Grace For The Journey
Since Luke 9:51 Jesus has been on His way steadfastly to Jerusalem. We have read of His travels from that point in chapter 9 and now up to this point today in chapter 19 as Jesus enters into Jerusalem. Jesus has just told a parable about His kingdom. Jesus has come once as king and will return as king. In the interim, Christ’s followers have entered into that kingdom. We live during the “dash” between the first and second coming of King Jesus. Now Luke tells us in verse 28, “When He had said this,” and what He had just said of course is in verse 27, the picture part of the parable; He has just said that there are some who did not want Christ to reign over Him. He says in verse 27, “But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them.” It is significant to note that this statement precedes Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. This passage is often referred to as Christ’s “Triumphal Entry” into Jerusalem, His entry into Jerusalem as king.
I do not know many fathers who have not wrestled with their boys as they are growing up in the house. It seems a sort of manly ritual that nearly every dad and his boys find themselves doing from time to time – that is of course until those boys reach the age where they are not exactly boys anymore, at which point dad learns that he would rather be healthy and have a strong back than to pull any more muscles. I have memories of my brother and I wrestling on the floor, and I would pin them down and give him the phrase he had to repeat in order to “tap out” and be free from my domination. The phrase they had to repeat to show their submission was, “You are king!” If he did not say, “You are king,” he could not get up.
There is something about that title, “King,” that conveys absolute sovereign, power, reverence, rule, and reign. While there are earthly kings, earthly rulers, leaders, and even fatherly king “wanna bees,” they are nothing like the supernal and supernatural “King Jesus.” More and more I find this title – King – for Jesus to be perhaps the most helpful. We speak most frequently of Jesus as “Lord,” and rightly so. If He is not Lord “of all” He is not Lord “at all.” If that is what Christians mean by addressing Christ as “Lord” then let us continue using this title. I wonder, however, whether “Lord” is beginning to lose its meaning for many, whether it has just become a “part” of Christ’s name. For this reason it is helpful when we come across biblical passages such as our text this morning that remind us that Jesus Christ is KING. This is what Lordship means. When we think of Christ as King, we separate real Christians from mere professors of Christ because it means we live under the reign and rule of Jesus Christ. He is “Number One” of our lives. He comes first, everything else is second.
This passage at the end of Luke 19, where Jesus enters into Jerusalem now as king reminds us of the importance of living under His rule and reign. I want us to look at that this morning and give to you two main headings under which to arrange the material. This is a descriptive outline, simply describing the first and second half of the text. First, let us . . .
I. Consider The Majesty Of His Coming.
In verses 28-40 Luke describes the majestic and triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem. Jesus sends two of His disciples on ahead to “find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat” (verse 30). He says to bring it back. if anyone asks, “Why are you loosing it,” they are to say, “The Lord has need of it” (verse 31). We read that this is exactly what happens.
Now because Jesus Christ is both human and divine it could well be that this whole arrangement was foreseen by the supernatural foreknowledge of God-in-the-flesh. It certainly would not be the first time. We read only a week or so ago of Christ’s knowing Zacchaeus by name and arranging the whole up-in-the-sycamore tree encounter. At the same time, however, this securing of the colt could simply have been a prearrangement on the part of Jesus so that a colt was ready ahead of time for the two disciples to pick up and so that they would know the phrase to utter in order to receive it, “The Lord has need of Him.”
In either case, verse 35 says they brought the colt to Jesus and the disciples threw their clothes on it and set Jesus on the colt. And as He went, verse 36 tells us, many spread their clothes on the road, all of this a way of welcoming a person of importance into the city.
The colt upon which Jesus rides into the city is significant for at least two reasons. First, Luke tells us in verse 30 that it is a colt upon which “no one has ever sat.” This description is especially significant in that it speaks of the kind of purity required in the Old Testament sacrificing of animals for worship. Numbers 19:2, for example, speaks of the importance of securing an animal “in which there is no defect and on which a yoke has never come.” The colt upon which Jesus rides into the city is also significant in that it is a fulfillment of an earlier prophecy – given around 650 years before Christ – by the Prophet Zechariah who foretells the coming of the Messiah-King, the Messianic King, into the holy city of Jerusalem. The prophet foretells in Zechariah 9:9, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey.” Here is yet another fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy concerning the majesty of the coming of King Jesus – predicted in the Old Testament, fulfilled in the New Testament.
Verses 37 and 38 tell us, “Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, saying: ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!’” Here also is a reference to the Old Testament. The phrase, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord,” is a paraphrase of Psalm 118:26, a benediction pronounced upon festive worshipers entering into the city to worship at the temple.
When the people say, “Blessed is the King who comes,” they are welcoming the majesty of King Jesus. Of course, we have noted that many in Jesus’ day, failed to understand His first coming. The people thought of the Messiah as a coming national leader who would come to restore the nation of Israel to her former days of glory. They were thinking only an “earthly king,” they were not thinking a “heavenly king.” Remember this is why Jesus told the parable of the minas we looked at last in the passage we look at on Wednesday. They had the wrong idea of the kingdom and Christ’s role as king.
It is easier for us to look back and understand Christ’s first coming. We understand Christ came the first time to save and He will return to reign in His fulness, but He came first to suffer and to die as foretold in the Old Testament. The old song says it best . . .
By faith the prophets saw a day
When the longed-for Messiah would appear
With the power to break the chains of sin and death
And rise triumphant from the grave
This is why Jesus came the first time. He came to reign as king over sin and death. He came to offer Himself a supreme, unblemished sacrifice to take away the guilt and punishment of your sin. He will come again. He will return as King to reign forever on earth. In the meantime, we live between “the dash” of His first and second comings.
The people are cheering because, while they may not know all of this now, they certainly know that Jesus is King and they worship Him with loud cheering and praising, so much so, verse 39 says that “some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, ‘Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” Verse 40 tells us that Jesus answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” These religious leaders, the Pharisees, they are the people Jesus illustrated back in the parable of the minas from last time, back up in verse 14? These are the people who said, “We will not have this man to reign over us.” The religious leaders are not interested in Jesus Christ as King. They cry out to Jesus for Him to silence His disciples.
But Jesus says, “If they should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.” I love that statement! It is a reminder that Jesus Christ is King not only over all people of the earth, but over the entire earth itself. He is Lord over every person, animal, horse, tree, blade of grass, drop of rain, and every rock. The Bible says in Romans 8:19-22 that all creation “eagerly waits” for the consummation of King Jesus, “creation itself being delivered from the bondage of corruption,” looking forward to Christ’s eternal reign. “Silence, My disciples,” says Jesus, “And I will see that these rocks cry out in praise!” Imagine a bunch of rocks singing, “Rock of Ages!”
We go now from “cheers” to “tears.” Verse 41 says, “Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it.” This account occurs only in Luke’s Gospel as Luke challenges us now to . . .
II. Consider The Measure Of His Compassion.
We have read before of Christ’s compassion for the lost of Jerusalem back in Chapter 13. Jesus had lamented earlier in Luke 13:34, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you were not willing!” Here He is now again, this time weeping as He enters the lost city of Jerusalem. He says in verse 42, “Saying, ‘If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.’” Jesus laments that if only these lost people of the city knew “the things that make for their peace.” But they do not know peace. How ironic that they should live in “Jerusalem,” the city whose very name means, “Foundation of Peace.” The word “Shalom” means “Peace,” and “Jeru” means “foundation of.”
They used this word “Shalom” all the time as a blessing of peace: “Shalom, Benjamin!” “Shalom, Levi!” The idea of shalom was more than just a sort of absence of conflict, the way we commonly use it. In Hebrew, the word carries a positive blessing upon the one who receives it, including a blessing of right relationship with God. Jesus laments that these inhabitants of the city do not know “the things that make for their peace.” He says, “it has been hidden from their eyes.” How ironic that people like the “blind” man of Luke 18:35-43 could see so clearly “the things that made for his peace,” while the religious elite could see nothing.
Then Jesus foretells the coming destruction of Jerusalem, a judgment upon them from Almighty God for their refusal to submit to the rule and reign of King Jesus. Jesus says in verses 42 and 44, “For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.” In AD 70, six hundred thousand Jews were killed under Roman Emperor Titus’ onslaught. All that remains today of the biblical city of 2,000 years ago is the famous western “Wailing Wall” you often see on TV where the Jews stand before the wall, face it, and pray towards it. That is all that remains today of the ancient city of Jerusalem, the foundation of peace. Jesus said this would happen and so it did happen some 40 years after He was crucified.
I am all for peace in Israel, and we should, as the psalmist enjoins in Psalm 122:6, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem,” but we need to understand that true peace will not come to Israel by political means. These so-called “Peace Treaties” we rightly draw up are at best temporary and superficial. No peace treaty will last in Israel because the peace necessary is a “peace in heaven” (verse 38). Jesus said, “If only you had known the things that make for your peace.”
The “things that make for our peace,”
Lasting peace are the things of Christ Jesus,
Submitting to His eternal reign as King of our lives!
Luke ends this chapter with Christ’s rightful re-entry into the Jewish Temple, the center of worship, the place where we would expect to find the Messiah-King. We know this material well in verses 45-48, “Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it, saying to them, ‘It is written, My house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ And He was teaching daily in the temple. But the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people sought to destroy Him, and were unable to do anything; for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.” You remember all the way back in Chapter 2, Mary and Joseph accidentally left Jesus back in the city of Jerusalem during the Passover. They return and make a search of the city and find Him in the temple. Luke 2:48-49 says, “So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, ‘Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.’ And He said to them, ‘Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?’”
The whole life of Jesus was to be about “His Father’s business.” He returns to the temple again, again to do His “Father’s business,” coming to fulfill the Father’s plan to save us from sin and shame. He has come to die for our sins and to reign over our lives – to reign as King.
Consider these points of application . . .
1) Does My Heart Frequently Fill With Praise For King Jesus?
Followers of Jesus Christ cannot help but praise Him. I do not mean just singing, though singing is one great way to praise Jesus. Do you sing to Jesus as you walk to school or ride in the bus? Do you sing to Jesus in your car as you drive down the road? Keep your eyes open and keep one hand on the wheel!
Do you praise Him regularly as “King?” I want to encourage you this week to address Jesus as King. Call Him King in your prayers. Try it. See if it does not help you consider whether you are truly submitting to His reign over your live – over your finances, your job, your worries, your sickness, your stuff, and your relationships. Is He really King? Is He “Number One?”
You cannot really have praise for Christ if you do not have the peace of Christ. The reason some professing Christians have difficulty showing praise for Christ is because they do not really have the peace of Christ. You need to be saved from your sin to have true praise for God.
2) Do I Fully Realize The Measure Of Christ’s Compassion For Me?
Jesus laments and weeps for the lost people of the city He is entering. Such compassion! Do you realize the full measure of Christ’s compassion for lost souls? Remember after Zacchaeus is saved what does Jesus say? Back in verse 10, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Christ came to save the lost. He came to show the depth of His compassion for lost souls – souls in the city of Jerusalem and souls in the city in which you live.
- King Jesus has compassion for stay-at-home moms up to their elbows in dishes, for divorced and abandoned men and women,
- King Jesus has compassion for the eager businessman who cannot see beyond the bottom-line of his profits.
- King Jesus has compassion for the young child, the teenager, the senior adult, and the ex-convict.
He says, “If only you had known the things that make for your peace.”
The Son of God in tears
The wondering angels see.
Be thou astonished, O my soul,
He shed those tears for thee. (G. Campell Morgan)
3) How Can I Mirror That Same Compassion For The Lost People In My City?
From City? From The “Community To The Continents?”
What are you doing missionally for the kingdom? Will you tell someone about King Jesus today? Will you show the compassion to others Jesus has shown to you? Will you mirror that beautiful character of Christ? Ask God to show you how to live under the reign and rule of King Jesus this week. Where are you going this year for Jesus? Where is your family going this year for Jesus?
If we are true subjects of the King, then we will do as He says in Acts 1:8, “And you shall be My witnesses, in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” – from the community to the continents. This is God’s Word …
This is God’s Word …
This is Grace for your Journey …
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”