Summary: A Palm Sunday sermon.
28 After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
29 When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it.’ ” 32 So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 They said, “The Lord needs it.” 35 Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!”
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”
Professors Gary Hamel and C. K. Prahalad mentioned in their book, Competing for the Future, about an experiment that was conducted with a group of monkeys.
Four monkeys were placed in a room that had a tall pole in the center. Suspended from the top of that pole was a bunch of bananas.
One of the hungry monkeys started climbing the pole to get something to eat, but just as he reached out to grab a banana, he was doused with a torrent of cold water.
Squealing, he scampered down the pole and abandoned his attempt to feed himself. Each monkey made a similar attempt, and each one was drenched with cold water. After making several attempts, they finally gave up.
Then researchers removed one of the monkeys from the room and replaced him with a new monkey. As the newcomer began to climb the pole, the other three grabbed him and pulled him down to the ground.
After trying to climb the pole several times and being dragged down by the others, he finally gave up and never attempted to climb the pole again.
The researchers replaced the original monkeys, one-by-one, and each time a new monkey was brought in, he would be dragged down by the others before he could reach the bananas.
In time, the room was filled with monkeys who had never received a cold shower. None of them would climb the pole, but none of them knew why.
Here’s a group of people in the Bible known as the Pharisees and Sadducees, or the religious leaders of Jesus time. When they saw people shouting passionately to Jesus, “Hosanna! Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!” they told them to shut up. And the came to tell Jesus to shut them up. I am sure they didn’t know what they were doing because a few days later when they put Jesus on the cross, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing.”
Jesus told them that, “You know what, if they were silenced, the stones would shout out.”
Have you noticed in our society, when you express your joy and devotion to God, people will point out something negative and make you feel stupid? But, when you start to tell people about your misfortune, people just come and surround you with comfort. That’s why many people develop a habit of whining because when you whine, you make friends. When you are joyful, you lose friends. It’s like if you are not miserable, you don’t belong to this world.
In fact Christians don’t really belong to this world. Paul said that we are in the world but not of the world. We are supposed to be a joyful people because we have all the reason to rejoice and no reason to be miserable.
Rejoice because You know the Prince of Peace
By riding on a donkey, rather than a stallion, Jesus came into Jerusalem as the Prince of Peace, to make peace between God and human beings. Luke paraphrase the term Hosanna as “Peace in heaven.” Why do they shout “Peace in heaven” rather than peace on earth? At the beginning of Luke, when Jesus was born, it was peace on earth. It seems that the earth doesn’t want this prince of peace and they will soon kill him. So peace is only in heaven. Since heaven is where we have relationship with God, peace is with you when you invite the Prince of Peace into your heart.