Sermon: Competing Expectations

who_is_jesusSermon Text: Matthew 21:1-11

Sermon Excerpt

Scholars rarely agree on much of anything, but when it comes to Palm Sunday there is a general consensus that this is the beginning of the final week of Jesus’ earthly life – at least inasmuch as life had always been understood. If we lived back in this era, I think our individual decisions about whether or not to attend the parade would have been focused on our understanding of Jesus’ ministry up until this moment.

We cannot really imagine ourselves as participants in this one of a kind celebration without having a richer understanding of just what this parade was all about. Think about it . . .

  • No one printed and mailed personal invitations with reply cards to likely attendees.
  • No one sent an e-mail to a list of Jesus’ known followers.
  • No one took out ads in the local newspaper or turned to social media to spread word of this unique opportunity.

So those who chose to travel that day and be a part of this unique experience did so very intentionally.  It makes me wonder what might have inspired you to participate.

  • Who would Jesus need to be to you?
  • What would his ministry need to mean to you?
  • How fully committed would you need to be to his message?

At this point, you may be unsure if you would have set aside the time to travel to and participate in the parade.  Let me help you consider that decision based on what we know of Jesus’ ministry to this point.

Let’s review what we know of Jesus so far by focusing on 4 Ps: priorities, parables, prayers, and proposal.

For those of you who  . . . (read full manuscript)

So What?

Palm Sunday can be an emotionally exhilarating experience.  Connecting with who you understand Jesus to be should, however, be an intentional activity that demands the best of your faculties.  As we begin the one week of the year labeled holy, I encourage you to explain who Jesus is to you (ideally in a single sentence).

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