Summary: Let the work you do speak for the God in you
Luke 19: 28-44: God’s Personal Visit. 28-31After saying these things, Jesus headed straight up to Jerusalem. When he got near Bethpage and Bethany at the mountain called Olives, he sent off two of the disciples with instructions: “Go to the village across from you. As soon as you enter, you’ll find a colt tethered, one that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says anything, asks, ‘What are you doing?’ say, ‘His Master needs him.’” 32-33The two left and found it just as he said. As they were untying the colt, its owners said, “What are you doing untying the colt?” 34They said, “His Master needs him.” 35-36They brought the colt to Jesus. Then, throwing their coats on its back, they helped Jesus get on. As he rode, the people gave him a grand welcome, throwing their coats on the street. 37-38Right at the crest, where Mount Olives begins its descent, the whole crowd of disciples burst into enthusiastic praise over all the mighty works they had witnessed: Blessed is he who comes, the king in God’s name! All’s well in heaven! Glory in the high places! 39Some Pharisees from the crowd told him, “Teacher, get your disciples under control!” 40But he said, “If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise.” 41-44When the city came into view, he wept over it. “If you had only recognized this day, and everything that was good for you! But now it’s too late. In the days ahead your enemies are going to bring up their heavy artillery and surround you, pressing in from every side. They’ll smash you and your babies on the pavement. Not one stone will be left intact. All this because you didn’t recognize and welcome God’s personal visit.” (The Message Bible translation)
I’d like to lift up verses 35, 36, and parts of 37 and 39 of the scripture today: 35-36“As he rode, the people gave him a grand welcome, throwing their coats on the street. 37-38Right at the crest, where Mount Olives begins its descent, the whole crowd of disciples burst into enthusiastic praise over all the mighty works they had witnessed: Blessed is he who comes, the king in God’s name! All’s well in heaven! Glory in the high places!” The crowd of Jesus’ disciples burst into enthusiastic praise when Jesus rode the colt to Jerusalem. But see verse 39, where the Pharisees tell Jesus: “Get your disciples under control!” But Jesus’ response was: “If only you had recognized this day, you might have been saved. But it’s too late now, because in the days ahead, your enemies will bring their heavy artillery against you; not one stone will be left intact because you did not recognize God’s personal visit.”
I want to speak today on the subject: “Living a Marked Life.” Jesus spent the last three years of his life in active ministry. In the Gospel, we see him busy, moving from towns to hamlets, engaged in active ministry. It was not just his message, but his healings, his deeds of goodness, that set him apart, that affected people’s lives in a different way. It was clear that Jesus was anointed, set apart, marked by God for this ministry. He touched so many that the word went out about him and his work. But let me give you some “nevers” to learn from Jesus’ experience: 1. Never think your hard work or good deeds will be appreciated by everyone; and 2. Never work to please and to be appreciated by everyone; rather, give God a good days work and let the chips fall where they may. Let the work you do speak for the God in you.
Despite the fact that he had much opposition, Jesus was not overly bothered by his opponents; He kept working for the kingdom. This trip to Jerusalem took courage because his ministry stirred up contempt form the politicos. He was a marked man living a marked life. He was marked by Herod at his birth, and by Satan at his baptism; he was taunted in his hometown as a nobody; and criticized by the Pharisees and Sadducees as a rabble-rouser, a troublemaker, and a church. Jesus was also marked by God. His entry into Jerusalem contains a message on how to live a marked life. If you live for the enhancement of others, know that you will live a marked life. Your enemies will appear; your family and your friends will try to make you feel like you know less than you know; your co-workers and even your bosses will become envious. You might ask: What have I done to make this race so hard to run? If you live for Christ, rest assured, you will live a marked life. Here are some tools to help you if you are living a marked life.