Summary: The crowds had looked for Jesus to be an earthly King... but when it became obvious He wasn’t going to be that, they turned their backs on Him and crucified Him. Jesus taught that His "Kingdom is not of this world." What can that mean to us?
OPEN: It’s basketball season and we’re in the midst of something called “the Road to the Final Four”.
They started this weekend by singling the men’s college basketball teams down to 64 teams. Then they’ll winnow it down to 32. Then, they’ll have 16. Then 8. And then four teams. And last of all, there will only be two men’s basketball teams competing in the final championship game.
I’ve never been to one of these events, but I’ve been told that when the teams come out on the floor… it’s a time of excitement. The team doesn’t just casually walk out onto basketball court… this is a PRODUCTION!
There is the crescendo of the announcer’s voice as he announces the team.
The university band strikes up an exciting version of the team fight song.
There are banners, balloons and streamers - cheerleaders standing at attention.
There’s a lightshow that flashes all across the auditorium.
And when the crowd is worked into a fever pitch the team runs out onto the court and the crowd goes wild!!!
There’s an excitement – a fervor – an anticipation of being present at a electrifying event.
All this is done because the team and their supporters are essentially declaring that they’ve not only come to play… they’ve come to win.
APPLY: That’s what is happening here in John 12. Everything that happens this day at Jerusalem is focused on created that type of excitement and fervor in the crowds.
For 3 years Jesus has been building His ministry toward this day.
For 3 years, He has performed one miracle after another miracle, after another miracle.
For 3 years, he has healed the sick, the lame, the blind, the leprous.
For 3 years Jesus has attracted one crowd after another to teach them about the coming Kingdom of God.
And then - not more than about week before this - he goes to the home of Mary & Martha and raises their brother Lazarus from the dead.
By the time Jesus gets to Jerusalem the crowd is primed.
Jesus entry in to Jerusalem was not going to be a casual stroll into the city for Jesus…
He had come to deliberately declare that HE was:
· The King of Israel
· The anointed one
· The promised Messiah
· The one who had been predicted for centuries by the prophets of God
About a year before this Jesus was teaching a large crowd out in the country. It was getting late and the people were hungry, so Jesus instructed his disciples to feed them. But the only food on hand was the lunch of a little boy. But Jesus blessed that paltry amount of food and fed everyone present… and they had 12 baskets of bread left over!
The crowd was so impressed that they wanted to make Him a king then. John 6:15 says that “… when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to the mountain by Himself alone.” (NKJV)
That crowd sensed then that Jesus had the bearing to be the long awaited King of Israel. But the kind of King they wanted wasn’t what Jesus had in mind
They wanted an earthly King. A king who would not only sit upon the throne of David but to lead forth in battle against the hated Romans.
He was everything you could hope for in a leader.
He was charismatic, He was decisive and He was powerful.
He was capable of feeding thousands of soldiers.
Healing the wounded, raising the dead.
What army on the face of the earth could stand against such a King?
They wanted an earthly King.
But when it became apparent that this wasn’t Jesus was going to be that kind of King the crowds turned on Him. They called for His blood… and they crucified Him.
They wanted an earthly King, but that wasn’t what Jesus had in mind.
He had no intention whatsoever of establishing an earthly kingdom.
· He told Pilate “…My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.” John 18:36
· In Luke 17:21 Jesus declared “… the kingdom of God is within you.”
· And Romans 14:17 taught us “… the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
The Kingdom of God is the Church.
That’s what Jesus came to establish.
That’s the Kingdom over which Jesus had come to rule and reign.
In fact, that’s what Colossians 1:13 teaches. It tells us that “(the Father) has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves”