Summary: Because Jesus is the Servant King, all those who follow Him should act as servants, too.
Who Is This Jesus?
12. He is the Servant King
John 12:12-16, 23-26
Because Jesus is the Servant King, all those who follow Him should act as servants, too.
Picture it – you’re planning the inaugural parade for President Bush. All the secret service force is in place. The bands are tuned up and ready. The politicians are set up in their limos. Then comes the time to see President Bush coming down the avenue – and what is his mode of transportation? How about a 1975 Ford Pinto? Doesn’t that just conjure up images of strength, dignity, and power?
Seeing a powerful ruler riding in a Pinto would make quite a statement – just as it made a powerful statement 2000 years ago – only it wasn’t a Pinto – it was a donkey! It was just one more way that Jesus demonstrated that His Kingdom was quite a bit different than the kingdoms of this world – and that, as a King, he was quite different than the kings of this world. As we return this morning to our series on the Gospel of John, we’re going to look at three passages of scripture that teach us that Jesus is the Servant King. But more than that, we’re going to ask ourselves how we should live our lives if our ruler showed himself to be a humble servant. Let’s turn to John 12:12 and get started.
John 11 Jesus raises his friend Lazarus from the dead. John 12:1-11 Lazarus’ sisters Mary and Martha hold a dinner to honor Jesus at which Lazarus is also present. Many people have heard about the miracle and are turning to Jesus because of it – so many in fact that the Jewish authorities began scheming how to do away with Jesus AND Lazarus!
1. We know Jesus is the Servant King because of how he entered Jerusalem. (John 12:12-16)
12The next day the great crowd that had come for the Feast heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the King of Israel!” 14Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it, as it is written, 15“Do not be afraid, O Daughter of Zion;
see, your king is coming,
seated on a donkey’s colt.”
Jesus arrives in Jerusalem, and the crowd is going wild. Finally here is their Messiah. Finally the shackles of Rome will be lifted and they can be their own independent nation again.
But Jesus doesn’t enter the city like a conquering warrior. To do that He’d be on top of a beautiful steed, or perhaps pulled in a chariot behind 4 beautiful stallions.
No – when he enters the city, receiving the praise of the people, he comes as a humble peasant. He’s riding a donkey, just like was prophesied about him over 400 years earlier. He comes as a messenger of peace. He identifies himself with the humblest among the people. Just like he always did.
So who is Jesus? He is the Servant King. From the time of his lowly birth to the time of his degrading execution, Jesus identified himself as a humble servant. And the Kingdom he came to establish was one where servants would have the highest honor: