Summary of passages: John 12:12-22: The Passover Feast attendants heard Jesus was heading to Jerusalem so they run out to meet him, carrying palm branches and calling him the King of Israel. Jesus enters on a donkey. His disciples don’t understand this. Many people believed in Jesus and the Pharisees are angered. Some Greeks even wanted to see Jesus.
Matthew 21:1-16: Jesus sends two disciples to fetch him a donkey and her colt as they approached Jerusalem, which fulfills God’s word. Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem where a very large crowd went ahead of him, announcing him as the Son of David. Jesus entered and again threw out the money changers from the temple. Jesus healed the blind and the lame. The chief priests were indignant as the children praised him.
Mark 11:1-11: Jesus sends two disciples to fetch him a donkey and her colt as they approached Jerusalem, which fulfills God’s word. Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem where a very large crowd went ahead of him, announcing him as coming in the name of the Lord. Jesus went to the temple but left since it was late, spending the night in Bethany with his disciples.
Luke 19:29-46: Jesus sends two disciples to fetch him a donkey and her colt as they approached Jerusalem, which fulfills God’s word. Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem where a very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road for him. The disciples began to joyful praise God and for sending the King. The Pharisees, angry at this, yelled at Jesus to rebuke his disciples. Jesus said he could not for the stones would cry if he did.
As Jesus approached Jerusalem he wept for he knew the future when the city would be destroyed and many would die. He entered the temple and drove out the vendors.
6) Psalm 118:25-26: Jesus is blessed and he shines his light upon us. The festal procession took place with boughs in hand. God’s word is true.
Zechariah 9:9: Jesus comes righteous and with salvation, riding on a colt of a donkey. God’s word is true.
7a) Disciples, Pharisees, children, Jewish believers and non-believers, Greeks
b) Personal Question. My answer: In all aspects He calls me.
Conclusions: Such an exciting passage. Such a let down in the questions. Can we please unpack these verses? See End Notes for just that.
End Notes: John 12:12-22: From here on out, Jesus will be in Jerusalem. This inaugurates Passion Week and is a deliberate action by Jesus to provoke the Jewish leaders against him.
This was the large crowd gathered for the greatest holidays of Judaism – Passover. Many were from Galilee. All came with lambs, which was required as a sacrifice. The lamb had to live with the family for at least three days before sacrifice (Exodus 12:3-6). Hence, picture this scene with Jesus riding a donkey into Jerusalem, surrounded by lambs–him being the greatest Lamb of all!
Josephus, the Jewish historian, tells us that one year a census was taken of the number of lambs slain for Passover and that figure was 256,500. Can you imagine this today? That’s a lot of lambs! The animal rights people would be up in arms!
Palm branches were a symbol of Jewish nationalism since the time of the Maccabees. Still seeing Jesus as a political and national savior, they welcomed him as king, ignoring the spiritual side. Later, palms appeared as national symbols on the coins struck by the Judean insurgents during the first and second revolts against Rome (ad 66-70 and 132-135).
Hosanna means “save now” and is from Psalm 118:25-6. They welcomed him as Messiah.
Jesus sits on the donkey for both fulfillment of prophecy (Zechariah 9:9) and to indicate his kingdom is not military or political–it’s spiritual. The donkey was used by clergyman and for peace. Otherwise, Jesus would be riding a war horse. Doing this, the Roman probably didn’t think much of Jesus. He had no army with him.
‘Daughter of Zion’ is a personification of the city of Jerusalem; it occurs frequently in the Old Testament, especially in the later prophets. (Tenney)
Since only God has the power to raise the dead, the people were convinced Jesus would have the power to overthrow the Romans since he could do such a feat.
“The world has gone after him”, like Caiaphas’ (John 11:50) words, are prophetic as well.
We are not told the nature of these Greeks. Were they converts? Curiosity seekers? One scholar (Bruce) speculates that between verses 19 and 20 a day or two had elapsed: Jesus was no longer on the road to Jerusalem, but teaching daily in the temple precincts. And in the meantime, according to Mark 11:15-17, he had expelled the traders and moneychangers from the precincts — that is, more precisely, from the outer court — in order that the place might fulfill its divinely ordained purpose of being ‘a house of prayer for all the nations’ (Isaiah 56:7). Did these Greeks recognize this action as having been undertaken in the interests of Gentiles like themselves who, when they came up to worship the true God, had to confine themselves to the outer court?
Why Philip? He’s the one disciple with a Greek name. These men have often been compared to the Three Magi. They come to the cross.
Matthew 21:1-16: Up until this point, Jesus had acted in secret for the most part, avoiding attention and the Romans seeking him. Now, his time come, he makes a huge public entrance, announcing to all he has arrived.
John omits the part of obtaining the colt. Matthew does not. Jesus chooses to ride on the younger animal, the colt. Mark and Luke tell us it has never been ridden before so it’s prudent to bring its mother along. Here we see the Creator of the Universe riding his creation. Awesome! Zechariah mentions only one animal in his prophesy.
The day was chosen as well to fulfill Daniel’s prophecy of the 70 weeks (Daniel 9:24-7). Jesus may even have spoken these words in verses 4-5.
Great people used to ride on donkeys (Judges10;4; 12:14) until horses came upon the scene. Now we seek Jesus as the Prince of Peace, riding a lowly animal that now only poor people rode and used to carry burdens.
The people’s reaction is one of honor: spreading out their cloaks and cutting branches. It also spoke of victory and success.
Hosanna was also addressed to kings (2 Samuel 14:4 & 2 Kings 6:26). The people are unafraid to proclaim Jesus as their Savior and Messiah. Jesus receives this as the day the Lord has made (Psalm 118:24).
Jesus knew he was in danger but he was unafraid of the Pharisees here.
Note in Matthew 2:3 when the Magi came looking for the King of Jews, ‘all Jerusalem’ was troubled. Now when the king arrives all the city is stirred.
In five days these same people will demand Jesus to be crucified. How fickle are us humans! How tragic.
It was here, before he entered the city, that Jesus wept over it and what would come (Luke 19:41-44).
This scene is different than the one we already studied in John 2:13-22. Obviously, the people continued in their cheating ways, charging way too much for sacrificial animals. A pair of doves cost 4p outside the Temple and as much as 75p inside the Temple. This is almost 20 times more expensive.
Note, however, this time Jesus is condemning both the buyers and the sellers for it takes two for this sin to happen. The money lenders would not be there if there were no demand for their services.
The money changers would be there again. The act is important though, the condemnation. Jesus was showing all this is not okay.
Once the money lenders were cleared, Jesus could concentrate on his real work: healing. The blind and the lame were not allowed in the temple. Thus, they could not offer sacrifices. Again, Jesus went to them like he does us.
The hypocritical priests are content with money lenders but not healers. It was common for kids to shout praises. The problem was calling Jesus “the Son of David.” Jesus says kids matter too.
Mark 11:1-11: Sending his disciples ahead of him left nothing to chance. This had to be right. He had to enter as the suffering servant, not a general.
Mark’s wording suggests Jesus had pre-arranged the taking of the colt with the owner.
Finally, the people honor Jesus for who he is not what he can give them. Clothing was expensive in those days and most people wore the same clothes for days. Laying out their cloaks for Jesus was an extravagant sacrifice indeed. Public honor is encouraged here.
We call this event the “Triumphal Entry,” but it was a different kind of triumph. In the Romans’ eyes, this was far from triumphant. To them, a Triumphal Entry was a honor granted to a Roman general who won a complete and decisive victory and had killed at least 5,000 enemy soldiers. When the general returned to Rome, they had an elaborate parade. First came the treasures captured from the enemy, then the prisoners. His armies marched by unit by unit, and finally the general rode in a golden chariot pulled by magnificent horses. Priests burned incense in his honor and the crowds shouted his name and praised him. The procession ended at the arena, where some of the prisoners were thrown to wild animals for the entertainment of the crowd. That was a Triumphal Entry, not a Galilean peasant sitting on a few coats set out on a pony.
Jesus inspected everything, mainly seeking the hearts of the people.
Note in Mark we didn’t read: Mark’s record contains the more complete quotation of Jesus’ reference to Isaiah 56:7: Is it not written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations?” (Mark 11:17). Isaiah prophesied, and Jesus demanded that the temple be a place for all nations to pray. The money lenders were making it impossible for any Gentile to come and pray.
Luke 19:29-46: So what is the triumph here? The triumph of humility over pride and worldly grandeur; of poverty over affluence; and of meekness and gentleness over rage and malice.
The Pharisees know they are losing with the drowning out of the devil’s voice. They ask Jesus to quiet the disciples to which Jesus replies how creation will cry out.
In some old copies of the Bible, they removed the passage about Jesus weeping here, because they thought that if Jesus were perfect He would not weep. But the perfection of Jesus demands that He weep at this occasion, when Israel rejected their only opportunity to escape the destruction to come.
God does not rejoice in His judgement. Jesus here showed the heart of God, how even when judgment must be pronounced, it is never done with joy. Even when God’s judgment is perfectly just and righteous, His heart weeps at the bringing of the judgment.
“On this day”. This day was likely the day prophesied by Daniel that Messiah the Prince would come unto Jerusalem. Daniel said that it would be 483 years on the Jewish calendar from the day of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the day the Messiah would come to Jerusalem. By the reckoning of Sir Robert Anderson, this was fulfilled 483 years later to the day (by the Jewish reckoning of 360 day years, as in Daniel 9:25).
This is the day mentioned in Psalm 118:24: This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Jerusalem means “city of peace”. Jesus predicted what would happen when the Romans attacked Jerusalem. Therefore, he weeps.
Summary of passage: A loud voice announces that the kingdom of God has come and the accuser has been hurled to earth. He was overcome by the blood of the Lamb. Heaven rejoices but woe to earth for the devil has been flung down and he is full of fury as he knows his time is limited.
9) Part personal Question. My answer: The accuser was hurled out of heaven unto earth. Honestly, I don’t feel guilty. I let them go. The past is in the past and I know God has forgiven me and I know Jesus has defeated the devil and cleansed me. Take to heart Hebrews 9:14: “How much more then will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!”
Romans 8:1: “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:33-34 are good as well.
By not fully allowing Jesus’s sacrifice into our hearts and by letting feelings of guilt overwhelm us we are doing a huge disservice and dishonor to his sacrifice and letting Satan win. Please. Let go.
Note on Question 10: This question is very confusing. The emphasis should be on the three ways the saints (who are the pronoun “they” here) and ultimately us as believers overcame the devil: 1) by the blood of the Lamb 2) by the word of their testimony 3) by not loving their lives so much to fear death. By separating out the verb (triumphed or overcame in NIV), the meaning is lost and jumbled and befuddled.
10) Personal Question. My answers:
“They triumphed over him”: It means just that: we overcame the devil. Period. The scriptures they give here are not very helpful.
“By the blood of the Lamb”: Jesus paid the price for my sins, making me righteous and able to stand before God. God chose me through unimaginable grace as His.
Note here: BSF missed the more important verse in Romans! Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us!” It is God’s love that brung us back to Him. He sent His only Son to die for us. In Romans 5:7, Paul astutely points out: what person do you know would die for you? Someone who loves you. But a stranger? And would they die for a sinner like you? A righteous man, maybe. God’s love saved us. He is so good. See also: (Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14, and Hebrews 9:14).
“And by the word of their testimony”: Knowing and remembering God’s work in my life is my testimony. It allows me to overcome the lies Satan whispers in my ear. As I walk in God with faith, my life is a powerful testimony to unbelievers as I proclaim His power in my life. See End Notes for explanation on testimony.
Should say Revelation 1:2, not Revelation 1:3 here in my opinion since 1:2 uses the word “testimony”. This is referring to the Gospel as John says “the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ”. John is using Jesus’ life to overcome the devil. And so should we.
“They did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death”: Remembering my home is in heaven instead of here on earth and we find life by losing it to Jesus (Mark 8:35). The Greek word here for love is “agape”, the love that is all-encompassing, self-sacrificing, profound love. Willing to sacrifice for my faith even my life marks a Christian.
11a) Personal Question. My answer: As my faith has grown, my reliance on Him to overcome not only the evil in my life but the evil in the world has grown. I give it to God and let Him take it from there.
b) Personal Question. My answer: So many! Scripture foremost is Philippians 4:6; John 3:16; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, 13; 1 Corinthians 10:13; Exodus 20; Romans 8:31 to name but a few. Songs: My Savior My God by Aaron Shust is my all-time favorite. Others: Great I Am by Phillips, Craig & Dean and Help Me Find It by Sidewalk Prophets.
Conclusions: All personal questions but only a part of one directly asking what’s happening here. Again, asking about worship when we see here the beginning of God’s final victory over Satan and soon we’ll see his capture and banishment. This is to be celebrated!
Question 9: Sometimes I think questions like this do the opposite: we feel guilty because we don’t feel guilty over our past sins when you shouldn’t feel guilty at all. Living in the past and dwelling on guilt from past sins robs you of your life today. Give it to God. He will handle it. Know you are His and move on! You life will dwindle away moment by moment until one day you realize you didn’t accomplish God’s purpose for your life because of the past. Live for Him today. That’s all you have. Tomorrow you may not be here. And then what?
BSF’s worst lesson in Revelation in my opinion so far. So I made it my own. By researching what exactly are the saints telling me here THEN AND ONLY THEN can I tell you what they mean to me. Since I am a saint, I need to know this!
I personally feel beaten up by the “how my worship has been affected” questions. Because I don’t feel my worship has been affected and thus being asked the question makes me feel guilty because I feel like it should be affected. I spoke of this as well in Lesson 14 Day 3 and counted the number of times we’ve been asked.
The same goes for “comforted” and “encouraged.” Right now, I’m not. But I feel I should be. So guiltily, my response is “I’m not affected” or “I’m not comforted” or “I’m not encouraged.” Or I’m just cynical, hard-hearted, or shallow. In time I pray. In time.
End Notes: The loud voice is NOT Jesus or God or an angel. We know this because of the text says “the accuser of our brothers”, our being humanity.
Once Satan is thrown out of heaven, the accusing stops. Until then, we must fight the good fight. However, Satan’s accusations are meaningless if we have Christ.
Jesus’s victory is our victory. Imagine if we lived our lives every day knowing that one Truth.
Definition of testify according to Webster’s Dictionary: “to make a statement based on personal knowledge or belief: bear witness; to serve as evidence or proof.”
Definition of testimony according to Webster’s Dictionary: “firsthand authentication of a fact; evidence; a public profession of religious experience.”
In the book of Revelation, testimony refers to the Gospel (Revelation 1:2).
“by the word of their testimony”. John, being the symbolic guy that he is, speaks of testimony in 1 John 5:6-12. Water may be Jesus’ baptism. Blood is his death on the cross. The Spirit is the Holy Spirit. He says these three together are God’s testimony about Jesus. We are saved eternally through God’s testimony of His Son, Jesus Christ–as long as we believe this in our hearts.
Thus, the saints who are speaking here know what they’ve seen and heard and experienced in their lives from God and can recognize Satan’s lies that go against God.
Also, here, notice “the word”. This doesn’t explicitly apply to God’s Word (the Bible) but we can use that as a testimony against the devil. The more we know the Word, the more we can use that against the devil.
The angels and all of heaven is relieved Satan is gone. It’s like when a visiting relative overstays their welcome and they finally leave! You can almost hear the sigh of relief upon the door closing forever to Satan’s presence.
Satan’s release upon the earth is the third and final prophetic “woe” announced earlier upon the inhabitants of the earth (Rev.8:13).
In Revelation 20, we will see what ultimately happens to Satan. Looking forward to it!