Summary: 1. Accept the Lord’s authority. 2. Answer the Lord’s questions. 3. Apply the Lord’s lessons.
How Will You Respond to Jesus?
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - August 26, 2012
*In Matthew 21, we are very near the time of the cross. The chapter begins with the Lord entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, as the multitudes cried out in vs. 9, "Hosanna!" That means "Oh saved us!" They were crying out "'Oh saved us' to the Son of David!"
*Then in vs. 12&13, Jesus went into the Temple of God and drove out all the money changers and merchants. Jesus told them, "It is written, 'My House shall be called a House of Prayer,' but you have made it a 'den of thieves.'"
*In vs. 14&15, Jesus healed the blind and lame people who came to Him in the Temple. But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things Jesus did, they were greatly offended. A day or two later, the chief priests and elders confronted the Lord again in the Temple.
*Let’s read about it starting in Matthew 21:23, and think about our response to Jesus.
*I guess we respond to things a thousand times a day. For most of us, it starts with the alarm clock every morning. Then we respond to text messages, phone calls, email and all kinds of conversation. We respond to heat, cold, hunger and pain. We respond to humor, anger, love, respect and fear. We respond to victories, setbacks and defeats.
*But how we respond makes a big difference. Chuck Swindoll once said, "I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% of how I react to it." (1)
*How we respond makes a big difference. And that is especially true when it comes to Jesus. Nothing is more important than our response to Jesus.
-How will you respond to Jesus? -- The Word of God shows us what to do.
1. First, accept the Lord’s authority.
*Don’t be like the Jewish leaders we see in vs. 23. Rebellion and rejection of Christ dripped from their lips:
23. Now when He came into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people confronted Him as He was teaching, and said, "By what authority are You doing these things? And who gave You this authority?''
*In other words: "Who gives you the power and the right to do all the things you are doing?" The Lord answered their question with another question, because it was not quite time for the cross. Jesus had more to do, and more to teach His followers.
*But these hard-hearted, unbelieving leaders defiantly questioned the Lord’s authority. That was an amazing thing for them to do, considering the last three years.
 Time after time, the Lord had spoken with great authority.
*For example, in Matthew 7:24-27, the Lord closed out His Sermon on the Mount with these words:
24. "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:
25. and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26. Now everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:
27. and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."
*Then in vs. 28&29, Matthew closed out this passage by writing:
28. And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching,
29. for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
*Time after time, the Lord had spoken with great authority.
 And He had acted with great authority.
*Wikipedia listed 44 separate miracles that Jesus performed in the New Testament, not counting His resurrection from the dead. (2)
*And the Apostle John closed his Gospel by saying: "There are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen." (John 21:25). But speaking of hard-hearted people like the chief priests and elders, John 12:37 says that "although (Jesus) had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him."
*Don’t be like those stubborn people who rejected Jesus! -- Accept the Lord’s authority.
*Matthew 8:5-13 tells the story of a Roman soldier who did accept the Lord’s authority. Listen from the Living Bible:
5. When Jesus arrived in Capernaum, a Roman army captain came and pled with him to come to his home and heal his servant boy who was in bed paralyzed and racked with pain.