Summary: That the Person of the revealed Messiah calls us to decide to follow the crowd and the Pharisees or to follow Him in praise, worship and service.
What Can You Do With Talking Rocks?
Sermon for 1 April 2007
“Then, as He (Jesus) was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying:
’Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!’
Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’
And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.’ ” (Lk 19:37-39)
Lk 19:40 “But He answered and said to them, ‘I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.’ ”
No foolin! (April Fools Day) Jesus was not fooling on the day he answered negative criticism of Himself and His disciples as He entered Jerusalem.
But let’s begin where the passage for today starts.
Jesus had been teaching His disciples about the nature of God and how God is just and merciful.
Because of who God is there will be blessing for those who trust Him and punishment for those who hate Him. This is summed up in verse 26 of this chapter where Jesus says:
Lk 19:26 ’For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.”
Lk 19:28 “When He had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.”
Today we celebrate the coming of Jesus into Jerusalem.
He asserts His position as the Messiah as Saviour of Israel and indeed of the world.
He comes into His proper calling as Messiah: the One we call the Christ. He is celebrated as Messiah by coming into the city as prophesied a few centuries earlier by the prophet Zechariah (Zech 9:9).
It is a mark of a good leader that they know where they are going.
Fanatics know where they want to get to also.
What separates the two is that the good leader uses just, moral ways to get there, but the fanatics use any means available to them regardless of how immoral or harmful it is. You only have to compare Jesus with Joseph Stalin.
So we are alerted to think about Jesus going up to Jerusalem.
A long time before this great day, Luke tells us:
Lk 9:51 “Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face…”
Although a bit of a mystery to His disciples at the time, we know that it was for a good purpose that Jesus had to go to Jerusalem.
You can almost see the determination on Jesus’ face! Can’t you?
Verse 28 tells us Jesus went on ahead of His disciples.
Why? I believe it was His time to think, to pray, eager to get to His destiny.
Jesus reminds me here of the long distance runner. Think of the Marathon runner. There has to be a settled determination in your heart if you are going to win a Marathon.
You train for the distance, for the conditions, your diet and liquid intake has to be measured and controlled; the opposition could be a factor; your health also needs to be good. But you have to plan, you have to train, you have to be well prepared just to complete the 26.2miles which is just over 42 kms.
That’s a very long way.
(http://www.onlineconversion.com/length_common.htm) (26.2 mile = 42.164kms)
Make no mistake, Jesus was prepared in just such a way. It was all part of the cost of obeying His Father’s calling on His life as our Saviour.
Lk 19:29 “And it came to pass, when He came near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples…”
Jesus loved Bethany because it was his second home…so He was aware it would be the last time He would see these lovely surroundings reminding Him of some of His happiest days on earth.
This was after all, the place where his lovely friends Lazarus and the two sisters Mary and Martha lived. It was here that these friends accommodated and entertained Him so often.
But it was on with the business, no time to lose.
“He sent two of His disciples saying, ‘Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. And if anyone asks you, “Why are you loosing it?” thus you shall say to him, “Because the Lord has need of it.”’ (Lk 19:29-31)
The disciples are interesting.
They obeyed this command without question.