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92: Jesus Enters Jerusalem in Triumph

May 15, 2009

Major Text: Luke 19:29-44

Harmony Texts:

Matt. 21:1-17       Mark 11:1-11      Luke 19:29-44       John 12:12-19

Outline:

  1. The People Praise Jesus as He Enters Luke 19:29-38
  2. The Pharisees Rebuke Him upon Entering Luke 19:39-40
  3. Jesus Weeps and Returns to Bethany Luke 19:41-44

Context/Discussion/Comments:

The last time Jesus visited Jerusalem He came quietly and unannounced. Therefore, the Jews have been looking for Him throughout Jerusalem thinking He sneaked in unnoticed because of the controversy He had stirred up on His last visit. But this time He arrives with “fanfare” surrounded by a large crowd of followers, many from Bethany and/or a result of their testimony concerning Lazarus being raised from the dead by Jesus. Jesus arrives on a colt, fulfilling the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9.

There is great shouting and praise to God as Jesus rides down the Mt. of Olives into Jerusalem. Perhaps He came through the eastern gate directly into the Temple Mount as it is prophesied when He returns. Jesus laments over Jerusalem upon seeing all of the city as He descends the Mt. of Olives. Jesus’ disciples are shouting “Hosanna” and quoting Psalms 118:26. In essence they are saying “Blessed be our Messiah. He is come!”

Perhaps He is standing in the temple courtyard when the Pharisees want Jesus to rebuke His disciples for their praise and adoration of Him. Jesus says “if they don’t shout, the stones will cry out.”

Everything is stone in Jerusalem; the city walls, the Temple foundation, the Temple, all the buildings. In a way, the stones did cry out for I’m sure His disciples’ praise reverberated off the buildings amplifying their praise.

This evidently was a slow journey from Bethany to Jerusalem because of the crowds. The people came mainly from Bethany; those who were either witnesses or were told of Lazarus being raised from the dead by Jesus. In one sense, Bethany produced the first missionaries as a result of Jesus’ miracles there. At the end of the day, Jesus returns to Bethany. Most likely, Jesus and His disciples were staying with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus.

Lessons/Applications:

  1. Consider what Jesus has done for you and for others. Acknowledge Him as Messiah and praise God for His gift of peace.
  2. Jesus rides into our lives as a servant-king with a message of peace, willing to reconcile us with God if only we will acknowledge Him as Messiah.
  3. Never refuse to praise God. Never stop praising God. Never stop telling others of His miracles. Never be intimidated by those who refuse to believe in Him.
  4. Express your thanksgiving and praise to God. Express your sorrow for those who refuse Jesus. Express your love for God and your fellow man.
  5. Rejoice in your salvation always.

Praising God enables one to smile and to enjoy life as He meant it to be.

Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. [Psalm 118:26]

Personal Ramblings on Praise

Praising God has not come naturally for me. Yes, I have praised Him many a time for revealing Himself to me, for calling me, for saving me, etc. But it has not been continuous. I have missed many opportunities to praise and thank Him for His goodness, grace, love, and mercy. But I am also getting better, praising Him more often.

What changed? I don’t really know. It might be due to age, growing older. Maybe my faith is stronger. All I know is that after reaching 50 years of age, praising God became more natural. It also became more genuine. For some it is easy to say Praise God! But when saying it, is it genuine or is it to make an impression of being holy like the Pharisees?

My praise to God is more private. It happens with great vigor in two formats. I now wake up at 3-4am in the morning several times a week having something on my mind and end up praying and praising God for up to an hour or more. It is from the heart. I did not seek this. It is initiated by Him through the Holy Spirit. I can not explain it except that it happens. Another time of praise is when I am hurting or sick. It is very easy for me to praise God when I am flat on my back. It is these times when I have no control over what is happening that I recognize He is the only One who has control. He is always in control but I seem to recognize it only when I have lost complete control. It is easier to praise Him when I must depend solely on Him. Of course, that is what He wants in the first place. That is why He came; that is why He died for my sin, for our sin.

There is a third format when praise is on my heart. It is when I am driving, especially long distances. The radio may be on but I may not be listening to it. Instead I am listening to God and praising Him for all His blessings.

I think this story of Christ’s Triumphal entry into Jerusalem shows us the need for and the importance of praising God. He enjoys it and we should enjoy doing it. It is a form of worship. He has said He will honor those who honor Him. Praise is a form of fellowship. Things are put in perspective, in the right order when we offer praise to God. We praise God when we say Hosanna. We praise God when we consult Him in prayer. We praise God when we trust Him, obey Him, depend on Him, share Him, remember Him, and acknowledge Him before our fellow man. We praise Him when we love others as He loved us. We can praise Him in all that we do and say. It’s a matter of focus, recognizing who we are in relation to who He is; recognizing what we are about in relation to what He is about. Recognize that HE is GOD!

Remember and sing the Doxology, a chorus of Praise to God.

Praise God from who all blessing flow.
Praise Him all creatures here below.
Praise Him above ye heavenly host.
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Practice praising God here on earth so you can be ready to praise Him when you see Him face to face. Practice and it will become natural and genuine. He will provide you with your own special format, between Him and you, in which praise and thanksgiving can be offered. Anticipate it. Enjoy it. Worship Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

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