¹As they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, He sent two of His disciples, ²and said to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here.
³If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ you say, ‘The Lord has need of it’; and immediately he will send it back here.”
⁴They went away and found a colt tied at the door, outside in the street; and they untied it.
⁵Some of the bystanders were saying to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?”
⁶They spoke to them just as Jesus had told them, and they gave them permission.
⁷They brought the colt to Jesus and put their coats on it; and He sat on it.
⁸And many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields.
⁹Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting: “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord;
¹⁰Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna (save us please) in (by) the highest!”
¹¹Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple; and after looking around at everything, He left for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late. (Mark 11:1-11)
In these verses we read the story of the public entry which the Christ made four or five days before his death into Jerusalem.
In the way He entered Jerusalem, he showed a few things.
● He showed that he was not afraid of the power and malice of his enemies.
He did not silently sneak into the city incognito, as one that doesn’t dare to show his face; no, they needed not send spies to search for him, he comes in with observation.
Seeing how bravely their Master entered the city would have been an encouragement to his disciples, who were short before still afraid, when they thought of what their enemies might do.
● He showed that he was not cast down or disquieted at the thoughts of his approaching sufferings. He came, not only publicly, but cheerfully, and with acclamations of joy.
Though he was now taking the field, and girding on the harness, yet, being fully assured of a complete victory, he thus triumphs as though he had put it off already.
● The outside of this triumphant entry was very mean; he was riding upon a colt, which was an ass (not on a horse, like a king or a general would), the scene looked contemptible, and made no figure.
And, as it was a colt on which never before a man had sat, we may suppose, it was rough and untrimmed, and not only so, but rude and ungovernable, and would disturb and disgrace the solemnity.
This colt was borrowed too.
Christ went upon the water in a borrowed boat,
ate the passover in a borrowed chamber,
was buried in a borrowed sepulchre,
and here rode on a borrowed ass.
Let not Christians scorn to be beholden one to another, and, when need is, to go a borrowing, for our Master did not.
He had no rich trappings; they threw their clothes upon the colt, and so he sat upon him (Mark 11:7).
The persons that attended, were mean people; and all the show they could make, was, by spreading their garments in the way (Mark 11:8), as they used to do at the feast of tabernacles.
All these were marks of His humiliation; even when He would be taken notice of, He would be taken notice of for His meanness; and they are instructions to us, not to mind high things, but to condescend to them of low estate.
How ill does it become Christians to take state, when Christ was so far from affecting it!
● The inside of this triumph was very great; not only as it was the fulfilling of the scripture (which is not taken notice of here, as it is in Matthew), but as there were several rays of Christ’s glory shining forth in the midst of all this meanness.
▪︎ Christ showed His knowledge of things distant, and His power over the wills of men, when He sent His disciples for the colt (Mark 11:1-3. By this it appears that He can do everything, and no thought can be hidden from him.
▪︎ He showed His dominion over the creatures in riding on a colt that was never backed. The subjection of the inferior part of the creation to man is spoken of with application to the Christ (Psalms 8:5,6 compared with Hebrews 2:8).
And perhaps the Christ, in riding the ass’s colt, would give a shadow of his power over the spirit of man, who is born as the wild ass’s colt (Job. 11:12).
The colt was brought from a place where two ways met (Mark 11:4), as if Christ would show that He came to direct those into the right way, who had two ways before them, and were in danger of taking the wrong.
▪︎ The Christ received the joyful shouts of the people; that is, both the welcome they gave Him and their good wishes to the prosperity of His kingdom (Mark 11:9).
It was God that put it into the hearts of these people, who were not by art and management brought to it, as those were who afterward cried, Crucify, crucify.
Christ reckons himself honoured by the faith and praises of the multitude, and it is God that brings people to do Him this honour beyond their own intentions.
• They welcomed his person (Mark 11:9); Blessed is He that cometh, the “ho erchomenos”, He that should come, so often promised, so long expected;
He comes in the name of the Lord, as God’s Ambassador to the world;
Blessed be He: let him have our applauses, and best affections;
He is a blessed Saviour, and brings blessings to us,
and blessed be He that sent him.
Let Him be blessed in the name of the Lord, and let all nations and ages call Him blessed, and think and speak highly and honourably of Him.
• They wished well to his intent (Mark 11:10).
They believed that, mean a figure as He made, He had a Kingdom, which should shortly be set up in the world, that it was the Kingdom of their father David (that father of his country),
the kingdom promised to Him and his seed for ever;
a kingdom that came in the name of the Lord, supported by a divine authority.
Blessed be this kingdom; let it take place, let it get ground, let it come in the power of it, and let all opposing rule, principality, and power, be put down; let it go on conquering, and to conquer, prosperity be to it; all happiness attend it.
The “Hosanna” they shouted means “Save us”. Probably they had in mind to be saved from the Romans, but Jesus came to save them from a far greater danger. (compare with Revelation 7:10).
Praises be to our God, who is in the highest heavens over all, God blessed for ever; or, Let him be praised by his angels, that are in the highest heavens, let our praises be an echo to theirs.
The Christ, thus attended, thus applauded, came into the city, and went directly to the temple. Here was no banquet of wine prepared for his entertainment, nor the least refreshment; but he immediately applied himself to his work, for that was his meat and drink.
He went to the temple, that the scripture might be fulfilled; “The Lord whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, without sending any immediate notice before him; He shall surprise you with a day of visitation, for He shall be like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap,’’ (Malachi. 3:1-3).
▪︎ He came to the temple, and took a view of the present state of it (Mark 11:11).
▪︎ He looked round about upon all things, but as yet said nothing.
▪︎ He saw many disorders there, but kept silence (Psalms 50:21).
Though he intended to suppress them, he would not go about the doing of it all on a sudden, lest he should seem to have done it rashly; he let things be as they were for this night, intending the next morning to apply himself to the necessary reformation, and to take the day before him.
We may be confident that God sees all the wickedness that is in the world, though He does not presently reckon for it, nor cast it out.
The Christ, having made his remarks upon what he saw in the temple, retired in the evening to a friend’s house at Bethany, because there He would be more out of the noise of the town, and out of the way of being suspected, a designing to head a faction.
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