JOHN PART 55
The Triumphal entry
John 12:12-19 TNIV – 12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the Festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! ” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!” 14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: 15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” 16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him. 17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”
This is the last week in the early ministry of Jesus. There will be a lot that will take place during this week before Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. John gives us much more detail into this last week than any other Gospel. This detail given is from someone who was very close to Christ; part of His inner circle of friends.
In this narrative we have what is commonly described as, “Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem.” Here Jesus will officially present Himself to Israel as their Messiah, the Son of God. Of course, as it usually happens, there will be a lot of conversation that will take place over this event. Let’s begin looking into the text this evening.
The timing of the triumphal entry.
John 12:12 TNIV – The next day the great crowd that had come for the Festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.
This took place the next day after Mary, the sister of Lazarus and Martha had anointed Jesus feet with the costly perfume. Jesus said that her anointing Him was for His burial (verse 7). So the preparations are coming into place for Christ’s sacrificial sacrifice for sin.
The crowd had come into Jerusalem to celebrate the feast or the festival of the Passover, which was commemorating God passing over the children of Israel in Egypt when the death angel came for the first born. According to the Archaeological Study Bible, “the population of Jerusalem increased by fifty thousand to several hundred thousand during the week of the festival.” So there are going to be many, many people who are both witnessing this event and participating in this event.
Praise fit for a king.
John 12:13 TNIV – They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! ” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!”
The people begin to celebrate the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. It is loud, powerful, and prophetic what they are doing and saying. They are waving palm branches and shouting out “Hosanna.” Hosanna is a Hebrew term which means, “save now, we pray!”
More than likely all this festivity of Christ was because they believed that if He was the Messiah, He would be a political leader and deliver them from the tyranny of Rome. They are not looking for the suffering servant who would die for their sins. How can I say this? Well, because later in the Passion week, these same people would be the ones shouting, “Crucify Him!” They were looking for a political King, not a Savior King.
Another thing, the Passover was supposed to a more subdued celebration, not festive; but Jesus entering Jerusalem probably makes it the most celebrated festival ever celebrated.
This was also in fulfillment of a Prophetic Psalm. Zechariah is often quoted as fulfilled here, and it is; but so is a portion of this Psalm.
Psalm 118:24-27 TNIV – 24 The LORD has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad. 25 LORD, save us! LORD, grant us success! 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you. 27 The LORD is God, and he has made his light shine on us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar.
Jesus – The humble Servant King.
John 12:14-15 TNIV – 14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: 15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.”
Jesus comes on a young donkey, again fulfilling prophecy.
Zechariah 9:9 TNIV – Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
The Gospel of Matthew explains how the donkey came into the picture.
Matthew 21:1-3 TNIV – 1 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”
Now this is very similar to when Solomon was coronated as the rightful King, the son of David. Jesus is known as the son of David, meaning that David is his ancestor.
1 Kings 1:32-34 & 38-40 TNIV – 32 King David said, “Call in Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet and Benaiah son of Jehoiada.” When they came before the king, 33 he said to them: “Take your lord’s servants with you and have Solomon my son mount my own mule and take him down to Gihon. 34 There have Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel. Blow the trumpet and shout, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ 3839 Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the sacred tent and anointed Solomon. Then they sounded the trumpet and all the people shouted, “Long live King Solomon!” 40 And all the people went up after him, playing pipes and rejoicing greatly, so that the ground shook with the sound. So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, the Kerethites and the Pelethites went down and had Solomon mount King David’s mule, and they escorted him to Gihon.
This is a very Messianic thing that Jesus does by riding in on this Donkey. He is declaring that He is the rightful King of Israel, the son of David. But he is not riding on a war horse from a battle, but riding in humbly on a humble donkey.
I’m sure many of the Jews here recognized the symbolism of this act that Jesus does.
The disciples presently do not understand.
John 12:16 TNIV – At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.
It wasn’t just the people in the crowd that didn’t understand fully what was going on, but Jesus disciples didn’t fully understand at that present time. They would come to understand though after Christ’s resurrection.
The reaction of others.
John 12:17-19 TNIV – 17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”
Let’s look at the three type of people listed and their reaction to this event and Jesus:
- Those who witness the resurrection of Lazarus: They continued to spread the word concerning Jesus (verse 17).
- The many who were there for the festival: They heard about the miracle of the raising of Lazarus and they came out possibly because of curiosity. The Greek seems to suggest they wanted a personal encounter, or sign from Jesus (verse 18).
- The Pharisees: They became all the more frustrated with the following Jesus was receiving at this time.
Now as we close tonight, there are some application principles that we can see from verse 17-19:
- Don’t be like the Pharisees: getting frustrated because Jesus doesn’t fit into the box of your personal opinion.
- Don’t be like the crowd: Only coming to Jesus for what He can do for you.
- Be like the witnesses: Yes, you’ve seen His power to save you, now go and spread the word to others.