Jesus and His friends were approaching the city of Jerusalem. Suddenly Jesus stopped. “Go into that village over there,” He said to two of the disciples. “You will see a donkey’s colt tied up. It has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it to me. If anyone asks you what you are doing, just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”
Jesus needed the colt because He was about to do what the prophets had said the Messiah would do. “Your king is coming to you. . . . He is gentle and riding on a donkey. He is on the colt of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9, ICB).
In those days kings rode into cities on big horses. They wanted everyone to know who they were. They wanted everyone to be afraid of them. Jesus entered the city on a little donkey. Jesus never wanted people to be afraid of Him.
The disciples just knew that something special was going to happen. So they hurried off to do as Jesus asked. When they entered the village, they found a colt, just as Jesus had said they would. As they untied it, the owner asked them what they were doing. The disciples answered, “The Lord needs it,” just as Jesus had said to do. And they led the little colt to Jesus. There was no saddle, so the disciples put coats on the colt.
The road to Jerusalem was crowded. Fathers held their children on their shoulders so they could see Jesus. Mothers stood on tiptoe to watch. There were people there whom Jesus had healed—people who had been blind, deaf, sick, and crippled.
The people began to spread their coats on the road for the colt to walk on. (This is what people did for kings in those days.) The people also began to shout, “Bless the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Bless the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” Again and again the people shouted and sang praises to Jesus.
Some of the religious leaders watched. They knew that the people were calling Jesus the Messiah, and they didn’t like it. “Teacher!” they shouted from the side of the road. “Tell these people to stop saying these things!”
Jesus looked sadly at the religious leaders. He knew that they did not want to believe that He really was the Messiah. They did not like Him. Jesus answered. “If the people are quiet, then the stones along the road will cry out!” It was time for everyone to know that Jesus was the Messiah—the one sent by God.
It was time for everyone to make a choice. Would they believe in Jesus? Will you?