Summary: Big Idea: The People and Events around Palm Sunday and what we call the Triumphal Entry call us to praise Jesus for the King he really us and not for who we want.
Political parties and their “parties” confetti, hoopla, nice nice, we are for things, until they affect us in a way we don’t want
i saw Bob Dole in Bloomington IL. Hoopla surrounding him. Shake his (good) hand.
He is revered and revealed as King of Israel AND the World, even if some are misunderstanding what that kingship means.
Crowds and polls are fickle
Jesus faced similar swing in popularity
Text: Matthew 21:1-9
Contrasting the Messiah of expectations and who he was. The fickleness of the crowd (immediately and as they yell “crucify him!” a few short days later)
Big Idea: The People and Events around Palm Sunday and what we call the Triumphal Entry call us to praise Jesus for the King he really us and not for who we want.
The real Jesus is the one:
1. Who Was Promised a Long Time Ago
v. 4,5 Fulfillment of prophecy
Matthew’s penchant for showing “fulfillment” of OT in Jesus.
What that says about God: He keeps his promises and takes care of our deepest needs
2. Who contrasts to Our Kings, Presidents, Dictators
Zechariah 9 background
Zec 9:8 But I will defend l my house
against marauding forces. m
Never again will an oppressor overrun my people,
for now I am keeping watch.
Prophesying the exploits of Alexander the Great. Emphasizing his brutality in conquering surrounding nations.
The “king” will be the Messiah. But an unarmed, plainly clad civilian riding a donkey contrasts sharply with an armed soldier astride a war horse.
• in contrast to most kings (such as Alexander), he is humble or gentle (cf. Isa 53:2-3, 7; Matt 11:29).
• he is peaceful, for this is the meaning of his riding on a colt, the foal of a donkey, though it possibly suggests both peace and humility. At any rate, he does not come on a war-horse (v.10).
• Adam Hochschild has itemized certain common characteristics of deposed dictators:
i. A chestful of self-awarded medals (think of Idi Amin of Uganda’s chest; or Emperor Bokassa of Central Africa)
iii. strong wives
iv. Endorsement by Mother Teresa. She was repeatedly a guest of both Enver and Nexhmije Hoxha (Albania) and Jean-Claude ("Baby Doc") and Michele Duvalier (Haiti)
v. Great stress on the proper mode of address: Emperor Bokassa, Field Marshal Amin.
vi. Last-minute conversion to Islam when in need of Saudi money.
vii. Extrication by the US when things go wrong.
viii. No gainful employment in exile.
-- Adam Hochschild, "Lovely Chaps," Times Literary Supplement, 28 February 2003, 36.
• The world’s most interesting reigning dictator? Dictator Saparmurad Niyazov of Turkmenistan. He renamed the months of the year, April after his mother, the other months after his first and last names and self-given title "Father of all Turkmen." Also renamed the days of the week.
The first reason for rejoicing is the coming of the King (v.9). The second reason is the establishment of his kingdom—a kingdom of universal peace in Israel and among the nations and universal sovereignty (v.10). Again in contrast with Alexander’s empire, which was founded on bloodshed, the messianic King will establish a universal kingdom of peace. Kenneth Barker Zechariah9:9-10EBC Commentary,
(his goal is peace and salvation for God’s people, not for destruction/fame/honor for his own glory and vanity)
The fulfillment quotation generally follows the wording of the LXX but omits the lines “Shout, daughter of Jerusalem” (unnecessary repetition) and “righteous and having salvation” (probably because Jerusalem was not now being saved but judged; salvation will come much later)
3. Who Is there for the people
Healing of the Blind just before our text
John refers to the crowd who had been there with Jesus when Lazarus was raised
His love for poor, afflicted, humble of heart, children
Would you describe Jesus as “gentle, fierce, or mysterious?”
4. Who Can’t be pinned Down or Boxed in
We talked about this last week: we have to wrestle with who Jesus is, accept all of him, confront our own weaknesses and blindspots
He is gentle on the one hand—on a colt, caring for oppressed, but the next day is clearing out the temple.
He is encouraging Peter just before the denial (grace), but blasting the leaders of the temple and Jerusalem for hard heartedly rejecting God and living hypocritically
• Chapter 23
If i had a little white box song (i really don’t like that song!)
When we praise Jesus, we need to praise him for who he is, not just for who we construct him to be.
Requires us to get into God’s Word and wrestle with him.
5. Who longs for even the most hostile to accept his Kingship and Salvation
Mt 21:5 (Call for Jerusalem to rejoice)
Although Jesus was acclaimed Messiah at his Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem (Matt 21:1-9; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:28-38; John 12:12-15), his own people nonetheless rejected him and his peace (cf. Luke 19:39-44 and, later, his crucifixion).