After the Sabbath, Jerusalem is abuzz with activity. Thousands of visitors have already converged on the city for the Passover. But the noisy commotion we hear is more than usual for this time of the year. Inquisitive crowds are rushing down narrow streets to the city's gateways. As they shove their way out of the congested gates, what a sight greets them! Many jubilant people are making their way down the Mount of Olives on the road from Bethphage. (Luke 19:37) What is the meaning of all of this?
Look! Jesus of Nazareth comes riding on the colt of an ass. People spread garments out on the road ahead of him. Others wave freshly cut palm branches and joyfully shout: "Blessed is he that comes in Jehovah's name, even the king of Israel!"—John 12:12-15.
As the crowd nears Jerusalem, Jesus looks at the city and is deeply moved. He begins weeping, and we hear him foretelling that this city will be destroyed. When Jesus arrives at the temple a short time later, he teaches the crowds and cures blind and lame people who come to him.—Matthew 21:14; Luke 19:41-44, 47.
This does not go unnoticed by the chief priests and the scribes. How vexed they are to see the marvelous things Jesus does and the jubilation of the crowds! Unable to conceal their indignation, the Pharisees demand: "Teacher, rebuke your disciples." "I tell you," Jesus replies, "If these remained silent, the stones would cry out." Before departing, Jesus notes the commercial activities in the temple.—Luke 19:39, 40; Matthew 21:15, 16; Mark 11:11.
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