28 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, Jerusalem 29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” 35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it.
Jesus was on his way up to Jerusalem. This was part of Jesus’ work—He did not go up by accident. His entire ministry was on a heavenly timetable. We may say to ourselves, “Wow, it is such a coincidence that Jesus came to Jerusalem at such a time as this—right at the week of the Passover—right at the time when Jesus’ was prophecied to be crucified.” But this was part of the work of the King.
He came to Bethphage and Bethany—east of the city, just southeast of the Mount of Olives. There, Jesus commissioned the disciples to do something rather odd. In verse 30, Jesus tells them, ““Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here.” And what happened? Verse 32: “So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them.” Was this coincidence? Are we saying, “Wow, Jesus got it right again! He’s two-for-two!” But no, this was part of the work of the King, putting the plan into motion.
Was there any significance that Jesus sent them for a colt, and that they found a colt? Yes, actually, there was significance. Five hundred years earlier, God sent a prophet named Zechariah who prophecied in the ninth verse of the ninth chapter:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Another coincidence? No! God ordained and foretold what would happen (showing His sovereignty) and how specific Jesus was in making sure this was fulfilled (His responsibility in being obedience to the plan). This is a king at work, rolling out His plant. Let’s move along—no coincidence to see here.
Let’s look deeper. Was there any significance to the colt being tied—other than him being tied so he wouldn’t get away? Believe it or not, yes! In Genesis 49:10-11, we see over 1400 years ago, God gave Moses an account that happened 700 years prior to that (that’s 2,100 years prior to the time of Jesus)—and it reads as follows:
10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until tribute comes to him;
and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
11 Binding his foal to the vine
and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,
he has washed his garments in wine
and his vesture in the blood of grapes.
Who do “scepters” belong to? Kings! And the peoples shall listen to their king, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. In verse 11, this king’s foal was binded (tied) to the vine. So, another coincidence that Jesus came to this tiny village in Bethany and Bethphage to find this colt tied up? No coincidence–this is the work and the plan of a king!
One more for you. Was there any reason behind this colt being one on whom no one had ever sat? Even though no prophecy occurred regarding this, in that tradition if something is used for sacred purposed, it must be unused or untested. Was there coincidence that this colt that Jesus sent his disciples to retrieve had never been ridden? Not at all.
You see, God is moving and working His plan. Never underestimate the sovereignty of God in rolling out His plan–regardless of how issues and situations may look around us.