Sermon for Tenth Sunday in TRINITY, 9 August 2015 Anno Domini
St Andrews Anglican Orthodox Church
“…..and I dwell in the House of the Lord Forever” Ps 23:6b
A NEW KIND OF KING
‘And when He was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; 38. Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. 39. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto Him. Master, rebuke Thy disciples. 40. And He answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.41. And when He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it, 42. Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. 43. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, 44. And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. 45. And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; 46. Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves. 47. And He
taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy Him, 48. And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.’ — <st2:bcv_smarttag>Luke 19:37-48.
On this occasion, we read that Jesus wept – just as he had wept without the tomb of Lazarus. Just as He was not weeping for Lazarus (for He knew He would raise him), He wept for the faithless of those who did not know Hios power over death. The same is true here of Jerusalem. He sees the future and the consequence of thsoe who proclaim Him King today, and in a few short days, call for His crucifixion.
This trip to Jerusalem is the last in the earthly ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ, but, in spite of His knowing of His coming Crucifixion, His will is steadfast and unflinching. He “went on before His disciples.” A good leader always leads his men and does not follow in the safety of the rear echelon.
<st2:bcv_smarttag>Luke 9:51 says, “And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem .” This is a rare form of courage that is beyond our understanding. In Luke’s account of this event, the emphasis is upon the Royalty and Kingship of Christ.
(I) The narrative brings into prominence Christ’s part in originating the triumphal entry (vs. 30-34). He sent for the colt with the obvious intention of stimulating the people to just such a demonstration as followed. Notice the Lord’s own preparation and command of the events to follow: (Luke 19:30-36)
30 Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. 31 And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.32 And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. 33 And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? 34 And they said, The Lord hath need of him. 35 And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. 36 And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way
The nature of His dominion is as plainly taught by the humble pomp as is its reality. A pauper King, who makes His public entrance into His city mounted on a borrowed ass, with His followers’ clothes for a saddle, attended by a shouting crowd of poor peasants, who for weapons or banners had but the branches plucked from other people’s trees, was a new kind of king.
We do not need Matthew’s quote of the prophet’s vision of the meek King coming to Zion on an ass, to understand the contrast of this kingdom with such a dominion as that of Rome, or of such princes as the Herods. We see at the beginning of our text how the disciples and all the people began to praise Christ and welcome Him as King.
We witness a contrast here in the crowds of people: The Disciples proclaiming Him to be King, and the background filled with hostile spies. This was unlike any of his actions before. He had previously downplayed his role as King of Kings, but now knows the time is near to proclaim it out of the mouths of babes and commoners.
(II) Look at this humble procession:
We have the humble procession with the shouting disciples and the background of hostile spies. The disciples eagerly caught at the meaning of bringing the colt, and threw themselves with alacrity into what seemed to them preparation for the public assertion of royalty, for which they had long been impatient.
Luke tells us that they lifted Jesus on to the seat which they hurriedly prepared, while some spread their garments in the way — the usual homage to a king:
How different the vision of the future in their minds and His! They dreamed of a throne; He knew it was a Cross. Round the southern shoulder of Olivet they came, and, as the long line of the Temple walls, glittering in the sunshine across the valley, burst on the view, and their approach could be seen from the city, they broke into loud acclamations, summoning, as it were, Jerusalem to welcome its King.
Let’s examine verse 39: And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto Him. Master, rebuke Thy disciples. The Pharisees were not there to add anything to the celebration. They were there to undermine Christ. They still do so! The modern pulpits are filled with men who are willing to allow Christ to be mentioned, only, “please do not make so very much of Him.” They are always with us to deter us and prevent our full blossoming of Faith. Does the Gospel depend, in any respect, on the effort or presumptions of mere men?
Not at all. Whatsoever the Lord decrees, it shall come to pass.
If no man speaks the Word of Truth, then the very Stones will cry out! 41. And when He was come near, He beheld the city, and wept over it, Why did Christ weep over Jerusalem? He saw the future of that city. Forty years later. He saw the massed Roman Armies under Titus coming to encircle and to suffocate the City, He saw trenches dug about its perimeter and battlements erected against its walls. He saw the starving children within her besieged walls, and the inhabitants eating their young for famine…..and ….He wept!
At the moment of His triumphal entry, we see Him plunged into utter sorrow for the people of Jerusalem.
That sorrow is a sign of His real manhood, but it is also a part of His revelation of the very heart of God. The form is human, the substance divine.
The man weeps because God pities. Christ’s sorrow does not hinder His judgments. The woes which wring His heart will nevertheless be inflicted by Him. Judgment is His ‘strange work,’ alien from His desires; but it is His work.
The eyes which are as a flame of fire are filled with tears, but their glance burns up the evil. Note the yearning in the unfinished sentence, ‘If thou hadst known.’ Note the decisive closing of the time of repentance. Note the minute prophetic details of the siege, which, if ever they were spoken, are a distinct proof of His all-seeing eye. And from all let us fix in our hearts the conviction of the pity of the judge, and of the judgment by the pitying Christ. 45. And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; 46. Saying unto them, It is written, “My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.“
I want each of you to imagine that this little church decided to abandon our policy of not conducting fund-raising enterprises. Suppose that we held a bake sale, or yard sale here in the yard of our church. Suppose many people were coming to buy our merchandise and we were looking at the hope of building a new edifice. “Except the Lord buildeth the house, they labor in vain that buildeth it.” Suppose a good man of the community (WHO OWNS A BAKERY) comes without warrant or warning and begins to turn our money tables over and chase us off the property with a cane.
How would we react? But that is exactly what Christ does in the Temple. The Church is not our private property to raise ill-gotten money. It belongs to God! He will provide the resources for its building by the love of the people, not their merchandising.
The Church is a House of Prayer and not merchandise. Let the other churches transgress His will, we shall not. If we remain poor in the treasures of the world, we will hold even more steadfastly to the treasures of Heaven! How was the reprimand of Christ received by the preachers of that community?
Read for yourselves: “47. And He taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy Him, 48. And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.’
Let us trust in the Lord for all our provision and we shall be well.