Who Is Jesus to You?

Matthew 21:1-11

As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you,
gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”

The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Reactions: Hosanna, Blessed, Hosanna.

Reactions in a week: Crucify Him!



  1. The Rider on a White Donkey


  1. Jesus as King

What is a king? Looking again at Daniel 7: 13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

Authority, glory, sovereign power, all nations and people will worship Him.

That is not true of Jesus here in Matthew 21. But it is true of Jesus today! The gospel has spread around the globe. There are tens of millions of Christians in China. The percentage of Christians in Saudi Arabia grows. Albania was completely without believing churches around 1990 when I first started attending this church. That is not the case today. The gospel reaches people’s lives. This is God’s plan for this time in history. This is why we support missions!

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me! Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and teach them to observe all that I have commanded you!   

        This is our commission!


  1. Your King comes to you

* Jesus rode into Jerusalem to present Himself to the people.

* They struggle with His ministry as king, just as Peter did that I mentioned last week.

The Jews will kill Him because they consider His ministry to be heretical. God’s people consider God’s plans to be heresy. And they can prove the heresy with Scripture!! Consider that and be frightened!

  • Jesus comes to be their king.
  • They shout for Him to save! But most are not saved! What about us?
  • Jesus comes to you as your king! Do you submit to Him? Do you follow Him? We all assume that if we had been around in the crowd we would be shouting Hosanna and not Crucify Him! But we should be careful!!


  1. The Gentleness of the King

A donkey is no war horse. It is short, slow and awkward. It is no threat that comes in force.

God will not force any to believe.

God will not force any to repent.

He will require you to choose to trust in Jesus as the Gentle King.

And He will require Jesus’ followers to represent Jesus as the Gentle King!

We are Americans and we like to win.

If we win apart from the Gentleness of Jesus, we will find ourselves at odds with Him in the future!

The contrast of Jesus on a donkey here is found in Revelation 19 when Jesus rides again! This time Jesus rides on a White Horse!


  1. The Rider on a White Horse

Revelation 19:

11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

king of kings and lord of lords.

17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and the mighty, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, great and small.”

19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21 The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.

This vision of Jesus as King is a future vision! When God decides to judge…

  1. King of Kings and Lord of Lords

Just in case there is any doubt, on Jesus’ thigh is His badge of authority. Highest authority.


  1. His name is the Word of God

Just in case we might misidentify this as someone other than Jesus, say like, Michael the archangel, this is the “Word of God.” That identifies this as Jesus. From John 1. In the beginning was the Word. The Word was made flesh.

The Word of God brings order to chaos. The Word of God brings life. The Word of God unites people with God personally and with God’s plans and purposes. The Word of God invites us to be united with Him in His yoke of ministry!


  1. The fury of the wrath of God Almighty

When God decides to judge, judgement is what happens. God is not thwarted in any way! Look at how much build up there is to the Battle of Armageddon:

19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21 The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.

No battle, but rather a statement. A God who speaks things into existence also speaks this scene into reality.

This is what Jesus is able to do in our lives. If He chooses to NOT do this, then what is He doing?


III. Victory Through Suffering


  1. Oh Lord save us

        This is what the people shout.

Are they interested in the kind of salvation that Jesus offers?


Circumstantial blessing vs. Character to have life in the midst of bad circumstances.

There is no end to our ability to mess up God’s blessings. The Garden of Eden is the proof text for this. The Children of Israel in the Promised Land is the proof text for this. God’s people crucifying the Son of God is the proof text for this!

In our own lives, are we engaging in the victory that Jesus provides for us, or do we choose a different victory that we define and then require God to do that for us? And if God does not serve us the way that we thing that He should, do we then say that He is not good? Or that He is too weak, or that He does not love us? Or that we know better than He does?

At a bare minimum we are offered a relationship with God that provides us with life today in spite of circumstances. This is where true strength is found. Let’s say that you are wrongfully accused and suffer unfair treatment. So did Jesus. How did it turn out for Jesus? The question is whether or not you have what you need for today. God will provide for you. We are called to faithful obedience!

We pray for God to change our circumstances. We are told to pray for daily bread!

Promise Keepers meeting in Kansas City back in the late 90’s. There was a man there who survived a death march across an African country, I think it was the Sudan. Millions of refugees fled, millions of refugees died. Some survived. This man was one of them. Does God save?

The very same sort of temptation offered to Jesus by Satan in Matthew 4 is offered to Jesus again while hanging on the Cross: If you are the Son of God save yourself and us!

“He saved others, but He cannot save Himself!” This is incredibly ironic! That statement is one to celebrate and the rejecters use it to mock Jesus. Is Jesus able to save you?

  1. Are we satisfied with God’s salvation

God’s salvation includes God’s plan for our lives today!

We win and we suffer both! How is this possible? Look at        Jesus. What is true of Him?


Listen to me carefully: We suffer anyway. That is not the question. If the super wealthy buy insurance, then insurance must be needed. Or, maybe there is another source of life that is actually secure!

The real question is whether or not we can win while following Jesus. And the answer is found in the Resurrection! The Rider on the donkey is the same person as the Rider on the Horse. Do you see it? Will you celebrate the gentleness of the Son of God who gives Himself up to be the Savior of mankind? Will you cooperate with Him in His current ministry of drawing people to Himself?

II Peter 3:

Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 15 Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation,


Will you recognize along with those to whom Peter writes that it is the patience of God that leads to salvation? Will you recognize in your own life that it was the mercy of God that made the way for you to come to Him? Will you share in that mercy and in that patience with others? Or will we demand their damnation even though that is not what God wants?


  1. I desire mercy not sacrifice

Misapplication of the law in condemning folks for something that God will have mercy on!

Matthew 12: At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”

He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10 and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”

11 He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.

Matthew 9: As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”