On Sunday, Nisan 9, Jesus comes to Jerusalem triumphantly. As he approaches the city—riding on the colt of an as.
IN FULFILLMENT of Zechariah 9:9—most of the people that have gathered around him spread their outer garments on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them out. “Blessed is the One coming as the King in Jehovah’s name!” they cry.— Luke 19:38-40; Matthew 21:6-9.
Just a few weeks earlier, many in the crowd had seen Jesus resurrect Lazarus. Now these keep telling others about that miracle. So as Jesus enters Jerusalem, the whole city is set in commotion. “Who is this?” people ask. And the crowds keep saying: “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee!” —Matthew 21:10, 11; John 12:17-19.
As is his custom when visiting Jerusalem, Jesus, the Great Teacher, goes to the temple to teach. There the blind and the lame come to him, and he cures them. When the chief priests and the scribes see this and they hear the boys in the temple crying out, “Save, we pray, the Son of David!” they become angry. As Jesus continues teaching, he takes a good look at what is going on in the temple.—Matthew 21:15, 16; Mark 11:11.
How different Jesus’ approach is now from what it was six months earlier! He then came into Jerusalem for the Festival of Tabernacles “not openly but as in secret.” (John 7:10) And he always took measures to get away safely when his life was threatened. Now he openly enters into the city where orders have been issued to seize him! It was also not Jesus’ custom to advertise himself as the Messiah. (Isaiah 42:2; Mark 1:40-44) He did not want noisy advertising or distorted reports about him passed from mouth to mouth. Now the crowds are openly declaring him King and Savior—the Messiah—and he rebuffs the religious leaders’ requests to silence them! Why the change? Because “the hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified,” as Jesus announces the very next day.—John 12:23.
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