Matthew 21:3
And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBVWSWESTSK
(3) The Lord hath need of them.—Simple as the words are, they admit of three very different interpretations. “The Lord” may be used either (1) in the highest sense as equivalent to Jehovah, as though the ass and the colt were claimed for His service; or (2) as referring to Christ in the special sense in which He was spoken of as “the Lord” by His disciples; or (3) as pointing to Him, but only in the language which all men would acknowledge, and without any special claim beyond that of being the Master whom the disciples owned as in a lower sense their Lord. Of these (3) is all but excluded by the facts of the case. The words involve a claim to more than common authority, and the claim is recognised at once. In favour of (2) we have the numerous instances in which the disciples and the evangelists not only address their Master as “Lord,” but speak of Him as “the Lord” (Matthew 28:6; Mark 16:19; Luke 10:1; Luke 17:6; Luke 18:6; John 11:2; John 13:13; John 20:2; John 20:13; John 20:18; John 20:20; John 20:25; John 21:7; John 21:12). For (1), lastly, we have our Lord’s use of the word as a synonym for God (Mark 5:19; Mark 13:20). On the whole (2) appears to commend itself as most in accordance with the customary language of the disciples. On the very probable assumption that the owners of the colt were, in some sense, themselves disciples, they would recognise the full import of the words thus addressed to them, and obey without hesitation.

21:1-11 This coming of Christ was described by the prophet Zechariah, Zec 9:9. When Christ would appear in his glory, it is in his meekness, not in his majesty, in mercy to work salvation. As meekness and outward poverty were fully seen in Zion's King, and marked his triumphal entrance to Jerusalem, how wrong covetousness, ambition, and the pride of life must be in Zion's citizens! They brought the ass, but Jesus did not use it without the owner's consent. The trappings were such as came to hand. We must not think the clothes on our backs too dear to part with for the service of Christ. The chief priests and the elders afterwards joined with the multitude that abused him upon the cross; but none of them joined the multitude that did him honour. Those that take Christ for their King, must lay their all under his feet. Hosanna signifies, Save now, we beseech thee! Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord! But of how little value is the applause of the people! The changing multitude join the cry of the day, whether it be Hosanna, or Crucify him. Multitudes often seem to approve the gospel, but few become consistent disciples. When Jesus was come into Jerusalem all the city was moved; some perhaps were moved with joy, who waited for the Consolation of Israel; others, of the Pharisees, were moved with envy. So various are the motions in the minds of men upon the approach of Christ's kingdom.The Lord hath need of them - This means no more than the "master" has need of them. The word "Lord" often means no more than "master" as opposed to servant, Matthew 10:24; Ephesians 6:5; 1 Peter 3:5-6. The word is sometimes used in the Bible as applied to God, or as a translation of the name Yahweh. Its common use is a mere title of respect given by an inferior to a superior, by a servant to a master, by a disciple to a teacher. As a title of "high respect" it was given to Christ, or the Messiah. The persons to whom these disciples were sent were probably acquainted with the miracles of Jesus and favorably disposed toward him He had attracted great notice in that region, particularly by raising Lazarus from the dead, and most of the people regarded him as the Messiah. CHAPTER 21

Mt 21:1-9. Christ's Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem on the First Day of the Week. ( = Mr 11:1-11; Lu 19:29-40; Joh 12:12-19).

For the exposition of this majestic scene—recorded, as will be seen, by all the Evangelists—see on [1333]Lu 19:29-40.

Ver. 1-3. This famous story of our Lord’s entrance into Jerusalem is recorded by Mark, and Luke also: by Mark, Mark 11:1; by Luke, Luke 19:29. There is little difference in their relation of it thus far; afterwards we shall find more. I shall consider what they all say, that I may at once give the story perfect. Mark saith, Bethphage and Bethany. He saith, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat. Luke hardly varies at all from Mark, at least in nothing considerable. Our Lord was come now very nigh Jerusalem; Bethany was but fifteen furlongs from Jerusalem, that was about two miles, wanting an eighth part, John 11:18; it was the town of Lazarus, John 11:1. Matthew names only Bethphage, which was a place at the same distance, at the foot of the Mount of Olives, so called from the plenty of olive trees growing there; this mount was betwixt Jerusalem and Bethphage. It is like our Saviour was at both these towns, for Mark and Luke nameth both. From one of them he sendeth two of his disciples to a village near hand, telling them they should there find, at their entrance in, an ass tied, with a colt, on which yet never man sat. Mark and Luke only mention the colt, because Christ rode only upon the colt. Matthew mentions the ass, for the fulfilling of the prophecy, of which we shall hear in the next verses.

Loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ( which he knew they would, and Mark and Luke tell us they did),

ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them. Not, our Lord, but the Lord of heaven and earth, whose are the cattle upon a thousand hills, hath need of them: not for any weariness; he who had travelled on foot from Galilee to Bethany, could have gone the other two miles; but that he might enter into Jerusalem as was prophesied of him, Zechariah 9:9.

And straightway he will send them. The words are so, as may be understood as a promise of Christ to send them back, but it is more likely they are intended as an assurance to the disciples that the owners would make no difficulty to send them. These instructions (considered with the success) were an evident argument of Christ’s Divine nature, who could tell all particular circumstances, and also which way the heart of man would incline.

And if any man say ought unto you,.... As, what business have you with the ass and colt? why do you loose them? as certain persons, the owners of them did, as Mark and Luke relate;

ye shall say, the Lord hath need of them: he that is our Lord, and your Lord, and the Lord of these creatures, and of all things else, wants them for his present service;

and straightway he will send them: which is either a continuation of what the disciples should say to any that should ask them the reason of their loosing the ass and colt, in order to make them easy: that the Lord who had need of them, as soon as he had done with them, would send them back to their proper owners, safe and well: or they are spoken for the encouragement of the disciples to go, and not be disheartened, though they should be thus examined; for immediately upon saying, that the Lord stood in need of them, and had an use for them at that time, the owner thereof, without any more words, would immediately send them along with them; which latter rather seems to be the sense of the clause; and which is confirmed by Mark: a very clear proof is this of the omniscience of Christ. He knew, that there were an ass, and a colt, in such a village, fastened to such a door, just at the entrance into the town: he knew the owners of it would examine the disciples about loosing and taking them away, and prepares them to give an answer; and he knew that the minds of these owners would be immediately wrought upon, and inclined to let them go directly and quietly.

And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway {a} he will send them.

(a) He that will say anything to you will let them go, that is, the ass and the colt.

Matthew 21:3. ἐάν τις, etc. Of course it was to be expected that the act would be challenged.—ἐρεῖτε, ye shall say, future with imperative force.—ὅτι, recitative, introducing in direct form the words of the Master.—ὸ Κύριος, the Lord or Master; not surely = Jehovah (Alford, G. T.), but rather to be taken in same sense as in Matthew 8:25, or in Matthew 21:30 of this chap.—αὐτῶν χρείαν ἔχει, hath need of them; in what sense? Looking to the synop. narratives alone, one might naturally infer that the need was physical, due to the fatigue of a toilsome, tedious ascent. But according to the narrative in 4th Gospel the starting point of the day’s journey was Bethany (Matthew 12:1; Matthew 12:12). The prophetic reference in Matthew 21:4 suggests a wholly different view, viz., that the animals were needed to enable Jesus to enter Jerusalem in a manner conformable to prophetic requirements, and worthy of the Messianic King. One is conscious of a certain reluctance to accept this as the exclusive sense of the χρεία. Lutteroth suggests that Jesus did not wish to mix among the crowd of pilgrims on foot lest His arrival should be concealed and the interest awakened by His presence lessened.

3. The account leads to the inference that the owner of the ass was an adherent of Jesus who had perhaps not yet declared himself. The number of such secret followers was probably very large.

Matthew 21:3. Ὁ Κύριος, the Lord) The owners of the ass were devoted to Jesus.[901]—εὐθέως δὲ, but immediately) i.e. You will not need many words.—[902]ἀποστέλλει, he sends)[903] The present tense is used because the event was sure and speedy, as they were already prepared to send it: cf. Mark 4:29, εὐθέως ἀποστέλλει τὸ δρέπανον, immediately he sendeth the sickle.—See ibid. Matthew 11:6, καὶ ἀφῆκαν αὐτούς, and they let them go.

[901] χρείαν ἔχει, hath need) How great were the needs of so great a Lord!—V. g.

[902] Such is the reading also of Griesbach and Scholz. E. M. reads ἀποστελεῖ (the future), rendered therefore in E. V. “he will send.” In his App. Crit. Bengel writes—

[903] Ἀποστελεῖ is the reading of BDbc Vulg. Orig. and Rec. Text, and so Lachm. and Tischend. Ἀποστέλλει is read by CLXZΔ d.—ED.

ἀποστέλλει) Comp. Er. ed. i. et seqq.; Stop. Aug. i. 2: Bodl. 1, 2, 7; Bu. Byz. Cov. i. Cypr. Gal.; Gehl, Go. Laud. 1, 2, 5; Lin. Lips. Mont. manu prima, M. 1, Mose. N. 1, Par. 1, 3, 4, 7, 8; Per. Roe. Steph. omn. vss. 1, 2, Wh. 1 nonnulli codd. upud Er. vel etiam Barb, decem, et Cam. item Chrys. Theophyl. Cant. latine, Syr. Accedunt Evangelistaria, Aug. 4 (in quo cum verbum hoc jam λ simplici scriptum fuisset, λ alterum est suppletum), Bodl. 4, 5, Land. 4, Wh. 3. Itaque ἀποστέλλει Matthæi, et ἀποστελεῖ Marci se mutuo confirmant, nam librarii videntur lectionem ἀποστελεῖ publica Matthæi recitatione ad Marcum traduxisse, et aliquando ἀποστελεῖ a Marco ad Matthæum retulisse. Vid. Gnom. (ἀποστελεῖ) Lat. et inde Er. vel etiam Parisini et Seldiaui aliquot, cum Bodl. 6, Cant, græce, Gon. Hunt. 2 Magd. et perpaucis aliis.”—(I. B.)

Verse 3. - Say aught unto you. This might naturally be expected. Christ foresaw the opposition, and instructed the disciples how to overcome it with a word. The Lord; Κύριος, equivalent to "Jehovah," or the King Messiah. Doubtless the owner of the animals was a disciple, and acknowledged the claims of Jesus. His presence here was a providentially guided coincidence. If he was a stranger; as others suppose, be must have been divinely prompted to acquiesce in the appropriation of his beasts. He will send them. Some manuscripts read, "he sends them," here, as in St. Mark. The present is more forcible, but the future is well attested. The simple announcement that the asses were needed for God's service would silence all refusal. The disciples, indeed, were to act at once, as executing the orders of the supreme Lord, and were to use the given answer only in case of any objection. Throughout the transaction Christ assumes the character of the Divine Messiah, King of his people, the real Owner of all that they possess. Matthew 21:3The Lord (ὁ κύριος)

From κῦρος, supreme power, authority. Hence κύριος, one having authority, lord, owner, ruler. In classical Greek, used of the gods, and in inscriptions applied to different gods, as Hermes, Zeus, etc.; also of the head of the family, who is lord (κύριος) of the wife and children (1 Samuel 1:8, Sept.); while to the slaves he is δεσπότης. In the Pauline writings, however, the master of slaves is called both δεσπότης (1 Timothy 6:1, 1 Timothy 6:2; Titus 2:9; 1 Peter 2:18), and κύριος (Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 4:1).

In the Septuagint it is used by Sarah of her husband (Genesis 18:12; compare I Pet. en 3:6). Joseph is called lord of the country (Genesis 42:33), and is addressed by his brethren as my lord (42:10). It is applied to God (Genesis 18:27; Exodus 4:10). In the New Testament it is a name for God (Matthew 1:20, Matthew 1:22, Matthew 1:24; Matthew 2:15; Acts 11:16; Acts 12:11, Acts 12:17; Revelation 1:8). As applied to Christ, it does not express his divine nature and power. These are indicated by some accompanying word or phrase, as my God (John 20:28); of all (Acts 10:36); to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:11); of glory (1 Corinthians 2:8); so that, as a title of Christ, Lord is used in the sense of Master or Ruler, or in address, Sir (Matthew 22:43, Matthew 22:45; Luke 2:11; Luke 6:46; John 13:13, John 13:14;1 Corinthians 8:6). Ὁ κύριος, the Lord, is used of Christ by Matthew only once (Matthew 21:3) until after the resurrection (Matthew 28:6). In the other gospels and in the Acts it occurs far oftener. Nevertheless, in the progress of Christian thought in the New Testament, the meaning develops toward a specific designation of the divine Saviour, as may be seen in the phrases Jesus, Christ our Lord, Our Lord Jesus Christ, Our Lord, Jesus our Lord.

Matthew 21:3 Interlinear
Matthew 21:3 Parallel Texts

Matthew 21:3 NIV
Matthew 21:3 NLT
Matthew 21:3 ESV
Matthew 21:3 NASB
Matthew 21:3 KJV

Matthew 21:3 Bible Apps
Matthew 21:3 Parallel
Matthew 21:3 Biblia Paralela
Matthew 21:3 Chinese Bible
Matthew 21:3 French Bible
Matthew 21:3 German Bible

Bible Hub

Matthew 21:2
Top of Page
Top of Page