Alive Wesleyan

The Donkey- (Wild Kingdom - Week 3)

October 22, 2019
Alive Wesleyan
The Donkey- (Wild Kingdom - Week 3)
Chapters
Alive Wesleyan
The Donkey- (Wild Kingdom - Week 3)
Oct 22, 2019
Alive Wesleyan
Show Notes Transcript

Matthew 21:1-11 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

 

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

 

“Say to Daughter Zion,

    ‘See, your king comes to you,

gentle and riding on a donkey,

    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”



Speaker 1:
0:01
Well, good morning. And as you all just saw, we are in the midst of this wild kingdom series. And I'm really excited to be actually here this morning. And a, you know that we've talked through the snake idea and the snake starts out in the garden. So we start out with the beginning of God's story and we are introduced to this character, the snake who represents the enemy, the devil. And we talked about the fact that he is a liar and that's his language and he is hell bent on destruction for all of us. God's creatures that God dearly loves. And we know that in the garden people didn't just become effected by the snake. They actually cooperated with the snake. And so as he fed us lies, we started to wonder if God was telling us the truth. And so we began to actually choose our way or another way other than God's way.
Speaker 1:
0:42
And that's resulted in sin. And as we learned, scripture calls sin a serious thing. It actually says that that sin produces something, the wages of sin is death. And that's a pretty intense thing to say. It's a more intense thing to live out. And so we learned last week that in response to God's understanding of our sin resulting in our death, he didn't stand by and watch. He stepped in. And so God himself in the form of Jesus Christ came to us and became a sacrificial lamb. And so we talked about how Jesus became the lamb for us who actually was slaughtered on our behalf. And that's pretty intense as well. And we learned that, that God actually began this understanding for us when the people of God were actually enslaved in Egypt. And when they were enslaved and they were grumbling and complaining and groaning and praying, God said to them, listen, I have heard your groaning and grumbling and complaining.
Speaker 1:
1:38
I see your plight. I'm coming to rescue you. And so they're established this incredible event that became an understanding of later on that turned into what we call Passover, where God asks his people to slaughter a lamb and use the blood to paint the doorposts of their home symbolize. And they were under God's blood. And when they were under God's blood, they were safe. But outside of those homes, people not under God's blood, they experienced both the justice and incredible heartache as God rescued his people in a pretty significant way. And so I was, I was asking about this week and why I was up this week. People kept just insinuating that I fit the topic and then went understood what we were talking about. It would all make sense. And uh, so today we're talking about a donkey and my first thought was, Oh, stubborn, I'm stubborn.
Speaker 1:
2:33
And then they were like, no, that's the mule. It's something else. And I was like, Oh, I'm still not sure why that what they're talking about, but I'm here and we're going to talk about the donkey. Um, it may do your heart some good to know that that actually didn't happen. Our staff is too nice to do that. But I bet if I asked you to think of someone who fit the topic for today, you could probably think of somebody, right? And I don't know what it is or who it is you think of when we started talking about a donkey. But you may have heard of of pack animals, right? Donkeys being pack animals, they carry an incredible amount of weight. And so maybe in your travels or in watching national geographic shows, you've seen an animal, a donkey carrying weight up the side of a Hill.
Speaker 1:
3:12
Um, maybe you think of a donkey just kinda being around in a barn yard, just kinda hanging out. I've thought about that a lot, actually more than I probably should of just thinking why do we as people just have donkeys in barn yards? Like what did they do? I actually found out they're really good protection animals for other livestock. Wasn't aware of that. That's pretty cool. Um, some of you actually might think of Shrek, right? And the donkey who is full of wisdom and all kinds of jokes in Eddie Murphy's voice. And it's just wonderful. Some of you may know that at one point in time after apparently walking around on his own feet for 30 some years of his life, one day Jesus jumped on a donkey. And that's a really confusing sentence actually. I understand that. But one day Jesus did jump on a donkey and he rode into town and the story has left quite an impact on all of history and we're gonna talk about that story today.
Speaker 1:
3:59
We're going to get into exactly why that might've happened, but before we do that, because I know what happens when I think of a Bible story. Sometimes I cleaned it up and sanitize it. And so even just a sentence, Jesus climbed on a donkey and rode into town. It feels like, Oh yeah, of course he did his Jesus donkeys were transportation. But I want you to actually see what it might've looked like. I'm sure he was better than we are, but I want you to see what it might've looked like for a full grown man to jump on a donkey and tried to ride it. Check out this video.
Speaker 2:
4:37
This just tried [inaudible] behind behind. I don't think he likes. He looks natural. Feel pretty natural. I match. Good job. Rosie, do you think this is how he did it? I do not have good balance. I'm just not in this side. [inaudible].
Speaker 1:
6:00
So for Rosie was such a good sport. Um, I genuinely don't know if anyone in the very actually written her before and we had definitely not written donkeys as you could tell. Notice a couple things about that video. One, uh, we made Paul go first cause that's funny. Uh, too. Heather tried to know hands approach, which I thought was pretty awesome. Um, did you also see Rosie tried to get Jeremy off of her by going up against the fence? I thought that was brilliant. Uh, if you noticed us kind of diving off the one side, uh, I can explain that there was a large public restroom that Rosie frequented in the middle of her pasture area and, uh, it was very intentional. She kept trying to write us up to that and throw us off and so we would bail to the left side every single time.
Speaker 1:
6:40
And it was, it was an intense experience. Um, her owner is actually a neighbor and not far down the street from where I live, named Teddy and wonderful, wonderful woman. And, uh, really had some hilarious questions for us about this whole thing. But, um, that experience, while we may be much, much worse at riding a donkey than Jesus was, I wanted you to see that because riding a donkey is a weird experience. It was for me. It was from everyone on the video and a, and it's not what you would expect. Someone who is graceful employees and powerful to do. And yet Jesus did that in order to get to the why of that, in order to really understand why we would ever have this story take place. I want to get right into the scripture and this, this scripture is recorded by one of Jesus's friends and followers named Matthew.
Speaker 1:
7:20
He's a former tax collector who writes down everything he sees with his own two eyes as he's following Jesus around. And so this is found in his record of things in verse or chapter 21 of his book. And we're going to begin as, as the disciples are coming into town, as they approached Jerusalem, they came to Bethpage on the Mount of olives. Jesus sent two disciples saying to them, go to the village ahead of you. And at once, you will find a donkey tied there with her Colt, by her, untie them and bring them to me. If anyone asks anything to you, say that the Lord needs them and he will send them right away. I don't know what the impact of this is for you, but if I were a donkey owner and you came up to me and said that to me, you would never leave with my donkey.
Speaker 1:
7:56
That's just weird, right? It's a weird way to start this conversation. Um, but this is actually kind of a strange thing. It actually wasn't a random act. The disciples seem to have experienced so much with Jesus. That was weird that they didn't seem to even question it. They were like, okay, just go find a random dude. Get his donkey. If he asks, just tell him the Lord needs it, that'll be fine. But they went and did that. And it wasn't odd that Jesus asked this apparently because he was pretty straight forward about it. And we know that it wasn't random because scripture tells us, in fact, 500 years approximately before this took place, a man named Zachariah said it was going to happen. And uh, and Matthew records that. So Matthew is gonna tell us about it and it says this, uh, this took place to fulfill what?
Speaker 1:
8:32
Spoken through the prophet say to daughters, Zion, see your King comes to you gentle and riding on the donkey. And on a Colt the foal of a donkey. The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, they brought the donkey and the Colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. And so this all took place. And then something really, really strange happens next. A very large crowd actually spread out their cloaks the road and while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road, the crowds, the one ahead of him, that being Jesus and those that followed shouted Hosanna to the son of David. Bless it is he who comes to the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the highest heaven. Well, when Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred that word and a couple other words in this scripture actually have the idea of the, the ground shaking like a manmade earthquake.
Speaker 1:
9:18
Like things were happening, rumbling was taking place all over the city. And the people asked, who is this? The crowds who were there already asked the people who had come into town or the people came in into town and ask the people who are there already, who is this? But people who knew answer this is Jesus the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee. So Jesus is creating quite a stir as he comes into town on a donkey. And I gave you the setup with the video and the idea of what what's starting to take place. It actually could seem kind of cartoonish and almost odd and awkward, but I, it was actually a pretty intense scene.
Speaker 3:
9:53
Okay.
Speaker 1:
9:53
And I'll tell you why. There's, there's a lot of context to the see the people gathering that day. We're there to celebrate the land that we've talked about before. They understood that Jesus was connected to it. They were there celebrating the Passover experience, the Passover, there was a remembrance back hundreds of years when God actually had delivered them from Egypt. And this was the culmination of their cultural and religious calendar where they as a group, and actually the city itself would be joined by tons of other Jews who had spread out to other towns and villages and they would actually come to the city of Jerusalem. The city would swell to some people think 120 550,000 people in a small city and they would be there to celebrate this incredible historical event that took place in a historical event that took place, was also supposed to point towards a future of hope and of salvation and rescue. So people that were enslaved back in Egypt were now in their own hometown generations later, except now they're under the thumb of the oppressive rule of Rome and other empire. And so while they're remembering this incredible experience that took place where God had rescued them, they're in there looking forward to future salvation because they are right now under the burden of a people that they are not a huge fan of. And this is the event that this crowd is getting ready to celebrate.
Speaker 1:
11:11
All right. Before the celebration began, Jesus was actually outside of town and he'd been doing his usual thing, which was healing people. Now it's usual with the us because we've read it so many times, it's still very unusual that Jesus would come and confront a S, uh, some sort of medical issue and say, get outta here. And it would go, that's weird. It's, it's become way too normal for us that that happened when Jesus did what he did. But that was happening there and it was creating this kind of stir it would create with us Jesus not only was healing people, he was teaching with authority, so much authority that people were saying, man, I've never heard anyone preach like this. And the religious leaders are like, really? We've been preaching it for like 30 years. And you've never had anybody preach like this. Awesome.
Speaker 1:
11:50
So they're not a huge fan. And then Jesus does something that actually really grabs their attention. Not everybody believed it happened, but rumors were flying that Jesus had actually heard about his friend Lazarus dying, and he came a couple of days too late. Lazarus was dead. He was in the tomb. He was wrapped up, he was buried, and yet Jesus walked up, called Lazarus out of the tomb. Lazarus came out with grave clothes on alive as he was a few days before, and people were really, really confused by this. The religious rulers were really upset about this because not only was Jesus a great teacher and he was healing people and he was gaining momentum and followers. People were starting to say stuff about how he was different. He wasn't like all the other people. He was powerful. He had an impact. He was raising people from the dead. Who could this man be?
Speaker 1:
12:36
Was he the promised one that was coming? Was he connected somehow more intimately to God than anybody they'd ever experienced before. And the religious leaders were afraid. In fact, they were so afraid of Jesus' influence. They had already decided amongst themselves that if Jesus kept this going, he was going to have to die. So many people were believing in Jesus because of Lazarus. They decided, you know what? We might have to take Lazarus out too. So the festival is starting to get geared up. People are crowding into the city. The Jewish leaders are looking out for Jesus and trying to figure out when he's going to come in, if he's going to show his face. I'm sure they had double the Roman guard, if not more on hand just in case this thing got out of control. The people are so excited to see if Jesus is going to show up and they're asking one another, who is this? What's going on?
Speaker 1:
13:23
You should also know that there's a path that comes into town from the area that Jesus was entering from and on this path every year was led a sacrificial, symbolic lamb and that lamb would be let in and the people would gather and they would see the symbolic glam in front of them and this land would represent to them the coming salvation of God, the past salvation of God, the salvation of God that they wanted to see in their lifetime. And they would actually sing songs, celebratory songs, much like our Christmas carols, but but very much more sacred to them. And they would sing about how God's lamb was representative of their coming salvation and how when they saw this lamb, they could say bless it, is he who comes in the name of the Lord and Oh my goodness, this is where it's, this is where it's all coming together and down that same exact path and many scholars believe in front of or or before they could ever lead the lamb into town.
Speaker 1:
14:12
Jesus came in riding on a donkey, not sneaking into the side door of town, but very conspicuously in front of everybody riding into that very frenzied crowd in front of the lamb as people respond to him, singing songs that are sacred about the coming salvation of Israel and about God being blessed for letting them see this day. And it created quite a confusing and stirring scene. It wasn't unheard of for people to come into town on a donkey or on a horse. People came into a town on a horse and they would ride in and a horse for every cent had victory and power to people. So if someone came in on a horse and that kind of fanfare, people knew that a victory had just been one that they were about to brag about or a victory was about to be had and they were going to be the victims of it.
Speaker 1:
15:01
Yeah. Spoke of power. People that wrote in on donkeys, they came in peace because if you came into war on a donkey, you look ridiculous. And so I want you to kind of imagine for a second Braveheart, right? We can picture Braveheart long straggly hair and rippling muscles and some sort of weird leather for things situation and a sword as big as his body. And his face is all painted up and he's gritting his teeth and he ambles in on little rosy that I just showed you doesn't really work that well, right? So when you came in peace, it was obvious what you were saying. I'm not here to do you harm. I'm here. I've got good intentions for you. And so Jesus strides in on a donkey symbolizing piece. We're going to use three different words today, and they're words that we're familiar with.
Speaker 1:
15:47
They're words that have a pretty common meaning, but I think there are words that Jesus in this experience redefined for all of eternity. And so the first word that we're going to talk about today is peace. This idea of peace. I just want you to file it away, but for now we'll come. We'll come back to it. But I want you to see how this worked. Jesus when he wrote in on a donkey displaying his intentions for the people being [inaudible]. He's the people still went nuts and some people, even though he came in on a donkey displaying his intentions of peace, we're still threatened. In John 12 it says this, the Pharisees said to one another, see, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him and the Pharisees mind seeing this whole swelling crowd singing sacred songs to Jesus represented to them everything that they had built and everything they had hoped for in all of their power and all of their authority was just running out the backdoor to follow Jesus. The whole world had gone after this confusing man on a donkey.
Speaker 1:
16:48
Jesus entering town at this time of year during the festival down a path of a Passover, lamb resulted in one of the most intense and exciting scenes in the Bible, the miracles, the raising from the dead, the capacity plus crowd, the ground shaking noise, the momentum. It was legendary status and all of this was a grand display of the power that Jesus had right then in that moment at his fingertips, and that's our next word today is power. Now I've seen movies and you've seen shows and you know whatever happens next in this story is pretty pivotal to our understanding of the whole story and the plot line is actually about the crescendo here. Okay? Only what happens next if you're not careful, it could be seen as a little bit of a let down and it's not the Jesus didn't do anything important after this scene, this massive parade, this ground swell of support and excitement.
Speaker 1:
17:38
He did really, really important things. They're just not quite the kinds of things you'd expect next. So Jesus continue down this path just like the lamb all the way to temple, and he would be there twice in the next two days. The first time the Bible says in one account that he shows up and he basically looks at his watch and sees that it's late and no one's there and he goes back to the place he's staying the next day. Scripture tells us that he comes back and he actually does what we now know of the cleansing, cleansing of the temple. Jesus in righteous anger confronts all the corruption and all the frustration and all the pain that people are feeling when they're trying to worship God. But there's obstacles placed in front of them and he will have none of it. And he clears the temple, but had already done that once in his ministry according to most scholars.
Speaker 1:
18:23
So that's not super unusual. And then he does some more Jesus type stuff. He sits down with people and he teaches them and he finds some more people and he heals them. He acknowledges the dignity of children and looks at them with love. But he just done that before too. He calls out some religious leaders and authorities and I'm sure that people love that, but he, he had done that too. And so Jesus starts to do very Jesus type stuff after this massive parade. He goes and meets with his disciples and begins to talk to them about what's going to happen next. And some of the things he did are so dramatic and meaningful and I wish we had time to cover all of them, but it just, I don't think would have been what the people expected next. In fact, within just a few days Jesus will be arrested, he will be tried and he will be put to death on a Roman cross public execution. While some of the same people that were in the crowd that day cheering and singing would actually be saying crucify him and would affirm his death.
Speaker 2:
19:21
[inaudible]
Speaker 1:
19:23
and I don't know what happened next. I imagine the city would just continue to celebrate Passover. Some people think that around the same time as the sacrificial lambs would be slaughtered, Jesus would be hanging on a cross, but I imagine for a couple of days the peoples that were there were the layers outside of Jerusalem. Maybe the people who came into town just for this would start packing up and that weird scene they had experienced in the strange echoes of Jesus. His impact on the town would, would probably result in what big news stories that don't directly impact us, but kind of shake us for a second result in us like, man, that was weird. That was crazy. I should probably get back. I need to get back to my routine, and then I imagine the people from that town, maybe a little more impacted by it. They'd seen Jesus as ministry.
Speaker 1:
20:08
They'd seen him out and about. They had some hopes for him or something, but maybe this was just disillusioned manner. Some frustration. People closest to Jesus, we know exactly how they responded. Scripture tells us that most of them were absolutely erect. They found themselves huddled in a room afraid that they were going to be next to go on trial or be crucified. A couple of ladies are faithfully finishing up the last rights of burial for Jesus, going to the tomb to put strips of cloth around his body and put herbs and spices in between the layers and then just like we celebrated for 2000 plus years, Jesus reveals himself to Mary who goes, tells the disciples in the locked room who come to see Jesus and he shows his wounds to doubting Thomas and what happens next? Again, it's important. It's critical, it's crucial stuff. He, he's breakfast on shore with Peter and some others and history shows us that he shows himself to about 500 people in the next 40 days before he ascends.
Speaker 1:
21:11
And I don't mean to downplay that. That's amazing. I mean, that is a turning point in history. That's the reason we're here this morning. You wouldn't show up if Jesus didn't come back from the dead. It will be useless, but just for a second try if you can, to put yourself there that day when you watch Jesus enter on a donkey and all the momentum in all the vibrancy of the city and all of the energy as it plays out and what happens next doesn't seem to match. And I hope this isn't irreverent, but I've been thinking about this. If I were to look at this with like today's eyes, I would look at this and I would think, man, was this like the worst run politically campaign of all time?
Speaker 2:
22:00
[inaudible]
Speaker 1:
22:01
like was this the biggest waste of cultural momentum we've ever seen? If Jesus had social media, his followers in likes would be through the roof from this day and like a couple of days later he signs off and goes on like some sort of fast from social media. It's just weird. This wasn't the progress that people expected. And this is our third word for the day that Jesus redefines in this moment progress. You would've thought that the next steps after this massive parade would be more progress, more building momentum, more catching the eye experiences. Where's the next parade where Jesus comes back from the dead and he's maybe just like floating down the road and people are like, wow, that's never seen that before. What if, I mean, what if he tried to walk on water again? That got a lot of buzz the first time. You could do it in front of a bigger crowd right in front of everybody.
Speaker 1:
22:55
Like that would be amazing. What about the feeding of the 50,000 right? Like if you thought people went nuts for fish and bread, what if Jesus had right then in there in his like renewed state, come back from the dead, just invented chicken sandwiches and just started tossing them like Frisbees that would have gotten enough attention, right? Like that would have been more of a thing to do next. Why not walk right into a pilot's office and say, Hey, I told ya. Right. You know what for that matter, why not March directly to Rome with all of your followers and say, Hey, I'm in charge now. Anyone else come back from the dead? Didn't think so. Give me that. You know, that would've made more sense to try to figure this out. I think for me, I'll have to go back to the donkey again.
Speaker 1:
23:46
And so that's where I want to go because I think when we go back to Jesus, riding in on a donkey starts to redefine these words for us. Jesus came in on a donkey as a sh, as a show of peace, and the people that day thought it meant peace to them. Thank you Jesus, for coming in peace to me so that you will take my Roman oppressors and get rid of them. Thank you Jesus, for coming in peace to me so that you can get these religious leaders off my back. Thank you Jesus for coming in peace to me because I have a lot of enemies that are scary to me and if you could just get them out of the way, that would be amazing because that's how we do peace. We want a peace treaty. I'll show you piece if you'll show me peace. And if you keep up your end of the bargain, I'll keep my end of the bargain up and we'll have peace. I'll then, when Jesus came, it was the most one-sided treaty of all time. I'm going to come and offer all people, all classes, all ethnicities, all people, both genders, all the stuff going on in your life. I am going to offer you peace. And if in return you show me none of that, I will still show it back to you.
Speaker 1:
24:56
Just like the angels had promised years before to shepherds. Jesus came in peace and he wasn't picking battle lines on earth and he wasn't picking empires or politics. He was the King of Kings coming to peace with all people. And he came and peace for the poor and the rich. And he came in peace to pilot and his disciples and he came in peace to the people who are a big fan of him and loved him. And he came and peace for the Roman soldiers that would nail them to the cross and the thief who would make fun of him right before he died. And that was a new kind of piece and it was a revolutionary kind of piece that the world had never seen, never before had someone claim to be God and come and peace to everyone. Never before had a King written in like this. And I think our temptation as people
Speaker 1:
25:49
is to want to define peace based on who we want to give it to and who we don't want to give it to. But when we see our King ride into town on a donkey, we're reminded that that's not the way his piece works. His piece was extended to us even though we were sinners and broken and he paid the price for us that we should have paid. Our next word for today is power. And the people that day, they would have known that Jesus had power. It was evident in the miracles that he had produced. It was evident and raising someone from the dead. It was evident in just having that many people gather around him in a given day. How many people do you know with the force of personality or influence to have something like that take place all around them?
Speaker 1:
26:35
Jesus had power. In fact that day he had the entire city in the Palm of his hand and what people expected would do is to wield all of that power to become King or set up an empire. They expected Jesus to bring that power to bear on their experience right then and what they misunderstood is that Jesus wasn't going to wield his power for an earthly empire or an earthly battle. Jesus was there to wheel all of his power to wage war on sin, the devil and death itself. He was going to use every single drop of power that he had to crawl all the way to the cross and take our place. Jesus had all the power and he wielded it for our rescue and for God's glory. I think our temptation as people sometimes is to gather as much power as we possibly can and use it for what we want to accomplish.
Speaker 1:
27:32
And I think sometimes this is obvious and aggressive and you see it all over the world. I mean our headlines are full of people grabbing power to set things up that they want to set up. And I think sometimes it's kind of sneaky. Sometimes power is really ordinary in our life. We try to grab as much power as we can so we can control our circumstances. We try to saddle up next to people who have a lot of power so that they can help us get where we want to go. Sometimes we even beg God for power in our life so we can accomplish what it is we hope to accomplish. And Jesus' dad day with all of the power in the universe embodied in one moment allowed all of it to go to the cross and I think it wrecked.
Speaker 2:
28:14
Yeah,
Speaker 1:
28:14
this word progress for us forever. So this last word of progress, Jesus actually spoke about, he didn't use that word, but he talked about it before he ever showed up that day on a donkey. He was talking to some of his disciples and he was trying to get them to understand that things weren't going to play out exactly how they had hoped. And so in response to some questions, Jesus started talking and John recorded this conversation and says this, Jesus replied, the hour has come for the son of man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies and some versions say is crushed, it remains only a single seed, but if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life lose it. While anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me and where I am, my servant also will be my father will honor the one who serves me. Now my soul is troubled and what shall I say, father save me from this hour. No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour, father, glorify your name.
Speaker 1:
29:24
Jesus is saying, listen, I have a mission in my life and this mission is how I define progress. It's how the father defines progress for me and it's this, I am the seed and and the inside the seed of my life, all the power and peace and progress that it contains, I am going to die and I'm going to be planted in the ground and in doing that, there will be many more seeds that will come after me. And if you want to follow me any farther, you should know that from here on out, this is how progress and the kingdom of God is defined.
Speaker 1:
30:02
And I wanted you to see this for a second. I know it's an obvious illustration, but I just want you to see the power of this. A single seed, a kernel of wheat like Jesus describes not very impressive when that seed is planted in the ground. If it continues to just be a seed, it's just a seed covered in dirt. But if that seed will actually die or ceased to be a seed any longer, it become germinated. That seed has the chance, even though it's not a seed anymore to become something, and that seed grows into a ceiling of weed in that weed actually contains a head full of kernels or seeds. Now having multiplied itself now those seeds taken and planted in the ground, if they were to actually die to themselves and become seedlings themselves with as the potential eventually to become a whole wheat field, Jesus was saying, listen, I'm not interested in becoming the biggest seed I possibly can, lasting as long as I possibly can in the world and being buried and becoming still only a seed covered in dirt.
Speaker 1:
31:05
Instead, progress will be that I will be a seed that dies is crushed and becomes many. So what do we do with the progress as Jesus defined it or the parade that we think might be wasted or the momentum that Jesus had that was abruptly halted. So Jesus died and was planted in a tomb and when he came to life from that seed of Jesus's life, he interacted with a couple people. Then Jaron interacted with a few more and two or three you became 12 became 72 became about 500 and from there we have the vantage point of history where we can look back and we can see how a seed of we can become a head of wheat, can become a field of wheat. In a couple of minutes I want to talk to you about Jesus in that parade. For now, I want to share with you something that the apostle Paul wrote about this very progress idea.
Speaker 1:
32:12
He wrote a letter to a church in Philippi and the letter would have been actually written out or written out and then read in front of people. And so I want to actually read this to you and if it helps you to close your eyes, go ahead and do that to imagine what it is that Paul's saying, but Paul's about to describe something to us about Jesus that is so, so powerful. Some people believe this would have actually been a song people would have sung to remind themselves of who Jesus is. So Paul says in Philippians two in your relationships, one another have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, who being in very nature God did not consider equality with God, something to be used to his own advantage. Rather he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant and being made in human likeness and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.
Speaker 1:
33:04
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name that at the name of Jesus, every knee would bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth. And every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God. The father and Paul's writing would remind us that Jesus was always worthy of worship because the throne was always his. We just didn't know that. And when humanity chose its own way from the garden on and even in our own lives when we chose to worship someone else or anyone else other than God, instead of our rightful King, he was there. And one day arcane chem came down, let go of all the power and all of the authority and all the glory and all the stuff that was rightfully his. And he got on our level and mud and dirt and sin and pain splashed all over them as we struggled and he took on flesh and temptations and burdens and the penalty of our rebellion. Like we've said before, he ate the cost of our sin.
Speaker 1:
34:07
And one day in the process of that, Jesus maybe even awkwardly climbed onto a donkey and he rode down the path of the Passover lamb and the King of the universe was being hailed as a King. And as he was being hailed as a King, he was also riding as a lamb. Calm and peace. Humble, the one promised by Zachariah and by angels before the lamb of God, almost wearing a crown, but refusing to settle for an earthly victory or an earthly empire. He restrained himself all the way to death. I want you to think about that parade doesn't deserve another one.
Speaker 1:
34:59
Like where's the parade he deserves finally, right? I think it's building. In fact, I think it's been building since he showed himself to two or three in the garden and then when he found 12 that were following him, I think it was building then I think it was building when it became 500 before you send it, and I think it was building as the disciples started to go out and things started to make sense to their brains. Finally they started to say, Oh yeah, this is what he met. I can't wait to tell people about our King who wrote in on a donkey, and I think it's been building ever since. I think the parade or the the cloud of witnesses as a scripture will tell us in a couple of minutes has been building for 2000 plus years as hundreds became thousands, became hundreds of thousands and generations of faithful followers gave up everything and then millions and now 2.5 or whatever it is, billion people in the world claim to follow this Jesus who will gather in 24 hours every week and they'll actually worship Jesus and they might not use the word Hosanna. They might not say the exact same thing as the crowd did that day, but man, will they worship their coming salvation? Well, they praise God for the sites they get to see in the day they get to see it. Salvation is on our way.
Speaker 1:
36:14
And the book of Hebrews, it kind of talks about this and I wanted to share this with you as our last scripture for today and I think it has a lot to offer us today. Therefore, since we're surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses and in my mind just because of the story that cloud of witnesses is and a bunch of people on clouds, actually, it's actually just a parade now in my mind. It's a huge throng of people collected over the generations and over time and over 2000 plus years and even people that came before who were faithful to God and as Jesus has beginning to ride down this path towards us today and towards the salvation it's coming. I just picture this massive group of people surrounding, yes, the writer says, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and maybe in this word picture, it's that coat that you've laid down in front of Jesus because you don't have time to worry about it anymore.
Speaker 1:
37:02
Whatever that stress is or that sin is or that fear is or whatever it is, it's holding you back from rightfully worshiping Jesus as he comes on his King's parade. You just throw that down. You take branches and throw that in front of Jesus and let us run with perseverance. The race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and Perfector of our faith, because that's, that's what Jesus did is he showed us the path and then he ran it perfectly. And what did Jesus do next as he crossed the finish line on our behalf, says for the joy set before him, what joy was that? That was offering peace that was leveraging his power for you and that was building a progress that we didn't understand, but we now are inherited and inheriting in our own life for the joy set before him of rescuing you and honoring his father, he endured the cross scorning its shame, and he sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Speaker 1:
38:00
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners so you will not grow weary and lose heart. Why would I grow weary and lose heart? Because in a world that defines peace and power and progress and almost the diametrically opposed way that Jesus does, I'm going to become tired and weary and lose heart. And you might too. You're facing battles. You're facing the enemy lying to you or trying to convince you of something. You're, you're facing all kinds of oppositions potentially in your life. You're tired. You're hoping God shows up in your life. You're begging for his power. You're hoping to keep your faith. Don't grow weary, don't lose heart. Jesus knows exactly how you feel. He could keep accepting his peace as he passes it to you and as you pass it on to everybody, keep relying on his power for your life that he leveraged on your behalf. Stick with how he defines progress even as the world tries to mess with it. Keep with keep with his definition of progress. If you feel like you're being crushed, that may be part of his process for you.
Speaker 1:
39:04
And Jesus is coming back. And when he comes back this time, I don't want to give away the story, but he's coming back and when he comes back, people who are looking forward to his salvation will not see him arriving on a donkey anymore because Jesus has unfinished business with the culprit at hand, the enemy, the snake. And while the revolution has begun and is not yet finished and he's going to finish it once and for all as he comes back on a war horse next week. We'll talk about that. I want to pray with you. Would you pray with me? Father, I'm so grateful for your scripture. I'm so grateful for your story.
Speaker 2:
39:44
[inaudible]
Speaker 1:
39:45
yeah, I'm grateful from the vantage point that we have that we can see what people that day couldn't have seen and they were so excited about what you had to offer. Actually, they had no idea how, how much more excited they could have been. Oh Jesus. Thank you for not settling. Thank you for not settling for an earthly empire, an earthly kingdom. Thanks for not selling out, but God you, you went all the way so that we could see your salvation in our day, so got for some of us in the room, we may be struggling. We may be grow growing weary or losing heart. For some of us, God, we may not understand how to offer the kind of peace you've offered us or what that looks like to take you up on it. Maybe God progress is being defined totally differently today for us, and we're struggling with your idea of progress. God, maybe some of us just need your power.
Speaker 2:
40:41
[inaudible]
Speaker 1:
40:42
God, as we sing, I pray you would help us to focus on you are King, humble, gentle, riding a donkey, offering us peace. You were worthy of all the glory. Father Jesus, we worship you. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Speaker 2:
40:59
[inaudible]
Speaker 1:
41:00
yeah.
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