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Matthew 21:1-17

Wherever He Wants to Go

  • Samuel Wilson
  • Weekend Messages
  • February 16, 2020

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

Wherever He Wants to Go

Matthew 21:1-17

Illus. Eating out.

As we open up to Matthew 21 this morning, we will see people who had great proclamations about Jesus as their king, but their shouts would turn to doubt, when they realized that overthrowing the government was not was Jesus mission was all about. They seem to know just Who He is, but grow cold, when their ways aren’t His.

It is important for you and me to see and know the importance of not just talking the talk and proclaiming Jesus as King. But of letting Jesus into our lives and living in such a way that our words about who Jesus is to us, has overarching meaning. Allowing Him to go, wherever He wants to go, and do, whatever He wants to do.

Read: Matthew 21:1-17

As Jesus approached Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey, some of the crowd laid down their coats on the colt, others, their coats, or even cut palm branches on the ground. The reason for this response is because Jesus was revealing that He was the Messiah that the Old Testament spoke of, and He was entering Jerusalem in the way the Old Testament prophets wrote of.

Zechariah 9:9, Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey.

Jesus, was here announcing that He was the coming King, with that revealed there was much hope surrounding what He was about to bring and the excitement was growing. As Jesus sat atop the colt, walking toward Jerusalem, branches from palm trees were laid along the ground, the red (or green) carpet laid out for the One, who was going to bring salvation about.

They were ready for Him to save, to do what they thought He had come for, but they would learn He had much more in store. Jesus would save, but His way would be much different than their way. They had set out the welcome mat, assuming Jesus had come to save from Rome, expecting Him to head that direction. But Jesus had come to make a way for salvation of sinners, and call the lost home.

Jesus destination was different that the expectation of the crowd, but if they would follow beyond their expectations, they would see that the cross was necessary before the crown. And that is what we center our study on today. Jesus knows what is necessary and wants to bring life to you and to me. Since He knows, it is imperative that we let Jesus not only into our lives, but to then go wherever He wants to go. 

I.   Welcome Jesus Beyond the Mat

Matthew 21:8-9

  • After the disciples threw their cloaks on the back of the colt, Jesus sat on it (7).
  • In taking His seat and heading to Jerusalem, He was offering Himself as King to the people. Something He had previously avoided.

John 6:15, So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make him King, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone.

  • This time it was different.
  • Jesus was now at the height of His ministry and all wanted Him to ascend to His throne. They were heading to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover which commemorated God’s deliverance of Israel from slavery to Egypt.
  • And it was at this time, in remembrance of deliverance that hopes for their own deliverance from Romans oppression ran high.
  • They were looking for their leader, one who would lead them in victory and here was Jesus, they had found their guy, He was fulfilling scripture, He was the Messiah.
  • Some in the crowd laid down their coats and others placed palm branches on the road, it was their way of creating a “royal carpet.”
  • Atop the colt He was elevated, now celebrated, and the people excitedly exalted Him. He was showing them who He was beyond the shadow of doubt, the crowd couldn’t help but to shout!

Matthew 11:9, Those who went out in front and those who followed were shouting: “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!”

  • Hosanna! Save now!! Save now in the highest, in the uttermost!
  • Hosanna is of Hebrew origin and the result of yasha (“deliver, save”) and anna (“beg, beseech”) combine to form the word that, in English, is “hosanna”.
  • Literally, hosanna means “I beg you to save!” or “please deliver us!”

Psalm 118:25, O Lord, do save, we beseech You.

  • This was a song the people would sing, set apart for the Messiah, and now, they are welcoming Jesus to Jerusalem, singing it about Him.
  • They wanted Him to save them out of their situation, but not in the way He was planning to save.
  • There were welcoming Him in, but upon His arrival, He was going to go deeper, and cries to save, would be changed in just a few days, to crucify Him.

Illus. Home inspection.

Philippians 1:6, For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Psalm 37:5, Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him, and He will help you.

  • The people thought they knew what was most needed. But the things they thought they needed were merely on the surface, and while they show surface supplication, they haven’t yet committed it all to Him.
  • When He enters into the door of your life, you will see what is in the way of His intentions and the good work He desires to complete in you.
  1. Let Him determine what needs deconstruction

Mark 11:11, Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple; and after looking around at everything, He left for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late.

  • From the book of Mark, we get an additional glimpse into the timeline and what took place upon Jesus’ arrival to Jerusalem.
  • Mark says that Jesus went immediately into the temple, looked around at everything, and then went to Bethany which was just about 2 miles outside of Jerusalem and the place Jesus would stay for the night.
  • Jesus entered into the city and looked around the temple in order to perform an inspection. I find it quit comforting where His attention was drawn. No doubt there was a lot wrong in their world and society, but Jesus made His priority the place that was set apart for the Lord, where He was supposed to have all authority.
  • After His inspection He would go back to Bethany and process all He had seen, and we understand from the verses that follow, He had seen a great deal.

Matthew 21:12-13

  • There were major problems in the temple, and the problem Jesus pointedly pursued was that they had turned it into a den or robbers.

Illus. What was taking place.

  • Jesus saw it all, drove out those buying and selling, overturned the tables of money changers and seat of those selling doves.
  • “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.”
  • Jesus quoted from Isaiah 56:7, “My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.”
  • But those in leadership were using it for all the wrong purposes, specifically for their own profit.
  • Jesus declared that they are not more honorable than robbers.

Jeremiah 7:11, Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of robbers in your sight? Behold, I, even I, have seen it,” declares the Lord.

  • The temple was never intended to be a stock yard for religious extortion. Jesus makes His message clear and does so pointedly.
  • A point with important application in our lives personally as well.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

  • Being that those in Christ are a temple of the Holy Spirit, it is imperative that you respond to all He wants to do in your life, that you not spurn Him, when He wants to overturn the tables that separate you from Him.
  • May this example be a picture for me and for you of those things which stand against God in our lives.
  1. Let your praises rise

Matthew 21:14-17

  • After Jesus drove out what needed to be driven out, Matthew describes the scene as wonderful. The temple was turned into a place where Jesus was ministering and the children were praising.
  • The chief priests and scribes, the ones who knew it all, were indignant with it all and we aren’t surprised at all. They refused to believe, and certainly would not now think any differently.
  • But I am struck by this scene. The children were crying out with the same shouts of praise they had heard from their parents the day before.
  • The children weren’t praising Jesus for political reasons, they came to Him because of who He was.
  • They weren’t concerned about where He had gone after He entered Jerusalem, or whether He was going to revolt against the Romans. They simply came to Jesus.
  • And what a wonderful sight and sound that will be, when that is true right here.

James 4:8, Draw near to God and He will draw near to you

Illus. Many words are use in scripture for “praise”. I want to define 6 I hopes that it will impact our personal and corporate praise.

Halal: To make a boast, brag, to make a show, make into a fool.

Psalm 69:10, I will praise (halal) the name of God with song and magnify Him with thanksgiving.

Psalm 35:18, I will give you thanks in the great assembly; among the people I will praise (hallel) you.

Yadah: To hold out one’s hand, to lift hands in reverence or in worship.

Psalm 28:7, The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise (yadah) him.

Psalm 42:5, Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise (yadah) Him, my Savior and my God.

Zamar: to sing praise, break out in song, make music, or play an instrument.

Psalm 57:9, I will praise you (yadah), Lord, among the nations; I will sing (Zamar) of you among the peoples.

Psalm 68:32, Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth, sing praise (zamar) to the Lord

Tehillah: to sing praise, bring adoration, or give thanksgiving to God.

Psalm 33:1, Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise (tehillah) Him.

Psalm 51:15, Open my lips, Lord, and my mouth will declare your praise (tehillah).

Barak: “To kneel down, to bless God as an act of adoration, to salute.”

Psalm 95:6 O come let us worship and bow down; let us kneel (barak) before the Lord our maker.

Shabach: To address Him loudly, to commend, glory, to triumph.

Psalm 63:3, Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, my lips will praise (shabach) You.

  • Let what these words mean and say, should shape the way we praise. He is worthy.

Psalm 139:23-24, Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Illus. Wherever He wants to go.

Matthew 21:1-17

When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold your King is coming to you, Gentle, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’” The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats. Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!” When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.” And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. And He *said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.” And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant and said to Him, “Do You hear what these children are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies You have prepared praise for Yourself’?” And He left them and went out of the city to Bethany, and spent the night there.


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