How far will Jesus go?
Intro: Mrs. Johnson was fumbling in her purse for her offering when a television remote fell out and clattered into the aisle.
The curious usher bent over to retrieve it for her and whispered,
“Do you always bring your TV remote to church?”
“No,” she replied, “but my husband refused to come with me this morning, and I figured this was the best thing I could do to him… legally.”
Palm Sunday (Today in Luke Jesus is finally coming into Jerusalem.)
And that’s a good thing for the people, right?
But how far will Jesus go?
He gives freedom, shakes the foundation, removes the dross, then builds the person.
28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them,
30 “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. 31 If anyone asks you,
‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”
32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them,
“Why are you untying the colt?”
34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”
35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
But 1 week later, his disciples would all flee from him.
“…the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen…” of course.
Give me something and I’m with you.
1. The praise of people is fickle.
fickle - changing frequently, especially as regards one's loyalties, interests, or affection
How loyal am I?
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.”
Not a credit to the people praising him, but a credit to the supremacy of God.
The mountains quake before him
and the hills melt away.
The earth trembles at his presence,
the world and all who live in it.
Anything would have reacted to the presence of God.
2. The presence of God always elicits a response.
Remember the garden of Gethsemane, at the betrayal.
Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him,
went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”
“Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.
“I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground.
When Jesus says, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” he speaks “tongue in cheek” - the people are no smarter than stones.
“All people are like grass,
and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
Jesus knows how fickle people are.
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…
What would bring you peace?
This only have I found: God created mankind upright, but they have gone in search of many schemes.” Ecclesiastes 7:29
3. God sees the struggle before it begins.
Boasting about the future doesn’t have value.
Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17 If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.
Example: God knows my whole life as if it’s written book.
He can open to the last page and see how it turns out.
—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.”
Why did this happen to them?
4. Recognizing God’s coming helps avoid disaster.
Jerusalem is an allegory representing the individual Christian.
God’s coming “was hidden” from their eyes. Why?
1) Expectations (about what, when, and how)
2) Personal experience. (Bad things happen to me, so God must be bad)
3) Spiritual Blindness (from sin).
4) Unbelief (don’t mistake God’s silence for approval)
5) Rebellion (self-worship)
They hid God from their own eyes.
Application: Pray for eyes to notice God.
But even if it’s too late…
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!
In the end, God has mercy…
5. The Lord longs to be gracious to wayward people.
God’s discipline has an end.
Comfort, comfort my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.