67 – Jesus Proclaimed King

When: Sunday afternoon, April 2, 30 AD
Where: Jerusalem, Judea
Mark, Matthew, Luke, John,


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On Sunday afternoon, the first day of the week, Jesus walked ahead of his disciples westward from Bethany, on the road to Jerusalem. Soon he came to a place where a side road [today] led to the north, up a valley, cutting into the south side of the Mount of Olives. Up this valley was the village of Bethphage.

At the crossroad, Jesus stopped. He sent two disciples up the valley [today] and into the village, with instructions to bring back a young donkey that they would find there. Following his directions, they entered the village [today], found the donkey, untied it, assured those nearby that they were not stealing it (telling them that Jesus had sent them), and then they brought it back to where Jesus sat. Other disciples were already walking ahead of them toward Jerusalem to spread the word that the Messiah was on his way.

Some of the disciples put their cloaks on the donkey for Jesus to sit on. Then Jesus rode the donkey toward the city of Jerusalem with his followers around and behind him. In this way Jesus was announced as a king, like Solomon the Son of David, and that he came in peace.

As he approached the bridge [today] across the Kidron Valley [today], pilgrims came out of the city led by some of Jesus’ followers. The disciples began to shout, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord”, to indicate that Jesus was a messenger sent to Jerusalem by God. The crowd picked up the chant. ‘Save us now’, they shouted as a prayer to God.

Then some people laid fresh cut palm tree branches on the roadway and others placed some cloaks down as a sign of respect. And thus Jesus, anointed like Jehu, the evening before, was proclaimed God’s chosen one as he rode his donkey into Jerusalem as the Anointed King.

But how would he be received? Jesus entered the Temple complex through the eastern gate, to see what kind of response he might get. Would the leaders openly, honestly, and sincerely listen to God’s calling? Would the Jews of Judah listen? Would many of the pilgrims listen? What Jesus found was that most people went about “doing their business”. Jesus knew that he would have to “wake them up”.

The religious leaders were shaken by the sudden and bold entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. ‘His followers should be silent’, thought the religious leaders. ‘If the crowd is stirred up, the Romans will get nervous and then the Romans might take away our hard earned religious freedoms.’ But the disciples were not silent and the crowd of pilgrims did get “caught up” in the excitement. ‘The crowd thinks that he is the messenger of God coming to fulfill the prophecy of Malachi. This could be a dangerous situation’, they thought. ‘This prophet from Nazareth should be stopped.’

But it was late in the day, so Jesus left the Temple, left Jerusalem, and went back to Bethany for the night. Tomorrow he would confront the nation of Israel with the call of God.

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