"Why Do You Admire Him?" Matthew 21: 1-11
“Why Do You Admire Him?”
This Week’s Core Belief: Humanity I believe all people are loved by God and need Jesus Christ as their Savior.
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
Scripture: Scripture: Matthew 21:1-11
Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2 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. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, 5 “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.’ ”
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. 8 Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 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!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”
The Message of this Passage:
An article from Ligonier ministries describes these verses this way. “Riding on a humble beast of burden is not the way in which most people would expect a king to enter into His reign, but that is exactly how the Lord of glory entered His. Though almost no one could see it at the time, Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday marked the beginning of the final events that would lead to His exaltation.
When we say that almost no one could see it at the time, we are not speaking of what the crowd of Passover pilgrims first thought when they saw Jesus approaching Jerusalem on a donkey. The greatest king in their history, after all, often rode through the Holy City and the Promised Land in a similar manner. Thus, the people who cried “Hosanna to the Son of David!” on Palm Sunday expected a mighty, conquering king, one who would throw off the yoke of their Gentile oppressors just as David had defeated the Philistines centuries earlier.
Yet the people failed to see the true import of the Davidic king riding on a lowly beast of burden. Yes, David was a conquering king, but he defeated his enemies not in his own strength but in the strength of the Lord. Moreover, for all of his military prowess, David could not provide permanent rest to his people. After his death, his son Solomon enjoyed peace for a time, but this golden age came to an end when God brought enemies against Solomon to discipline him for his idolatry.
The true enemies that had to be defeated were not pagan Gentiles but rather sin and death. This could not be done on a white horse and with great armies. Instead, it took humility, a willingness to take the form of a servant and submit to the punishment that God’s people deserve for their sin. Only by receiving the worst that sin and death could throw at him could the Davidic king “outsmart” our enemies.
In thinking that they were gaining the upper hand, sin, death, and even Satan himself did not see that their actions were ultimately working under the sovereignty of God so that His wrath would be satisfied in the death of His Son. They did not see that by killing Jesus they were actually ensuring their own defeat, for the Son of David whom they murdered was stronger than death itself. Passing through death, He conquered it by rising again.
Jesus took the worst that His foes could do and triumphed over it. His humble entry into Jerusalem in fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy anticipated His final conquering act.” Taken from Ligonier Ministries
For Personal Reflection and Discussion:
The laying down of a cloak was a sign of submission. The palm branch was a symbol of nationalism. Discuss some of the dangers of putting a political twist on your religious beliefs.
The crowd shouted “Hosanna” which is a Hebrew word meaning “save”. Basically they are saying “Save us son of a king.” From what were the crowds asking to be saved?
Read Zech. 14:1-4 & Ps. 48:1-3. Picture yourself as a devout Jew living in Jesus’ day, a Jew who knew the Scriptures well. What significance would you attach to Jesus, who “drew near to Jerusalem and came . . . to the Mount of Olives” (Matt. 21:1)?
How do you respond when Jesus doesn’t meet your expectations, even if your expectations were completely wrong?
Holy Week is also known as Passion Week. The word Passion comes from the Latin term “Passio” which means suffer. Jesus came as a suffering servant and a triumphant king. In different seasons of your life how do you relate to these two contrasting images of Jesus?
What is the difference between honoring Jesus and recognizing Him as the Messiah?
How did Jesus know that the animals would be just inside the village? Did He exercise His omniscience (complete knowledge of everything) or did He prearrange to have the animals ready for His need? On what basis did you answer?
Why do you think Jesus allowed this kind of worship and public announcing of Himself as the Messiah to happen when he had stopped it so many times before (e.g. Matt. 9:27-31; John 2:4; 7:30; 8:20; 12:23, 27; 13:1; 17:1)?
In Matt. 21:1-11 people had a misconception about who He was and what He came to do. Think for a moment about your own life. In what ways do you have misconceptions about Jesus? Just a few questions to start your thinking: Do you think that there are sins you have committed for which He just can’t forgive you? Do you think that there are sins you commit about which He is not really concerned? Do you think His main concern for your life is your happiness? Do you think He is obligated to bless you in certain and specific ways because of your obedience? Do you think (or act like) Jesus’ command to make disciples is for other people but not for you? Do you deny the power of the resurrection directed toward you (Eph. 1:19-20) by living a life unaffected by the gospel? Don’t stop with my questions. Ask God to reveal to you your misconceptions about Jesus and write down what He shows you.