Matthew 20 – Reaction to the king

What is our reaction to the King?

(Mat 20:17-34 NIV) Now as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and said to them, {18} “We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death {19} and will turn him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!”

The passage below is the one that describes the day which we now call Palm Sunday. It is the Sunday just before Good Friday, the day when Jesus would be crucified on the cross for our sins. Jesus told His followers that He would be put to death and thereafter rise on the third day. Attention is shifted to the fact that Jesus would be King. It is interesting how different people would react to the fact that Jesus is King.

I want Him to meet my selfish needs

{20} Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him. {21} “What is it you want?” he asked. She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.” {22} “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?” “We can,” they answered. {23} Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.” {24} When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers.

The mother of Zebedee believed that Jesus would be King but her reaction to that was a selfish one. She wanted glory for her own sons in Jesus’ kingdom. Her request was not granted.

Some people are only interested in what they can get out of Jesus. They want Jesus because He could meet their selfish needs.

I want Him to meet genuine needs

{29} As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed him. {30} Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was going by, they shouted, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” {31} The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all the louder, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!” {32} Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. {33} “Lord,” they answered, “we want our sight.” {34} Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they received their sight and followed him.

The title that the two blind men addressed Jesus with was significant. They called Him Son of David. They acknowledged His kingly descent from King David. Since they recognized Jesus as King, what would they have Him do? They wanted Him to meet their genuine needs. They wanted to see.

If you could get a meeting with a powerful man in your country, what would you ask him for? Perhaps you are unemployed and you want to ask him to help you get a job. Perhaps you are in financial difficulty and needed to obtain financial help. The two blind man know that Jesus was in a position to help them because He is King.

Jesus is King, with unlimited resources and power. What would you have Him do for you? What needs do you have that He can help you with?

I want to give Him complete obedience

(Mat 21:1-16 NIV) As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, {2} saying to them, “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. {3} If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

Humanly speaking, what Jesus instructed was quite silly. Who someone who own a donkey simply give it away just because I say that my master needs it? This may have crossed the mind of the disciples as Jesus instructed them to do that. But they obeyed anyway. Because Jesus was King.

Are there areas of your life that you would not let even the King have control of? Would Jesus be King if He does not control over all areas of your life?

I want to give Him the things that belong to me

{6} The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. {7} They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them.

The owner of the donkey was no ordinary man. He was someone who believed in Jesus. He was someone who had no difficulty giving to Jesus whatever the King requires.

What would you withhold from the King? Are there some aspects of your life that is too precious to give even to the King? Would you give Jesus your career if He asked you to give it up for Him? Would you give of your belongings, part of your salary as tithe?

I want to give Him praise and worship

{8} A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. {9} The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Hosanna in the highest!”

There is no king in this world who is not praised and honored by his subjects. Jesus is no different. As King, He deserves and requires the praise and worship of His people.

We need regular time of praising and worshipping Jesus. One main way to do it is through corporate worship in church. Worship time in church is very important. It is not less important than listening to the sermon. Are we giving to Jesus the praise and worship that He deserves?