Summary: If you don’t know God’s definition of victory, how are you going to know when you experience it?

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Matthew 16:20-22

One of the great aspects of life is victory. Everybody assumes that they are going to be victorious and successful in everything they do.

Countless conferences are given all over the place to show you how you can be successful in whatever you’re doing. Success is very important in our culture today.

The problem is to define what we mean by “victory.”

On the football field, victory means you have outscored the other team. Now, to understand victory you need to understand what the game is. If it’s football, it’s not the same as baseball. The game is played different for both.

It’s not like the Harlem Globetrotters, who in the middle of the basketball game will stop everything and play baseball. It’s humorous but it’s not the path to victory in their basketball game.

The more glorious the victory the harder the path to that victory.

Many conferences will try to convince people that all you have to do is put your mind to it and success is yours for the taking. The problem with that is, it’s not true.

Getting back to the disciples, they had no idea what Jesus was talking about. They were going along day by day and could not see the end of the trail.

Many Christians are like that today. They don’t know what the end is all about. They don’t know how God has defined victory for them.

If you don’t know God’s definition of victory, how are you going to know when you experience it?

As we celebrate what we call “The Triumphal Entry of Christ,” we fail to really see the dynamics associated with the path to his victory.

As I live my victorious Christian life, I need to understand the great difficulties and opposition that I will have to face. We are of such a mindset that when any difficulties come we immediately began to doubt the path that we’re on.

Jesus kept before the disciples, although at the time they did not quite understand it, the difficulties that were ahead of him. It wasn’t until after the resurrection that they really began to understand what this path of glorious victory is all about.

There are several aspects associated with this path of victory. If we don’t get a hold of this, as it affected Jesus, we are going to misinterpret the path that we’re on and not really experience the victory that God has for us.

Keep in mind, the ultimate victory is on the other side!

I. The Acclamation (Luke 19:28-38).

As he begins his journey in Jerusalem, the crowds are cheering him along the way. (19:35-38).

I would like to have known what the disciples were thinking about as they were walking beside Jesus on that little donkey. I believe it was the best day of their life.

They were following this Jesus and suddenly everybody was acclaiming him, praising him and giving glory to God for him.

It’s not too hard to see that they probably thought that they had finally arrived. However, all the work that they’ve done up to this point has been successful and now they finally have the victory.

Maybe it was victory from their perspective, but it was not victory from Jesus’ perspective.

One of the interesting things in this passage is the fact that the people were praising Jesus, but they had no idea who he was or why they were praising him.

It’s like many people today who praise God but have no idea who God is or why they are praising him. A celebrity will say something nice about Jesus, but it has no connection whatsoever with the real Jesus.

Even some Christians will boast about something associated with Jesus, but they’re very confused as to what it really means and who Jesus Christ really is. They may be saved, but they are caught up with the incidental elements of daily life and have no idea what the ultimate victory is that God has for them.

I often wonder what Jesus was thinking about as he was riding down that street. He knew men’s hearts and he knew that they had no understanding of what was taking place. I wonder what he thought about his disciples watching them laughing and cheering and not really understanding the dynamics of the situation.

The acclamation syndrome can lead us to the wrong conclusion about the life we are living. When everybody is for you, be careful, it may not be as it really appears.

II. The Agitation (Luke 19:39-44).

The acclamation celebration always stirs up agitation.

The Pharisees in the situation were trying to control the situation from their perspective. They were agitated because Jesus was getting all this acclamation and they were against it.

I like what Jesus says in verse 40.

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