Summary: Jesus enters Jerusalem on the colt to the praises of a throng of followers and under the scrutiny of the religious leaders, but His mind is focused on the souls of the city of Jerusalem, which represented God's chosen nation.

Read Luke 19:41-48

Setting the stage:

v.41-48 detail the conclusion of Jesus’ journey toward Jerusalem toward the destined sacrifice He was sent here to make for the sins of the world.

For many days Jesus had been on a resolute journey toward the city of Jerusalem. He had predicted this event and destination on many occasions with His disciples:

See Matt 17:12-23, 20:17-19; Mark 9:30-32, 10:32-34; Luke 9:43-45, 18:31-33

Jesus had on many occasions mentioned what was NOW happening… but the Disciples had NOT understood what He had been talking about. Now to be fair to the disciples, they were NOT spiritually enlightened at this point! That happens in the upper room when the Holy Spirit comes and overwhelms and indwells them…

Up to this point, they had been situationally inspired by God, at times such as when Peter made his profession of Christ as the Son of God! But overall their view of Jesus was one of Messiah as taught in Jewish teachings of the day… He had come to deliver them from the hands of Rome and was going to set up an earthly kingdom…

So when Jesus would mention this to them… it was a hard saying and confusing to them! How could Jesus be Messiah, if what He was saying was true… how can a crucified man become king? This is where their mind was while they were about to enter into Jerusalem!

Now Jesus on the other hand was very clear in why He was coming to Jerusalem, He fully understood and was moved by the emotion and power of the moment as He approached the city…

Now from the direction Jesus was traveling… from Jericho and Bethsaida, He would have had three choices of gates in which to enter the city!

The Sheep’s Gate which in the time of Jesus was the gate just north of the Temple complex.

The Susa gate which was directly EAST of the Temple complex, and

The Water gate which would be far SOUTH of the Temple complex…

Now I don’t know by which gate Jesus entered into the city, but the implication here is striking… I would say that Jesus entered by way of the Susa gate just east of the Temple Complex… and I say this for 2 reasons

First and foremost, Jesus was resolved and on a mission… He did not wish to delay or go to the right or to the left, but He had a mission to complete so I believe Jesus would have taken the most direct route into the city…

To go to the Sheep’s gate Jesus would have had to pass the Susa gate and to the north side of the city, which would have taken more time…

To enter thru the Water gate Jesus would have had to pass the Susa gate and pass far to the south of the city, which was really out of the way…

Second, when we read Jesus’ words as He is approaching Jerusalem it sounds like a man with a grand vision of the city… and approaching from the East, Jerusalem would have been a wondrous and mighty sight to see… perched high and protected by the small mountainous region, Jerusalem stood majestic above the road from Jericho.

This grand vision brought forth a sense of pride for the average Jew, as it was the city of peace… the dwelling place of the Temple… the dwelling place of God! This city was considered holy! Jerusalem was long held high in esteem by all… but Jesus saw Jerusalem for what it was… a city filled with those who were lost and confused about God.

I believe the KJV illustrates this attitude and situation very well as here is what the KJV says in 19:41

“…and when He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it…”

The original Greek text puts it like this…

“…and as He drew near, seeing the city He wept over it…”

Either view paints the picture that Jesus saw the spiritual darkness that overshadowed this city! He understood that God had presented Himself to them and they had NOT recognized God…they had NOT recognized the peace that God was offering… they were rejecting Jesus, or WOULD reject Jesus because their desire was the earthly version of Messiah…

And as grand as the city of Jerusalem was in the eyes of the Jewish people and even the rest of the world, Jesus did not see it in such high esteem, but saw it for what it was… a city filled with those who did not know God!

We know that the religious leaders had just come to Jesus and demanded that He silence His disciples and those who followed Him! He was being ushered in as royalty and they took affront to this treatment of Jesus…

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