“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
1. Read verse 28. What had Jesus been talking about? Why does Luke mention again that Jesus is going on ahead, up to Jerusalem? When else had Luke mentioned Jerusalem? (18:31; 19:11; etc)
2. Read verses 29-34. As Jesus drew near the suburbs of Jerusalem, what mission did he give two of his disciples? What problem did he foresee? How were they to deal with it? What does “the Lord needs it” tell us about Jesus?
3. Read as background Zechariah 9:9-10. Read verses 35-38. How did Jesus fulfill prophecy? What was the purpose of his entry into Jerusalem? (Lk 18:31-33) What was his “triumph?” (Lk20:17,41, etc) (Heb 2:14-16; Jn 12:31,32)
4. How did he enter? How did the crowds respond when he entered Jerusalem in this way? Why were they so joyful? What was his triumph? (20:17,41) What was Jesus teaching about himself and his kingdom?
5. Read verses 39-44. Why did the Pharisees tell Jesus to rebuke his disciples? How did he respond? Why? Why did Jesus weep? Why would such tragedy come upon the city?
6. Read verses 45-48. Why did Jesus go to the temple instead of the palace? What did he do and say there? Why? How should God’s house be used?
7. How did the people respond to Jesus’ actions and words? How did the religious leaders respond to him? What does this show about Jesus?
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Since Luke chapter 9 Jesus has been moving toward Jerusalem. Finally, Jesus arrives in Jerusalem, riding in on a colt, with people joyfully shouting and praising him. Some had high hopes that Jesus would claim the title of King of the Jews. Others, especially the Jewish leaders, were disturbed by this. Jesus indeed came as King, not like worldly kings, but as King of heavenly peace and glory. King Jesus promises peace and deliverance to all who accept his lordship. In great contrast to this, tragedy and destruction await those who reject or ignore his rule. Let’s accept Jesus as Lord in our hearts and proclaim his rule of peace and glory to others who need to know.
I. King Jesus is Lord (28-34)
Jesus just told a parable saying, “Put this money to work, until I come back.” In the story, the nobleman went away, became king and later returned. Good and trustworthy servants were rewarded; a wicked, lazy, and proud servant was humiliated; rebellious subjects were destroyed. This will happen on the last day, at the judgment seat of Christ. After telling this parable, Jesus went on up to Jerusalem.
Jesus approached two villages near Jerusalem--Bethphage and Bethany, located at the hill called the Mount of Olives. There Jesus sent two disciples saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it.’ ” Jesus needed a colt to ride in to Jerusalem. Why? Couldn't he walk in to Jerusalem? Yes, he could have. After all, he walked everywhere else he went. Then why did Jesus ‘need’ to ride in to Jerusalem? Matthew and John both say it was to fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9: “Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Mt 21:5; Jn 12:15). This is why Jesus ‘needed’ the colt: it was to fulfill God’s word and promise. This is why Jesus came: to fulfill the will of God.
The disciples surely didn't understand that they needed to bring a colt to fulfill a prophecy. Perhaps they wondered, “Whoa, wait a minute, Jesus! Do you want us to get arrested for taking someone’s property without asking them?” Today it would be like taking someone's bike or car. Jesus anticipated that they would be questioned. So he also instructed them how to deal with it. They were to say, “The Lord needs it.” Please don't misunderstand here. Jesus is not telling us to go and take someone's property saying, “It’s for the Lord, thanks!” Then what can we learn here?
We learn that Jesus is Lord. The Greek word here for Lord (Kyrios) is the same word translated from the Hebrew word for God. In other words, Jesus is God. Kyrios, the Lord, also means “master,” “ruler” and “owner.” Jesus is the Master and Owner of all things. Through him all things were made (Jn 1:3). All things were created by him and for him (Col 1:16). If Jesus is truly Lord, then our lives and our possessions are not merely our own. They belong to the Lord. Disciples of Jesus are those who accept the lordship of Christ over their lives and possessions. The two disciples of Jesus who went and got the colt simply obeyed Jesus without complaints or questions. When they simply obeyed Jesus rather than their own idea or common sense, they experienced success in their mission. They participated in Jesus’ work. To live by Jesus’ word is to walk by faith, not by sight.
One time Peter fished all night and didn’t catch a thing. Jesus stepped in to Peter’s boat and said, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Peter didn’t think it was the best idea but he said, “because you say so” I will do it. Then Peter experienced a miracle, catching more fish than he could handle. Proverbs 3:5-6 promises, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” A question we need to ask ourselves continually is this: “What is directing my life and actions and words? Is it my own ideas and opinions, or is it the word of God in the Bible?”In other words, am I living right now as my own master, or is Jesus the Lord of my heart, my life and the things I have? When we remain in Jesus' word, the Holy Spirit is our Counselor and Guide. When Jesus is Lord in our hearts, we can obey his commands and we can give freely of ourselves and our possessions without calculation or complaint. May Jesus reign as Lord in our hearts now and day by day.
II. King Jesus brings victory and peace (35-40)
The two disciples brought the colt to Jesus, threw their cloaks on it and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. It was their way of giving Jesus a royal welcome, like a red carpet. They came near the place where the road descends the Mount of Olives, with Jerusalem in full view. The whole crowd of disciples burst into joyful praises to God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen. It was a concert of praises to God. They said, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Their words are full of praise and anticipation.
Why did they praise God? It was for all the miracles they had seen. What had Jesus done? Let’s review briefly. Jesus commanded evil spirits out of many people and healed many who were sick. Jesus healed a man with leprosy, a paralyzed man, a man with a shriveled hand, a centurion’s dying servant. A widow’s dead son was being carried out for burial. Jesus stopped the funeral procession and said to the dead man, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” He sat up and began to talk. Jesus calmed the stormy sea. He drove a legion of demons out of man into a herd of pigs. Jesus cured a bleeding woman, then raised Jairus’ dead daughter to life saying to her, “My child, get up!” Jesus fed over 5000 men with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Jesus healed a man’s son of a self-destructive spirit. Jesus healed a hunchbacked woman. Jesus healed 10 men of leprosy, though only 1 came back to thank him. Jesus gave a blind beggar his sight. These miracles don’t even include the miracles of changed hearts and lives of those became Jesus’ followers, like Mary Magdalene, and Levi and Zacchaeus, the tax collectors. This is why the people praised God joyfully. They acknowledged Jesus as God’s chosen and anointed King saying: “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” This is a quote from Psalm 118, which is a psalm of thanksgiving for deliverance from enemies. This was a psalm to welcome a conquering king. They praised and thanked God for Jesus the King, who came in the name of the Lord. Jesus was a conqueror but not in a worldly sense. He had no army and no soldiers. But he defeated demons, sicknesses, and death. These were powers that no earthly king could defeat. Yet Jesus conquered these dark forces with the finger of God.
In the past, Jesus told demons and people who knew his true identity as the Son of God to keep it quiet. But this time, as he entered Jerusalem, Jesus did not refuse their praise. In fact, some Pharisees tried to stop it telling Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” Now was the time that Jesus wanted to openly declaring his heavenly kingship to the world. Now he was making it obvious. Still, it was not for Jesus’ personal glory. It was for God’s glory. “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” These words are very similar to the angels’ message at Jesus’ birth: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” (2:14) Jesus’ life and ministry and obedience to God’s will is glory to God in the highest. Jesus’ whole life purpose and goal was to bring honor and glory to God Most High, the Father in heaven. Whereas the angels’ announced at his birth “peace to men,” here the people cried out, “Peace in heaven!”
Because of the sins of all people, there was grief in heaven--a divide between the holy God and sinful men. But now through the substitionary death of Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins, there is now peace between God and humankind. Paul wrote that believers in Jesus have “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Without a Savior, we are enemies of God due to our sins. There is no acceptable solution by our own effort or goodness. Humankind needed a Savior. God provided the Savior. He is Jesus Christ. Paul wrote in Colossians 1:20, “...and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” Paul says now we rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Ro 5:11). However when good news is not accepted, bad news inevitably follows. When a peace treaty is refused, the war continues.
There is another reason why Jesus entry into Jerusalem is peace in heaven. It is because Jesus came to defeat Satan once and for all. By his death and resurrection Jesus destroyed him who holds the power of death, that is, the devil. Jesus defeated God’s enemy and ours and there is peace in heaven. Those who are in Christ Jesus--those who accept him as King, share in his victory over sin and Satan.
III. King Jesus judges and restores true worship (41-48)
The mood suddenly changed when Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city. Jesus wept over the city. People often regard weeping as a sign of weakness, especially inappropriate for men. So there is a saying, “Big boys don’t cry.” Jesus is the perfect example of what a man should be. And Jesus wept. So weeping is not wrong or a display of weakness. Then why did Jesus weep? Jesus did not weep when people called him names. Jesus did not weep when so many people came to him that he had no time to eat. Jesus wept when he saw Jerusalem. His words explain why he wept. He said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day whatwould bring you peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes.” Jesus was sad that they did not know the way to find peace. They couldn’t see it. They only needed to accept Jesus as their King and Savior. Then they would know the way of peace.
King Jesus foresaw great destruction ahead: “The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you.” God came to them in the person of Jesus Christ. But they did not recognize him. This is the same thing John wrote in John 1:10-11, “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” People have the right to accept or reject Jesus as King. To accept him is to receive peace and deliverance. To reject or ignore him is to choose self-destruction. King Jesus will judge his enemies. King Jesus does not delight in judging sinners. He weeps over them. He wants them to repent and live.
After his tearful lament over Jerusalem and words of warning, Jesus entered the temple area. Jesus came not as a political king. So he did not go to the palace. Jesus came as a heavenly, spiritual king; so he went to the temple. He did not like what he found. There were sellers doing business. So Jesus began driving them out. He said to them: “It is written, ‘My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.’” Jesus was angry that the temple was being misused. The temple was made to be a place of prayer to worship God. But merchants were stealing offerings and devotion intended for God. Jesus came to restore God’s rightful honor and our relationship with God. The temple was the place to come to God through his word and prayer. Jesus brought the teaching of God’s word back to the temple. Verse 47 says, “Every day he was teaching at the temple.” We also must come to church, not to get many benefits, but to offer our prayers and worship and gifts and repentance to God.
Jesus’ bold actions made the Jewish leaders furious. They wanted to kill Jesus. But they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on Jesus’ words. They would succeed in their wicked plot to kill Jesus in just a few days. But this too was all a part of God’s salvation plan. God’s salvation plan will be carried out. No opposition to Jesus will ultimately succeed. Jesus weeps for his enemies for they choose self-destruction. His enemies must repent or face his judgment.
Have you received Jesus as your Savior and King? Have you welcomed him into your heart and life as Lord? If not, what are you waiting for? There is no other way of victory and salvation. Peter declared in Acts 4:12, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 2:5, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus...” If you do believe in Jesus as your Savior King, there are many people all around you who need to know what will bring them peace. They need someone to tell them about Jesus. You might be the best person to tell them. You may be the only person to tell them and pray for them. Love them in Jesus’ name. Followers of King Jesus are not only privileged to enjoy the benefits of his kingdom. Followers of King Jesus are also obligated to proclaim his kingship. “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”