A Study Of The Book of Matthew Sermon # 73. He is My King! Matthew 21:1-11

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1 A Study Of The Book of Matthew Sermon # Bt Sm He is My King! Matthew 21:1-11 It is now late March and the Feast of Passover is near. We are in the last week of the Lord's earthly ministry. We need to remember that according to John's account it was just the previous day that Jesus had raised Lazarus from the dead. Jesus and His Disciples as well as those who have witnessed the restoration of Lazarus to life are returning to Jerusalem and the reality of this miracle is underscored by the presence of the former dead man himself. This in turn leads to many more placing their faith and trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior. The fact that many more are following Jesus did not sit well with the religious authorities and the only suitable solution was to kill both Jesus and Lazarus (John 12:9-10). So even as Jesus enters the city of Jerusalem for Passover plans are already being made to kill Him. Because it was Passover, the Jewish historian Josephus, estimated that between two and three million people were packed into the city. So when Jesus choose 1

2 this moment to reveal Himself as the Messiah, it is akin to throwing gasoline on a campfire, something memorable is going to happen. Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, (2) saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. (3) And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and immediately he will send them." (4) All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: (5) "Tell the daughter of Zion, 'Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.' "(6) So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. (7) They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. (8) And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. (9)Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: "Hosanna to the Son of David! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!' Hosanna in the highest!" (10) And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, "Who is 2

3 this?" (11) So the multitudes said, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee." First, The Preparation for the King (21:1-3, 6-7) The story of Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem is obviously important because it is told in detail in all four of the Gospel accounts. The thing that has to strike you as you read this story is that Jesus was in complete control of everything that happened. In verse one Jesus is making preparation for His entrance into the Holy city. These preparations are important for it is now that Jesus intends to reveal that He is the Messiah. So He sent His Disciples out with detailed instructions, (v. 1b-2) Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, (2) saying to them, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. They are told where to go, what they will find and what to say. Jesus predicted everything that would take place. The purpose of the mission given the Disciples was to secure the colt upon which Jesus would ride into the city. Each of the accounts mentions that Jesus sent two of the Disciples but none of then tell us who they were. We can surmise that since Mark gives eyewitness details 3

4 and Mark received his information from Peter that it is probable that Peter was one of them. Jesus anticipated the objections that could be raised and told the Disciples what they were to say in response, (v. 3) And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and immediately he will send them." The assurance found at the end of verse three...and immediately he will send them" is an encourage to the Disciples that the owner will be cooperative. According to verse six and seven the Disciples immediately carried out the Lord's instructions, So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. (7) They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. Secondly, The Prophecy Concerning the King (21:4-5) ''All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: (5) "Tell the daughter of Zion, 'Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.' " Jesus is revealing Himself to be the king. Matthew quotes the prophecy of Zechariah written over five hundred years earlier. Quoting from Zechariah 9:8-10 Matthew selectively uses only part of the prophecy. He makes note of the fact that the king will come in peace 4

5 but leaves out that the coming king s reign will extend from sea to sea (Zech 9:10). Of course the second part of that prophecy will be fulfilled at the Lord s second coming. Matthew tells us that actually the Disciples brought back two donkeys a mother and a colt that had never been ridden. Jesus rides the colt into Jerusalem on a young unbroken colt with the mother walking along beside. But why a donkey? Because then as now, a man's transportation reveals much about him. If a man drives a five year old minivan filled with car seats we can guess that he is a family man with young children. If a young man drives an beat up twenty year old car he is probably a student, and single. If he drives a sleek and fast red sports car, he is probably experiencing a middle life crisis. So it was in that day, Kings and conquering generals rode powerful stallions from which they could rain down blows upon their enemies. But no one rains down blows on their enemies from a donkey unless they are fighting slow-moving midgets. I'm sorry that is politically incorrect; I should have said little people. But contrary to what we might think today, riding on a donkey was a kingly act which identified the royal line of David. It told the whole world not only who 5

6 Jesus was but what He was like. It presented both His person and His position. We see Jesus coming in humility and gentleness which is symbolic of the fact that Jesus still comes to mankind in humility and gentleness. When seem to expect God to speak to us in thunderous tones of judgment, but God often speaks to us in a still small voice. The world shouts at us from every side, illustrated so well by the those television commercials that make you search frantically for the volume control. God however, demands that we really listen in order to hear His voice. Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem was no haphazard event. Not only the day but the very hour for His presentation as the Messiah was selected in eternity past; with countdown precession. Almost five hundred years earlier an angel had appeared to Daniel and said, Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem, until the Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks;... (Daniel 9:25) This is a week of years and renders a total of 483 years. Daniel was told that 483 years from the signing of the order which allowed the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem the Messiah would appear in Jerusalem. Sir Robert Anderson, a former director of England's Scotland Yard, was a brilliant lawyer and an avid 6

7 Bible student. He analyzed the book of Daniel and calculated that the order was issued on March 28, 445 B.C. and that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on April 6, 32 A.D., exactly 483 years later. [Ray Stedman. The King Is Coming. Jesus rides into Jerusalem in fulfillment of ancient prophecy, but He is still clearly in control. He knows what is head of Him in Jerusalem. Still He rides on. Third, The Presentation of the King (21:8-11) And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from the trees and spread them on the road. (9)Then the multitudes who went before and those who followed cried out, saying: "Hosanna to the Son of David! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!'Hosanna in the highest!" (10) And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, "Who is this?" (11) So the multitudes said, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee." Jesus began the approximately three mile journey from Bethany to Jerusalem, as He approached the city of Jerusalem people lined the road, laying their clothes on the road in front of Him, waving palm branches, and shouting Hosanna. The Hebrew Hosanna literally means save now. So as Jesus is riding along the road the crowds were shouting, Save us, Save us! The 7

8 question then becomes Save us from what? It is highly probable that those exclaiming Hosanna or save us may not have meant the same thing. There were those present that were looking for salvation from their problems, economic or otherwise. Some were looking for salvation from the political opposition of the Romans. Some were looking for salvation from the burden of their sins. It crucial to understand what these people were thinking when they shouted Hosanna, Blessed Is He That Comes In The Name of The Lord in order to understand how some of those same people could in just a few days be a part of the crowd that was shouting Crucify Him, Crucify Him. Some of these people were swept up in the emotions of the crowd. No doubt some of those present were merely caught up in the excitement of the moment and had no real commitment to Jesus. Whenever a crowd gathers, everyone wants to know what is going on. Whenever there is an accident on the expressway traffic becomes entangled not from the accident itself but from rubber-neckers who want to see what is going on. People don't want to miss something big that may be happening. Some of those in the crowd that day were no doubt just looking to see if anything important was happening. 8

9 Some of these people were carrying out a religious ritual. The cry Hosanna, Blessed Is He that comes in the name of the Lord taken from Psalm 118:25-28, was a common religious chant, especially at Passover. It was not uncommon to welcome pilgrims to Passover with these words. So for many people, they may simply have been reciting a familiar prayer. It is like what happens in churches that recite the Lord's prayer. It is possible to recite the prayer without ever stopping to consider the words that are being said. Some of these people were calling out for political deliverance. Many if not most of the people of Israel believed that the Messiah would come as the military liberator of Israel. For some that day they were participating in the equivalent of a political rally. They were excited because they thought that the glory days of Israel were going to return. Over the course of time shouting Hosanna became something of a nationalistic cry, rather like God save the king in England or God Bless America in this country. God Bless America can be a humble prayer of a Christian or can be the proud words of someone who is convinced the God is on America's side, whatever Americans do. [Daniel Doriani. Reformed Expository 9

10 Commentary Series Matthew Vol. 1, Matthew (Philipsburg, NJ: P and R Publishing, 2008 p. 248] The reception they gave Jesus was on based on his fulfillment of their expectations. The common hope of Israel was the the Messiah would come regally and formally into Jerusalem as a mighty conqueror. But Jesus was not at this time bringing political deliverance to Israel but much more importantly He was bringing spiritual salvation for sin. To joyfully welcome Him as their kind of king is the not to receive him as Lamb of God sent to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29). To receive their kind Jesus is to reject God s kind of king. This apparent reception, is in reality, a rejection. It is destined to result in rejection. It will take a few days to become evident, but when they finally grasp that Jesus has not come to fulfill their expectations, but rather to be a different sort of Messiah, they will quickly turn against Him, rejecting Him as their king. [Bob Deffinbaugh. The Un-Triumphal Entry. John 12:9-19 www. Bible.org.] But some of the people were wise enough to be calling out for spiritual deliverance. It is not only likely that Jesus entered the city surrounded by sheep headed for sacrifice at the Temple but that at the very time Jesus was dying on the cross... the sacrificial lambs were being slaughtered for the Passover feast. 10

11 Passover was a yearly celebration commemorating the freeing of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. On the night called Passover God struck every first-born child of the Egyptians. This devastating plague led to the release of the Jews from bondage. God told the Israelite s to slaughter a lamb and to take the blood of that lamb and apply it to their doorpost of their homes. This blood of the lamb would be recognized by the Angel of Death as protecting the first-born child that lived within that home. It was meant to be a picture that pointed to another Lamb who would die in our place to free us from a much greater slavery; a slavery to sin and death. Jesus was the Lamb of God taking away the sins of the world. Conclusion Some of those who witnessed Jesus arrive in Jerusalem ultimately rejected Him because He was not the kind of king they looking for. We face the same kinds of challenge that people of that day, we are not given the choose of making Jesus into the kind of king we would like. But whatever people may say, Jesus is King. Two thousand years ago as a symbol that He was indeed the Messiah, He humbly rode a donkey into the Holy City. But it will not always be so. The next time He returns it will be as king over the whole Earth. When He 11

12 comes again it will be with a demonstration of power and He will be riding a white stallion. Zechariah 14:4, 9 predicts; And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem from the East. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain will move to the north and half of it toward the south...(9) And the LORD shall be king over all the Earth... Jesus is going to enter the city of Jerusalem once again but this time the as king over all the Earth. Ezekiel 44 predicts the Messiah of the future will enter through the Eastern gate of the Temple. Today, all the other gates surrounding Jerusalem are open. But as Ezekiel predicted, the Eastern Gate is shut to this very day. Neither the Christians nor the Jews did this, the Muslims did. The Ottoman Turks closed off the Eastern gate because it was close to the Dome of the Rock, the third most holy site of Islam. They knew the Jewish Messiah was to enter that gate, so they sealed it and turned it into a Muslim graveyard. They did this because no orthodox Jew would ever walk on a grave, so they did this thinking they could prevent the Jewish Messiah from entering. But that old graveyard will not stop Jesus. On that day it will not be a graveyard any more. 12

13 S.M. Lockridge, famous African-American preacher, was pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in San Diego from Back in 2007 I share a video presentation of S. M. Lockridge's That's My King. But it is so powerful and so fitting for today's message that I wanted to share it again. Play Video: That's My King. [ The whole world can reject Him and Jesus is still King. Men today can do as they please and Jesus is still King and He will have the last word. The only question that remains is, Is Jesus YOUR King? Do you know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? 13

14 He is My King! Matthew 21:1-11 First, The for the King (21:1-3, 6-7) Secondly, The Concerning the King (21:4-5) (Zechariah 9:8-10, Daniel 9: 25) Third, The of the King (21:7-11) Some of these people were swept up in the of the crowd. Some of these people were carrying out a ritual. Some of these people were calling out for deliverance. But some of the people were wise enough to be calling out for spiritual deliverance. 14

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