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Matthew 21:1-17

Behold Your King

  • Matthew Dodd
  • Weekend Messages
  • June 30, 2019

In Matthew 21, we will study a passage which deserves and demands our undivided attention for in it we will discover God’s message to us about His Son, Jesus Christ.

God gave signs to reveal the person and confirm the work of Israel’s Messiah. These signs are a divine declaration, “Behold your King”. God’s declaration is also an invitation, one that requires a personal response from each of us.

  • Sermon Notes

Behold Your King

Matthew 21:1-17


ILLUS – Keep your eyes on the Butterball

1.Frankly, some things in life don’t matter that much and do not deserve our attention.

2.But there are other things in life which deserve and demand our undivided attention.

3.Tonight, we will study a passage which deserves and demands our undivided attention for in it we will discover God’s message to us about His Son, Jesus Christ.

4.God gave signs to reveal the person and confirm the work of Israel’s Messiah.

5.These signs are a divine declaration, “Behold your King”.

6.God’s declaration is also an invitation, one that requires a personal response from each of us.

Matthew 21:1-17


1.We have now entered the fourth major section of the Gospel of Matthew. The section begins with the Triumphal Entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.

2.What was the “climate” like in Israel at the time of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry? In a word, “polarized”.

3.After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, we’re told that some Jews believed in Him, hoping that He would deliver them from the oppressive grip of Rome.

4.Others did not believe He is the Messiah and went to the Pharisees to report what Jesus had done.

5.Did the chief priests and Pharisees rejoice at the news of a man being raised from the dead after being in the grave for four days? Not at all.

John 11:47-48, 57, Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and were saying, “What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him.

6.The religious establishment was so intimidated and hostile toward Jesus that they even talked about killing Lazarus “because on account of him many of the Jews were going away, and were believing in Jesus” (John 12:11).

7.For a season, Jesus avoided walking “publicly among the Jews” and went to the country near the wilderness to stay with His disciples. (John 11:54)

8.But when we come to Matthew 21:1, it’s time for the Passover. Jesus went on ahead of His disciples and ascended to Jerusalem because it was the appointed time to present Himself as their Messiah! (Luke 19:28)

I.Behold, Your King Has Come to Save You (1-10)

  • Throughout our study of Matthew’s Gospel, we have read about the many signs which confirmed Jesus is the long-awaited King, the Messiah.
  • The Triumphal Entry was the appointed time to fulfill more prophetic signs which further confirmed that Jesus is Messiah.
  • These signs invite us to think about who Jesus is and respond…
A. Rejoice, God is in control

1.Everything was going according to God’s plan.

2.And Israel should have known this was the appointed time.

3.In fact, they should have been counting down the days, literally!

ILLUS – Counting down the days until Christmas tradition

4.One of the most important Messianic prophecies is found in Daniel 9 where God gave an amazing degree of detail for discerning the appointed time for the arrival of Messiah.

5.Through the prophet Daniel, God gave the timeline for the coming of Messiah into Jerusalem, down to the exact day!

Daniel 9:24-26, Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city, to finish transgression, to make an end of sin, to make atonement for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy place. So you are to know and discern that from the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be 7 weeks and 62 weeks; it will be built again, with plaza and moat even in times of distress. Then after the 62 weeks the Messiah will be cut off and have nothing, and the people of the prince who is to come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. 

a.“From the issuing of a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince there will be 7 weeks and 62 weeks”.

b.Scholars believe each week in Daniel’s prophecy equals one year.

c.7 + 62 = 69 weeks or 483 years.

d.483 years equals 173,880 days according to the Babylonian calendar.

e.Counting the days from the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem literally brings you to this Sunday recorded in Matthew 21, the Triumphal Entry of Jesus!

APPL – Why was God so precise? So that Israel may know and be ready for the coming of Messiah, the King!

  • Like the birth of Jesus, they should have known!
  • God has preserved this in His Word so that we may know and respond with rejoicing for our King has come to save us.

B.Jesus came to bear our burdens

1. Prior to entering Jerusalem, they came to a town on the east side of the Mount of Olives called Bethphage, which means “house of figs”.

2. He directed two of His disciples to go into a nearby village and get a colt, on which no one had ever sat, and bring it to Him (1-2).

a.Matthew and John specify that the colt was donkey. The colt’s mother was brought along to comfort the foal because it had never carried a rider.

b.There was a custom called angaria whereby animals would be called into service for significant persons. For this reason, Jesus directed the disciples to respond to anyone who asked that the Lord has need of it (3).

c.The disciples found it just as He said.

3.The disciples brought the colt and its mother to Jesus. They placed their garments on the colt, like a saddle, and then placed Jesus on the colt.

4.This too was a sign, a fulfillment of a prophecy found in Zechariah.

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.

APPL – Again, when we see prophesies fulfilled, we need to see that they come with significant meaning. 

  • Zechariah prophesied that the King would come to them, gentle, and mounted on the colt of a donkey, a beast of burden.
  • Right away we see the significance of Jesus’ humility and His heart to carry our burdens.

Matthew 11:28-30, Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.

APPL – If Jesus rode a war horse, it would signify that He did not come in peace but was set to make war.

  • But Jesus, the Messiah, is humble and identified with the humble and lowly.
  • He did not come to lord it over those He came to save like the Gentile leaders, nor load burdens on His people like the religious leaders of His day. Jesus came to be our burden-bearer.

5. The sign was not lost on many in the crowd.

6.Jesus mounted the donkey and climbed the Mount of Olives. Some people were spreading their garments while others were placing palm branches in the road to create a “royal carpet”.

7.It reached a crescendo when the crowd sang from Psalm 118, a Psalm reserved only for Messiah.

Psalm 118:25-26, O Lord, do save, we beseech You; 

O Lord, we beseech You, do send prosperity! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord

APPL – This was the first time that Jesus permitted people to praise Him openly! The people were publicly declaring that He is the Messiah, Israel’s King! But not all… 

8.The Pharisees said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” (Luke 19:39)

a. This was an official rejection of Jesus by the religious leaders.

b.They were declaring that Jesus is NOT Israel’s Messiah.

9.Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!” (Luke 19:40)

APPL – Jesus was declaring just how hard the heart of man can be. Creation recognizes the presence of its Creator and King, but man, in his stubbornness, is unwilling to do so!

10.In Luke 19:41, we’re told that Jesus wept over the city. This is not the watering of the eyes, with a few tears dropped. Jesus wailed over the city of Jerusalem!

a.He came to offer peace to the “City of Peace”, for that’s what the name Jerusalem means!

b.Ironically and tragically, the leaders, who represented the city and the nation, rejected His peace offer!

c.Because of the hardness of their hearts, the reality of His offer was hidden from their eyes.

APPL – The truth is, if you want to have a hard heart, God will respect your wishes.

C. S. Lewis wrote in The Great Divorce, “There are only two kinds of people in the end; those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’”

  • But that does not mean that He delights in your decision!

Ezekiel 33:11, “Say to them, ‘As I live!’ declares the LORD God, ‘I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn back, turn back from your evil ways! Why then will you die, O house of Israel?’”

  • God loves you and wants to bless your life!
II. Behold, Your King is Lord of All (11-17)
  • When Jesus entered Jerusalem, He immediately entered the Temple.
  • He immediately overturned the tables of the money changers and those selling doves.
  • And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer’; but you are making it a robbers’ den.” (13)
  • Why did He do this? Because they were robbing the people financially and also robbing them spiritually by getting in the way of their desire to honor and worship God.
  • It’s God’s house!
  • Also notice, Jesus equated Himself with God by declaring it to be His house. Another sign!

A. Jesus will overturn what must be overturned

1.There is great personal application for our lives because the Apostle Paul wrote that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

2.So, this is also a picture of what God wants to do with those things that stand against God in our lives.

APPL – God wants our agreement, not our resistance.

  • Please know God is for you, that He is a good Father, and that’s why things need to go.

Hebrews 12:9-11, Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.

  • Are there things in your life that God wants to overturn or cast out?
  • When they go, then healing can begin.

B. Jesus wants to heal what needs to be healed

1.The very next verse says that the blind and the lame came to Him and He healed them all.

2.Both the cleansing of the Temple and the healing of broken lives was exactly what they needed.

Ezekiel 34:15-16, “I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest,” declares the Lord God. “I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken and strengthen the sick; but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with judgment.”

APPL – God does both of those things for all of us. He will overturn what needs to be overturned and heal what needs to be healed.

Matthew 12:20-21, A battered reed He will not break off, 

and a smoldering wick He will not put out, until He leads justice to victory. And in His name the Gentiles will hope.

3.In the Temple, while the blind and the lame were being healed, the children resumed their singing of Psalm 118, “Hosanna to the Son of David”. (15)

4.The chief priests were furious and said to Jesus, “Do You hear what these children are saying?” (16) Again, it was an official rejection of Jesus.

5.But Jesus did not stop the children. For the second time He received worship and equated Himself with God by quoting from Psalm 8:2, “Yes; have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies You have prepared praise for Yourself’?” (16)

APPL – All the signs confirm Jesus is the Messiah.

  • The appointed day.
  • The right way, on the foal of a donkey.
  • The cleansing of God’s house.
  • The healing of the broken lives.
  • The praise and worship of the children.
  • God was shouting from heaven!


APPL - If someone does not respond when you call their name, what message are they sending to you? 

  • It means they are not listening to you.
  • They do not want to talk with you.
  • But when God calls, it is time to answer.

Revelation 3:20, Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

  • Will you answer His call and accept His invitation to receive His Son as your Savior?
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