Triumphal Entry John 12:12-19 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Along with this text we are going to examine parallel passages in Matt. 21, Mark 11 and Luke 19 which fill in details not provided in John.
The Book of John states that the triumphal entry took place “on the next day.” In the previous study of John 12:1 we had a very complete study of the days leading up to and following the crucifixion. In that study we learned that the triumphal entry into Bethany was on Friday, referred to in this text as “the next day.” In parallel verses we are told that Jesus and the disciples come “near to Bethpage, unto the Mount of Olives” (Matt. 21:1, Mark 11:1, Luke 19:29). Jesus then sent two disciples into the village to fetch an ass and a colt (Matt.21:2, Mark 11:3, Luke 19:30) and they did as they were commanded (Matt. 21:6, Mark 11:4).
They “found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him” (Mark 11:4). This colt had never been broken as no man had ever sat on it. Having never been broken the colt was like an unsaved man. When the colt was tied by the door (John 10:7) it was like a man sitting and listening to the preaching of the Gospel when he is lost. He is at the parting of the ways and has two directions from which to choose. At this juncture he can deny himself and follow Jesus Christ, or he can go his own way and forget Jesus Christ. If he chooses Jesus Christ then Jesus will ride him and tame the unbroken colt. It may be a bit of a rough ride at first, but then the colt will take to the leadership and submit himself to the working of Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit.
Now Jesus had warned the disciples that they would be confronted about taking the animals (Luke 19:31-33). This shows us that when the Lord Jesus Christ gives you directions to go somewhere, or to perform a task, He is going to prepare the way before you get there and He will have all of the details covered. People are prone to worry themselves silly about how matters will turnout. But if the Lord gives you a command then you can be sure that He has already made all of the provisions.
Matthew 21:7 tells us that they brought the ass along with the colt. Mark, Luke and John (Mark 11:7, Luke 19:35, John 12:14) do not provide this detail. This is significant because this fulfills something that was written (John 12:15, Matt. 21:4, Zech. 9:9). In Zechariah the Messiah rides both an ass and a colt. As we examine carefully we see that as Jesus began the ride coming down from the Mount of Olives he was on the ass. Then just before Jesus met the people he switched over to the colt to finish the ride into town. In Matt. 21:8, Mark 11:8 and Luke 19:37-39 we are told of the branches laid in the path of Jesus, but only John 12:13 specifies as to what kind of branch. Since we see that this happened on Friday we know that the traditional label of Palm Sunday is not Biblical.
“The whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen” (Luke 19:37). The people that invited Jesus and the disciples to come to Bethany were the same group who had witnessed Lazarus emerge from the grave (John 12:17). Each Gospel records a different title being declared for Jesus including Son of David (Matt. 21:9), King of Israel (John 12:13,) kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest (Mark 11:9-10) and the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest (Luke 19:38). These titles infuriated the Pharisees (John 12:19, Matt. 21:10).