The text for this lesson is Luke 19:28–40.
- Jesus is the one true King of heaven and earth, worthy of praise and worship.
- Law:In our sin, we fail to see Jesus as He really is when we ask Him to meet only our temporal needs.
- Gospel: Jesus came not as a conquering king to subdue opposition but to bring spiritual peace as He overcomes sin and death through His cross and resurrection.
- After His journey from Galilee through Samaria and Jericho, Jesus prepares to enter Jerusalem as a king. He has recently related the parable of the ten minas, anticipating taking His kingship (Luke 19:11–27). In this parable, the king—besides granting a greater reward to those who had much and managed it well—punishes those who tried to sabotage his becoming king.
- As Jesus enters triumphantly into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, we see many who desired that He be king and many who did not. More than this, however, no one seems to anticipate the kind of kingship Jesus will exercise—a kingship that brings destruction to sin, death, and the devil but reward and spiritual peace to His faithful.
- Jesus approaches Jerusalem from the east, from Jericho, so He arrives at the Mount of Olives before Jerusalem. Bethany is on the east of the mountain, and Bethphage on the mountain itself, only about a mile from Jerusalem. It is unclear if the disciples acquire the donkey from Bethany or Bethphage.
- Jesus directs His disciples according to His divine knowledge, telling them where they will find a donkey. The owners of the donkey apparently know Jesus or have heard of Him, because they do not resist the disciples’ taking the donkey after they hear it is for Jesus’ use. By riding a donkey, Jesus is fulfilling Zechariah 9:9, which says, “Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is He, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
- The donkey was young, a colt, and had never been ridden. In this way, the donkey is considered set apart from everyday use and has been preserved for this holy use of bearing Jesus into Jerusalem. The people also treat this as a royal procession, decorating the road with their cloaks. Although palms are not mentioned in Luke’s Gospel, we know from the other Gospels that the people also waved palm branches and strew them before the donkey.
- Remembering the miracles Jesus performed, and seeing Him now approach the capital city as a king, the people acclaim Him with shouts and greetings. “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord” (Luke 19:38) is a quote from Psalm 118:26, a hailing of the Lord’s Christ. Although Jesus enters Jerusalem as a king, He is not a militaristic, conquering king (compare 1 Kings 1:33, where Solomon is proclaimed king, riding on a mule). Rather, Jesus enters with “peace in heaven” (Luke 19:38).
- Jesus affirms His divinity here, noting that creation cannot help but to praise Him, for He is God made flesh, come to rescue and restore His people. He will complete this task in one week by dying on the cross and rising again to life. Even if all people ignore or reject Him, the very stones would cry out in the praise of God.