Summary: We all have an undercurrent working in our life. There is always someone who wants to break down the group or individual rather than build it up
“The Danger of an Undercurrent”
Luke 19: 28-40
Introduction: Have you ever been to a party where it seemed like almost everyone was having a good time and enjoying themselves, but there was that one person who kept driving the group downward?
Illustration: “Debbie Downer” Saturday Night Live did a skit called “Debbie Downer” in which an actress plays the part of a girl who could always find negative in a situation. Listen to what she says when she was with her family at Disney Land:
Brother: Whoo-oooo! I loves me some Steak and Eggs!
Debbie Downer: Ever since they found Mad Cow Disease in the U.S., I’m not taking any chances. It can live in your body for years, before it ravages your brain.
Sister 2: I want to go to every country in Epcot, and greet them in their own native language! "Hola!" "Konnichiwa!" "Hi!"
Debbie Downer: Do you guys care about that train explosion in North Korea?
Even Pluto the dog is not exempt from Debbie
Debbie Downer: Oh.. hey.. hey, Pluto, hi. Boy.. it must be fun to work here.. although, the biggest drawback to working in a theme park is that you must live in constant fear of deadly terrorist attacks.
The musical jingle for her skit goes:
"You’re enjoying your day, everything’s going your way
Then, along comes Debbie Downer!
Always there to tell you about a new disease
A car accident or killer bees.
You’ll beg her to spare you, "Debbie, please."
But you can’t stop Debbie Downer!"
This morning we are going to talk about something called a “negative undercurrent”
Illustration: “The River” When you walk out to the river the water seems to be moving very slowly. But there is a strong undercurrent that, if you are not careful, can quickly take you down stream and far out of sight before you know it.
This is the same way undercurrents work within groups. On the surface of the group (i.e. church group, youth group, peer group, etc.) everything looks fine, but if underneath the surface there are people who are vying to take others downstream, it can affect the entire group
***The text we read today deals with a group of people who were very positive in the beginning but were influenced into evil by an undercurrent of negativity
Understanding the story:
Jesus had just raised Lazarus from the dead and many people were now ready to follow Him as the Messiah. Raising Lazarus from the dead from a very public display of His power which caused the people to begin to see Him for who He really was. Jesus went from Lazarus’ house into Jerusalem for the Passover celebration.
Jesus came into town riding on a young donkey and everyone who had heard about His miracles and teachings came out to celebrate His arrival. They threw palm branches in front of Him which symbolized ‘victory’ and they yelled ‘hosanna’ which came from a Hebrew prayer which meant ‘save us now’!
In the midst of all of the commotion there stood the Pharisees, the religious men of the day. And we see in Luke’s Gospel that they were not very happy with Jesus being called Lord. Luke 19:39 says, “And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples."” Which basically meant, “Teacher, tell your disciples to shut their mouths”.
Jesus confidently replied, “If these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” This basically meant, “Today is a day of celebration, for God’s Messiah has come and someone is going praise Him today, if not the people, then the rocks will.” And the people continued to shout praises to His name.
The amazing thing is this happened right before Jesus’ crucifixion – These people changed from those who ‘hailed Him’ to those who ‘hated Hated’ in a very short amount of time
There are some truths I want you to notice about this event:
1) Time of the Change
a. This event happened less than a week before Jesus’ crucifixion
b. In fact if Jesus was nailed to a cross on Friday as we are told, this event was only five days before on Sunday (Today is Palm Sunday, which we celebrate this event)
c. It took less than a week for the people to totally turn against Jesus
2) How Drastic the Change
a. Comparing the change
i. Listen to what the people yelled on Sunday:
ii. Luke 19:38 “’Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"”
iii. Compare it to what the people yelled on Friday:
iv. Mark 15:12-14 “Pilate answered and said to them again, "What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?" So they cried out again, "Crucify Him!" Then Pilate said to them, "Why, what evil has He done?" But they cried out all the more, "Crucify Him!"”