Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Presentation of Jesus as King



SERMON            GMT14-013

SETTING:          North Kelso Baptist Church

SERVICE:          Sunday AM

SUBTITLE:        The Presentation of Jesus as King

SCRIPTURE:     Matthew 21: 1-11

SUBJ:                  The Presentation of Jesus

SUMMARY:       Jesus is the King of Israel

SCHEME:           That the members of NKBC worship Jesus as the King
         
1A     Jesus is the Source of Providence    (VSS. 1-3)

          1B     Providence is seen in the purpose for this event
          2B     Providence is seen in the preparation for this event

2A     Jesus is the Subject of Prophecy      (VSS. 4-5)

          1B     Prophecy is known by its source
          2B     Prophecy is knotted by a snag       

3A     Jesus is the Substance of Praise       (VSS. 6-9)

          1B     Praise is seen by the spreading of Coats and Branches
          2B     Praise seen by the shouting of Choruses and Blessings

4A     Jesus is the Stem of Perplexity         (VSS. 10-11)

          1B     Perplexity is seen in the crowd’s inquiry
          2B     Perplexity is seen in the crowd’s ignorance

The Presentation of the King
Matthew 21:1-11

INTRODUCTION

A.    Things are not always what they seem 

Someone once said,

“Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden...”

One day a small older man walked in a dealership where I was working as a Sales Manager in order to buy a car. He wasn’t there to buy just any car, but a very special car.  Two salesman initially let him walk right past them as he walked up to a brand new Corvette Convertible that was sitting on our show room floor.

What was the problem? It’s every Chevy salesman’s dream to sell a brand new Corvette. Especially at our dealership, because we marked the car up 10,000 dollars above the sticker price and we didn’t dicker on Corvettes.
He was an older man in worn out and greasy work clothes. His hair was uncombed and his hands were greasy and his shoes were old and very worn.

He looked like he should be looking at entry level small pickups or entry level Chevy cars. He did not look like the “Corvette type.” Finally a salesman who was almost bored out of his mind walked over and asked if he needed help or maybe directions to the service department.

The salesman almost fell over when he said he was there to buy a brand new Corvette. It had been his dream and he had saved for years and wanted to take the cash he had saved and a large bonus from work and buy the car on the showroom floor.

Darryl helped the guy out. When the transaction was done and the man drove away in his new Corvette, Darryl had made a 5,000.00 commission on the sale.

B.   This is a good example of things not always being as they seem. You should never judge a book by its cover, you might just regret it! In fact you just might miss the King of the Jews.

C.   The Jews were waiting for their Messiah. They were expecting a King to come to their rescue and fulfill all of the OT prophecies relating to a King and their promised Kingdom. Jesus had appeared on the scene and declared himself to be that Messiah. He proved it by exercising power over demons, disease, deformity, and even death.

Now he was going to present himself as the promised Messiah and King. But Jesus did not intend on presenting himself as the type of King that the people expected. They missed the significance and the meaning of the presentation of Jesus as King. The people failed to recognize Jesus for who he was. As a result they missed the opportunity that God had promised them.

Why? Because his presentation was not what it seemed to be?

THEME:  Jesus presents himself as King

This is a good reminder for us all that we most often look beyond the physical appearance of things in order to not miss the real and true spiritual meaning intended by God.

PROPOSTION:  I propose to you that Jesus is the King of the Jews!

Interrogative SentenceSo, what clues does Matthew reveal that allows us to conclude that Jesus is in fact King of the Jews?

Transitional SentenceThis passage reveals four (4) clues that proves Jesus is in fact the King of the Jews:

·         Jesus is the Source of Providence     (1-3)
·         Jesus is the Subject of Prophecy       (4-5)
·         Jesus is the Substance of Praise                  (6-9)
·         Jesus is the Stem of Perplexity                   (10-11) 

[Let’s begin our study today of the presentation of Jesus as the King of the Jews by examining the fact that…

1A     JESUS IS THE SOURCE OF PROVIDENCE (VSS. 1-3)

[We see Jesus as the source of providence in three ways. Before we look at the text we need to establish what is actually happening by the providence of God and what this event is not. Let’s take a minute and see…]

          1B     Providence is seen in the Purpose of this event

We see the purpose by looking at what this event was not

                   1C     First – it was not a triumphant entry!

Even though for ages this event has been called the triumphant entry into Jerusalem and your bible may have even labeled this section as such, it is not a triumphant entry.

Let’s take a minute and see just what a triumphant entry is:

A triumphal entry is a ceremonial entry by a person into a city

The Roman triumph (triumphus) was a civil ceremony and religious rite of ancient Rome, held to publicly celebrate and sanctify the military achievement of an army commander who had won great military successes, or originally and traditionally, one who had successfully completed a foreign war.

In Roman Republican tradition, only the Senate could grant a triumph. The origins and development of this honor were obscure:

Roman historians placed the first triumph in the mythical past.
On the day of the successful General or Emperor’s triumph, the subject would wear a crown of laurel and the all-purple, gold-embroidered triumphal toga picta ("painted" toga), regalia that identified him as near-divine or near-kingly.

He would ride in a four-horse chariot through the streets of Rome in unarmed procession with his army, and with his captives and the spoils of his war.

At Jupiter's temple on the Capitoline Hill he would offer a sacrifice and the tokens of his victory to the gods.

 Thereafter he had the right to be described as vir triumphalis ("man of triumph", later known astriumphator) for the rest of his life

Jesus was not a famous general or emperor who had fought a great battle or war and was being paraded as a hero showing off his captives and his spoils.

Jesus was not entering Jerusalem as an accepted king or general who was now being honored as a successful king.

[So, this is not a triumphant entry.]

                   2C     Second – it is not a coronation of a King.

The coronation of the British monarch is a ceremony (specifically, initiation rite) in which the monarch of the United Kingdom is formally crowned and invested with regalia. It corresponds to coronation ceremonies that formerly occurred in other European monarchies, which have currently abandoned coronations in favor of inauguration or enthronement ceremonies.

Jesus is not being formally and officially crowned as King of the Jews. He already King.

So, it is not a triumphant entry of a successful warrior and it is not the coronation of and official recognition of a King.

We see that Jesus is the source of providence, first in what this event is not.

Next, we see Jesus is the source of providence in…

          2B     Providence is seen in the Preparation for this event

“Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives…”

1C     The Rest at Bethphage

Remember for centuries the Jewish people had been looking for their promised Messiah. They were looking for a deliverer who would bring in a Kingdom of peace and prosperity in fulfillment to God’s promise to Abraham.

Just a week before Jesus would be crucified and put to death he enters Jerusalem in order to celebrate the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

These feasts commemorated the deliverance by God of the nation of Israel from Egypt.

Now, God was going to reveal their long awaited and promised Messiah and King.

This event took place on a Sunday and Jesus and his disciples followed by a crowd had come to the eastern side of the Mt. of Olives.

Jesus had traveled into Jericho from having spent time in the wilderness. While in Jericho he had lunch with Zaccheus which resulted in Zaccheus’s conversion and salvation.

On the way out of Jericho heading toward Jerusalem, Jesus took the time to heal two blind men.

Now, he is coming to the close of three years of ministry. Jesus is about to reach the final goal that had been given to Him by His heavenly Father.

According to a census that was taken after this particular Passover, it was estimated that some 260,000 lambs were killed for the Passover meals. 

Don’t forget that one lamb was allowed to be offered for up to ten people, it was estimated that some 2 million Jews were in Jerusalem at this time to celebrate the Passover Feast and Feast of unleavened bread.

So, before Jesus and the 12 disciples entered into the city of Jerusalem they stopped at a little village called Bethphage. This is all we know of this little town. It was near the Mt of Olives and very close to Bethany.

It seems Jesus spent quite a bit of time in Bethany. This was the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.

Technically, the actual entry of Jesus into Jerusalem was probably on Monday and not Sunday. He probably got to Mary and Martha’s home on Sunday and crowds according to John came to see him there.

Also, the lambs were selected on the 10th day of the month of Nissan and kept in the house until the 14th day of the month. The year that Jesus was crucified the 10th of Nissan was a Monday.

So in reality “Palm Sunday” doesn’t really exist, it is merely tradition and not scripture.

[We are able to see Jesus as the preparation of this event. We saw this preparation in the rest at Bethphage. We now see this preparation in…

          2C  The Request for the Beast

“…then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me…”

You can see right away that Jesus is in control of the events that affect him and his life, including this particular event.

He is pulling together and providing everything that is needed for his presentation and introduction to Israel as her King.
With His divine providence he has set into motion the series of events that will enable him to present himself as King of the Jews.

Two of the 12 disciples were told to go to a village close to them, probably Bethany. There they would find a donkey with a colt tied up.

The donkey was probably the mother of the colt and was brought along so that the colt would be more cooperative. A young colt would not have liked to leave its mother.

How did Jesus know that the donkey and her colt would be in this little village?

First – some have thought Jesus had made an arrangement with the owner some time previously. They say that Jesus told him when and where to tie up his donkeys.

Second – some say that Jesus was using his omniscience and eternally and divinely knew that the donkeys would be tied up and waiting for him.

He knows that they are there and that his disciples would be stopped and questioned about their “right” to take the animals:

“…if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them’ and he will send them at once.’”

We know from Mark that somebody did ask the disciples what they were doing. They told them just what Jesus had said to tell them.

Verses 1-3 demonstrate to us that Jesus is the Source of Providence. Jesus providentially causes this event to happen. We have seen this in the purpose, the preparation, and the provision of this tremendous event.

Application:  Since Jesus is God by His own power he can through acts of providence directly arrange all things to accomplish His purpose and plans.

THEME:  Jesus presents himself as King

This is a good reminder for us all that we most often look beyond the physical appearance of things in order to not miss the real and true spiritual meaning intended by God.

[The second clue revealed in our passage is seen in the fact that…]

2A     JESUS IS THE SUBJECT OF PROPHECY    (VSS. 4-6)

“This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, ‘Say to the daughter of Zion, Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burned.’”

1B     The Source of the Prophecy

This prophecy that Matthew quotes is from Zechariah 9:9. It was given some 500 years before this particular event. Zechariah stated that the people of Jerusalem would acknowledge the Messiah as their King as He rode into Jerusalem riding a donkey, and riding a colt of a donkey at that.

This would seem strange to most people at this time.

First of all, Judea had few horses at this time.
Second, horses were typically and traditionally used for war

Donkeys, mules, and camels were actually the primary means of transportation along with walking at this time.

Riding on a horse was typically emblematic of war
Riding on a donkey was typically emblematic of peace

Kings and Princes were known to ride of donkeys during times of peace. Josephus the historian wrote of this as a mark of rank and dignity.

Solomon rode on a donkey at his inauguration. 

When Absalom wanted to be King, he heard a lot of “noise” and such filing Jerusalem. When he asked what the reason for such celebration was, he was told that his half-brother Solomon was riding David’s mule and wearing David’s robes. This signified Solomon thought himself to be King.

Riding on a donkey was an appropriate way for a King to ride and so the King of Zion should enter Jerusalem by riding on a donkey.

Jesus fulfilled Zechariah’s prophecy by providentially obtaining a donkey, or really the colt or foal of a donkey and riding it into the city of Jerusalem.

Verse six tells us that, “…The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them.)

2B     The Snag with the Prophecy

We know in hindsight that the crowd wanted a military king, a conquering and reigning king who would throw off the brutal yoke of Roman power. They wanted a warrior King to come and establish a kingdom for their peace and prosperity and for the destruction of the Roman Empire.

[Jesus is the source of providence, he arranged or provided all that was need for this special event and verses 4-6 tells us that Jesus is the subject of prophecy – He fulfilled Zechariah’s prophecy to the letter.]

THEME:  Jesus presents himself as King

This is a good reminder for us all that we most often look beyond the physical appearance of things in order to not miss the real and true spiritual meaning intended by God.

Application:  Jesus entry into Jerusalem was in direct fulfillment of clear messianic prophecy. The disciples recognized that Jesus was the promised King sent from God. Jesus accomplished God’s will completely.

Thirdly, we see another clue revealed as Jesus presents himself as King, and that is seen in the fact that… 

3A     JESUS IS THE SUBSTANCE OF PRAISE      (VSS. 8-9)

“Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna to in the highest!’”

Jesus was praised in at least two ways.

He was praised first by the…

1B     The Spreading of coats and branches

“Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road...”

The disciples put their coasts on the donkey probably to serve as a saddle and to make the ride a little more comfortable for Jesus.

As Jesus began to ride into Jerusalem that Monday morning the crowd performed an ancient custom. The people thru their coasts and clothing in the road for the king to ride over.

It was meant to symbolize their respect for him and their submission to his authority. It said, “We place ourselves at your feet, even to walk over if necessary.”

Other people cut down branches and threw them on the road in the path of the donkey. John tells us that some of these branches were from Palm trees.

These palm branches symbolized salvation and joy.  Rev 7:9 says,

“…a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes, and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne and to the Lamb!’”

Just picture this! There is great excitement, people shouting, people praising the Messiah.

Jesus is completely surrounded by people who follow him and some who are up ahead leading him into Jerusalem. This crowd was caught up in the fact that they thought they had the King of their choice about to establish his kingdom and to put an end to the rule of Rome.

[So Jesus was the substance of the people’s praise by the spreading of their coats and branches on the ground. Well, there is a second means by which Jesus was the substance of praise, and that was by…]

          2B     The Shouting of choruses and blessings

“And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!’”

The Hebrew word hosanna is a “plea or request” in the form of a shout that means “Save now!”
         
Don’t be fooled! The crowd had no desire for Jesus to save their souls. They wanted Jesus to save their nation.

They wanted Jesus to use any and all of his supernatural powers to destroy Rome. This crowd thought they had a military or conquering King.

This crowd wanted a King to reign with military power and might and throw off the cruel and horrible yoke of reign that they had over Israel.

I like what MacArthur said, “…Jesus did not come to conquer Rome but to conquer sin and death. He did not come to make war with Rome but to make peace with God for men.” [1]
         
The crowd acknowledge Jesus as the Son of David. They were crying out for deliverance by saying “Save us now, great Messiah, save us now!”

In their praise the crowd was quoting Psalms 113-118. The crowds missed it. They believed Jesus was King and Messiah, but not the King and Messiah of OT prophecy, just a King and Messiah of their own evil hearts.

This is why just a few days later when they finally realized that Jesus did not come to deliver them from Rome that they turned on him and demanded that he be crucified.

They wanted Jesus on their own terms. They would not submit to a king who was not what they wanted.

Jesus was presenting himself as king. Just like a presidential nominee is presented to the party and then to the country as the candidate, Jesus was presenting himself to Israel as their King.

This was a presentation, not a triumphant entry nor a coronation. Jesus was saying I am here – recognize me as your King and Messiah. People flat out missed it.

[Jesus was the substance of the praise that the crowd heaped on him that Monday morning as he rode into Jerusalem. They praised him with coats and branches and with choruses and blessings.]

THEME:  Jesus presents himself as King

This is a good reminder for us all that we most often look beyond the physical appearance of things in order to not miss the real and true spiritual meaning intended by God.

Application:  Jesus Christ is worthy of praise. He will be praised. He is even praised in absolute ignorance. We are not ignorant, we praise Christ Jesus for we know who He is – He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lord worthy of praise!

Well, so far we have seen that Jesus is the source of providence, the subject of prophecy, and the substance of praise. Now we will see that Jesus is…

4A     THE STEM OF PERPLEXITY      (VSS. 10-11)

          We will make this point short and sweet.

“And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, ‘Who is this?’ And the crowds said, ‘This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.’”

1B     Perplexity is seen in the crowd’s inquiry

Matthew’s narrative closes with a note of confusion or perplexity. After all the loud shouts of praise had died down, and after Jesus had entered Jerusalem, tied up the donkey and walked into the Temple, various people began to ask, “Who is this?”

2B     Perplexity is seen in the crowd’s ignorance

Look at their response – how sad it was. The best they could do was simply to say, “It is the prophet Jesus, you know, the one from Nazareth.”

The shame of the matter is most of the crowd probably did not pay much attention to what was being shouted. They had just moments ago been shouting praises and proclaiming Jesus as a King who came in the name of the Lord God of Israel. But they didn’t know what they were shouting. They didn’t understand.

There is nothing worse than not knowing what you need to know when you need to know it.

IllustrationLorne Sanny was a Marine on Iwo Jima. During the battle one of his fellow soldiers was hit by enemy fire and was obviously dying. Sanny held him in his arms and his buddy said Lorne, I’m dying, tell me how to go to heaven. All Sanny could say was, I don’t know, I don’t know.

His buddy died. But Lorne Sanny determined right there on Iwo Jima with his dead friend in his arms, to find out how to go to heaven and spend the rest of this life telling people.

Lorne Sanny eventually became the number two guy in the Navigators and then when founder and president Dawson Trotman drowned, he took over as president for over 50 years.

These Jews who had just been praising the King who had presented himself to them did not know who Jesus was. All they could answer was, this is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth. They didn’t know he was the king of glory, the glorious Messiah sent to make peace with God and procure their salvation with his death.

Just like all their fore-fathers they heard but did not understand, they saw but did not understand because their hearts were insensitive.

They would have had Jesus as an earthly king to destroy Rome and make them prosperous by giving them the benefits of the promised kingdom, but they would not accept Jesus as a heavenly king to which they would have had to submit their entire lives and being to.

So, we close out this section with the fact that Jesus was the stem for the Jews perplex ion. The Jews were perplexed or confused.

This was not a triumphant entry nor was it a coronation. It was the presentation of Jesus as the King of the Jews.

Our passage revealed four clues that Jesus was king of the Jews. Jesus was the source of providence, the subject of prophecy, the substance of praise, and the stem of perplexity.

THEME:  Jesus presents himself as King

This is a good reminder for us all that we most often look beyond the physical appearance of things in order to not miss the real and true spiritual meaning intended by God.

Application:  The crowd was blinded. They did not respond as they should have responded. With all of the prophets and prophecies they missed the greatest blessing of all times. Thank God He has given us vision and we did not miss the point.

[What do you say we wrap this up?]

CONCLUSION

Presentation Monday reminds us of God’s sovereignty over time and creation

·        Regardless of man’s denials, God’s will was done
·        Regardless of man’s obedience, God’s will, will be done

Presentation Monday reminds us that God gives opportunities (if we take them nor not)

·        There was the opportunity for obedience to God

·        There was the opportunity to receive God’s blessings as He promised

Presentation Monday reminds us of the love that God has for all those who are called his people

·        It is a sacrificial love that would ignore the crowds rejection and pursue the cross for those who did not love Christ and were not lovable
·        The love that God lavished on his chosen children is beyond comprehension

Presentation Monday reminds us the road that all mankind is on today

·        The road of deliverance for all is drawn to the Savior

·        The road of damnation for all whom who blinded by sin and self

Exhortation:  I exhort you this morning to see this Jesus as the King of Kings and to worship Him as such. Do not miss the significance of his presentation to the Jews as their King as they did. Worship Him, Serve Him as your King! 

Paul wrote in Philippians 2:9-11 ESV 

“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”



[1] John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Matthew Vol. 3, (Chicago:  Moody Press, 1988), p, 260

1 comment:

Welcome to my world of verse. said...

A most wonderful post Gregg, took some time to read but read it I did.
Thank you .
Yvonne.