Luk 176 19v28-40 King Jesus Riding the Wild Ass’s Colt
Sermon #176 Luke Sermons
Title: King Jesus Riding
The Wild Ass’s Colt
Text: Luke 19:28-40
Subject: Christ’s Triumphal Entry
Date: Sunday Morning — December 19, 2004
Tape # Y-53a
Reading: Zechariah 9:1, 9-17
1. The burden of the word of the LORD in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be the rest thereof: when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the LORD.
9. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
10. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.
11. As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.
12. Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee;
13. When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man.
14. And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south.
15. The LORD of hosts shall defend them; and they shall devour, and subdue with sling stones; and they shall drink, and make a noise as through wine; and they shall be filled like bowls, and as the corners of the altar.
16. And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.
17. For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids.
28. And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.
I love the way Luke tells us that the Lord Jesus “went before” his disciples. Don’t you? In all things, he goes before us, leading the way. He never sends where he has not been and does not lead. If he leads you down a winding road into a dark, deep valley, he goes before you. — If he leads you into the wilderness of temptation, he goes before you. — And when he brings you up to heaven, “ascending up to Jerusalem” above, he has gone before you, to prepare a place for you.
Here Luke tells us that the Savior is “ascending,” purposefully, confidently, determinately “up to Jerusalem” as our great King, ascending to conquer death, hell and the grave for us, ascending to his throne in Glory as our King.
29. And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples,
30. Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither.
31. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.
32. And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them.
33. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt?
34. And they said, The Lord hath need of him.
35. And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon.
36. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way.
37. And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;
38. Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.
39. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.
40. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
This event in the earthly life and ministry of our Savior is one of just a few that are recorded in detail by Matthew (21:1-11), Mark (11:1-11), Luke and John (12:12-19). It is the only event in our Savior’s earthly life and ministry that he seems to have deliberately made a matter of great, public display. Surely, that which is here revealed is a matter of great importance. We ought to read these passages with great care, asking the Spirit of God to teach us the lessons for which he has inspired all four of the Gospel writers to record them.
Several things recorded here are obvious facts, facts so obvious that the only way they can be missed is by the willful, deliberate rejection of this Book as the inspired, inerrant Word of the living God.
Illustration: “Poppy, Is this where Jesus lives?”
1. This Book is, indeed, the Word of God. — Matthew tells us that all this was done that the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 might be fulfilled. — “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” Because that was written in the Book of Zechariah, Luke writes, “And it came to pass.”
2. Our great Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, is the omniscient, all-knowing God. — He told his disciples exactly were they would find the ass and her colt and exactly what would happen when they found them.
3. Our Redeemer is the sovereign Lord and King of all the universe. — He did not come to Jerusalem to be made a King. He came into Jerusalem triumphantly as the King. He was going, by way of the cross, to receive his kingdom. But he was King already. — The ass and her colt belonged to him, and the men who owned them. All were his servants. All did his bidding.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is, always was, and always shall be King over everybody and everything by virtue of the fact that he is God. The one true and living God is King everywhere. He always has his way and does his will. Here we see the Lord Jesus ascending up to Jerusalem as our Mediatorial King to take possession of his kingdom, the kingdom and dominion given to him as the God-man by his Father as the reward of his obedience to God as our Mediator (Rom. 14:9; John 17:2; Phil. 2:9-11). Therefore, we read in verses 36-38 that “as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.”
But there is more to be learned from this historic narrative of our Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem that these facts. There are spiritual lessons in the story that tell us again how it is that God our Savior saves his elect. As the Holy Spirit tells us in Galatians 4 that the story of Sarah and Hagar is an allegory, this too is an allegory. It is a true, historical event; but it is more. It is an event that portrays God’s free, sovereign, saving grace in and by our Lord Jesus Christ.
We are accustom to looking upon the events of the Old Testament as things designed and intended by our God to be pictures of grace. But, when we read the New Testament, for some strange reason, we tend to overlook the spiritual lessons contained in the historical events. That ought never to be the case.
We must never spiritualize Holy Scripture. I mean by that statement that we must never twist the Scriptures into whatever it is we want them to teach. To do so is to treat the Word of God with horrible irreverence. Yet, when we read the Word of God, we are always to look for the spiritual meaning, the gospel message, each particular passage is intended to convey, knowing that every event in the earthly life of our Savior and every miracle performed by him is written in the Book to give us a picture, an object lesson about his great salvation.
When we read the Book of God in this way, it comes to life. The answer to my grandson’s question — “Poppy, Is this where Jesus lives?” is, “Yes, the Lord Jesus lives right here in this blessed Book.” Every word he spoke, every movement he made, every step he took was predetermined before the world began for the salvation of his elect and was designed by God’s eternal decree to show us something of God’s sovereign, electing, redeeming, saving, mercy, love and grace through Christ our Redeemer. Even the small details, those things that appear to be no more than records with information, show forth his great salvation.
Here, in Luke 19, we have such a record. Perhaps you have never before read the story as I will read it to you in this message. If that is the case, I promise you, when I am done, you will never read it the same again.
Proposition: This story of our Lord Jesus riding the wild ass’s colt through the streets of Jerusalem is really the old, old story of his sovereign, electing, fetching, irresistible, saving grace.
As I said before, we must not give such a meaning to the story without clear evidence from Holy Scripture that this is the reason why the story was written. This may or may not have been the reason for Matthew, Mark, Luke and John recording the story; but it is the reason God the Holy Spirit inspired them to write it down in the very words we have in the Gospel narratives. Let me show you two texts from the Old Testament that will demonstrate this.
First, look at the prophecy of Zechariah one more time (Zech. 9:9-10).
(Zechariah 9:9-10) Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. (10) And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.
The prophet Zechariah shows us here that when Christ rode into Jerusalem, his triumphal entry was made in the way it was made to display the character of his kingdom, and his work as our King. He came riding “an ass, an upon a colt, the foal of an ass,” to show himself in the infinite humility of his grace as One who is “just and having salvation.” He comes to break the bow of war and “speak peace unto the heathen,” and to do so in universal dominion “from sea to sea, even to the ends of the earth.”
Now, turn to Job 11:12. Here we will see who the wild ass’s colt is, upon whom the King of Glory rides through the streets of Jerusalem in triumphant grace.
(Job 11:12) For vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's colt.
We will come back to this in a few minutes. For now, my point is simply to show you that the ass’s colt upon which our Savior rode through Jerusalem is in Scripture a picture of fallen man.
Let’s go back to our text (Luke 19:28-40) and read the story of our Lord’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. This is the title of my message. — King Jesus Riding the Wild Ass’s Colt.
1st We read in verse 29 that “He sent two of his disciples.”
Wherever God has someone to save and whenever the appointed time comes for him to save the, he sends a preacher (Rom. 10:13-17).
(Romans 10:13-17) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (14) How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (15) And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (16) But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? (17) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
No man can believe the gospel until someone preaches the gospel to him. Notice that these two disciples were sent by the Master. — No prophet or preacher in this Book ever applied for the job! God’s preachers are chosen, called, gifted and sent by him.
These two disciples were sent on a very specific errand. They were sent to fetch something for the Lord Jesus. God sends his servants to fetch his elect to himself, as David sent Ziba to fetch Mephibosheth (2 Sam. 9). How I thank God that in the appointed time of love, he sent one of his servants to fetch me! Don’t you?
2nd Be sure you do not miss this. — When our Lord sent these disciples on their mission, he assured them that they would find what he sent them to get (v. 30).
(Luke 19:30) Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither.
Men often raise this argument against the teaching of Holy Scripture with regard to God’s sovereignty. — “If election is true, if some are predestinated to be saved, and their salvation is sure, why preach?” What a foolish question! If I could convince you that every person who walks through that door will be handed $100.00, that it is a matter of absolute certainty, I doubt anyone would say, “If that is the case, why walk through the door.”
· We preach the gospel to all men because our God and Savior has sent us to do so. — “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”
· We preach the gospel because “it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
· And we preach the gospel with confidence because he has told us plainly and assured us that those to whom and for whom we are sent shall be saved. — “All that the Father hath given me shall come to me.” — “Other sheep I have…Them also I must bring.” — All Christ’s sheep shall be found. Each of his elect shall be called and shall come (Isa. 55:11; 2 Cor. 2:14-16).
· And I’ll tell you something else. — God’s people will be found exactly where he puts them. There were many wells in Samaria; but that chosen woman to whom Christ came was found at a certain well. — There were many trees along the Jericho Road; but Zacchaeus was found up a certain tree.
What an encouragement to preach the gospel. — “Ye shall find!” There are no accidents in God’s world. The sovereign Lord puts his lost sheep exactly where he wants them. And he ties his wild ass’s colts exactly where he wants them tied.
A Colt Tied
3rd Our Lord Jesus told these two disciples exactly what they were looking for in verse 31. He sent them to find “a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat,” as we saw in Job 11, “a wild ass’s colt.” — If you will look back at Mark 11:4 for just a moment, I’ll show you where they found this colt. — “And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met.” He sent them to find a colt tied outside in a place where two ways met.
An Ass’s Colt
This was not the colt of a fine Kentucky Thoroughbred, or a Tennessee Walker, or even the colt of a Quarter Horse. This colt was the foal of an ass, a wild ass’s colt, “whereon yet never man sat” (Matt.2; Zech. 9:9).
What a good, accurate description and picture this is of every stubborn, unbroken, untamed, wild sinner. God’s Word is very plain in describing mankind in very clear terms, with very obvious meanings. And you will find that, unlike the preachers of this day, God never has anything good to say about fallen man. This is how God describes our race, you and me…
· We are fallen, altogether, filthy, and incapable of doing good (Ps. 14).
· From the soles of our feet to the crown of our heads there is no soundness in us, nothing but wounds and bruises, and putrefying sores (Isa. 1).
· In Romans 3 we are described as being totally unprofitable and useless.
And the pictures of fallen men are even more debasing than the words used to describe us.
· Like Lazarus, we are dead, and stinking.
· Like the aborted infant described by Ezekiel, we are polluted in our own blood.
But here in Luke, and no less than eight times in the Word of God, we are represented, very accurately represented as wild ass’s colts. That is how we are described in the text we read earlier in Job 11.
(Job 11:12) For vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's colt.
You and I are all born by nature “like a wild ass’s colt,” foolish, senseless, and stubborn, given to lust and debauchery, and wild. As the wild ass will not bear the yoke, so none will ever bow to the yoke of Christ, except the Son of God break him. Man by nature is like “a wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up wind at her pleasure” (Jer. 2:24; Job 39:5).
In the movies you see old men and women riding donkeys, and get the idea that they are nice, gentle, sweet animals, the kind you would like to have for pets, if you just had the room. But that is never the case by nature. It is their nature to be mean. If you try to get one to ride you, to carry a load, to pull a cart until he is broken and tamed, he will buck, and kick, and bite. If all else fails, he will just sit down.
That’s petty good picture of man. Made by God and made for his glory, all men ought to gladly give thanks to him, submit to his rule, worship him, and give him his due. But…
· Just try to get one to worship God. — Watch him kick!
· Tell these sweet, religious wild ass’s the truth about man, about God, about Christ, about redemption and grace. — Watch them buck and bite!
Did you notice that this colt was tied (v. 30)? People love to think they are independent and free. Don’t they? But the fact is, every man by nature is tied and bound.
· By Sin
· By Satan
· By Tradition
· By Peer Pressure
· By Religion
He was tied in a place where two ways met, at a crossroads.
· Heaven and Hell
· Grace and Works
· Life and Death
And he was tied outside, by a door. — Not in the Door!
4th Now, watch this (vv. 30-31). The Lord Jesus sent his two disciples to loose this wild ass’s colt.
(Luke 19:30-31) Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. (31) And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.
Everywhere in this Book the grace of God is set before us as that which looses men. Religion binds. Grace looses! I’m in the loosing business. These disciples found the wild ass’s colt, just like the Master said they would.
· They loosed the ass’s colt.
· They were told to loose him “Because the Lord hath need of him.”
Imagine that! What possible need could the Son of God have for a wild ass’s colt, like you or me? He needs everyone he fetches to himself so that he may see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied, — So that he may ride him triumphantly through the streets of Jerusalem and garner the praises of his people for his great goodness as the King of Grace and Glory!
· “And they brought him to Jesus” (v. 35).
Now, let me show you something in John 12. Look at verses 12-15. We have seen that these disciples found the ass’s colt and brought him to the Savior, and they did. But here, the Holy Spirit tells us that it was Christ himself that did the finding.
(John 12:12-15) On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, (13) Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. (14) And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, (15) Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.
It is Christ himself who comes seeking and finding his people, it is Christ himself who fetches sinners by his omnipotent grace to himself through the preaching of the gospel.
5th Now, look what happened when they brought this wild asses colt to the Savior (vv. 35-38).
“They cast their garments upon the colt” (v. 35). — Not only is it true that all who come to Christ are washed in his blood and robed in his righteousness, clothed with the garments of salvation, they find among his saints a people who receive them and love them, and willingly give them the shirts off their backs.
Illustration: “Welcome home, sister.”
Then, they sat the Master on the colt, spread their clothes in the way, and watched him ride in triumphant glory through Jerusalem, as “they began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen.” (Not the Works They had Done — The works They had Seen!) — “Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.”
Here is a wild asses colt, ridden by the Son of God, and he doesn’t buck, or kick, or bite. He found the Savior’s yoke easy and his burden light.
The religious crowd saw what was going on, heard the shouts of praise to God, and the pronounced blessedness of Christ the King, but they did not have a clue what was happening (vv. 39-40).
(Luke 19:39-40) And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. (40) And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
As I read this story again and prepared this message, one question kept popping up in my mind. — Why an ass’s colt? Why not a great white stallion? Turn to 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, and I will show you the answer.
(1 Corinthians 1:26-31) For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: (27) But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; (28) And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: (29) That no flesh should glory in his presence. (30) But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (31) That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
I wonder — Is there a wild ass’s colt here? I read yesterday that one of the rarest mammals in world is the African Wild Ass. There are not more than a few hundred in the world. I am not really very interested in that. But I am interested in the people represented in our text by the wild ass’s colt. And I can tell you that they are very, very rare.
To understand these things aright,
This grand distinction should be known:
Though all are sinners in God’s sight,
There are but few so in their own.
To such as these our Lord was sent;
They’re only sinners who repent.
What comfort can a Savior bring
To those who never felt their woe?
A sinner is a sacred thing;
The Holy Ghost hath made him so.
New life from Him we must receive,
Before for sin we rightly grieve.
This faithful saying let us own,
Well worthy ‘tis to be believed,
That Christ into the world came down,
That sinners might by Him be saved.
Sinners are high in His esteem,
And sinners highly value Him.