Sermon Follow Up - Week 27, 2021
THE SERMON'S SUMMARY
There's an ongoing tendancy in us to read the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) as if they were a fairytale. We watch Jesus ride a donkey into Jerusalem, weep a bit, and chase people out of the temple. But what does this tell us about the one who is risen and seated at the right hand of the Father? It tells us what kind of King he is. He is a king like no other who is humble, who weeps for the wicked, and who is zealous. The challenge is for us it to read these stories and realize that they're about the same King Jesus that we know today who is risen and reigning in heaven.
THE SERMON'S TEXT
And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” And they said, “The Lord has need of it.” And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a den of robbers.” And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words. (Luke 19:28-48 ESV)
THE SERMON'S PRIMARY POINT
This Jesus is your King.
THE SERMON'S OBSERVATIONS AND/OR SUBPOINTS
(including quotes and questions)
The King Who Is Humble
Back in 2 Kings 9, God suddenly anoints Jehu the king of Israel to wipe out wicked Ahab’s royal line, but once Jehu is anointed, everyone immediately takes off their coats and they lay them in from of him… like a royal red carpet. This sort of thing was meant for the arrival of God’s anointed king, but during events like this, it was typical for kings to come back from war on a big old warhorse or to parade around to show their strength and wealth and royalty. Not Jesus. This king’s choice ride is a beast of burden. It’s not a an armored limo… it’s a pinto. The irony is that Jesus looks nothing like a king in this scene... and that's the point. Jesus is a living example of God’s weakness looking stronger than man’s weakness. As he’s looking ahead to the cross, he’s not looking to overthrow Rome—he has his sights set on something far more significant— he’s looking to overthrow death itself. Isn’t that astounding?
Jesus is the King referenced in Zechariah who is also the heir to David’s everlasting throne. He is the one who is righteous and who has salvation. He’s not the one who will come and slay with a sword like many of the disciples hoped for (not this time at least). In fact the prophets often envision a deliverer who will rescue his people AND destroy his enemies at the same time. But come to find out, there’s two comings... The first is rescue, the second is vengeance. Because he WILL wipe out his enemies in a very real way one day... But first, he’s coming in to speak peace. And peace to who? The nations. The United States, Turkey, Burundi, Kenya, Columbia—the whole world. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost and he seeks and saves the lost as a king of an unseen but real kingdom.
Doesn’t it fill your heart to the brim knowing that he held off on coming with vengeance so that he could first be killed to save us? Friends he did not have to do that… your king CHOSE to do that. I want that one to be my King. I want a King who loves me.
Is it not comforting to know that the king who once sat on a donkey is sitting in heaven knowing exactly what it was like to suffer? Doesn’t that inform what you’re going through right now? Man… my king has been here before. I want a King who understands. He’s a King like no other because his mission is to seek and save the lost. That’s his form of conquest.
If you believe in Jesus you’re in on the blessing of being in the King’s house, under his care and rule, and an heir of his beautiful kingdom. He came humbly but that doesn’t mean he was weak when it comes to saving his people or keeping his people or delivering them on that final day. He is strong. He is not ruled by anyone. His throne won’t be threatened. His kingdom WILL NOT fail.
The King Who Weeps for the Wicked
Jesus was human like you and me and he cried. But we only here of him crying on a few specific occasions so why this moment? Tears fall from the King’s eyes because he knows that that city up ahead will not see him for the King and deliverer that he is. They will see him as a criminal. And his grief isn’t that he won’t be well liked. His grief is based on the fact that what it would take for them to be at peace with God (which is seeing him as the true King of heaven and earth) is totally hidden from them.
"Here the Son of God with all power and glory looks on the city of sinful man. Thunder does not rumble, and lightning does not flash in divine curses. The earth does not quake in destruction. Instead, rivulets of tears flow down from the Savior’s face. He weeps for the city for entire cities, and entire communities, and entire nations. He weeps because what he has come to bring has somehow escaped them…" -Thabiti Anyabwile
Jesus weeps one three occasions in Scripture …once for his dead friend… once as he is on the doorstep of death in the Garden of Gethsemane… and this time… over a people he loves who will never find the peace that they so desperately need. Ironically, Jerusalem literally means city of peace… but it will be nothing but peaceful towards Jesus nor will it avail itself to the peace that he intends to bring.
Some of you ache for those who have not experienced the peace that Christ brings and salvation. Your children, or your brother and sister in law, or your mom or dad or childhood friend or your aging parents or grandparents. You’ve wept for them. You’ve longed for them to be saved. Lest you think that God is working against us in those moments. Just take a peek here at Jesus grieving over Jerusalem. In his mysterious purposes, that person may never be saved, but that doesn’t mean he’s glad about it. Once again, he is patient and if they will trust in Christ, he will send his Spirit to make them alive. But until then, he weeps with you, perhaps more than you.
Jerusalem will face very real consequences for their willful and continual rejection of this King who was sent to save and who even is brought to the point of weeping over them. The same is true for anyone who continues to deny that Jesus is the Son of God who was sent to save them.
- The King Who Is Zealous
Certain people have turned this place where God was meant to dwell with his people in an accessible way into a lucrative storefront. What’s worse is this was happening in the outer court of the temple which is where God-fearing Gentiles would worship. In fact that was as close as they were allowed to get to the temple. But as Jesus comes into the temple, he finds that space where God becomes accessible to the nations overrun with businessmen. And in anger, he chases them out. The house where God dwells and where the Son of God now stands is meant to be a house of prayer where the Gentiles can come worship God along with the Jew... not a cave where thieves lurk and rob people. Jesus wants the world to be restored to fellowship with God so he symbolically starts clearing the way which will culminate in a veil being torn and the good news going from Judea to Samaria and the ends of the earth.
Jesus is zealous for those who belong in his kingdom and he refuses to let barriers stand in the way of the redeemed and God. Jesus is zealous for people to be able to come to him. Why else would he have gone to the cross? If you could wish that the King who rules over you were most passionate about one thing… what would it be? Would it not be that he will stop at nothing for his Father to be glorified at bringing you into his kingdom? He’s zealous for THAT. It’s reassuring to know that Jesus will stop at nothing to grab the frayed ends of a severed relationship between himself and sinners and drawn them together never to be severed again.
He is a king like no other and he’s your king. He’s your king right now. Here’s what I wrestling with here— It’s so easy to think of Jesus as one who who came,yes, died yes, and even even disappeared into heaven. Now what? I’ve staked my life on and trusted in this reality that Jesus makes me right with God, that he’s the way to eternal life, that he spares me from eternal hell and that I am a part of his kingdom, but what does it mean today that he’s my king?? We’ve touched on this a little… but that same flesh and bones Jesus who rode a donkey into Jerusalem 2000 years ago, who went from carrying a cross on his back to being flat on his back dead is the same Jesus who now ever lives to rule us, to make intercession for us, to advocate for us, and who will return to rescue us! He is the risen Lord who bodily went up to heaven and who is one day going to return in power with a name written on his thigh that says KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORD. The alpha and omega… who has all authority over heaven and earth. That’s him. It’s no fairytale. And as believers, one of our greatest spiritual fights tomorrow morning or this afternoon will be to fight to believe that Jesus really is the King over everything we know… over trials, over governments, over circumstances, and our hearts and the evil one. But in the meantime, let these portaits of him tell you what he’s like. He’s a king like no other king.
RESOURCES FOR THIS WEEK
Other Passages to Study:
2 Samuel 7:7-17
The King in All His Beauty (written by Matt Boswell and Matt Papa,
performed by SG Music)