In the Fulness of Time/Part 127

By: Dr. Thomas O. Figart; ©2010
Matthew’s account begins with the arrival of Jesus “near unto Jerusalem” where Jesus directed two of His disciples to go to a nearby village, find an ass and a colt tied, and to bring them unto Him. The owners questioned this at first, but when the disciples said that the Lord had need of them, immediately they allowed the animals to be taken. This was to be a demonstration of the fulfillment of prophecy.

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The Public Presentation and Rejection of the King Matthew 21-23

His Presentation: The “Triumphal Entry” Matthew 21:1-22

The Culmination of the Prophecy. Matthew 21:1-7

21:1-7 “And when they drew near unto Jerusalem, and were come unto Bethpage, unto the Mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, 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. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt, the foal of an ass. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.”

Few would deny the difficulty of establishing a chronological sequence of events for Passion Week, and yet most would agree that the Gospel of Mark presents the more accurate narrative, especially for the first part of that week. Then, John 12:1 does clarify that Jesus came to Bethany “six days before the Passover” to visit Mary, Martha and Lazarus. If He arrived on the Sabbath and spent Sunday with them, then He could have entered Jerusalem on Sunday, “looked around about all things, and now the evening was coming, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve” (Mark 11:11), and returned to Bethany that evening. Monday morning He went from Bethany to Jerusalem, and on the way, cursed the fig tree. He then went into the Temple, cleansed it, healed many people, went back to Bethany that evening. Next morning (Tuesday) “as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots” (Mark 11:20).

Matthew’s account begins with the arrival of Jesus “near unto Jerusalem” where Jesus directed two of His disciples to go to a nearby village, find an ass and a colt tied, and to bring them unto Him. Both Mark 11:5-6 and Luke 19:33-34 indicate that the owners questioned this at first, but when the disciples said that the Lord had need of them, immediately they allowed the animals to be taken. This in itself shows the omniscience and the omnipotent power of Jesus; but more than that, it was to be a demonstration of the fulfillment of prophecy. Parts of Isaiah 62:11 and Zechariah 9:9 are used as referring to Christ’s entry into Jerusalem, and yet, both are taken from contexts which depict the ultimate rule of Messiah over the earth. This seeming contradiction is overcome by Christ Himself when He wept over the city of Jerusalem, “Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now are they hidden from thine eyes…. For… thine enemies… shall lay thee even to the ground, and thy children with thee: and they shall not leave one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation” (Luke 19:41-44).

This part of the prophecy was fulfilled. The King did indeed ride into the city upon the colt “on which yet never man sat” (Luke 19: 30), yet the city knew not the time of her visitation! Thus, the rest of the prophecy remains to be fulfilled when “he shall speak peace unto the nations, and his dominion shall be from sea even unto sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth” (Zechariah 9:10).

The Contradiction of the Multitude. Matthew 21:8-11

21:8-11 “And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way, others cut down branches from the trees, and spread them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest! And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus, the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.”

As the multitudes spread their garments in the way and cut branches from the trees, they chanted another prophecy, this time from Psalm 118:25-28, one of the psalms of the Great Hallel (Psalms 113-118). Part of the multitude followed Jesus from Galilee; perhaps those who had witnessed His recent miracles, as Luke testified; “The whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen” (Luke 19:37). Specifically, the healing of the two blind men was one of these mighty works, and they had repeatedly called Jesus, “Lord, thou Son of David,” so the multitude continued the same adulation of Christ.

It is important to remember also, that thousands of Jews would be traveling to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover, so the Psalm they quoted would be fresh on their minds. Many of these people may well have been sincere in their praise. “Hosanna” is from two Hebrew words, hoshiaya-nasave now.” The Son of David, the Messiah, was expected to fulfill this prophecy. As a matter of fact, in John 7, when Jesus was in Jerusalem earlier in His ministry, there were several indications of just what the Jews expected of the Messiah: “Hath not the scripture said that Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem where David was?” (John 7:41). Another expectation was expressed in John 7:31, “When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?”

After His resurrection Jesus met two of His disciples on the road to Emmaus who said: “But we hoped it had been he who should have redeemed Israel” (Luke 24:21). All of these hopes are really inherent in the words of the multitude, “Hosanna” (Save now), “Son of David” and “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” This latter statement is reminiscent of the words of one of the two blind men who were healed, “If this man were not of God, he could do nothing” (John 9:33).

Enthusiastic as the multitudes were, when Jesus was come into Jerusalem and “all the city was moved, saying, Who is this,” the only answer given by the multitude was, “This is Jesus, the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.” It would not take the chief priests and scribes long to make every effort to squelch the excitement and to bring accusations against Jesus. Before the week had spent itself, many from the same crowds who sang His praises would be shouting, “Crucify him, Crucify him!” But “In the fulness of time,” Jesus, the Messiah/King will return to earth, only then there will be the fulfillment of the entire prophecies of the, Old Testament, and He will become King over all the earth!

Read Part 128

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