Luke 19:28-40 (ESV)
28 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’ ” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
When Jesus arrived at the Mount of Olives, he instructed two of his disciples to go to a chosen village, get a specific colt that no one had ever ridden, and bring it back. The Greek word translated “colt” simply means a young animal. Jesus also knew that someone would approach the two disciples and ask them what they were doing. He instructed them to respond, “The Lord needs it.” Jesus told the two disciples exactly what would happen, and everything occurred just as he said it would. Luke emphasized the omniscience, or the ability to know all, that Jesus possessed. When they brought the colt to Jesus, the two disciples threw their outer garments over it, creating a makeshift saddle. The other disciples joined in the procession, and they threw their cloaks on the road ahead of Jesus and the colt’s path. They were “rolling out the red carpet” for Jesus as he prepared to enter Jerusalem. Jesus didn’t stop them, but instead rode from the Mount of Olives toward the city. The disciples recognized who Jesus was, and shouted, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Jesus presented himself to the city as their King. The Pharisees saw all this and demanded that Jesus get his followers to stop. Jesus responded by saying if his followers were silent, then the rocks would cry out.
Though the Pharisees and the bulk of Jerusalem’s inhabitants failed to see Jesus as the King, creation knew what was happening. A lifeless rock could testify to Jesus’ identity, but most of the living were unable to see what was right in front of them. As Jesus approached the great city, he came not as a warrior but in humility. Though the disciples present tossed their cloaks ahead of Jesus, even most of their allegiance was short-lived. The time soon came for those who cried “Hosanna!” to put their words into actions, and they were nowhere to be found. It’s easy to say great things about Jesus, even speaking of his glory and majesty, but it takes the work of the Holy Spirit to move a soul to the place of putting her profession into practice. Are you merely saying wonderful things about Jesus, or are you allowing him to be the King of your life? The crowd had no idea what lay around the corner, but Jesus did.