The passage right before this one contains the story of the 10 servants. Verse 11 says, “The crowd was listening to everything Jesus said. And because he was nearing Jerusalem, he told them a story to correct the impression that the Kingdom of God would begin right away.” This is an important point and helps explain the people’s reaction to Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. Even though Jesus was trying to tell them that He wasn’t setting up his kingdom yet, they welcomed their King.
Why was it important that Jesus rode a donkey? In the ancient Middle Eastern world, kings rode horses into battles of war, but donkeys if they came in peace. Jesus entered Jerusalem as their Messiah and King but he came in peace. This is also a fulfillment of prophecy. Let’s take a look at Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice, O people of Zion! Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem! Look, your king is coming to you. He is righteous and victorious, yet he is humble, riding on a donkey – riding on a donkey’s colt.”
Every single word, every single interaction during Jesus’ last week on earth was full of purpose. And all of creation knew it. When the Pharisees tried to get Jesus to rebuke his followers for the praises they were singing at his arrival, he responded, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”
As Jesus gets closer to Jerusalem, he weeps over what he knows is coming for his beloved city and its people. All because “you did not recognize it when God visited you.” I wonder how often God’s heart breaks over the times that I don’t recognize God coming close.
It’s easy to have the whole Bible, the whole story in my hands and shake my head over what the people of Jesus’ time missed. How could they have missed him when he was right there with them? And then a gentle voice reminds me that in my busyness and self-focus, I often miss him too. And when he responds in a way that is different than how I imagined he would respond, I run the risk of missing him and that couldn’t be further from what I want. This week as we begin to look at the last events of Jesus’ life, my prayer is that God will give me eyes to see him, really see him. I don’t want to miss anything that he has for me. I hope you will join me.