We are hitting the home stretch in the book of Matthew. We have seen how Jesus’ teaching ministry laid the foundation for his ministry with people. Both his teaching and personal ministry were always pointing in one direction, and that is the cross. This passage sees what those in the church normally refer to as “Palm Sunday”, and what the ESV titles as the “Triumphal Entry”. The main takeaway from this passage is that Jesus is making a claim on his kingship.
In verses 2-5, Jesus claims his kingship through what the Old Testament said about the Messiah. John Piper breaks it down like this:
- Jesus Declares His Kingship by Riding on a Donkey (Zech. 9:9)
- Jesus Declares His Kingship by Cleansing the Temple (Isa. 56:7)
- Jesus Declares His Kingship by Healing (Isa. 35:4-6)
- Jesus Declares His Kingship by His Response to Children (Psa. 8)
Then you see the response of the crowds. They spread their cloaks on the road and spread palm branches as well. They shouted “Hosanna!” There’s no way to know this for sure, but it’s within the realm of possibility that many of these people praising Jesus in his entry to the city were the same people that were condemning him to the cross just a few days later. What led them to this point? This is something we will see in the next few chapters of Matthew.
The way we should respond to this passage today is to ask yourself how you are responding to Jesus. Does Jesus truly have Kingship over every area of your life? Or do you only respond to His Kingship only when it is in line with your own kingship of your life?
By: Graham Withers