The teachings of Messiah, 9:51-19:44

6. Discipleship and the rejected king, 18:15-19:44

vi] The king rejected - Jesus enters Jerusalem


Jesus had been with his disciples for about three years. The date was 30AD, and it was his last visit to Jerusalem. When Jesus and his disciples were about three kilometers from the city, he sent two of them ahead of the group to pick up a male ass from an acquaintance living nearby (of course, there may have been no prearranged organization, although the text doesn't push this view). Jesus then set off, riding toward Jerusalem. The disciples couldn't contain themselves. They started shouting out at the top of their voices. "Here comes our king, blessed is he in the name of the Lord." The religious officials were a bit put out by the clamor. It seemed presumptuous, to say the least, and the Roman authorities could well get wind of all this and think that they had an insurrection on the their hands. But, the truth was finally out and nothing could keep it hidden. When Jesus came in sight of Jerusalem, he paused and wept. Here was this beautiful city, so special in the sight of God and soon it would be destroyed by foreign armies. "They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you".


The incident serves as a public unveiling of the long-awaited Son of David, the King of kings, Lord of Lords. Yet, this king is a rejected Messiah whose destiny is to enter glory through suffering and death. So, Jesus' entry into Jerusalem is an acted-out parable, a further self-disclosure to the people of Israel. The symbolism of the event is clear enough to the disciples, as well as the Pharisees, but is veiled so as not to stir up the general populous, or the Roman authorities. Jesus' final and complete disclosure will come at his trial, 22:67-71.


i] Context: This passage comes from a section in Luke's gospel, 18:15-19:44, which further reveals Jesus' messiahship, along with the response of both the crowds and the disciples to his self revelation.


ii] Homiletics: The allusion used in the last paragraph of the sample sermon / exposition has, as its origins, a powerful line from Fay Weldon's novel, Godless in Eden. Weldon's statement is, of course, theologically naive, but sociologically powerful, and worth weaving into a sermon. "It is my belief that the bearded Patriarch finally slid out the Great West Door of the Abbey and took to his heels on the day of Diana's funeral whilst Elton John was singing Candle in the Wind. Now the all-embracing Matriarch takes his place. This is the age of empathy: we are crushed under the excess weight of it. How superstitious we have become. Not a newspaper without its horoscope, we study feng-shui, wear lucky crystals round our necks - even those of us who appear to be most rational".

Text - 19:28

The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, v28-40.

kai "-" - and. Nolland notes that the use of this conjunction rather than say de, indicates that this verse is linked to v27 rather than introducing a new literary unit / paragraph.

eipwn (eipon) aor. part. "after [Jesus] had said [this]" - having said. The participle is adverbial, probably temporal; "And when he had thus spoken", AV.

eporeueto (poreuomai) imperf. "he went [on ahead]" - he was going [ahead]. An expression common in Mark where the sense of journey toward the cross is emphasized.

anabainwn (anabainw) pres. part. "going up" - going up. The participle is adverbial, probably modal expressing how "he went", namely "going up". Probably "up" as in height and not "up" = "north" in Australia.

eiV + acc. "to [Jerusalem]" - Spacial; "to, toward."


kai egeneto (ginomai) aor. "-" - and it became. "And it came to pass", AV.

wJV "as" - while. Forming a temporal clause; "when he was near Bethphage and Bethany", Moffatt.

eggisen (eggizw) "he approached" - approach, draw near.

Bhqania (a) "Bethany" - Situated on the Eastern slope of the Mount of Olives just over two miles from Jerusalem. The site of Bethphage is unknown.

to kaloumenon (kalaw) pres. pas. part. "called" - the one being called. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "hill"; "which is called / named".

Elaiwn (a) gen. "the Mount of Olives" - of olives. The genitive is adjectival, epexegetic, limiting by definition an assumed "mountain / hill." The Mount of Olives is to the East of Jerusalem, some 2,600 feet above sea level.

apesteilen (apostellw) "he sent" - he sent ..... Send with authority.

twn maqhtwn (hV ou) gen. "[two] of [his] disciples" - The genitive is adjectival, partitive. Unnamed, although Luke does name the two sent to prepare the Passover, namely Peter and John.

legwn (legw) pres. part. "saying to them" - saying. The participle is adverbial, possibly modal, expressing the manner of his sending, "he sent ... saying", as NIV, or possibly instrumental, expressing means, "he dispatched two of his disciples with the suggestion ..", Berkeley.


eiV + acc. "[go] to [the village ahead of you]" - [go] into [the opposite village]. Spacial; into, to, toward. Given that Bethphage was probably on the Roman road to Jerusalem, it is most likely that Jesus has told his disciples to leave the road and go to Bethany on the side road where they will find the colt.

en + dat. "-" - in [which]. Expressing space/sphere.

eisporeuomenoi (eisporeuomai) pres. part. "as you enter it" - entering. The participle is adverbial, probably temporal; "in which, when you enter, you will find ...."

pwlon (oV) "colt" - the young of any animal, although often a horse's foal. Matthew and John say it is the foal of an ass, with both tied up together, cf. Zech.9:9. A Roman reader of the text would read it as a "young male horse", an appropriate animal for a king to ride into his capital and to claim his crown. The LXX would imply "donkey" rather than "horse".

dedemonon (dew) perf. pas. part. "tied there" - having been tied, bound. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "colt"; "a colt which had been tethered."

ef (epi) acc. "-" - on [which]. Spacial; with the sense of "down upon."

pwpote adv. "[no one has] ever" - [no one] ever, ever yet, at no time. Temporal.

anqrwpwn (oV) gen. "-" - of men. The genitive is adjectival, partitive; "no one of men" = "no person has ever ridden."

ekaqisen (kaqizw) "has [ever] ridden" - sit ..... here sit upon the back of an animal and therefore ride.

lusanteV (luw) aor. part. "untie [it]" - having untied [it]" - Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "bring". Since "bring" is imperative, the participle is imperative as well, as NIV. "Untie it and bring it to me", Barclay.

agagete (agw) aor. imp. "bring". Luke is probably being particular here. Mark has "bring", but Luke's choice of words probably reads "lead".


ean + subj. "if [...... asks]" - Forming a 3rd. class conditional clause where the condition has a possibility of coming true, "if, as may be the case, .... then ..."

dia ti "why [are you untying it?]" - because why [are you untying]. The use of a causal preposition to pose a question.

ou{twV adv. "-" - thus, so, in this way.

ereite (legw) fut. "say" - you will say. The future tense used for an imperative. Marshall calls it "a polite imperative."

oJti "-" - that. Here introducing a dependent statement, direct speech.

autou gen. pro. "[the Lord needs] it" - [The Lord] of it [has need]. Johnson classes this genitive as a "genitive of the thing required", so "the Lord has need of it", but better adjectival, subordination, limiting "Lord"; "the Lord over it." Given v33, kurioi, "owners", it is likely that kurioV here is "master", rather than "Lord". Jesus is the master of the animal, which legal status he must have organized sometime before by leasing it. It is for this reason that the animal's "owners / masters" do not react when the disciples tell them that the "lessee has need of it." In Mark, Jesus underlines his intention to return the animal to its owners when its task is completed. Luke drops these words, which possibly indicates that he intends us to look beyond a mere financial arrangement to a miraculous exercise of Jesus' authority. If this incident is taken to be a miracle, it is, by itself, rather pointless, none-the-less the whole episode has Old Testament precedence, cf. Gen.49:11-12, Zech.9:9 = Jesus is the authoritative king.


oiJ apestalmenoi pas. part. "those who were sent ahead" - the ones having been sent. The participle functions as a substantive. The sent ones = apostles.

apelqonteV (apercomai) aor. part. "went" - having departed, gone away. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "found"; "the messengers went off and found the colt", Moffatt.

kaqwV "just as [he had told them]" - just as, even as. Comparative. "As Jesus spoke, so it happened", Johnson.


luontwn (luw) pres. part. "as [they] were untying [the colt]" - untying. A genitive absolute participle usually forms a temporal clause, as NIV. "As they were untethering the colt", Moffatt.

autou gen. pro. "its [owners]" - [the masters] of it. The genitive is adjectival, of subordination, limiting "owners". Mark has "some people standing there" which presumably means that the owners were not at home, and given Jesus' instructions, Jesus knew the owners would not be at home. Again, Luke possibly wants to emphasize Jesus' authoritative foreknowledge. "Owners", oi kurioi, pl. is rather strange, but as noted above, the word has a wider use than just "owner". Here possibly "master" in the sense of those given the responsibility to watch over the animal until Jesus' disciples arrive to pick it up.

luete (luw) "untying" - loose, release.


eipan (legw) "answered" - say. They, the disciples (plural), respond to the question of the bystanders by repeating Jesus' words. Luke drops Mark's "they let [them] go".

oJti "-" - Introducing a dependent statement of direct speech.


epiriyanteV (epiriptw) aor. part. "threw [their cloaks on]" - having thrown upon. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "they led / brought", as NIV; "they threw ... and put ..." The disciples are obviously providing an improvised saddle. Note that Luke has "garment" rather than Mark's "garments" - a technical use of the singular to indicate that they are not stripping off, but rather are using their outer garment.

epebibasan (epibibazw) aor. "put [Jesus on it]" - they put on it [Jesus]. Mark has "he sat on it", but Luke seems to have the disciples acting to place Jesus on the animal in an allusion to Solomon's coronation, 1Kgs.1:33.


de "-" - but, and. Here coordinative; "and as he rode along", ESV.

poreuomenou (poreuomai) part. gen. "as he went along" - going. The genitive absolute is used to form a temporal clause, "as / while he moved forward."

uJpestrwnnuon (uJpostrwnnuw) imperf. "people spread" - they spread out, spread under. The NIV "people" leans toward Mark's account, but here the subject could be the disciples, cf. use of twn maqhtwn, "the disciples", in v37. This seems to be a spontaneous action out of respect for Jesus. Imperfect tense implies continuous action. Note, Luke has dropped Mark's "branches", emphasizing the show of respect. Cf. 2Kgs.9:13.

en th/ oJdw/ "on the road" - in/on the way. The preposition expresses space/sphere. This phrase promotes the imagery of the way of the cross and thus discipleship.


de "-" - Again coordinative; "and when ...."

eggizontoV (eggizw) gen. pres. part. "when [he] came near" - coming near, nearing. Again the genitive absolute participle usually forms a temporal clause, as NIV, although sometimes a causal clause is intended, here with a possible ellipsis; "since he was drawing near to Jerusalem, already on the descent from the Mount of Olives, the whole company of disciples .." Usually taken as a temporal clause with proV indicating a drawing near to where the road descends down the side of the Mount of Olives, a point where Jerusalem would be in view, which sight would prompt the outburst from the disciples.

h[dh adv. "-" - now, already. "Even now at the descent of the mount of Olives", AV.

proV + dat. "[where the road goes down]" - near, at, by [the descent]. A rare use of this preposition followed by the dative, only 6 times in the NT.

tou orouV (oV ouV) gen. "the Mount" - of the mount, hill. The genitive is ablative, expressing separation; "beside the Mount of Olives."

twn elaiwn (a) gen. "of Olives" - The genitive is adjectival, epexegetic; "the hill/mountain which is called Olives / olive trees / Olivet."

twn maqhtwn (hV ou) gen. "[the whole crowd] of disciples" - [all the multitude] of disciples. The genitive is adjectival, wholative. Emphasizing the great number of followers at this high-point in Jesus' ministry.

caironteV (cairw) pres. part. "joyfully" - rejoicing. The participle is adverbial, modal, expressing the manner / how the disciples began to praise God; "joyfully began to praise God", NJB.

ainein (ainew) pres. inf. "to praise [God]" - The infinitive is complementary, completing the sense of the verb "began".

fwnh/ megalh/ dat. "in loud voices" - The dative is instrumental, expressing means, "with loud voices", but possibly adverbial, modal, expressing manner, "in loud voices."

peri + gen. "for [all]" - concerning, about [all]. Reference / respect; "on account of all the wondrous things they had been witnessing", Cassirer.

dunamewn (dunamiV) gen. "miracles" - of mighty works, deeds of power. The genitive is adjectival, wholative. The signs had made their mark.

w|n gen. pro. "[they had seen]" - which [they saw]. Genitive in agreement with "miracles".


legonteV (legw) pres. part. "-" - saying. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying "they began to praise", v37 - redundant.

euloghmenoV (eulogew) perf. pas. part. "blessed is" - having been blessed. The participle is possibly verbal, imperatival, "blessed be the king" = "let the king be blessed", although better a predicate nominative substantive, so Culy. The verb must be assumed, possibly optative, "blessing be upon the one who comes", or indicative, "blessed is the coming one", Culy.

oJ basileuV "the king" - Luke's addition to Psalm 118:26. A liturgical welcome to pilgrims coming to the temple, but here the welcome is to the royal pilgrim.

oJ ercomenoV (ercomai) pres. part. "who comes" - the one coming. In the Gk. this articular participle serves as a substantive, but is assumed as a repeated adjective limiting "the king"; "blessing be upon the one who comes, the king who comes in the name of the Lord." Given that basileuV, "king", is found without an article in some texts, the sense is possible "blessed is the coming king", while in other texts oJ basileu is missing altogether, producing a direct quote from Psalm 118:26, "blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord."

en + dat. "in [the name of the Lord]" - Instrumental; "by/with the authority of the Lord." The Lord's "name" serves to express his person, his being.

en + dat. "[peace] in [heaven and gory] in [the highest]" - in [heaven peace and glory] in [highest]. Expressing space/sphere. Very similar words to 2:14, but here referring to what is about to occur in heaven due to Jesus' death and exaltation, rather than what was about to happen on earth due to Jesus' birth.


twn Farisaiwn (oV) gen. "[Some] of the Pharisees" - The genitive is adjectival, partitive. Are these Pharisees actually disciples, or are they just the usual negative crew whose presence has been assumed since 18:10-11? It is possible that their advice here is positive in that they know what will happen if the disciples get too wound up. This is Luke's last mention of the Pharisees.

apo + gen. "in [the crowd]" - from, out of [the crowd]. An interesting us of this preposition; possibly expressing source/origin; "from / out of the crowd." Usually treated as partitive; "some of the Pharisees in the crowd", as NIV.

epitimhson (epitimaw) imp. "rebuke [your disciples]" - rebuke. The Pharisees are offended by Jesus' royal pretensions. Verses 39-40 are peculiar to Luke, cf. Mk.21:14-16.

didaskale (oV) voc. "Teacher" - master, teacher. A title which can be positive, or negative, depending on the situation. It is certainly along way from "Lord" = messiah.

toiV maqhtaiV (hV ou) dat. "[rebuke your] disciples" - [rebuke] the disciples [of you]. Dative of direct object.


uJmin dat. pro. "[I tell] you" - [I say] to you. Dative of indirect object.

apokriqeiV (apokrinomai) aor. pas. part. "he replied" - having answered he said. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "he said"; Semitic construction.

ean + fut. ind. "if" - Forming a 3rd. class conditional clause where the condition has the possibility of coming true, "if, as may be the case, .... then ...." The use of the future indicative instead of the subjunctive in the protasis is unusual, but occurs sometimes because of the close association between the subjunctive and the future, cf. Zerwick #341.

kraxousin (krazw) fut. "will cry out" - cf. Hab.2:11. This event is so significant that if the disciples failed to respond to it, nature would.


Jesus' lament over Jerusalem, v41-44.

wJV "as" - as, like / while. Here introducing a temporal clause.

idwn (eidon) aor. part. "and saw" - having seen. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "approached", as NIV.

eklausen (klaiw) aor. "he wept" - he cried. cf. Jer.9:1, 14:17, a lament for Zion. Here, and in John 11:35, we have the only reference to Jesus weeping. His tears are not for himself, but for the historic people of Israel. "He shed tears over it", Cassirer, NJB.

ep (epi) + acc. "over [it]" - Here possibly expressing reference / respect; "about, concerning it", although as Culy notes the spacial "to, up to" can be used of expressing feelings toward someone.


legwn (legw) pres. part. "and said" - saying. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "cried"; "he cried and said."

oJti "-" - that. Introducing a dependent statement, direct speech.

ei + ind. "if" - Introducing an unfulfilled 1st. class conditional clause (ie. missing the "then" clause, the apodosis) where the condition is assumed to be true, "if, as is the case ..." The unfulfilled / assumed apodosis would be something like: "If only you had understood the significance of this day, a day leading to peace or judgment, then you would have repented in sackcloth and ashes, but as it is, it is hidden from you."

egnwV (ginwskw) aor. "[if] you .... had only known" - if you knew. The "you" is singular = Jerusalem, but of course the city represents the people and so the prophecy concerns the people of Israel. Note how the city is personified in "if only you had known". Know what? Obviously, what might bring them peace and so save them from the coming day of judgment, v43-44.

kai "even [you]" - and [you]. Ascensive.

en + dat. "on [this day]" - in [day this]. Temporal use of the preposition. The day may be the coming day of the Lord, rather than the day of Jesus' entry into Jerusalem, although in the eschatology of the NT it all merges into one.

proV + acc. "[what] would bring you [peace]" - [if you knew on this day, even you, the things] toward [peace]. Spacial; of movement toward = "the things leading toward peace", Culy. This preposition with eirhnahn, "peace", forms a preposition phrase which, with the nominalizer article ta forms an object clause / dependent statement of perception, expressing what they might have egnwV "known", namely, "the things that make for peace."

de "but" - but, and. Here adversative, as NIV. "The actual fact is the reverse of the possibility just intimated", Plummer.

nun "now" - now, for the present. Temporal; "but now, as things are, ....", Plummer.

apo + gen. "[it is hidden] from [your eyes]" - Expressing separation; "away from." Spiritual blindness is a consequence of a failure to believe, rather than the capricious act of a sovereign God. Only those with eyes to see (ie. look with eyes of faith), see.


oJti "-" - Possibly expressing cause/reason and often translated this way, eg. "for a time will come upon you", REB, yet the statement is not logically causal. It is more likely that we have another dependent statement / recitative, as in v42, so as NIV.

epi + acc. "upon [you]" - Spacial; "down upon".

parembalousin (paremballw) fut. "will build" - will construct. More particularly "will insert / interpose"

caraka (carax) "an embankment" - A siege ramp against Jerusalem's city wall.

soi dat. pro. "against you" - Dative of interest, disadvantage.

perikuklwsousin (perikuklow) "encircle" - they will surround. For siege purposes a wall is often built around the city by the attackers. The purpose is to keep the population hemmed up inside the city and so deplete the food supplies of the defenders. All this occurred during the Jewish rebellion leading to the capture and destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman legions in 70AD.


edafiousin (edafizw) fut. "they will dash [you] to the ground" - they will smash, burn. Addressed to Jerusalem so "they will tear you down to the ground."

sou gen. pro. "-" [and] your [children]. The genitive is adjectival, relational.

en + dat. "within [your walls]" - in [you]. Expressing space/sphere. In the sense of the Israelites within the city walls.

epi + acc. "[one stone] on [another]" - [stone] upon [stone]. Spacial. The destruction of the city, particularly the temple, was substantial.

anq (anti) + gen. "because" - Here causal, as NIV. With the relative pronoun w|n, giving the idiomatic expression "because of which things", or in translation, "because".

ouk egnwV (ginwskw) aor. "you did not recognize" - you did not know. "Know", not so much with the sense "recognize, understand", but of commitment to, so "you didn't welcome God's visit to you", a visit realized in the coming of the messiah, the Christ, Jesus.

thV episkophV gen. "[the time] of God's coming" - [the time] of the visitation. The genitive is adjectival, epexegetic, although as Culy notes, with a time word the genitive serves to explain what occurs at that time, so "the time when God visited you." The people did not welcome hJ hJmera "the day", the day of the coming / visitation of God. As the prophets tried to explain to the people of Israel on numerous occasions, the day of the Lord is not good news because it is the day of his coming in judgment. Repentance is the only way to stand in that day. This day is now since it is realized in Christ. Christ's generation were to witness the reality of this "now" in the destruction of Jerusalem, a destruction which is a judgment of God caused by the failure of his people to welcome salvation in the person of Jesus.

sou gen. pro. "to you" - of you. The NIV treats the genitive as verbal, objective, but it may also be taken as adjectival, possessive; "your visitation" - God's planned visitation to his people belonged to them, but they failed to take hold of it.


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