Jesus’ Three Entries Into Jerusalem

01 Apr
Triumphant Entry

from Free Bible Images

Prior to his coming in Luke 19:28-38, Jesus had instructed his disciples to tell no one that he was the Messiah (cf. Luke 9:20-21). Nevertheless, at this time in Luke 19 Jesus didn’t hold his disciples back. The Messianic fervor was growing, as they journeyed toward Jerusalem (cf. Luke 19:11) and continued to escalate, until they reached the top of Mount Olives. Jesus not only didn’t hold them back, but he, himself arranged for a colt to be at his disposal, so he could ride into Jerusalem in fulfillment of Zechariah’s prophecy (Zechariah 9:9). Jesus did all this in order to publicly present himself as Messiah to the nation, and in such a manner that his enemies wouldn’t be able to stop him or arrest him.

Understanding the above, how should we interpret the fact that Jesus wept as he traveled toward Jerusalem in Luke 19:41-45? If we compare Matthew 21:10-16 with Luke 19:39, we must conclude that Luke 19:41-45 is a different entry than is recorded in Luke 19:28-40, because verses 28-40 show Jesus was already in Jerusalem (cf. Matthew 21:10-16) before the Pharisees objected to the praise Jesus’ disciples were giving him (cf. Luke 19:39), and there is nothing in the context of the events recorded there that would cause Jesus to pause in sorrow and weep over the city.

Therefore, if we allow the scriptures to speak to us, rather than believe we already know what the word of God says, we shall find that Jesus entered into Jerusalem three times on three different days of the week during the five days prior to his death (cf. John 12:1).


Jesus’ Three Entries into Jerusalem

Enters Jerusalem

Curses Fig Tree

Cleanses Temple

Goes to Bethany

Tree Withered

Matthew 21:1-11

Mat. 21:12-13 Matthew 21:17
Matthew 21:23 Mat. 21:18-19a
Mark 11:1-11
Mark 11:12 Mark 11:13-14 Mark 11:15-17
Mark 11:20, 27 Mark 11:20-26
Mat. 21:19, 23 Matthew 21:19b
Luke 19:28-40
Luke 19:41-44 Luke 19:45-48
John 12:12-15



Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11 and Luke 19:28-40 all speak of Jesus sending for a colt and his using the colt to enter Jerusalem and the Temple, while his disciples publicly proclaimed him as Messiah. However, this couldn’t be his so-called Triumphant Entry, because no one in the city came out to meet Jesus, because the pilgrims, there, had no idea who he was (cf. Matthew 21:10-11). Jesus’ journey from Jericho to Jerusalem was 17 miles and, if he and the disciples began the journey at dawn they wouldn’t have reached Jerusalem on foot until late afternoon the same day. Mark testifies that after Jesus arrived in Jerusalem, he merely looked around and left for Bethany (Mark 11:11), which agrees with Matthew’s account (Matthew 21:17), except that this took place after Jesus had cleansed the Temple, and before he left for Bethany (Matthew 12:12-13).

Jesus’ second entry into Jerusalem came from Bethany (Mark 11:12, cf. Matthew 21:23), not from Jericho, as events show for the first entry. At this time Jesus again cleansed the temple (Mark 11:15-17), but notice that upon this day the people within the city came out to meet Jesus (John 12:12-15), because they knew who he was, and what he had done. This was not so for his first entry (cf. Matthew 21:10-11). So the pilgrims visiting Jerusalem from around the Empire agreed with his disciples on the first day that Jesus was the Messiah, and they came out of the city to welcome him and bring him into the city the second time he came there. This was the, so-called, Triumphant Entry.

Notice also that, while going to Jerusalem on the second day, Jesus cursed an barren fig tree (Mark 11:13-14; Matthew 21:18-19), and the text says that it “immediately” withered (Matthew 21:19), but the text means to say that it **began** to wither immediately, not that it withered away at once before the eyes of the disciples. Mark shows that Jesus cursed the fig tree on the way to Jerusalem for his Triumphant Entry, and Mark tells us that only the disciples heard it (Mark 11:12-14). It wasn’t until the following day that the disciples actually saw that the fig tree had withered away (Mark 11:20-21). This shows that Jesus entered a third time during his last five days in Jerusalem that year, and Luke testifies of this last entry in Luke 19:41-48.

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Posted by on April 1, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


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