THE KING ARRIVES
Now Jesus started to go to Jerusalem. He wanted to be part of a holy day there. So he took his disciples and they went.
When they came near the city, Jesus stopped. His disciples got a young donkey. And they put their coats on its back. Jesus got on the donkey and he began to ride down the road to Jerusalem.
Now, a lot of people were in town for this holy day. When they heard that Jesus was coming, they went out to meet him. And a large crowd stood near the road when Jesus rode into the city. They began to take off their coats and throw them into the road in front of Jesus to honour him. Some of them took branches and threw them on the road too. And they shouted, “Blessed is the king that God has sent!”
Some leaders of the Jews were in the crowd. They were not happy that people praised Jesus. So they said to Jesus, “Tell these people to stop saying things like that.”
But Jesus said, “If they are quiet, the rocks will shout it out.”
As he came close to Jerusalem, Jesus began to cry. Then he spoke to the city. “Jerusalem,” he said. “If only you knew what brings peace! But now it is too late. Peace is hiding from you. Now, your enemies will come and destroy you.”
When he got to Jerusalem, Jesus came to the Temple. He saw that the people were using part of the Temple as a market place. So Jesus became angry. He began to turn over the tables and chairs of the merchants. He shouted, “The prophets said that my house is to be a place of prayer. But you have turned it into a place of thieves!’”
The leaders in the Temple hated Jesus for this. They wanted to kill him, but the people loved him.
So, every day that week, Jesus taught at the temple. And, while he spoke, the leaders tried to trap Jesus. They wanted him to say something wrong. Then they could arrest him. But they could not fool him. And Jesus warned his disciples, “Watch out for these men. They love the praise of people, but they are stealing from widows. And God will punish them without mercy.”
So the leaders of the Jews kept looking for a way to have Jesus killed.