Summary: Christ Longs to make a "Triumphal Entry" into our hearts but our expectations of who Christ is “supposed” to be can keep us from receiving Christ as He actually is.
WHO WERE YOU EXPECTING?
“Misunderstanding Christ at the Triumphal Entry.”
Fr. Christopher M. Nerreau
• Have you ever listened to someone on the radio and then seen them in person? They are never what you expect. Or have you ever read a book and then watched the movie, it’s always different than you thought it would be.
• The triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem was a lot like this. Who Jesus was and who the people expected were two very different things.
Proposition: Our expectations of who Christ is “supposed” to be can keep us from receiving Christ as He actually is.
Interrogative sentence: What are your expectations of Christ? Who or what does He need to be in order to satisfy your expectations?
Sermon Preview: In our sermon today we will see that Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem did not meet the expectations of the Religious leaders for three specific reasons:
1. JESUS CAME IN HUMILITY (21:1-11)
2. JESUS CHALLENGED THEIR AUTHORITY (21:12-14)
3. JESUS CAUSED A CALAMITY (21:15-17)
Transitional Sentence: First we see that Jesus triumphal entry did not meet the expectations of the religious leaders because…
I. JESUS CAME IN HUMILITY (21: 1-11)
Explanation: The messianic expectation was something intrinsic to every Jewish man, woman and child. Because of the occupation of Rome, the threat of persecution among other nationalistic difficulties the messianic expectation was at a heightened state.
But there expectation was for an Earthly king (1 Samuel 16 -18) , one who would follow in the line of David. The Jewish people expected a political hero who would unite the people and deliver the nation. But Jesus came as no such man; He came humbly riding on a donkey.
THE BIBLE SAYS: 21:7 “they brought the donkey and the colt, and put their cloaks on them, and he sat on them.”
But why didn’t Jesus ride in on a white war horse or a prestigious stallion?
A. Humility Was Promised by the Holy Prophets– (v.4-5)
• Zechariah 9:9 (520 b.c.) – Saint Matthew is keen to point out that the Zechariah prophesized that the Christ was to be a man of great humility. (riding on a donkey)
B. Humility Was Possessed By The High Priest – (v.5)
• Jesus in His teaching on the sermon of the Mount (Mt. 5:5) said that the meek would inherit the Earth. Humility would defeat pride and arrogance.
• In Mt 11:28-29 Jesus describes Himself as - “gentle and humble in heart.”
• In Mt 20:28 Jesus describes Himself as a servant – “the Son of man came not to be served but to serve…”
Illustration: Ultimately what the people wanted was liberation from an oppressive Roman regime. It was Christian humility that conquered Rome not an army. Christ’s humble entry into Jerusalem was meekness but it was never weakness.
• By riding a donkey The Lord was teaching the disciples that the style of greatness for believers is different.
o He did not come in a dictatorial fashion, using carnal power and authority but in humble service.
• Today, Jesus seeks a triumphal entry into your heart, but what are your expectations of Him?
• Can you receive the humble savior who calls upon on you to suffer as He suffered, to put others before yourselves, to make yourselves nothing?
• Jesus was rejected by the religious elites because He was not who they expected, we must not allow that to happen to us.
Transitional Sentence: So we see the triumphal entry did not meet the religious leaders expectations because Jesus came in humility but let us also note…
II. JESUS CHALLENGED THEIR AUTHORITY (21: 12-14)
Explanation: While the religious leaders certainly expected the Messiah to come with authority, He wasn’t supposed to use His authority to correct them. Nor was He supposed to waste it on people who did not matter like the sick and lame!
The expectation was that the Messiah would use His authority to correct the Roman oppressors.
BUT THE BIBLE SAYS – (v.12,14) “Jesus entered the temple of God and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple… And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them.”
A. Confronted the Money Changers – (v.12)
• The money changers would exchange money fit for temple use in exchange for Roman coins. The exchange rate was nothing more than plain old theft.
• Jesus courageously asserts His authority against the injustice’s being practiced at the temple, using scriptures – “‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you make it a den of robbers.”
B. Comforted the Sick and the Lame – (v.14)
• Secondly Jesus spends His time healing the less fortunate.(blind and lame.)
• In this act Jesus again demonstrates His authority, not simply over the temple made of stone but the temple made of flesh as well.