February 19, 2012
INTRODUCTION – Our theme – “Patient Expectation”
This morning – Jesus’s expectations of us. Only when we clearly see and embrace those expectations, will our expectations be what they ought to be.
I. The Triumphal Entry vs. 1- 11 Jesus expects us to know and receive Him as He is, not as we wish Him to be.
All four gospels give an account of this story, which is often referred to as the “Triumphal Entry”. Not that many stories are found in all four gospels; so this unusual entry by Jesus into Jerusalem is clearly important to God.
A. Jesus’s orders to the two disciples vs. 1-3
We know from Mark and Luke’s accounts that when the two disciples began to untie the donkey and the colt, both the owner and some bystanders did ask them what they were doing. But once they told them what Jesus had instructed them to tell them, they were fine with it, which Jesus had promised them beforehand would be the case.
Very interesting that Jesus instructed them to say, “The Lord has need of them.” Anything else they might have laughed at and said, “go get a job and get your own donkey”. But when they heard, “The Lord…” my guess is somehow the Holy Spirit anointed those words, and the eyes of the owner and bystanders were opened; and thus it was a no brainer – – “well if the Lord needs them, who am I to stand in the way….?”
Matthew doesn’t mention the response of the bystanders and owner of the donkey and colt. But he mentions other details that Mark, Luke and John leave out. perhaps because Matthew is more concerned that his readers see that Jesus clearly sees Himself as King, and is even presenting Himself as King, but not in the manner we are used to seeing Kings being presented.
B. Fulfilled Prophecy vs. 4,5 (Zech. 9:9 & Isa. 62:11)
Jesus Christ knew this prophecy (from Zech. 9:9 & from Isa. 62:11); the disciples knew of this prophecy; and Jesus knew the Jews who were in Jerusalem in mass for the Passover knew well this prophecy. For centuries the Jews have longed for and waited for their Messiah and King. Jesus was making a very loud and bold proclamation by choosing to enter Jerusalem in this way – that He was indeed the long awaited and promised Messiah King.
C. Response of Disciples and Crowds vs. 6-11
The reception of the disciples and the crowds of Jesus as He mounted the donkey and rode into the city was one reserved for a King or at least a great prophet. Jesus did nothing to dissuade His disciples or the crowds from such a display of reverence and worship; but this doesn’t mean that He took any real joy from it either.
1. meaning of “Hosanna” = “save we pray Thee” The phrase “Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.” From Psalm 118:25, “O Lord, do save, we beseech You”
While this appears to be a great display of worship; in reality it was more likely a self centered display of hope that Jesus was going to finally set them free from their oppressors
Jesus Christ is the long prophesied coming King of Kings
He is humble and gentle (Matthew 11:29); but He is King
This was an act of grace and mercy – – any decent Jew should have put two and two together and realized that this was a possible fulfillment of the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9; but even if they did, their concept of who this Messiah would be and why He would come was so twisted ….
II. Cleansing & Ministry in the Temple vs. 12-17 Jesus Christ expects us to gather for corporate worship for the right reasons and for the right purposes. When we don’t – abuse and corruption take root; and He will eventually deal forthrightly with it and with us. When we do – ministry from Christ Himself flows.
A. The Temple Cleansing – vs. 12,13
When Jesus Christ entered the temple He found robbers instead of worshippers. Those who should have been facilitating worship and prayer were instead lining their pockets with the proceeds of their sales. To them – Sunday morning or Saturday night was an opportunity to increase their business and expand their markets. They saw the people coming in the temple doors as a means to their selfish materialistic ends. So Jesus drove them out of the temple reminding them of what the scriptures clearly said in the prophets about what should be happening when God’s people gather.
B. Healing of the Blind & Lame – vs. 14
What’s encouraging to me in this passage is once He cleansed the temple; ministry began to flow again – – because the blind and the lame finally felt safe and welcome; and Jesus gladly healed them.
C. Response of the Chief priests and scribes – vs. 15,16
As Jesus cleansed the corruption and began to heal the sick and restore hope to the hopeless – – the children – – who also by the way – perhaps for the first time felt safe to be a part of what was going on in the temple – – well they were worshipping their little hearts out – – and while this should have thrilled the chief priests and scribes, who should have been very concerned about the next generation rising up….instead it infuriated them – – and they lashed out at Jesus for allowing such passionate worship.
D. Jesus’s Response – vs. 16,17
Jesus again reminded them of what Psalm 8:2 says and what God all along has intended; and then He left them, and walked to Bethany, where He spent the night – possibly with Mary, Martha and Lazarus.
So what should happen when we gather? Prayer in general – our time together should be bathed in it – – doesn’t say “house of instruction”, but “house of prayer; prayer for the sick; praise from all – especially children; and the sick, and hopeless and children feeling very welcome and safe.
III. Lesson of the Fig Tree vs. 18-22 Jesus Christ expects fruitfulness from all who would seek Him; and unwavering faith manifested in persistent believing prayer from those who would serve Him.
A. Jesus’s rebuke of the fig tree – vs. 18,19 clear reference to Israel
B. The disciples’ question – vs. 20
C. Jesus’s answer – vs. 21,22
If we have strong unwavering faith without doubt; when we see things that aren’t what they ought to be – through prayer – we can do the unthinkable. When is the last time you have seen a mountain thrown into the sea?