- Sermon Notes
When You Encounter the King
Illus. Star Struck
There are many diverse reactions a person might have to encountering someone amazing. One may be speechless, another jubilant, while another may hide themselves from something so awestriking. Then there are those who reject, because they can’t understand or believe who is before them. In this time we are going to explore how we should react when we encounter the King of Kings!
Now, today is referred to as Palm Sunday, it is a day that is celebrated each year the Sunday before Resurrection Sunday. It is a day that kicks off what is known as Passion Week, or Holy week. The title Passion Week is so named because of the passion with which Jesus willingly went to the cross in order to pay for the sins of His people. This morning we will be looking at some of the reactions people had and postures they took in greeting Jesus as King.
Read: Luke 19:28-40
In Jesus’ day, the people were looking for a messianic deliverer, the predominant thought was that this deliverer would lead them in a revolt against Rome. Jesus was truly the One who would save, but He was not going to save them their way, and we find as the week goes on, they were not interested in being saved His way.
When we interact with Jesus it is so important that we have the right response. Every interaction with Him –no matter how small– can meaningfully shape our lives. When He comes to save and redeem, let’s be ready to react with the right heart and the right posture, and let’s be ready to praise!
I. Be Available to Him
As they approach Jerusalem and stop near the Mt. of Olives, Jesus sends two of His disciples into a nearby village to retrieve a colt of a donkey that He knows is tied there.
If anyone were to ask why they were taking the colt, they were to respond by saying, ‘the Lord has need of it,’ and that it would be sent back to them after Jesus used it.
The colt had never been ridden (Mk 11:2; Lk 19:30). It would seem a gesture of respect and honor to offer such an animal to someone.
Illus. Me First!
Hearing that the Lord needed their colt, the owners were willing to let Jesus’ disciples take the colt for His use.
Throughout our lives, God asks us to let Him use things. Our resources, our talents, our time. He even has the boldness to ask to keep things, our heart, our attention, or very lives!
Sometimes we are slow to oblige, but the owners of the colt were quick to recognize the significance of the opportunity.
It’s such an interesting approach to say “the Lord has need of it.” Why would the creator of all things have need of anything?
2 Corinthians 8:9, For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.
He stooped down to earth and poverty in order to lift us up to Heaven and the riches thereof.
Illus. In the Sewer
Jesus came a long way to redeem us. When He asks something from us it isn’t because He lacked, it’s because He is going to do a work with it, with us. He is going to brush off the dirt and put us in our designed place!
Why, then, would we ever be slow to allow Him to have the things He requests of us.
He who made everything laid it all down that I might become rich in Him. But not only this, He chose to put Himself in a position where we could partner with Him, in order to see His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Are you willing to be available to Him? When He calls upon you and your gifting, will you remember who the gift was from in the first place?
Luke 12:48, “…From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more.”
When God makes use of our gifts, He elevates them to new levels of effectiveness and meaning. He imbues them with purpose!
This borrowed colt, would become a very famous colt. Why? Because as we see throughout scripture regarding cities, towns, mangers, tombs, talents, and anything given to and used by the Lord, He returns them with interest. In other words, they become greater.
We get to be a part of making a difference on this earth and in our lives, for Jesus. If we are available to Him, He lifts us up to our highest purposes!
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.
Their young donkey became the most famous donkey the world has ever known all because they gave it to Jesus on loan.
We have hopes, dreams and expectations surrounding our lives. But if the Lord has need of what He has given you and me, let us be those who are available to the King.
A. Let Him perfect what you expect
Matthew 16:25, For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.
The people who were following Jesus had expectations associated with who He was and how they believed His purpose would be revealed.
But by weeks end, Jesus was going to defy expectations, just as a rocket defies gravity. He was to go above and beyond!
After the disciples threw their cloaks on the back of the colt, Jesus sat on it. 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.
The crowds were building around Jesus. They had seen and heard of the miracles performed.
He was 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 Roman oppression ran high.
They were looking for a political leader, one who would lead them in victory and here was Jesus, fulfilling scripture, He was the Messiah.
He was now making it apparent who He was, and the people couldn’t help but to shout! Laying down coats and palm branches on the road in honor, He was to be elevated, celebrated, exalted.
Mark 11:9-11, 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 were crying out to Jesus, asking Him to do exactly what He was headed to do, but the great irony of what they meant, and what Jesus intended was lost on them.
It is imperative that we seek Him. But we must be reminded that He will go beyond our request.
Oh, how often we pray, cry out to the Lord, looking for a particular result and the Lord is working, but in His own way and in His own timing.
1 Corinthians 2:9, What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” the things God has prepared for those who love Him. These are the things God has revealed to us by His Spirit.
And Jesus had said a great deal, but the people were set only on the difficulty they could see.
Jesus had declared to His disciples many times already that He would go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, and chief priests and scribes (Mt 16:21-23, 17:12, 20:18); that He would be mocked, scourged and crucified, but raised up on the third day.
We must not let our narrow expectations blind us to what is really happening. God’s will, more often than not, falls well beyond our expectation.
If we are too focused on our own target, we may mistake God’s bullseye for a total miss.
While Jesus was the only way and would make a way, those following and praising Him could not get beyond the difficulty of their day. And when it was clear He had a different way, they chose to divide from Him, letting their praise turn to condemnation.
Let nothing praise in your place
Luke 19:39, Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!”
The Pharisees were already trying to dishonor and discredit Jesus. In their eyes, it seems, He should not be honored and praised as the King.
When we encounter the King, there will be those who want us to be silent. The joy and celebration of those who understand –even in part– can be frustrating to those who do not.
Illus. A Christmas Computer
We need to cling to the truth, and desire to understand even more clearly.
1 Corinthians 13:9-12 We know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
Even though most of the crowd that day had an imperfect understanding, they still had an appropriate response.
The fact of the matter is, the celebration of Jesus’ Kingship would have happened with or without the praise of men.
The idea of creation itself praising the Lord is seen in the Bible. The water supported Him (Mt. 14:25), the storm stopped for Him (Mk. 4:39), and here He says the rocks were ready to praise.
Psalm 19:1 The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Illus. Where I’m meant to be
Don’t let the rocks sing in your place! When you encounter the King of Kings in your life, be ready to give Him anything and everything He requests!
He is worthy of praise and worship, and it is our honor to be instruments of His glory!
After He had said these things, He was going on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When He approached Bethphage and Bethany, near the mount that is called Olivet, He sent two of the disciples, saying, “Go into the village ahead of you; there, as you enter, you will find a colt tied on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of it.’” So those who were sent went away and found it just as He had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They said, “The Lord has need of it.” They brought it to Jesus, and they threw their coats on the colt and put Jesus on it. As He was going, they were spreading their coats on the road. As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting:
“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord;
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!”