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The Rev. William Klock: “The King Who Comes in the Name of the Lord” (Luke 19:28-40)

July 27, 2015

From Fr. Bill Klock of Living Word Reformed Episcopal Church in British Columbia, here is another sermon in his series on the Gospel of Luke, titled The King Who Comes in the Name of the Lord.  In this message, Fr. Bill talks about Jesus’ journey into Jerusalem where he is actually being hailed as a king by the people – but His kingship winds up not being at all what they expected.  As Fr. Bill points out, the agendas are not the same, and he goes on to make this point about our agendas:

Brothers and sisters, in us, the Lord has raised up children of Abraham from the stones.  We aren’t the biological sons and daughters of Abraham, but by faith in Jesus we have been grafted into his family—into the new Israel.  As I’ve said before, we have the law and the prophets, just as the Jews did, but we have an advantage.  They couldn’t grasp what Jesus was about.  They couldn’t wrap their heads around the idea of the Messiah as both king and suffering servant.  But we can.  We have the gospels and the apostles too.  And yet as much as we understand the suffering of Jesus and as much as we understand the cross, how often are we like the Jews?  As they waved palm branches and praised Jesus on the road to Jerusalem, we gather in the church and sing praises to him too.  But the Jews that day—many of them, at least—were imposing their own ideas on Jesus.  They were happy and excited because they thought Jesus had come to fulfil their agendas.  Had they known what Jesus was actually going to do, had they known that he was going to Jerusalem to suffer and die, most of them wouldn’t have been in that Palm Sunday procession.  The people turned on him as he stood before Pilate.  Pilate offered to release the beaten and bloody King, but they shouted out to have him crucified.  Why?  Because they couldn’t accept him as Messiah unless he was fulfilling their agenda.

Friends, we need to ask too if we’re following Jesus to fulfil his agenda or if we’re following him in the hopes that he will fulfil ours.  Too many people come to Jesus for the wrong reasons: for personal fulfilment, for happiness, for health and prosperity.  Brothers and sisters, none of that is the agenda of the Jesus who calls his disciples to follow him by daily taking up our crosses.  Some of us are like the people there that first Palm Sunday, thinking that Jesus came like another Judas Maccabeus, to defeat our enemies with the sword.  We might not put it quite that way, but that’s what we’re saying whenever we confuse Jesus and his kingdom with political power and government coercion.  Friends, the kingdom of God doesn’t come by force with swords or guns and the hearts of men and women are not moved to repentance by legislating faith.  Only the Holy Spirit can do that and he does it as the people of Jesus proclaim the Word of God and proclaim the Good News that Jesus is Lord.  And we proclaim that message in part as we follow in the footsteps of Jesus.  Dietrich Bonhoeffer is famous for penning the words, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”   That’s what it means to take up our crosses.  It means giving up our agenda, our rights, everything we hold dear that is not Jesus, even giving up our lives that the men and women of this world still lost in darkness might come to know the love and grace of Jesus, who became King only by giving everything for our sake.

If you’d like to hear the message, you can do so below if you wish.


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