Summary: In order to find certainty in uncertain times, obey Christ as your sovereign, follow Christ as your servant, and trust Christ as your Savior.
Certainty in Uncertainty (Mark 11:1-11)
Some time ago, I came across an article from The Futurist magazine, which listed some of the worst predictions of all time. They are very interesting. For example:
A Roman engineer, Julius Sextus Frontinus, in A.D. 100 said, “Inventions have long since reached their limit, and I see no hope for further developments.”
In 1873, John Eric Ericksen, surgeon to Queen Victoria stated, “The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon.”
Here’s a good one. In 1893, Junius Henri Browne, a journalist, predicted that “Law will be simplified [over the next century]. Lawyers will have diminished, and their fees will have been vastly curtailed.” Don’t you wish that were true?
In 1895, Albert Einstein’s teacher said to Einstein’s father, “It doesn't matter what he does, he will never amount to anything.” That teacher couldn’t have been more wrong.
Just like the computer scientist, John von Neumann, who in 1949 said, “It would appear we have reached the limits of what it is possible to achieve with computer technology.”
Then there was Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, who in 1954 said, “The Japanese don't make anything the people in the U.S. would want.” (What about Toyota, Honda, Toshiba, or Soni)
On June 10, 1955, Alex Lewyt, president of the Lewyt Vacuum Cleaner Company was quoted in the New York Times as saying, “Nuclear powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality within ten years.”
Roger Smith, chairman of General Motors said in 1986, “By the turn of the century, we will live in a paperless society.”
And Bob Metcalfe wrote in a 1995 issue of InfoWorld, “I predict the Internet . . . will go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.” (Laura Lee, The Futurist, September/October, 2000, p. 20-25; www.PreachingToday.com)
All these experts made all these predictions with near absolute certainty, but we laugh at them today, because they were so wrong. I for one am glad that they were wrong in most cases, but it just goes to show you that nobody really knows the future.
Now, for some people, that can be scary. It can be unsettling for many to walk into an uncertain future, especially these days with Christians coming under increasing attack in our own country, the financial insecurity of our nation and so many people, and Russia on the rise again along with terrorists hell-bent on destroying our way of life.
These are uncertain times, so how do we live in such times? How do we behave in seasons of uncertainty and fear? How are we to respond in these times in which we find ourselves?
Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Mark 11, Mark 11, where Jesus’ first disciples follow Him into a city where its leaders had threatened to kill Him. It was a dangerous time for these disciples, and many of them were afraid (Mark 10:32). Even so, they show us how to live in such times.
Mark 11:1-11 Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’ ” And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go. And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve. (ESV)
Jerusalem was the place where its leaders wanted Jesus dead, but that doesn’t seem to concern Jesus one bit. On the contrary, Jesus is in absolute control here. He is Lord. He is King. He is sovereign.
Notice, He tells his disciples exactly what they’ll find when they enter the next village. He tells them what somebody will say, and He tells them how to answer (vs.2-3). Jesus is in absolute control of the situation here, not to mention that he rides the colt of a donkey “which no one has ever ridden” (vs.2). Now, if you or I would try to ride an unbroken colt, we’d both find ourselves on the ground. Not Jesus. There is no indication that this colt bucked or even balked. Jesus is in complete control! He is the King!