Worship the King of Kings!
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - March 30, 2014
*As we focus on Palm Sunday this morning, please open your Bibles to Luke 19, thinking about worshiping the King of Kings. My greatest goal for us today is to have true worship in our hearts for the Lord, -- sincere, heartfelt worship for the Lord Jesus Christ.
*But notice that we won't do any of the outward things the disciples did in today's Scripture. We won't spread our clothes on the road. We won't cut palm branches to wave and spread in the road. We won't cry out with a loud voice, "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!"
*We won't do any of those outward things, but we can worship the King just as much as they did that day. This is great news! And it's important to know, because we have a tendency to focus on the externals of worship.
*God's Word reminds us of this truth in John 4. There Jesus revealed Himself and His gift of eternal life to a very sinful Samaritan woman. As soon as she realized that there was something special about Jesus, she asked the Lord about the proper place of worship. Was it on the mountain where the Samaritans worshipped, or in Jerusalem of the Jews?
*The Samaritan woman asked this question, mainly because she was trying to take the focus off her sins, but also because we all tend to focus on the externals of worship. But in John 4:21 Jesus said, "Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father."
*Aren't you glad we don't have to go to a certain mountain or city to worship the Lord? In John 4, the Lord used my favorite word for worship. It must also be God's favorite word for worship in the New Testament, because He used it 60 times! That word is "proskuneo," which has the word picture of an affectionate dog licking his master's hand.
*But again, we need to understand that worship is not about the external things. It's about what's going on in our hearts. It's not so much about the licking. It's about the affection. Most any dog would lick your hand if you just got through eating a piece of bacon.
*Real worship is humbling ourselves before God, and exalting Him in our hearts. But another wonderful aspect of our worship is the joyful, loving, affection we have for God. He is our loving Master who takes good care of us, so we love Him too, and we are happy to be with Him!
*Worship is not about the external things. It's about our hearts. This is why Jesus went on to tell the Samaritan woman:
23. . . "The hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.
24. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.''
*This is great news! We don't have to go to a mountain to worship the Lord. We don't have to do any of the things the worshippers did on the road to Jerusalem on the first Palm Sunday.
*But we can worship the King just as much as they did that day. And we should! Today's Scripture gives us four great reasons why we should worship the King of Kings.
1. First: Worship the Lord Jesus for His plan.
*Here in Luke 19, we see the Lord carrying out part of His plan. Jesus was less than a week away from the cross, and our King wanted to make a very public entrance into Jerusalem. So when they got close to the city, Jesus sent two of His disciples, to get a donkey for the Lord to ride on.
*In vs. 30-35, we see a very precise plan. There the Lord said:
30. . . "Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose him and bring him here.
31. And if anyone asks you, 'Why are you loosing him?' thus you shall say to him, 'Because the Lord has need of him.'''
32. So those who were sent departed and found it just as He had said to them.
33. But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, "Why are you loosing the colt?''
34. And they said, "The Lord has need of him.''
35. Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own garments on the colt, and they set Jesus on him.
*This was just a small part of the Lord's great plan, but it shows us how much care He has put into His plan for our lives.
 And it is a saving plan.
*Jesus went into Jerusalem knowing full well that He was very close to the cross. He could clearly see the great agony He would go through, but Jesus was willing to do it out of His love for the Father and His love for us.
 The Lord has a saving plan, and it's a sure plan.
*I like what God's Word says in vs. 32: "Those who were sent departed and found it just as He had said to them." You will always find things just as the Lord says, because the Lord has a sure plan.
 And it's a serving plan.
*One of the most extraordinary parts of the Lord's plan is that it involves people like me and you! Jesus Christ has a place of service for us all. Think about your involvement in God's great plan. Here in vs. 30, Jesus told two of His disciples, "Go into that village over there. . ."
*Jesus said "go," and they went. Where does the Lord want you to go? Wherever that is, that's where you need to go! Jesus might send you to Canada or China. But He's more likely to send you someplace close, like the hospital or a nursing home. Jesus might send you across the street or across the room, but know this for sure: The Lord wants to send you. So get ready to go.
*Go where the Lord says to go, and do what He says to do. Jesus sent those two disciples on a holy mission, and He told them what to do. Listen to vs. 30&31 again, this time from the New Living Translation:
30. "Go into that village over there," he told them, "and as you enter it, you will see a colt tied there that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here.
31. If anyone asks what you are doing, just say, 'The Lord needs it.'"
*That was a most unusual request from the Lord. It is the only time we see ever Him riding an animal. And when you think about it, that was kind of a risky mission for the disciples.
*It was like the Lord said, "Go up to Ryan Chevrolet. Find one of their new cars that's never been driven before. Then crank it up and bring it back to me. And if they ask you about it, just tell them that the Lord needs it."
*It was kind of risky, -- but they followed the Lord's command and great things happened: Old Testament prophecy about Jesus was fulfilled. The Lord got to demonstrate His meekness. And God was glorified. All of this happened because two nameless disciples did what the Lord told them to do.
*Praise the Lord for letting us be a part of His plan! And notice something else amazing in vs. 31. Talking about that donkey, Jesus said, "Tell them the Lord NEEDS him."
*God Almighty, the maker of Heaven and Earth, creator of the whole universe and everything in it, the one who couldn't possibly need anything, had through His sovereignty and humility chosen to need that donkey. And He has chosen to need you. What an amazing plan! So worship the Lord Jesus for His plan.
2. And worship the Lord for His peace.
*When the Lord entered the city in vs. 35-38, there was no question that He came in peace. It was one of the main reasons why Jesus rode on a donkey.
*William Barclay explained: "In this situation it was obviously impossible for Jesus to speak to the crowd. His voice could not have reached that vast assembly of people. So he did something that all could see: He came riding upon a donkey's colt. Now that was two things. First, it was a deliberate claim to be the Messiah. We know this, because by riding that donkey, Jesus intentionally fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9. There the Word of God says, 'Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.' There is no doubt at all that Jesus was claiming to be the promised Messiah.
*But, second, it was a claim to be a particular kind of Messiah. We must not misunderstand this picture. With us the donkey is a lowly animal. But in Old Testament days, donkeys were considered to be noble animals. In 2 Samuel 19:26, Mephibosheth the royal prince came to David riding upon a donkey. Donkeys were considered to be noble animals. They were also considered to be a symbol of royal peace.
*The point was that when a king was coming to fight, he came riding on a horse. But when he came in peace, he rode on a donkey. This action of Jesus was a sure sign that He was coming as the Prince of Peace. (1)
*So in vs. 37&38:
37. Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen,
38. saying: "'Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!' Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!''
 Jesus Christ came to give us peace: Eternal peace, the most crucial peace, peace with God.
*As Paul said in Colossians 1:19&20:
19. For it pleased the Father that in Him (i.e. in Jesus) all the fullness should dwell,
20. And by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made PEACE through the blood of His cross.
*Then Romans 10:15 says: "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!"' And Romans 5:1 explains to Christians that "having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ."
 Jesus came to give eternal peace to all who will trust in Him as Lord and Savior. But Jesus also came to give us internal peace.
*And this is peace that we also desperately need. So Galatians 5:22 tells us that the fruit of God's Holy Spirit in our hearts includes love, joy and peace. And in Philippians 4:6-7, Paul tells us:
6. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
7. and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
*Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace! He can give us heavenly peace, peace with the Father above, forgiveness and a total pardon for our sins! But Jesus can also put peace in our hearts. And He promised to do this in John 14:27. There the Lord said: "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
*Jesus has promised to give His peace to His followers, and the Lord always keeps His Word! So worship the Lord Jesus for His peace.
3. And worship the Lord for His power.
*We see evidence of the Lord's power in vs. 37 where "the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen."
*There were people in that crowd who had seen Jesus give sight to blind eyes and hearing to deaf ears. They had seen Him heal withered hands and feet. They had seen Jesus cast out demons and calm the raging sea. They had seen Him feed thousands of people with a few loaves and fish. Some had even seen Him raise people from the dead.
*And we may not have seen miracles like that. But Jesus Christ is still the Mighty Son of God! He still holds the universe in His Hand, and He is still in the miracle working business today.
*One time I watched a TV show about miracles. They told the story of a little girl, maybe 4 or 5 years old. Her daddy was a deputy sheriff. One morning she carried his bulletproof vest to him and insisted that he wear it that day.
*Later the same day her dad was trying to serve a warrant to a mentally disturbed man, and the man shot the deputy 3 times. One bullet hit his chest, and the other two hit his arms. His life was saved by that bulletproof vest.
*On the way to the hospital the mom stopped by preschool to pick up their daughter. She told the little girl that her daddy had been shot, but that he was going to be okay. Then the little girl asked, "Are his arms okay?"
*Several days later she told her parents what happened the morning her dad was shot. Three angels appeared in her room and told her to take the vest to her dad. Then at school another angel told her that her dad had been shot in the arms, but that he was going to be alright. (2)
*I don't know why that happened to her that way, but I do know that our God is still a mighty God! Nothing is too hard for Him! We see more evidence in vs. 39-40 where:
39. . . some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.''
40. But He answered and said to them, "I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.''
*Jesus Christ has the power to do mighty works. He had the power to make those rocks cry out in praise. But best of all, He had the power to die on the cross for our sins and rise again from the dead. Jesus also has the power to conquer death for all who will receive His gift of life. He has the power to save our souls, forgive all of our sins and give us everlasting life in heaven.
*If you will open your heart to receive Jesus today, He will give you the miracle of salvation, and that is the greatest miracle of all. So worship the Lord Jesus Christ for His power.
4. And worship the Lord for His presence.
*The King came into the city that day with a heart full of compassion. Jesus had great compassion, even for those who rejected Him. So in vs. 41 we read that, "As He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it."
*As Jesus started down from the Mount of Olives and saw the city, He began to weep. On that same hillside today is a tiny chapel with a tear-shaped dome in honor of this moment. But the Greek word translated "wept" in our Bibles means more than just tears. It's the kind of broken hearted sobbing a person does at the tomb of a friend.
*Jesus wept the same way Mary cried at her brother, Lazarus' tomb, the same way Mary Magdalene sobbed at the Lord's tomb, the same way Peter wept after he denied Jesus. Jesus wept over the city, because they had missed the presence of the King.
*In vs. 42-44 Jesus said:
42. "If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
43. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side,
44. And level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.''
*The King was right there among them, and tragedy of tragedies, they missed it! Don't you miss it. Don't miss the presence of the King. Through His Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ is here with us today. Don't miss the King!
*Tony Compolo says that when he was a boy growing up in a big city, his mother arranged for a teenage girl who lived nearby to walk him home from school. For this, she was paid a nickel a day. But Tony rebelled in the second grade and told his mother, "I'll walk myself to school, and if you give me a nickel a week, I will be extra careful. You can keep the other 20 cents and we'll all be better off."
*After pleading and begging, little Tony finally got his way. For the next 2 years he walked himself back and forth to school. It was an 8-block walk with many streets to cross, but he was careful and didn't talk to strangers or get distracted along the way.
*Years later at a family party, he bragged about his independence, and reminded his family of how he had taken care of himself as a boy. His mother laughed and added the rest of the story. "Did you really think you were alone?" she said. "Every morning when you left for school, I left with you. I walked behind you all the way. When you got out of school at 3:30 in the afternoon, I was there. I always kept myself hidden, but I was there and I followed you all the way home. I just wanted to be there for you in case you needed me." (3)
*Do you really think we are here alone today? I promise you that King Jesus is right here with us, wanting you to know Him, trust Him, love Him, follow Him, and worship Him. So worship the Lord Jesus Christ! Worship Jesus for His great plan, His peace, His power, and His presence.
(1) Adapted from "Barclay's Daily Bible Study Series - NT" by William Barclay - Revised Edition - Copyright 1975 - First published by the Saint Andrew - Press, Edinburgh, Scotland - The Westminster Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - "A King's Welcome" - John 12:12-19
(2) Seen on PAX TV 04142000
(3) Dr. Anthony Campolo, "A Dreamer for the Kingdom," What My Parents Did Right, comp. and ed. Gloria Gaither - Nashville: StarSong Publishing Group, 1991 - pp. 36-37 - Source: Morgan, Robert J.: Nelson's Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes. electronic ed. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000, S. 378