Skip to content
Mar 28 / Chuck Smith, Jr.

March 24, 2013 – Mark 11:1-11

Jesus In Jerusalem

Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD;
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David;
Hosanna in the highest!
Mark 11:1-11

INTRO: Jesus’ grand entrance didn’t require a lot of preparation

He moved a few pieces into place at the last minute, but the other details had already been set up
– for example:
• during Passover, Jerusalem was crammed with people
○ areas around the city were designated for Jewish visitors from various parts of the country
○ space reserved for Galileans was on the Mount of Olives
• the majority of Jesus’ ministry had been in Galilee and most of his followers were from there
○ these were disciples who had seen his miracles (Lk. 19:37)
• another crowd had followed Jesus from nearby Bethany (Lazarus, Jn. 12:17)
• all of these people were present and primed – all they needed was a signal

On the next day the large crowd who had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took the branches of the palm trees and went out to meet Him, and began to shout, “Hosanna! . . .” (Jn. 12:12)

By the way, you can see how a problem is solved that is frequently raised
– “How could same crowd that shouted ‘Hosanna,’ less than a week later cry, ‘Crucify Him!'”
it wasn’t the same crowd
– to the city people in Jerusalem, the Galileans were like “hillbillies”
• hardly anyone in Jerusalem even knew about Jesus
○ a few religious leaders knew about him, and they were already hostile
○ but they kept him a carefully guarded secret – they didn’t want him getting any publicity
• so when the shouting began, most people in the city didn’t know what going on

When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds were saying “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee” (Mt. 21:10-11)

It was the Jerusalem crowd, stirred up by their leaders who demanded Jesus’ execution

But this big event, this Palm Sunday parade, had to happen
– in this one moment of glory, Jesus was publicly greeted as the Messiah
• previously, Jesus did not allow anyone to acknowledge him in this way

. . . on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, “Who do people say that I am?” . . . “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.” And He warned them to tell no one about Him” (Mk. 8:27-30)

– it was necessary that for once he made a definitive statement

Why were people so excited about Jesus?

For the last two weeks, we’ve looked at stories leading up to this event
– perhaps if we review just that much of his life, we’ll get a glimpse of what they saw in him

Where we began: When Jesus defined the essence of marriage (Mk. 10:1-12)

Of course, this truth was already revealed in Genesis
– but much of Jesus’ ministry was devoted to the recovery of God’s intention and the revelation of God’s heart
• people had come to think of God as a score-keeper
• the status of their relationship to God depended on obeying the rules
– Jesus stood for God – for a true representation of God – Abba, the Father
• not “in principle,” but as a divine Person
• he wanted people to know God, to trust his wisdom, love, and goodness

Jesus said that a phenomenon occurs in marriage:
– two halves of a whole are joined and become one
• that should not be taken lightly or broken apart over anything trivial
– I would describe his view as idealized but not romanticized
• husbands and wives meet certain basic needs for each other
○ together they experience a level of wholeness
• but marriage is not bliss and it can fail to achieve the ideal

We need to remember, Jesus made this statement as a single man
– marriage is not the only way to experience wholeness
– in Matthew 19, the man or woman who is devoted to the kingdom of God is a whole person

People enjoyed hearing Jesus teach with this kind of authority (Mk. 1:22, 27)
– not because they wanted to be bossed around or oppressed
• but what he taught was the sort of good news they wanted to believe about God
○ the very things they hoped were true
• they had never heard anyone come right out and say it
○ and everything they heard that came from Jesus’ lips had the ring of truth

After this first confrontation, Jesus noticed a commotion (Mk. 10:13-16)

People were bringing their children for Jesus’ blessings, but the disciples were keeping them back, rebuking them
– perhaps making them feel like they were doing something wrong
• this angered Jesus, and he ordered the disciples to let the children come to him

I think this delighted people, because their culture was filled with gatekeepers!
– every time they turned around, someone was charging them a tax for something
• someone was telling them what they could and couldn’t do
• Jesus opened the doors to them – to everyone
– in some societies, the implicit question in every human interaction is: “What can you do for me?”
• according to that mind-set, children don’t count for much
○ so even people who like children, may not value them

Something that always disturbs me is when a small child calls out, “Watch me, Daddy!” or “Watch me, Mommy!” and the parent ignores them or says, “Don’t bother me while I’m reading” (or “talking on the phone,” or “trying to get a tan”). Parents who do this are failing to meet an important need, failing to let the child know they are valuable and their growth, development, or newly discovered talent count for something.

Jesus says to the children, “Come over here!
– I have time for your games. I’ll watch you hop on one foot”
– children require gentleness yet someone with strength
• look how strong the young mother becomes! Not only in body, but in stamina, industry, and diligence
– children sensed the Lord’s gentleness and strength, they could tell he was safe, and they came when he called
• it wasn’t “magic” or supernatural
○ it was his total ease with them, his genuine interest in them
○ they “recognized” Jesus – his love, his touch, his breath

Next we saw two sides to Jesus when he spoke with the wealthy man (Mk. 10:17-31)

First, Jesus’ maternal side – the Lord looked at him and loved him (v. 21)

It’s as if Jesus said to him, “I see that you are trying, that you mean what you say. No,I’m not taken in by your sophisticated exterior or pious speech. I know you and I know the one thing you are still lacking, and that you’re broken inside. I know all about you and I love you”

– to love this man, Jesus didn’t need him to become a disciple
• there are Christians who find it impossible to love anyone who is not a Christian
○ and they doubt that God loves anyone who is not a Christian
○ but Jesus loved this man, even though he knew that his heart was not fully for God

We also see Jesus’ paternal side – the Lord made him face reality

“Yes, I love you, but I cannot make your decisions for you, and I can’t protect you from the consequences of your bad decisions. I’m here to instruct you and share my life with you, but pretty soon the training wheels are coming off. My job is to prepare you for that day”

– Jesus was always putting the lives of others into their own hands
• it is a difficult freedom to carry, but we all want it

Then we find Jesus walking under a shadow (Mk. 10:32-34)

It is the gloomy darkness of the cross, and once again Jesus tried to share the weight of this burden with his disciples
– it is upsetting to learn that someone we love and respect lives every day with deep sorrow,
• “She’s such a good person and done so much for others”

Jesus’ soul was burdened with more grief than disciples could know, yet he went forward

Immediately, his disciples were at each other again (Mk. 10:35-45)

They were rascals, but he never gave up on them – never cut them from the team
– he tried to prepare them for the future
• sometimes gently, other times sternly
– but he would always be there for them – it was his last promise in Matthew’s gospel

Then blind Bartimaeus (Mk. 10:46-52)

Like the children, people tried to keep him away from Jesus
– receiving his sight opened up his life to a new horizon
• he had new choices, other options
– his brief encounter with Jesus was all he needed to choose to follow Jesus over any other possible life

CONC: Now as Jesus comes to Jerusalem, the crowds cry out to him

“Hosanna” – a prayer to be rescued, now!
– for Jesus, salvation is more about being saved into than out of
• Bartimaeus was saved from a life of begging in darkness
○ but for him, it was not so he could get a regular job and survive like everyone else
○ it was so he could follow Jesus
○ he was saved into a new life with Jesus

Why would Jesus want to answer this hosanna prayer? Why would he care to save us?
– because you’re valuable to him

Barbara and I were watching an episode of “Storage Wars”
– people who sell second-hand items bid on the contents of storage units when the rent for them goes unpaid
• in one unit, there was an old jug that Jarrod and Brandi thought might be valuable
○ so they decided to take it to an antique dealer to find out
○ swinging her arm as she exited the hallway of the storage facility, Brandi accidently whacked it against another unit
○ the jug was cracked – and immediately lost value

You  are a treasure – but you’re also broken inside
only you haven’t lost any value for being broken
• that’s the illusion — our secret fear

You still hold all your value to this One who extends to you his gentle, strong, and nail-scarred hand

Leave a comment