Intro: Studying Mark to recall who Jesus is and what following Him means. Seeing the secret that Jesus is
the Messiah being revealed; (Peter's confession; Trans-figuration.) However, disciples have needed significant
correction about what Jesus being the Messiah means: Why is Jesus saying He will suffer and die? Last week, Jesus
answered that question! Jesus willingly came to Jerusalem, knowing He was going to be killed! Why? To serve us,
to pay the price to free us from our slavery to sin! In today's passage, Jesus enters Jerusalem.
A Big-Deal Kind of Donkey! (Read Mark 11:1-7.)
Sometimes, when we read the Bible, the story just washes over us. True today; we could leave, agreeing: "Jesus
rode on a donkey into Jerusalem, and a crowd sang praises to God." But we may miss answering a very important
question: Why did Jesus ride on a donkey into Jerusalem? Account of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem is 11
verses, but Mark devotes six of them to the fact that Jesus borrowed and rode a donkey. Why is the donkey a
big deal ?
A Few Wrong Answers! Why did Jesus ride on a donkey into Jerusalem? 1) Jesus didn't ride on a donkey
just to arrive in Jerusalem. (Read Mark 11:11.)
After He got into Jerusalem, He looked around for a short time, and then He left for Bethany, a nearby suburb of
Jerusalem, that same evening! 2) It wasn't because riding a donkey was Jesus' normal mode of travel. He usually
walked wherever He went. In fact, the traditional way to enter Jerusalem at that time of year was on foot. Even if
you rode the rest of the way, it was expected that, for the last part of the journey to Jerusalem, you would climb
down and walk. Why did Jesus go out of His way to borrow a donkey to ride into Jerusalem? Why was He intentionally
doing something to stand out from the rest of the crowd? Why is the donkey a big deal ?
Donkey Detectives, Clue #1! Focus on Jesus' statement in v. 2 that "no one has ever ridden" this donkey.
Jesus is reminding His disciples of an OT law that if an animal was devoted to a sacred purpose, then it should
never have participated in common labor; a common beast of burden should not be devoted to the Lord. (Read Numbers 19:1-2.)
Jesus is hinting to the disciples that He will use this little donkey for a special, sacred purpose. This is
no ordinary donkey ride; the donkey is a big deal!
Donkey Detectives, Clue #2! Why does Jesus require this donkey? Another clue in Genesis
49:8-12, where, in Jacob/Israel's prophecies about His twelve sons/tribes, he speaks about Judah. (Read
Genesis 49:8-12.) The prophecy about Judah reveals part of God's plan for His people. First, the tribes of Israel
would be ruled by Judah's descendants. (Read Genesis 49:10.)
Vague Hebrew in this vs, but it most likely means that the rightful king of God's people will come through Judah.
Notice vs. 11! (Read Genesis 49:11.) In the middle of this prophecy about this rightful king, Jacob mentions a
donkey! Jacob prophesied that one of Judah's descendants would be the rightful king of Israel, and that a donkey
would be involved. This donkey is a big deal!
Donkey Detectives, Clue #3! Fast forward several hundred years; King David, a descendant of Judah, had
promised the throne of Israel to his son, Solomon. But another son of David, Adonijah, claims the kingdom for
himself. So David instructed his closest advisors: (Read I Kings
1:33-35.) Why did David give these strange instructions? B/c, in the ANE, if a person conquered a
foreign country, he would enter that country riding a magnificent horse or chariot to remind the conquered peoples
of this ruler's military might. But if a king was visiting a city in his own country that had rebelled against
him, he would enter that city riding on a donkey. Symbolized the fact that this king was the rightful ruler of
this rebellious city; he doesn't need a war horse to invade; it's already his country! That's why David had
Solomon, ride on a donkey: "My Son, Solomon, is the rightful king of Israel, no matter who rebels against him."
David and Solomon form the background for a prophecy in Zechariah
9:9-10. (Read.) Zechariah: "Just like Solomon was recognized as the rightful king of Israel, there will
come another who will enter Jerusalem riding on a donkey. He will be the rightful king of both Jerusalem and the
entire earth." The donkey is a big deal because it symbolizes who the rightful king is!
Declaration by Donkey! Returning to Mark 11, we see Jesus, a descendant of David, a descendant of
Judah, riding into Jerusalem on a donkey! You see what is happening? Jesus is making His claim! Jesus is
symbolically demonstrating His kingship. For those who had eyes to see it, Jesus is declaring, "I'm the rightful
King! I'm the Son of David! I'm the promised Messiah! I'm the One that God appointed to save His people!" How did
the people respond? (Read Mark 11:8-10.) Some people shouted praises to God. (Mostly Galileans, traveling into
Jerusalem for the Passover Feast; they likely weren't aware of the full significance of this event!) The
donkey is a big deal b/c it symbolizes who the rightful king is! But Jesus' claim to be the rightful king
was missed by most people in Jerusalem, by most Jews of His day. Jesus' claim to be the rightful king continues to
be missed by most people!
Application! Jesus has claimed to be the rightful king of Israel, the world, you & me!
1) Jesus is the rightful king of the Jews. Jews were chosen by God to prepare the rest of the world for God's
promised Savior. They did such a poor job that they themselves weren't ready for Him; most Jews rejected Him.
Nevertheless, it's only through the Jesus' shed blood that anyone, Jew or Gentile, can be made right w/God.
2) Jesus is the rightful king of our world. People are obsessed w/money, influence, power, control, domination.
But one day, every single person will bow their knees and confess that Jesus that He is the Rightful King of this
3) Jesus is the rightful king of your life, of my life. He's the boss. One day, Jesus holds our lives in His
hands; we will give an account for every thought, word, action, to Him. Jesus has made His claim. Have you
confessed your need of Him as Savior? Have you bowed your knee to Him as Lord and King?