Daily Devotional

September 15, 2019

Daybreak: Luke 19:28-48

“And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, 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; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.” (Luke 19:36-38)

The annual Grand Floral Parade — a colorful, crowd-packed, flower-bedecked summer tradition in the city of Portland, Oregon — is an unforgettable part of my childhood memories. On the appointed Saturday morning in June, my parents would pack a picnic lunch, gather up folding chairs, snacks, and sunscreen, and take my siblings and me downtown to our favorite parade-viewing location near the end of the Burnside Bridge. There we would join the throng vying for a front-row spot and a clear view. The parade draws thousands of cheering viewers of every age, who gather along a four-mile route that winds through the heart of the city and across the river. I was always excited to be one of the throng.

Each year somewhere in this popular annual procession, a car carrying the Grand Marshal comes along. The privilege of being Grand Marshal traditionally is bestowed on a person who deserves recognition as a community leader or cultural hero. Through the years of Rose Festival history, the honor has been accorded to an Olympic gold medal swimmer, an Apollo 13 astronaut, various recording and TV stars, the conductor of the Oregon Symphony, an Indy race car driver, heroic police officers, a major league baseball player, and the governor of the State of Oregon. However, as a kid, I rarely knew much about the Grand Marshal or why that particular individual was being honored. 

I suppose there were children in the crowds that lined the way as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, an incident described in today’s text. Like all kids at a parade, no doubt the young ones did their best to work their way through the people to get a clear view. Though they may not have known much about Jesus or why everyone was so excited as He rode by, I can picture them joining enthusiastically in the cries of “Hosanna!” I am sure they waved their branches with gusto and enthusiasm as those around them spread garments before Jesus and praised God together. 

The fact is, very few of those present that day truly grasped the importance of the One being honored in that humble procession. Even the adults in the crowd who joyously were acclaiming Jesus had the wrong idea about Him. They were thrilled that their long-prophesied King had come, and excited because they anticipated that shortly He would overcome their Roman oppressors and restore their nation to its former glory. 

However, the cheers and shouts of adulation soon faded away. The joy and euphoria vanished. In fact, it may be that some of the very people who had cried “Hosanna” turned against Jesus when they realized that He was not going to fulfill their hopes for national restoration. They did not understand that Jesus was establishing a much greater and more permanent kingdom than anything they could imagine — His eternal Kingdom!

In our day, too, few really understand who Jesus is and the significance of the Kingdom He is building. He is God the Son, who came from Heaven for us! He traveled down that road to Jerusalem, knowing full well that His journey would end in His sacrificial death for the sins of the world. Let us be among those who honor the One who truly deserves recognition and heartfelt praise!

Background

Today’s text in Luke 19 covers three significant events which occurred during the final days before Jesus’ crucifixion: His triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a donkey (verses 28-40); His weeping over the city of Jerusalem (verses 41-44); and His cleansing of the Temple for the second time (verses 45-48).

Not long before Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem, He had raised Lazarus from the dead. Since Lazarus lived in Bethany, which was located on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives less than two miles from Jerusalem, it is probable that most of the people in the area had heard of this amazing miracle. Because the Passover was less than a week away, there were large numbers of travelers who also could have heard of the event. Very likely, these groups of people were among those rejoicing as Jesus entered into the city. 

The fact that Jesus rode on a donkey was significant; this specific detail regarding the Messiah had been foretold in Zechariah 9:9, a prophecy written over five hundred years earlier.

The view that Jesus would have seen as He approached Jerusalem (verse 41) was quite spectacular, the great wall of the city encompassing the beautiful Temple, and the palaces and gardens of wealthy Jewish residents. However, Jesus looked beyond all of the scenic surroundings, and wept regarding the calamities He knew would occur at that very spot.

In Leviticus 26:31, God had warned Israel what would happen if they failed to obey Him. As Jesus approached Jerusalem, He foretold that enemies would encompass the city and destroy it (verses 43-44). This prophecy began to be fulfilled in A.D. 66, when the Jews revolted against the Roman yoke. The Romans responded by plundering Jerusalem and executing six thousand Jews, prompting a full-scale rebellion. After a lull in military operations because of turmoil in Rome, in A.D. 70 the Roman general Titus moved against the rebels in Jerusalem. A seven-month siege ensued before Jerusalem fell, and the city was completely destroyed. 

Only John records Christ’s first cleansing of the Temple (John 2:13-17), an event which took place near the start of Jesus’ ministry. Matthew, Mark, and Luke all describe the similar event recorded in today’s text (verses 45-46), which took place during Christ’s final week before His crucifixion. 

Amplified Outline

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)

VII.    The passion of the Son of Man
    A.    The presentation of the Son of Man (19:28-48)
        1.    The entrance into Jerusalem (19:28-41)
            a.    The preparation (19:28-35)
            b.    The procession (19:36)
            c.    The proclamations (19:37-39)
            d.    The prejudice (19:40-41)
        2.    The distress for Jerusalem (19:42-44)
        3.    The entrance into the Temple (19:45-48)
            a.    The cleansing of the Temple (19:45-46)
            b.    The teaching in the Temple (19:47-48)

A Closer Look

  1. What instructions did Jesus give two of His disciples just prior to His entry into Jerusalem?

  2. Why do you think the owner of the colt allowed the disciples to take the animal that Jesus rode upon?

  3. How can we show Jesus honor in our daily actions?

Conclusion

Jesus journeyed into Jerusalem knowing that although the crowds momentarily acclaimed Him, His journey would end at Calvary. We should honor the One who truly deserves our praise for His great sacrifice for mankind!

Reference Materials