2010 Luke’s Gospel
Jesus Rides In As King
Luke 19: 28-48
Key Verse: 19:38 " ‘Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’ "
From last week’s message, we learned that Jesus will return to this world as our true Lord and finally ask us to show him the produce of a profit, made from the grace and blessing he provided us. Good and trustworthy servants will be rewarded; a wicked, lazy, and proud servant will be greatly humiliated and destroyed. This will happen on the last day, at the judgment seat of Christ. I pray that we all decide to put our lives and efforts to work for Jesus in this new semester. In today’s passage Jesus finally arrives in Jerusalem, riding in on a colt, with people joyfully shouting and praising him. Some had high hopes that Jesus would be the actually political King of the Jews. And others, especially the Jewish leaders, were disturbed by this. Jesus indeed came as King, King of heavenly peace and glory. King Jesus promises peace and deliverance to all who accept his kingship. On the other hand, to those who reject or ignore King Jesus, there will be tragedy and destruction caused by their spiritual blindness. Let's accept Jesus as Lord in our hearts and proclaim his rule of peace and glory to others who need to know.
I. King Jesus is Lord (28-34)
After telling the parable of “Put this money to work”, Jesus went on up to Jerusalem.
Jesus approached two villages near Jerusalem--Bethphage and Bethany, located at the hill called the Mount of Olives. There Jesus sent two disciples saying to them in verses 30 and 31, "Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' tell him, 'The Lord needs it.' " Jesus needed a colt donkey to ride in to Jerusalem. Why? Why not something else? He could have just walked or get a chariot like any other king of the time. Couldn’t Jesus afford a nice chariot with 8 handsome horses in the front? Why did it have to be a donkey? Matthew and John both say it was to fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9: "Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey." (Mt 21:5; Jn 12:15). This is why Jesus 'needed' the colt: it was to fulfill God's word and promise, which is also the very reason he came to the world.
When disciples heard his instruction, they perhaps wondered, “What are you trying to do, Jesus? Are you trying to get me arrested for taking something that is not mine, not even yours?” In today’s world, it would be taking somebody’s vehicle. Jesus already knew that they would be questioned. So he also instructed them how to deal with it. They were to say, "The Lord needs it." Please don't misunderstand here. We shouldn’t abuse this method, trying to get something we want. Then what can we learn here?
We learn that Jesus is Lord. The Greek word here for Lord (kyrios) is the same word translated from the Hebrew word for God. In other words, Jesus is God. Kyrios, the Lord, also means "master," "ruler" and "owner." Jesus is the Master and Owner of all things. In fact, through him all things were made (Jn 1:3). All things were created by him and for him (Col 1:16). If Jesus is truly Lord, then our lives and our possessions are not merely our own. They belong to the Lord. Disciples of Jesus are those who accept the lordship of Christ over their lives and possessions. The two disciples of Jesus who went and got the colt simply obeyed Jesus without complaints or questions. When they simply obeyed Jesus they experienced success in their mission. They participated in Jesus' work. To live by Jesus' word is to walk by faith, not by sight.
One time Peter fished all night and didn't catch a thing. Jesus stepped in to Peter's boat and said, "Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch." Peter didn't think it was the best idea but he said, "because you say so" I will do it. Then Peter experienced a miracle, catching more fish than he could handle. Proverbs 3:5-6 promises, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." A question we need to ask ourselves continually is this: "What is directing my life and actions and words? Is it my own ideas and opinions, or is it the word of God in the Bible?" In other words, am I living right now as my own master, or is Jesus the Lord of my heart, my life and the things I have? When Jesus is Lord in our hearts, we can obey his commands and we can give freely of ourselves and our possessions without calculation or complaint. May Jesus reign as Lord in our hearts now and day by day. King Jesus is our Lord.
II. King Jesus brings victory and peace (35-40)
The two disciples brought the colt to Jesus, threw their cloaks on it and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. It was their way of giving Jesus a royal welcome, like a red carpet. The whole crowd of disciples burst into joyful praises to God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen. It was a concert of praises to God. They said, "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"
Why did they praise God? It was for all the miracles they had seen. What had Jesus done?
Let's review briefly. Jesus commanded evil spirits out of many people and healed many who were sick. Jesus healed a man with leprosy, a paralyzed man, a man with a shriveled hand, a centurion's dying servant. A widow's dead son was being carried out for burial. Jesus stopped the funeral procession and said to the dead man, "Young man, I say to you, get up!" He sat up and began to talk. Jesus calmed the stormy sea. He drove a legion of demons out of man into a herd of pigs. Jesus cured a bleeding woman, then raised Jairus' dead daughter to life saying to her, "My child, get up!" Jesus fed over 5000 men with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Jesus healed a man's son of a self-destructive spirit. Jesus healed a hunchbacked woman. Jesus healed 10 men of leprosy, though only 1 came back to thank him. Jesus gave a blind beggar his sight. These miracles don't even include the miracles of changed hearts and lives of those became Jesus' followers, like Mary Magdalene, and Levi, Zacchaeus the tax collectors and so many more.
This is why the people praised God joyfully. They acknowledged Jesus as God's chosen and anointed King saying: "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" They praised and thanked God for Jesus the King, who came in the name of the Lord. Jesus was a conqueror but not in a worldly sense. He had no army and no soldiers. But he defeated demons, sicknesses, and death. These were powers that no earthly king could defeat. Yet Jesus conquered these dark forces with the finger of God.
In the past, Jesus told demons and people who knew his true identity as the Son of God to keep it quiet. But this time, as he entered Jerusalem, Jesus did not refuse their praise. In fact, some Pharisees tried to stop it telling Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." Now was the time that Jesus wanted to openly declaring his heavenly kingship to the world. Now he was making it obvious. Still, it was not for Jesus' personal glory. It was for God's glory. "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" Jesus' life and ministry and obedience to God's will is glory to God in the highest. Jesus' whole life purpose and goal was to bring honor and glory to God Most High, the Father in heaven.
Because of the sins of all people, there was grief in heaven--a divide between the holy God and sinful men. But now through the death of Jesus Christ on the cross for our sins, there is peace between God and humankind. Paul wrote that believers in Jesus have "peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Without a Savior, we are enemies of God due to our sins. Humankind needed a Savior. God provided the Savior. He is Jesus Christ. Paul wrote in Colossians 1:20, "...and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross." Paul says now we rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Ro 5:11).
There is another reason why Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is peace in heaven. It is because Jesus came to defeat Satan once and for all. By his death and resurrection Jesus destroyed him who holds the power of death, that is, the devil. Jesus defeated God's enemy and ours and therefore there is peace in heaven. Those who are in Christ Jesus--those who accept him as King, we share in his victory over sin and Satan. We do not have to be slaves or victims of our sin and Satan’s temptation because Jesus already proclaimed the victory for us. Let us remember this and praise Jesus all the more because he brings us the true victory and peace. Amen.
III. King Jesus judges and restores true worship (41-48)
The mood suddenly changed when Jesus approached Jerusalem and saw the city. Jesus wept over the city. People often regard weeping as a sign of weakness, especially inappropriate for men. Weeping is not wrong or a display of weakness. Then why did Jesus weep? Jesus did not weep when people called him names. Jesus did not weep when so many people came to him that he had no time to eat. Jesus wept when he saw Jerusalem. His words explain why he wept. He said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace--but now it is hidden from your eyes." Jesus was sad that they did not know the way to find peace. They couldn't see it. They only needed to accept Jesus as their King and Savior. Then they would know the way of peace.
King Jesus foresaw great destruction ahead: let’s read verses 43 and 44. "The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you." God came to them in the person of Jesus Christ. But they did not recognize him. People have the right to accept or reject Jesus as King. To accept him is to receive peace and deliverance. To reject or ignore him is to choose self-destruction. King Jesus will judge his enemies. King Jesus does not delight in judging sinners. He weeps over them. He weeps over us the suffering sinners. Jesus’ every single tear is his sincere prayer for us to repent and come back to him. He wants us to repent and live.
After his tearful lament over Jerusalem and words of warning, Jesus entered the temple area. Jesus came not as a political king. So he did not go to the palace. Jesus came as a heavenly, spiritual king; so he went to the temple. He did not like what he found. There were sellers doing business. So Jesus began driving them out. He said to them: "It is written, 'My house will be a house of prayer'; but you have made it 'a den of robbers.'" Jesus was angry that the temple was being misused. The temple was made to be a place of prayer to worship God. But merchants were stealing offerings and devotion intended for God. Jesus came to restore God's rightful honor and our relationship with God. The temple was the place to come to God through his word and prayer. Jesus brought the teaching of God's word back to the temple. Verse 47 says, "Every day he was teaching at the temple." We also must come to church, not to get many benefits, but to offer our prayers and worship and repentance to God. When we come to the center, what do you do the most? Pray? Bible Study? Worship? Yes, we do all above, but in my opinion, we gossip and play around the most. Let us pray together that we may not make the NJ Center a den of robbers, but a beautiful house of God where we can offer God our true offering and prayer. Amen.
Jesus' bold actions made the Jewish leaders furious. They wanted to kill Jesus. But they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on Jesus' words. And Jesus could not be killed by mere hands of the Jewish leaders. The only way for him to die was to be crucified on the cross for our sins. God's salvation plan was on its way of its completion. Therefore no opposition to Jesus will ultimately succeed. Jesus weeps for his enemies for they choose self-destruction. His enemies must repent or face his judgment.
Have you received Jesus as your Savior and King? Have you welcomed him into your heart and life as Lord? If not, what are you waiting for? There is no other way of victory and salvation. Peter declared in Acts 4:12, "Salvation is found in no one else…” Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me," as we learned through 2010 summer bible conference. If you take a look at your live and people around you, many are confused, they do not know where to go or what will bring them true peace. They need someone to tell them about Jesus. And You might just be the best person to tell them. You may be the only person to tell them and pray for them. Followers of Jesus are not only privileged to enjoy the benefits of his kingdom. Followers of Jesus are also obligated to proclaim and testify his kingship. So let us spread out his beautiful name. Amen. Let us read the Key Verse, 38. "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!
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