Entry into Jerusalem

KEY VERSE: “Blessed be the king that cometh in the name of the LORD: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.” —Luke 19:38


THE particular events recorded in this lesson are the Master’s presentation of himself as king—riding into Jerusalem upon an ass; and his subsequent visit to the Temple where he performed miracles of healing and exercised his authority to rid the house of God from the blight of commercialism and extortion. The Master knew in advance that it was not then the due time for the establishment of his kingdom, nor for the general work of restoration foretold by the prophets; but he knew also that it was essential that the people of Israel be given an opportunity to accept their Messiah and to enjoy the blessings which are to come to mankind through him.

When Jesus began his ministry, his spirit of consecration to God called for the doing of all that had been written of him in the Old Testament Scriptures—the “volume of the Book.” (Ps. 40:7; Heb. 10:7) Faithfulness to his consecration vows characterized every move he made. It was his desire to be guided by that which had been written aforetime which led to his riding into Jerusalem as king of Israel. The Prophet Zechariah had written, “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.”—Zech. 9:9

It was in keeping with this prophecy that Jesus arranged his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. For the moment he was acclaimed king by what the Scriptures describe as a “multitude.” It was not, however, an official recognition of his kingship by those who “sat in Moses’ seat.” (Matt. 23:2) It was, rather, an outburst of popular sentiment on the part of the people who had been benefited by his ministry and who knew of his genuine interest in their welfare. Some of the Pharisees who were in the crowd chided Jesus and demanded that he rebuke his disciples for this show of support, which to them was nothing short of treason against the rulers of Israel.

But Jesus, knowing this had to be accomplished as prophesied, replied that “if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” This of course would take a miracle, but in essence our Lord was saying that God’s Word will not fail of fulfillment even if it requires a miracle to bring it to pass.

It was an impressive demonstration that was made by the people as the Master rode through the gates of the city. “All the city was moved,” we are told, and the people inquired, “Who is this?” The demonstration was on a sufficiently large enough scale to attract the attention of the city, but apparently the general public did not know what it was about, or who was involved. In answer to their question they were told, “This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.”

Following his entry into the city, Jesus went to the Temple. There he taught, healed the sick and drove out the money changers. These activities, like his kingly presentation to Israel, foreshadowed the worldwide services he will render to Israel and all mankind as “King of kings and Lord of lords.” (Rev. 19:16; 17:14) Jesus is to be priest as well as king—a religious as well as a civil ruler. This double role of priest and king was typified by Melchisedec, who was a priest enthroned as king.—Gen. 14:18-20; Heb. 7:1

While it was the Father’s will for Jesus thus to foreshadow the glorious works of his coming kingdom, it was not then due time for the actual functioning of his kingdom to begin. The work of redemption had to be accomplished first. Jesus had to become the Redeemer of the human race before he could be its king. By death he had to abolish the sentence of death which stood in the way of man’s restoration to life. And Jesus was to have associate kings and priests. These had to be called from the world and given an opportunity to prove their worthiness of living and reigning with him.—Rev. 20:4

So those who then acclaimed Jesus king were doubtless greatly disappointed when five days later he was crucified. In reality the Master’s death was the greatest of all the services he rendered at his first advent. Without that service, everything else he did would count for very little—nothing, in fact, so far as the salvation of the world is concerned.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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