Today: [Luke 19 Part 2]Jesus Enters Jerusalem: In chapter 19, Part 2 Jesus comes to the outer environs of Jerusalem and instructs His disciples to provide Him with a colt to enter the city on. He is fulfilling prophecy, and the people cry out in jubilation at His entering into the city. What would happen if Jesus entered your city? Would He be greeted by protesters or by worship and adoration? As Jesus enters the city of Jerusalem, we find that the fate of the entire Jewish people is about to be decided.
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[Luk 19:29-48 KJV] 29 And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called [the mount] of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, 30 Saying, Go ye into the village over against [you]; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring [him hither]. 31 And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose [him]? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. 32 And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. 33 And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? 34 And they said, The Lord hath need of him. 35 And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. 36 And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. 37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; 38 Saying, Blessed [be] the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. 39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. 40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. 41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things [which belong] unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. 43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, 44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. 45 And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; 46 Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves. 47 And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, 48 And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.
Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem via Jericho and passed near to Bethphage and Bethany. At the Mount of Olives, He sends two of His disciples to fetch a young colt in preparation for His entry into the city of David. If the disciples are asked what they are doing, they are to simply reply “the Lord has need of him…” For Jesus to stop at this particular point has very great meaning for us, though somewhat hidden without deep investigation. Bethany was a Sabbath day’s journey from Jerusalem. Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem to be crucified and offer up His life a ransom for many. He is entering into the rest of God, the finishing work of God to redeem all mankind. Bethany was also the furthest place where bread could be made for use in the temple. Jesus is the bread of life and here He makes Himself ready to be offered up, just as bread for the temple was likewise made here for offering up in service to God. In securing a young colt to ride upon, Jesus is deliberately fulfilling Zecheriah 9:9:
[Zec 9:9 KJV] 9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he [is] just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
A friend of mine was fond of saying “I just want to be the ass that the Lord rides in on…” When the people see Jesus so conveyed on the back of this young colt they cast their garments upon the colt with great rejoicing for all the mighty works they had seen in Jesus, saying “blessed be the King that comes in the name of the Lord…” Dream analysts tell us that clothes represent the affectation we adopt to facilitate our dealings with people in different social settings. We dress one way for work, and another way for a night out to dinner, etc. To lay ones garments before Jesus along the way speaks of laying your life, your person, and personality before Jesus in an act of worship. Have you laid your garment before the Lord as He comes into your life? Or do we impudently claim “that’s just who I am, take it or leave it”? When the scripture calls for us to lay down our life for Christ the word for life is “pscuche” meaning “soul” or, mind, will and emotions…” When we read “ye are not your own, you are bought with a price…” that means that our thoughts are not our own, our emotions are not our own, and our wills are not our own. We must put on the mind of Christ, adopt the heart of Christ and submit the decisions in life to Christ in matters both great and small. We cannot see Jesus as merely a spiritual condiment, something to season the life of self interest that we have found dull without spiritual enhancements found in Christ. Living for God is an all or nothing proposition.
In verse 41 Jesus draws near to the city and weeps over it deeply. Why is Jesus so upset? Is it because of His impending death? No, it is because of the city’s impending destruction. Think about the days ahead for this city! The Romans will come, level the city and destroy the temple. Josephus, the Jewish historian will report that the blood was ankle deep in the heart of the city. The Roman general charged with the taking of Jerusalem had commanded that the temple would remain untouched on pain of death, yet the soldiers in their blood lust would not be restrained from its destruction. Every Jew is to be banished from Judea, and the name of Judea and Jerusalem was to be banished from all public reference.
Why? Jesus says they did not know the day of their visitation. In spite of sending the prophets, Jesus Himself, and an entire generation of apostles, prophets and saints raising the dead, cleansing the lepers, casting out devils and preaching the gospel, the people will not hear. They will not relent, and to a large degree even down to this present day they have largely yet rejected the claims of Christ. What a price has been paid. Millions of Jews have died. Countless have been imprisoned, bereft of home and hearth, having their businesses and livelihoods taken from them without recompense, yet Jesus declares elsewhere that their will be not remittance of these things until they say “blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord…”
What about the day that we live in? I wise person with discernment could have looked at the coming of John the Baptist, the arrival of Jesus and the inauguration of the early church as a portents of things to come in 70 AD when the down fall of ancient Judea was swift and complete. The prophets are always sent in anticipation of great upheaval in society. So it was when the prophets prophesied before the Babylonian invasion. Those who spoke for over a century of prophesying, warning, urging repentance and their words make up the books of the Major and Minor prophets in our canon. We see today the rise of prophetic ministry once again, and it may very well be in advance of coming changes and shift in our society that the Holy Spirit is working to see that we as a people fall on the right side of, being sheltered and blessed while society around us careens into another abyss of history. What is the key? Prepare the way of the Lord, cries the prophet and make His path straight…”
In verse 45 Jesus enters the temple with great tumult, casting out they money changers, declaring that it is prayer and not any other thing that His Father’s house would be known for. What is the church known for today? Is the prayer life of the church conspicuous to those that are without, or is the church known for something else? When the political initiatives of the church are more readily seen by those without, that our initiatives in prayer, on our knees to God, then something is wrong. The prayer closet has been forsaken in deference to the voting booth. Zecheriah 4:6 says it is not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord. The church that was called to prostrate itself before God in the prayer closet, has prostituted itself in the voting booth. Jesus never once advocated for political activism among His people but He said much about prayer and spreading one’s hands out before God – and the church turns a deaf ear, more enamored with the bright lights and big promises of politicians than the still small voice that calls in what the hymnist called that “sweet hour of prayer…”
Jesus continues on, teaching daily in the temple, to the chagrin of the Pharisees, the scribes, the scribes and the chief leaders among the people. These leaders do not know what to do with Jesus. That want to kill Him, but move cautiously why? Because they people were very attentive to hear Jesus. In another place, Jesus declares that His sheep will hear His voice and another they will not follow. Listen, it isn’t important that the leaders of a nation hear the voice of the people of God. What is important that the people of God hear HIS voice. If you will hear HIS voice, then even the most wicked regime will move with care in our midst. If we decline to hear God’s voice it emboldens our leaders to defy the God that we serve. We are trying to get the world to hear us, to respect our values, and to hear our voices when we speak as a unified political demographic, but it isn’t important that our voices are heard on Capitol hill, but rather that we hear the voice of Him who sits on the throne, for only then will we be preserved from the ravages of a predatory and sinful nation.