The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out:
‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’
The King of Israel!”
Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:
“Fear not, daughter of Zion;
Behold, your King is coming,
Sitting on a donkey's colt.”
His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.
Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness.
For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign.
The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, “You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!”
[John 12:12-19 NKJV]
You will have noticed that Lazarus is again mentioned here. The repercussions from Jesus’ raising him from death after so long in his tomb continue to fill the minds of the people, and they flocked to see Jesus, for indeed the world has gone after Him!
Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem was the fulfilment of prophecy quoted by John from Zechariah 9:9 …
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey*.
Why a donkey? As with so much in scripture, a picture is being painted; or properly an idea and the donkey (actually a female donkey or it could not have borne a foal*) is a docile peaceful creature, a burden-bearer, but with strength and perseverance — exactly what Jesus portrays to us — not a king flaunting his power and regal splendour, but a King of kings, who has no need to impress.
His disciples did not understand these things at first
… and neither would we in their position, because this is not an earthly picture, but a heavenly one — run on The Creator’s principles that are foreign to our creature hearts; but the potential is built into us creatures to be awakened to understanding by The Holy Spirit. That alone is reason enough for triumph; for that awakening reveals that the King is coming, indeed He is here with us now. We can live in His presence.
* donkey h0386. אֵיתָן ’êṯân; or (shortened) אֵתָן ’ethan; from an unused root (meaning to continue); permanence; hence (concrete) permanent; specifically a chieftain: — hard, mighty, rough, strength, strong.
AV (13) - strong 5, mighty 4, strength 2, hard 1, rough 1;
perpetual, constant, perennial, ever-flowing, ever-flowing (of a stream) permanence, permanent, enduring (fig.)
In the ordinary everyday things of life — eating and drinking, cleaning your boots, writing an essay — is it slovenly? Is it careless and indifferent? Does self-indulgence come in?
That little pinhole exhibits the dry rot that runs all through everything you do, and when you trust God in a shabby, defective way — “I will have faith in God about this matter, but not about that” — then you don’t trust God at all.
If we will examine ourselves in the light of the things that can be seen we will realise that that is how God sees us all through.
[from ‘God’s Workmanship’]
‘The King Is Coming’ — The Statler Brothers