“Say That the
Lord Needs Them” (Matthew 21:1-9) April 1, 2012
is the Passion Week. Today, we commemorate the first day of the Passion Week as
Palm Sunday. We call it Palm Sunday because many Israelites welcomed Jesus with
palm leaves when he entered the city of Jerusalem on a young donkey. Why has the church been commemorating these
observances? Because those times of observances were very important to us
who would be saved, we must remind ourselves of those times and turn them into
new blessings for our faith and our lives. I hope that Palm Sunday, Passion
Week, and Easter Sunday would be the time of receiving new blessings for your
faith and your life. There is one common characteristic of those who are
successful and those whom God uses. They live in the same world as everyone
else, but they always begin anew. Those for whom things are not really working
never change even in the period of ten years. Innovate, renew, and improve are
all the same. We want to hold onto the important covenant concerning Palm
Sunday as we think about three individuals who came into the picture on Palm
Sunday about two thousand years ago.
1. The main figure of Palm Sunday is Christ. It is about what
He did. Why did he ride on the back of a
young donkey? Wasn’t He, who was going to rule over all creation, someone who
was worthy to enter Jerusalem on the best horse with a greater parade than the
Roman troops? There are two reasons.
1) Only then could He finish our curses.
a. How did men come to be deceived by the devil, leave God,
and fall into sins and curses? It
says in Rom.5:12 that it is because of the first man Adam’s disbelief and disobedience.
This is the Original Sin. The result of the Original Sin is our behavior sins. Disbelief
and disobedience mean that Adam did not believe in God’s promise or obey it.
What was the reason? He was deceived by Satan. But how did Satan deceive him?
He said to Adam and Eve, “Your eyes will be open and you will be just like God.”
This was the beginning of men’s failure: arrogance. It stands true even today.
Arrogance of the moment becomes the source of all failures.
b. Why did Jesus lower Himself? He wanted to reverse that. As much as the sin surged the world because of men’s
arrogance and disobedience, He resolved that problem with His humility and
obedience (Rom.5:19). To what extent did Jesus lower Himself and obey God? He
came as the son of a poor carpenter, was born in a stable, and rode on a young
donkey. What was His last act of humility and obedience? In Phil.2:7-9, it says
that he took the nature of a servant, came in the form of human and became
obedient to death. Only then would the curses upon mankind end. We call this justice
(You receive punishment as much as you sinned.).
c. That is what Jesus meant when He said “It is finished” in
the dying moment in Jn.19:30. When
we say we have been saved and all of our problems and curses have been
finished, we are not talking about simple matters. Jesus fulfilled all of them
by humbling Himself and obeying to death. There is a hymn we sing often during
Passion Week. “Thus might I hide with blushing face/while His dear cross
appears/Dissolve my heart in thankfulness/and melt mine eyes to tears/But drops
of grief can ne’er repay/the debt of love I owe!/Here, Lord, I give myself
away/’tis all that I can do.” I hope you pray and resolve during Passion Week
how you who have received this grace should live the rest of your life.
2) It says in Mt.21:4-5 that Jesus rode on a young donkey to “fulfill
what was spoken through the prophet”. This
is the reason why God’s people who have been saved must hold onto the Word and
follow it. Christ came to fulfill the Word, and God is working within us
through His Word even now. Do you know when disbelief, disobedience, and curses
come? They come when you lose hold of the Word. That is when Satan works and
makes you fail. I urge you to hold firmly to the Word.
2. There are works that the disciples did in this ministry of
1) Jesus told His disciples to “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.” When
Christ humbles Himself to fulfill our salvation, there is something we must do.
What is it? It is simply believing and following His instruction. The start of
that process is acceptance (Jn.1:12 and Rev.3:20). It is making Him your
2) The moment you accept Him as your master, you no longer
exist. You must train to lay down your calculations, opinions, experiences, and
scars of the past, and entrust yourself to His will and obey Him. That is
Gal.2:20. Didn’t He resolve all curses through
death? Now He wants to bless you and use you as His witness (Acts 1:8). What is
left now? You must really acknowledge Him as your Lord, receive His guidance,
and even when you think it does not really fit you sometimes you must follow
Him in obedience. That is when He will do great and unsearchable things that we
do not know of by His power.
3) It says in Mt.21:6, “The disciples went and did as Jesus
had instructed them.” He told
them to bring a young donkey, but they did not know its owner. It was an absurd
command. Yet they did as commanded. This is the attitude of disciples. When
Jesus was teaching the Way of Disciples, He told them to “deny yourself and
take up your cross daily and follow me.” Who is Jesus really looking for? He is
looking for disciples like this.
a. This is what Jesus trained the disciples for three years.
And He confirms it again in the end. It
was training of denying oneself and obeying. This is what Jesus said when He
came to the failed Peter (Jn.21:18).
b. When will the church be strengthened and when will the
World Evangelization be fulfilled? It
is when these disciples rise. They went, did, and died according to what Jesus
said. When is the Holy Spirit really working upon your life and the forces of
Darkness crumble? It is when you truly realize Christ, believe in Him, and obey
c. The Bible talks a lot about obedience. Children must obey their parents in the Lord (Eph.6:1), wives
must obey their husbands like the church obeys Christ (Eph.5:24), people must
submit to their governing authorities (Rom.13:1), and believers must have
confidence in their leaders and submit to their authority (Heb.13:17). Why does
the Bible emphasize these things? The most important thing is training yourself
lf the heart of obedience and life of obedience in all relations. That is the
beginning of obeying God.
3. What did the owner of the donkey do when the disciples
came to him as the Lord said?
1) Jesus said, “If anyone says anything to you, say that the
Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.” It means there are people in the field whom God has prepared.
There will be people just like the owner of the donkey who obeyed the Lord’s
word immediately when he heard it from the disciples. This is the blessing of
2) A much as you believe and obey, you will meet such
prepared people. They will become your coworkers and
your team. I hope you enjoy this blessing in your workplace, business, and
What Jesus did has to do with the blessings of the absolute Gospel. What the owner of the donkey did has to do with the blessings of evangelism. These two things are all prepared. The issue at stake here is the attitude of disciples who must enjoy these blessings: absolute faith and absolute obedience. It says that Jesus obeyed to death. I bless and hope that this Passion Week may be the time the blessings of absolute faith and absolute obedience begin anew.