Summary: A powerful and practical Palm Sunday sermon. We must acknowledge Jesus as King by obeying and worshipping Him. I would be delighted if you could rate this sermon and give brief feedback.
Before the 2014 General Assembly Elections in India, Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi offered hope to many Indians as he became the Prime Ministerial candidate of the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He talked about 'Acche Din' (good days) over and over again in his speeches. Masses were attracted to his fiery speeches which were in total contrast to the ‘silent’ PM, Manmohan Singh. Modi talked about destroying the enemies of India and developing our nation. People wanted a PM who would make India a super-power. So, many were fed up with the corruption within the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, believed in the promises made by Modi, and eventually voted BJP to power.
However, three years of his government has proved that he couldn’t keep his promises. Demonetization and Goods and Services Tax (GST) had made him unpopular even amongst his staunch supporters. Modi’s aggressive speeches and personality have not brought 'Acche Din.' But there is another Ruler, who is far greater than any human ruler, who is humble, yet who brings in truly 'Acche Din' (good days). Let’s look at this King.
Would you take God’s Word and turn your Bibles with me to Mark 11:1-11? I have entitled today’s sermon as: “Acknowledge the King."
Jesus moved from Jericho and probably came to Bethany which was at the foot of Mount Olives. A person traveling from Jericho would come to Bethany, which is about 3.2 kilometers from Jerusalem. Bethpage was a small village between Jerusalem and Bethany. In our text, we read that the crowd acknowledged Jesus as King when He deliberately declared Himself to be the promised King.
The Purpose Bridge: To encourage believers in EAGC to obey and worship Jesus.
Central Proposition of the Sermon: I have used an inductive proposition for this sermon.
1. Jesus deliberately declares Himself as King (Mark 11:1-6).
After Jesus healed blind Bartimaeus, He and His disciples, along with the crowd, approached Jerusalem. Now we have to understand that most of the crowd which went up to Jerusalem that day were from Galilee. Some scholars say that the crowd which shouted “Hosanna” and the crowd which cried “crucify” were different. The former was probably Galileans who were following Jesus and the latter were mostly from Jerusalem. He was near Bethpage and Bethany, located at the slope of the Mount of Olives (Mark 11:1).
Jesus instructs two of His disciples to go to the nearby village (probably Bethpage) to get a colt (Mark 11:2-3). While Mark mentions only about the colt, Matthew (Matthew 21:2) mentions a donkey as well. Mark probably mentions only the colt because Jesus rode on it. Now Jesus could have walked up to Jerusalem as the other pilgrims did. But He asks His disciples to bring a colt. Jesus deliberately does this because the Jews knew that the donkey was the Messiah’s beast (Zechariah 9:9). Moreover, Jesus asks the disciples to bring an unused colt as they were used for sacred purposes (Numbers 19:2; Deuteronomy 21:3; 1 Samuel 6:7).
a. Jesus' Kingship requires authority over our lives (Mark 11:3).
Jesus says that if anyone asks as to why you are taking the colt, tell them that the Lord needs it (Mark 11:3). Now Jesus might have spoken to the owner of the colt beforehand about using the colt or He might be giving these instructions through supernatural knowledge. John’s gospel shows that Jesus visited Jerusalem several times. He probably knew a few people in Jerusalem. So, it’s possible that several people respected Him and followed Him.
Whether it is prearranged or through supernatural knowledge, it shows that Jesus is Lord and He is sovereign. Jesus says, “The Lord has need of it.” Jesus is calling the shots here. The Lord who created the heavens and the earth and all the creatures says that He needs it. He needed it to fulfill the ancient prophecy about Him. Jesus, the Lord of history, chose the time and the way He would enter into Jerusalem. Jesus has authority over our lives as well. We need to get off the throne! Listen to what the Bible has to say about Jesus' authority:
Romans 11:36: For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
Ephesians 1:20-21: 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
We need to be thankful that Jesus, not humans or Satan has ultimate authority over our lives. Jesus is good and trustworthy. We can trust Him with our lives. Jesus’ authority over our lives requires our response: