Don’t forget, Jesus is bringing a big ol’ crowd with Him (20:29)
- V2-3 – Jesus makes it unquestionably clear that He is in control of all that’s happening. Everything is going according to plan.
◊ Sometimes God’s instructions are explicitly clear and detailed, sometimes not so much.
- V4-5 – I wonder how Israel felt about this prophecy. A humble king isn’t usually what we hope for.
◊ Am I proud to follow this humble King? Do I emulate His humility or exalt myself?
- V6 – For all their faults, the disciples do obey quickly every time.
◊ Do I obey quickly and cheerfully?
- V5-7 – By fulfilling this prophecy, He’s openly claiming to be the Messiah.
- V8-9 – The crowd is eagerly welcoming Him as Messiah. Throwing their coats before Him seems like an act of submission. Calling Him “Son of David” is acknowledging Him as Messiah. The palm branches were equivalent to waving their national flag.
◊ Have I ever demonstrated my love, adoration, and submission to Jesus in such a physical and tangible way?
- V10 – The other time Matthew mentions the whole city being stirred up is when the magi were there (2:3). “Who is this?” – Gentiles from way up north knew who Jesus was. Even King Herod had heard of Him (14:1). Apparently the people of Jerusalem hadn’t caught the buzz yet.
- V11 – Now they have! They call Him “prophet.” I wonder if they were too nervous to overtly call Him Messiah.
◊ Do I boldly say who I believe Jesus to be?
- V12 – For those waiting for a conquering Messiah, this would have been a reassuring display of power and wrath – although they were probably surprised that He started in the temple with the Jews and not with the Romans.
◊ How do I feel when God disciplines me and not those who I think really “deserve it”?
- V12 – My study Bible note says “This is the second time Jesus cleared the Temple (see John 2:13-17). Merchants and money changers set up their booths in the Court of the Gentiles in the Temple, crowding ut the Gentiles who had come from all over the civilized world to worship God. The merchants sold sacrificial animals at high prices, taking advantage of those who had come long distances. The money changers exchanged all international currency for the special Temple coins – the only money the merchants would accept. They often deceived foreigners who didn’t know the exchange rates. Their commercialism in God’s house frustrated people’s attempts at worship. This, of course, greatly angered Jesus. Any practice that interferes with worshiping God should be stopped.”
◊ V13 – Is my church a house of prayer?
- V12-15 – I can’t imagine the chaos of all this going on at once with Jesus at the center of it.
- V15 – Perhaps these were the kids He blessed earlier. Maybe they’re just kids that are still chanting the parade chant (21:9).
- V16 – What a great verse! The priests wade out into the thick of this raucous chaos, irate that kids are shouting and running, and there are newly healed people everywhere trying out their legs for the first time and blind people telling everyone what they can see and the priests pick on the kids and Jesus says “Of course they’re calling me Messiah, haven’t you ever read the Scriptures?! It says right there in Psalms that’s their job.” And of course this would probably make the priests so mad they couldn’t see straight because that’s kind of like saying “Haven’t you ever read the Odyssey?!” to an English teacher. But all these people clearly adore Him so the chief priests can’t say or do anything to Him but wait until He leaves.
Wrap up your quiet time by praying through the following questions:
- Based on this passage of Scripture, what can I thank God for?
- What do these verses tell me about God and His character?
- Based on this passage, is there anything I need to confess to God and ask forgiveness for?
- What do these verses remind me to pray for others?
- What do these verses move me to pray for myself?