Summary: This is a Palm Sunday message.
Read Luke 19:28-40.
The Palm Sunday passages often seem trite. Much like the Christmas story, or any other familiar Bible story, we can gloss right over the truth because we’ve read it a million times. Each year at Palm Sunday, we have the obligatory feel-good message about the palm branches, the donkey, and the crowds. We are happy-go-lucky at this point. I think there is something deeper here.
We find several things going on here with the crowd of people, the Pharisees (religious leaders) and Jesus.
o IMMEDIATE Obedience (vv. 30-35)
When Jesus instructed the disciples to go get the colt, they went right away. They didn’t hem-haw around.
They didn’t sit around and think about the viability of obeying or not obeying. No committees. They didn’t say, “We’ll think about it.” They did it
When Jesus instructs us to act, we must do so without hesitation.
o IMMENSE Crowds (v. 37)
Jesus fascinates people. Look at the crowds turning out to see The Passion of the Christ. $300 million. Jesus still attracts people.
Some come to gawk. Some come to listen. Some believe. Some believe more (Zealots). Some believe less (religious leaders). Many misunderstand who Jesus is. In Acts 8, we can read of Simon the Magician, who wanted to buy the power of the Holy Spirit for money. We can’t buy Jesus. We must accept him by faith.
o INCREDIBLE Praise (v. 37, 38)
Hundreds of thousands of people were in Jerusalem annually for the feast of the Passover (exodus).
They came out to greet Jesus. They had heard wonderful teaching. They had see wonderful miracles (Lazarus). They were taken in by this prophet. Jesus had done so much for them. They were in a “feel-good” state. There is nothing wrong with feeling good in the presence of Jesus, but ultimately it goes beyond mere feeling.
o INDICATED King (vv. 36, 38)
Two things indicate the kingship of Jesus. The first is that they laid out their cloaks on the road. This was a ritual done when a king would ride into town. Then they say, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord.” Luke’s account is the only one to have this phrase with the word “king” in it.
The people realized Jesus was the King. They didn’t fully understand. Many were thinking he was king in a political sense.
Some, in our day, have a misconception about the kingship of Jesus. They say, “Since Jesus is a King, and I’m a child of the King, then I’m going to live like a child of the King.” They preach a wealth and prosperity gospel.
When we talk about Jesus being king, we must do so in the proper perspective. He is to be king of our life. Our wealth and reward isn’t here on earth.
o INTIMIDATED Reaction (v. 39)
At the other end of the spectrum are those who fail to recognize Jesus as King of anything, much less King of the world.
Only in Luke’s account, does he mention the reaction of the Pharisees who had been trailing him. Like much of the culture of our day, they thought Jesus was a “good moral teacher” even though he may have been a bit eccentric. They were fascinated by the miracles, captivated by the parables, and awed by the wise teaching. The problem is that they stopped short of accepting him for who he really was. That is the same mistake so many people make today. Jesus is this sort of wise historical figure who said a lot of neat stuff, but was mildly eccentric. Our society stops short of embracing him as King of their lives.
Jesus can be intimidating even today. 95% (everybody) believes in God, or the concept. Jesus makes people squirm. Katie Couric squirmed when she interviewed Franklin Graham.
o INFINITE Glory (v. 40)
Jesus’ response indicates that regardless of what we think, Jesus is who he said he was. He is our King, Savior and Lord. In short he is the CEO, Chairman of the Board, and President. Craig Evans wrote, “Jesus’ reply indicates that his kingship is reality whether it is recognized by people or not.”
If we fail to recognize Jesus as king, that doesn’t change the fact that he is the king.
In 1972, the US Olympic basketball team was cheated out of gold medal at the Munich, West Germany games. The Soviet team had three attempts at the final shot through a series of questionable calls by the refs. The Soviets won the game and the gold medal. The US team refused to come and collect their silver medals, believing they had been cheated. While it’s true that they were cheated, that didn’t change the fact that the Soviet team was awarded the gold medal.