logo Living Water Christian Fellowship logo
Home Recent Sermon Multimedia Sermons News & Events Our Vision Donate Now Through CanadaHelps.org!

"Make Way for the King!"

Palm Sunday "Walk Through Holy Week"

Mar.20/16 Mark 11:15-25


"Let's hold a rally for our soon-to-be new leader! Make <the church> great again!"

There's been a lot of noise in the media lately as our neighbours south of the border endure the lengthy process that culminates in choosing a new president. People are being challenged to choose amongst candidates that have various platforms. Do you want a wall along the Mexican border? Are you pro-life or pro-choice? Should there be more gun control? Are you for or against the Keystone XL pipeline? And so on. Come November, voters will not just be choosing a leader, they will also be endorsing particular platform planks and choosing policies about how the country should be run.

There was a lot of noise and hoopla that day in Jerusalem as Jesus entered riding a donkey. People thought they were celebrating a king's coming. Maybe they secretly hoped Jesus would rid them of the oppressive Romans. But they probably weren't too aware of just what this Christ-candidate stood for. Had they understood better, they might not have been so enthusiastic to cheer His arrival.


One of His first actions, as Mark records it, was to enter the temple area and drive out those who were selling sacrificial animals and changing currency - for a hefty fee. So, Plank 1 of 3 in Jesus' platform we could call: NO DEALERS. He explained in Mk 11:17, "Is it not written: 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it 'a den of robbers.'" There are at least a couple of issues here: saving space for undisturbed focused worship of God, free of distracting noise and hubbub; and, just - fair - and honest dealings, without exorbitant markups in buying animals or exchanging money.

Are we allowing "dealers" to infringe on God's worship or corrupt our affairs? What's encroaching on our Sunday mornings, leading us to become dissatisfied with church, robbing God of our time? How's it going guarding your daily "quiet time" with the Lord on other days? Through the week, are our business dealings absolutely honest? When we make promises to people, do we follow through - or fudge on our commitments? Don't allow dishonest "dealers" to worm their way in.


A second plank in Jesus' platform is, NO DOUBTS. His cursing of the fruitless fig tree was a shocking object lesson in the power God has available to impact our circumstances when we trust Him completely. Mk 11:22-24, "Have faith in God...I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."

Are there voices we allow in our lives that insidiously sow doubt, that question God's ability to effect change? Reading the Bible regularly reminds us of how God has worked miraculously in the past, in the lives of individuals and entire nations. Listening to Christian music tends to build our faith as we sing along. Small groups and Bible studies give us opportunity to hear from other Christians how God is at work in their lives; we see Him at work answering prayer as we network with other believers.

Jesus urges us, "Have faith in God." Don't doubt! Believe God hears your prayer and is well able to respond.


Are you with me in the Jesus Parade? NO DEALERS. NO DOUBTS...The third plank in Jesus' platform is NO DEBTS. That is, no grudges, no hanging onto things other people "owe" you. This is a tough one! But it's vital if you want to make a clear pathway for communion with God in your life.

Jesus declares in Mark 11:25, "And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins." This isn't just an afterthought, a little incidental add-on. You may recall it's at the heart of the Lord's Prayer: back at the outset of Jesus' ministry, in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 6:12 - "Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." Then He elaborated immediately afterward, "For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Mt 6:14-15)

When others hurt us, we yearn to hurt them back, to get revenge, make things "even", settle accounts. But Jesus demands we have to let that go, if we want God's grace for ourselves in our life. In fact, this is fundamentally what Jesus enters Jerusalem to do: lay down His innocent life as payment for the sins of everybody else. His "un-evening" of things makes forgiveness possible for the rest of us.

Does He still have YOUR vote? Will you still wave your palm branch to welcome Jesus, even if it means you have to lay down and let go of wanting payback for that mean thing that other person did to you?

No dealers; no doubts; no debts. Eliminate those barriers that would hinder Jesus riding into your life, inaugurating His administration there.

Clara Barton was founder of the American Red Cross. A friend once reminded her of an especially cruel thing that had been done to her many years before. But Clara Barton seemed not to recall it. Her friend asked, "Don't you remember it?"

Clara replied, "No - I distinctly remember forgetting it!"

The freedom and joy Christ brings can't co-exist with the habit of harbouring grudges. Get rid of them! Collect other things - stamps or coins or pepper-and-salt shakers if you like, but don't collect grudges, the debts others owe you. As He took our sins and punishment on Himself, we can be freed to absorb the debts others owe us. Isaiah 53:5, "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed." Let's pray.