As Jesus was approaching Jerusalem, he sent two of the students ahead with these instructions (162): “Go to the next village where you will find a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If someone asks you why you are untying it, tell him that your master needs it.”
The two went on their way and found everything just as Jesus had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying it?” “Our master needs it,” they answered, and then they were able to take the colt to Jesus. And throwing their cloaks over the animal, they helped Jesus get on.
(All this was to fulfill what had been prophesied in the inspired scriptures: “Do not be afraid, city of Zion! Here comes your king, riding on a young donkey.” His students didn’t get the connection between the prophecy & the fulfillment at that time. But after Jesus had risen from death, then they got the connection.)
Large crowds had come to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. When the word got around that Jesus was coming, too, the whole city was thrown into a mild uproar. “Who is he?” some of the people asked. “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee,” they were told.
Those who had been with Jesus when he raised Lazarus from death had been telling everyone about it. When they heard that he had performed this miracle, many people flocked to see Jesus. They took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, shouting, “Praise God! May God bless the man who comes in his name! May God bless the new king of Israel!”
Then some of the Pharisees in the crowd spoke anxiously to Jesus: “Teacher, command these people to stop saying such dangerous things!” Jesus answered, “If the people keep quiet, then the stones themselves will start shouting about me.” In frustration, the Pharisees then said to one another, “We’re not having any luck stopping this guy. The whole world is following him!”
In Jerusalem, Jesus went into the temple & looked around at everything. He noticed that the merchants were back — selling cattle, sheep & pigeons, which Jewish law required the worshipers to sacrifice as part of the Passover Festival. Jesus also noticed that the money changers were back — selling the worshipers special “temple money” at unfair exchange rates.
But since it was already late in the day, he went back out to Bethany with the twelve chosen witnesses.
(162) Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-40, John 12:12-19