Summary: There are basically two influences in all of our lives. You are doing what you are doing because of one or the other of these influences. The two influences are Righteousness and Religion.
What did you do this past week? Make a list in your mind of five or six things you did this past week.
Now, think about why you did those things.
What was behind the things that you did that made you do those things?
Most people think that they are in control of their life, when in actuality; someone or something else is controlling their life.
It may be a job.
It may be education/college.
It may be shopping for groceries.
It may be a hobby.
It may be health issues.
It may be just about anything you can think of. And behind every activity is some power. Much of what we do is because we are made to do it.
When we think of Jesus, particularly his triumphal entry into Jerusalem, we must also think of what it was that made him do it.
Luke 9:51 – “And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.”
There was something behind directing Jesus at this particular time to Jerusalem. I think it is safe to say that his passion at this point was to go to Jerusalem. Now, why?
Hebrews 12:2 – “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
What was that joy that was leading him to Jerusalem, where he knew exactly what was in store for him?
What were some of the things that were before him?
1. Judas Iscariot would betray him.
2. Peter would deny him.
Both of these men were part of the inner circle of Jesus’ disciples.
3. The hatred of the Pharisees and High Priest who would turn the people against him.
4. But even more than that, he was facing the cross and he knew exactly what that was all about.
Beyond the Cross was you and me… We were his joy.
Why would anybody deliberately and of his own accord do what Jesus did?
I think we take for granted this whole story, especially his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. We call it a “triumphal entry,” but it was nothing of the kind. He was going to his death. The same people that were hailing him as “King,” would in a short while cry, “Crucify him, crucify him.”
There has to be something behind him, driving him in that direction. Now, what was it.
What were the influences Jesus was dealing with?
What happens here illustrates for us the influences that drive us one way or the other. What you did this week was a result of certain influences in your life. Many of those influences you did not have control over. In fact, most people do not realize that they are being influenced one way or the other. But our culture is built upon this kind of thing.
Now how is this illustrated in the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem?
There are basically two influences in all of our lives. You are doing what you are doing because of one or the other of these influences. The two influences are Righteousness and Religion. I want to show you how these two influences direct your life.
I. Righteousness Motivates
Romans 3:22 – “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:”
Righteousness is simply right behavior.
Now, what is the right behavior? It is simply rooted in the character and nature of God. Only he is right in everything he does and out of his actions comes righteousness.
Then when we think of Jesus, we need to understand that the motivating factor behind everything he did was righteousness.
Healing the sick.
Raising the dead.
Feeding the poor.
Teaching the people.
Standing against the corrupt religious leaders.
Jesus was motivated by righteousness to bring into the lives of the people around him a true sense of God.
Look at Luke 19:41 – “And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it.”
The righteousness of Jesus came in conflict with the unrighteousness of the people around him and motivated him to do something about it.
His righteousness, which was rooted in the character and nature of God, motivated him to do everything he was doing.
That motivation drove him to the cross.
This requires a commitment. It is easy for us to see that Jesus was completely committed to the righteousness of God, which in turn motivated him to do everything he was doing and lead him to the cross.
How much of our life is really being motivated by righteousness?