Faithlife Sermons

Luke #48 - Parade of Praise

Luke  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  38:21
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Our inadequacy release God’s sufficiency
Don’t know what you don’t know
But when you realize you don’t know… and allow yourself to be taught
There is a

Luke 19:28 NIV
28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

It’s time

Finally Jesus arrives at Jerusalem… Palm Sunday… it’s been a long time coming… from now until Easter we will be walking through Luke’s record of the final week of Jesus’s life.
But if you have been a part of the church for very long at all, you know that the story of Easter begins right here with a text that all four gospels record as Jesus’s Triumphant entry, But the reality is, it’s not that triumphant which we will see in a moment.
Passover… Town filled with thousands of visitors… 4th of July in Rock Hall
But let’s get back into the text...
Luke 19:29–34 NLT
29 As he came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead. 30 “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’ ” 32 So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said. 33 And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?” 34 And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs it.”

The parade fit for a King

Spoiler alert… Luke gives it up right here
I don’t think it is accidental that these two towns are mentioned here. The fig tree was always representative of God’s blessing on Israel. One of the covenant promises God made with Israel was that when they were obedient to Him, he would bring them peace and prosperity. This was symbolized by “each man having his own vine and his own fig tree” (1 Kings 4:25; cf. also Hos 9:10; Isa 36:16).
Jesus has just told a parable about how he wants his servants to be productive while he is away. And now, in Luke 19:29, Luke mentions both Bethphage—House of Unripe Figs, and Bethany—House of Many Figs, and the question in the reader’s mind then was, “When Jesus enters Jerusalem, which of the two will he find the Jews to be?”
Jesus doesn’t just enter Jerusalem, He sets the stage for his parade.
I’ve never had a parade… I’ve been in them… I even remember building parade floats out of chicken wire in High School… but those parades weren’t about me.
Here Jesus decides he is going to have a parade.
Up until now Jesus has been doing ministry and telling people not to talk about who he is… Whether it was in talking to his disciples, or the people he healed, he didn’t disclose who he was, and if they knew it, he would tell them not to tell others
But not things are different.
Going to get a particular young un-ridden donkey may not mean much to you or I today, but in Jesus’s world, it was a very clear statement for someone of importance.
The interesting thing, however, is that most often, the royal emissary found the most beautiful and proud stallion in the city to ride in on. This would show victory and conquest.
But the donkey colt was just the opposite. It shows humility and peace. Christ did not want to enter Jerusalem riding a horse, or driving a chariot. He did not wear a crown, or carry a sword as most royal persons would have done. Donkeys were used occasionally, but when they were, like for King Solomon in 1 Kings, it was for civil, not military processions.
This is all important because we’re going to see that the people thought they were getting a military Messiah. Someone who was going to judge and fight and rule. Christ wanted them to see Him differently. So when He rides in on a donkey, this was His way of saying, “I come in peace.” He came not to destroy, but to create. Not to condemn, but to help. Not in the might of arms, but in the strength of love. Jesus was definitely making a claim.
The multitudes recognized a claim—but not the one Christ was trying to make.
The Levitical law taught that it was the blood of an un-ridden heifer that was used to purify the temple. And an un-ridden colt was the only animal worthy to carry the ark of the covenant under the mosaic law
The prophet Zechariah even foretold this very event
Zechariah 9:9 NIV
9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Jesus sent his disciples after the donkey and they found it just just as Jesus told them

Obedience fit for a king

I’ve often wondered about this… the two who went ahead, what were they expecting to find? When the found it, what did they think, how did they react… what did it do to their faith to find it just as he described.
This might seem strange, but it was actually a fairly common practice in that day. When a royal emissary arrived in town, they would often commandeer a mount to ride into town on. It was considered a privilege to have your mount used by the king or prince or general or famous teacher who was riding into town.
It must have been accepted as a privilege, because all that was said is “The Lord Needs it”. That was enough for the owner to give it up. This must of been a disciple, a serious follower of Jesus because who else would have done such a thing.
Think about it, think about the last time the Lord spoke to you to give something away while you had other plans. Maybe it was a tax refund you had plans for a trip, but the Lord said give it to a family in need. Or it was a Christmas bonus from work that you wrestled with being generous with.
Why is it that that we don’t we see things like this person… when the Lord asks to share or give something, we see it as sacrifice… instead of a reason to celebrate… to willingly offer what we have, honored that the King would use us and ours for his purpose.
This alone is what made the parade.
Look how the people responded to Jesus’s parade plans
Luke 19:35–38 NLT
35 So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on. 36 As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. 37 When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen. 38 “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!”

Praise for a King

No doubt, people had heard the rumors of Jesus by now. The blind see, lepers are healed, the dead have come to life. JEsus may not have wanted it talked about till now, but people talk… and not just in Rock Hall.
Word has gotten around by now, we can’t be for sure, but they were pretty sure that Jesus is the one they had been waiting for since Moses had delivered them from captivity in Egypt.
And what a perfect time to show up, on Passover week - without a doubt the most celebrated holiday.
So with excitement in the air, when Jesus shows up on the colt, they respond as people had responded in the past, they roll out the red carpet as it were… they paved the way with their coats… Luke doesn’t talk about the palm branches, but we know they are there as well.
Cheering as he went along.
Get the picture of what’s happening here. Passover is coming up. Jerusalem is filled with people from all over. It’s said that for every resident, there are 3 pilgrims. Excitement is in the air.
The tradition is that as you go up the hill into Jerusalem, you would sing portions of the Psalms… Songs of Assent they were called. They began at Psalm 113, 114, 115, 116, 117, and would end at 118.
Everyone knew the words to the songs, everyone was proud to be a Jew, everyone was excited to be in Jerusalem for Passover. Add into the mix a pretty healthy rumor that the promised Messiah was showing up and you can imagine the scene.
Vs 38 is a reference to Psalm 118
Psalm 118:26 NIV
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you.
Reading Psalm 118, you’d think they figured out what Jesus was claiming here… as His followers are singing and shouting
But look again… Matthew and Mark record that they were shouting Hosanna… “Save us.” The disciples led the declaration of Jesus as King - finally.
But look closely to what the people were singing.
They changed the words to the song… Psalm 118 reads “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord...
Luke 19:38 NIV
38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
They’ve been waiting a thousand years for this… they are suffering… they are desperate… and it’s so close now they can taste it… and they begin to shout… save us, we want a better life...
But for the last few months or so Jesus has been teaching about this new kingdom he was bringiing in. A kingdom that was about what the changes he makes in you not for you… yet they shout
Bring us a better life!!! Bring us a better life!!!
Expecting it as though they deserved it…
I’ll be honest, often times when I am in need, I too cry out to God help me… save me… as though like the Jews, I deserve it. then what happens when you don’t get it? What does it do to your faith when God doesn’t answer your prayers the way you know he should?
WE need to remember this… Jesus isn’t obligated to our expectations

Jesus isn’t obligated to our expectations

Jesus isn’t obligated to our expectations.
Just because you need it, want it, are desperate for it. Even though you deserve it after all you have done.
That doesn’t obligate him to come through for you.
Psalm 127 2 “2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.”
The only thing that obligates God is God. He blesses us because he wills it, because it brings him glory… as a father to bless his children...
Their proclamations… Help us, save us… continued because they knew Jesus was becoming the king they so desperately wanted…
About this time you may be wondering… where are the pharisees in the story? Where are the bad guys? They were there too.
They told Jesus to meet their expectations too.
Luke 19:39–40 NIV
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” 40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
I love the boldness of Jesus’s response.

Confidence of a King

Tell them to be quiet… I WILL BE PRAISED… you want them to do it or the rocks? I so wish they had of said the rocks.
But then his attention is taken away from the people’s chants and songs… the Pharisee's unbelief… his attention is drawn to the city of Jerusalem
Luke 19:41–44 NIV
41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 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. 44 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.”
We usually call this the triumphant entry as Jesus comes into Jerusalem; but it looks any thing like victory… I heard this week… if there is a grand birthday party planned, but the birthday girl or boy winds up in the corner in tears do you call it a great party? Probably not

The Un-triumphant Entry

As Jesus is in tears because the people didn’t get him.
All the promise of this day, and they are missing it… missing him for who he truly is.... they don’t want to be changed, they want to be rescued.
What could have been a transformational coronation turns instead to hollow praise.
Jesus proceeds to describe the future for this city, things that would come to pass in 40 years.
The people would rebel against Rome and Rome would build a wall around the city, locking the people inside. After all food was gone, the people would turn on one another as they got weaker and weaker. Some would try to escape, only to be crushed between the walls of the city. When the city was conquered, Rome would level it… all because they missed it…
They missed it that day. They never thought to ask Jesus… are we getting this right? Are we seeing things as we are supposed to see them?

Follow the right King

Looking back with 2000 years of perspective, we say how could they miss it… Jesus had been talking about an upside down kingdom all along… why were they so focused on him becoming a political King when that was never his intention.
But in the moment, they seemed so sure. It all seemed so right.
They were half right.... they had the right king, but they were pursuing the wrong kingdom.
Because you can follow the right King and wind up pursuing the wrong kingdom just like they did in Jerusalem if we don’t stay connected to Jesus.
And following the right king but pursing the wrong kingdom will lead directly to spiritual frustration.
WE come to Jesus, pray a sinners prayer… then we expect God to get to work changing our life… fixing our problems… heal my health problems…
We make our religion about us
But if we own our lack…

Follow the Right King and Pursue the Right Kingdom

Instead… we need to
That’s an invitation to us… from time to time to slow down and pray… when things are happening fast and there is so much to do because this is the time… slow down and pray… ask the Lord to keep you in his will. Follow his commands… when he says go into town and find a donkey. do that. Don’t look for a horse.
Jesus wants us to be generous like the colt owner who heard the Lord wants it… and we say “HERE”
Like the crowds who praise... only not for what he can do for us tomorrow but for what he has done
But the fact of the matter is, we can’t do this.
Without Jesus we are just like Jerusalem… we might have the right bible, the right king, but we will always pursue the wrong kingdom without Jesus.
That’s why the rejection of Jerusalem was so important, that being rejected as Lord by the people would lead to his crucifixion in a few days… and in his crucifixion, death, and resurrection, we would be restored into a relationship with God that without Jesus we don’t even realize is missing…
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