Summary: Jesus encountered many people on His way to Jerusalem for the sin of the world, in our study tonight we will see Him viewed as the coming King, but not from a godly perspective, but from the perspective of Jewish teaching about Messiah
Read Luke 19:28-40… if you read chapter 18 and the 1st part of 19 you will get more of the ‘flavor’ of this passage. But let me set the stage (so to speak):
v.28-40 detail Jesus’ continuing journey toward Jerusalem. These verses take place sometime after Jericho events such as Blind Bartimaus and the salvation of Zaccheus… and with the way verse 28 begins it seems as if it happens immediately following Jesus’ story/ parable about the faithful and wicked servants…
So we have the stage set for this part of the passage…
The WHO is Jesus and His traveling entourage
The WHERE is between Jericho and Jerusalem
The WHAT is Jesus’ mission and purpose being fulfilled (but that is NOT what the disciples thought… the WHAT for them was the immediate establishment of an earthly kingdom with Jesus ruling as the Messiah they had always been taught about…)
The WHEN is just prior to Jesus’ crucifixion, this immediately precedes Palm Sunday which is the Sunday prior to Easter/Resurrection…
The WHY is two fold…for Jesus it is His mission, His purpose, His driven obedience to the Father. For the disciples it is self-serving interest in becoming part of an earthly kingdom.
The HOW is again focused on Jesus’ understanding of what His mission is, and the intentionality of His journey. His determination to stay obedient and focused on the Father drives Him toward Jerusalem.
The atmosphere surrounding this event and how the people around Jesus felt was electric. About the only contemporary equivalent would be MAYBE a political party at their convention ‘crowning’ the candidate of their choice! It is a party atmosphere… and all are looking fwd to great change and something wonderful to happen. Of these people, only Jesus fully understand what was truly happening!
Jesus is on task, focused and determined to remain obedient to God’s plan and is about to reach Jerusalem. He stops near a town outside of Jerusalem and asks His disciples to do a strange thing… he asks them to basically take a donkey that does not belong to them!
What is the significance of the colt? Why one that has never been sat upon? Someone read Zechariah 9:9 for me
9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
This would have resonated loud and clear with the disciples AND with whomever would witness Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. This symbolic donkey ride taken by Jesus was proclaiming His kingship, although the kingdom He proclaimed was not the one these people were expecting… the throne He would sit upon was NOT in Jerusalem, but it was an eternal and heavenly throne… far greater than they could ever imagine!
The fact that it is a young colt that has never been sat upon could be a reference to
Numbers 19:2 [ESV]
This is the statute of the law that the LORD has commanded: Tell the people of Israel to bring you a red heifer without defect, in which there is no blemish, and on which a yoke has never come.
Deut 21:3 [ESV]
And the elders of the city that is nearest to the slain man shall take a heifer that has never been worked and that has not pulled in a yoke.
It carries with it a reference to the purity of the animal, for only a pure and undefiled animal is worthy to carry the Savior of the world!
What about the fact that they are taking a colt that does not belong to them. Was Jesus asking His disciples to ‘steal’? Were they ‘imposing’ a hardship onto the owner of this animal, was Jesus taking advantage of them?
Well the answer is NO… to all the above! You see, in 1st century times the culture would allow and even encourage people to ‘allow’ the use of their livestock to a major religious or political figure, this was called angaria.
ANGARIA was the custom that was developed from an ancient law/custom that has Greek, Babylonian, Persian and Roman influence… Originally it referred to a postal system of sorts where stationed riders at strategic places along the main road!
These men had the job to take royal dispatches to their needed destinations. Because theirs was such an important task, custom or even LAW dictated that they would have the authority to ‘obtain’ transportation when needed… if they needed an animal, they would simply tell the owner who they were and they could take it…
In this time in Jewish history this custom had evolved into a sort of badge of honor for whoever was asked for their livestock to be used… Jesus uses this custom to procure this animal… so there is NO theft here; it was a fully acceptable procedure.