Summary: We need to focus on our mission the same way that Jesus did.

A Messiah's Focus

Text: Matt. 20:17-33


1. Illustration: Quote from the movie Hoosiers "Forget about the crowds, the size of the school, their fancy uniforms, and remember what got you here, focus on the fundamentals we have gone over time and time again, and most importantly don’t get caught up thinking about winning or losing this game. If you put your efforts and concentration on playing to your potential, being the best you can be, I don’t care what the scoreboard says at the end of the game, in my book we’re going to be winners."

2. One of the great secrets of life is focus. If we maintain our focus we will make greater strides forward and less steps backwards.

3. Jesus is a great example of focus, because He never lost His. Jesus knew...

a. He came to sacrifice

b. He came to serve

c. He came to heal

4. Read Matt. 20:17-34

Proposition: We need to focus on our mission the same way that Jesus did.

Transition: Jesus knew that...

I. He Came to Sacrifice (17-19).

A. We're Going Up to Jerusalem

1. During Jesus public ministry he taught, healed, cast out demons, and loved sinners. However, He knew that He came for something much more important. He came to die in our place.

2. He knew that the teaching portion of His ministry was coming to a close, and it was time to do what He came to do. Matthew tells us, "As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside privately and told them what was going to happen to him."

a. This is the third time that Jesus tells His disciples about His death and resurrection.

b. He knew what was going to happen to Him and described it in great detail.

c. He knew what He was getting into; there were no surprises.

d. Saying that He was "going up to Jerusalem" was literal and not just a figure of speech.

e. Jerusalem was one of the highest points in the area, and was about 1700 feet higher in elevation than Jericho (Horton, 425).

f. Although Jerusalem is only 14 miles due west of the Dead Sea, it is at an elevation of 2,500 feet above sea level, making the trip up from Jericho quite steep (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Matthew 16-23).

3. The disciples knew that they were going to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover with Jesus, but Jesus tells them that they are going there for a higher purpose. He tells them, “Listen,” he said, “we’re going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be betrayed to the leading priests and the teachers of religious law. They will sentence him to die."

a. Jesus would not be caught off guard and unexpectedly trapped there by His enemies.

b. The Lord not only knew of but also foretold those events through His prophets. Now He moved resolutely toward their fulfillment.

c. They were, indeed, the very culmination of the redemptive plan of God.

d. The disciples knew they were going to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover with Jesus, but they did not know that Jesus was Himself God's ultimate and only true Passover lamb.

e. They were still thinking lion, but He was thinking Lamb. They were thinking kingdom, but He was thinking sacrifice. They were thinking glory but He was thinking suffering and death (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Matthew 16-23).

4. He tells them further that, "Then they will hand him over to the Romans to be mocked, flogged with a whip, and crucified. But on the third day he will be raised from the dead.”

a. The Jewish religious leaders, known as the Sanhedrin, had the power to condemn someone to death, but couldn't carry out the sentence because only the Roman authorities could do so legally.

b. Jesus was aware of all these things ahead of time and knew that He would be flogged, ridiculed, and crucified.

c. While Jesus was being held by the Gentile Roman authorities, they proceeded to mock and flog Him, as the custom was with prisoners who were not Roman citizens, even if they had not been convicted of a crime.

d. It is significant that, when referring to Christ's sufferings before and during His crucifixion, the New Testament always uses the plural.

e. His pain was not one dimensional, but involved sufferings of many sorts.

f. However, Jesus would be raised from the dead, never to face suffering or death again.

g. He died to conquer sin and its penalty, which is death. He died that those who believe in Him would never have to die (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Matthew 16-23).

h. However, in spite of all of this His death would bring victory.

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