A boy in Sunday school. He had been taught by his teacher for a number of years. She had a way of telling stories and she always ended by saying, "and the moral of the story is . . ."
Eventually this Sunday school teacher stood down and a new teacher began. After a few weeks at the start of a service the minister asked the boy how he liked his new Sunday school teacher. To which he replied, "she is great, she doesnât have any morals."
An example of how familiar words can make a lasting impression. Today, palm Sunday. We read the familiar story of Jesus riding into Jerusalem. This week as I read again of the triumphal entry one phrase stood out to me and encouraged me to look at it in a different way. Rather than looking at our text as an historical account as it is, I want to look at the phrase found in verse 5. Within the quote from the book of Zechariah (9:9)
"Say to the Daughter of Zion,
'See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.' "
The phrase that stood out was, 'See, your king comes to you,â and I want to take that as the text for this morning.
As I read and re-read that phrase a question formed in my mind. "What would the Church be like if Jesus was the king of it?" I know he is Lord of the church but I see that the Church is not perfectly under his control for we still like to keep some of the control ourselves.
One scholar once stated that if the holy Spirit were taken out of 90% of our churches ö nobody would notice any difference.
That old evangelist phrase comes to mind when thinking about the church. Many have no trouble in believing in God but struggle with the Church so the evangelists say, "donât look at the church, look at Jesus." But I would want to say, "if you want to see Jesus, look at the church."
From our text this morning I have found four challenging answers to the question ö what would the church be like IJesus were truly its king?
The first point ö if Jesus were king of the church his disciples would be obedient.
Jesus said to two of his disciples "go to the village ahead of you" and they went. No questions asked. No committees formed to investigate the possibilities. They might of asked "why" but they didnât. They might of queried the choice of an animal but they didnât. They had learned the lesson from spending three years following Jesus that when he says "go" ö you go.
Their obedience is highlighted still further for Jesus foretells that there is likely to be a question asked when they find the donkey & colt by the owner. So Jesus prepares an answer. And in Lukes account of the disciples obeying Jesus you find them responding to the animals owner with Jesusâ exact words. They added nothing, emphasised nothing, justified nothing ö just stated the response they were told to bring.
Someone once stated that understanding can wait but obedience can not. Obedience in the Christian life is evidence of a right relationship with God. Obedience id the first rule of discipleship.
Hereâs a question. Why is the church so often disobedient to Jesus? If only we were led by Christ alone. If only we would sacrifice our agenda, our passions, our dreams and come in line with what Jesus would have us to do. We find ourselves dethroning Jesus from his rightful place as king.
Though we may sing, "Jesus we enthrone you, we proclaim you are king" so often we really just do our own thing.
If Jesus were king of the church his disciples would be marked first and foremost by obedience ö and that is never the easy route. Jesus didnât command many things whilst he was on earth. He taught a lot but didnât command a lot.
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
John 14:15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command.
John 15:12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
John 15:14 You are my friends if you do what I command.
John 15:17 This is my command: Love each other.
I think the greatest necessity for the Church of Jesus Church is that it falls in love with itâs founder.
And I think, having read and listened to the way that God has been speaking to you about our future ö if we are to fulfil the challenge being laid down of reaching this community for Christ ö we need to be obedient.