Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: Discussion of the two crowds at Jerusalem - the one at the Triumphal Entry and the one at the trial before Pilate.

The Crowd Doesn’t Count When it Comes to Christ

Matthew 21:6-11; 27:15-26

April 1, 2007

I’ve mentioned before that when I was younger, I made a number of foolish decisions, some of which could have cost me my life or at least land me in jail.

As I was working on this message, it occurred to me that I had a lot more hair back then. I’m wondering if that’s just a coincidence or if there’s a connection somewhere.

Some of the decisions I have made since then have been much better.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the years is this: to get the most accurate information, you need to go to the primary source.

What I mean by that is that some of the mistakes were when I made decisions based on inaccurate or incomplete information.

Maybe I believed a rumor about someone, and it caused me to think about them wrongly, so I did something stupid, based on that information.

When I actually took the time to go to the primary source, I usually found out that my initial impressions were wrong, and I could have saved myself a whole lotta grief.

Sometimes it was the crowd I was with. Whatever they said, that was it – and I went with it, whether it was the right thing to do or not.

That was usually a mistake.

We all like to think that we’re independent people who make our own decisions.

That our opinions are based on fact, not just hearsay. Especially when it concerns the things of God.

But how often are we really influenced by others – influenced by the crowd when it comes to the things that are of eternal importance – the things of God.

If we’re wrong about the things of God – of we’re wrong about Jesus, then it affects where we’ll spend eternity.

So where do you get your information about Jesus? Is it from the crowd?

In the Scriptures, we find a couple examples where it wasn’t the individual opinions of Jesus that carried the day.

Matthew 21:6-11 (p. 697) –

6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

"Hosanna to the Son of David!"

"Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"

"Hosanna in the highest!"

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?"

11 The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee."

I can almost imagine the scene. The crowd is pushing and shoving to get close to Jesus and the disciples are all of a sudden wishing they had those black T-shirts that say “Security” on them as they try to protect Jesus from these adoring people.

They’re proclaiming Jesus to be the Messiah – the Son of David who was prophesied to save Israel.

They’re hootin’ and hollerin’ with everything they’ve got. It’s a great moment.

“Hey Martha! See if you can get a picture of me and Jesus! Hey Jesus! Jesus! Got a sec? I just want to get a quick snapshot, okay? Martha! You ready? Okay, go! Can’t you draw any faster than that (they didn’t have cameras back then…)?”

I can imagine that there were plenty of people who had a genuine love for Jesus, shouting their praises and hoping that this would usher in the Kingdom of God on earth that they had been waiting for for many generations.

It’s possible, if not probable, that there were people in the crowd hoping for a chance to plead to Jesus for some healing – for themselves or a loved one.

And I would also imagine that there were some in the crowd who didn’t have much of an opinion of Jesus one way or the other. But they got caught up in the excitement of the crowd around Jesus that day.

There is no question that the Jesus of the people was very popular, at least for the moment.

This crowd couldn’t get enough of Jesus. They had seen him do miracles, they had heard Him speak, and they had seen Him silence the religious leaders who were more concerned with their religious tradition than with the truth.

This was the Jesus that was popular, who everyone could rally around. They loved Him.

This was the Jesus everyone wanted to be around and be seen with. This was the Jesus that was everything they wanted in a Messiah.

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