Summary: Matthew 21 stresses the authority of Jesus Christ as he enters his final week before the crucifixion.
This week the Remote Area Medical people have been here and I know that a lot of our members have been extremely busy helping with all of that. It was pretty amazing to see all of people who are helping with this yesterday. I don't know how many people were fed and watered or "coffeed" through the work of our members here, but the Lord does. Jesus said that even a cup of cold water given in His name receives a reward.
Sometimes it's the little things that God surprises us and uses for his purposes.
Listen to how Matthew 21 describes Jesus coming into Jerusalem as their Messiah. Matthew tells us here about events the Sunday before Jesus was crucified, buried and raised. Jesus enters Jerusalem just as thousands of Jews from all over the Roman empire are coming into town for the Passover. Remember, the Passover was a celebration of God's deliverance of his people from slavery in Egypt the night of the final plague which was the death of the first born. Jesus is the first born, the only begotten Son of God and he will fulfill the meaning of the Passover in his death. Through his death offered as the Lamb of God, he will bring deliverance from slavery in sin to all of us. His blood not only delivers us from the death angel, but also redeems all who obey him for eternal life.
Read Matthew 21:1-11
I'd like us to begin our thoughts on this passage by asking this: How did Jesus come into your life? How did he enter? By what means does God bring his salvation into our lives? Let's interpret scriptures with scriptures. Go with me to 1 Corinthians chapter one.
1 Cor. 1: 19For it is written:
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate."
20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.
It is the little thing of preaching Christ crucified that saves us when we believe this gospel news and follow this crucified Messiah. Instead of impressing the world with a show of overwhelming power, God impresses our hearts with his humble, loving sacrifice. But also though his clear commanding call to come, submit to his authority and serve with Him even in suffering. Paul wrote to the Romans in chapter one: "I'm not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation to all who believe." Paul told Timothy, " 8So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God,"
So again, let us ask ourselves: how does Jesus enter our lives?
Your king comes to you... how? Humble and riding a donkey. A what? A donkey. The Volkswagen of the day. And who is impressed? Look down at verses 14-16: the lame the blind and (here they are again) the children... they accept their king. Who are they? Those who have nothing to offer but obedience and praise. Think of it! An unimpressive king comes and is received by an unimpressive crowd, at least in the eyes of those looking for grandeur and glamour or riches and power. Yet what they see has more authority than they can imagine. The king has entered and invaded their turf. His influence will grow. It will become so threatening that those who rejected him decide that they will have to kill him. But even death won't stop him. He's the King.
Now as we continue in our study of Matthew we find that Jesus is boldly pushy here, is he not? Already in verses 12-13 he has boldly cleansed the temple and proclaimed that those in charge have made God's house of prayer a den of thieves. If you think that is strong medicine, just wait until you hear what he says in the chapters ahead that occur later in the week! Jesus will not stop until they either submit to him or stop him. He is a humble king, but he is THE King and he acts like he owns the place.