Sunday, September 6, 2009

"The Unexpected, Expected Lord Comes to His Temple," Mark 11.1-19 & Malachi 3.1-5

This evening I continued in my overview series of the Gospel of Mark and looked at the Triumphal Entry of Jesus, which is the beginning of the Passion Week. Although this is a very familiar text, it is full of OT allusions and quotations, which makes it quite a tricky passage. So let me say this, listen to the sermon because you may hear a perspective on it that you haven't heard before. Here is a preview:
The Christian life flows from the unexpected humble character of our Messiah. . . . we need to get our expectations in line with the scripture and allow it to shape our outlook on living as Christians in this world. For when we don't, it can lead us to miss who Jesus is and who we are to be in, which can hinder our identity and mission as the church.

. . . And this, then, anticipates the ultimate unexpected character of Jesus' Messiahship - it will surpass by far his unexpected humble arrival and his unexpected judgment against the Jews and blessing of the Gentiles - for the ultimate unexpected character of the Messiah will be revealed in the way in which he will secure the blessings of the covenant and eternal worship of God when he is humbled to the point of death on the cross where he is rejected by both men and God.

. . . So how is your grasp of Jesus? Are you receiving him as the unexpected, expected Messiah? Have you come to grips with your King whose rule is characterized by an unexpected humility? Where your life takes on the character of his rule and his life of humility, lowliness, service, rejection and death that will lead to resurrection and exaltation in the heavenly kingdom? Or do you desire that expected Messiah, who with his coming will break the bonds of political tyranny in order to exalt his people on earth as the powerful and influential? The overwhelming majority of people in Jesus' day expected the wrong Messiah, so that when the unexpected Messiah arrived, they rejected him. And even when he finally began disclosing his identity, he was treated like others and quickly forgotten, for they could not see him rightly because they were so caught up with their religious activities and ideas. You see, there are those who reject Jesus in outright rebellion, like the religious leaders who begin plotting his death. And there are those who reject Jesus as they go about their daily religious routines.
You can hear the entire sermon here.

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