Peace be with you!
Early in the morning, two men claiming to be Jesus’s disciples approach a man in a village outside of Bethany and tell him the Lord needs his colt to ride into Jerusalem (Luke 19:29, 34). The man claims the colt has never been ridden, but the two men persist; Jesus needed it (Luke 19:30, 34). Jesus is seen later riding the colt though the Mount of Olives and the mountains and coming into Jerusalem. As Jesus and the colt go through the streets of Jerusalem, people throw their cloaks down on the road, shouting, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven” (Luke 19:38 NRSV). The people are excited to welcome Jesus into Jerusalem. These people have seen Jesus perform miracles and heard him speak with authority. A few of them have also shared a meal with Jesus and have had conversations with him.
However, the Pharisees are beside themselves. The people are shouting, “Blessed is the king!” and that makes the Pharisees anxious. The religious leaders may have been nervous because of fear of a backlash from Rome. Jesus did claim to be God—particularly in the book of John—the one who will save us from our sins through forgiveness and grace. No one should be called “king who comes in the name of the Lord.” That is blasphemy according to the Pharisees. How dare these people claim this man Jesus comes in the name of the Lord!
The Pharisees approach Jesus and demand his disciples to stop the commotion (Luke 19:39). The people are disturbing the peace with all of their shouting, “Blessed is the king.” The Pharisees must be thinking, Do his disciples and his followers not know the seriousness of their statement? What are they thinking, calling Jesus the king? This man Jesus does not come in the name of the Lord. How dare these people make such a bold blasphemy? What will the Roman government think of this outcry of foolishness? The Pharisees have religious and political concerns, which cause them to take action. What will King Herod think of all of this commotion? These people are acting as though this Jesus man is a king, which he is not.
Jesus answers the Pharisees, “No, and if I did, the stones would shout” (Luke 19:40). Somehow, God the Father will find a way for Jesus, the one he has sent, to be worshipped and glorified. It is impossible for Jesus to not be glorified on this day. Jesus is to be glorified, because he is the Son of Man and the Son of God and was sent by the Lord to redeem all the people in the world.
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for letting us glorify your Son, Jesus, as he enters Jerusalem. Help us to recall the excitement of Jesus’s entrance into Jerusalem as we follow him to the cross. Grant us the emotional strength to follow Jesus to the cross. Thank you for sending Jesus to the cross so that we might be saved. Amen.