Matthew 21:1-11 The Triumphal Entry.
Jesus, the twelve, and other of his disciples, have been on a journey to Jerusalem, seen especially in the incidents when Jesus reiterates his coming death and resurrection (16:21-23; 17:22-23; 20:17-19). On this occasion they are at Bethphage,* at the Mount of Olives, when Jesus sent two disciples ahead of them to bring to Jesus a donkey, and a colt with her (vv. 1-2 Cf. Mk. 11:1-10; Lk. 19:29-38). The standing on the Mount of Olives comes in fulfillment of the day of the LORD when “His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east” (Zech. 14:4). “And in that day it shall be that living waters shall flow from Jerusalem” (v. 8).
These two disciples were told that if anyone were to question them way taking the donkey and colt, that they were to inform them that ‘The Lord has need of them’, upon which the one holding them would let them go (v. 3).** This event was done to further the prophetic fulfillment concerning Jesus as the Messiah (v. 4), Matthew here quoting from Zechariah 9:9. Zechariah again makes the point that it was at this time that this just King would bring salvation and “His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth” (v. 10 Cf. Isaiah 40:9-11; 62:11; Jn. 12:15). This reign is the time of salvation, not of second coming judgment!
“The disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them” (v. 6 Cf. Mk. 11:4-6). The people responded to the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem on the donkey and colt, as the entrance of the long awaited King, the Son to succeed David (vv. 7-9a Cf. Lev. 23:40; I Kgs. 9:13). This also was in fulfillment of prophecy, namely Psalm 118:26 (v. 9b).*** Others asked who Jesus was (v. 10). “So the multitudes said, ‘This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee” (v. 11). Clearly, at this point, they regarded Jesus as both Prophet and King (Cf. 2:23; 16:15; Dt. 18:15-18; Lk. 4:16-29; Jn. 6:14; 7:40; 9:17; Acts 3:22-23).
*”Hebrew for “house of unripe figs,” a small village east of Jerusalem.” (NGSB 1584)
**”Colt. A young donkey (Matt. 21:2; John 12:15). The Old Testament prophesied Jesus’ actions (Zech. 9:9), which in this case identify Him clearly as the Messiah. Zechariah prophesied the coming of a righteous and gentle King to bring salvation.” (NGSB 1584)
***”Hosanna. A Greek transliteration of the Aramaic words for “Save now…O LORD” (Ps. 118:25).” (NGSB 1584)