Matthew: Jesus As Israel's Messiah And His Kingdom

E. Christ As Israel's Messiah Seen In His Triumphal Entry

(Matthew 21:1-11)


I.                 Introduction

A.    If Jesus is the Messiah from God for Israel and the world, there needed to be significant objective evidence of that fact especially when He actually gave His official presentation of Himself as the Messiah to Israel.

B.     Matthew 21:1-11 records that this evidence was abundantly provided with edifying insight for us even today:

II.              Christ As Israel's Messiah Seen In His Triumphal Entry, Matthew 21:1-11.

A.    In Christ's messianic presentation, He fulfilled Scripture in His use of a donkey, Matthew 21:1-2a, 6-7:

1.      As Jesus prepared officially to present Himself as Messiah to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, He sent two of His disciples to the village of Bethphage at the Mount of Olives to find a donkey tied, Matt. 21:1-2a.

2.      Zechariah 9:9a predicted Messiah would come this way, and Matthew 21:6-7 records the fulfillment.

B.     In Christ's messianic presentation, He fulfilled Scripture in His use of a donkey's foal, Matthew 21:2b, 6-7:

1.      Jesus told His disciples they would find a colt with the donkey, that they were to bring it, too, Matt. 21:2b.

2.      Zechariah 9:9b ESV added the Messiah would come on a colt, and Matthew 21:6-7 records its fulfillment.

C.     In Christ's messianic presentation, He utilized the miracle of a willing owner of both animals, Matthew 21:3:

1.      Jesus told His disciples being sent to get the donkey and her colt that if anyone questioned their actions, they were to say, "The Lord needs them (auton, plural pronoun = both of them; U. B. S. Grk. N. T., 1966, p. 79)," and they would immediately send the animals with the disciples, Matthew 21:3.

2.      Matthew 21:6-7 shows that they thus were not obstructed in taking the donkey and her colt from the town.

D.    In Christ's messianic presentation, He fulfilled Zechariah 9:9 in sharp contrast to worldly kings, Zech. 9:1-8:

1.      The Zechariah 9:9 prophecy spoke significantly about the Messiah as being humble in coming to Israel on a donkey, and this humility in connection with a colt signified peace, Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 67.

2.      In the context of Zechariah 9, Jesus' arrival sharply contrasted with the past arrival of Alexander the Great:

                             a.         Zechariah 9:1-8 "sketches the march of Alexander the Great through Syria (vv. 1-2a), then Phoenicia (vv. 2b-4), and finally Philistia (vv. 5-8)," Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978, ftn. to Zech. 9:1-8.

                            b.         However, Zechariah 9:8 predicted how Jerusalem would be spared war at the hands of the conquering Alexander the Great as God spiritually encamped about the city to protect it.  Alexander would pass by the city twice, a prophecy that was later historically precisely fulfilled, Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1562.

                             c.         In contrast to Alexander the Great who had come hundreds of years earlier as a conqueror, inspiring fear in Israel, a foreign tyrant, cruel and oppressive, rich and powerful, astride a steed as a conqueror, Jesus came in peace, inspiring joyful outbursts, a man of Israel's own people, mild and nurturing, poor, astride a foal of a donkey in gentleness, Merrill F. Unger, Zechariah, 1974, p. 160.

E.     In Christ's messianic presentation, His arrival in humble peace is accentuated by Christ's use of both the mother donkey and her foal (Matt. 21:3) -- He did not take the foal from its mother, stressing either animal, but kept them together in His trip to Jerusalem in gentle peace and humility even for the animals involved!

F.      In Christ's messianic presentation, He miraculously used the action of a partly ignorant crowd, Matt. 21:8-11:

1.      As the disciples placed clothing on the animal for a saddle for Jesus, the crowd spread their garments in the way while others cut down tree branches and spread them on the road, Matthew 21:8.

2.      The crowd that both followed and that also preceded Jesus cried out, "Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest," Matthew 21:9 KJV. 

3.      The people did not fully understand the event as seen in their word to the people in Jerusalem that Jesus was "the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee," Matt. 21:10-11; Ibid., B. K. C., N. T., p. 68.  Besides, "the acclamation is a quotation based upon Ps. 118:25-27, sung at the Feast of Tabernacles," so the people desired deliverance from Rome and not Christ's spiritual salvation, Ibid., Ryrie, ftn. to Matthew 21:9. 

4.      Yet, the crowd in its ignorance was still used of God to fulfill prophecy on Christ's presentation to Israel.


Lesson: Jesus extensively prophetically and miraculously fulfilled prophecy on His official presentation to Israel as her Messiah.  He came in great humility and peace to offer salvation in sharp contrast to Alexander the Great.


Application: May we (1) trust in Jesus as the Messiah for eternal life, John 20:31.  (2) May we by faith rely on the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16) to present Jesus' same gentle humility in demeanor as we give the Gospel to the world.