And if any man say anything unto you, you shall say, The Lord has need of them; and immediately he will send them.
All Commentaries on Matthew 21:3 Go To Matthew 21
Hilary of Poitiers
Two disciples are sent to the village to loosen the ass tied up with its colt and to bring them to him. And should someone ask them why they are doing that, they are to respond that the Lord needs the animals, which must be released to him without delay. From the previous sermons we remember that the two sons of Zebedee symbolize the double vocation of Israel. Therefore, now it is fitting to interpret the two disciples sent to release the ass and the colt as the subsequent double vocation of the Gentiles. It applies first of all to the Samaritans, who abandoned the law after their dissent and lived in a state of dependence and servitude. Yet it also applies to the rebellious and ferocious Gentiles.Therefore the two disciples are sent to loosen those who were bound and arrested by the bonds of error and ignorance. They are sent from Jerusalem, since these vocations originated in that city. On the other hand, it was on the way to Jerusalem that the Zebedees’ mother prayed to the Lord, since it is by the two vocations of the apostles and John, which proceeded from the law, that Israel is saved.Similarly Samaria (which believed through Philip) and Cornelius (who was brought to Christ by Peter) are the first fruits of the Gentiles. The fact that the disciples are instructed to respond, should someone ask them, that the two animals are needed for the Lord and must be released immediately means that the two preachers of the faith according to the gospel have to give themselves to the Lord as his own nation. Therefore the prophecy that announced the Lord’s entering Jerusalem on the ass and colt is fulfilled.