In verses 29-35 of this chapter we see Jesus sending His disciples to a village where they found a colt and they brought it to Jesus and put Him on the colt. Now let’s read verses 36-40, “As He was going, they were spreading their coats on the road. As soon as he was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting: ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’ Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, ‘Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.’ But Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out’!” (NASB) There are several important lessons for us to learn in this interesting passage of Scripture.

1) PROPHECY was being fulfilled! This event was foretold hundreds of years ago by the prophet Zechariah where in 9:9 he wrote, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, 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.”

2) PEOPLE are compelled to praise Him, though they didn’t understand what they were doing. This eruption of praise SEEMED genuine, for the crowd of disciples was quoting words of praise from Psalm 118:26 that refers to their Messiah. But when the apostle John recorded this event he added these words in John 12:16, “His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him” (NKJV). It’s very possible that all of the disciples thought the time had come when Jesus would declare that He was indeed Israel’s Messiah and then He would deliver them from their Roman oppressors and establish His kingdom. But they were mistaken, for as another has said, “The streets that rang with the loud ‘Hosanna’ of this great throng were soon to ring with the cry, ‘Crucify, crucify.” They were sincere in their praise, but for most of the disciples in the crowd it was based solely on the miracles they had seen and not on true faith in Who Jesus was. Later, in verses 41-44 Jesus weeps over the city of Jerusalem and announces that judgment is coming, “Because you did not know the time of your visitation.” Jesus had visited His people with the true offer of salvation, but they didn’t want Him!

3) PHARISEES were filled with outrage. The religious leaders hated the attention Jesus was receiving and they commanded Him to rebuke His disciples. But instead Jesus REBUKED THEM by saying, “If these become silent, the stones will cry out.” His treatment of these self-righteous and proud religionists brings up another reason why Jesus allowed this public demonstration to occur. They had hoped to arrest Jesus AFTER the Passover, as we see in Matthew 26:3-5: “Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him. But they said, ‘Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the people’.” (NKJV) But it was ordained by God that His Son would DIE ON THE PASSOVER as the Lamb of God, so He used this public celebration to force their hand and soon they would be conspiring with Judas Iscariot to betray Him into their hands.

There is one more point to be made. The people were made to cry out in Luke 19:38, “PEACE IN HEAVEN and glory in the highest.” Why didn’t they say “peace on EARTH,” like the angels did when Jesus was born?  Because Jesus was being REJECTED, so there could be NO PEACE ON EARTH at this time. But there would be PEACE IN HEAVEN as a result of His death on the cross, for we see in Colossians 1:20 that He has “made PEACE through the blood of His cross.” Has my reader come to know this peace? If you will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior you will have PEACE WITH GOD. Romans 5:1 declares, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (194.1)  (DO)