In verse 28, Jesus is making His way to Jerusalem, and is now very close. In verse 29, He is drawing near to Bethphage and Bethany. We know that Bethany was located on the eastern part of the Mount of Olives. The location of Bethphage would then be closer to Jerusalem. Here, Jesus sends two disciples to bring a colt back. This is one of many passages that skeptics try to use to discredit Jesus and God’s word, saying that this event amounted to no less than theft. A ridiculous assertion, to be sure, made more absurd by the fact that it is coming from those who do not believe the Bible in the first place!
But let’s deal with it anyway. We can draw conclusions from the text quite easily, though we are not told of any other events leading up to the encounter between the two disciples and the colt’s owner. If you read verses 29-35 carefully, you will note that the owners of the colt asked the question exactly as Jesus predicted. Note that their answer that the Lord has need of it (that answer also prescribed by Jesus) required no explanation and received no argument. Were they expecting the visit? Quite likely, yes. Was the question one that they had been told to ask, or just one they asked to make sure that the colt wasn’t actually being taken by the wrong person? Possibly both. We do not know. But they left with the colt, clearly demonstrating that they did so with the owner’s approval. Enough said.
As they returned with the colt for Jesus to ride on, they put their cloaks down and all the disciples began loudly praising God and hailing Jesus as “the King who comes in the name of the Lord.” The Pharisees tried to get Jesus to silence them, but Jesus said “if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” A hyperbole? Perhaps. But all of creation had been changed by man’s fall in Genesis 3, and Jesus’ arrival for the completion of His “mission” had been awaited ever since. The Son of God would have this kingly procession. It should also be noted that kings of Israel’s past had ridden a donkey all throughout history in such peaceful processions. They rode horses in missions of war.
This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 2 Chronicles here
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.