Summary: The anger of Jesus was the righteous anger of a king who saw a system which deprived His people of their right to worship, and robbed them of what little wealth they possessed.
Boleslaus II was the king of the Polish Monarchy, but he
didn't like the job. One day while hunting he slipped away
from his companions and disguised himself as a common
laborer in marketplace. He hired the use of his shoulders for
carrying burdens for a few pence a day. A search was made,
of course, and when his majesty was found there was an
indignant cry among the elite that he should debase himself
by so vile an employment. He responded that the weight he
bore in the marketplace was nothing compared to the crown.
He said he slept more in the last four nights than during all
his reign. He told them to choose whom they would to be
king, for he was through with the madness. He was forced,
however, against his will to return to the throne and reign.
In his book Royalty In All Ages, Thiselton-Dyer tells of
many kings in history who have longed to get out from under
the crown and escape from the robes of royalty, and live
among the common people. In contrast to this, Jesus was a
king who all His life lived among the common people, and
only at the end did He ever wear a crown, and then it was a
lowly crown of thorns. Jesus was born king of the Jews, but
all His life He managed to do what so many kings have tried
to do and failed. He managed to disguise Himself and dwell
among the people, and learn of their needs and longings in
life. No son of royalty ever got to know his people better than
did the Royal Son of David. He not only lived among them,
he was one of them.
There were times in His public ministry when the crowds
were so excited about His miracles that they tried to take
Him by force to make Him king, but Jesus avoided this.
Right up to the final week of His life Jesus remained a king in
disguise totally removed from all that had to do with royalty.
Palm Sunday, however, brings us to that one day, at the
beginning of His final week, where He removes the disguise
and proclaims Himself to be the king-the Royal Son of David;
the promise Messiah, and the King of Israel. This act did not
sever his roots from the soil of the common man, however. In
fact, everything about Palm Sunday exalts the common man,
and everything common. Jesus never became a royal snob
who looked down on any man. The very way in which He
rode into Jerusalem revealed Him to be a king of the common
people, and not one who would cater to the elite and
Jesus did not ride into the holy city on a noble Arabian
stallion to appeal to the military like any other king would
do. Instead, He rode on a colt. Matthew tells us this was to
fulfill the prophecy of Zech. 9:9 which says, "Tell ye the
daughter of Zion, behold, thy King cometh unto thee meek,
and riding upon a donkey and upon a colt a foal of a
donkey." Jesus did not come as a king of war, but as a king
of peace. He came in the tradition of the Patriarchs,
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They were not men of war like
the kings of Israel. They were men of peace. Only once was
Abraham forced into military action. Jesus too was forced
into violent action on this occasion, but primarily the
Patriarchs and He were men of peace.
The colt was symbolic of the fact that Jesus was a king of
peace, and a king of the common people. Jesus is a king who
exalts the lowly, and the poet describes even the donkey
responding to those who mock his worthless hide.
Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet;
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms about my feet.
The Apostles that Jesus chose were common men, and if
you check the backgrounds of the great men He has used in
history, you will find lowly tinkers like John Bunyan and
William Carey, or shoe salesman like D. L. Moody, or the
great Scottish preacher Alexander Whyte who was born out
of wedlock. He was unwanted by men, but Jesus wanted him
and used him, for he was, and is, the king of the unwanted.
And it was because he did care for the common man that he
was so angry on that first Palm Sunday. Jesus was very
seldom angry, but on this occasion He was so filled with
righteous indignation that He could not be content to give
only a verbal lashing to the offenders as He had done before.