Sermon: Jesus the King
Bible Passage: Mark 11:1-11
I. Observations from this passage:
1. Jesus is going to Jerusalem in preparation for the Passover and His crucifixion. This is His mission “He set His face like flint toward Jerusalem”
2. Before coming to the Mount of Olives, He was being addressed as “Son of David” by blind Bartimaeus, whom He healed. This is a kingly title. There was a sense of anticipation as He moved to Jerusalem.
3. The location is the Mount of Olives, opposite the Temple mount. From here, it is a steep descent to Jerusalem. The place is significant, as the Jews would expect the Lord to come in glory and save them (Zech 14:1-9)
4. Bethany is about 2 kms east of Jerusalem. Bethany was the place where Lazarus, Mary and Martha lived. Jesus would have spent some time at their house
5. Jesus arranges for a colt that was not ridden by anyone. This is important, as the animal would have had a special purpose. The colt itself, of a donkey, was symbolically important as being the animal a king would use when arriving for his coronation (1 Kings 1:38)
6. The whole scene of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a colt was full of prophetic significance. Years ago, the prophet Zechariah had told the returning exiles who were struggling to rebuild the city amidst opposition from the surrounding nations that their king would come in this manner. Read Zech 9:9-10. Note the character of the king – He is “your king” whom the nation was longing for, “righteous and victorious” so far so good, “lowly and riding on a donkey” not the best way to make a political statement to the authorities in Jerusalem and at Rome. He will rule Jerusalem, but He will also bring peace to the nations.
7. The crowds initially responded enthusiastically. Throwing their cloaks on the street, throwing branches that were cut from the fields, loudly singing Psalm 118:25-26. There was a sudden outburst of enthusiasm for the coming king.
8.As suddenly as the crowds gathered around Jesus, they seem to have disappeared. When the king goes into His city and into His house, the Temple, He looks around. He has work to do. The crowds and the city are like the fig tree that looked good but lacked fruit.
II. Some lessons to learn from this incident:
1. Jesus is in control. He’s a king who reigns even in humility
a. His dramatic entry to Jerusalem is intentional
b. The acquiring of the colt is exactly as He said
c. He fulfils prophecy, even as the crowds acknowledge him as the Son of David
2. The obedience of the few
a. The disciples do exactly as Jesus tells them. They don’t argue about the nature of the task or about the riskiness of taking an unused colt from the owner
b. The willingness of the owner to give a prized possession for the Lord’s use. What we surrender to the Lord for His purposes only increases in value after being used for such an important task
3. The short-lived enthusiasm of the crowds and lack of support from the leaders in Jerusalem
a. The nation was soon to be judged by the Lord as a faithless and fruitless people
b. Jesus’ non-eventful arrival in Jerusalem looks forward to a future time when He will come on a white horse in judgment on the nations and to save His people (Rev 19:11-16)
Because Jesus is King, give Him your full allegiance
1. Jesus the king deserves our heartfelt obedience
2. Don’t withhold anything from Jesus the king, but allow Him to make full use of all our energies, time, and possessions for His purposes