Jesus enemies are put off by the crowds praise for him.
29 As they came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead. 30 “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”
32 So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said. 33 And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?” 34 And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs it.” 35 So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on.
36 As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. 37 When they reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.
38 “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!” 39 But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!” 40 He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”
Jesus is in Jericho getting ready to leave for Jerusalem, he has just finished telling the crowd in a parable that he was not going to Jerusalem to begin his reign as king of Israel. (Luke 19:11-27) As he heads for Jerusalem he tells the disciples to go and get a colt for him to ride. Does that sound a little bit confusing? Didn't Jesus walk everywhere that he went?
Jesus intentionally planned to ride into Jerusalem on a donkey just like a king would, a king that was coming in peace would ride a donkey rather than a horse which was viewed as a weapon of war, but why did he ride in as a king when he said that he wasn't going to be the king anytime soon?
Earlier in Jesus ministry he dodged the crowds that were pushing him to be king (John 6:14-15) and he told other people not to talk about who he is but now Jesus is welcoming the publicity. It was time for the events that will lead to Jesus death to begin to be put in motion.
Jesus could have walked into town quietly like had before but this time it had to make a stir, things had to escalate a lot to get to the point of putting Jesus to death, if he had continued as he had been doing for three years then he could have stayed a radical rabbi until he died a natural death, there wouldn't have been a reason for him to be crucified. This entrance was going to change everything.
The crowd was shouting Psalm 118:26, which is a messianic Psalm. In addition, they added the word King to the Old Testament scripture, showing that they believed Jesus was the Messiah. The crowd was singing the praise that he deserved but it caused a great commotion that guaranteed that there would be trouble real soon.
The Pharisees asked Jesus to rebuke His disciples because they knew what the repetition of Psalm 118:26 was about. Jesus replied that, even if His disciples were to keep silent, God would make the truth known somehow, even if the rocks in the street had to break out in praise.
Why should there be so much opposition to a man riding a donkey into town? The donkey ride changed everything, it put the spotlight on Jesus and showed us exactly who he is and it brought the opposition and rage of all of hell to oppose him. Satan can not stand for Jesus to get praise and for him to be glorified even if the crowd had the wrong motive for doing it.
All of the power that our Savior has and yet he comes in peace riding on a donkey, he has the power to do what the people want and save them from the Roman government but instead the wheels are in motion that will bring the end of their greatest enemy. (1 Corinthians 15:54-57)
Thank you Lord for choosing to take the journey to Jerusalem that would result in your death, thank you for the victory that I have over sin and death!