|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:1-11 Christ's coming into Jerusalem thus remarkably, shows that he was not afraid of the power and malice of his enemies. This would encourage his disciples who were full of fear. Also, that he was not disquieted at the thoughts of his approaching sufferings. But all marked his humiliation; and these matters teach us not to mind high things, but to condescend to those of low estate. How ill it becomes Christians to take state, when Christ was so far from claiming it! They welcomed his person; Blessed is he that cometh, the He that should come, so often promised, so long expected; he comes in the name of the Lord. Let him have our best affections; he is a blessed Saviour, and brings blessings to us, and blessed be He that sent him. Praises be to our God, who is in the highest heavens, over all, God blessed for ever.
Verse 3. - And if any one say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye, The Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him back hither. The Greek, according to the best authorities here, is εὐθέως αὐτὸν ἀποστελλει πάλιν ῶδε: literally, straightway he sendeth it back hither again, The verb here in the present may represent the verb in the future, "he will send it back." But the word "again" (πάλιν) is not quite so easily explained. There is strong authority for the insertion of this word, which necessarily changes the meaning of the sentence. Without the πάλιν, the sentence would actually mean that our Lord, by his Divine prescience, here tells his disciples that when the colt was demanded by them the owner would at once permit them to take it. But if the word πάλιν be inserted, it can only mean that this was a part of the message which our Lord directed his disciples to deliver as from himself, "The Lord hath need of him; and he, the Lord, will forthwith send him back again." The passage is so interpreted by Origen, who twice introduces the adverb in his commentary on St. Matthew. The evidence of the oldest uncials is strongly in favor of this insertion. Our Lord was unwilling that the disciples should take away the colt if the owner objected, lie might have taken the animals away in his own supreme right, but he chose to accomplish his will by his providence, powerfully and yet gently; and, if the reading here be allowed, he further influenced them by the promise that their property should be returned to them. It was the will and purpose of Christ, who for these three years had gone about on foot, and traveled over the whole of Palestine in this way, to show himself at length the King of Judah, that is, the Messiah and Heir of David; and so he resolves to enter Jerusalem, the metropolis, the city of the great King, with royal dignity. But he will not be surrounded with the" pomp and circumstance" of an earthly monarch. He rides on an ass's colt, that he might show his kingdom to be of another kind, that is, spiritual and heavenly. And so he assumes a humble equipage, riding upon a colt, his only housings being the clothes of his disciples. And yet there was dignity as well as humility in his equipage. The ass of the East was, and is, a superior animal to that known amongst us. The judges and princes of Israel rode on "white asses," and their sons on asses' colts. So our Lord rode upon an ass's colt; and there were no gleaming swords in his procession, or other signs of strife and bloodshed. But there were palm branches and garments spread all along his path - the evidences of devotion to him. So he came in gentleness, not that he might be feared on account of his power, but that he might be loved on account of his goodness.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And if any man say unto you,.... As very likely they would, and it would be strange if they should not say something to them, especially the owners of it:
why do ye this? Why do ye untie the ass, and attempt to carry it away, when it is none of your own, and it belongs to another man?
Say ye that the Lord hath need of him; our Lord and yours, the Lord of heaven and earth, and all things in it; it looks as if this title, "the Lord", was what Jesus was well known by; see John 11:28; unless it can be thought, that the owners of the colt were such, that believed in Christ, as is not improbable; and so would at once understand by the language who it was for, and let it go:
and straightway he will send him, hither; as soon as ever he hears that the Lord, by whom he would presently understand Jesus, wanted him for his present purpose; he will send him with all readiness and cheerfulness, without the least hesitation, or making any dispute about it.
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