Wayfinding Week 10

Jesus is a complex person. He defies categories. He mocks stereotypes. He cannot be reduced or compartmentalized. He’s an enigma.

Understanding that, I have one goal for us this morning. To see a very specific picture of who Jesus is. One that, frankly, seems highly paradoxical.

Let’s understand a bit of history.

The Old Testament is largely a story about God’s unique relationship with the Nation of Israel. A group of people, through which, God chose to reveal himself to the world.

A thousand years before Jesus became human, God promised David, the first king of Israel, that David’s throne would be permanent, that it would never end.

2 Samuel 7:12–13
[12] When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. [13] He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

Understanding this promise, the Jewish people, the Nation of Israel, for a thousand years, generation after generation after generation, eagerly waited for the arrival of the “son of David”… the Messiah, the “Anointed One” who would rule forever.

There were lots of people over the years that the Jews thought might be the Messiah. There were lots of people they hoped would be the Messiah, but of course, they were not, because they were killed or died and were forgotten to history.

So when Jesus arrives, there is excitement once again.

Matthew 12:23
After Jesus healed a blind and mute man, Matthew 12 says, And all the people were amazed, and said, “Can this be the Son of David?”

Could Jesus be the Messiah? Could Jesus be the promised King?

Jesus entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, the day we remember today, it would be an understatement to say that the people were excited. Turn with me to Matthew chapter 21…

JESUS’ ENTRANCE

Matthew 21:1–11
[1] Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, [2] saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. [3] If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord needs them,’ and he will send them at once.” [4] This took place to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet, saying, [5] “Say to the daughter of Zion, ‘Behold, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’”

[6] The disciples went and did as Jesus had directed them. [7] They brought the donkey and the colt and put on them their cloaks, and he sat on them. [8] Most of the crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. [9] And the crowds that went before him and that followed him were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” [10] And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?” [11] And the crowds said, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

The crowd was shouting, “Hosanna! Lord save us! Lord deliver us! We’ve been waiting for our king!”

Remember our goal for the morning? To see the paradoxical nature of Jesus.

JESUS IS NOT IMMODEST

What does Jesus do? Does he say, “Awe shucks.” No! “Does he get embarrassed and rosy-cheeked and say, “Guys… you really shouldn’t.” No!

Jesus is not immodest. He doesn’t quietly slip into Jerusalem. He makes a grand entrance.
Watching Hunger Games on a Plane

For the unfamiliar, The Hunger Games takes place in dystopian America where the government holds the annual Hunger Games. Children from various districts are selected to compete to the death in a televised event.

To mark the beginning of the games, tributes from each district ride chariots in a sort of opening ceremony.

This was also the first time the citizens see the tributes in person. To show their approval, the audience cheers for the tributes they like.

It’s also a chance for the tributes to make an impression on sponsors who essentially provide financial backing.

It was all about the show. All about making an impression so every detail is thought through to make a grand entrance.

Jesus chose every part of his entry. Every detail.

KING

Luke 19:37–40
[37] … the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, [38] saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” [39] And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” [40] He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

Jesus, says, "If my disciples stop rejoicing, the rocks are going to shout.” Every part of creation is on the verge of erupting in praise. A tempest, a fury of praise, a symphony of joy is ready to be released into the universe. Let the shout with every fiber of their being!”

Why?

Have no doubt, he is the Son of David. He is the promised Messiah! HE… IS… THE… KING!

Where’s the paradox?

KING ON A DONKEY

Matthew 21:5
“your king is coming to you, humble”

What kind of king rides in on a donkey?

Warhorse

Military- the baddest horse you can find. Fire in its eyes.

Any general riding in on a donkey is going to be slaughtered. It would be better to walk in than to ride in on a donkey.

Of course, riding on a donkey was a significant demonstration of humility, but there was one far greater.
HUMILITY OF THE CROSS

It took an act of profound humility for Jesus, the eternal God to take on human flesh and suffer and die for us.

Make no mistake, he is King. He is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, but he is the King who came to carry a cross.

Philippians 2:8–11
[8] And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. [9] Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, [10] so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, [11] and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
  • Can you recall instances where Jesus' actions or teachings seemed paradoxical? How do these impact your view of Him?
  • How does knowing the promise made to David about his lineage enrich your understanding of Jesus as the Messiah?
  • How does Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem differ from a traditional king's entry, and what does it reveal about His kingship?
  • What message was Jesus conveying by choosing to ride on a donkey into Jerusalem?
  • How did Jesus’ actions and the manner of His arrival in Jerusalem challenge the expectations of the Messiah held by the people of that time?
  • How does Jesus’ humility challenge current views on leadership? How might you embody this humility?
  • What does the proclamation that every knee will bow to Jesus mean to you, and how does it influence your daily life?
  • Considering Jesus' ultimate sacrifice on the cross, how does this act of humility and love influence your understanding of sacrifice and service in your own life?
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