Sunday, 11 February 2018

Jesus is the King (Mark 11:1-11)

On Friday I got to speak at our Youth Group. This was the first talk of the year where we are introducing a new series looking at the Last Week of the King - the week before Jesus' death and resurrection. This series will lead us up to Easter this year. Below is pretty much what I said, not including the stumbling over some lines. I should say that I did lean on Michael Youssef’s Palm Sunday talk The Kingship of Jesus Christ. That talk reminded me of the classic That's My King youtTube clip, both these resources are worth listening to.

Hello and welcome. This is my first night at Youth Group. If you are also new here and feeling nervous - so am I.

At Youth Group we seek to give God glory because he is worthy of all praise. This term we are looking at Jesus’ last week before His death and resurrection. Tonight, we are looking at Palm Sunday and by the end of the term, we would have followed Jesus to Easter Sunday. We will be going through Mark’s account of this last week, and you can find it all in Mark Gospel from chapters 11 to 16.

Now the way you enter a place can say a lot about what you mean. It can set the tone for your whole visit. You turn up to a bank wearing a balaclava you will get a pretty different reaction than if you turn up in a suit. You walk into a room all confident, some people may notice and turn their head. I have some quick examples I found on youtTube of some grand entrances…

<Clip of a guy walking into a glass window, Jimmy Fallon falling over, and some of Kramer from Seinfeld entrances>

Mark has taken us on a fast-paced journey with Jesus. We have stated at Galilee and have been looking forward to Jerusalem. This all part of Jesus’ deliberate plan. Three times has said that He will suffer and to die and to rise again. [click]Here, in tonight’s passage we see Jesus deliberately entering into Jerusalem like a king of old. King Dave and His son Solomon both rode donkeys reserved for royalty[1].

Throughout Mark’s gospel Jesus has been healing people and giving them a glimpse of His power over the Devil, disease, and death, but strangely he has also been telling people to be quiet about it. But now, when Jesus comes to Jerusalem the crowds treat Jesus like a king, like a king in the line of the great Jewish king David, like a king who has come to save them from oppression and slavery. And Jesus doesn’t tell them to be quiet about it. Jesus doesn’t tell them to stop because they are right on the money. Jesus is a king and not just any king.

The passage just before this one has Jesus healing a blind dude. This guy, Bartimaeus called Jesus the Son of David. That is, he is saying Jesus has royal blood in him, to be a son of a king means you are royalty. Jesus heals this blind guy because of his faith[2]. Bartimaeus was blind but he could see something about Jesus. He saw that Jesus is the King who has come to save.

But not only is Jesus just in the royal line of a great king, he is more than that. If you have eyes to see it, Jesus is claiming to be the great king that had been foretold hundreds of years before Him. The Old Testament, from Genesis to Malachi has been looking forward to a messiah, a king to save them.

The most relevant Old Testament prophecy tonight is from Zechariah 9:9 where we are told that this great king will come on a donkey, not just any donkey but a colt, that is a young male donkey. In Zechariah, it says that this donkey riding great king will be righteous and humble and will bring salvation.

Jesus is this humble king. Jesus in the previous chapter just said that He has come not to be served like every other king that has ever come, but to serve[3]. Jesus humbled Himself for us so that we can be saved. Jesus is God and left heaven for us, to become a servant to die on a cross in our place[4] to save us from our sins.

In our passage, the crowds shout out Hosanna. That means “save us”[5]. They are calling out to Jesus, they calling out to a king to save them. Have you called out to Jesus to save you? Is He your King?

You may wonder why should Jesus be my King?

Well, Jesus is like no other King. He is better than any king that has ever live and that will ever live.
Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jesus conquers all enemies, including Satan, He has no rival, He has no equal and one day all knees will bow to Him and all tongues will confess He is king[6].

And Jesus is a good king. His is infinite in his wisdom, perfect in His character, merciful and just in all His rulings, He is the only true God and the only man who raised Himself from the dead. He is from everlasting to everlastings, from beginning to end, Jesus rules over all things, all places and all people. Is He your King?[7]

Jesus promises to bring a comfort to the suffering, to wipe every tear from the hurting, to give rest to the tired and to give everlasting life to those who trust Him. Do you trust Him? Is Jesus your King?

Have you ever hear some misguided person say that “all religious leaders were really the same”? Would you tell them that Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords? Have you heard some nice well-meaning person say “Jesus was a good moral teacher”? You can them tell them that Jesus is more than that, Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. If on TV you see some disaster or crisis that looks hopeless remind yourself that Jesus is King and ruling over everything[8].

Have you accepted Jesus as your King? Have you welcomed Him to take the direction of your life?
Have you kinda sorta once made some decision for Jesus but kinda left it at that? Have you lost a sense of awe of how big Jesus is? Make this year a new start to follow Jesus and to really let Him rule over your life.

Is Jesus King over your life? Is He king over your time, over your gifts and over the things that your treasure the most? How does your life give honor to Jesus? What does that look like?

We are going to split into small groups now and discuss further what it might mean for Jesus to be King over your life.

[1] 1 Kings 1:38-40

[2] Mark 10:46-52

[3] Mark 10:45

[4] Phil 2:5-8

[5] Elwell, W. A., & Beitzel, B. J. (1988). Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (1000). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House.

[6] Phil 2:9-11

[7] I took most of this paragraph from Michael Youssef’s talk The Kingship of Jesus Christ

[8] The sense of this has been taken from Michael Youssef’s talk The Kingship of Jesus Christ

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