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2007-09-30_Behold Your King_Matthew 21.1-22_SL

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Behold Your King

Matthew 21:1-22   |   Shaun LePage   |   September 30, 2007

I.       Introduction

A.    Children’s sermon: What would you do if Jesus came riding in here on a donkey? Anyone shout? Bible says when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, the children shouted Hosanna! Ever heard of someone worshiping God by shouting? Allowed to shout at home? Wanna try it? Permission this one time to shout! Shout “Hosanna!” Louder! Next week we’re going to get together all weekend to learn about worship—are you coming?

B.    Palm Sunday—interesting depictions by artists (William Collins); true depiction—Jesus on a mission, headed to Jerusalem, to the cross.

C.    Important transition: King formally presented and rejected

Matthew (28 chapters)
Birth2 yrs; 2 Ch Life & Ministry(3 years;  18 chapters) Death & Resurrection (7 days; 8 chapters)

II.     Body

A.    Jesus entered Jerusalem (1-11)

1.      (1) Jesus getting closer to Jerusalem; Bethphage not yet located, but Matthew tells us it was at the Mount of Olives; Mark & Luke associate it with Bethany—less than 2 miles from Jerusalem.

2.     (2-3) Jesus demonstrates His complete control over situation—sent 2 disciples to exact spot; donkey and colt; what to say if anyone questions (Mark & Luke report that exactly this happened); Mark & Luke don’t say anything about mother donkey (some said this was a mistake), scholars discovered unbroken colts (on which no one ever rode—Mark & Luke) were usually introduced into service while accompanied by its mother! Point: Jesus in complete control of every detail; deliberately staged entrance; why a donkey? Common for kings—sign of bringing peace, not war—cf. Rev 19:11ff

3.     (4-5) Matthew tells us “this took place to fulfill” prophecy—Zec 9:9

4.     (6-8) Exactly as Jesus said; “spread coats” (way of acknowledging someone as king; and “branches” (John 12:13 “palm”—why known as Palm Sunday; strange emphasis)

5.     (9) “Crowds (Passover week!)…shouting hosanna” (Worship not just singing—let’s shout a little praise!; “O save”—from Rome?; evidence later became “Praise be”); “Son of David” quoted Ps 118:25—acknowledged as Messiah/King? Maybe—if the one they wanted; one week later: same crowd “crucify!”

6.     (10-11) “entered Jerusalem (finally!)…all the city stirred” (2:3); Same song; 32nd verse—“Who is this?” Not unknown—deliberate presentation; fulfill prophecy unmistakeable; just “prophet” (16:13-14); “Nazareth in Galilee”—probably disrespect

7.     Why did Jesus do this? 1. To present Himself as King. Zec 9:9 “Behold your King”; “Son of David” (1:1); Magi came to worship “King of the Jews” (2:2); constantly spoke of the “kingdom of heaven”—now King officially presented in city of David; Luke 19:41-44—Jesus wept as he approached; did not understand

8.     Why? 2. To fulfill prophecy. Clear presentation of identity; conclusion of Daniel’s 69 “weeks/sevens” (490 years; 173,8880 days)—major prophetic event; 300+ prophecies fulfilled in Jesus—signs, fingerprints of Messiah (Case for Christ, pgs.232ff)

9.     What is your response to Jesus? Faith or Doubt? (v.21)—once again, the issue is “what will you do with this Jesus?” Kingdom is being offered to you right now! Will you dismiss Him as just a prophet; great man, nothing more? If Jesus were presenting Himself to this church—you—would He weep at the lack of faith? Will you believe—receive Him as King; believe the evidence; fulfilled prophecy

B.    Jesus entered the Temple (12-17)

1.     (12-13) Foreigners came to feasts with foreign currency, abused by exchange rate; had to buy sacrifices/offerings in Jerusalem, price fixing (den of robbers)—not the real problem! Where was the problem (Jesus didn’t cleanse marketplace)—temple (“My house”) was to be a “house of prayer” (Is 56:7); assumed authority over the temple

2.     (14) Immediately became a place of healing and praise (v.15).

3.     (15-16) “But…priests/scribes…became indignant” (very displeased) while children “were shouting” praise! Picture it? Remember 18:4; 19:14? Priests/scribes asked dumb question: “Do you hear what these children are saying?” They’re shouting!!

4.     (17) “Yes!”—Jesus smiling? Quoted more Scripture: Ps 8:3; Mt 11:25—childlike faith!

5.     Why? To cleanse it. Worship, “house of prayer” is something Jesus is obviously passionate about—He was angry about those who misused His “house” in that way. In what ways do we need cleansing ourselves—as church/individuals? Not taking worship and prayer seriously? 1 John 1:9. Are you “indignant” (displeased like Jewish leaders) about this church/worship—style of worship? those who are free in worship? Song selection? Whatever? Maybe just ambivalent? Let Christ cleanse, free, renew!

6.     Why? To present Himself as God. The temple is His—assumed authority over it! He healed, accepted praise—only God! Claim of deity—who is Jesus? God! Reminds me of NT “temple”—1 Cor 6:18-20, this temple is His, too! Each of us; 1 Cor 3:16-17; Ep 2:19-22—both passages about local church, for His glory and worship; Jesus cares deeply about His temple—so should we, should be for His glory!

C.    Jesus cursed a fig tree (18-22)

1.     (18-19) Spent night in Bethany (17) returning to Jerusalem, now hungry, “lone fig tree…nothing on it except leaves”; Leaves came after first figs of season, so tree with leaves should have fruit! It didn’t. He said, “No longer…it withered”—only miracle Jesus “cursed” instead of blessed, destroyed rather than restored; Jesus didn’t throw a fit—opportunity to make a point; Fig trees often used in OT to represent Israel and Jesus was providing a picture of judgment for Israel—a nation that professed to know God but was not bearing any fruit (no spiritual reality).

2.     (20-21) Disciples “amazed” with the miracle (point seems to be lost on them), but Jesus used that amazement to teach a lesson about faith as it relates to prayer; 12:38 Jesus refused to do a miracle for the sake of a show; not teaching that if you believe something sincerely enough you can make it happen (e.g., health or wealth); key is understanding “faith…believing”—faith in God as the Object of faith and believing that any obstacle which stands in the way of God’s will, your prayers will move it. John 14:13-14; 15:16; 16:23 demonstrates that we must pray “in His name” or according to His will—so we must discover His will through Word and prayer.

3.     Why curse a poor tree? To discourage fruitless phonies. This applies specifically to fruitless Israel, but has application for all who act religious and spiritual, but don’t live in such a way that their lives bear fruit—not about salvation, but walking by the Spirit or by the flesh (simple choice—Gal 5:16-23 (I know you’ve heard it before) Walk by the Spirit! God will “discipline” when we sin—Heb 12:11 to “yield fruit”!

4.     Why? To encourage fruitful prayer. He didn’t grant magical power—encouraging “prayer, believing”; prayer only as good as object of prayer; God can move mountains and obviously delights to do so for those who pray believing—what is your mountain?

III.   Closing: Childlike praise! Childlike prayer! Let’s do both right now!

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