LUKE 19:28-48 Let us today attempt to set aside the events of the past few days and weeks. I’m not asking that we ignore all those events, but only to focus on something which is greater and of greater value to us than the tragedy that has been our focus for so long already. I want us to look at one of the greatest events recorded in God’s Word. This Sunday is what we commonly refer to as Palm Sunday. We read in Luke 19:28-48 the account of Jesus entering Jerusalem for the last time in His life here on earth. We read of the shouts of praise to Him as He enters the city riding on a colt. We hear these words from the crowd (verse 38) “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.” As Jesus approached the city verse 41 says He wept over the city, saying that the people do not recognize where that peace was to come from – even from Him – and it was hidden from their eyes. They could not (or would not) recognize that Jesus was God coming to them in the flesh. Jesus knows what is coming in the next hours and days. He knows who He is and what His purpose is and He is willing to obey and fulfill God’s plan for mankind. This brings up a few questions that we need to consider.
Do we know who we are?
Of course, we know our names; we know what our occupation in life is; we know a lot of information about ourselves. But, the question is, do we know who we are in our relationship to what Jesus has done for us? How often do we think about the truth that we are created in God’s image and likeness? Hear Peter as he teaches in 1 Peter 2:9-12 where he says, “You are the salt of the earth.” Salt can lose its saltiness and is good for nothing. We must be careful to keep ourselves “salty” The word, salty, by definition is lively, vigorous, spirited – full of great enthusiasm and energy. Unless these qualities are active in our Christian lives, we become ineffective in our witness for our Lord. Peter also tells us, “You are the light of the world.” We find ourselves and others as well at times who seem to walking in darkness and need some light to come into their lives. We are to be that light. Peter encourages us to let our light shine in our corner of the world so others will see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. Be salt. Be light. You are chosen.
Do we know what God wants us to do? Are we willing to accept God’s plan for our individual life? The teachings throughout the Scriptures lay out for us our whole purpose on this earth in this life. God has given us commandments and He has given us a commission for our lives. His words are not simply to be read and given a nod of approval. He expects us to put those words into practice in our daily lives. Remember what Jesus said, in Matthew 7:24-27: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
God simply wants us to do what Jesus taught throughout His ministry here on earth.
This question is maybe the one which brings us to a halt in our service to our Lord.
Are we willing to pay the price?
We find, in Mark 8:34-38 Jesus’ explanation of what the price
is that we must be willing to pay. “Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” Jesus talks here about denying ourselves. We might attempt to convince ourselves that His teaching was only for His close followers in that day. It is not our natural manner nature to deny ourselves. We like to pamper ourselves, take what we believe is rightfully ours. But, Jesus says if we gain the whole world and lose our soul for lack of devotion to Him and by engaging in the sinful ways of the world, we will miss the glory our Father has for us in eternity. Jesus was absolutely serious in His teaching. Jesus gave His life. He is our Example. Watch Him. Hear Him. He shows us and tells us what we are intended to do and to be. What is the price you will pay to be a follower of Jesus Christ?