Palm Sunday 2020
Intro: Palm Sunday 2 years ago I asked the congregation rhetorically, “Would you still be here if there was a real cost to pay?” Even thinking in my own mind how silly and almost impossible to imagine that here in the USA. Here we are today hiding out so we can meet to observe Psalm Sunday.
27 After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.”
28 And leaving everything, he rose and followed him.
29 And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them.
Why was Levi so decisive?
The events of his life must have been leading up to this moment.
Levi threw a party and invited all his friends.
1. Salvation brings celebration!
2. Levi was proud of Jesus, not ashamed.
He was a tax collector, probably thick skinned and didn’t care what people thought.
1. is contagious
Applications: Don’t be ashamed of what Jesus is doing in your life.
Invite your friends and family into it.
30 And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
Just like last week when they questioned his authority to forgive sins in the middle of a miracle, evil is among them… challenging Jesus.
Trap #1: The pharisees used societal hierarchy to divide people.
God does not show favoritism.
“For God shows no partiality.”
2. doesn’t play favorites
The Pharisees were like a bunch of doctors hanging out together.
Application: 3 people in your life: A mentor, an equal, and a disciple.
But here they go again…
33 And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.”
Review Trap #1: They used societal hierarchy to divide
Trap #2: The Pharisees tried to use comparison and competition to divide.
They judged by who appeared more righteous?
The Pharisees were filled with pride.
Jesus is perfectly humble and doesn’t use those standards to evaluate people.
3. raises up the humble
Pride leads to comparison and competition with others.
1. I come out “better” than others, which pumps up my ego.
“Pride is competitive by its very nature: that is why it goes on and on. If I am a proud man, then as long as there in one man in the whole world more powerful, or richer or cleverer than I, he is my rival and my enemy.
2. I come out worse than others.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
- Theodore Roosevelt
“The only person I should try to be better than is the person I was yesterday.”
How did Jesus respond to their criticism.
With a question, how else?
34 And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? 35 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.”
The Pharisees lived strictly by rules.
Jesus was teaching them to recognize the season.
This was a time for celebration in the house of Levi, not mourning.
4. is reason to celebrate
Pharisees were still waiting for the Messiah, but he was actually right there.
Know the season.
Example: Coronavirus came totally unexpectedly. Now we can’t even meet freely, but people don’t even mention that.
36 He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. 37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. 38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins.
John the Baptist was in prison. His disciples had reason to fast.
The response should match the season.
Jesus throws this next one in at the end out of nowhere.
39 And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says,
‘The old is good.’
“The older the violin, the sweeter the music.”
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”
5. never changes
The truth does not change even though popular opinion of the church does.
Today is Palm Sunday. Here’s the biblical account…
Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!”
This was Palm Sunday.
On Thursday evening, 4 days later…
Jesus lead the disciples in the Lord’s Supper
went out to the Garden of Gethsemane and cried out, “Take this cup from me!”
Judas betrayed him and he was arrested,
…then on Good Friday, he was tried and crucified.
Those crowds were fickle.
changing frequently, especially as regards one's loyalties, interests, or affection
The whole Bible and all the great saints of the past join to tell us the same thing. “Take nothing for granted,” they say to us. “Go back to the grass roots. Open your hearts and search the Scriptures. Bear your cross, follow your Lord and pay no heed to the passing religious vogue. The masses are always wrong. In every generation the number of the righteous is small. Be sure you are among them.” - A.W. Tozer
the crowds of today might not be so different from the Palm Sunday crowds.
Application: What price are you willing to pay for the gospel?
Sooner or later, it will cost you something. ARE YOU READY to pay it?