Summary: A little boy was sick on Palm Sunday and stayed home from church with his mother. His father returned from church holding a palm branch. The little boy was curious and asked, “Why do you have that palm branch, dad?” “You see, when Jesus came into town, ev
Persuading The Multitude; Matthew 21:1-9, 27:15-25
A little boy was sick on Palm Sunday and stayed home from church with his mother. His father returned from church holding a palm branch. The little boy was curious and asked, “Why do you have that palm branch, dad?” “You see, when Jesus came into town, everyone waved Palm Branches to honor him, so we got Palm Branches today.” The little boy replied, “Aw Shucks! The one Sunday I miss is the Sunday that Jesus shows up!”
The 1st passage - Palm branches were a symbol of victory (Olympics). The winner of the race carried a palm branch as a flag. Jesus descends off the Mt. to Jerusalem as the victorious King in Israel. Hosanna means “Save.” They cried out “Save us, save us.”
The 2nd passage there is a change of heart. Jesus before Pilate & the crowd… Some believe these are two different crowds & that’s a possibility. However, the crowd followed Him into Jerusalem. Many were there that had heard Him teach, seen Him heal the sick, give sight to the blind, cause the lame to walk, and raise the dead and they followed Him wherever He went. They cried out, “Crucify Him, crucify Him.”
I believe many in the 1st crowd were also present in the 2nd crowd. At any rate the key here is Matthew 27:20. They were persuaded. I wonder if we were there how we would have responded, reacted. Would we have been persuaded to cry out against Christ? Let’s concentrate on 5 areas in our own lives that will help keep us from being persuaded:
I. Be Alert to Peer Pressure
I believe that many of the people there praised because they were caught up in the excitement, everyone else was doing it. Many cried out crucify Him for the same reason. But they didn’t know why.
It is in our nature to go along with the crowd. We want to please others. Do what they do, dress the way they dress, listen to the music they listen to, go where they go. We don’t want to be different, because people who are different are teased, mocked, ridiculed, spit on & sometimes beaten and even killed.
We are constantly being pressured from all sides:
1. The youth are being pressured by their “friends” to dress a certain way, have sex, drink alcohol, and do drugs. Their being pressured by their school to believe that evolution is the truth and creation is a religious hoax. Their being pressured by society to believe sex before marriage is O.K. as long as they use protection, and abortion is a choice not murder.
2. Adults are being pressured to believe that work is more important than family, money is more important than morality, and popularity more important than character.
3. Christians are being pressured to conform to the world’s values instead of God’s.
Pressures are all around us and it’s very uncomfortable to stand apart from the crowd. We want to be liked, accepted, we often desire to try to please everybody. (Old man, young boy and Heine the mule). Moral of the story – Try to please everybody and you’ll loose your Heine… A heavy burden… My purpose in life is not to please everybody; my purpose is to please God.
The story of Noah, the minority, in the end the majority. Let’s take a stand, even if it means standing alone. Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”
Peer pressure is all about conformity. The world we live in is calling us to be politically correct in everything we do, we’re being called to conform to this world, and it’s standards. The only way to overcome peer pressure is to be aware of it’s presence and live your life on God’s purpose.
II. Be Genuine in Praise
I think it’s interesting to note that the crowd praised Christ only when they thought He was going to release them from the control of the Roman government. That’s what they believed when He was riding into Jerusalem. They had heard the prophecies about the King. But when things didn’t turn out the way they planned they turned on Him. Was this genuine?
I believe that many people praise the Lord when life is good, when things are going their way, and when there are obvious blessings from the hand of the Lord. But when life is hard, when and their struggling to pay the bills and the debtors are calling they turn on God, they blame God, and they curse God.
That’s exactly what Job’s wife told him to do when everything was turning south in their life, Job 2:9, “His wife said to him, ‘Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!’” Listen God is God in the good times and in the bad. He is still on His throne, He is still in control. And no matter what you go through in life He will use it for your ultimate good.