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Commissioned

Palm Sunday  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  57:41
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When followers of Jesus humbly and faithfully obey His word, they get to be a part of seeing God’s purposes fulfilled in the world.

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Introduction

Psalm 24:7–10 KJV 1900
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; And be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; Even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
Get Attention:
“Lift up your heads, O ye gates; And be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; Even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.” (Psalm 24:7ff, KJV 1900)
Raise Need:
We need to see Jesus the way His disciples saw Him, as Lord and Master. We need to behold Him as that Galilean crowd did that first Palm Sunday, as the King of Glory, yet meek and lowly.
Main Thought:
When followers of Jesus humbly and faithfully obey His word, they get to be a part of seeing God's purposes fulfilled in the world.
Sub-Introduction:
Connecting Context:
The Gospel of Mark has advanced the ministry of Jesus from the wilderness, through Galilee, to the final destination of Jerusalem, where Jesus will fulfill His mission as the Messiah (cf. 10:33, 34). This marks a new section of the Gospel and introduces us to the last week of Jesus’ life prior to His crucifixion (i.e., “Passion Week”). [W. A. Criswell, Paige Patterson, et al., eds., Believer’s Study Bible, electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1991), Mk 11:1.]
The dark shadow of the Cross was already falling heavily across the pathway of the Lord Jesus. Just four days, then the Crucifixion. Yet how calm the Lord is, how careful about every detail...

I. The Lord's Commission (Mk. 11:1-3)

A. The Setting (Mk. 11:1)

Mark 11:1 KJV 1900
And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples,
Less than a mile southeast of Jerusalem was the village of Bethphage (lit., “house of unripe figs”) and about two miles out was Bethany (lit., “house of dates or figs”) on the eastern side of the Mount of Olives, a high ridge about two miles long known for its many olive trees. In Bethany, the last stopping place on the desolate and unsafe road from Jerusalem to Jericho (cf. 10:46), was the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus (John 11:1), which generally served as Jesus’ abode when He was in Judea (cf. Mark 11:11). Bethany was also the home of Simon the Leper (14:3–9). [John D. Grassmick, “Mark,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 155.]

B. The Sanctification (Mk. 11:2a)

Mark 11:2 KJV 1900
And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him.
Why an animal that had never been ridden? In the Old Testament, Jews were told to sacrifice a red heifer that had never been used for plowing; it was for a sacred purpose. So with the donkey. Donkeys were important in the first century, a kind of [“limousine”] for the times. In this case, it was to be one that had never been ridden; it was set aside for sacred use.
“This is the ordinance of the law which the Lord hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke:” (Numbers 19:2, KJV 1900)

C. The Statement (Mk. 11:2b-3)

Mark 11:3 KJV 1900
And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.
And this masterful demand, this abrupt and decisive rejoinder to a natural objection, not arguing nor requesting, but demanding, this title which they are bidden to give to Jesus, by which, standing thus alone, He is rarely described in Scripture...all this preliminary arrangement makes us conscious of a change of tone, of royalty issuing its mandates, and claiming its rights...Lowly though His procession was, yet it was palpably a royal one. When Jehu was proclaimed king at Ramoth-Gilead, the captains hastened to make him sit upon the garments of every one of them, expressing by this national symbol their subjection. Somewhat the same feeling is in the famous anecdote of Sir Walter Raleigh and Queen Elizabeth. [G. A. Chadwick, “The Gospel According to St. Mark,” in The Expositor’s Bible: Jeremiah to Mark, ed. W. Robertson Nicoll, vol. 4, Expositor’s Bible (Hartford, CT: S.S. Scranton Co., 1903), 886–887.]
Jesus gave His disciples four commands in verse 2 concerning the donkey He needed for His trip into Jerusalem. He commands us in exactly the same way concerning the people around us.
1. Go (v. 2)
2. Find (v. 2)
3. Loose (v. 2)
4. Bring (v. 2)
Application:
So many people are tied down by sin, but the Lord has need of them. We must go, find them, loose them by the power of the gospel, and bring them to the Master who wants to use them for His glory.

II. The Disciples' Compliance (Mk. 11:4-6)

A. Their Obedience (Mk. 11:4a).

Mark 11:4 KJV 1900
And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him.
"They went their way." They stepped forth on the strange errand by faith in His Word. His promise was all they had; it was all they needed. Peter walked on the water at the simple bidding of Jesus. They did not reason with one another, they obeyed from the heart. What a precious lesson on the life of faith!

B. Their Experience (Mk. 11:4b).

“They … found the colt tied … where two ways met.” Many of the older commentators saw in this a picture of man himself, standing at the place of decision. The messengers had no difficulty finding the colt. All was as Jesus had said. [H. A. Ironside, Expository Notes on the Gospel of Mark. (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1948), 169.]
"They went their way, and found even as He had said unto them" (Luk 19:32). It is not always so? When we venture out on His Word, do we not find it just as He said? Is it not so with salvation (Joh 3:36)? He promises salvation to those who believe on Him. Trust Him, and you will find it even as He said. Is it not so with the deeper life of consecration? Rest on His Word, and it will be fulfilled in your experience.

C. Their Testimony (Mk. 11:5-6).

Mark 11:5–6 KJV 1900
And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt? And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go.
When they were asked, "What do ye, loosing the colt? they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded." Their commission was from the Lord, so they must use His Name and declare His will. As ambassadors for Christ we don't seek colts (souls) for ourselves, but for Jesus. We have, like these two disciples, to make known His will, depending on His power to give the willing mind. Not seeking our own honour, but His who sent us.

III. This Prophecy's Completion (Mk. 11:7-11)

Mark 11:7–11 KJV 1900
And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him. And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest. And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.

A. The Scriptural Importance of This Event:

This event was so important that it was recorded by all Four Gospel Evangelists (note our current passage).
Matthew 21:1–11 KJV 1900
And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.
Luke 19:28–40 KJV 1900
And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath need of him. And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
John 12:12–19 KJV 1900
On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord. And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written, Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt. These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him. The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record. For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle. The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him.

B. The Scriptural Purpose of This Event:

It was not an experimental attempt to avoid death.
Jesus was not coming this first time to offer Himself to Israel to be their temporal earthly king on David's Throne by conquering Rome's power over the Jewish people.
This coming was a call for the world to come to repentance and faith.
Matthew 4:17 KJV 1900
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Luke 17:20–24 KJV 1900
And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.

C. How This Purpose Was Misunderstood:

Jesus was headed to deliver Himself as the Lamb of God to be slain for the sins of the world, while at the same time being truly the coming Prince of Peace Who one day in the future will rule the world with a rod of iron.
Those shouting Hosanna this day were looking for the latter, and misunderstood Jesus' actions.
Matthew 1:21 KJV 1900
And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Matthew 18:11 KJV 1900
For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

D. How This Purpose Was Nevertheless Fulfilled By Jesus:

It was initiated, planned and carried out by Jesus Himself.
He knew the prophesies of the Bible and fulfilled them exactly.
Zechariah 9:9–10 KJV 1900
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: Behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; Lowly, and riding upon an ass, And upon a colt the foal of an ass. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, And the horse from Jerusalem, And the battle bow shall be cut off: And he shall speak peace unto the heathen: And his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, And from the river even to the ends of the earth.
Illustration-
Science: In 1958 Peter W. Stoner, a professor of mathematics and astronomy, and Robert C. Newman, a professor of physics and mathematics and also of biblical theology, wrote a book titled Science Speaks: Scientific Proof of the Accuracy of Prophecy and the Bible. They determined that the scientific odds that Jesus could have fulfilled just eight of the estimated sixty Old Testament prophecies are 1 in 1017. To help readers understand the vastness of this number, Stoner claimed that 1017 represents enough silver dollars to cover the face of the entire state of Texas two feet deep. To help readers understand the enormity of the odds (1 in 1017), Stoner tells them to consider marking one coin and randomly placing it in the state of Texas. The odds of a blindfolded man, heading out of Dallas by foot in a random direction, actually picking up the one specifically marked silver dollar on his first try is 1 out of 100,000,000,000,000,000. These are the odds for just eight of the estimated sixty prophecies. Imagine the odds of one man, Jesus of Nazareth, fulfilling all of the Old Testament prophecies! [Grant R. Osborne, Mark, ed. Mark L. Strauss and John H. Walton, Teach the Text Commentary Series (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2014), 192.]
He has the power to fulfill the rest of prophecy exactly as well.
1 Corinthians 15:24–28 KJV 1900
Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
2 Thessalonians 1:7–10 KJV 1900
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.
Revelation 19:11–16 KJV 1900
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
Application:
The result of Jesus' disciples being humbly and faithfully obedient to His commands were that His entrance was honored. "Many spread their garments in the way." Think of how Jesus also humbled Himself for us, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and become obedient to death, even the death of the Cross.
He who was rich, for our sakes became poor. Jonathan stripped himself for David. Let us lay the garments of our glory in the dust and crown Him Lord of all. [Dr. James Smith and Robert Lee, Handfuls on Purpose: For Christian Workers and Bible Students, n.d., Mk 11:1–10.]
His entrance was honored, and His name was praised.
They cried, "Hosannah! blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord." Hosannah means, "Save, I beseech thee." Such prayer and praise go well together. Well may He be praised, for He has come, not to be ministered unto, "but to give His life a ransom for many" (Mar 10:45). In the Name of the Lord He has come, and he will finish the work the Father hath given Him to do. "Behold the Lamb of God" (Joh 1:29). [Ibid.]
His entrance was honored, His name was praised, and His coming Kingdom was acknowledged.
"Blessed be the kingdom of our father David." "Blessed be the King that cometh" (Luk 19:38). The kingdom of God is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. The foundation was laid at Calvary. The characteristics of it are imparted to us through faith in His Name. As the King of Israel He was put to death, so just now His kingdom is not of this world. "The kingdom of God is within you" (Luk 17:21). Has this humble, royal Saviour had such an entrance into your heart and life as He had into Jerusalem, or are you among those who once cried "Hosannah!" but now art gone with the course of this world, and are by your heartless indifference crying, though inaudibly, "Away with Him, we will not have this Man to rule over us?" [Ibid.]

Conclusion

Summary/Review:
"Our lives they are well worth the living.
When we lose our small selves in the whole,
And feel the strong surge of being
Throb through us, one heart and one soul.
Eternity bears up each honest endeavour.
The life lost for Him is life saved, and for ever."-Lucy Lancom.
God Wants You To:
When followers of Jesus humbly and faithfully obey His word, they get to be a part of seeing God's purposes fulfilled in the world.
Will you heed His word to "Go...find...loose...bring"?
[Sources Adapted From:
Robert J. Morgan, Nelson’s Annual Preacher’s Sourcebook, 2004 Edition. (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2004), 98.
Morgan, Robert J. Nelson’s Annual Preacher’s Sourcebook. 2006 Edition. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006.
Smith, Dr. James, and Robert Lee. Handfuls on Purpose: For Christian Workers and Bible Students, n.d.
Zodhiates, Spiros. Sermon Starters. Vol. 1–4. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 1992.]
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