Monthly Archives: March 2015

Coming In The Name Of The Lord

Sunday School Lesson

                                             

 

Lesson: Mark  11:1-11                                                                                                  

Golden  Text: And they that went before, and they that followed,  cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the  Lord (Mark  11:9).

I.   INTRODUCTION.   It seems that every society has parades or processions of  celebration for many reasons.  Victorious armies and generals  receive heroes’ welcomes at the end of a war.  Historic events are  remembered often through parades.  Presidential inaugurations are  always accompanied by spectacular, lengthy parades.  Ancient  societies were no different.  Kings of ancient empires celebrated  military victories with elaborate processions, displaying their plunder and  captives.  So, the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem was not  a unique event.  However, it was extremely significant.   It marked the recognition of Jesus’ remarkable ministry over the past  three years.  But most importantly, it fulfilled the prophecy  foretelling the presentation of the Messiah.

II.  BACKGROUND FOR THE LESSON.  Our lesson takes place during the last week of Jesus’ life and reveals the final time that He would enter Jerusalem.   We determine that Jesus’ ministry lasted three years in part by observing  the annual Passovers He attended.  Just prior to the events in our  lesson, Christ had passed through Jericho, where He healed blind Bartimaeus and  He dined with Zacchaeus who was converted (see Luke 18:35-19:1-10).   From Jericho Jesus and His disciples travelled up the steep  winding road toward Jerusalem.  This is where our lesson begins.

III. THE  PREPARATION (Mark 11:1-6)  

A. The place  selected (Mark 11:1).  Our first verse says  And when they  came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he  sendeth forth two of his disciples.”  The phrase “they came nigh to Jerusalem” means  that they came close to Jerusalem “unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the  mount of Olives.  Bethany was on the eastern slope of the  Mount of Olives and was about two miles from Jerusalem.   “Bethany” is significant because it was the home of  Mary, Martha and Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead.  The  precise location of “Bethphage” is unknown, but it must have  been very close to Bethany.  The “mount of Olives” overlooks Jerusalem and was so named because of the many olive trees along the  landscape.  Both of these towns were located “at the mount  of Olives” or near the Mount of Olives and were probably on the main  road into Jerusalem that was travelled by Jewish pilgrims coming to the Passover  Feast.  Note:   The Mount of Olives was a special  place of Jesus.  He often went there to pray and He was betrayed on  the Mount of Olives before His crucifixion (see Matthew 26:30, 36-50; Mark  14:26, 32-46) and it was also the place from which the “men of Galilee” stood as  they watched the resurrected Christ ascend into heaven (see Acts  1:10-12).  The garden of Gethsemane was also located on the Mount  of Olives (see Matthew 26:30-36; Mark 14:26-32).   As Jesus walked between the two towns, He made  specific plans for His entrance into Jerusalem.  At this point, the  last part of this verse says “he sendeth forth two of his  disciples.”  Jesus knew exactly what He was about to  do.  On this day He would present Himself as Israel’s King,  fulfilling exactly the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9.

B.  Instructions given to  the two disciples (Mark 11:2).  This  verse says And saith unto them, Go your way  into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye  shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring  him.”  Jesus instructed the two  disciples to “Go your way into the village over against you.”   This was probably a reference to Bethphage, the town next  to Bethany.  Even though Matthew and Luke also mentioned the two  disciples (see Matthew 21:1; Luke 19:29), their names are not given in any of  the accounts.  Just after entering the town, Jesus said they would  find “a colt tied, whereon never man sat.”  In  other words they would find a colt or young donkey (see Matthew 21:2; John  12:14) that was unbroken or never had been ridden.   Note:  The fact that the colt had never been ridden was  significant.  It was understood from ancient times that a beast of  burden or other items dedicated for sacred use must never had been used for  ordinary work (see Exodus 20:25; Numbers 19:2; Deuteronomy 21:3; I Samuel  6:7).  God considered this to be essential in the presentation of  His Son, just as it was essential that He be born of a virgin (see Luke 1:34-35)  and He be buried in the new unused tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathea (see  Luke 23:50-53).   Once the disciples found the colt, Jesus said they were to  loose him, and bring him.”  They  were to untie the young donkey and bring Him to Jesus.  Note:   According to Matthew’s  gospel there were two animals, a mother donkey, called an “ass” and the “colt”  was the donkey’s offspring or “foal” as described by Zechariah’s  prophecy.  Jesus told the disciples to bring the mother of the colt  as well and they did (see Matthew 21:2-7).  Mark and Luke only  mention the colt since that was the animal Jesus rode.  Many  scholars believe that Matthew misunderstood Zachariah’s prophecy.   But this could not be the case since Zechariah’s prophecy mentions two  animals as well.  Matthew was simply emphasizing what Mark 11:2 and  Luke 19:30 declared: that the colt had never been ridden before.   Since the colt had not yet been ridden, it was wise to bring the mother  donkey to walk alongside the colt to keep it calm in the midst of the crowd  while Jesus rode it.  Since Jesus came to fulfill the messianic  prophecy of Zechariah 9:9, which foretold His reign of peace, it was only  fitting that Jesus ride a donkey instead of a horse which was normally ridden by  military conquerors.    

C. Jesus anticipates objections (Mark  11:3).  In this verse, Jesus continued  to say to the two disciples And if any man say  unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway  he will send him hither.”  Jesus realized that an owner, a  caretaker, or anyone might ask these two men why they were untying the animals  (see Mark 11:3; Luke 19:31).  In case this happened, the disciples  were to answer saying “The Lord hath need of him.”   Although Jesus is omniscient or all-knowing, and would know  exactly where these animals were, it’s probably best to see this as a  prearranged agreement between Jesus and the owner(s).  The words  “The Lord hath need of him” may have been some sort of password  that would be understood by the owner(s) of the animals.  Jesus  said that when the owner(s) would hear those words, “straightway he will  send him (the colt) hither.”  The disciples were not  stealing the animals, they were simply carrying out the plan that Jesus,  probably had already arranged.  There is some question as to  whether “the Lord” here refers to Jesus or to the lord or owner  of the colt.  It’s possible that the owner was a follower of Jesus  and was actually with Him at this time.  If that was the case, the  owner would have need of the colt in order to loan it to Jesus.   However, this is all unlikely because Luke’s gospel tells us that the  colt’s owners were the ones who asked the disciples why they were untying the  colt (see Luke 19:33).  Therefore, “the Lord” who  needed it was Jesus.

D. The animal obtained (Mark  11:4-6).

1. (vs. 4).  This verse says “And  they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place  where two ways met; and they loose him.”   After getting Jesus’ instructions, the two disciples did exactly as He had commanded: “And they went their way.”   Here’s a good lesson to pass on to your students.  There are  times when we may not completely understand all that God wants us to do.   In those moments we should respond with simple obedience.   As God brings about His plan for our lives, we’ll start to see the  reasons why He has us do certain things.  Just as the Lord had  said, the two disciples found the colt tied by the door without in a place  where two ways met.”  Jesus gave detailed information to help the  disciples locate the animal.  The disciples found the colt tied up  just outside the door of its owner’s house.  We can be confident  that whatever instructions the Lord gives us will be just as accurate and true  as those He gave to the two disciples.  Once they located the colt,  they “loose him” or untied him per Jesus’  instructions.

2. (vs. 5).  This verse says “And  certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the  colt?”  As Jesus had anticipated, questions were raised  when the disciples started untying the colt.  Those who asked were  “certain of them that stood there.”  Mark here  describes the questioners as simply some who were standing around.   But Luke identifies them as the colt’s owners (see Luke 19:33).   The owners of the animal asked why they were untying the young  donkey.

3. (vs. 6).  This verse says “And  they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go.”   The disciples answered saying the Lord has need of him just as  Jesus had instructed them, and no further questions were asked.   The owners permitted the two disciples to take the animal.

IV. THE PROCESSION (Mark  11:7-11)

A. The crowd’s recognition (Mark 11:7-10).  

1. (vs.  7).  This verse  says “And  they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon  him.”  The two disciples  brought the colt (and its mother) to Jesus and undoubtedly joined by the other  disciples, cast their  garments on him.”  The disciples placed their outer garments over the animal as a kind of saddle.   Then Jesus sat on the young  donkey.  Luke’s account says that the disciples “set Jesus thereon”  (see Luke 19:35).  However, Matthew makes it clear that they only  helped Jesus onto the donkey.  Note:   Why did Jesus choose this method of  transport to enter Jerusalem?  He didn’t need the animal to carry Him the short distance.  He did it to deliberately fulfill  Zechariah 9:9-10, which portrays Israel’s King coming peaceably but openly.   Jesus advertized the spiritual and peaceable nature of His kingdom  (see Micah 4:1-4) by riding a donkey, an animal associated with peace.   During His three year ministry Jesus had refrained from openly asserting  that He was the Messiah.  He let His works speak for Him.   But now the time for silence was over and Jesus would openly present  Himself as the Messiah.  However, the question had to be  asked.  Would Israel receive or reject their King?  On  this day they would receive Him, but a few days later they would reject Him (see  Matthew  27:20-22).

2. (vs. 8).  This verse  says And many  spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees,  and strawed them in the way.”  With Jesus’ disciples proclaiming His glory, in addition many  spread their garments in the way.”  The crowds now joined the disciples in honoring Jesus.   These people included pilgrims coming to Jerusalem for the Passover as  well as people coming out of the city (see John 12:13).  These  people honored Jesus by spreading their garments in His path.  In  addition, “others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in  the way.”  In other words, some in the crowds cut down  branches from palm trees (see John 12:13) and cast them on the roadway before  the Lord.  They laid their outer garments before Jesus, making a kind of red carpet that He could ride over.  Doing this was a way  of showing honor to royalty (see II Kings 9:13).

3. (vs. 9).  This  verse continues to say And they that went before, and they that followed,  cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the  Lord.”   There were two crowds of people there to witness Jesus’  arrival: “they that went before, and they that  followed.”  Both crowds of people in front and behind  Jesus were shouting “Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of  the Lord.”  These words are taken from Psalm 118:25-26,  which is a messianic Psalm and a prayer for the Lord to deliver and prosper His  people.  Psalms 118 was one of the so-called  Hallel or praise psalms which were traditionally sung on Passover.   Note:  During the three major Jewish feasts, Passover,  Tabernacles and Pentecost, the Jews expressed gratitude and praise to God by  singing Psalms 113-118 which were known as the great Hallel which means  praise.  Perhaps in keeping with this custom, the crowds in front  and behind the Saviour were shouting out a portion from Psalms  118.  The word “Hosanna” means “save now.”  However, over time, it came to be used as a  shout of greeting, or an utterance of homage and praise, much like “Hallelujah!”  or “Glory to God.”   The crowds also cried out “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”  This is a quote from the first  part of Psalms 118:26.  However, in Psalms it was not a direct  messianic reference, but a blessing pronounced on any pilgrim who came to worship at the festival.  But on this day, these words had a deeper  meaning.  They pronounced a blessing on the One who came as the  Lord’s special emissary and was therefore a hidden reference to Jesus as God’s  Messiah.  Note:  These words show that the crowds had some idea that Jesus came  with God’s authority, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they recognized the  true nature of His mission: which was to save His people from their sins (see Matthew 1:21).  In John’s account of this episode he actually wrote  that the crowds shouted out “Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in  the name of the Lord” (see John 12:13).  But many people didn’t  understand the spiritual aspect of Jesus’ kingdom.  They saw Him  only as a political leader who could restore Israel to its past  greatness.

3. (vs. 10).   The crowds continued to say  Blessed be the  kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the  highest.”  This statement indicates that the crowd clearly identified  Jesus with the kingdom of David’s Son.  They were expecting the  restoration of the Davidic kingdom to Israel (see Hosea 3:4-5; Amos 9:11-12),  and they were correct in doing so.  However, their understanding of  the Messiah’s rule was totally inadequate.  The  excitement of the moment sadly, was driven solely by outward  appearances.  The phraseHosanna in the highest”  should be taken as either a prayer  asking for salvation, or a pronouncement of praise.  If we see it  as a prayer for salvation, it would mean “Save now, You who dwell in the highest  heaven.”  If we see “Hosanna in the highest” as a  pronouncement of praise, it may have the same meaning as “Glory to God in the  highest” (see Luke 2:14).  Note:   Whether we see this statement as a prayer  for salvation or words of praise, unfortunately most of the crowd, even Jesus’  disciples didn’t understand the full significance of their own words and deeds  (see John 12:16).  However, Jesus’ enemies understood, and they  were beside themselves with frustration.  According to John 12:19  they declared, “Behold the world is gone after him.”  Luke 19:39  even tells how the Pharisees begged Jesus to rebuke His disciples for what they  were doing that day.  Jesus answered that this was the day to  recognize Him, even if the stones along the road had to cry out (see Luke  19:40).

B. The  aftermath of the procession (Mark 11:11).  Our final verse says “And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he  had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went  out unto Bethany with the twelve.”  Once Jesus entered  Jerusalem amid all the pomp and circumstance, He went into the temple and  “looked round about upon all things.”  Jesus  didn’t enter the temple as a pilgrim to worship.  He entered it as  its Lord on an inspection tour.  This resulted in His actions the  next day when He cast the money changers and those who sold doves (see Mark  11:15).  After surveying the goings on in the temple, Jesus and His  twelve disciples left Jerusalem and returned to Bethany to spend the night  because “the eventide was come” meaning the evening had  come.

                                    

V.  Conclusion.  Jesus  Christ was the center of the most crucial parade in the world’s history.   He came as God’s promised King and presented Himself as the King.   The issue for us is whether we are willing to accept Him as the Saviour,  the Lamb of God, who gave His life for us.  One day He will return  and set up His kingdom.  Until then, we must allow Him to reign  over our lives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are You A Christian? Really!

Acts 11:26 ” And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people, and the disciple were called Christians first in Antioch.”

 

Are you a Christian? Many profess to be like Christ, but do others call you a Christian or is it a name you give yourself. Does the life you show the world reflect the content, character, love, caring, and purpose of Christ? Are you a Christian because it’s what your talk says or is it what your walk displays.

 

There is a responsibility which comes with professing to be Christ like. Paul says we blaspheme the name of God to the gentiles, by the way we live our lives. We can’t profess to like one with all power then live a powerless life. We must be careful as we walk professing to be made free from sin and yet continue to live a life full of sin. Jesus said He has all power, even power over all flesh, yet we live a defeated life as we surrender to the weakness of the flesh instead of holding to the willingness of the spirit.

 

The scripture says that Barnabus was a good man, full of the Holy ghost and of faith, it tell us that Barnabas, and Saul(Paul) came to Antioch. they assembled themselves to the church and taught the people. So this tells me that a Christ like person is a good person, full of the holy spirit and a person of faith who teaches others and is a part of the church. Ask yourself, is this the person the world sees in you?

Saved From Sin

John 1:29 “The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God ,which taketh away the sin of the world.”

One day when I was lost ,Jesus died upon a cross, to take away the sin of the world. He saved me; God took on the image of man, that man might once again be made in the image of God. He took on my image, endured my punishment and suffered my death, to take away my sin. Behold the Lamb of God.

 

Jesus died to free us from sin not in our sin. We must look too the Lamb of God that we might be saved. What must truly look to Him when we fall into divers temptations, for Jesus said “I have power over all flesh”. Jesus and Jesus alone has the power to make the flesh behave. It is when we walk in the spirit of Christ that we don’t give in to the lust, will and desires of the flesh. John tells us why we must look to Him, he says “which taketh away the sin of the world”. Notice sin is singular, the sin that started all this was mans unbelief of God’s word, which lead to man’s disobedience to God’s word. When man obeys God man is without sin, it is our disobedience to God that opens the door to all the evil of this world. Jesus is the only way man can be obedient to God.

 

Now I’m not saying you will never have sin in your life. The flesh is full of sin, and you have to carry it where ever you go. But think of it like a bottle full of whiskey, you can have it in your pocket, but as long as you don’t open it and drink of it, you won’t get drunk. Look to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.

All About Christ

1Corinthians 2:2 ” For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified”. Everything God  wanted to say to man, he said with Jesus. Everything God wanted to give to man ,he gave it through Jesus. Everything man needs, lies within Jesus, He is our everything. There is enough in Jesus Christ to serve us all.  Paul tells us in our text that nothing else matters but Christ and him crucified. The fancy titles we give ourselves don’t matter. The size of our congregations don’t matter, our denomination don’t matter. The Pastor or Bishop you sit up under doesn’t matter, the only thing that matter is Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Man was lost in sin on his way to hell, God stepped out of eternity into time, wrapped the best part of Him in the worst part of man, and accepted for man the wage paid by sin. Jesus, whipped for our transgressions, and hung on a cross where he suffered, bled and died, that we might live. Then he rose with all power in his hands that we might walk in a newness of life, if we only believe. So let our conversation be about Jesus Christ and him crucified.

All the spiritual blessings wherewith the Church is enriched are in and by Christ. Our election is by him, as he chose us ;our adoption is by him, our redemption and remission of sins are both through Him. All the gracious transactions between God and his people are through Christ. God loves us through Christ; He hears our prayers through Christ; He forgives us all our sins through Christ. Through Christ he justifies us; through Christ he sanctifies us; through Christ he upholds us; through Christ he perfects us. In Him is our salvation. It is Christ and Him Crucified