Sermon: King Jesus Enters His City Matthew 21:1-11

Truth Taught- Jesus enters Jerusalem as her King and the entire city is stirred up.

Introduction
Jesus has made it to Jerusalem.  Matthew uses this account as a marker for a shift.  Jesus enters the frontline of the war and begins to do battle with the religious leaders in the Jerusalem, the capitol.  Remember, Jerusalem is His city; the city of the rightful King.  It’s the city of the Messiah. 
From where we are right now, Matthew 21 to Matthew 28 covers about a week in the life of Jesus.  All the events in this section are lived out in the context of the Passover Festival and Celebration.  During this week, we will see the events that Jesus has predicted now three times.  The events are carefully recorded to show how Jesus’ predictions came true to the letter.  

We’ll see together these amazing things and much more as the Messiah enters His City and does battle with all who oppose Him.  As He enters, His victory is declared before the battle is ever fought.  Jesus the Messiah King is victorious as the angel told Mary; you will call Him Jesus because He will save His people from their sins.

Matthew 21:1–11 (ESV) 

21 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, 

“Say to the daughter of Zion, 

‘Behold, your king is coming to you, 

humble, and mounted on a donkey, 

on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’ ” 

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” 10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.” 

1.  The Messiah King Prepares to Enter His City (1-5)

21 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, 

“Say to the daughter of Zion, 

‘Behold, your king is coming to you, 

humble, and mounted on a donkey, 

on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’ ” 

Up until, Jesus has been very guarded about His true identity as the Messiah.  Among the inner circle and among the Gospel writers, this title has been used a lot.  When it comes to the larger crowds, Jesus was guarded with this information.

Even though “Messiah” is the most frequently used title for Jesus by the New Testament authors, it was not a title that Jesus used very often for Himself. Jesus never denied that He was the Messiah. Jesus did not want to let very many people know that He was the promised Christ. Throughout His ministry, Jesus was very guarded about who would know that He was the Messiah.  Jesus’ guarding of His identity for most of His earthly ministry is typically referred to as the “Messianic Secret.”


Mark 3:11–12 (ESV) 

11 And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.
Mark 5:42–43 (ESV) 

42 And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. 43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat. 

We could look at many other examples of this secret Jesus kept.  Here in our text today the Messianic Secret is shouted from the rooftops.  This will play a very big part in the confrontation with the religious leaders in Jerusalem.  Now is the time to tell everyone that Jesus is the Messiah.  It’s in the capitol city that His messianic claim is to be broadcast far and wide.
It would be this claim to be the Messiah that would be used against Jesus to, in fact, crucify Him.


Matthew 26:62–68 (ESV) 

62 And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” 63 But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” 65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has uttered blasphemy. What further witnesses do we need? You have now heard his blasphemy. 66 What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” 67 Then they spit in his face and struck him. And some slapped him, 68 saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?” 

Let’s look back to our text.  

Jesus never rode an animal.  In all the Gospels, He and His followers walked everywhere they went.  So, these last few miles entering the city, Jesus doesn’t need a foal or an unridden young donkey because He cannot walk the last two or three miles.  He is presenting a visible parable that all Jerusalem who saw would understand loud and clear. 
The picture is everyone is walking and here comes a Man riding a donkey.  Who is this Man?

Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives
Is a mile or two outside the city walls.  This is where the bulk of this account takes place.  Verses 1-8 are outside the city.
This move is planned by Jesus.  It was not spontaneous. 
Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” 
Another messianic prediction is found in Genesis 49:10-11

Genesis 49:10–11 (ESV) 

10  The scepter shall not depart from Judah, 

nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, 

until tribute comes to him; 

and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. 

11  Binding his foal to the vine 

and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, 

he has washed his garments in wine 

and his vesture in the blood of grapes. 


The royal King’s foal will be tied up awaiting His use.  This is found in the royal oracles to Judah. 
If anyone asks, say the Lord needs them.  Here the original language is Ho Kurious or literally, Yahweh…God needs them.  

This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, 

“Say to the daughter of Zion, 

‘Behold, your king is coming to you, 

humble, and mounted on a donkey, 

on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’ ” 

Say to Jerusalem, behold your King is coming to you, humble, and riding a donkey.  Jesus was not riding a war horse armed for battle.  This prophecy from Zechariah highlights that the King will not win this battle by arms and strategic warfare.  He is coming to set in place a different type of Kingdom.  His Kingdom is a Kingdom of meekness and peace.  His triumph; His victory is not won but given to Him.  It is received through perfect obedience to the Father not won in war.  This throws many people.  It was very confusing to the patriotic Jew and even the disciples struggled with this almost to the end.
Jesus is claiming authority and kingship through meekness not war.
He is victorious and meek He is the King through peace and obedience to God.
The Zechariah prophecy prepares us for a kingdom which will be established without war. 
  

2.  Messiah, Save Us! (6-9)

The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

What we must see here is that this crowd mentioned is the crowd that followed Jesus.  It’s the crowd who has been following Him.  This one is made up of His disciples, the two blind beggars who now follow Him and many others.  When they entered the city Jesus wanted to show Jerusalem His true identity.  

We see here the crowd places their cloaks and palm branches on the street for Jesus and the donkey.  Much like a red carpet to show great honor to the newly arrived King.  

All the while shouting…

“Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”

Hosanna is often translated “Please Save Us.” It is a Greek word “ὡσαννά” that most scholars believe is the transliteration of two Hebrew words- יָשַׁע- “yasha” which means “to save or deliver” and אָנּאָ – “anna” which means “please, I beseech.”

The followers were now quoting from Psalm 118
Psalm 118:25–26 (ESV) 

25  Save us, we pray, O Lord! 

O Lord, we pray, give us success! 

26  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 

We bless you from the house of the Lord. 

Psalm 118 is one of the traditional Hallel Psalms.  It’s the last one worshippers sang while entering the City.  So, it is very fitting that they were singing this while the King of Kings entered into the city.  Jesus is the Messiah.  He is the Savior.  He is God incarnate.  He is the Son of David and Son of God.  He is everything He said He would be…
It is fitting they would shout Save us! 
Save us Messiah King who comes in the name of Yahweh!

3.  Who Is This? (10-11)
10 And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.” 

Now we are introduced to another crowd.  These were those who were already in the city.  

When Jesus enters Jerusalem we read that all Jerusalem was stirred or literally, shaken.  The city was shaken…why?

In these days, Jerusalem was not ruled by the Herodian Dynasty.  They were ruled by Rome, a Roman prefect to be exact.  His roll was to keep the peace. 
A Jewish King would be trouble for Rome.
The only place that is recorded to still have the Herod King in charge was Galilee.  Is this one of Herod’s princes?  Was this Herod’s son trying to usurp Roman authority?  Jesus has spent much of His time in Galilee.  That’s where most of the other crowd was from.  What sort of King is this?
This is very reminiscent of Matthew 2


Matthew 2:3–4 (ESV) 

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 

For every established human authority, Jesus is a threat.
He was a threat to the Romans.  They were in charge not the Jews.
He was a threat to the religious authorities.  They had the Temple and their system.
He was a threat to the Jews.  How can this Herodian from Galilee come into our city and His people make these claims?
Even when they called Him a prophet there was a sense of anxiety among the people.  

People can think whatever they like but the reality is that if you’re a part of an earthly kingdom, Jesus is a threat to that kingdom.  If your loyalty is to America and our government, Jesus is a threat.  If you’re of the mindset that you are the authority, Jesus is a threat.

Whatever it is you think and however you wrap it up to seem more believable, Jesus comes along at just the right time and unwinds your scheme.  He shows Himself to be the real King and the earthly authorities cannot stand up to this King.  

He’s the Messiah King riding on a donkey and His followers are proclaiming that He is King and that He is divine and even those of the other crowd identify Him as a prophet. 
Just His very presence stirs the pot. 
He is the King.  He is the King of Kings.  On that day, He rode the donkey in great humility and did not win His kingdom by killing His enemies but by dying for them.  He did not slay His foes but prayed for them. 
One day, King Jesus will return.  He will not be riding a donkey that day…


Revelation 19:11–16 (ESV) 

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. 

Conclusion

Do you know the King?  

Resources Used

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