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King Jesus

Jesus rides into Jerusalem and drives out moneychangers.
Contributed by Richard Gunther
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese
One day, Jesus was outside the city of Jerusalem with His disciples. He was preparing to enter the city in a very special way. Instead of walking in like most people, Jesus was going to ride in - on a donkey! But before He could do this, He needed a donkey, so He gave some instructions to His disciples. – Slide 1
‘Go to the village ahead of you,’ Jesus told His disciples, ‘and at once you will find a donkey tied there. The donkey will have her colt beside her. Untie the donkey and bring it to me.’ – Slide 2
One of the disciples was bothered by this. ‘But what if the owner asks us what we're doing, taking his donkey without even asking?’ he asked. ‘How will we explain ourselves?’ ‘Just tell the owner that the Lord needs the donkey and he will understand,’ replied Jesus. – Slide 3
So the disciples went into the village, and sure enough there was a donkey with its foal beside it. The disciples started to untie the donkey, when suddenly the owner appeared. ‘Hey!’ he shouted. ‘What do you think you're doing? <br/>‘The Lord needs it,’ explained the disciple. – Slide 4
‘Oh, that's all right then,’ said the man. He already knew how wonderful Jesus was, so he was very pleased to be able to give his donkey away. He smiled as he watched the two disciples lead the animal away down the street. It was such a privilege to be able to give something to Jesus! – Slide 5
Now here's a special secret to do with donkeys. It was no accident that Jesus chose one to ride into Jerusalem. A long, long time before Jesus was born, a prophet of the Lord, whose name was Zechariah, said that one day the King of Israel would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey. Zechariah also said that this King would be meek and humble - just like Jesus. – Slide 6
Another special secret about the donkey was that it had never had anyone ride it before. But when Jesus sat on it, it didn't buck, or jump, or try to shake him off.  So Jesus rode towards Jerusalem, and some people started to gather to welcome Him in. – Slide 7
Soon the whole city was gathering to watch Jesus. Some people wondered who He was, but others already knew. ‘He is a prophet from Nazareth!’ they said. Many people cut branches off palm trees and waved them about, while others threw sheets and clothes on the road, and others clapped their hands and shouted. – Slide 8
But not everyone was happy about what Jesus was doing. Some of the priests and leaders started to grumble.<br/>‘That man is not a king!’ they complained. ‘How dare these people shout praises to Him!’ – Slide 9
‘Hosanna!’ shouted the people. ‘Hosanna to God in the highest! Long live the Messiah who comes in the name of the Lord! Hail to you, King of Israel!’ – Slide 10
Jesus rode right through the gate and then on up the street, towards the huge and beautiful Jewish Temple. It was where many people came to worship God, to pray and to confess their sins. This was the heart of the whole Jewish nation, and Jesus also called it His Father's house. – Slide 11
Jesus got off the donkey and walked into the Temple. But instead of finding people praying or worshipping, He found a market place! There were men sitting about with animals to sell, and there were tables with money to change. And the floor was a mess, and the smell of all the animals was horribly strong. As Jesus looked about He became very angry. – Slide 12
He couldn't see anyone behaving as they should behave in God's House. Everywhere He looked He saw greediness, and cheating, and buying and selling, just like outside on the streets where all the shops were. It was quite the wrong way for things to be in this place! – Slide 13
He also saw that the people who had taken over the Temple were more interested in making money than serving God. Their hearts had grown fat with greed, and they clutched bags of money as they waited for the next customer. – Slide 14
At last Jesus could take no more of this insult. He reached for some rope and began to swing it round like a whip. He ran toward the greedy people and began to turn their tables over, and chase their animals out of the Temple. – Slide 15
‘It is written,’ said Jesus loudly, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it into a den of thieves!’ The dust flew, pots broke, animals ran here and there as Jesus swung the rope about. But not one person dared to argue with Jesus because everyone knew He was right. – Slide 16
The Pharisees, and other leaders, who were supposed to be in charge of the Temple, felt guilty and angry. They knew they should have stopped all the buying and selling in the Temple, but they loved all the money they got from it. Now they began to grumble. ‘We must kill this man!’ they said to each other. – Slide 17
And one other thing that really annoyed the priests and leaders was the way the children loved Him. When Jesus had finished clearing the Temple, many children started to shout praises to Him. ‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’ they cried.<br/>‘How dare they!’ said the priests and leaders. – Slide 18
But Jesus knew what these men were grumbling about. He turned to them and said ‘Have you never read, “Out of the mouth of young children and babies God has given strength”?’ What did Jesus mean by this? Jesus meant that the children understood who He was, but the grown ups didn't. – Slide 19
Do you understand who Jesus is? Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah. If Jesus came riding into your town today, would you go to welcome Him in?  And would He be your king? – Slide 20
Slide 21