People From Their SinsMy Beloved SonTemptation And MinistryThe SermonLeaving, Lying, Limits, Love, Largesse, and The Lord's PrayerTreasure, Anxiety, and JudgmentAstonishing AuthorityStorms, Demons, and HealingJesus Is CompassionateHis Eye Is On The SparrowSwords, Rewards, and MessengersThe Lord of the SabbathBlasphemy, Bad Trees, Signs, and FamilyStories, Sowers, and SoilsParables, Hidden Treasure, and RejectionFame, Food, Fear, Faith, and FringeReal Issues And The Power Of GodDying To Find LifeLike The SunChildren, Temptation, Sheep, And ForgivenessMarriage, Kids, And MoneyTo Serve And Give His Life
The ArrivalStories That StingQuestion TrapsHidden Motives And LamentThe End...?UnexpectedReady?Punishment, The Plot, And PerfumeTreachery, Passover, and The CupBetrayal, Injustice, And DenialThe Field Of Blood And The GovernorCrucifixion And DeathAll AuthorityMark—The Beginning Of The GospelHealing, Preaching, And The Forgiveness Of SinEating With Tax Collectors, Fasting, The Sabbath, And An Escape BoatThe Twelve, Blasphemy, Family, And A ParableParables And PowerA Different Kind Of StormPower Had Gone Out
Death, Hunger, And MiraclesCommandment Or TraditionDo You Not Yet Understand?The Christ And A Glimpse Of His GloryUnbelief, Confusion, And SinDivorce, Children, And PossessionsTo Give His Life As A RansomHosannaThe Rejected Stone, Taxes, And The Great CommandmentDestruction And The EndNo One Knows, An Anointing, And A Promise To BetrayPassover And GethsemaneThe Kiss, Arrest, And DenialPilate, Simon, And The CrucifixionDeath, Burial, Resurrection, And What\'s NextTheophilus And A Visit From GabrielMary And The MagnificatBenedictusThe Arrival And The ShepherdsSimeon, Anna, And The SpiritFruits Keeping With Repentance And BaptismThe Wilderness, Nazareth, And CapernaumSimon's Mother-In-Law, Fishing, A Leper, And Sins
Tax Collectors, Fasting, Sabbath Controversies, And The TwelveWhy Do You Call Me Lord, Lord?Jesus Marveled, A Raised Son, And QuestionsA Sinful Woman And A ParableObeying The Word, A Storm, And DemonsTwelve Years, Twelve Apostles, And SpeculationGreater, Costly, And GloryNot Getting It, The Cost, And AppointedWoes, Neighbors, And What Is NecessaryHelp Us Pray And A Divided Kingdom?Signs, Lights, And WoesHypocrisy, Fear, A Fool, And AnxietyParables, Division, And The TimesWarnings, A Daughter Of Abraham, And Jerusalem, JerusalemA Son Or An Ox, Parties, And DiscipleshipLost ThingsThe Dishonest Manager, The Law, And Anguish In This FlameMillstones And Mustard SeedsPersistent Prayer, Humility, A Childlike Faith, And The Rich RulerEverything That Is Written, A Blind Beggar, And A Wee Little Man
A Parable, A Colt, A Prophecy, And A CleansingAuthority, Wicked Tenants, And TaxesThings To Beware Of And WidowsDestruction, Persecution, The Son Of Man, And WatchingThe Plot, Betrayal, Lord's Supper, And Inappropriate BehaviorPrediction, Fulfillment, Agony, Betrayal, And DenialMistreated, Taken Before The Council, Pilate, Herod, And Delivered To Be CrucifiedCrucifixion, Death, And BurialHe Is Not HereDisbelieved For JoyIn The Beginning…The Lamb Of God And A WeddingZeal, What's Inside, And Born AgainHe Must Increase