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They Called Him King


Matthew 21:1-11

For some time now in the gospel of Matthew, Jesus has been headed to Jerusalem…the place where a cross is waiting for Him.

Enlightening in the sense that what takes place reveals a great truth about Jesus.

Hopefully, as we learn these great truths, we will have the courage to be honest with ourselves…and to make the changes we need to make.

In this passage Jesus comes to Jerusalem and as He approaches Jerusalem, He sends two of His disciples to a nearby village…and He tells them that they would find a donkey tied there and a colt would be with the donkey…they were to get the animals and bring them to Jesus. .

So the disciples go as Christ told them too….and they find the animals.

Jesus is on this colt and the passage says that  “Most of the multitude spread their garments in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees, and spreading them in the road. 9 And the multitudes going before Him, and those who followed after were crying out, saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest!”

 And John tell us that the multitude of disciples who had seen Jesus raise Lazarus from the tomb, “Began to bear witness” of Him.

And in vs. 10 Matthew says that when Jesus entered Jerusalem the whole city was stirred up saying, “Who is this?”

 But here is the puzzling part of this; if you have paid much attention to what has been happening in the life of Christ up to this time, it is almost shocking that He would enter Jerusalem this way.

But obviously from this passage, that is not how He comes.

But even if there were no threat, for Him to enter this way is kind of strange because in Mark’s gospel Jesus has been kind of secretive.

Why? Why, when He has tried so hard to this point to try and not raise attention to Himself.

Look with me at vs. 4 and look what it says. It says:

Now this took place that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled…”

Jesus came into Jerusalem the way He did to fulfill prophecy.

And look what the prophet says in verse 5:

“Say to the daughter of Zion, Behold your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.”

When Jesus did this. . .when He came into Jerusalem this way. . .when He came riding on that donkey… He was making a public proclamation.

 You see, this is not just a public entrance, this is a regal entrance.

And that is what the people called Him.

Now, they had a little different understanding of what their King was going to do.

And His enemies understood too.

 And it was a proclamation that would not be stopped.

“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

The people say: “He is King!”

When Jesus comes into Jerusalem this way, He is declaring a truth that demands to be heard.

Brethren, when Jesus entered Jerusalem that day He was proclaiming Himself to be King to all of Jerusalem.

And every one of them, whether they understand it or not. . .is subject to this King.

And all of this was done that day to make that proclamation to those people… and to all of us today.

And we say, “Sure, He is King?”

Look at this here in Luke 19; Jesus comes riding on the colt and in verse 36 the people say, “Blessed is the King.”

The people are praising Him…and shouting “honor” to him.

But look at verse 41 of Luke 19. As Jesus approaches the city…He weeps!

Why? Well, look what He says: vs 41:  And when He approached, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.

They called Him “King!”

But here Jesus says that not only will their city be destroyed,. but many of them will be too!

Because the people “did not recognize who it was that had come to them.”

Sure, they called Him “King.”

In Mark 11 and in verse 11…the passage says that Jesus, after entering Jerusalem, went to the temple and looked around.

And He entered the temple and began to cast out those who were selling, saying to them, “It is written, ‘And My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a robbers’ den.”

He finds ambition, and greed, and lust, and betrayal from the very people who earlier called Him “KING.”

There is one more passage that really drives the point home. Mark 15: 1-15.

And early in the morning the chief priests with the elders and scribes, and the whole Council, immediately held a consultation; and binding Jesus, they led Him away, and delivered Him up to Pilate. 2 And Pilate questioned Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And answering He said to him, “It is as you say.”  3 And the chief priests began to accuse Him harshly. 4 And Pilate was questioning Him again, saying, “Do You make no answer? See how many charges they bring against You!” 5 But Jesus made no further answer; so that Pilate was amazed. 6 Now at the feast he used to release for them any one prisoner whom they requested. 7 And the man named Barabbas had been imprisoned with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the insurrection. 8 And the multitude went up and began asking him to do as he had been accustomed to do for them. 9 And Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he was aware that the chief priests had delivered Him up because of envy. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the multitude to ask him to release Barabbas for them instead. 12 And answering again, Pilate was saying to them, “Then what shall I do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?” 13 And they shouted back, “Crucify Him!” 14 But Pilate was saying to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify Him!” 15 And wishing to satisfy the multitude, Pilate released Barabbas for them, and after having Jesus scourged, he delivered Him to be crucified.

What happened to all those people who just a few days before stood by the road and shouted,
“Hosanna to the King?”

A lot of people sing “Hosanna and call Him King.”

What does it mean to sincerely make Him King?

If He is king this is what you do. It is that simple.

If He is King…If He is Lord…then you listen to Him…and you do what He says…regardless.

Today, many do the same thing.

What about you? What about me? What about us? What about us as a congregation who calls ourselves disciples?

Let’s close with Jesus’ words found in Matthew 7:21

It is a dangerous thing to simply call Him “King”…and not live it.

And if you call Him King…and you haven’t obeyed Him…If you haven’t done what He commands by being baptized for the forgiveness of your sins…then that is all you are doing…you are simply calling Him King.