Celebrating the King

Posted: October 29, 2017 in Luke, Uncategorized

Luke 19:28-40, “Celebrating the King”

Royal coronations are something special.  They are intentionally majestic affairs (pun intended), underscoring the importance of the royal office being assumed.  The last coronation in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland) was in 1953 with the crowning of Elizabeth II.  Some 8000 guests were formally invited, nearly 16000 lined the streets for the processional parade, with another 400K Canadians celebrating in Quebec alone…and that’s just a partial list.  People rejoiced over their queen, celebrating their monarch and their nation.  Obviously we have no king or queen here in the United States, but we get a taste of something similar every 4-8 years whenever a new president is inaugurated.  Depending on who’s counting, the inauguration of Donald Trump drew 300K-600K to Washington DC (and sparked an infamous debate), and the first inauguration of Barack Obama had anywhere from 1-1.8M people attending.  Whatever the actual numbers may have been, there’s little debate that people get excited about a recognition of national leadership.

The population size and available technology to the Jews of Jesus’ day may have been vastly different, but their excitement was not.  In fact, they had far more reason to rejoice: they hadn’t seen an independent Jewish king in 90 years (during the days of the Maccabees & Hasmonean dynasty), and beyond that, they hadn’t seen a king in the lineage of David since the final fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians in 587BC…well over 600 years in the past.  No wonder so many Jews were excited to see Jesus approach Jerusalem!  They were eyewitnesses to the fulfillment of prophecy, and they believed themselves on the cusp to seeing the renewal of their ancient kingdom.  Of course, a new kingdom was in-process, though it was very different than what they thought. They were looking through the expectations of men, rather than God, and their rejoicing would soon change to reviling within a matter of days. 

Remember the context: Jesus had been travelling to Jerusalem, passing through the town of Jericho on the way.  There, He healed a blind man and forgave a tax collector, pronouncing the salvation of God upon them both.  (To the blind man, Jesus literally said, “Your faith has saved you,” – 18:42; to Zacchaeus, He said “Today, salvation has come to this house,” – 19:9.)  The people following Jesus had been excited to hear His declaration that the Son of Man had come to seek & save the lost, thinking it to indicate that Jesus would immediately bring the institution of the kingdom when He went to Jerusalem.  Knowing this was on their minds, Jesus taught the Parable of the Minas, showing that more time would pass prior to the kingdom, yet His true servants needed to be faithful until the day of His return, when He would execute judgment upon His enemies.

Now finally, Jesus is on the cusp of Jerusalem, and He enters the city with grand acclaim as people rejoice at the arrival of their King.  It was the original Palm Sunday, and the people were glad. (If only for a brief while.)

Question: Why does all of this matter?  We might understand why we remember this around Easter/Passover, in celebration of Palm Sunday – but why should it matter any other time of the year?  We might even understand the significance this would have been to the Jews in Jerusalem at the time, but why does this matter to 21st Century Christians?

  • It’s the fulfillment of prophecy
  • It’s the climax of Jesus’ earthly ministry.  He would never be more received by the Jews than how He had been received that day.
  • It’s how Jesus should have been received all along!
  • It points to how He will be received in the future.

The bottom line for us is that Jesus’ triumphal entry on Palm Sunday shows Jesus revealing Himself for who He truly is: God’s Messiah King – the ruler of Israel and ruler of the world. This is who He is, yet He still laid it all aside in order to go to the cross.  The glorious King of Israel laid aside His glory to willingly become the sacrifice for all the world.  His reception by Israel underscores the magnitude of His love for us.  This is what He should have received; what He did receive was the scorn of the world and the wrath of God that was due to our sin.  How much does Jesus love you?  How much did the Son of God desire to fulfill the will of His Father?  Enough to leave glory and embrace grief – enough to leave the smiles of the crowd and embrace the sufferings of the cross.

This is why we remember the Triumphal Entry: it celebrates Jesus for who He truly is & what He had set forth to accomplish.  The Messiah King has come…rejoice!

Luke 19:28–40

  • Instructions of the King (28-31)

28 When He had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

  • Notice that verse 28 is directly connected with the end of the Parable of the Minas.  Your Bible translation might have a break with a new section title, but the original text from Luke did not, and Luke purposefully brings the two events together.  Remember the background Jesus gave to the parable (19:12), “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return.”  Luke is basically showing that Jesus’ “going up to Jerusalem” is the fulfillment of the earlier text – this was His going into a country to receive a kingdom for himself.  This was Him being presented to the kingdom citizens who would soon choose to reject Him (19:14).  The things Jesus had just finished teaching were about to play out in real-time.  (Thus the reader needs to pay close attention, in order not to be counted as one of the enemies in the parable!)
  • This brings up a good point regarding Jesus’ teachings.  Jesus never taught random parables.  He didn’t simply sit around thinking up pithy bits of wisdom like a stereotypical guru on top of a mountain somewhere.  What He taught, He taught purposefully.  What He taught, He taught within a context, and with specific reasons.  Some people like to pick Jesus apart, taking little sayings and phrases from Him, framing His words outside of the Biblical context. (Like a Chicken Soup for the Soul…)  Know this: the context is absolutely required.  Without the context, we have no idea why Jesus said what He did, and that can potentially & dramatically change the interpretation.
    • Why do people do this?  If for no other reason, they want to be in control of Jesus.  They want to pick & choose the things He says so they can pick the things they like & avoid the things they don’t.  That way, when Jesus’ word brings conviction, they can simply ignore that part & move on to more “comfortable” sayings. 
    • News flash: Jesus didn’t come to make us comfortable; He came to bring us to salvation!  A person can be truly comfortable in his/her sin.  The devil doesn’t care if you’re happy, as long as you’re on the way to hell.  Sometimes discomfort is the very thing that opens up our eyes to our need for salvation.  Don’t resist the conviction God’s word brings; welcome it, in order that it might lead you to Christ!
  • Regarding our context here, Luke makes note that Jesus was leaving Jericho, “going up to Jerusalem.”  This was the culmination of His ministry.  Geographically speaking, Jesus had no choice except to “go up” to Jerusalem – if His destination was Jerusalem, He would have to physically ascend a hill to arrive.  Thematically speaking, this is the event to which Luke has been leading his readers since Ch 9:51.  This is the theological “high point” of Jesus’ earthly ministry – the very thing He had been waiting for since the moment of His incarnation.  All He required was the right time, and it had finally come.
  • Now that it arrived, Jesus would introduce it in the most proper of ways.  Vs. 29…

29 And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples,

  • Bethphage & Bethany are simply a couple of towns on the outskirts of Jerusalem.  Bethany is famous for being the hometown of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha.  Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead at some point in the past, which had caused quite a stir in the region, no doubt generating an even greater crowd waiting to see Jesus enter Jerusalem.  The gospel of John tells us that when Jesus passed through Bethany at this particular time, he stopped at the home of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha, when Mary anointed Jesus in worship – unknowingly performing a prophetic action regarding His soon death and burial. (Jn 12:1-8)  Bethphage is mentioned only here in each of the Synoptic Gospels, being the town from which Jesus sent the disciples looking for the donkey.
  • Of more importance is the Mount of Olives.  This is on the immediate outskirts of Jerusalem, necessary for Jesus to cross if He was going to enter the city by the Temple.  It also happens to be the place the Bible tells the Jews to expect the Messiah when He appears to them as their King.  Zechariah 14:3–4, "(3) Then the LORD will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle. (4) And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south."  Obviously the battle written of by Zechariah was not taking place at the time, but there’s little doubt that Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives would have added to the excitement of the day.  After all, here’s a Man who has raised the dead (in Bethany), who recently healed the blind (in Jericho), and who comes with the authority of God to forgive sin and grant eternal life (with the tax collector).  Now He appears on the Mount of Olives with a growing crowd on the Sunday prior to Passover.  If the people didn’t get excited, then they weren’t paying attention!
    • Sometimes we get the idea that the excitement of the people over Jesus was a bad thing, as if it was somehow misguided.  Obviously, they didn’t understand all of the Biblical prophecies, and it’s no doubt that they imposed their own expectations of the Jewish kingdom upon Jesus.  BUT…Jesus is exciting!  How could you be in the physical presence of Jesus and not glorify God?  These Jewish men and women were responding to the work of God in their midst in the only way that they knew how, recognizing much of what Jesus did from the pages of Scripture.  For what they understood, what they did was right.
    • If only 21st century Evangelicals got as excited about Jesus as did the Jews of Jerusalem that day!  We know the fullness of what Jesus came to do – we know exactly why Jesus came & exactly what He accomplished – we know Him personally as the Son of God who saved us from our sin.  Why then, do we so often worship as dead fish?  Why is our praise perfunctory and our prayers half-hearted?  Beloved, we know Jesus…so praise Him like you know Him!  Glorify Him on earth as you know that you will one day do in heaven!
  • Of course, the praise of the people was yet to come.  There was still more prophecy needing to be fulfilled until that time.  When Jesus and the disciples got near to Bethphage, He gave two of them very specific instructions.  Vs. 30…

30 saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here.  31 And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’ ”

  • Entering Jerusalem from the direction of the Mt. Olivet wasn’t the only prophecy to which Jesus pointed – in fact, it wasn’t even the main one.  With Jesus’ instructions, He specifically sought to fulfill a different prophecy of Zechariah.  Zechariah 9:9–10, "(9) “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey. (10) I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim And the horse from Jerusalem; The battle bow shall be cut off. He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be ‘from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.’"  Interestingly, Zechariah wrote of both the 1st and 2nd Comings of the Messiah back-to-back.  Vs. 9 shows the Messiah in humility, while vs. 10 shows Him in His military and royal glory.  To the Jews, the Messiah was to show Himself meek; to the world, He would show Himself strong.
  • It’s the first aspect of this prophecy that was fulfilled by Jesus on Palm Sunday.  He had the foal of a donkey brought to Him, and that was His mount as He rode into Jerusalem.  Why a donkey?  There’s a bit of Biblical precedence for princes and kings riding donkeys, but it’s far more likely that this spoke less of His royalty and more of His humility.  Unlike kings of the past like Jehu, who rode furiously into Jezreel, ready to take the crown by force (2 Kings 9:20), Jesus came into Jerusalem in incredible humility, inviting people to respond out of their own freewill.
    • Keep in mind, Jesus could force everyone to bow their knee…and one day everyone will bow their knee.  But for now, He comes in humility and gives us the opportunity to willingly respond to Him.  Being God the Son, the 2nd Person of the Trinity & the Incarnation of the invisible God, Jesus has every right to be worshipped by every sentient being in the universe.  As created humans, we owe God our allegiance and worship.  Jesus could have demonstrated this in His entry into Jerusalem by coming furiously on a warhorse or chariot, with the angels of God surrounding Him, speaking with a thunderous voice sounding of many waters, and demanding that the Jews receive Him as their King & worship Him as their God.  But He didn’t.  He came in meekness & humility, offering His love and grace.  Jesus invites people to respond to Him…and simply the invitation is a demonstration of grace.
    • The real question is: have you done it?  Have you responded to Jesus in His humility, in order that you can now know Him in His glory?  Keep in mind that if you waited until His glorious appearance, you’d never have the opportunity to be saved.  At that point, it’s too late.  You’d be standing in your sinfulness before the Holy Perfect God, and forced to account for yourself.  You’d have no hope.  It’s only because Jesus first came in humility that any of us have the chance to be saved.  So take advantage of your opportunity!
    • Keep in mind there are a lot of people today who know Jesus in a similar way as did the Jews in Jerusalem that day.  They believed the accounts of His miracles & power – they heard His teaching – some of them even knew His disciples, the men and women who knew Him personally…but they themselves didn’t know Him.  Churches are filled with people who are acquainted with Jesus, even believing in His power & identity, but never truly knowing Him at all.  That can all change in an instant.  All you need do is respond in faith.
  • BTW – were Jesus’ instructions to the two disciples a bit strange?  Surely it would have seemed that way.  Obviously, Jesus didn’t command sin; the donkey was to be willingly lent out by the owner, but this certainly wasn’t the usual errand that Jesus would have sent the disciples to accomplish.  This was far different that passing out loaves & fish, or bringing back some food.  The disciples would need faith to walk in obedience, but thankfully, that was exactly what they had.  Vs. 32…
  • Obeying the King (32-36)

32 So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them.

  • Of course they did.  Jesus is God. J  By this point in their time with Jesus, they were (hopefully) no longer surprised to see things exactly as Jesus told them they would be.  He had demonstrated His supernatural knowledge on too many other occasions for them to start doubting Him now.
    • Do you ever find yourself doubting the promises of God?  Why?  How many times has Jesus already proven Himself true?  Christian, at some point you have to make the decision to walk by faith.  Saving faith is a gift of God, and so is faith necessary to work miracles (1 Cor 12:9) – but when it comes to daily faith & trust in Jesus, that’s often a choice.  James Hudson Taylor, the British missionary to China and founder of the China Inland Missions made his decision to walk by faith early on – while he was still a young man in preparations for the mission field.  While training in London, he declined two offers to pay his expenses while in the city – one from his father, and another from his sending organization.  In his words, “I therefore wrote declining both propositions, and felt that without any one having either care or anxiety on my account I was simply in the hands of God, and that He, who knew my heart, if He wished to encourage me to go to China, would bless my effort to depend upon Him alone at home.”  And so He did!  God routinely provided in miraculous ways for J Hudson Taylor, and this decision to walk by faith led untold numbers of people to faith in Christ.
    • You may be at a crossroads deciding whether or not you’re going to trust Jesus.  Trust Him!  He’s trustworthy.
  • The two disciples of Jesus not only found the colt as Jesus said they would, but they also encountered the owner as Jesus said they would.  Vs. 33…

33 But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of him.” 35 Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him.

  • This aspect of the event is interesting on a couple of levels: (1) It wasn’t mentioned in the original prophecy of Zechariah, yet Jesus knew it down to the wording.  It is one more indication of His supernatural knowledge & demonstration of His deity.  When Jesus says something is going to happen, it’s going to happen!  (2) The owners had no objection when they heard the purpose of taking the colt.  This seems to indicate that they knew who the two disciples were speaking of, even though they’re never recorded mentioning Jesus by name.  Think of it in modern terms: say you have an older work-truck and you notice a couple of guys getting into it wanting to drive it off.  No doubt, you’d have objections – probably dialing 911 on your way out the door!  If they came off with the excuse saying that God needed the truck, you’d not only think they were crazy, but you’d keep calling the police.  What’s the only thing that could possibly change your mind?  Answer: if somehow you knew they were telling the truth.  How these owners knew the truth of the disciples’ story, we don’t know.  Perhaps they knew Jesus was close to town, and that these were two of His disciples.  Perhaps Jesus had sent someone ahead to prepare these men for the disciples & their reasoning.  Perhaps God the Holy Spirit gave the owners a dream depicting this event.  All kinds of scenarios are possible, but obviously something happened.  The bottom line is that there were two sets of people walking by faith in that moment: the disciples, and the owners of the donkey.  Both made the decision to trust Jesus and obey God.
  • In the end, the humble donkey was borrowed, brought to Jesus, and was instantly made a royal steed the moment Jesus sat on him.  This itself would seem to be a minor miracle.  I don’t know much about breaking horses or donkeys for riding, but I know this much: it’s not an instantaneous event.  This was a young foal, never ridden upon, and yet Jesus rode him.  When it’s the will of God, anything can happen!
  • Rejoicing over the King (36-38)

36 And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road. 37 Then, as He was now drawing near 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 they had seen, 38 saying: “ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

  • This is the moment of praise to which everything else has led.  Jesus is on a donkey, riding to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives.  He’s fulfilling prophecy at that moment, and He’s not the only person who realizes it.  The “whole multitude” with Him is overcome with excitement, and they “began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice” together.  They had seen the miracles – they had heard the teaching – now they were witnessing the One they believed to be the Messiah enter the city of kings for what they thought was going to be a Passover they would never forget. (And they were right!)  They couldn’t hold back their praise!
  • Neither should they have done so.  Again, sometimes we impute far too many criticisms to the crowd that day.  They were simply doing what they believed was right with the information they had.  Keep in mind that the 12 apostles were included among the larger group of disciples praising God for Jesus’ arrival.  If anyone, they should have known that Jesus was headed to Jerusalem to suffer and die – in fact, Jesus reminded them of this very thing right before they entered Jericho. (18:31-33)  To this point, the disciples didn’t understand what Jesus meant when He told them of His resurrection, and they could barely comprehend the reality that He really would be crucified.  The first time Peter heard of it, he actually rebuked the Lord for saying so! (Mt 16:22)  So when the 12 apostles are cheering with the rest of the multitude of disciples, they aren’t doing so in light of Jesus’ future resurrection – they are simply rejoicing in the present event, along with everyone else.  In that moment, Jesus was seen for who He is: the Messiah King, and it didn’t matter what lay ahead…He was worthy of praise.
    • And He is!  Jesus is worthy of our praise!  Although we often praise Him for His work (and it is right to do so), we also need to remember that Jesus is worthy of our praise simply for who He is.  Jesus is God the Son, and He is inherently worthy of praise.  Simply the fact that He IS and that He has revealed Himself to us is a reason to rejoice.
    • Of course, the people of that day did praise Jesus for His “mighty works.”  They were witnesses to His miracles, and they rejoiced.  So can we…so should we!  Each & every born-again believer is a witness to the miracles of Jesus.  If you can count nothing else, you have at least two: (1) Jesus’ own resurrection from the dead, of which you must be absolutely convinced simply to be a believer in Christ, and (2) your own salvation, in which Jesus brought you from spiritual death to spiritual life.  No doubt, there are many other miracles of Jesus for which you can bear witness, but you are at least a witness to what He has done in your life.
    • So praise Him!  Praise Him loud!  There are appropriate times for quiet, intimate singing and prayers – but there also comes a time to turn it up!  The crowd engaged in loud praise – “mega-phone” praise, according to Luke.  They were truly passionate in that moment, and the only way to truly express it was from the volume in their lungs.  Question: when was the last time you praised God like that?  Have you ever praised God loud?  We often sing a song quoting from Psalm 47, a song of the sons of Korah: Psalm 47, "(1) Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! (2) For the LORD Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth. (3) He will subdue the peoples under us, And the nations under our feet. (4) He will choose our inheritance for us, The excellence of Jacob whom He loves. Selah (5) God has gone up with a shout, The LORD with the sound of a trumpet. (6) Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! (7) For God is the King of all the earth; Sing praises with understanding. (8) God reigns over the nations; God sits on His holy throne. (9) The princes of the people have gathered together, The people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; He is greatly exalted."  What about any of that sounds like soft, gentle worship with our hands neatly folded & a sweet smile on our lips?  None of it!  This is unrestrained, full-throated worship because our God is the King who rules over the universe, and who has chosen to love & save His people.  This is our Jesus!  Give Him loud praise!
      • As a pastor, let me encourage you to take this literally.  When the Bible says that we are to praise Him loud, it means we are to praise Him loud.  That doesn’t mean turning up the guitars or the mics; it means turning up the congregation.  There is no substitute for God’s people filling their lungs with air, and praising God with literal physical strength coming through their voices.  As a musician, there’s no sound I enjoy more than when I hear the congregation over the monitors, and there’s no doubt in my mind that God prefers to hear the whole group of us rather than a few of our instruments.  If you don’t regularly praise God in this way, I implore you to start.  It will change your walk and relationship with God for the better.
  • As for the multitude of disciples praising God for Jesus, there’s no doubt they lifted all kinds of songs about Him that day, but there was one song that all four gospels record the crowd proclaiming: Psalm 118:24–26, "(24) This is the day the LORD has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. (25) Save now, I pray, O LORD; O LORD, I pray, send now prosperity. (26) Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We have blessed you from the house of the LORD."  Modern evangelicals have turned vs. 24 into a kids tune and forgotten about it, but the whole thing is really a song of salvation.  The covenant God had come to save His people, and the day of their salvation had arrived.  “Save now” = Hosanna – the very word recorded in other gospels as being shouted from the lips of the crowd.  They were expecting their national salvation from the Romans – and they would soon be disappointed.  This is one reason why although disciples shouted the praises of Jesus when He entered Jerusalem, so few disciples were found when He was beaten and crucified outside it.  Yet if they had but known the psalm just a tad better, they would have seen that this too was expected: Psalm 118:22–23, "(22) The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. (23) This was the LORD’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes."  Jesus must first be rejected before He could be exalted.  He had to be put to death before He gained victory over death.  He had to become the sacrifice before He would be the Savior. 
    • Question: if the disciples had realized all of this, would Jesus have been any less worthy of praise?  Not at all!  In fact, this is how we know Jesus to be today.  Because He was rejected, now His salvation is made available to all the world…truly His name is blessed & to be praised!
  • Of course, not everyone was happy to see Jesus. Vs. 39…
  • Rebuking the King (39-40)

39 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” 40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

  • When the Pharisees told Jesus to rebuke His disciples, what they were really doing was rebuking Jesus.  They were saying, “How could you allow your followers to make such a ruckus over you?  Don’t you know that they’re proclaiming you as the Messiah?”  Yes, Jesus knew. 🙂  The Pharisees didn’t acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah, but just because they had religious training over the crowds didn’t make them right.  The multitude of disciples following Jesus may not have understood all that would unfold over the next several days, but at the moment they had gotten this much right: Jesus is the Messiah, and He is worthy of praise!
  • One thing you’ll never find Jesus doing is rebuking heartfelt praise from a sincere worshipper.  There are several examples in the gospels when Jesus silences demons.  Even though the demon might be quoted as speaking truth about Jesus’ identity, Jesus didn’t want their testimony.  But when it comes to a sincere worshipper, Jesus never shushes them or shoos them away.  Praise offered from a man or woman of faith is welcome!  Background or education doesn’t matter.  It could be a tax-collector, a prostitute, a Pharisee, a Gentile, or an average Joe.  As long as it’s sincere, it is sincerely welcomed by the Lord Jesus.
    • Is praise ever not desired by the Lord?  Yes – when it’s hypocritical, insincere, or offered with sinful motives.  The prophets routinely rebuked Israel for offering insincere praise.  Jesus quoted the prophet Isaiah when He said of the hypocritical Pharisees that they “honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.” (Mt 15:8)  If you’re just going through ritualistic motions in your worship, don’t bother.  If you’re giving in order to get, keep it to yourself.  If you’re raising your hands to put on a show of spirituality, then you’ve already received your reward.  God desires worship, but He wants it to be sincere.
    • And there’s no reason not to give it to Him!  This is part of loving God with all our heart, soul, and strength.  Anything less is insincere.
  • What would have happened if Jesus had rebuked and silenced His disciples?  The noise wouldn’t have ceased.  Creation itself would have erupted in praise!  The heavens already declare the glory of God (Ps 19:1), and God promised that the mountains & hills would “break forth into singing” when they witnessed the deliverance He promised to Israel. (Isa 55:12)  How much more should the rocks cry out when witnessing the Savior?  One day, every being in all of creation will sing out in praise over Jesus!  Revelation 5:11–13, "(11) Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, (12) saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!” (13) And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: “Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”"  He is worthy!  The only question is: why wait for then to praise Him?  Praise Him now!

Conclusion:
Jesus is someone worth celebrating!  He is the Messiah King of Israel, and He is the Savior of the world.  He presented Himself as the King, and was rightly celebrated as the King – even over the objections and rebuke of the Pharisees who were watching.

So what is our response to Him?  Faith & praise.

  • Our Jesus can be trusted!  The words He speaks are true, and the instructions He gives will never lead us astray.  He knows the beginning from the end, and all points in the middle.  Christian: if you trusted Him for your salvation (the most important event in your entire existence), why would you not trust Him for everything else?  Take Jesus at His word and choose to walk by faith.
  • Our Jesus is to be praised!  Worship Him with heart & soul – sincerely, with full-throated praise.  Worship begins in our hearts, but true worship never remains there.  Like steam in a pressure cooker, it needs to be released…so release it!  Let your worship of Jesus erupt from your lips, and spill out through your life.  Let’s be done waiting for rocks to give glory to God; that’s the privilege that belongs to us!

Historically & theologically speaking, Jesus came to Jerusalem only once for the purpose of presenting Himself a sacrifice for sin – but there’s no doubt He’s coming again.  Today, we still expect the arrival of our King, and He can come at any time. Do you look forward to the day?  Are you ready?

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