Sermon: The True King Enters His City (Luke 19:28-44)

luke 19.28-44 click for audio

The True King Enters His City

Luke 19:28-44

Introduction

28 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples,

30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here.

31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.'”

32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them.

33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.”

35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it.

36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road.

37 As he was drawing near–already on the way down the Mount of Olives–the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that 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!”

39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”

40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it,

42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.

43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side

44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

1. Exactly as He Said (Luke 19:28-34)

28 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples,

30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here.

31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.'”

32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them.

33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.”

This little seemingly insignificant event of the disciples going on into the city to get the colt is not unimportant.  Luke reports this event in a way as to show us that this small event that takes place just as Jesus said it would is a marker.  It marks the fact that our Lord, King Jesus, who will ride this virgin, pure colt into Jerusalem knows even in small details what must take place in this great city.  Jesus is omniscient.  He knows the past the present and the future in minute detail.  He is Lord of Heaven and earth.  He is Creator of the cosmos.  And He knows exactly what He’s doing and what will happen in the next few days. 

He came for this purpose and it is God’s divine plan that will unfold exactly as designed.

Jn 10:11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 

I want us to see that this small detail of getting the colt speaks volumes.  Jesus is in control of all the events including His crucifixion.

Luke 18:31 And taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished.

32 For he will be delivered over to the Gentiles and will be mocked and shamefully treated and spit upon.

33 And after flogging him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise.”

Jesus is in charge.  All things were falling into place exactly as predicted.

Can you imagine the discussion on the way back?  Leading this pure colt back to the Lord, the disciples must have been in awe of Him.  Jesus, we found the colt tied up just like you told us it would be.  The owner also questioned us about why we were untying it and when we answered, the Lord has need of it, it was like he was giving it to us as a gift.  What will we see in Jerusalem?

We should not miss the fact that Jesus had to borrow this colt.  He didn’t have a place to lay His head.  He didn’t have a colt to ride.  Our King is humble.  Think of a King who doesn’t even own a colt.  Can we see a little as to how far God stooped down in order to save His people?  Creator of everything and owner of all has to borrow a donkey to make His triumphal entry into His very own city…the city of the Kings.

2. Exactly As They Said (Luke 19:35-40)

35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it.

36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road.

37 As he was drawing near–already on the way down the Mount of Olives–the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that 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!”

39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”

40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

The scene for every Jewish person is unmistakable.  The Lord riding a colt into the city was in fulfillment of OT prophecy.  The Prophet Zechariah predicted this event over 500 years before it took place.

Zech. 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

As our Lord rides, the very picture shouts Messiah, King.  All knew what this meant.  Most however, did not rejoice but sought how they might kill Jesus.

The disciples place their cloaks on the colt so King Jesus could have a saddle.  Others threw their cloaks in the street ahead of Jesus making a sort of “red carpet” entrance.  Scholars believe this is to picture that the people are declaring Jesus King much like they did Jehu in 2 Kings:

2 Kings 9:13 Then in haste every man of them took his garment and put it under him on the bare steps, and they blew the trumpet and proclaimed, “Jehu is king.”

Jesus is King, Jesus is Messiah, were the chants as they entered.

the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that 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!”

At that moment, all the miracles Jesus had performed became fresh in their minds again and they praised God for all Jesus had done.  He heals the blind!  The Lame walk! The deaf hear!  The Dead are raised!  Sinners are forgiven! May have been some of the shouts as they entered.

If the imagery wasn’t enough, the shouts made it very clear.  All His followers were declaring Jesus to be Messiah King.  He is King.  They were right.  It was exactly as they said.  Make no mistake Jesus Christ is King.  He was then and still remains King.  He is the real King.  The one eternally seated on the Davidic throne.  He will rule and reign forever.

It was so obvious that the religious leaders were trying to get his followers to be quiet.  I’ve heard many sermons on this text and I’ve heard some preachers say that people are fickle and it was this day the people were declaring Him King and a week later shouting crucify Him!  That’s not true.  It was two different groups of people.  These were Jesus’ followers.  The other group is made up of just people.

Notice that Jesus does not deny and does not tell them to be quiet.  The time is right.  Many times before when He performed a miracle or similar situation folks would begin declaring that He was the Son of God or Messiah and He would tell them to tell no one.  Now it’s different.  It’s time everyone knew it.

39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.”

His disciples were ones who had stony hearts prior to meeting Jesus.  Now they were given hearts of flesh.  If these born-again followers of Christ would stay silent the dead stones of the temple would begin praising God and declaring Jesus to be the Messiah.  The dead temple stones even understand this event better than the religious leaders; they were literally, dumber than a rock.

40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

Creation brings glory to God when people fail to.  Jesus will be glorified.  We can bring Him glory by praising Him or if we are silent, creation itself will burst forth in praise.

Isaiah 55:12 “For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Jesus could bring to life the stones of the temple if He chose to.  No, He will not tell His followers to be quiet because they are shouting truth for all to hear.  It’s the Pharisees who should be silent.

3.  Jerusalem Would Not Listen (Luke 19:41-44)

41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it,

42 saying, “Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.

43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side

44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Here is yet another example of sovereignty and humility meeting in the person of Jesus Christ.

Jerusalem and all of Israel is missing its opportunity to embrace her king and not be slaughtered before Him…from last week.  Remember all the faithful followers will be rewarded and those who will not serve the King will be slaughtered.  Jesus is deeply moved to tears, as He knows exactly what will happen to His people.  They will die in their sin and be forever assigned to destruction and eternal punishment.

Here is also where sovereignty and mercy meet.  Our Lord knows every detail of their destruction and yet has tears of mercy.

Israel would not accept God’s terms for peace.  They would rather die than surrender to God.  Jesus is victorious and is the reigning King in Jerusalem but they will not follow Him.

Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.

They could humbly bow the knee to the King and they would be pardoned but they don’t believe Jesus is who He says He is.  They don’t believe He has the power to do what He says.  They refuse to surrender.

What else is amazing here is that Jesus goes on to predict the fall of Jerusalem and the temple that took place about 40 years later when emperor Titus totally obliterates the city.

One secular report goes like this:

The Roman legions surrounded the city and began to slowly squeeze the life out of the Jewish stronghold. By the year 70, the attackers had breached Jerusalem’s outer walls and began a systematic ransacking of the city. The assault culminated in the burning and destruction of the Temple that served as the center of Judaism.

Sounds like history worked out exactly as Jesus said.  Other reports verify that the temple was totally gone the only thing left was the rocks under the ground whichserved as the foundation.

Jesus’ people were killed, taken captive to work in the mines, or taken to be slaughtered before the crowds in the arena.  Jesus saw all this and was moved to tears.

It wasn’t that they were sinners that would lead to their destruction…

because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

What does our Lord mean?

Literally, You did not recognize the time when God visited you.

God had visited the people seeking terms of peace and they said no.  The language is very similar to that used in the Old Testament account of Joseph on his death bed…

Gen. 50:24 And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will visit you and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”

God would visit His people as smoke and fire and lead the people out of bondage.  In a very similar way Jesus was there to lead the people out of bondage, God was visiting the people to extend mercy but they rejected the offer.

All who reject Jesus’ offer will be assigned a place in eternal fire and judgment.  This eternal destruction will be much worse than what the Jews suffered at the hand of Titus in 70 AD.

Have you accepted God’s terms of peace?  Have you bowed in reverence and worship to the true King?  Have you understood that God has visited us in the person of Jesus Christ, not for wrath or vengeance but for mercy and salvation?

I pray these great truths ring sweet in our ears.  Embrace the King and live, reject the King and as He said earlier, be slaughtered before Him.

The true King has entered the city may we join in the refrain… Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!

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