A lot happens in these chapters. Jesus arrives into Jerusalem, just as the prophet Zechariah said:
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (Zechariah 9:9)
This is why the whole town is in a tizzy shouting, “Hosanna!” The fact Jesus showed up and didn’t immediately stage a political takedown probably emboldened the studious Pharisees to condemn him as a heretic. He’s obviously not the Messiah!
Each religious group takes their turn questioning Jesus, hoping to stump him or discredit him. He so gracefully answers and evades them, because, although cloaked in humble humanity, He is the eternal God.
Isn’t that amazing? God Himself in Christ Jesus, tolerates our provental questions. “Oh I’m going to stump him with this one!” The Sadducee thinks. “He’s gonna be in trouble when I ask about taxes!” The Herodian gloats. But even their questions expose their, almost childish, narrow mindedness.
We still do this. We approach God, sometimes emboldened and enraged, and shout, “How could you? How dare you? How will you? You can’t be!” Praise be to God, He graciously answers us (sometimes with another question, a warning or a quote from Scripture).
It is clear these leaders felt they had the high ground. God’s chosen people. Jesus warns against this: “My temple is intended to be a house of prayer for all nations, and you’ve made it a robbers den! What do you think the owner of the vineyard will do when He hears you’ve killed His son?”
Thank God today for the grace to approach Him, in Jesus. Check your heart for entitlement and pride. Consider the kind of Messiah Jesus is. I’m so glad He wasn’t just someone who came along to make Israel the political world power. His kingdom is international and eternal. I’m very happy about that.