OceanSide church of Christ

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The Triumphal Entry (1)

Matthew 21:1-11

Victor M. Eskew




A.     Jesus made it clear that His kingdom is not of this world (John 18:36).


Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world:  if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews:  but now is my kingdom not from hence.


B.     If this is the case, why was there a triumphal entry into the city of Jews by Jesus?

1.       It was a strong delusion for those who receive not the love of the truth (II Thess. 2:11).


And for this cause God shall send them a strong delusion, that they should believe a lie.


a.       The truth was that the kingdom was not a physical kingdom.  This truth must be believed by the Jewish nation.

b.      Even though, by means of the Triumphal Entry, the kingdom seemed to be physical instead of spiritual, they Jews still needed to adhere to the kingdom’s being spiritual in nature.

2.       He had to fulfill prophecy (See Zech. 9:9).

3.       He was the King, the Messiah, the Anointed One, and needed to be announced to the Jews.


C.     Introductory comments:

1.       The triumphal entry marks the beginning of a tremendous string of events involving the final days of our Lord’s earthy ministry.

2.       Most believe that this event happened on the Sunday before our Lord’s crucifixion on Friday.

a.       It is referred to as “Palm Sunday.”  It is so called because the people threw palm branches on the road before Jesus as He rode into Jerusalem.

b.      In less than a week, the people will go from praise of the King to mocking the Son of God.

3.       All four gospel writers record this even for us (Matt. 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-9; Luke 19:28-34; John 12:14-16).


I.             THE INSTRUCTION (Matt. 21:1; Mark 11:1; Luke 19:28-34)


A.     The Location (Luke 19:28-29)


And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.  And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sent forth two of his disciples.


1.       Both Bethany and Bethphage were small districts just outside the wall of the city of Jerusalem.

2.       Bethphage

a.       Is not mentioned in the Old Testament.

b.      The Talmud speaks of it as being near Jerusalem.

c.       “A district outside of Jerusalem, including the Kidron Valley and the western slope of the Mount of Olives (Beacon Bible Commentary, 190).










3.       Picture




B.     The Instructions (Matt. 21:2)


Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her:  loose them, and bring them unto me.


1.       Matthew mentions a donkey and a colt.  Mark and Luke only mention a colt.

2.       NOTE:  Some see this as a contradiction.  It is not.  Matthew merely presents the complete picture.

3.       Question:  Why the need for two animals?  We will answer this question in another section of the lesson.


C.     Objection (Mark 11:3).


And if any man say unto you, why do ye this?  Say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.


1.       The owner of the animals is not revealed to us.

2.       It appears that Jesus had spoken to someone about the need for the animals.  When it was said that the Lord needed them, immediately the animal were released.


II.           THE PREDICTION (Matt. 21:4-5; John 12:14-16)


A.     Matthew 21:4-5


All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughters of Sion, Behold, thy king cometh unto thee, meek, sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.


1.       The prophecy is found in Zechariah 9:9


Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem, Thy King cometh unto thee:  he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.


a.       This was understood by the Jews to be a Messianic prophecy.

b.      “This act of Jesus showed that he was officially presenting himself to the Jewish nation as its Messiah” (Beacon, 190).

c.       “By identifying himself in such a manner, Christ definitely laid claim to the office of Messiah, setting the stage for his public proclamation as the true King” (Coffman, 322).

d.      Jesus chose to have two animals in order to fulfill the prophecy to the letter.

e.       Three descriptions are given of him as the King of Israel.

1)       Just

2)       Having salvation

3)       Lowly

2.       “Many of the prophecies concerning Christ were fulfilled by his enemies, some were fulfilled by his friends, and still others, like the one here, were fulfilled by the direct intervention of Christ himself to bring it to pass” (Coffman, 321).


B.     John 12:14-16


And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, set thereon; as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Sion:  behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt.  These things understood not his disciples at the first:  but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.


1.       As the disciples went through this process, they did not understand exactly what they were doing.

2.       After Jesus’ resurrection, the things that transpired here became clear to them.



III.         SUBMISSION (Matt. 21:6; Mark 11:4-6; Luke 19:32-34)


And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him.  And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt?  And they said unto them even as the Lord had commanded:  and they let them go.


A.     Matthew’s gospel is very concise here (Matt. 21:6).


And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them.


1.       They did not understand all the whys, but they obeyed.

2.       The commands were simple, and they obeyed.

3.       They did not question or balk, they obeyed.


B.     Everything was just as Jesus said it would be.  Jesus’ words and promises are true.