Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King
21 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”
4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
5 “Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them.7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Jesus at the Temple
12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”
14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.
16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.
“Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,
“‘From the lips of children and infants
you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”
17 And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.
Jesus Curses a Fig Tree
18 Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. 19 Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered.
20 When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked.
21 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Hi, I’m John and if you’ve been reading these I have been writing them to help put into my life better Bible study habits. This year it is my hope to better grow in my relationship with God. I have posted these Bible journals thinking that maybe others could read some of my thoughts and grow in there walk with God, as well. A tiny bit about me… I am not a pastor or a big time theologian and I am, essentially, a Bible college drop out, so I do not make any claims on the perfection of my theology. Though, I do believe it is sound. I try to align all of my thoughts with scripture and it is my deep desire to correctly interpret scripture and too not make any serious interpretation errors. Everyone who reads my journal entries should always study the scriptures diligently for themselves and test what I say.
Hosanna in the Highest:
Today’s scripture is one of my favorite scriptures in all of the Bible. I love seeing Jesus lifted high and his name being praised.
First, I want to point out Jesus is being praised here as king and as Lord. Everything the people are doing is an act of worship before their Lord. Consider verse 12, ““‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’” He is saying the temple in Jerusalem, which is called God’s holy temple is his house. In saying this he is declaring that he is God. Only God dwells in the temple as his house. Jesus has already declared himself equal to God, in John 5:18 it says, “This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” We also know Jesus has lived prior to being born into the world. John 1:14 says, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
I love how much the people show their adoration for Jesus in this passage. As I have been thinking about this passage, today, I couldn’t help but dwell upon what praise and worship means to me. How do I worship Jesus in my life? What do I think of when I come before him to offer him praise? Do I come before him with exaltation in my heart and expectancy, the same way these people here come before him? Or, am I like the pharisees, here, and if I see someone worshiping God or proclaiming he is savior do I become uncomfortable or even angry?
I tend to be pretty open about my faith, but I go to a liberal arts school and sometimes when I speak up about my faith I notice I make other Christians nervous. I have even had other Christians tell me I should be careful not to offend people when simply deafening my faith. It’s almost like some Christians, nowadays, believe we should keep our mouths shut when it comes to Jesus and not make it to clear we are Christ followers, in order to not offend. I, personally, stand in direct opposition to this mentality, just as the people in this passage did. As believers, we should be respectful and always full of love in our representation of Christ and the gospel. And I don’t believe in shoving the gospel down others throats, but we should never be afraid to proclaim Christ or our allegiance to him. As believers, we should present Christ in a thoughtful manner, but we don’t have to compromise our beliefs in order to do this.
In thinking more about Jesus and adoration, praise and worship: I find myself frustrated when we, as Americans, seem to have a very cavalier or nonchalant attitude about coming into the presence of God. Jesus is the king of kings and these people are worshiping him with all they have. They are spreading their cloaks out before him, they are cutting down tree branches and laying them at his feet. They are praising him greatly– they are adoring him. When we praise God do we adore him? Or, do we simply say, “Oh God loves me and everything is cool– I love you big guy!”
I can’t help but think about our president and wonder about going before his presence. Would I be nervous or anxious? I think I would. I would be a bit nervous about meeting a Hollywood star, but I would definitely be nervous about coming before the president of the United States.
Once in a movie I saw a character who was going on and on about his British king. He was trying to stir up some angst among the other cowboys and he started putting down the U.S. president. He almost caused a massive gun fight, for this movie took place in the 1800’s and no one wanted to hear anything bad about our president. This character was a bit of a jerk, but he made a good point. He said the president will always have more people threatening his life then a king will. Because, a king is tradition, he is bathed in royalty and pomp and he is thought of in the highest regard. “Whereas a president– well anyone can become president,” he said. The movie is Un-forgiven.
This really makes me think. I don’t think we have a proper concept of what it means to come before a king. Like I said, I would be nervous if I came before the president, but I most likely would be that much more nervous if I came before a great king; especially if I was a lowly peasant.
Before God we are all lowly peasants and he is not only a king, but he is the king of kings. How much more respectful or filled with expectation should we be when we come before God? I wonder if we often take a second to consider–with awe–how amazing it is to boldly come before the presence of God?