By Tyson Thorne

August 15, 2019

John 36 Large

It is five days before Passover, and Jesus is still in Bethany. Why is this important? Because of Zechariah 14.4-9 which states that God's kingship over the world would be revealed in Bethpage (called Bethany by Jesus' time). This is only one example of the many prophecies fulfilled in these few verses (John 12.1-11). Jesus traveled the short two mile to Jerusalem where a large crowd greeted him, shouting the same praises the people of Israel did back when David took the throne. It is a symbol of Jesus' kingship over the nation (Psalm 118.25).

I confess that prophecy that has not yet been fulfilled isn't my favorite field of study, but fulfilled prophecy encourages me greatly. For this reason today's passage I find exciting. John leaves out the bit about how Jesus instructed the disciples to find a young colt for him to ride upon, but if he had we would say that the process showed both Jesus' authority as a king to commandeer the animal and that it fulfilled the Law. According to Old Testament Law (Numbers 19:2, Deuteronomy 21:3 and 1 Samuel 6:7) an animal that was to be used for sacred service must not have ever been used for a common one. The colt Jesus rode into the city on was just such an animal, and also fulfilled prophecy (Zechariah 9.9).

As Jesus enters the city the people shout "Hosanna!" Once a prayer beseeching God for his rule, suddenly became an acknowledgment of the Messiah's presence and the re-establishment of Davidic and Heavenly rule. Most fairy tales would end here, Jesus was finally recognized by the people for who he was, and not even the Pharisees would dare to touch him now. But this isn't a fairy tale and in real life — more often than not — if the politicians want you dead you have little choice but to die. But of course the plotting and manipulations made by the religious leaders, while evil, is necessary. Jesus didn't come to live happily ever after, he came to die.

While the Pharisees would have liked nothing more than to help Jesus fulfill that mission, even they were amazed at the crowds Jesus drew leaving one to comment for them all, “You see that you can do nothing. Look, the world has run off after him!” (verse 19).

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