Whenever we are in a difficult time, we can look to Matthew 21:1-11 and the message of Jesus coming to Jerusalem as King. It is a message that can change our lives for the better.
Matthew 21:1-11 Jesus Comes to Jerusalem As King
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.”
4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
5 “Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”[a]
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
“Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[c]
“Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!”
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”
11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Leaving Jericho as King in Matthew 21:1-11 is one of the most well-known and studied passages in the gospels. In addition to demonstrating that Jesus is the Son of Man, He also announced that He is Israel’s messianic king. This was the fulfillment of the prophecy found in Zechariah’s oracle.
Zechariah said that a king would come, and that he would be a just, righteous, and holy king. The king would speak peace to the heathen, and be the one who saves God’s people. In order to receive kingly power, the king would go to a distant country. Leaving Jericho as King in Matthew is the fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy, and it is also a message that Jesus gave to his disciples after the event.
Leaving Jericho as King in Matthew 21, however, is not the only way to fulfill the prophecy. Matthew also records Zechariah’s verses, which clearly indicate that the fulfillment of the prophecy is being accomplished.
Arriving in Jerusalem
During the reign of the emperor, in the time of Jesus, the city of Jerusalem was a hive of activity. As a result, the city was home to a number of notable personalities. Among them was the aforementioned Zechariah, a man of dubious distinction who would go on to play a central role in the nation’s defense. On a more prosaic level, the city would also be the headquarters for various religious groups who would later go on to shape the rest of the nation. Although the city was home to a number of noteworthy individuals, it also served as a major nexus for religious schisms and internecine strife. On the other hand, it was also the site of the Temple of Jerusalem, and hence a site of pilgrimage in and of itself.
Rebuking a fig tree
Fig trees are a striking object. They are conspicuous at a distance, and their leaves signal a change in season. This tree is also used to illustrate future events. However, fig trees usually have not borne fruit by the time they reach the late spring season.
There are many fig trees in the Mount of Olives, a location where Jesus walked often. In fact, a citadel was built by Herod the Great there. Fig trees were also a staple in the Jewish economy. But the fig tree that put forth its leaves before the season was a freak of nature.
Another way to look at the fig tree is to use it as a metaphor for the health of the nation. This is what the prophets told us about God’s inspection of Israel for spiritual fruitfulness.
Purging the court of the Gentiles of merchants and robbers
Besides being the most important of all the courts of the Temple of Jerusalem, the court of the Gentiles was also the largest, measuring 35 acres of open space. Unlike the other courts, it was separated from the rest of the complex, allowing non-Jews to pray to the Lord. Unlike the Holy of Holies, it was not open to the general public. It was also the site of the most significant annual tax, collected in the months before Passover from everyone 20 years or older.
The court of the Gentiles was also a hive of activity, with a fair number of sybarites trading their measles, mumps, and rubella for shekels of gold, the tyrian shekels, as it was called. In addition, there were many animals on hand for sale, both the sacrificial and non-sacrificial variety.
Reigning on earth for a thousand years
Those who believe in the millennial reign of Christ will say that God promises a time of peace and harmony on earth. They also say that it is parallel to the natural length of human life before the flood. The word “millennium” is a Latin term that means 1,000 years.
In the Old Testament, the word millennium was used to describe the coming Kingdom of God. The Bible teaches that the kingdom will come and be established on the earth after the second coming of Jesus. It will be a time of peace, prosperity, and justice. The Bible also describes this time as a period of glory.
However, there are many different theories about when Christ’s millennial reign will begin. Some believe that it will be after Armageddon or after the Rapture. Others say that it will begin after the resurrection of Jesus. Still others believe that the thousand years will begin after an undefined time in history.