This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
ST. MATT. XXL 1-13.
When they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her : loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them ; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell yet he daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an a&s. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them ; and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way ; others cut down branches from the trees, and straw ed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David ; Blessed is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord ;
Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the Prophet of
Nazareth of Galilee. And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple ; and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold doves ; and said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves.
TO-DAY is the opening of the Church year. It begins with the blessed, but solemn, season of Advent ; that season which is intended to remind us of our Lord s first coming in great humility/ and also of His coming again in His glorious majesty.
The reason why the portion now before us has been chosen for the Gospel to-day is because it shows Christ to us, treated with more than customary honour ; and so it leads us to think how He will be wel comed, when He appears at His second coming.
We here behold our Lord entering Jeru salem for the last time ; and He enters it as a King, though He well knew that in a very few days the crown He would have to wear would be a crown of thorns, and that a mock sceptre would be put into His hands.
When He arrives at Bethphage, with His faithful disciples, He sends two of them
forward to prepare for His solemn entry. Contrary to His usual custom, He deter mines now to ride into the city ; and bids them bring Him an ass for the purpose. 1 Go Into the next village (He says) and you will find one suited to my wants And, if you have any difficulty, say, The Lord hath need of it/ Here He spoke as one having authority, claiming the animal as His right. The messengers presently return, bringing with them an ass and its foal. And then, using their own garments as a covering, they set Jesus thereon.
Our Lord s entry into Jerusalem, seated upon an ass, had nothing low or mean in it. The ass, the mule, and the camel, were at this time the animals usually ridden ; horses being chiefly used for purposes of warfare. But persons of the highest rank, even kings and princes, rode on asses in times of peace. It is said of Jair, who was one of the judges of Israel, that he had
thirty sons, that rode on thirty ass colts. And Solomon, when he was made king, rode in state upon a mule. The Prophet Zechariah had also foretold that our Lord would in this manner make His entry into
Jerusalem ; Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.
You see then that our Saviour s meek ness was shown, not by His choosing an ass to carry Him, but by His avoiding that pomp and parade which commonly attended the movements of a king. He went with all the dignity of a sovereign, and yet was entirely free from any of that pride and ambition, which were generally shown on
It was indeed an act of unspeakable humility that He appeared on earth at all in our poor form. And never perhaps did the meek and lowly Jesus appear less proud, than when >He rode that day into Jerusalem, amidst the shouts of the people.
And now, leaving Bethphage and the Mount of Olives behind Him, He arrives within sight of Jerusalem. The various buildings rise up before Him ; and of these the most striking was that gorgeous Temple, which had been built with so much care, but which was soon to be destroyed by the
Roman army. St. Luke tells us that the very sight of it on this occasion drew tears from the Saviour s eyes. When He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace ; but now they are hid from thine eyes !
But another sight also attracts His attention. The news of His approach had spread far and wide ; and He beholds a vast concourse of people, coming forth from the city to greet Him. Garments are spread along the path, branches are cut down, and the road is carpeted with these signs of their respect and joy. And as He rides along, hundreds of eager voices join in the shout, Hosanna to the Son of David ! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord ! Hosanna in the highest !
On His arrival the streets swarm with
people ; some desiring to join the caval cade, and others rushing out of their houses, with the eager inquiry, Who is this? Is it a king that is coming? Who is this stranger? And when the
multitude answered, This is Jesus, the Prophet of Nazareth ; some perhaps were disappointed, and some were filled with indignation. But I daresay most of them fell in with the crowd, and shouted with the rest, Hosannah to the Son of David !
There was One however who was calm amidst this uproar, and in whose heart there was a feeling of sadness amidst the general rejoicing. The Saviour Himself
knew well enough that the welcome He was now receiving was worth but little, for it came from hearts unstable as water. He knew that in less than a week some of these very persons would turn against Him, and side with His persecutors ; and that He Himself would be led through those streets as a condemned malefactor.
On reaching the City, our Lord goes at once to His Father s house, the Temple. And it was either then, or rather, as St. Mark s account leads us to suppose, on a second visit which he paid it the next day, that His heart was bitterly pained by find ing the sacred Building turned, to all appearance, into a place of merchandise.
His eye was attracted, not by devout wor shippers, but by numbers of people buying and selling, by tables of money-changers on one side, and on the other stalls for the sale of doves and other animals. He exclaims, with grief and astonishment, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer ; but ye have made it a den of thieves. And then with that peculiar authority which He sometimes displayed that authority, which came with all the more power from one who was usually so meek and gentle He proceeded to expel these traffickers, driving them forcibly out of His Father s house.
But how came the merchandise there ? We must bear in mind that the Temple had many compartments ; and that the buying and selling probably took place in the outer court, which was the least sacred part of the building. But how could it ever have been allowed even there ? It is probable that at first nothing was sold but
what was necessary for the sacrifices. But by degrees it extended also to other goods ; and this must have given rise to much that was most unseemly in the House of God.
10 First Sunday
The money-changers too would be likely to drive a profitable trade ; for as people came up to worship from all parts of Judaea, they were frequently obliged to change their money for what would pass current at Jerusalem.
But matters had now come to such a pass, that our Lord was filled with righteous indignation, and -forth with cleared the Temple of these intruders.
Putting together the two circumstances
mentioned in this Gospel, we are especially struck by one thing ; namely, the dignity and authority of the Saviour. For it is very remarkable that He who, as to His outward circumstances, was but a poor carpenter s son, who had no possessions, and no place even where to lay His head, who was on most occasions despised and rejected of men that He should have had that about Him, which drew from the people such wonderful awe and respect as they now showed Him. As He rides into Jerusalem, there is something in His look, His manner, His whole bearing, which be longed to no other person. And this leads
in Advent. 11
the people to treat Him, for the moment, almost as their King.
Then see Him in the Temple, alone, unarmed, and unprotected. They might have insulted Him, they might have dis puted His power, and laughed at His pretensions. But no ; He speaks with authority, and they obey. There was a secret influence about Him which they could not resist. His look and His words paralysed them ; and they slank away, conscience-stricken and confounded.
And this is the glorious Saviour, the heavenly King, whom we are called upon to serve. At His first coming He appeared * riding upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. But when He comes again, it will be in His glory/ * riding upon the wings of the wind/ Eighteen hundred years ago, He came suddenly to His Temple, cast ing out from thence the profaners of that holy place. When He returns, He will come Sit a time when we look not for Him ; and He will cast out of His heavenly
kingdom all things that offend, and all that work iniquity/
Mav ice be found among; His true disciples in that day! And may we enter with Him into the many mansions of His Father s house, where He is gone to pre pare a place for us 1*
1. 68 FREE BOOKS http://www.scribd.com/doc/21800308/Free-Christian-Books
2. ALL WRITINGS http://www.scribd.com/glennpease/documents?page=1000
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.