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In Turmoil (Palm Sunday 2014)

. 2 min read

2014/04/13
Christ Church, Mountain Top, Palm Sunday
Prayer,
Psalm 118.1-2, 19-29
Children,
palms folded into crosses
Message,
Matthew 21.1-11
1541, Suleiman the Magnificent rebuilds
the walls of Jerusalem
      Closes the Mercy or Golden Gate, adds a
cemetery
      To prevent the coming of Messiah
      But the “horse” was already out of the
barn
Even
1500 years prior, the expectation of the
Messiah’s arrival
from the Mount of Olives through this gate to popular
acclamation was a well-developed theme for Israel.  Jesus knew it and, by this action, makes his
claim – the fulfillment of Israel’s hope – crystal clear.  Being Messiah is a political claim:
      “Son of David” (once here, twice in
preceding story) – royal title
      Temple cleansing (following story) –
center of both religious and civil authority (Kingsbury, 81)
      Temple – healing the blind and lame –
prohibited from entering the temple for worship (2Sam 5.8, Lev 21.18; Hauerwas,
183)
Politics:
      Dynamics of power – royal
      Definition of people – blind and lame are
integrated into the kingdom
No
wonder this was understood as a political statement, no wonder the powerful
were threatened and the poor rejoiced, no wonder the “turmoil”!
“The whole city was in turmoil” (Mt
21.10), echo the theme of Mt 2
      Mt 2.3 – wise men & Herod
      Mt 21.10 – Jesus enters Jerusalem
      Threatened by a new king, Herod kills the
innocent sons of Bethlehem
      Threatened by a new kingdom, Roman &
Jewish establishment killed the innocent Son of David

Like
Suleiman:
Dynamics
of power:
“Don’t
bring Jesus into this!”
“The
Lord needs it”
Definition
of people:
      Pray the kids away
Jesus
Messiah
      Hope – fulfillment of Israel’s dreams,
hopes, promises of redemption
      Humility – prophet Zechariah’s lines
“triumphant and victorious is he” are omitted by Matthew, not the “triumphal”
entry but a humble entry in his focus (Zechariah 9.9; Brunner, 355).
Resources:
Frederick Dale Bruner, Matthew, A Commentary: Vol 2: The Churchbook, Matthew 13-28
Jack Dean Kingsbury, Matthew as Story.
Stanley Hauerwas, Matthew, Brazos Theological Commentary of the Bible.