Mark 11, Matthew 21

Sermon Transcript:

Welcome here and in Collingswood, uh, I know, uh, we just enjoyed a, a song here about Jerusalem, uh, and in Collingswood, you’re coming back from a break and I hope you had some bagels for me. They are really good. I’m not sure where you get ’em from, but they’re good.

Uh, and if you’ve never been to Collingswood, you should go sometime. It’s a great, great time to be there worshiping the Lord together at our other campus. All right, couple of things, just wanted to share at the very beginning here if you have, uh, not had the chance to pick up one of the books that we’ve been talking about, the Common Life books.

Um, we’re gonna be studying through the whole week, uh, of, of. If you look, there’s a schedule here and kind of, it breaks it down. It, it allows us to walk through Easter, not just in the week of Easter, but over the next seven weeks. Well, now we’re closer to more like five weeks walking through each of, uh, the days of Easter week leading up to that.

Uh, we’re gonna be bumping around in Matthew and Mark, and so encourage you to pull out a Bible this morning. Uh, if you got one there in the pew, you can, uh, turn there. It’s in the New Testament. I’ll give you a page number here in just a minute. Passion Week is called Passion Week because in Greek that means suffering, suffering.

And so as we walk through toward, uh, Easter, we want to remember that Passion Week. Though it might feel like an exciting thing, it’s a week of suffering for our Lord for Christ. And so this morning, uh, we look to him. Wanna spend our beginning time here, looking back over, uh, what we had just come from kind of a spirit guided reflection, if you will.

Um, how we do putting into practice the things that happened last week. Um, hopefully you walked out with a few challenges last week. Uh, pastor Ben did an amazing job kicking off the sermon series. Um, anybody remember the elephant ear example last week? Were you here for that? Okay. That one got me so good.

I sent it a, a text in the middle of the service. Um, it just right to my core, uh, as the Lord was working. Just, I needed to reach out to somebody, but it just got me the unprotected Jesus marching into Jerusalem, not trying to make ourselves big and important and cover up, but choosing the way of humility and selfless servanthood our Jesus invites us to follow him.

If you were following along in the books this week, there were a few zingers in there too. Uh, again, it is, we preach the sermon and then the next five days there are, uh, some devotionals you can work through. Here’s one that, uh, really kicked my butt. If all you have is Christ, it is enough for everything you need.

If all you have is Christ, it is enough for everything you need. I think that was like a Wednesday afternoon or something that was like, whew, okay, here we are. Uh, we also received some war cry language. If you’re reading through, there was like a battle cry in there called the Lord’s Prayer. Our father, who is in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come here and now your will be done there in forever. Got the chance, even, uh, as you’re walking through those books to reflect on kind of this odd juxtaposition of two things, right? We have Jesus followers shouting, Hosanna, walking into the holy city of Jerusalem, palm branches and all, and the weeping Jesus.

It’s a weird moment to think about one celebrating, one is crying and they’re walking in together, riding on a donkey. As we look ahead, we’re gonna consider a few things that happened on Monday and Tuesday, and so we’ll join our hearts together in prayer. Now, before we do that, I’m gonna ask you to participate in prayer this morning.

Is that okay? Thank you for that. Yes, less emphatic than good morning, but yes. So let’s join in prayer and I’ll ask you as we begin our time of prayer, just to consider and maybe talk to the Lord. Where did God this week surprise you with his love?

Then consider this question and talk to the Lord about this. How did God’s grace meet your sin this week?

Well, Lord, we pray along with David, blessed are you, Lord the God of our fathers. Your name is praiseworthy and glorious for all the ages. It’s a vastly different day and age, though at the same time, we have the same issues. God, the the answer, the, the hope is Christ. And so this morning, as we come and as we get the chance to see God, what you are doing, we want a journey with you towards the holy city of Jerusalem.

Give us an understanding of the things that maybe we don’t understand. Open our eyes to things we have not yet seen in you, in us. God, I pray for those who maybe are coming in a little bit this morning, bruised and beat up from the events or the the thoughts of this week as they consider those things.

Would you meet them with your grace? Would you meet them with your love? Lord, you know the truth being shared this morning. You know the truth that we need this morning, and I pray your spirit would open our eyes to see them. Clearly, we pray these things in your name. Amen. All right. Again, if you’re with me in Mark, chapter 11 is where we’re gonna be, page 796.

If you got one of those pew bibles, um, you can turn there this morning. Just gonna pick up with the final words from last week’s sermon and so we can understand and see where we are going. Um, with this morning, verse 11 of Mark chapter 11. And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the 12th.

So he enters Jerusalem riding in on Palm Sunday, and then he dips into the temple and walks back out. After Jesus and his followers went there, they left and went to Bethany. There’s a, a little map here to show you kinda where that is in relation to the temple. It’s kind of confusing. Maybe you can see it a little bit better up on the screen than me, but, uh, as you’re going, they, Bethany is this town outside of, they would pass over the Mount of Olives in order to get to the temple.

Can see it there on the east. And so as they walk in and walk out, this is kind of the journey from Bethany through Bethphage over the Mount of Olives into the temple. There is a small town there where uh, Jesus was lodging with some friends. Mary Martha, the newly risen Lazarus was there as well. With them, it’s about a two mile walk back and forth.

And so this journey is kind of, uh, them going back and forth. There’s a couple different sections we’re gonna talk about. The first is the journey as they’re going to the temple back again on Monday. So again Sunday, they kind of go in, come out, They’re going back in on Monday and the first scene kind of really happens on the Mount of Olives and we’re gonna just connect, uh, that together this morning.

So we’ll continue with verse 12. On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he that’s Jesus was hungry. Dramatic pause because yes, the son of God got hungry and seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves for it was not the season for figs.

And he said to it, may no one ever eat fruit from you again. And his disciples heard it. The first section, as we talk through, just to kind of give you a shorthand as you think back, the first section here, all fr all show, no fruit, all show, no fruit. Fig trees were used all throughout scripture in lots of different ways.

The first example that I can think of is actually right in the beginning. Adam and Eve, when they covered themselves with fig leaves as after they sinned, James would use, uh, fig trees as an illustration about good and pure speech. Coming from a pure heart, Zakia actually climbed a fig tree, and you’re like, no, no, no, no.

It’s sycamore tree. Well, for all of you plant people, it’s called a faus sycamores. That’s kind of like a hybrid plant, but Zakia climbed this fig tree as well. Haba prophesied over a disobedient Israel. Though there are no figs, God is faithful. Each situation, there’s kind of this using of this fig tree as an example to talk about the spiritual condition of either an individual or to draw an illusion to the nation of Israel to make a connection there.

The collective people, fig trees, were, uh, plentiful in this region. They grew wild. They were all around. And so as you think about walking from Bethany through the Mount of Olives, there would also be on the mount of Olives, fig trees as they were walking through. And surprisingly, there was this one fig tree that as they came up to, was sprouting some leaves.

This time in particular, it was not the season for figs to be growing, but this tree was indicating by the leaves. It was growing some fruit. Kind of like an advertisement. The store is open. I am selling figs. And so they walk up to it. Jesus was noticing he was hungry. Okay, I’m gonna go grab a fig. But upon getting to the tree, Jesus found no fruit full of leaves and no figs to show.

And so he cursed the tree and eventually that tree would wither up and kind of just shrivel and die. And it says, these words were heard by the disciples. Jesus would later explain in depth this encounter after coming out of the city. Um, but the fig tree really represents, you can picture him standing on the hill, looking down over off the Mount of Olives into Jerusalem.

He’s looking over the city and he sees this fig tree with no fruit. And he’s thinking about Jerusalem. They proclaim to know God, but there’s no fruit of his transforming work. God’s chosen nation full of leaves, no figs on the tree. Spiritually, this is just a, a facade. It’s an advertisement with nothing to show for it.

It’s a shroud to cover the decay of the inner hearts. It would be the lights on and nobody’s home. It’s a brand new sports car, and they forgot to load the engine into the sports car. It’s a Chick-fil-A sandwich with no chicken and devoid of two crucial pickles, , nothing there. Many of us, uh, are on social media and some of us have come over the Mount of Olives to the other side of social media.

Um, but there are some positives and negatives. And let me just pause because we could be here for a while talking about social media. Uh, but there’s one thing I know for sure. It is without a doubt, the easiest target for a sermon illustration. Um, we do do the dumbest stuff. We record it, we post it, and then we shared for the world to see.

This is the easiest. Seemingly, uh, a million examples could come out of social media that we think about. But as we think about it, one thing jumped out in my mind, this idea of filters that, at least that I can think of. This was one of the first times this really came about. We can begin to edit our pictures.

We can do them with removing things or if there’s a wrinkle here, nah, that’s gone. If my cheekbones don’t sit correctly, well, they can be, uh, manipulated in such a way in order that people can see a different version than our reality. This all show and no fruit reality is confronted elsewhere in scripture revealing not just a nation of Israel, not just as zakk heart, and not just your heart, but my heart to cover, to protect and appear put together.

Paul would write in Romans 10. The Israelites have a zeal for God, but it’s not based on him at all. In his letter to Timothy, Paul would write this as well. They have a form of godliness, but they’re lacking any power. And Jesus would call out the Pharisees in Luke chapter 18, uh, for standing on the street corners and praying for all to hear, but they’ve really lost the connection with the one they’re praying to God.

So as Jesus enters the city of Jerusalem, he sees the fig tree and it grieves him. My people are proclaiming my name and praising me, but the religious elite, so studied, so connected, yet have missed this childlike faith. What’s the answer? How do we not be a tree that just has leaves and no figs? There’s no blank for this, but it’s the blank you’re all thinking of.

Jesus is the answer they need and he’s the answer that we need as well. Think about John 15. This is the answer spelled out in scripture through the mouth of Christ. Jesus invites us, remain in me and I will remain in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine. Neither can you bear any fruit unless you remain in me.

I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit apart from me. You can do nothing. I’d offer you just these simple words as we think about the condition of our hearts. The words full access. Full access. There’s this thing that happens when we live in kind of this sin pattern.

Over time, we, we begin to protect certain areas or, or wall them off, or our struggles, we, we protect or we’re good at, uh, uh, just keeping people out, but we at a heart deep level grow accustomed to in that way. , not just saying no, but actually we’re saying yes to ourselves quite a lot. We are really good at meeting our own needs over and over again.

But the way of Jesus journeying with him listening and responding as he prompts, invites us to give full access. And you might be saying, that’s tremendously threatening. Uh, I don’t wanna go there. I’ve got skeletons in the closet. There’s no way I’m doing this. It’d be terrifying to admit our sin. Well, newsflash, he already knows what’s in your heart.

And so it’s not really that you have to do much of anything, it’s just that you’re joining with what the God of the universe can already see and sense inside your heart. So my encouragement as we do this is just start with saying yes as the spirit would prompt you and reveal certain things, or kind of gently tap on the doorway of a, a closet or, or something like that.

Okay, Lord, I hear you’re leading me in this way. Or maybe as you’re hearing something, as you’re reading through the scriptures and it really pokes at something and you do this thing and I’ve done it before myself, you start to think, well, I could really apply that. And the, oh, that’s too much. I’m not gonna go there.

We begin to wall things off, but following him, giving him full access to our lives, there’s a, a, a short little book that, um, I’ve just read a synopsis of. It’s, it’s, uh, kind of funny that I read a synopsis of it in this training that I went through, cuz the book is I think like 30 pages. But, um, it’s a small book.

It’s called My Heart, Christ’s Home. It’s written years ago and there’s millions of copies in many different languages. But it’s this, uh, kind of an interesting journey as you talk through, uh, as you read through this. Or the synopsis of the book that really walks you through this journey of what it would be like if Christ visited your home and kind of giving him access to things.

There’d be a, a knock at the door and maybe you’d invite him in and he would walk into the study and potentially there’d be a, a, a like, Hey, I’m gonna add a couple books to your shelf here. Maybe we’ll remove this book. I want you to consume this truth. And as you begin, you move into the dining room where Jesus begins to serve this meal that is better than anything you’ve consumed before.

It’s this lasting, truly satisfying meal. You move from there into the, the living room, and he just wants to sit and have fellowship with you, and the conversation is fruitful and, and things are going well. And you pass by this hall closet. It’s the one you stuffed everything into before he entered the house.

The. No one’s ever done that before, and you’re like, please don’t open it. I’m not sure what’s gonna fall out. But Jesus doesn’t meet it with shame. He meets it with his love and his forgiveness. And eventually as this story goes on, you turn over the title to the house. He’s the owner. He’s the one you want in charge, the master, the keeper.

My heart, Christ’s home. So we walk towards Easter, giving full access to him in all things, embracing at times this humbling, humiliating admission of our own brokenness and sin. The humble Jesus would take on himself upon the cross in just a few days. Okay, so Jesus and the disciples continued beyond the fig tree down into the city of Jerusalem.

They’re gonna be entering here into the temple. We pick back up in Mark, uh, 11 verse 15. . And they came to Jerusalem and he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple. And he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.

And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, is it not written? My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations, but you have made it a den of robbers. And the chief priests and the scribes heard it, and were seeking a way to destroy him for they feared him because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching.

And when evening came, they went out of the city. Jesus hope of the nations is our next section here, entering into the temple. Jesus hope of the nations. Well, tis the season. It is Passover season and everybody is descending upon the city of Jerusalem. The Jewish people would be making their annual pilgrimage in and celebrating Passover in the Holy City.

Jerusalem would’ve swelled probably four to five times its amount in size during Passover. And though Passover was traditionally only allowed to be celebrated within the confines of Jerusalem during Passover time, the priests would allow people to move outside and begin to celebrate it because there just wasn’t physical room.

So you can picture people camped among the countryside and, and even lodging in different towns nearby in order to be close. For this moment, people would be coming, heading to the temple to make appropriate sacrifices to God for sins they’ve committed, or to perform various customs and rituals according to God’s commands, to pursue cleansing and, and purification as they remembered God’s faithfulness.

Many years ago during Passover. And so what you would do is bring your animal of, of choice, of sacrifice. Depending upon your tax bracket, you would either be bringing a lamb, a dove, a, a pigeon, a goat, a dove already said dove. Great. Well, typically you’d bring your own at this time, and in this day, Passover priests would really demand that you would buy The sacrifices from the temple can see where this is going.

This is a classic case of supply and demand Jerusalem four to five times the size. During Passover, it wasn’t uncommon to pay 10 times as much for your sacrifice. It was downright profitable during this time to be a seller of sacrificial animals. Additionally, a yearly temple tax had been, uh, something that people would pay and they would come and the payment was to be made in shackles, which wasn’t the norm of the currency at the time.

Most people had had this, uh, in this Roman culture here, a denaris currency that they had, and so they couldn’t pay in the common currency. They would need to then exchange their money. Anybody ever exchanged money before and you’re like, no way I’m paying that percentage. Well, in this way, the 25% markup was all they had the money changers raked in their hefty prophet during Passover.

At this time, one of the two high priests, Anis was his name, the high priest was corrupt and a violent man, a temple courts that were typically called the Court of the Gentiles, where people would come and be able to, uh, be together. And the gentiles that non-Jews could come in and be there was then called the Bazaar of Anis.

People would come in selling all sorts of things, set up your table, sell whatever you got. And oh, by the way, um, the percentage of what you sell comes back to me. The shop owners making good. Were also paying a profit. And so when Jesus walks in with his disciples, one of the words that are said, he drove out those who sold and those who bought game over guys enough ripping people off in my name.

he overturned the tables of the money changers in the seats of those, those who sold doves. I mean, picture money flying. It’s not like a tip over. It’s, it’s a chaotic scene. Money is flying. Uh, doves are scattering, potentially goats and animals just wandering around in chaos. He would not allow anything to be carried or anyone to carry anything through the temple.

If you can pull that map back up, uh, the, the holy temple was made kind of a, a thoroughfare. If you look at it, if you’re coming down, it just, it’d be kind of easier to just run right through the temple rather than having to go out and around the, the directions that the path would go. And so what was supposed to be other had become this commonplace.

A just a, a passing through, a profaning of God’s name. and he taught the people, my house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations. Yes. People that are listening, you heard me write, my house shall be called a house of prayer. There’s an incredible significance in Jesus saying, my house shall be called a house of prayer.

Because someone else used those very words. God used those words. The religious elite would’ve studied and known this because I, Isaiah and Jeremiah recorded the words of God declaring that his house would be a house of prayer. And so let’s hear the words that Jesus says as the followers or as the people, as the high priest would have heard.

This man is coming into the temple. He’s claiming authority over us. Jesus of Nazareth is claiming himself to be God. . And while it could have transformed a lot of their agendas and really flipped things upside down, they dug their heels in because the religious elite had suffered a terrible case of mission drift.

It’s more than that, but mission drift rather than the worship of God, rather than people gathering in prayer rather than all the nations coming together as one, the chief priest and the elders began to make it near impossible for the poor and the needy, the unclean or down trodden other surrounding cultures.

The temple was sterilized and the worst sense of the word of religion. That’s of of hierarchy, an exclusion. They had profaned again, the house of God. Well, right after this, jump over to Matthew Chapter 21, because Matthew records what happens next in this scene. There’s the tables are flipped and Matthew picks up and says this in Matthew chapter 21, verse 14.

As the temple was restored to God’s design, even momentarily, something beautiful and pure began to happen. The mission of God at its very core, the kingdom of God here on Earth, verse 14, and the blind and the lame came to him in the temple and he healed them. But when the chief priests in the scribe saw the wonderful things that he did and the children crying out in the temple, hosanna to the son of David, they were indignant and said to him, do you hear what these people are saying?

And Jesus said to them, yes. Have you never read out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies, you have prepared praise and leaving them. He went out of the city to Bethany and lodged there. The outcast brought near and healed all nations gathered, even children crying out with childlike faith. God be praised.

This is actually a quote that Jesus uses from Psalm chapter eight. It it’s a Psalm declaring God’s power and majesty above everything else. As David writes there, but listen to the words that David writes as to why God would put the praise in the mouth of children. Have them sing out and try to imagine that in the context of what’s happening here.

Jesus flips the tables. These people are doing things wrong and he quotes Psalm eight. You have ordained praise on account of your adversaries. To silence the enemy and the avenger. When you hear Psalm eight, don’t just hear it as, oh, that’s cute. The mouths of infants and nursing babies. God’s prepared praise.

Why did he do that? As a rebuke, a, as a confrontation against those who were profaning, God’s name to silence, the enemy and the avenger, Pharisees, rulers, chief priests and elders. The kids are singing out because you have profaned the name of God. It’s one of those, uh, scriptural mic drop moments. If you’re reading that in context, and I wanna come back to the word mission drift here, because you see what the people expected.

The Messiah would come and, and clear out the Roman rule and, and take back the Holy City, uh, a political platform lead the charge. It’s not what Jesus did. He marched not into the Roman center of the town, but right into the center where his people were gathered. Why would he do that? The gathering of God’s people.

And he launched his mission to not just clean out the enemy, but to clean out the enemy on the inside of their heart’s heart. Change an agenda that aligns with God, Jesus hope of the nations. And the, the mission drift happened subtly, but I wonder if that’s still the case with us today. This subtle movement away from what is core to things that are fringe.

Pastor Mark mentioned, uh, just a, a few weeks back about this term, and maybe it’s the first time you’ve heard the term. It’s something that I’ve been pondering for a number of years now. Christian nationalism. Just a couple of words to maybe, uh, help you understand what that terminology is. Christian nationalism, the belief that the American nation is defined by Christianity, that the government should take steps to keep it that way.

One scholar put it this way, America is defined by its Anglo Protestant paths and that we will lose our identity and our freedom if we do not preserve our cultural inheritance. This is not an honoring of history. This is a program for what America must be. The mission of Jesus was and is not after political or national gain.

The mission of Jesus was and is not seeking a geographically located kingdom. The mission of Jesus was and is a kingdom of people with surrendered hearts to Christ alone. And if Christian nationalism potentially had a proverbial table that would’ve been flipped to, and for some of us, to our surprise, and so we pray again, this same battle, cry, your kingdom come, your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven.

A kingdom of people who care for the poor and refugees, and they’re put right next to each other for just that reason that we might see the turning over of tables, the mission drift that happened. And right after it. The follow up, the care for those in need. There’s a book that I’ve, uh, read in seminary, um, and I wanna share it with you, but I wanna preface it because read a lot of books in seminary and, um, lots of different views and perspectives.

And some of them you’re like, yes, I could have written this book. I love this. Others, you’re like, mm, not so much, which we probably do with all books and things that we read, quotes alike. But here’s a quote from a book. I will let this, uh, in your mind, you can decide what to do with the book, but it’s good to read wide and to have a perspective.

And this quote really challenged me. It’s uh, by a man named Brian Zand, and he’s writing to the church, it’s called Postcards from Babylon, the Church in American Exile. Trust the Holy Instincts within You, the instincts of compassion aroused by the Holy Spirit. Yes. Politics are always complicated. But what does Jesus want your attitude to be toward?

Syrian refugees, Honduran asylum seekers, undocumented laborers. You already know. You’ve always known. Some will say power trump’s everything, but you’ve always known that mercy triumphs over judgment. There’s a lot of things that could be said there, but I’ll leave you with that quote and we’ll keep marching on Jesus hope of the nation’s.

He cleared the temple and immediately welcomes in the marginalized. I don’t think it’s an accident. They’re next to each other in the scriptures. Okay. Jesus and his disciples spend Monday night after they’ve gone in, flip the tables back out across the Mount of Olives to Bethany. They spend the night there and, uh, we’ve already talked about that.

They, uh, pass by the fig tree. Um, as they passed by on the next morning, back in Tuesday, the disciples witnessed that, uh, that it is, uh, completely withered. And so Tuesday, here’s what happens. Matthew 21, and when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching and said, by what authority are you doing these things?

And who gave you this authority? Jesus answered them. I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things, the baptism of John from, where did it come from? From heaven or from man. And they discussed it among themselves, saying, if we say from heaven, he will say to us, why then did you not believe him?

But if we say from man, we are afraid of the, we are afraid of the crowd for they all hold that John was a prophet. So they answer Jesus. We do not know. And he said to them, neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. The last one quickly here, allegiance to Christ. They enter back into the temple with a lot of happy campers.

All of the religious elite tables are flipped over. Things are in chaos. And he goes right back into it the next morning. People are loving Jesus. By this point. Their whole Passover is scattered. The system upended. And so they ask him, not wasting any time, what authority do you do this? And who’s giving you that authority?

Essentially, Hey man, uh, who do you think you are? Who’s your rabbi? Who taught you these things? Do you even, have you even gone to school before? Who are you? And Jesus counters them with a confrontation question. And if you know this, uh, it kind of makes sense why he does this. If they affirm that John was a prophet and say yes.

They would actually be confirming that Jesus has the authority of God because John as a prophet came and said, behold the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world. So they can’t do that. We’re not gonna confirm that John was a prophet. But if we just say that John was a man and we don’t say that he was a prophet, the crowds are gonna come after us as the religious leaders.

You see, the people loved John, that he amassed a following and revered him as a prophet, so they were trapped and didn’t know what to do. There would continue to be more and more debate throughout the day. On Tuesday, a, a pasturing of Jesus, a peppering him with questions and he would teach them back and forth using parables to expose the hard truth.

No words could change their mind. . They had their system upended. They had their framework confronted. Their power was being challenged, and it was a question of authority. But remember this, we just read that the day before in the temple, he flips over things and then begins to heal people with the power of God.

And so by them asking the question, by what authority do you do this? It wasn’t about proof. He had given them plenty of it the day before. It was about authority. You see, they could not humble themselves to recognize Christ. The allegiance was to a system rather than the king. The allegiance was to their religious status rather than bowing to what seemed like an unknown Rabbi from Nazareth.

Jesus would call them out in a number of different ways, calling them blind guides, teaching, but not seeing the truth in front of you. , whoa to you. Experts in the law on new Pharisees, new hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs that look beautiful on the outside, but on the inside are full of bones of the dead and everything unclean.

A brood of vipers, he would call them. And he even said, tax collectors and prostitutes, the worst of the worst would enter the kingdom of God before them to the religious elite. So as we come today, we must remember there were two parades walking in on uh, Palm Sunday and as we just followed it up with Monday and Tuesday, one parade was from the west and Cesar was riding in and he was on a warhorse.

The other came in from the East with Jesus on a donkey. One is a military parade of the Roman Empire, the other. , a prophetic parade ushering in a completely different kind of kingdom. One crucifies, its enemies for political gain. The other would see the leader crucified to forgive his enemies the following days of Monday and Tuesday involved confrontation and the upending of kingdoms.

But there’s this hope, John chapter 12, as you continue on, here’s what it says in verse 42. Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear that the Pharisees, they did not confess it so that they would not be put out of the synagogue for they love the glory that comes from man, more than the glory that comes from God.

There were some Greeks that came that, that followed up this whole scene and came to Philip, which is kind of the the quote that we use for this common life book. And they asked him, sir, we wish to see Jesus in Matthew chapter 23. Later on, Jesus would pray this over Jerusalem. Oh Jerusalem. Oh Jerusalem.

The city that kills the prophets and stones, those who are sent to it. How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen, gathers her brood under her wings that you were not willing? See, your house is left to you desolate. This kind of love creates unwavering allegiance to Christ. I’m gonna ask you to stand together as we, um, finish our time together.

As you leave, as we spend the coming week reflecting on Monday and Tuesday going into Easter Passion Week, may you bear much fruit as you remain in the love of Jesus. May you welcome neighbor and stranger as you too are welcomed by Jesus, and may our allegiance speak to him alone. Peace to you this morning.

Thanks for being here. You are dismissed.