Summary: Exposition of Mark 11:1-11 about what Jesus thought about himself and what the crowds thought of him during the triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

Text: Mark 11:1-8, Title: Who is Jesus? Date/Place: NRBC, 5/18/08, PM

A. Opening illustration: words to Kathy Trocolli’s song, I Call Him Love,

B. Some called Him a prophet

Some called Him a saint

Some couldn’t believe their eyes

Or the words He had to say

Some called Him crazy

Some thought He was strange

But I have felt His touch and

I’ll never be the same

I call Him love

I call Him mercy

I called Him out of my darkness and pain

And He answered my need

I call Him love

I call Him healing

He is the one who has filled me with hope

And restored life to me

I call Him love

Some call Him a mystery

A power without a face

Some feel He’s a distant father

That they could not embrace

But I have felt His touch and

I’ll never be the same

C. Background to passage: Again, Jesus was on the road from Jericho to Jerusalem after coming from Perea, very much determined to carry out the Father’s will there. On the road he had been teaching about what real followership of Jesus looks like from different angles. There is a pretty abrupt shift from the incident with Bartimaeus to the entry into Jerusalem. As well as a big shift in how Jesus deals with the crowds in general, and about who he is as messiah, what it means, and how much it is broadcast.

D. Main thought: From the text we will derive what Jesus thought of Himself and the crowds thought of him as he entered Jerusalem for the last time.

A. What Jesus thought of Himself (v. 1-7)

1. Beginning with his actions in coming into Jerusalem, as well as in Jesus’ instructions to his disciples, we gain some insight as to who he was. He came to Bethpage and Bethany on the east side of Jerusalem, which was sitting nearly on top of the Mount of Olives. The rabbis and Josephus both associated the Mount with Messianic themes. So they begin there and prepare this grand entry into Jerusalem, all this after he has worked so hard to keep profiles low. He is not entering as a tourist or a worshipper, but as a king. He chose an unridden donkey and commandeered it as a king would. Then he told the disciples to tell the owner of the colt that “the Lord” needed it. And he told them with a display of divine foreknowledge exactly where the colt would be waiting for them.

2. John 18:36, 5:18, Mark 2:28, 5:19, Phillip 2:8-11, Rev 19:11-16

3. Illustration: one writer said, “that all this ‘looks like a claim to authority,’ and his actions encourage the crowd to blazon his name jubilantly from the street corners and rooftops.” “Whatever title then men may hold, they are to be listened to only on the condition that they do not lead us away from obeying God. So we must examine all their traditions by the rule of the Word of God. We must obey princes and others who are in authority, but only in so far as they do not deny to God his rightful authority as the supreme King, Father, and Lord.” –Calvin,

4. We must remember that even though the crowd may have been a little off in their perception of Jesus, He was not. Everything that he said or thought about himself was absolutely true. He is truth. And he said that too. Jesus was clearly making a statement about himself that he was King, and Lord, and Master, that he was God in the flesh, that he was Messiah, Savior, Deliverer, Spotless Lamb, Servant, Final sacrifice. We will never know the fullness of all that Jesus is; for even in heaven there will always be more excellencies and perfections about him to learn. And we constantly need to be reminding ourselves of these precious truths because these are the things about him that keep us grounded when trouble and discouragement comes. And to acknowledge him as less would be blasphemous. Do we treat him as though he was our king? Do we love his kingship? Do we live to lavish praise upon him? are you willing to lay down your earth treasures for His donkey to walk on? Is our life marked with unquestioned obedience to this King’s commands? Are you comfortable with his will for your life, even when it doesn’t line up with yours?

B. What the crowds thought of Him (v. 8-11)

1. In this case, the crowds would have included the disciples. This text demonstrates the carnal intentions of most religious people. They are all about being God-centered, as long as God is man-centered. They were wanting political deliverance. They wanted an earthly king. They were chanting religious quotations, but motivated by personal, or at best, nationalistic interests. And the disciples were egging it on! And Jesus was declaring his kingship, but just not over that kind of kingdom. And then after all the starstruckness, the crowds seem to vanish, and Jesus is left with the disciples alone in the temple. How fickle people really are. Maybe there were waiting the coup that day? Maybe they were looking for miracles or food.

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