March 7, 2004
Actions speak loudly
A delegation of Pharisees. Apparently. In a friendly gesture towards Jesus. Comes to warn Jesus that Herod has set his mind to killing Him. Jesus makes it clear. That He will not change or give up His ministry out of fear of Herod. He calls the Galilean dictator a “fox”.
This term “fox” is not strange to us. We still use it in referring to a sly or cleaver our cunning person. However, in Jesus’ day, the term referred to someone who was unimportant. It was a term of contempt and disrespect. As we would call someone today a “fool.”
What is it that Jesus is driving at? What’s the point? Nothing will stand in His way until His mission is accomplished.
He tells them: “I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal” (V. 32) and, what, pray tell, is His mission and goal? It is to die in Jerusalem. He reminds us “...for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!” (V.33)
1. Jesus was a true prophet.
A. Deuteronomy 18:18 predicted that a prophet would come. “I will raise up a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him”
B. Jesus fulfilled this prophecy. John reminds us, “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:17) Matthew tells us, “And the multitudes were saying, “This is the prophet, Jesus, from Nazareth”
The Samaritan woman declares, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.” (John 4:19) The mere fact that the people of Jesus’ day call Him a prophet shows not only that they expected the Messiah to be a prophet in accordance with the promises, but also that he who performed these miracles was indeed the Promised Prophet.
Transition: The Old Testament predicted that Jesus would be a prophet. The Old Testament also predicted that He would have a ministry of miracles.
2. As a true prophet, He was a worker of miracles.
A. The Old Testament is specific, exact, precise -Isaiah predicts, “Then the eyes of those who see will no longer be closed and the ears of those who hear will listen.” (32:3)
“Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a dear, and the tongue of the dumb will shout for joy.’ (35:5,6a)
B. Jesus fulfilled these prophecies as Matthew explains: “And Jesus was going about all the cities and the villages teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness.” (Matthew 9:35)
Transition: Jesus was a true prophet. He taught the people. He healed their diseases. He came to Jerusalem to offer Himself as a ransom for sin.
3. His Passion began when He entered Jerusalem on a donkey.
A. The Old Testament prediction is plain and clear -Zechariah the prophet tells us: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (9:9)
B. The events of Psalm Sunday are the fulfillment of prophecy! Luke would remind us: “And they brought it to Jesus, and they threw their garments on the colt, and put Jesus on it. And as He was going, they were spreading their garments in the road.” (Luke 19:35-36)
Transition: In the city of Jerusalem. Jesus would be arrested, tried, tortured, and killed. And on the third day, He would rise again.
4. The resurrection is also predicted and fulfilled in Jesus’ life.
A. David writes in Psalm 16:10 “You will not abandon me to the grave nor will You let Your Holy One see decay.” In Psalm 30:3, he writes: “O Lord, You brought me up from the grave, You spared me from going down into the pit.” In Psalm 41:10, he writes: “But You O Lord have mercy on Me; raise me up. That I may repay them.” And in Psalm 118:17, he writes: “I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done.”
B. On the first Easter. The angel announces to the women who had come to the tomb “Why do you look for the living among the dead? H is not here; he has risen! Remember how He told you, while He was still with you in Galilee; The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.” (Luke 24:5b-6)
Jesus told that fool Herod that nothing could stop Him from reaching His goal. As we observe the Savior’s Passion and death, in Lent we come to the remarkable conclusion that Jesus the prophet has fulfilled every prophecy assigned to Him in the Old Testament. He fulfills every single prophecy – for you. He fulfills the prophecy to usher you into the kingdom. In that fulfillment, He offers to you forgiveness, salvation and life eternal. He will exchange His life for yours. You have worth, purpose and value. Your life has significant importance. You matter to Christ. His actions are not random acts. They are deliberate tokens of His love and esteem.
Passive Sentences –10%
Readability – 75%
Reading Level -5.3