Welcomed, but not Wanted
Big Idea: You can welcome Jesus into your life, but not want Him to stay.
- The Preparations for King’s entrance to His people and city 1-7
A. The right place on the right day: Jerusalem 1
As they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives,
Luke 19:41 When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. = This particular day was chosen to enter the city by Jesus because it was in exact fulfillment the day Daniel foretold the Messiah would enter the city = 483 years after Artaxerxes issued a decree to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (Dan 9:25, Neh 2).
B. The right way: on a special colt 2-7
He sent two of His disciples 2 and said to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here. 3 “If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ you say, ‘The Lord has need of it’; and immediately he will send it back here.” 4 They went away and found a colt tied at the door, outside in the street; and they untied it. 5 Some of the bystanders were saying to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6 They spoke to them just as Jesus had told them, and they gave them permission. 7 They brought the colt to Jesus and put their coats on it; and He sat on it.
Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey. = Signs of the Kings arrival in Jerusalem: Rejoicing, a King of justice, the ability to save, humility—and riding on a donkey! Jesus purposefully had arranged the colt ahead of time, and deliberately rode it into Jerusalem so all who read the prophet Zechariah would know exactly who He was.
II. The Presentation of the King to His people and His priests 8-11a
A. …his presentation to the people on the road to Jerusalem 8-10
8 And many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. 9 Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting: “Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!”
Centuries earlier, when Simon Maccabeus entered into Jerusalem after defeating the occupying Greeks, he entered with “…with thanksgiving, and branches of palm trees, and with harps, and cymbals, and with viols, and hymns, and songs: because there was destroyed a great enemy out of Israel.” There was clearly a strong militaristic spirit in this crowd—they felt that their Messiah, the King, was coming to do battle with the Romans who occupied their beloved country.
1. “Hosanna!” = Salvation, from suffering! 9a
Psalm 118:25 O LORD, do save, we beseech You; O LORD, we beseech You, do send prosperity! (Hebrew word: hoshea = “Save, now!”)
2. “You are the blessed one of God” = Divine favor 9b
BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD;
3. “Bless the kingdom of David” = Political victory! 10
10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!”
The response of the crowds tells the reader of at least three things that they believed about Jesus of Nazareth:
“Hosanna!” = T hey believed He would save them, MILITARILY, from their oppression and poverty. “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” = They believed that Jesus was God’s representative, and therefore brought DIVINE POWER with Him. “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David” = they believed that the Davidic line was soon to be restored to the throne of Israel, in Jesus of Nazareth. This was the POLITICAL salvation they longed for.
B. …his presentation to the priests in the temple in Jerusalem 11a
11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple
Malachi 3:1 “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts. = It was one of the last prophecies of their own Scriptures that the Lord they so desperately sought after would Himself come “suddenly” to His temple. And yet, when the Lord did come into the temple He was not received, it sounds as if He wasn’t even noticed. What is perhaps most notable of the events of this day are not so much what did happen–as bizarre as His entrance into Jerusalem was–as much as what did not happen: The promised Messiah of God came into the Holy City on te exact day He’d promised, in the exact way He’d promised, and He ended the day barely noticed in His own temple–the very heart of Judaism!
- The Departure of the King from the temple and the city 11b
…and after looking around at everything, He left for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late.
What is the story telling Grace Bible Church today, and what does it mean for us tomorrow, on Monday morning?
They welcomed Him as a savior from their hardships, but not from their sins. They wanted deliverance from the Romans, the priests, their hunger, their troubles, but not from their own sins. We are often tempted to see our need for salvation as something outside of ourselves; as being delivered from those people and these circumstances that hold back blessing and health from us, when what we desperately need is inner transformation.
They welcomed Him as someone sent from God, but not as in fact being God. We do the same today when we suggest that Jesus was a great moral teacher, a great man, etc., but they don’t then follow Him, per se, but might select the parts of His teachings that resonate with their own values and desires, and reject His teachings that challenge those things.
They welcomed Him as the rightful king over their own nation, but not as the Ruler over all nations. “the kingdom of our father David…” They were hoping for a tribal-king to unify and defend them from the nations, not the God of the nations. We do this today when we treat Jesus as if He we have an exclusive privileges from Him that others don’t have, or when we treat our church as an exclusive, members-only club, and not a huge, welcome, open-to-the-public celebration of hope, salvation, and opportunity.