The Real Jesus: Jesus the King

Good morning and welcome to Journey Church.  My name is Phil Human, and I’m one of the pastors here at Journey, and today we get to read about a parade.  A coronation parade.

My wife and I have been enjoying the television show called the Crown on Netflix – I don’t know why.  But there we are, along with 73 million other households – watching keeping up with the Kardashians – royalty style.

Hey –  all you crown watchers – check out this image of the Royal coach – it’s the coach built in 1760 and it’s special use is for coronations.  The queen herself rode in it the four mile journey to Westminster abbey for her coronation.  She said that the four ton coach – pulled by 8 horses, is a terrible experience.

And also – check out this picture.  It’s a mule.  Okay –  This is also a royal coach.  And today we are going to learn about the day Jesus rode this royal coach into Jerusalem to make sure the world understood what he knew was true about himself – Jesus is the King of Kings.

We’ve been talking now since Christmas about discovering the real Jesus.  Well, the deal is this.  That the real Jesus is nothing short of the King of all Kings.  And he himself will initiate a coronation parade into the city of Jerusalem to make sure we understand it.

And so – if your understanding of Jesus is anything less than the King of all Kings – then you haven’t discovered the Real Jesus.  We have to see him for who he claims to be and he claims to be a king.

If your view of Jesus is that he was a prophet, or a rebel, or a teacher, or a moralist, then you haven’t yet discovered that Jesus himself initiated a coronation parade in his own honor.

Let me prove it to you.  Today we turn to Luke 19.

28 After telling this story, Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of his disciples. 

Now – if you were to read the entire book of Luke – you will begin to notice that Luke talks a lot about Jerusalem.  Jerusalem is the Capitol City of Israel – it was where the temple was located – and it’s really the heart of Israel – Luke mentions Jerusalem 37 times, in fact.

And usually, it’s included that – Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. (9:51)  Some versions translate it that Jesus set his face toward Jerusalem.   Taught people as they were on their way to Jerusalem (10:38)  He taught as he pressed on toward Jerusalem.(13:22)

If you read Luke it feels like the entire book is about Jesus who is bound and determined to get to Jerusalem  and that’s because that’s exactly what it is.

Everything in the book of Luke has been leading to this moment- Jesus entering Jerusalem. And this is how the last week of Jesus’ life begins.  It begins with a parade.

28 After telling this story, Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of his disciples. 29 As he came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead. 30 “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

32 So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said. 33 And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?”

34 And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs it.” 35 So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on.

36 As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. 37 When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.

38 “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!”

So let’s start with the question – why on earth does Jesus want to ride a donkey into Jerusalem?  And the answer is – quite simply – that’s what the kings of Israel did to those who have been anointed King.

When David anointed Solomon to be king he put him on his mule and paraded him through town – declaring Long Live King Solomon!” (1 King 1:33)

Why did the crowd place their cloaks down on the road in front of Jesus?  Because that what the crowd did when Jehu was anointed King of Israel in 2 King 9.

Why does Jesus arrange for this to happen?  Because of a prophecy  written 500 year before Jesus shows up on the scene – from Zechariah 9:9

Rejoice, O people of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem!
Look, your king is coming to you.
He is righteous and victorious,
yet he is humble, riding on a donkey—
riding on a donkey’s colt.

So when Jesus calls for the donkey and rides into Jerusalem – the crowd knew exactly what Jesus was proclaiming about himself.  Remember he took the initiative.  He knew what he was doing.

Jesus is declaring himself to be King.  Did you notice he used an interesting term about himself- he said when you find the donkey the owners will ask what you’re doing.  That word in the greek is the word kurioi – it means Lord.  He says tell the lords of the donkey that the Lord needs it.  The Lord of the lords of the donkey.

It’s as if Jesus acknowledges their kingdom.  You are the king of the donkey.  And he doesn’t say that in any besmirching way.  You are the Lord of a donkey.  Good news – the Lord of Lords has plans for your kingdom today.  He is ready to fold your kingdom into his and we will find our true purpose.  It doesn’t matter what we bring with us.  He can use even a donkey.

Jesus is declaring himself to be the Lord of Lords.  The King of Kings.  So now – the question is, what kind of King is he?

We’ve already learned that he is humble.  Arriving into Jerusalem not with a an army or a gold chariot.  But humbly riding on a donkey.

Let me show you three more attributes about Jesus the king we find in this story.

First – we see that Jesus is an all knowing King.  All Knowing.  Jesus knows what’s going on.  He knows exactly what is about to happen to him.  He knows every detail about life.

I find it kind of funny when I read commentaries – people are like – “Jesus must have snuck into town earlier in the week to arrange this with the owners of the colt.  I mean, How else could he have known?”

Uh – he raised dead people to life.  Knowing where the donkey was was like kindergarten grade level stuff.  He knows that donkey.  He knows the owners of the donkey.  He knows how it’s going to happen.

He knows everything about life – and by the way -he knows everything about yours.

Listen – every once in a while when things get tough it’s normal to wonder if God forget about us?  No – listen the guy knows the hairs on the top of your head. That’s what Jesus said in Luke 12:7 – the guy could look at you and go 14,713 hairs.  Check that 14,712.  14711.  14710.  I’m deteriorating!

Jesus knows everything about life – everything about you.  (and still likes you)

And in case you think that God doesn’t love you – remember – Jesus knew everything that was about to happen to him in Jerusalem and Still went in.  He set his face resolutely to go into Jerusalem.

I remember watching this show on PBS about “the real Jesus” and they basically conclude that Jesus was a revolutionary who played his cards wrong and died by the hands of the Romans – poor guy. Poor sap played a dangerous game and lost – But that’s not what Luke tells us.

But of course, Luke includes this to help us remember that Jesus knew what was in the future for him.  In fact – in the previous chapter he told his disciples,

Luke 18:31 Taking the twelve disciples aside, Jesus said, “Listen, we’re going up to Jerusalem, where all the predictions of the prophets concerning the Son of Man will come true. 32 He will be handed over to the Romans, and he will be mocked, treated shamefully, and spit upon. 33 They will flog him with a whip and kill him, but on the third day he will rise again.”

34 But they didn’t understand any of this. 

The next seven days of his life didn’t happen to Jesus.  He knew it was going to happen.

Jesus is our all knowing King.  He knows you.  He knows what you’re going through.  And he is right there with you.

Secondly – We learn that Jesus is our Peace Making King.  The Real Jesus is the all-knowing, peace making King of Kings.

Now let’s stop to catch this – these words that are shouted from the lips of the crowd – are the same words that were spoken by the angels to the shepherds on the hill that Night Jesus was born.  Back in Luke 2.

First – he came to bring peace on earth.  Peace with who?

I was curious this week about the longest war ever fought?  And I came across a Wikipedia page that listed all these wars that lasted for hundreds and hundreds of years.

The longest war was between Spain and Portugal – 781 years!  That’s a long war!  But it pales in comparison to the length of the longest war ever.  The longest war has been going on for thousands of years.  It’s the war between rebellious human beings – like me and you –  and God.

And Jesus came to end that war.  Jesus has come to make it possible for you to have peace with God.  He came to negotiate a settlement between you and God the Father.

See the Bible is clear – there is only one King of Kings.  And so, when we rebelled against his rule – well, that’s nothing short of sedition.  And even today in the USA a charge of sedition brings with it the possibility of a death sentence.

When Adam and Eve took a bite of the one thing on earth God said – don’t eat – when they did that they basically flipped God off.  They told him – we’re in charge now.

And that rebellious attitude has been passed down and infected all of mankind ever since.  We were all born with a heart that wants to rebel and tell God or anyone else – You aren’t the boss of me.  And the result is war.  A clash of kingdoms.  Ours versus God’s.  Yours versus mine.  Conflict – not peace.

Jesus resolutely set his face to go to Jerusalem to bring peace between us and God.  How?  The judge is the one who declared us guilty of sedition – and it is the Judge who pronounced the verdict of death – but it is the judge who said, I will take your place.  I will die that you might live.

And when we place our faith in Jesus – the King of Kings – it was as if our rebellious sinful nature was crucified with him.  And when he went into the grave he took our sins into that grave with him.  And when he rose three days later – he left our sins to rot in the tomb.

And now what is offered to us – is peace.  How?  By receiving the sacrificial death of Jesus as our own.  By acknowledging that the debt has been paid.

New life, a second chance – peace with God – all comes when we by grace, place our faith in Jesus.  Jesus resolutely set his face to Jerusalem to bring us peace with God.

And the result of that is then – peace with one another.  See – this gospel – this good news that I’m preaching – it levels all of humanity.  It brings us low – when we realize the debt we owed could never be paid back on our own – and it at the same time elevates humanity – when we see that Jesus died to pay it for us.

And one of the natural repercussions of receiving the good news is that it changes how we see others.  If Jesus forgives – we can forgive.  And if Jesus loves the difficult to love, then he can make me that kind of person too.

And what the Easter week shows us – very clearly – is this. The King of the Universe has done everything he can to bring peace to your life.  Peace with God and Peace with one another.

Jesus is the all knowing peace making King of Kings.  Let’s get back to the parade…  Not every in pleased with Jesus announcing his kingship…

39 But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!”

Now – what’s going on with the Pharisees?  Well – they get it – they understand what Jesus is doing.  They understand that he is declaring himself to be the King.

And so – these Pharisees also understand that Rome doesn’t take kindly to rival kings – and so the Pharisees are saying – in essence – Jesus – if you allow this coronation to go on – Rome will find out – they will send an army and – unless you put a stop to this we are all doomed.

But they don’t really understand.  They are already doomed!  Unless Jesus goes into that city and dies.

I think it’s at least possible that someone is listening today who is considering laying down your crown to the One true King.  But perhaps you have this little voice inside of you – it’s the voice of the Pharisees – who are whispering to you – tell Jesus to get lost – he is threatening our kingdom…

Well here’s the deal – It doesn’t matter how comfortable, how popular, how influential, how prosperous or powerful the kingdom you have built for yourself might appear – ‘m telling you it’s only a matter of time before it fails you and leaves you for dead.  It will not succeed – it cannot succeed.

There is one true King.  His name is Jesus.  And if the Real Jesus is the King of all Kings the only appropriate response from us is to lay our crowns at his feet.

Surrender and be folded into His magnificent purpose for your life.

The Pharisees recognize that Jesus is a threat to their kingdom and they try to put a stop to this coronation parade.

But – and this is one of those – drop the mic moments in Jesus life.  He looks at these religious leaders demanding Jesus shut down the crowd and says,

40 He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”

How amazing would that have been to hear the rocks sing!  The first Rock Concert!  Groan!

You know – when we come together on a Sunday and we sing together – when we worship together – when we celebrate the rightful King, the sacrificial king of our lives – it’s something that the Lord welcomes and delights in.  He allows it – it makes him happy to see him for who he is.  And we sing to keep the rocks quiet.

Are you going to worship him or with the rock beat you to it?  It’s your call.

Jesus is the All-knowing – Peacemaking King of Kings.  But allow me to show you one more attribute of Jesus and then we’ll be done.

41 But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. 42 “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. 

43 Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. 44 They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not recognize it when God visited you.”

Jesus – again looking into the future – sees what is going to happen to Jerusalem – Jerusalem is going to find the king they want – See the crowd is joining in this coronation because they are hopeful that Jesus will be the King who successfully leas Israel to victory over the hated Romans.  And when they see that he has no intention being that king for them – they turn on him and the same crowd chants for him to be crucified.

But eventually they will find someone they think could lead Israel to victory over the Romans.  And in 70AD Rome is going to send an army to completely destroy Jerusalem in gruesome fashion.

Ever see pictures of people at the wailing wall in Jerusalem?  That’s all that is left of the once magnificent temple that was utterly destroyed and dismantled stone by stone by the Romans who had had enough of Israel’s rebellion.

And Jesus sees the picture in his mind – he’s sitting on the mount of Olives with a commanding view of the city and he knows what will happen and just starts weeping.  He has such compassion.  He knows that were they to turn to him – this futile rebellion against Rome ned never have taken place.

But Jesus is the kind of king who will not force you to pledge allegiance to Him at the tip of a sword.  Jesus gives us the dignity of allowing us to make the call.  Who is going to be our King?

In Luke 15 we read three stories that shows us the emotion of God when one sinner lays down his crown and enters the Kingdom of God.  Rejoicing – party in heaven.

Here in Luke 19 we see the emotions of a God when people reject his kingship.  When people stiff arm his reign.  God allows us to run.  He knows our surrender must be voluntary.  And so Jesus weeps – how I wish you would have crowned me king.

The Real Jesus is the all knowing, peace making, compassionate King of Kings.   And he rejoices when we surrender.  And he weeps when we run from him.  Today can be the day we surrender to Him.  And retire from our efforts of running the universe.

Today is the day we celebrate the one true King.  And we who know that joys of serving the One true King invite you to worship Him with us today and forevermore.