Summary: Choose to walk the road God chooses will keep you from the detours of life.
The Road Less Traveled By
“When He had said this, He went on ahead going up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a cold tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’” So those who were sent when their way and found it just as He had said to them. But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of him.” Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road. Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olive, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen saying, “Blessed is the King who come in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” (Luke 19:28-40).
What would you do if you only had one week to live? What would you think about? Who would you visit? The Triumphal entry marked the beginning of Passion week, the last week of Jesus’ earthly life. It happened on Sunday. On the Friday before, after healing the blind men at Jericho, Jesus and His disciples walked up the Jericho road toward Jerusalem. From sunset Friday to sunset Saturday (Jewish Sabbath) Jesus and His disciples rested, perhaps in the home of Martha and Mary at Bethany. This two day interval, prior to the Triumphant Entry was marked with important instructions and teachings from the Lord Jesus. He expressed the amazing passion God has for man, especially those who are the seemingly forgotten of society, the last ones chosen for anything. Jesus tells the story of the workers chosen at 6am, 9am, 12noon, 3pm and 5pm. This clearly demonstrates that no matter how long you have waited, or how much time you have wasted, He has a place for you; if you so choose.
Jesus tells of his impending death at the hands of sinners. That He has come to give His life “as a ransom for many.” He reaches out to open the blinded eyes of the beggars along the roadside. These who are rejected by society. These who are dirty, loud, obnoxious, and embarrassing. As He gently touches them the love and grace of God continues to flow forth.
When are we going to see through the eyes of Jesus? When will we learn that God is more concerned about a right heart than he is about the right clothes or the right procedure?
Notice that with only a week to live, Jesus observed the Sabbath, communing with the Father. With all those apostles to train, and people to teach, He took a day, the Sabbath, to rest and worship. If Jesus found time in the midst of a racing agenda to stop the rush and sit in silence, worshipping, do you think we could too? Worship is more important than work.
Sunday has arrived and the disciples have retrieved the donkey’s colt as Jesus had instructed them. Jesus and his followers start toward Jerusalem, which lies just ahead. Jerusalem, that hotbed of political and religious strife. Jerusalem, whose name means “City of Peace” ironically has its history written in blood, sweat, and tears. Although it is such, it still held the attraction as the central place of worship, attracting a myriad of worshippers.
Jesus enters Jerusalem through the Eastern Gate, the gate in which the promised Messiah was to enter. His followers are excited, shouting “Hosanna, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” They are waving palm branches, the symbol of victory. People spread their clothes on the road before Christ as He entered. Jerusalem’s inhabitants are beginning to gather, wondering, “who is this?” As they enter the city, the Tower of Antonia, where the Roman garrison lay, overlooked Eastern Gate. Did this fuel the crowd in their desires to be freed from Roman tyranny? The people were thinking of political deliverance from Rome and the restoration of Israel as a nation once again. And Jesus was the “Man of the hour!” Did they notice Jesus’ mode of travel, the colt of a donkey, a symbol of peace and servanthood; a fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy (ch9)? Ah, but Jesus knew. He knew how superficial people can be. He knew by week’s end people would be crying “Crucify.” Did they notice His tears for the city as He entered? Did they notice His heart-break over Jerusalem’s callous heart? Time and again the Holy City had been visited by God, through prophet and priest, miracle and teaching, deliverance and judgment. Again and again God’s word had come to save, but the city would not hear, would not respond and obey. Finally “when the fullness of time was come, God sent His Son. It was Jerusalem’s supreme and last opportunity.