- Sermon Notes
Behold the King of Glory
At this point in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus is traveling from the Sea of Galilee area where He has been teaching, healing the sick and preparing His disciples to go to Jerusalem. Jesus has an appointment with history. The Word of God has been pointing to this event from the beginning.
In the gospel of Matthew alone there were three different times Jesus told His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem where He would suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, that He would be crucified, and that He would be raised up on the third day.
Peter even got into some trouble with the Lord over this. He had different ideas, He wanted Jesus to confront the Roman legions and usher in the kingdom that would bring peace to the world. When he heard Jesus say that He would suffer and be crucified, he actually rebuked the Lord saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to You.” But Peter was the one who was rebuked, “Get behind Me, Satan!” Jesus said, “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 during that week were ordained and set by God before the foundation of the world.
Last week in Genesis we read that after Adam and Eve sinned, they covered themselves with fig leaves because they were naked and ashamed. The glory of God had left them, and they covered their nakedness and shame with fig leaves. After God had confronted them over their sin, however, He made garments of animal skin for Adam and his wife and covered them. God’s covering for their shame was the pointing toward Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross.
In other words, it was by the shedding of blood that their sins were covered; 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 to see and understand.
But the Jews missed it; they didn’t recognize the signs that God had sent His Son so they didn’t 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! These were the signs of the times and they missed it. Their eyes were blind, and their hearts were hard.
But don’t you miss it! Let earth receive her King! Behold, the King of Glory! 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 Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince.” No Messiah can fulfill that prophecy except the one who already fulfilled it.
The purposes of God will be accomplished; as promised, Jesus entered Jerusalem on the exact day appointed by God. Nothing can stop Him, nothing can hinder Him. Today, the Eastern Gate into Jerusalem, also called the Mercy Gate, has been sealed by ancient Muslim leaders hoping to stop the Messiah from fulfilling the prophecy of His return. They even placed a Muslim grave in front of the Eastern Gate, believing that a holy man could not come through the place of the dead.
But nothing can stop Him, and nothing can hinder Him. The question is this, how will you respond?
I. Rejoice and be Glad in Him
- This historic event has everything to do with the fulfilling of prophecy. We are seeing prophecy being fulfilled today. Is there any question that we are watching history unfold before our very eyes?
- In the same way that the Jews had the writings of the Old Testament to reveal the day their king would enter Jerusalem, we have those same scriptures as well as the New Testament to help us discern the events of the last days.
- God’s Word is given to us in advance, so we can prepare our lives and make our hearts ready and respond with faith rather than fear.
A. Be encouraged; God is on the throne
- They came to Bethphage, a town on the east side of the Mount of Olives whose name means, “house of figs.” Interesting; there’s meaning to that as well.
- Then you see the hand of God moving in the details of preparing the colt of the donkey on which Jesus will ride.
- The donkey is an interesting part of the story. Jesus sent two of the disciples to get the donkey, saying, “If anyone says something to you, say, ‘The Lord has need of them.’”
Illus – Once I went to Home Depot in the church van and when I came out I got into a van that looked just like ours; as I realized my mistake the owner of the other van came out also…
- 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 – Today, we are now seeing many signs of the times Jesus gave the disciples. We should not respond in fear; rather, we should be encouraged in knowing that God is in control.
- When you see prophecies fulfilled, we need to see that they come with significance of meaning.
- Zechariah prophesied that their King would be coming to them, gentle, and mounted on the colt of a donkey, a beast of burden. In this 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 detail in the signs for them to discern.
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.
B. Now 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 the crowd was hailing Jesus as the Messiah and demanded that Jesus rebuke the crowd for saying such things, 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 was not the time to be silent; this was the time to declare allegiance; to decide whose side they were on.
Illus – When Israel 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. Joshua approached him and said, “Are you for us or for our adversaries?” He responded, “No; rather I now come as captain of the armies of the Lord.”
- Jesus said, “If you’re not for Me, you’re against Me.” There are some today who are 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. It’s like when someone knocks on the door and you ignore them.
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
- After Jesus came into Jerusalem, He immediately entered the Temple and saw that it had become a den of robbers.
- 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 is great personal application for our lives because the scripture says that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. This is also a picture of what God would do with those things that stand in the way of a relationship to 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 turn 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: