Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: As Jesus’s disciples went with him into Jerusalem, they were afraid. Even so, they show us how to live in uncertain and fearful times: Obey Christ as your Sovereign; Follow Christ as your Servant; & Trust Christ as your Savior.

Just this last week, I came across an article from The Futurist magazine, which listed some of the worst predictions of all time. They are very interesting. For example:

A Roman engineer, Julius Sextus Frontinus, in A.D. 100 said, “Inventions have long since reached their limit, and I see no hope for further developments.”

In 1873, John Eric Ericksen, surgeon to Queen Victoria stated, “The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon.”

Here’s a good one. In 1893, Junius Henri Browne, a journalist, predicted that “Law will be simplified [over the next century]. Lawyers will have diminished, and their fees will have been vastly curtailed.” Don’t you wish that were true?

In 1895, Albert Einstein’s teacher said to Einstein’s father, “It doesn’t matter what he does, he will never amount to anything.” That teacher couldn’t have been more wrong.

Just like the computer scientist, John von Neumann, who in 1949 said, “It would appear we have reached the limits of what it is possible to achieve with computer technology.”

Then there was Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, who in 1954 said, “The Japanese don’t make anything the people in the U.S. would want.” (That was before Toyota, Honda, Toshiba, or Soni started exporting their wares.)

On June 10, 1955, Alex Lewyt, president of the Lewyt Vacuum Cleaner Company was quoted in the New York Times as saying, “Nuclear powered vacuum cleaners will probably be a reality within ten years.”

Roger Smith, chairman of General Motors said in 1986, “By the turn of the century, we will live in a paperless society.” &

And Bob Metcalfe wrote in a 1995 issue of InfoWorld, “I predict the Internet . . . will go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.” (Laura Lee, The Futurist, September/October, 2000, p. 20-25; www.PreachingToday.com)

All these experts made all these predictions with near absolute certainty, but we laugh at them today, because they were so wrong. I for one am glad that they were wrong in most cases, but it just goes to show you that nobody really knows the future.

Now, for some people, that can be scary. It can be unsettling for many to walk into an uncertain future, especially these days with over 10% unemployment, our personal economies upside down, and terrorists who are hell-bent on destroying our way of life.

These are uncertain times, so how do we live in such times? How do we behave in seasons of uncertainty and fear? How are we to respond in these times in which we find ourselves?

Well, if you have your Bibles, I invite you to turn with me to Mark 11, Mark 11, where Jesus’ first disciples follow Him into a city where its leaders had threatened to kill Him. It was a dangerous time for these disciples, and many of them were afraid (Mark 10:32). Even so, they show us how to live in such times.

Mark 11:1-11 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, aying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ tell him, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’”

They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest!”

Jesus entered Jerusalem and went to the temple. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve. (NIV)

Jerusalem was the place where its leaders wanted Jesus dead, but that doesn’t seem to concern Jesus one bit. On the contrary, Jesus is in absolute control here. He is Lord. He is King. He is Sovereign. Notice, He tells his disciples exactly what they’ll find when they enter the next village. He tells them what somebody will say. & He tells them how to answer (vs.2-3).

Jesus is in absolute control of the situation here, not to mention that he rides the colt of a donkey “which no one has ever ridden” (vs.2). Now, if you or I would try to ride an unbroken colt, we’d both find ourselves on the ground. Not Jesus. There is no indication that this colt bucked or even balked.

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