Matthew 21:3 MEANING

Matthew 21:3
(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.

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.

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.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.

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