Summary: Jesus wants to be the most important thing in your life.


Text: Matt. 21:1-11


1. Illustration: There was a Pastor's son who came to him and asked if he could use his Dad's car. His dad looked at the young man and said, "I'll let you use the car if you complete these three requirements. First, get your grades up. Second, keep your room clean. Third, get a haircut." So the preachers son became working very hard, and after a period of time went back to his dad to ask for use of the car. He said, "Dad, I did what you asked me to do. I've gotten all A's and B's on my report card, and my room has been spotless for weeks. Can I use the car now?" To this his Dad replied, "Yes, you have son, and I'm very proud of you. But if you recall our conversation, there were three requirements, and you have not gotten a hair cut!" The son looks at his Dad and says, "But, Dad, Jesus had long hair!" Then his Dad looks at him intently and says, "Yes he did, but outside of one donkey ride, he walked everywhere he went!"

2. Any car guy will tell you that they live for the moments when someone says to them, "Nice ride!"

3. However, there is no more glorious ride than the donkey that Jesus rode into Jerusalem.

4. From Matthew's account of the Triumphal Entry we learn that Jesus ride was...

A. A Ride Of Sacrifice

B. A Ride For The Working Man

C. A Ride That Was The Center Of Attention

5. Let's stand together as we read Matt. 21:1-11.

Proposition: Jesus wants to be the most important thing in your life.

Transition: The first thing we learn about Jesus ride is...

I. It Was A Ride Of Sacrifice (1-5).

A. A Donkey And It's Colt

1. Jesus road to the cross begins in a most unusual way, especially for Jesus.

2. Matthew begins with, "As Jesus and the disciples approached Jerusalem, they came to the town of Bethphage on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent two of them on ahead."

A. The Mount of Olives (approximately 2,700 feet in elevation) was about a Sabbath Day's journey (five-eighths of a mile) from Jerusalem.

B. The Jews had used an important event in their history to determine this distance. When Israel passed over Jordan, it was the space between the ark of the covenant and the main body of people.

C. The small village of Bethphage (literally "house of unripe figs") was on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, near Jerusalem. It was between Bethany and Jerusalem, as both Mark and Luke mention.

D. According to halakah, the legal traditions of Judaism, Bethphage was part of Jerusalem, although it was situated in its outermost parts.

E. Its close affiliation with Jerusalem permitted one to celebrate Passover there.

F. Jesus arrived in Bethany 6 days prior to Passover on Friday, the 8th of Nisan. He spent the Sabbath there, and on the first day of the week, Sunday the 10th, 5 days before His death, He entered Jerusalem seated upon a donkey.

G. The 10th of Nisan was also the day on which the Passover lamb was selected (Exodus 12:3). On this day Jesus symbolically presented himself to the people as Messiah. This presentation anticipated His death as the Passover Lamb of God.

H. The identity of the two disciples sent off by Jesus is not known. Perhaps it was Peter and John, who were sent on a similar errand. (Horton, The Complete Biblical Library Matthew, 438).

3. Then Jesus said to them, “Go into the village over there,” he said. “As soon as you enter it, you will see a donkey tied there, with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will immediately let you take them.”

A. "The village over there" (NLT) must mean Bethphage. The Lord Jesus, knowing by the Spirit what His disciples would encounter in the city, gave them clear instructions about getting a donkey.

B. "Bring them to me" refers to the donkey and her colt. The donkey and its young were naturally inseparable (Horton, 438-439).

C. From this text and many others it is clear that Jesus was always in control of the events that affected His life. He initiated His own coronation when He sent two disciples to procure the mount on which He would ride into Jerusalem.

D. He thereby set into motion a series of climactic events that culminated in the voluntary gracious sacrifice of Himself on the cross that had been divinely planned from eternity past.

E. From beginning to end the gospels completely belie the contention of many liberal interpreters that Jesus was carried away by the enthusiasm of the mob and became caught up in a tragic web of religious and political intrigue that caught Him by surprise.

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