5th June 2023
Read - Mark 11:1-6
Message Alan Burke
Sovereignty is one of those words that we don’t use a lot in every day speech, you can use it to speak of say the Parliament that they have sovereignty over the devolved governments. That means that what happens in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales ultimately is only allowed by the will of the Parliament in Westminster. The Lord God is sovereign over all, he is in all that takes place at work, working out all things for his glory and the good of those who love him. Here we see that sovereignty at work in a passage where there is nothing happening by chance or luck but that is all being worked out according to God’s eternal purposes. We might look out and think that it is just chaos out there but Scripture reminds us that it is not, we have a sovereign Lord who is in control of it all. Today as we focus on the beginning of the Triumphal Entry we see that.
At the Mount of Olives which would have had a vista over much of Jerusalem as it looks down on the city and the Temple Mount, Jesus sent two of his disciples on an errand, he told them them to go to the village ahead and when they are and there they would find a colt. This may not seem that significant to us but throughout this account there are illusions to what has come before and more importantly Jesus is fulfilling what had been promised of old about the coming Messiah.
So these unnamed disciples are to go and get Jesus a colt, that they will find when they enter the village, and it is one that has never been ridden. What is significant in all of this is what Jesus is doing, for he was fulfilling an ancient prophecy about the coming of the messiah right before the eyes of his disciples and all who were there (see Zech 9:9). The expectation of the people was that the Messiah would come to Jerusalem riding on a donkey, while Jesus throughout his ministry had been seeking to limit the knowledge of his true identity, Jesus was now making a very clear statement of who he was for all to see, he was making a claim that he was the Messiah, that the one whom they had been waiting and longing for had come.
Notice how the majority of these verses that detail the arrival of Jesus to Jerusalem are focused not on the arrival, not on the decent from the mount of olives or the ascent into Jerusalem but on the preparations for his entry. It’s striking isn’t it, where the focus lies, not on the shouts of acclimation on the pilgrims, on the throng of people, rather it is on Jesus sending two disciples to get a donkey.
There are a couple of things that we can draw out of this for us. Because Jesus in all that was taking place was in full control of the events that were unfolding, this wasn’t taking place but accident, Jesus wasn’t some unsuspecting victim of what lay ahead, no in the midst of this our Saviour was sovereignly at work. We have a saviour who was not an unsuspecting victim, but purposely in all things was fulfilling the law and the prophets for us, have you ever thought about the significance of that, Jesus willingly, purposely going to die for our sin?
The other is that we have a sovereign Lord and saviour, ruling over all, there is nothing here in this passage that is happening by chance or luck but it is all being worked together according to God’s eternal purposes, in all that was taking place that day Jesus was bringing about the fulfilment of what had been foretold. He was bringing that about before the very eyes of the disciples. Our Triune God is sovereign in all, he is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, he is all powerful, all knowing, and everywhere present and he is actively at work in all that was taking place and takes place this day.
Q64 What is required in the fifth commandment?
The fifth commandment requireth the preserving the honor, and performing the duties, belonging to every one in their several places and relations, as superiors, (Eph. 5:21) inferiors, (1 Pet. 2:17) or equals. (Rom. 12:10)