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Matthew 21:1-11 - In the Name of the Lord
by Gary Sims
03/14/05
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The Gospels (Palms)
Matthew 21:1-11 - In the Name of the Lord

Key Verses:
(NRSV)
  • 1b-2: "Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them 'Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied and colt with her; untie them and bring them to me." - Even as a king, Jesus made an emphasis of humble servanthood.

  • 5: "Tell the daughter of Zion, Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey and on a colt, the foal of a donkey." - With the fulfillment of this prophecy in Zechariah Jesus boldly announces himself as the Messiah and King.

  • 8-9: "A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The crowds that went ahead of Him and that followed were shouting, 'Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!'" - Celebrating in song and festive activities, the entire city recognizes that the Messiah has arrived.

  • 10-11: "When He entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil, asking, 'Who is this?' 11The crowds were saying, 'This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.'" - In the midst of the Passover celebration, Jesus turned heads and made everyone come to terms with who He is.
Points to Contemplate:
  • Are you a humble servant? Even in those times when you find yourself on center stage and you are the life of the party, do you find ways to illustrate the humble aspects of Christian servanthood? Are you able to deflect applause and accolades in ways that glorify God? When the events of your life are calling for you to ride into town on a mighty steed, do you seek out the colt and donkey, instead?

  • Do you celebrate the presence of the Lord in your life? Do you sing loud hosannas of praise and thanksgiving whenever you feel that He has entered the gates of your life? Are you able to lay aside your inhibitions and nagging questions for a brief expression of unbridled joy?

  • Do you "come in the name of the Lord?" Are you blessed because of it? Are others around you blessed as you enter their lives in the name of the Lord? Who was more blessed on this first Palm Sunday celebration, Jesus or the crowds? Who is more blessed in your life, you or the people you touch in Christ's name?

  • Who is Jesus to you? If you were standing in a crowd and someone turned to you and asked, 'Who is Jesus,' what would you say? Would you talk about a man who became the greatest prophet of all time? Would you discuss His teachings and the miracles He performed? Would you illustrate the way He overturned the world's expectations of greatness and religious dogma? Would you talk about love, grace, and forgiveness? Or would you sit down and find out more about the person who asked the question in order to understand which Jesus they need most in their lives at this time?
Promises of the Gospel:

Even though Jesus knew what lay ahead in Jerusalem, He purposely took the opportunity during His entrance into the city to announce His kingship and to allow a heartfelt celebration as a result. On this Palm Sunday we are tempted to spend only a short period of time with the Celebration of the Palms and focus, instead, on the Passion which is the most important defining aspect of Jesus and without which we would have very little to celebrate. But we can and should celebrate with loud hosannas because Jesus has entered through the gates of our hearts. When we discover the answer to the question 'Who is Jesus,' the only appropriate expression is celebration and loud songs of praise. May everyday of our lives be a celebration as we traverse the streets of our cities in the name of the Lord.

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