A-Z: Famous stories from the Bible: Jesus, riding into Jerusalem and the cleansing of the Temple


As Jesus and his followers came near to Jerusalem, Jesus sent two of his disciples on ahead. He said,

‘As soon as you enter the next village, you will find a donkey and her young colt tied up. Bring them to me. If Jesus riding into Jerusalemanyone asks what you are doing, just say that the Lord needs them.’

When they brought the colt to him, they spread a cloak over its back and Jesus rode it. This was to fulfil the prophecy which said that a King, the promised Messiah sent from God, would come into Jerusalem riding a donkey. As they entered the city, crowds of people milled around them, laying their cloaks on the road, waving branches and shouting,

Hosanna to the Son of David! Hosanna in the highest!’

They came to the Jewish Temple, and Jesus went into the Temple courtyard, where the people could change money before making offerings and buying doves for sacrifices. Jesus seems to have been angered by the fact that this trade was happening within the Temple precincts, where people came to worship God (and possibly because some were being cheated). He overturned the tables, saying,
‘It is written that this is a house of prayer but you are making it a den of robbers!’ 

The story illustrates:

  • The Christian belief that the life of Jesus fulfilled some of the prophecies written hundreds of years before in the Old Testament
  • Jesus’ concern that God should be worshipped properly and his anger at wrong done to others.

Bible References

Matthew 21:1-13
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