Summary: A sermon that portrays Jesus as a Topsy Turvy King, one who was not as was expected.
The Topsy-Turvy King
Text: Matt 21:1-11
My son Timothy has just had his 13th Birthday last Monday, but when he was a toddler he was very taken with the Mr. Men series written by Roger Hargreaves.
One of the books he particularly liked me to read to him was Mr. Topsy Turvy.
[HOLD UP THE BOOK]
Mr. Topsy Turvy is a chap who does everything the wrong way round. He lives in a house with an upside down chimney-stack, and he wears his hat upside down. He puts his socks on his hands, and when he goes to buy them he gets the order of the words the wrong way round:
“I’d like a sock of pairs”, he asks.
At the end of the book there is a question that Roger Hargreaves asks:
‘Can you think of something to say that’s topsy turvy? Go on try!’
Being a big kid at heart I’m going to answer that question:
‘JESUS IS KING’
It doesn’t seem very topsy turvy to us, but to many of the Jews at the time of Jesus, and also since then, - that statement would definitely seem topsy turvy!
So why do I say this?
Well the Jews were waiting for a Messiah, and had been waiting some 3,800 years for him to come. He was to be like a King, mighty in power, and would lead Israel to overthrow their oppressors.
He was to be of David’s line and would be given a sceptre, which is a short Royal rod, or staff. A kind of symbol of authority.
To the Jews, and particularly their governing body, the Sanhedrin, there was nothing more topsy-turvy than this statement: ’Jesus is King’.
[The following is said with Sarcasm]
“Jesus - being the Messiah???
After all, wasn’t Jesus the son of Joseph, a humble carpenter from Nazareth! I ask you how preposterous.
They say he was born in a mere stable with oxen and asses as bed-fellows.
A King should be of royal descent, and born in a palace with servants to wait upon him, hand and foot.
Besides, Israel already has a King - there’s King Herod, even if he is an Idomite, rather than a Jew.
A King doesn’t ride into Jerusalem on a donkey, after all where is the dignity, pomp and ceremony in that?’’
And yet we know from the scriptures that the people treated Jesus like a King as he entered Jerusalem on His donkey.
Jesus fulfilled many Old Testament prophecies, and His actions, and the actions of the people, acknowledged traditional rights to the title of ‘King of the Jews’. I’d like us to look at a few of them.
i) The Donkey
Firstly, in the Old Testament we read in Zechariah 9:9
Say to the daughter of Zion
See your King comes to you
Gentle and riding on a Donkey
On a Colt the foal of a Donkey.
Whenever I think of formal ceremonies involving royalty, I see them in my mind’s-eye being transported about in a dignified manner:
a) The state carriages, containing members of royalty giving the traditional royal wave, always flanked by soldiers and body-guards;
b) or a well tempered, yet resplendent horse carrying the Queen, in her younger days, across the Parade Square during the Trooping of the Colour.
c) Similarly, we have seen the Pope being driven around in a specially designed bullet-proof Limousine.