What Did Jesus Ask the Disciples to Do When They Arrived at Bethphage and Bethany?

When Jesus and his disciples arrived at Bethphage and Bethany, he gave them a specific task. The account of this event is found in the Bible, in the book of Mark chapter 11, verses 1-10.

The Task

Jesus asked two of his disciples to go into the village ahead of them. He gave them specific instructions, saying “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden.

Untie it and bring it here.” (Mark 11:2)

The Fulfillment

The disciples did as they were told, finding the colt just as Jesus had said. As they untied it, some people standing nearby asked what they were doing. The disciples simply replied that the Lord needed it and were allowed to take it.

The Significance

This event was significant for several reasons. Firstly, by riding on a donkey’s colt rather than a horse or chariot, Jesus was fulfilling an Old Testament prophecy about the coming Messiah:

“Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you.. gentle and riding on a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9).

Secondly, because no one had ever ridden on this colt before, it was considered sacred and set apart for God’s purposes. By riding on this animal, Jesus was demonstrating that he was set apart for God’s purposes too.

The Response

As Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the colt’s back, crowds of people spread their cloaks on the road ahead of him while others waved palm branches shouting out “Hosanna!”

  • Some threw their cloaks on the ground in front of him.
  • Others waved palm branches.
  • The crowds shouted “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Mark 11:9)

This was a common practice for welcoming a king or dignitary into a city, and the people recognized Jesus as someone special. They saw him as a King who had come to save them from their oppressors.

Conclusion

Jesus’ instructions to his disciples may have seemed strange at first, but they were part of God’s plan. By riding on a colt’s back into Jerusalem, Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecies and demonstrated that he was set apart for God’s purposes.

The crowds recognized this and welcomed him as their King. It was the beginning of a week that would change the course of history forever.