Summary: This sermon takes a look at the Trumphant Entry and how some refused to recognize Jesus as King, other wanted Him as King but not really, and yet some truly submit to His authority.
This past week no doubt you were glued to the television set as many were as we witnessed the liberation of a people from a tyrannical dictator. For close to thirty years the people of Iraq were oppressed by violent means by a man who wanted to set himself up as the ultimate ruler with the ultimate power. And His means of power was through fear and force. So when the Iraqis put a noose around the statue of Saddam Hussein and it was pulled down and as they slapped the fallen statue with the soles of their shoes, we saw an example of a ill-fated king with a temporary kingdom.
But Saddam Hussein was not the first nor will he be the last to try to establish a kingdom based on fear and military conquest. Past dictators like Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Napoleon all had visions of conquering the world and establishing themselves as king. On an episode of Sienfield a while back two of the characters were playing a game of Risk, and when Jerry Seinfield was asked what it was, He said, “It’s a game of world domination played by guys who can’t even maintain their own lives.” Remember in the movie “Titanic” there is one scene where Leonardo Di Caprio stands on the front of the boat and stretches his arms back and says “I’m king of the world”. He died in that movie, just a reminder.
But Jesus said that "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Over and over throughout scripture Jesus is referred to as the King of kings and that His kingdom that will never end. Never has there been any other like Jesus Christ. And on that first Palm Sunday, as Jesus entered Jerusalem He was given the royal treatment as He entered the town humbly on back of a donkey. For this moment, the King of kings was treated as such, if only but briefly.
Yet prior to His entering Jerusalem, Jesus spoke a parable dealing with the ten servants, and intermingled within this parable are hints about the rejection of the King and of the consequences for such rejection.
Now the first thing I want us to get from this passage is that not everybody recognizes Jesus as King. There are many who live as enemies to Jesus and to His cross. Luke 19:11-14 , “While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. He said: "A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ’Put this money to work,’ he said, ’until I come back.’ "But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ’We don’t want this man to be our king.”
Many don’t want to see Jesus as a king because Jesus and His cross are viewed as being a threat. Paul said in Phil 3:18, “For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.” From the very beginning of His life, there were those who sought to destroy Jesus. He was forced to flee to Egypt and later on in His life there were those who sought to have Him killed. But why? Why would anybody want Jesus dead? Why did these religious leaders despise Jesus so much? Pontius Pilate knew. Matt 27:18 says that “he knew it was out of envy that they had handed Jesus over to him.”
They were jealous of Jesus. Think about it. Prior to His arrival, the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the Scribes were the respected leaders of the community. People sought their advice, their council, people paid respect to them as they walked down the streets, and then here comes this uneducated carpenter and people were flocking to Him. In addition, He was performing mighty miracles, miracles that they themselves could not do, and He taught with authority, unlike the way they simply mimicked what others said. And they were jealous, much like a three year old toddler is when the newborn arrives and she is upset because she is no longer the center of attention.
So they despised Him and they constantly were trying to find ways to knock Him down a peg or two. They tried to blast Him with accusations that He was opposed to the Law of Moses, and Jesus said, “I have not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.” They tried to humiliate Him with trick questions. “Jesus, is it right to pay taxes to Cesar?” “We caught this woman in the act of adultery, the law says to stone her to death but what do you say.” And after every question Jesus would answer with such wisdom and their attempts to humiliate Him failed. In fact the reversed happened. Luke 13:17 says, “When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.”