Matt Hagee - The King Is Coming Back
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The triumphal entry begins with the picture of crowds that are lining a narrow path down the Mount of Olives. They've come because Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth, is entering through the Eastern side of Jerusalem on his way to the Temple Mount. They begin to take off their robes, and they lay them on the trail. Others begin to go and cut down branches from trees, and they're waving them. And it would seem like the entire atmosphere is charged with the electricity, because Jesus is there. You see we see people with palm branches, saying "Hosanna," and we think that they're adoring Jesus Christ. But let me give you a 1st century perspective of what they saw in Jesus. You see Rome had money. And on Roman money was the face of Caesar Augustus.
Now to a Jew, who read the Torah, this was idolatry, because the second commandment says, you should have what? No graven images. So that man's face on that coin was idol worship. And a free people had their own currency. And on Jewish currency, you would not have seen the face of a leader: you would have seen the fruit of the land. Well in Israel, fruit grows of palm trees. You have date palms, and all kinds of different seeds that grows, and things that happen. So what was happening when these 1st century Jews saw Jesus coming, they cut down palm trees, not because they wanted to worship him, but because they were letting Rome know he's on his way. We're going to be in charge by Monday. See this. It means our money, not yours. It means we're in charge, not you. You see they worshiped Jesus from an outside perspective. But the truth is they had a political reason for doing it.
They had seen him take a sack lunch and feed 5,000, so they knew that he could provide for a lot of people from limited resources. That would be a great qualification for a leader who's going to lead a revolution against somebody like Rome. They had heard what he did when he went to Lazarus' tomb four days after Lazarus was dead. They didn't think Lazarus was dead: they knew he was dead, because his sister said, Lord, don't remove the stone: the boy stinks. But seeing Lazarus walk out of those grave clothes, they knew that he had power to bring life where there was death. So if there was going to be a fight with Rome, then this man could resurrect those who were wounded. He could feed thousands. He could resurrect the dead. There's no way we're going lose. Hosanna! Hosanna! Hosanna! It looked like worship, but it wasn't.
There were others who took off their cloaks and they lined the trail so that the donkey that he was riding wouldn't even touch the dirt of the ground. How precious that picture would be. But the reality of it was is that they had heard about all of the miracles that Jesus did. And with great enthusiasm, they were looking forward to what he might do next. You think he'll heal a lame man? Do you think he'll touch a blind man? Oh, it's going to be so exciting whenever we see the power that this man has. And it looks like worship, but it's not. You say, well how can you say that, preacher? Because this same crowd that's shouting "Hosanna" on this day, on Friday is going to gather at Pilate's porch, and they're going to shout, "Crucify him"!
If they worshiped him for who he was, they would have never allowed that statement to cross their mouth. But because they saw in him political opportunity, and because they saw in him the potential of entertainment, their worship was shallow, but their contentment, their disgust, and their disdain was deep because they wanted to get from Jesus what they wanted: they didn't want to give Jesus what he wanted. And not much has changed in 2,000 years. There are a lot of people, who come into atmospheres where God's presence is, and in the excitement, in the enthusiasm, from the outside they make it look like worship. But until the motive for worship is to give to God what God wants, then your worship is shallow, and your disgust and disdain will be deep. You say, how dare you say such a thing.
How many of you've ever met somebody who says, "Well I've tried church and that didn't work"? You may have tried church. You may have tried religion. But I assure you, you have not tried Jesus, because Jesus never fails. The first thing that I see Jesus doing is giving specific instruction about where the disciples can find exactly what they're looking for. This verse might seem odd, but a few verses later, we read that the reason that he wanted this particular donkey is because Zechariah, the prophet, had spoken in Zechariah 9:9 concerning the Messiah. He said: your king is coming lowly, and sitting on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey. Now the reason that that is so specific and so absolutely purposeful is because out of all of the prophecies that are spoken about Jesus in the Bible, not one of them has not been fulfilled concerning his life, his death, and his resurrection.
When Zechariah gave this prophecy, God made sure to carry it out with every detail so that from that day until this one, the fact that it happened would affirm that this was the Son of God. And if it didn't happen, he knew that men all over the world would say, but yes, there's that one prophecy. Instead, God was careful. Why? Because the grass may wither and the flower may fade, but the word of the Lord endures forever. Every jot, every tittle, every comma, every period, every letter, every line, every word, every page, there is not one ounce of deception in this book. The Bible has been tried and it has withstood the flames of the trial. It has been mocked for centuries by cynics, and it has silenced every one of its scoffers. It has been debated in classrooms, and diluted in pulpits, and misused by men. But for all of the abuse that it has taken, the Word of God has endured. And it is still sharper than any two-edged sword. It is still the life that gives power to men. It is still able to overcome all things. Thank you, God, for a perfect and holy word!
I love how exact Jesus is with his instructions. Why is that important? Because remember God is not the author of confusion. If you're on a spiritual journey and it's confusing, God's not driving the boat. He tells the disciples where: go to that town. He tells them what: not just any donkey, a donkey that's got a colt. He tells them how: untie them, bring them back. He tells them why: I need them. I know that there are people in this room who say they're searching for answers. And that may very well be true. I know that there are people in this room that are confused and frustrated by what's going on in your life. And one of the reasons that you experience confusion is because you are searching, but you're not reading the instructions. You're looking for an answer, but you're doing it in your own strength. You haven't been sent by the word of the Lord.
You see the same way that Jesus gave specific instructions to his disciples is the same way he put very specific instructions in this book for you. You may be searching for an answer, but you haven't looked at the solution. You may be here tonight looking for an answer in your business, in your marriage, in your wayward child, in your broken heart, in some dream in your life that's been shattered. I want to encourage you tonight to stop struggling in your own strength and listen to the word of the Lord, because Jesus knows exactly where to find what you're looking for. He knows exactly how to take you to your place of need, because my God said that he would supply all of my needs according to his riches in glory.
If you're here tonight and you've got a need in your business, I want to encourage you to do what the Proverbs say, trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not to your own understanding. Your understanding may be vast. But I assure you his ways are not our ways and his time is not our time. He said, if you'll lean on him, if you'll trust in him, he will direct your path. He said, if you will give him this day and give it all you've got, he'll take what he has in his hand for you, and increase you to where you are the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath. Do you need the Lord today in your business? Then fire yourself as CEO and make him the chairman of the board. Trust in him, because it is the Lord who gives you the power to get wealth.
You might have a wayward child, some teenager, post grad off in the far country. You might be searching for an answer. How do I reach that child? How do I get them back to the foundations that they were raised upon? Look in the word. Read what the Bible says. You turn that child loose to God. You say, Lord, they're out of my hands but they're still in yours. I don't care what you've got to do to get their attention. Whenever you get their attention, I'll be waiting right here for them to come home. I don't care how many pieces you've got to break their heart into. I don't care if I've got to go visit them flat on their back in a hospital bed. When they walk in, I'll say, thank you, Jesus, I final got some time with my child. You start praying prayers for your children in the far country, and they call you for food? You say, we eat lunch every Sunday after church. See you there 11 o'clock. Click. Why? Because until they own that weight and that burden of sin, and until they feel the freedom that Jesus takes it off of them, then they'll never appreciate what their Savior has done for them. You can't be saved for them. You've got to let Jesus get their attention all by himself.
If you're here with a broken heart, if you're here with a shattered dream, Jesus Christ has an answer for you. His answer is, hold on my child: for joy comes in the morning. This triumphal entry comes from verses 10 and 11. Verse 10, it says: and when he had come to Jerusalem, all of the city was moved, saying, "Who is this"? Say that with me, who is this? And then they answered him and they said, "This is Jesus of Nazareth, a prophet from Galilee". The thing that I'm reminded of is that a matter of fact is not the whole truth. The world wanted to know: who is this, because during Passover when the Jews were coming to Jerusalem, hundreds of thousands of them came from all over the known world. And they didn't have the ability to know who Jesus was, but they certainly were interested and curious when they saw the crowd forming. And they said, "Who is this"?
And the individuals, who responded, gave them facts, but they did not tell them the truth. They gave them a fact. They said, this is a prophet. That's a fact. But Jesus was much more than just a prophet. They gave them a fact, he's from Galilee, a city in Nazareth. That's a fact, but it's not the whole truth. One of the things that we must remember this season is that there is a world full of people who still want to know who Jesus is. They don't know him. They don't know the peace that he can bring to a tormented heart. They don't know the joy that he can put into those who are searching for strength. They don't know the burdens he can lift, the yokes he can destroy, the chains he can break. And whenever they ask you, because they sense in you the spirit that he's placed there: when they ask you, "Who is this"? Don't give them the facts: tell them the truth.
You see Jerusalem was a city that was known for prophets. There were hundreds of prophets in Jerusalem at any time. Some of them famous: others of them unmentioned. To call Jesus a prophet just bunches him with the rest. When people ask you who Jesus is in your life, don't group him with other things: make him the only thing. And then they connect the Creator of heaven and earth with geography. Oh, he's from Nazareth of Galilee. He created it, and you're going to give him a mailbox? You see the second you put Jesus in a box, you give people the opportunity to put a lid on it and push it away. Nazareth was a hill country town in the north of Israel. It was not Jerusalem, which was a religious center. It was not Athens, which was an intellectual center. It was not Rome, which was a political center.
So saying "He's from Nazareth" would be like saying, oh, that's my preacher from poteet. They made it seem like such a small thing. And I'm concerned that there are people who believe in Jesus Christ on this earth today, who make living for Jesus out to be such a small thing. Somebody asks you at work, "Who is Jesus"? Well, he's just somebody that really helps me, just feels so good to know him. Good talk. We make this faith thing out to be so benign, and so bland, and so boring: who would want him? When somebody asks you who Jesus is, don't make it the kind of thing that they can ignore. Make it the kind of thing that they cannot forget. Make them know beyond the shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ is everything to you. Let them know that because he is risen, you're alive, because you were dead and you were lost in sin, and you were bound for hell.
But he reached down and he saved you and he set you free. And he gave you joy where there was sorrow. And he gave you strength where there was weakness. And he's been a friend when you were alone. And he is a redeemer who is faithful and true. And he was merciful when you didn't deserve mercy. And he was wonderful when you didn't have any reason to receive any good. And he's awesome in strength. And he's mighty in power. And there's none liken unto him. Let them know that this is not some religious figure: that this is the Lamb of God. This is the lion of Judah. This is the light of the world. This is living water. If you're thirsting, he'll quench your thirst. He's the bread of life. If you're hungry, he'll satisfy your soul. He's a healer! I don't care if it's a head cold or it's cancer, Christ has conquered it!
Two thousand years ago, Jesus came to Jerusalem. But before he ascended to the Father, he said, I'll be back. I'm going to return. He said you're going to see signs. You're going to see wonders. The sun is going to be turned to black. The moon is going to be turned to blood. There's going to be earthquakes in various and diverse places. You're going to hear about wars and you're going hear about rumors of wars. You see people talk about it on the evening news like it's headlines.
If you read the Bible, it's old news. And Jesus said, when you see these signs. Don't remember what I did 2,000 years ago: remember what I said before I left. When you see these signs, lift up your head and rejoice: for the king is coming back. Revelation 19 says: and I saw the heaven open. And behold, a white horse. And he who sat on him was called, "Faithful and true". And on his robe, there was a name, and on his thigh. And his name was the king above kings and the Lord above Lords. Church, today I am thankful that Jesus came to earth to be my Savior. But I praise God that he rose from the dead and he's soon to come again. And of his kingdom, there shall be no end! The king is coming back! Give the Lord a handclap of praise!
The tradition in Jerusalem was that if you were blind and you were lame, you could not enter the temple. You had an imperfection that kept you from walking into a place where you could receive a healing. But Jesus went into the temple and he drove out money changers, and he drove out the religious. And when the wrong crowd left, the right crowd showed up. And I think it's important that we consider what he healed them from, blindness, those who could not see what they needed: and those who were lame, those who could see what they needed but they were too hindered to get to it.
Tonight I believe, in this room, the same Savior who was on that Temple Mount 2,000 years ago, is in this place. And I believe that in this place, just like there were 2,000 years ago, are blind and lame, those who cannot see what they need, and those who can see it but they can't get to it. Well I believe, if we give God the chance, he'll prove that he is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And those who are blind, and those who are lame can walk out of here running, and leaping, and rejoicing, because one touch from the master and everything changes.
Would you stand to your feet in the presence of the Lord tonight? Sing that again, let the weak say. Sing hosanna.
Father, we thank you that tonight because of what Jesus has done, we can come boldly before your throne. Tonight, regardless of the need that we have in this place, you know right where to find the answer. So we humble ourselves in this moment. And we say, Father, you lead us, you guide us, and we will do what you ask. Lord, we know that there are others who need to know you. And we commit ourselves yet again to sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ, all that you have done, and all that you can do for each and every wounded heart. But Father, in this place tonight, there are the blind and there are the lame. There are those who cannot see the answer. And there are those who cannot get to it. So I'm asking you, like you did 2,000 years ago, move in this place tonight, and remove the scales from our eyes, and give us strength in our weakness. Those who are looking for an answer in their business, give them the ability to see it. Those who are searching for an answer in their family, give them clear and perfect vision of how to meet it. Those who are trying to overcome something in their past, strengthen them so that they can no longer walk with a weakness, but March in the mighty army of the living God. These things we ask in your precious, and in your mighty, and in your matchless name.