3- PREPARATION TO ENTER JERUSALEM-
The next day, on the way to the city of Jerusalem, Jesus sent two of His disciples with instructions to obtain a donkey with a young foal from a small village ahead, known for the growth of fig trees near Jerusalem, called Bethphage. The village was almost two miles out of the city, near the Mount of Olives on the road to Jerusalem on the east side. These animals would be tied up beside the road and the foal was to be His mount for His entry into Jerusalem.

The foal was a colt, not yet broken in for riding. They were kept in stalls and watered as a natural part of rural life. In the warm climate of the Judean wilderness, a donkey grew into a large sure-footed stately, sturdy beast. As donkeys became more and more beasts of burden, carrying heavy loads only, they began to be looked down upon and faster steeds took their place.

Donkeys had been riding animals for leaders and the animal of the nobility. The donkey is associated with the Davidic royalty and the chosen Son of David. A manís wealth was measured by the number he owned.Kings and their officials and army officers mainly rode them.

Transport that was fit for King David and his family, the donkey then was likened to a limousine or Rolls Royce today. Rulers of peace rode donkeys. The colt of a donkey symbolised humility of service and peace. The donkey didnít have a lowly status in that age as it has now, but it was the appropriate choice for such a procession of great importance, especially the significance of JesusĎ act.

Jesus was going to proclaim the fulfilment of Scripture as the Messiah and the Son of David as well as a peaceful approach to the city that had righteous indignation. The image links the humble servant and the Royal Messiah, fulfilling prophecy of the prophet Zechariah 9:9 and the prophecy of Isaiah 62:11.

Unused animals were regarded especially suitable for hallowed principles. A first-born colt was required religious rites by Law and was valuable enough that it had to be redeemed through sacrifice of a lamb. Jesus purposed to enter Jerusalem on a donkey rather than a horse, which was viewed at the time an animal associated with war.
The disciples did as Jesus instructed them. The owners were probably admirers of Jesus and asked why the two disciples were untying their animals and as they repeated what Jesus had commanded to say that He needed them, claiming His status as Israelís Lord, they consented.
Borrowing an animal was not unusual or strange. A religious leader would borrow property, an ancient custom, on a short-term lease. The animal was suitable for sacred purposes. His authority by the ownerís of the colt had been recognised. The mother donkey went with her offspring and followed closely.

The two disciples returned from their errand and brought the donkeys to Jesus and covered the animalsí backs with their outer garments as Jesus sat upon the colt. The spreading of coats was an act of royal homage.††

The donkey was considered by the people down through the writings of the prophets of God, the animal that Godís Messiah would ride upon.Jesus was ready to approach the city where He must die and was in complete control of the proceedings and only God can control events that were about to happen in these last days of His earthly life.

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