Not Everyone Loves a Parade
After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up
to Jerusalem. [...] Then they brought it [a donkey] to Jesus; and after throwing their
cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. As he rode along, people
kept spreading their cloaks on the road.
As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount
of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise
God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that
they had seen, saying, "Blessed is the king who comes in
the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher,
order your disciples to stop." He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent,
the stones would shout out."
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William Barclay points out that an ass was a noble
beast in that day, ridden by kings in peacetime (vs. a horse during
war). The symbolism points to Jesus as a king of peace and love.
Additionally, we shouldn't forget that Jesus had a great deal
of courage. It was a daring maneuver for Jesus to go parading
into town when there was a price on his head, especially if he was
asserting kingship at the same time.
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