Our culture is full of misunderstandings about Jesus
- Peace and Love Guru
- Prophet (Islam)
- Jesus and Satan are brothers (Mormonism)
- Didn’t exist (Atheist)
Something important about misunderstanding
The larger the claim, the more clarity is necessary.
Jesus made some EXTRAORDINARY claims.
- The Son of God (Matt 26:63)
- Giver of eternal life (Jn 10:28)
- One who forgives sin (Mk 2:10)
- The light of the World (Jn 8:12)
- The Messiah (Jn 4:26)
- “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me” (Jn 14:6).
People have been misunderstanding Jesus since the beginning…
- Let’s read together
1 When they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage at the Mount of Olives, Jesus then sent two disciples, 2 telling them, “Go into the village ahead of you. At once you will find a donkey tied there with her colt. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them at once.”
4 This took place so that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled:
5 Tell Daughter Zion, “See, your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
6 The disciples went and did just as Jesus directed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt; then they laid their clothes on them, and he sat on them.
8 A very large crowd spread their clothes on the road; others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them on the road. 9 Then the crowds who went ahead of him and those who followed shouted:
Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!
10 When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in an uproar, saying, “Who is this?” 11 The crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”
>Jesus is coming to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover with his Disciples
- Major celebration
- The city would have been PACKED!
>Jesus sends disciples to get a donkey and her colt
- Donkey for several reasons:
- To fulfill prophecy
Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout in triumph, Daughter Jerusalem! Look, your King is coming to you; he is righteous and victorious, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
- To demonstrate that He saw Himself as King
>Jesus was extremely purposeful in this WHOLE SITUATION
- He was not SURPRISED when people
This was a HUGE deal
- The first time Jesus publicly accepted the title of “MESSIAH”
>The crowd overwhelmingly responds POSITIVELY to Jesus
- There was NO mistaking what He was saying
The response of the crowd shows how serious they were about this moment…
- REMINDER: Jerusalem was the CAPITAL of the Israelite nation
- They had been in exile since being taken over by the Babylonian Empire 600ish years prior
- They were prisoners in their own homes
The Jewish people believed they had a BIRTH RIGHT to rule themselves
- Literally promised by God
As Jesus is riding in, they are yelling:
- Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!
Hosanna: Save Now
Here is the MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION…
- What did they want Jesus to save them from?
Jesus was/is a MISUNDERSTOOD KING
I want to talk about the PALMS that we want to throw at Jesus’ feet
- both Christians and our culture
Identified 3 options:
1: The Bless Me Messiah
Bless ME, messiah, is just that
- Worship of the self with a Jesus veneer
>>What can Jesus do for ME?
>>How can He help ME
>>How can he bless ME?
The majority of us start HERE in our relationship with Jesus
- We are products of our culture
- Culture is SELFISH
Symptoms of this look like:
- Praying only for yourself/when you are in trouble
- Being angry at God when you don’t get your way
- Being jealous when it looks like someone else is being blessed
- Trying to conform Jesus and scripture to conform to your ideals and standards instead of the other way around
Here’s the problem…
The real messiah you want is YOU
- To be the LORD of your own life
- To choose what is BEST for YOU
- YOU say who you are
- You say who you love
- You say what you can have
- You say what fun you can take part it
Any messiah that Gets in the way of that, you have to KILL
Don’t forget that this same crowd that laid palm branches were yelling “CRUCIFY HIM” just a few days later
- He wasn’t the king they wanted…
The issue with this is…
Selfishness will always lead you to LOVE yourself and HATE others
- Selfishness does not share space in your life and heart
That is the opposite of Jesus’ message…
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will find it. 26 For what will it benefit someone if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will anyone give in exchange for his life?
Then there’s the…
2: The Conquer Them Messiah
This is the Jesus the Jews were hoping for on that Day
- Rise up against Rome!
- Throw our enemies down!
The promise is…
POLITICS CAN SOLVE ALL THE PROBLEMS
- Didn’t solve the problems when they were a nation
- Still worshiped idols and did what they want
Politics and power can’t save us because OPPRESSION isn’t the issue; SIN is
- Sin and separation from God is the real issue
Jesus’ message was…
…the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!
Today, this looks like the “MARRIAGE OF JESUS AND POLITICS“
- Ever noticed in politics each side claims Jesus is on their side?
Jesus is only on HIS OWN SIDE.
- Not on the right
- Not on the Left
- We need to be on HIS SIDE and not constantly try to force him on our own
The Conquer them Messiah…
Causes you to HATE those who are against or different than you
- Anyone who disagrees is an enemy
- No room for redemption or forgiveness
3: The Suffering Messiah
The paradox of Jesus is this:
He who had ALL the power chose to leverage NON of that power to save those with NO power at the cost of His own life
- That is the message of the GOSPEL
The world did NOT need ANOTHER military leader to come and conquer
- We have tried that so many times
We NEED a SAVIOR who will come and save
And when Jesus came, he didn’t say…
“LOVE YOURSELF AND HATE OTHERS” – The BLESS ME MESSIAH
“HATE THOSE WHO ARE AGAINST YOU OR DIFFERENT THAT YOU” – The CONQUER THEM, MESSIAH
What did Jesus preach?
“For if you forgive others their offenses, your heavenly Father will forgive you as well.
Blessed are the humble, for they will inherit the earth.
37 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and most important command. 39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
Jesus came to:
- Forgiving sin and not toppling nations
Following Him will cause you to:
- HATE sin (specifically your own)
- LOVE your enemies
This is what the kingdom of heaven looks like
- This is what WILL change the world
OUR RESPONSE TO PALM SUNDAY:
1: Determine which messiah you have been pursuing
2: Confess and Repent to God for choosing a false version of Jesus
3: Respond by following the REAL JESUS
- Who has offered you SPIRITUAL FREEDOM!