- Sermon Notes
Let Earth Receive her King
We've been following Jesus as He's come from the Sea of Galilee area where He has been ministering, teaching, healing the sick and preparing His disciples for His entry into Jerusalem. In the gospel of Matthew alone we've read of three different times when Jesus told His disciples that He would go to Jerusalem where He would suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be crucified and that He would be raised up on the third day.
Peter even got into a bit of trouble with the Lord over this because when he heard it, he began to rebuke Jesus saying, "God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You." That was when Jesus responded to Peter, "Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's."
In other words, His course had been set by God. Jesus’s entry into the city of Jerusalem that day and the events that followed in the course of that week were ordained and set by God before the foundation of the world.
You can go all the way back to the book of Genesis in the Garden of Eden and see that after Adam and Eve sinned they tried to cover themselves with fig leaves because their sins had made them aware of their nakedness. The glory of God had left them, they became aware of their nakedness, and they tried to cover themselves with fig leaves. After God had confronted them over their sin, He then made garments of animal skin for Adam and his wife and covered them.
In other words, it was by the shedding of blood that their sins were covered. So from the earliest chapters of Genesis God was pointing toward Jesus whose blood would be shed as a covering for our sins as well.
Throughout the entire Old Testament God is pointing toward this very day that we are studying here in Matthew 21. Over and over, chapter by chapter, prophecy by prophecy, it's all there for them to see and understand so they would have no excuse, for God had made it clear through His Word.
But the Jews missed it; they didn’t recognize the signs that God had given that He had sent His Son so they might receive their King. Their King lived among them; the blind received sight, the deaf could hear, the lame could walk. He even raised Lazarus from the dead!
But don't you miss it! Let earth receive her King! Not only must we understand that the Earth has been given her King, we must also understand the significance of that for our lives right now. These verses are not just about understanding the significance of this Day; they are about transforming us as well.
They didn’t recognize that this was the Day that the Lord had made. The Jews are still waiting for their Messiah, but there can be no one else that fulfills
the scriptures. Daniel the prophet gave the exact number of years from “the decree to restore and rebuild
The purposes of God will be accomplished; as prophesied, Jesus is walking into Jerusalem at the exact day appointed by God. Nothing can stop Him, nothing can hinder Him, but the question for us is this, how will you respond?
I. Rejoice and be Glad in Him
- This historic event has great significance for our lives today. Is there any question that we are watching history unfold before our very eyes?
- But we need to step back and understand that these events of the last days in which we are in find their significance and relevance in the pages of the Word of God.
- In the same way that the Jews had all of the writings of the Old Testament to point them towards the Day that their King would arrive, we have all of that and all that God has given us in the New Testament to help us discern the events of the last days.
- Word is given to us in advance so we can prepare our lives and so we can make our hearts ready to respond with faith and not fear.
A. Be encouraged; God is in control
- They come to Bethphage, a town on the east side of the Mount of Olives whose name means, "house of figs." We'll see the significance of that.
- Then you see the hand of God moving even in the details of preparing the colt of the donkey on which Jesus will ride and the owner who will release them for Jesus to ride on.
- Then you see the fulfilling of all of the prophecies that God gave them in advance so they would recognize the signs of the times and be ready.
- By the way, as we move into the events of the last days, we must also be ready, that's why God gave His Word in advance.
- Last week we were talking about spiritual blindness. God gave us His Word so that when we see the signs and recognize the time of His appearing, we would make our lives ready.
App - When you step back and see the events that are unfolding on the earth today, we are now seeing many signs of the times, though there are still more yet to come. We should not respond in fear; rather, we should be encouraged to know that God is in control.
- When you see prophecies fulfilled, we also need to see that they come with significance of meaning.
- Zechariah prophesied that the King would be coming to them, gentle, and mounted on the colt of a donkey, a beast of burden. Right away we see the significance of His humility and His heart to carry our burdens.
Matthew 11:29-30, "Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
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."
- One of the most important prophecies is found in Daniel 9 where God gives an amazing degree of detailed signs for their discerning.
Daniel 9:24-27 Daniel’s prophecy of 70 sevens.
B. There is a time to declare your heart
- There was a multitude of people coming with Jesus into Jerusalem that day and many of them were crying out, saying, "Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!"
- The Jewish leaders knew this to be a declaration that Jesus was the Messiah and demanded that Jesus rebuke the crowd, but He would not.
Luke 19:39-40, Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples." But Jesus answered, "I tell you, if these become silent, even the stones will cry out!"
- In other words, this is not the time to be silent; this is the time to declare your allegiance.
Illus – When Israel had first entered the land God had promised them, their leader, Joshua, was by Jericho and saw a man standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand, and Joshua said to him, "Are you for us or for our adversaries?" He said, "No; rather I come now as captain of the host of the Lord."
- There are some who are silent even today, holding back their heart. They may be curious, they've heard interesting things, but they are still holding back their heart.
- In other words, they are neither hot nor cold, but as we see in scripture, that's actually a very dangerous place.
Revelation 3:15-16, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth."
- When God calls, that's the time to answer.
Illus – If someone doesn't respond when you call their name, they are sending you a message. There's a saying today that captures this very well; "Talk to the hand." It means, "you might as well talk to my hand, because I'm not listening."
Luke 13:34-35, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, just as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not have it. Behold, your house is left to you desolate."
II. Your King is a Champion
- When Jesus entered Jerusalem, He immediately entered the Temple and saw that it had become a robbers’ den.
- He immediately overturned the tables of the money changers and those selling doves.
- They were standing in the way of people wanting to worship and honor God.
A. Some things must be overturned
- There really is great personal application for our lives because they scripture says that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit and so this is also a picture of what God would do with those things that stand against God in our lives.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, "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."
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.
Illus - My wife and I received a letter once from one of our children thanking us for the discipline we gave.
- God wants our agreement, not our resistance.
- Are there things in your life that God wants overturned or cast out?
B. Some things must be healed
- The very next verse says that the blind and the lame came to Him and He healed them.
- Both cleansing the temple and healing their wounds 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;"
- God does both of those things for all of us. He'll overturn what needs to be overturned and heal what needs to be healed.
Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”
C. God expects fruit in our lives
- In the morning as He was returning to the city, He came upon a fig tree that had leaves, but no fruit and He rebuked the tree.
- There were several places in scripture where God compared Israel to figs.
Hosea 9:10, "I saw your forefathers as the earliest fruit on the fig tree in its first season."
- What kind of fruit is God expecting in our lives? God wants us to return to Him with our whole heart and to walk by faith, trusting Him with our lives.
Jeremiah 24:7, "I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the Lord; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart."
- The disciples were focused on the fact that the fig tree withered, but Jesus pointed them to the importance of living by faith.
Habakkuk 2:4, "Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him; but the righteous will live by his faith."
Matthew 21:1-22 NASB
1 When they had approached Jerusalem and had come 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 there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, 'The Lord has need of them,' and immediately he will send them." 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
20 Seeing this, the disciples were amazed and asked, "How did the fig tree wither all at once?" 21 And Jesus answered and said to them, "Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it will happen. 22 And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."