(church outage suspended this Palm Sunday message)
When Jesus arrived in the city and the people were shouting, according to Matthew 21:10, the majority of bystanders were confused, and they asked, “Who is this?” Most people of that day were not so sure about Jesus; & people still are not so sure. Jesus can be quite perplexing because he so different from us. So this question is critical for us to answer.
That is what the final week of Jesus is all about: to vividly show the world the uniqueness of this man.
Always remember, when you ask questions of God, he will give you answers. In fact, this exact question was asked 1000 years earlier by David, and the situation was strangely identical to the events of Palm Sunday. Turn to Psalm 24, and as we read through it ask yourself, “Who is this?”
Psalm 24 is very clear about who this is: This is the King of Glory. (8-10) He is your king. This is the official title of Jesus. But tell me…
How do I talk about a King to Americans?
In all candor (that is for "Divergence" fans)… I don’t really know how? As people who have been born and raised in a democratic country, we think only in term of rights. We have:
- constitutional rights (life, liberty and pursuit of happiness)
- civil and voting rights
- Miranda Rights
- right to “Free Education”
But now... “rights” have become all the rage: “Patient Bill of Rights”, “Right to affordable health care,” “Right to equal pay equal work,” “Right to Title 9 Equal Opportunity Act,” “Right of Same-sex Marriage,” “Transgender Rights,” In Australia they even have the right to be considered “non-gendered.” Rights are everywhere…and now rights are quickly morphing into demands.
Guess what Americans?: Rights mean nothing to a King! A King is completely autonomous, which means he doesn’t really care about our opinions, because he has the latitude to do anything he wants. In contrast to democratically elected leaders who must please their voters, a King only has to please himself.
And if you want to please the King he has some requirements (24:3-6): you must be willing to serve with Clean Hands, Pure Heart & Loyalty to Him. God is looking for committed servants:
- With Clean Hands: a person who is characterized by righteousness and obedience. That is what they become known by.
- Pure Hearts: singular to God (not double-minded, NOT FICKLE!)
- Not lift up soul to an idol (vain or not real): “He does not give his heart, nor does he make promises to other false gods; nor is he carried away with that which is unreal and false,
foolish things that will always let you down.”
To me the problem is not that people don’t have enough information about Jesus, it is that they don’t really want to commit and give their lives to Him! Loyalty is determined by what lies in the human heart: “Do I really want to live a committed life to him? Do I always have to have clean hands, or can’t I get them dirty every once in a while? Do I have to have a pure heart, or can’t I be a little wicked now and then? And do I always have to be loyal: “Why can’t I be carried away with the unreal and false for awhile…it really is a lot of fun.”
The way people display loyalty to one another is by saying and believing two little words: “I Do.” A man really doesn’t fully know a woman until he says I do. When a man says “I Do” it means he is done chasing other loyalties. When a man says “I Do” it is for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish.
The church is fickle (has a lack of loyalty) because somewhere along the line we started to believe that just living together with Jesus is ok. But when you live together, and not say "I do", you always have an out to quit the relationship for someone better. And when there is an out, it will be used! The whole point of promising “I Do” is to leave no out…it is a promise till death.
When it comes to a relationship with Jesus, He is all in, he proved it by dying for you.
How about you? Are you all in?