Sermon by: Rev Shine Thomas
Have you ever wondered about what God has done for you? Jesus voluntarily came into this world, lived and died for you. He has given us eternal life. He has blessed us with good and perfect gifts. Can we shout amen to the work and blessing of God in our lives?
Now, how can you give it back to Jesus? What are you doing to reciprocate his love for you? Ask what you can do for the Lord. The only thing we can do is to serve the Lord wholeheartedly.
Today people across the globe are celebrating Palm Sunday. This is the final week in the earthly ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. This incident is mentioned in all 4 gospels of the Holy Bible.
John 12:12 Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King.
12The next day (On Saturday he entered Bethany and had the dinner at Simon’s house. It was there that Mary anointed Jesus with spikenard. On Sunday, Jesus and his disciples left early in the morning towards Jerusalem.) the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem.
Luke 19:29-31 29As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30“Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’’
Mark 11:7-10 7When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. 8Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” 10“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Luke 19:39-40 39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” 40“I tell you,” he replied, If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
Jesus then goes into a discourse: John 12:23-26 23Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.
Jesus used this platform to speak about servanthood. He was seeing so many people worshipping him but he did not see true commitment in them in serving Jesus. Today, I want to speak on five ways we can serve the King, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Five ways we can serve the King
Serve the King in Obedience.
John 14:15 If you love me, keep my commands.
As Jesus began his final walk to Jerusalem, at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he called for two of his disciples to do a special assignment for him. They went immediately and spoke the exact words that Jesus said. That is obedience.
While the disciples obeyed without asking any questions, I wonder what was really going through their minds. They could have wondered why Jesus is telling this. Jesus always walked. They were hoping Jesus was going to set up His cabinet and begin His reign in Jerusalem. But, instead of ruling, the disciples find themselves and saddling donkeys, not marching in places of honour. They never understood, nevertheless, they obeyed.
Friend, are you as quick to obey as the disciples were even when you don’t understand everything that’s going on? When you discover clear commands in the Bible, do you follow or do you falter? Do you need to own up for any deliberate deeds of disobedience right now? If so, do it. Determine to serve the king with an obedient heart.
1 Samuel 15:22 To obey is better than sacrifice. God does not want your sacrifices. He first wants your obedience. Serve the Lord with obedience.
Serve the King with Gifts.
There were at least three gifts given that day. The first one was the colt. The owners didn’t question the disciples after they were told the colt was for Jesus. They gladly gave Him what rightfully belonged to Him anyway.
The second gift that was given to Jesus was the disciples’ cloaks put on the colt as a saddle for Him and helped Him get on. As Jesus went along, people willingly took off their outer garments and laid some of them on the colt and others were placed on the road.
That leads to the third gift – The people cut palm branches and other branches from the trees and spread them on the road.
What started out as a Jewish feast is now turning into a Messiah celebration. The people did not withhold anything from Jesus. The colt was expensive, the cloaks were essential, and the branches were an expression of joy.
Friend, what can you give to serve the King today? Is He asking you to give something that is expensive? Is He longing for you to give something that you consider essential? Or, have you been holding out on an expression of joy? If you want to serve the King, you can do so with your gifts. While there is nothing we can do to earn our way to heaven, or nothing we can give to impress Jesus, our giving does demonstrate our love and devotion to Jesus.
How many of you are serving God with the gifts that God has given you? Do you know using your spiritual gifts equip the believer to effectively serve God? 1 Peter 4:10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
Serve the King with Praise.
Psalm 100:2 Serve the Lord with gladness, come before Him with joyful songs.
Luke 19:37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen.
The language suggests that it was more than just the 12 disciples who were praising God. The people broke out into a great spontaneous outpouring of praise. Sadly, however, these same vocal cords with which they praised God for the Messiah’s entry would be used just a few days later to scream, “Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”
But for now, they shout out Luke 19:38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Mark11:9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna!”
There was a feeling of celebration. As the crowd is praising God loudly, the Pharisees come up to Jesus and said: Luke 19:39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!” I love the answer Jesus gives: Luke 19:40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” If the disciples do not speak, creation will. Just as Jesus calmed the wild colt, He can command an inanimate object like a rock to praise Him. Or, to put it another way, Jesus is saying, “If I stop my disciples from singing, then you’re going to hear a literal ‘rock concert!’
Instead of rebuking the disciples, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees by implying that the rocks know more about what is taking place than they do! By the way, in effect this was literally fulfilled after Jesus died, “…the earth shook and the rocks split.” The rocks responded to Jesus even though the Pharisees didn’t.
How are you doing at serving the King with praise? Do you have moments in your schedule in which you stop and break out into adoration? Do you start and end your day with praise and worship? When you come here on Sundays to worship collectively with others is it the culmination of a week of personal worship experiences or is it your only time of praise? Friends, God can make the stones cry out but He’d rather have men and women and boys and girls who worship Him in spirit and in truth, spontaneously, loudly, and regularly!
Serve the King with Faith.
As Jesus is riding towards the gates of Jerusalem City, there is a festive air for it is the Passover time and pilgrims are coming from far and near for the greatest Jewish festival. People are shouting “Hosanna to the King.”
Jesus looked over the vast audience that was worshipping him: There were the people who loved Jesus. There were the Sadducees & Pharisees: Waiting to find a fault at Jesus, full of jealousy. The Roman solders were there fearing revolt, a political coup, watching for any type of rebellion against Rome. The 12 disciples are there. Everyone is worshipping Jesus as King. Suddenly the whole procession stopped. But the people who were close to Jesus realized it was Jesus who stopped the procession. But when the people took a closer look at Jesus’ face there was no joy, Jesus was sorrowful. Jesus was weeping.
He crowd shouted Hosanna and praised God but Jesus was crying. Child of God, I wonder if Jesus is still weeping over us today in this worship service. Whatever music you create, whatever noise you make, whatever you do for God, if you do not know the heartbeat of God He is weeping over you.
The reason for his tears is found in the statements of Jesus following the triumphal entry:
1 Unbelief of the Jews. Luke 19:42-44 42“If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.44They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”
Jesus had offered salvation to the people, but they rejected it. As a result, they have lost out on real peace. In these verses, Jesus is looking at the future and sees some really bad things in store for the City of David. His chilling prophecy became reality in 70 A.D. when Titus and the Roman legion surrounded Jerusalem, built embankments around it so no one could escape, and besieged the city for 143 days before turning it into a pile of rocks. Over 600,000 adults and children were slaughtered. The temple was totally destroyed and set on fire. All this took place because they “did not recognize God’s coming.”
Friends, can I talk straight with you this morning? There is a very clear principle here in these words that are dripping with the tears of Jesus. If you and I do not recognize God’s coming in the form of the Lord Jesus and put our faith in Him, we will be exposed to judgment. If you reject Christ, you will pay the consequences. That brings sorrow and weeping to Jesus. He is calling you today to give your life to him.
2 Unbelief of the disciples.
John 12:16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.
Secondly, Jesus is weeping because of the unbelief of the disciples. I do not know if someone is sitting here with unbelief in your heart. You have been reading the word of God, you have been hearing the prophetic word of God but life’s situations have made you weak in your faith. If you need to serve God, you need faith.
Hebrews 11:6 Without faith it is impossible to please God.
Serve the King by witnessing.
John 12:17-18 17Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him.
If you are serving the Lord Jesus Christ, it should follow with a lifestyle of witnessing. Are we witnessing for the Lord? Are we sharing the great message that we have or are we keeping it to ourselves?
Church we have a great mandate. It is only through us that the world can see Jesus Christ. If you keep this gospel with you, how will we reach the world?
Witnessing is a command: Matthew 28:19-20 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
See what happened when the people witnessed in Jesus’ time: John 12:20-21 20Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.”
This season let’s serve the king by witnessing.
Are you serving the King today? How is your obedience? How is your giving? How is your praise? How is your faith in God? How is your witnessing? Let’s commit ourselves for servanthood this morning. Let’s pray.