The Crowd Welcomes Jesus
“Your king comes to you. He is gentle and riding on a donkey.”
What does a normal king look like? What is his job?
What do you imagine a parade would look like for a king that everyone loved?
Find the Bible Passage
What part of the Bible is Matthew in? The New Testament
What book of the New Testament is Matthew? #1
Read Matthew 21:1-11 aloud to your children
Discuss Bible Lesson:
Wow, this was a big parade – and Jesus deserved it. Remember how he had traveled all over Israel helping people, doing miracles, and telling them about God’s love. Now he was coming to the capitol, the most important city. This was something the Bible had been promising for hundreds of years. It was all finally coming together, and the people were going crazy like they had just won the super bowl.
But there was a problem: Jesus was not rich like a normal king. He didn’t have a big fancy horse or a big fancy army to go with him in this parade. Did you hear how Jesus fixed that problem:
Read Matthew 21:1-3 again…
Matthew 21:1 As they all approached Jerusalem, they came to Bethphage. It was on the Mount of Olives. Jesus sent out two disciples. 2 He said to them, “Go to the village ahead of you. As soon as you get there, you will find a donkey tied up. Her colt will be with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them. The owner will send them right away.”
Jesus and His disciples were walking towards Jerusalem when Jesus stops them. He sends 2 disciples to get Him 2 donkeys. But He doesn’t say anything about paying for them. They are to go to the village and get a donkey and her colt. If there are any problems…they are just supposed to say that “the Lord needs them” and it will all be fine.
But this wasn’t an accident. This was just what the Bible had promised for hundreds of years. The real king wasn’t going to be fancy, but would ride into the city on a donkey … a donkey he had to borrow.
Read Matthew 21:4-5 again…
4 This took place so that what was spoken through the prophet would come true. It says,
5 “Say to the city of Zion,
‘See, your king comes to you.
He is gentle and riding on a donkey.
He is riding on a donkey’s colt.’ ” —(Zechariah 9:9)
Jesus was fulfilling prophecy. He was supposed to ride on a donkey’s colt – that means a young donkey. Can you imagine a big important king riding on a simple little donkey? What about the big army and the fancy horse? You see Jesus wasn’t a normal king trying to show he was important and force everyone to serve him. Jesus was the opposite: He came to show love and serve the people.
Read Matthew 21:6-9 again…
6 The disciples went and did what Jesus told them to do. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt. They placed their coats on them. Then Jesus sat on the coats. 8 A very large crowd spread their coats on the road. Others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 Some of the people went ahead of him, and some followed. They all shouted,
“Hosanna to the Son of David!”
“Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” —(Psalm 118:26)
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
The disciples did what they were told to do. They went and got the donkey and the colt. A big crowd was already showing up and covering the street with their coats and branches from the trees. Remember that they didn’t have paved roads back then – the roads were dirt. They were showing their respect to Jesus by covering the road so that He wouldn’t get dirty.
They cheered for Jesus with words from the Bible. This was a big victory celebration, and everyone was excited to see what would happen next.
Optional: Lead the children in rounds of cheering Hosanna and the other words from the passage. Divide the group and see who can cheer the best. Then to settle things down see who can cheer the softest.
That was a big commotion! I bet the people in the city were wondering what was happening.
Read Matthew 21:10-11 again…
10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up. The people asked, “Who is this?”
11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus. He is the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”
Jesus made quite an entrance! People were trying to figure out who He was. Remember, there was no television back then. People had heard about Him, but they had never seen Him before. Notice – they didn’t say that He was the Son of God. They called Him a prophet. It was difficult for some of the people of Jesus’ time to realize that He was God and that He was going to save them. Even his disciples would be confused and abandon Jesus later that same week.
Discuss: Waiting for Jesus Again
The Bible says that Jesus will come again, but not in a parade on a donkey, but in the clouds in full glory.
Ask your children to describe what that might look like.
Remind them that when Jesus comes again, it will be to take his place as King of the world. This means we need to decide now if we will believe and follow Jesus. We need to be ready for his return.
(Discussion from Ministry-to-Children)