See, Your King Comes to You

English Service on March 20,2016
Messenger: Pastor Jim Alison
Title:"See, Your King Comes to You"
Scripture: Matthew21:1-11
MP3 オーディオファイル 27.5 MB
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Matthew 21:1-11 

“See, Your King Comes to You”


Today we are entering Easter Week, or Holy Week.  On Palm Sunday, we focus on the story of Jesus’ entering Jerusalem on a donkey.  There is great meaning in this story alone, but it also serves an even larger purpose.  It marks the beginning of the week leading up to the death and resurrection of Christ.  


Matthew has 28 chapters.  Of those, 21-28 are about the last week of Jesus’ life.

Mark has 16 chapters.  Of those, 11-16 take place in the same last week.  Luke is made up of 24 chapters.  From chapter 19 through 24, we are in the last week.  John has 21 chapters.  From chapter 12 to 20, the story is about the last week.

So today’s story begins a key section of the key books of the whole Bible.  There is much to learn here, and a central teaching of this story—that Jesus is King— shines a great deal of light on this whole story of Holy Week, all the Bible, and all of life.  So let’s be sure to get this.  If we really understand what God is saying to us here, we can understand far more of His whole message to us. 


I hear Matthew saying to us three things especially about Jesus Christ.  


I. Christ is King.

II. Christ is a humble, serving King.

III. How will you respond to Christ, your King?


This is God’s word as Matthew understood it, and once again I pass it on to you as the word of the Lord.  Let’s look at those three one by one.  


I. Christ is King.


The key theme of all Jesus’ teachings, almost all Bible scholars agree, is the Kingdom of God.  In Matthew 20:1-16, as in many of Jesus’ parables, His whole point is to tell what life is like when God is your King.  So He tells a story that begins like this (20:1): “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who owned land. He went out early in the morning to hire people to work in his vineyard.”  Jesus teaches here that in His Kingdom grace and compassion are even more important than hard work and doing good things. 


Let’s continue through Matthew 20, the chapter before the story of Christ’s entering Jerusalem.  I want you to see how various events and teachings lead up to and point to Jesus’ great symbolic act of riding into the capitol as King. 


In 20:20-28, James and John’s mother makes a request to Jesus: “Promise me that one of my two sons may sit at your right hand in your kingdom. Promise that the other one may sit at your left hand.”  Christ takes this request as an opportunity to teach what life in God’s Kingdom is really like and how different it is from other ways of life (vv. 25b-27).  He says:


You know about the rulers of the nations. They hold power over their people. Their high officials order them around. Don't be like that. Instead, anyone who wants to be important among you must be your servant. And anyone who wants to be first must be your slave.  


Does that sound like the words of a man who might ride a humble donkey rather than a team of the strongest, fastest horses a warrior could have?


Then the Lord continues His journey to Jerusalem through the town of Jericho (Matthew 20:29-34).  There two blind men use a meaning-rich name when they call out to Him (v. 31b), “Lord! Son of David! Have mercy on us!” 


Jesus stops and calls out to them, “What do you want me to do for you?”


“Lord,” they answer, “we want to be able to see.”  And He helps them see.  


But the point of the story is not only that these men find the healing love of God.  Also, by calling Jesus “Son of David,” they are showing who Jesus is.  They are calling Him the Messiah, the One from the family line of Israel’s greatest King, David, sent by God to save the world’s people.  In other words, they are calling Jesus the King.  And in this time, when the people of Israel are waiting with great hope and expectation for the Messiah, the King, to come and save them from the Romans and all that troubles them, the people who hear these blind men’s words really get their deep meaning.  


These words also have a dangerous meaning.  That is, anyone who is not that one-of-a-kind, one-and-only leader and claims to be it is the worst kind of liar, a false prophet.  Everyone in this culture understands that the penalty for being a false prophet is death.  So when the blind men use the name Son of David for Jesus, the fact that He lets them use it says a huge amount.  Here, as often, Jesus’ silence says even more than His words.  He quietly allows people to use the name that means King to talk about Him.  His act of entering Jerusalem as He does shows the same thing in a dramatic, visual way.


So Jesus is raising the drama, upping the pressure, as He enters the city.  And He is doing it intentionally.  The gospel writers spend several verses to tell us how Jesus arranges for the disciples to go and find a certain kind of animal for Him to ride.  He is choosing His symbols and messages very carefully.  Either He has to be the King, the Son of God, or His country’s religious leaders are correct in pushing for His death.  Jesus is slowly but surely making it clear that there are only two options for people who meet Him: accept Him as King or reject Him.  He does not leave room for other options.  As someone said, Christ is saying, in effect, “Crown me or kill me.”


Mark, Luke, and John tell much the same story of Jesus’ entering the great city as King.  And not only before but during and afterward, as well, there are many signs that Jesus has come to reign as King.  Read the four gospel versions of this story, and you will see.  But as a key example, in Matthew 21:12-14 Jesus gets angry and clears out the Temple.  He uses the authority of a King to kick people out of His house who are misusing it.  Then Matthew tells us (21:15-17),  


The chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did. They also saw the children in the temple area shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” 

But when they saw all of this, they became angry. “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. 

“Yes,” replied Jesus. “Haven't you ever read about it in Scripture? It says, ‘You have made sure that children and infants praise you.’” (Psalm 8:2)


The words of the children show that Jesus is King.  Besides calling Jesus Son of David, they use the word Hosanna.  It literally means “Please save us.”  You use that kind of word, of course, for someone you believe can save you.  So people would use it, for instance at a festival, as a word of great praise.  A simple version could be “You are wonderful!  You are great!”  They would use it for someone who had saved them already or they felt sure would save them.  That is why it is offensive to the religious leaders.  They think it is terrible for people to use the name for the King, the Son of God, to talk about Jesus, and for Him to let them, because they assume that He is not the King.


The children also say in v. 9, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!”  These words come from Psalm 118:25-26.  And just after them in the same psalm (v. 27) we read, “Take branches in your hands. Join in the march on the day of the feast. March up to the corners of the altar.”  That is what people do in Jesus’ parade.  A king who marches into His capitol goes where?  To his 


palace.  Christ the King enters Jerusalem and goes first to His home, the Temple.  He goes to God’s house, where “the corners of the altar” are.  He is not just going around shouting, “I’m the King!”  He is acting like a King.  Those who are in political control of the country cannot just ignore this.  Neither can we if we take Christ seriously.  He is making His claim to be the King of your life and mine—of all people.  


II. Christ is a humble, serving King.


In Jesus’ riding a donkey, the words of prophecy in Zechariah 9:9 are fulfilled.  “Say to the city of Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you. He is gentle and riding on a donkey. He is riding on a donkey's colt.’”  The next verse of Zechariah 9 shows us more of the kind of King Jesus intends to be.  It says God and this King will “remove the war horses from Jerusalem,” “break the bows that are used in battle,” and “announce peace to the nations.”


It seems like Jesus is not very “media savvy” here.  This is not good PR.  The people of His nation want a king who will fight and kick out the Romans.  They want someone whose slogan might be “Make Palestine Great Again.”  Within a few days, when Jesus is taken to the cross, these people who are celebrating Him now will be very difficult to find.  What kind of king would go into battle on a donkey?  No, for that you want war horses, weapons, training, strategy, war-readiness.  But Jesus is going in exactly the opposite direction.  You use a donkey for things like taking vegetables to market—peaceful things.  But when people want a leader whose main goal is to fight for them, riding a donkey may not look very attractive.  


Again, what kind of king rides a donkey into battle?  One who is going to get killed.  But this is exactly what Jesus has already told His disciples will happen.  He is intentionally heading straight for the cross—and the resurrection on the other side.  Jesus is no passive victim in the events of Easter Week.  I 


challenge you to read these stories again with the question in mind, Who is really in control here?  The Jewish religious leaders and the political leaders of Palestine and especially Rome think they are.  But Christ is doing things they are not able to understand or stop.  Kings have control, and Jesus acts as His own type of King in every situation.  


Also, His choosing to be a King on a donkey tells us about the kind of journey He is asking us to take with Him.  He is not promising that if we go with Him, we will be winners in all our battles, healthy, safe, financially secure, popular, intelligent, well-connected, and respectfully treated—in other words, successes in life.  In fact, He promises us that we will receive bad treatment and know suffering if we truly follow Him.  


Yet that is the only path to the life that overcomes death.  The only way to the empty tomb is through the cross.  The only way to eternal life is through death.  So Christ is not trying to gather followers by making promises of “the good life” that He cannot keep.  Human politicians seem to do that often.  But Jesus knows that we need more than strong prime ministers or presidents or whatever.  We need a King—first and most one with the power to rule the spiritual world.  And He calls us to follow Him.  As we do, we will learn to be humble, serving people, like our King.    


III. How will you respond to Christ, your King?


Christ is the King.  Christ is your King.  He announces these as settled facts.  Whether you and I accept Him as King or not is the question.  Will we treat Him as the King that He really is?  Or will we try to manage our lives in some other way?


In the Bible, God has been telling His people for hundreds of years through the prophets that He will send His Son, the Messiah, to reign as King.  This 


teaching is deep in Israel’s religious tradition and well-known.  Yet when God does exactly what He said He would do, most of His people reject Him.  Only a relatively few recognize Him as King and truly follow Him.  That is the tragedy Jesus is seeing when, in the Luke 19 version of this story, He sheds tears as He looks at Jerusalem.  How does He feel when we today who know the message of Christ as King still choose to arrange our lives on the basis of some other set of values?  


We may want Christ to be something besides King.  We may want a role model, an advisor, a consultant, a counselor, a life coach, a buddy, an assistant, a systems analyst, or something else.  To all of these, He says no.  They are all less than who He is.  They may be part, but turning Him into any of these is diminishing Him, making Him smaller than He really is.


I think we are seeing some painful examples of this in the support from some Christians for the American candidate for president, Donald Trump.  How is it possible that people who call Christ our King could support a man whose actions and words so often go directly against the basic teachings of our faith?  He has not been faithful in marriage, left his marriages, been caught lying many times, shown a great deal of greed, and many other things Christ stands against.  Yet the Wall Street Journal found that 38% of his supporters go to church weekly.  Mr. Trump is not the first choice of active churchgoing Americans, and his strongest support is from secular members of his party, not religious.  In fact, committed Christians who oppose him because of their faith may be one of the strongest protections from him that the US has, politically speaking.  Still, there are many active Christians giving him their support.  Why?  


Ross Douthat recently tried to answer that question.  He is a writer for the New York Times newspaper, one of the few there who write from a clearly Christian point of view.  He recently wrote an article, “Donald Trump’s Christian Soldiers.”  He pointed to the people who call themselves Christian mainly 


because of their cultural background.  There are many, for example, in the southern US, where I grew up.  They have little or no personal faith, so they do not have particular religious problems with Mr. Trump’s lifestyle or his speaking against women, immigrants, people of different faiths, and so on. 


Other people who call themselves Christian have been shocked at how much and how quickly the US has turned away from Christian values recently.  They are in panic mode.  Their feeling is that their own leaders have betrayed them, so their best chance is to turn to the meanest, toughest person who says he will stand on their side.  They think that’s Donald Trump.  


Douthat writes about one more type of American Christian, people whose faith even before Donald Trump became popular was based on being American and being successful.  Faith for them was already a way of making sure they were in the greatest country, had plenty of money, and were living “the good life.”  This may be a particularly American kind of heresy, but it clearly is not Christian faith.  It fights against Christian faith.  It makes Christianity look like a religion that leads people to hate those in different ethnic, gender, religious, or social groups.  


I am not here mainly to talk about US politics.  I give you these examples to show how all of us can fall into the trap of making a king out of someone or something that really is not King.  If we will not welcome Christ as King, we will make something else number one.  We will turn to something else for the security, power, direction, and other things we need.  We will not become value-less people with no beliefs guiding our lives.  People make faith choices every day just to live as human beings in this world.  So if we won’t accept Jesus as King, we may come to expect, for example, that a particular kind of government or leader can meet our real needs.  Yet the Bible’s God says that no human ruler can do that.  Only He can play the role of our true King. 

If we will not receive Christ as King, we may try to be our own king, do the best we can by ourselves.  I have some bad news for you if you are trying to do that.  You are way under-qualified.  You won’t make a very good king (or queen) over the long run.  If you have already discovered that, maybe you are ready to turn your life over to the Lord’s control.  He knows you better than you know yourself and has a plan for your life that is much better than anything you could make for yourself. 

So I invite you to join the children and others who saw Jesus riding that donkey before them.  Let’s say in our hearts, with them, “Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest heaven!”  See, your King comes to you.  Let’s pray that you and I will learn to live with Him as our King today and every day.

God, your Son Jesus makes us uncomfortable with His bold claims to be King.  He leaves us no other choice than to crown Him as King or join those who put Him on the cross.  Help us to discover more and more each day the freedom and power that become ours when we humbly accept Christ as King and live under His loving and wise control from day to day, hour to hour, and minute to minute.  This is our prayer, in His name.  Amen.       



Douthat, R. “Donald Trump’s Christian Soldiers.” The New York Times. Retrieved March 19, 2016 from d-trumps-christian-soldiers.html?_r=0


Keller, T. J. (March 2, 1997). “The King Is Come.” Redeemer Presbyterian Church. New York, New York, USA. Retrieved March 19, 2016 from


Stedman, R. (June 1, 1975). “The King Is Coming.” Peninsula Bible Church. Palo Alto, California, USA. Retrieved March 19, 2016 from











1. キリストは王である。

2. キリストは謙遜で仕える王である。

3. あなたはどのようにして、あなたの王、キリストに応えるか。





1. キリストは王である。








「あなたがたも知っているように、異邦人の間では支配者たちが民を 支配し、偉い人たちが権力を振るっている。しかし、あなたがたの間 では、そうであってはならない。あなたがたの中で偉くなりたい者は、皆に仕える者になり、いちばん上になりたい者は、皆の僕になりなさい。」




 そして彼はエルサレムに向かうため、エリコを通り、旅を続ける(マタイ 20:29-34)。そこで、二人の目の不自由な男がとても深い意味を持っている名前でイエス様を呼んで助けを求める。「主よ、ダビデの子よ、わたしたちを憐れんでください。」





















2. キリストは謙虚で仕える王である。




娘エルサレムよ、歓呼の声をあげよ。見よ、あなたの王が来る。彼は神に従 い、勝利を与えられた者/高ぶることなく、ロバに乗って来る/雌ロバの子 であるロバに乗って。









































Douthat, R. “Donald Trump’s Christian Soldiers.” The New York Times. Retrieved March 19, 2016 from ian-soldiers.html?_r=0

Keller, T. J. (March 2, 1997). “The King Is Come.” Redeemer Presbyterian Church. New York, New York, USA. Retrieved March 19, 2016 from come-6487

Stedman, R. (June 1, 1975). “The King Is Coming.” Peninsula Bible Church. Palo Alto, California, USA. Retrieved March 19, 2016 from message_files/4105/3322.mp3