King of Creation and King of Our Lives!

King of Creation and King of Our Lives!


Just prior to riding into Jerusalem as the rightful King that he was, Luke records how Jesus, ever the one to spend time with those despised by society, invited himself to the home of one of those looked-down-upon “tax collectors and sinners,” namely Zacchaeus, “a chief tax collector [who] was wealthy.”[1] Though Zacchaeus may well have been an unpopular tax collector, a group known for taking advantage of those from whom they collected taxes, he nonetheless “wanted to see who Jesus was.” He wasn’t alone in this desire for a crowd blocked his vision and he, being a short man, couldn’t see over them.[2] So in his determination to see Jesus, “he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree.”[3] When he saw him up in the tree, Jesus promptly invited himself to stay at the home of the delighted Zacchaeus who “came down at once and welcomed him gladly.”[4] However, “[a]ll the people [who] saw this…began to mutter, ‘He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.’” [5] Jesus’ stay with Zacchaeus became the occasion of the latter coming to a saving faith and knowledge of Jesus[6] as evidenced by the fact that he gave away half of his possessions to the poor and promised to return four times of what he may have cheated others out of.[7] Zacchaeus was a new man!

Jesus even proclaimed concerning Zacchaeus, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”[8] And “[w]hile they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once.”[9] Therefore Jesus told them the parable of the ten minas about a “man of noble birth [who] went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return,”[10] and about his relationship with some of his servants. One of his servants, who had been given charge by the king[11] of a mina—a coin valued at about three months’ wages—had his mina taken away from him since he had been such a poor steward of it. When the king took away his mina, he announced, “I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.”[12] It was by means of this parable that Jesus sought to dissuade those who were present from the thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. Zacchaeus was one of those to whom more was given for he embraced Jesus as his Savior and LORD. He sought to see Jesus and was saved from his wicked ways. But those who grumbled at Jesus’ going to the house of such a sinner were in danger of turning their backs upon Jesus then and forever.

And this is where our passage picks up in verse 28 for “After Jesus had said this”—that is, his statement about those who had being given more and those who didn’t have having even what they had taken away—“he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.” In other words, the first Palm Sunday was about to take place. And we’ve become well familiar with the details that follow:

As Jesus approached the Mount of Olives, he sent two of disciples to find and bring him a colt, that no one had ever ridden, that was tied there. Jesus’ instructions included what they should say if challenged, which, of course, they were;[13]

Next, as Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on the colt, people spread their cloaks on the road, thereby honoring him as their King;[14]

And as he drew near to the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the crowd burst into joyful “praise to God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen.”[15] For here was the one who had healed the sick—and driven demons out of people—and given sight to the blind—and raised Lazarus from death[16]—and fed the multitudes—and walked on water—and stilled the wind and the waves to name but a few of the miracles the people had witnessed. So it’s no wonder that the crowd was loudly praising God for by his miracles Christ Jesus had brought down to a broken and suffering earth pockets of heaven’s healing salvation and peace;

And so the people shouted a portion of Psalm 118 praising Jesus as their king as they exclaimed, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”[17]

And, as was the case when Jesus went to Zacchaeus’ house—and as was so often the case whenever Jesus taught or served others or was praised—in verse 39 we’re told how, “Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’” But Jesus would not, replying instead, verse 40, “I tell you…if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”[18]

Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem is recorded in all four of the Gospels. And in addition to what we read in Luke, we know that different Gospel writers highlighted different aspects of this event. So, for example, Matthew and John note that the fact that Jesus came riding on a donkey was in fulfillment of Scripture, a prophecy of Zechariah predicting that Zion’s, that is, Jerusalem’s King, would come riding on a donkey.[19]

And all three of the other Gospel writers note that in addition to praising Jesus from Psalm 118, the crowds also cried out a phrase we’ve sung in our hymns this morning, “Hosanna to the Son of David!,” and “Hosanna in the highest heaven,” “Hosanna” being a Hebrew expression meaning “Save!”—it’s possible that Luke himself didn’t include this phrase because he was writing to a Gentile audience who, like us, might not necessarily have understood what “Hosanna” meant unless someone explained it to them. And John further states that some also cried out, “Blessed is the king of Israel!”[20]

And other than Luke, only John mentions how the Pharisees replied. Whereas in Luke they’re upset because the crowds,’ Jesus’ disciples, are crying out praises and welcoming him as their king, as we saw last week, John particularly notes that those who became Jesus’ disciples did so as a result of his raising Lazarus from the dead. As John recounts, “17 Now the crowd that was with [Jesus] when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, ‘See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”’[21]

This first Palm Sunday, “the whole world”—or at least so it seemed to the Pharisees—had gone after Jesus. But this first Palm Sunday presents us with a paradox. On the one hand, the crowds rightly recognized Jesus as their King. Therefore the praise they offered him was fitting and right; but, on the other hand, the crowds—and Pharisees, for that matter—wrongly assumed that Jesus was riding into Jerusalem as an earthly, political King, who had come to challenge the Roman powers that be. Even Jesus’ disciples misunderstood this. John states as much in noting, “At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.”[22] So despite all of the time Jesus had spent with them, even the twelve closest to him had wrongly assumed he had come to overthrow earthly powers.

Yet for the time being Jesus accepted all of this. He knew that this recognition of his kingship was but temporary. Indeed this journey into Jerusalem must have been poignant and bittersweet for Jesus knew that that in the coming week,

he would have his final meal with his precious twelve disciples;

that one of those twelve, Judas Iscariot, would betray him;

that this betrayal by Judas would lead to Jesus being mercilessly flogged and crucified on a cross;

that all who knew and loved him best would abandon him;

and that he would die by hanging on that cross.

Yet Jesus also knew that all of this was necessary in order for him to save, to take upon himself and thereby remove the sins, of all who were willing to give their sins to him and trust him to give them his eternal life once he rose from and thereby conquered death. Therefore Jesus, despite knowing the suffering that lay ahead, nonetheless made his way joyfully to Jerusalem [Goudge?]. As the author of Hebrews states, “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”[23]

But if his twelve disciples, and the crowds, and the Pharisees misunderstood the nature of Jesus’ kingship, the stones didn’t. Again, as is recorded in verse 40 of our passage, when the Pharisees demanded that Jesus rebuke his disciples, he replied, “I tell you if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” Now you may have noticed a theme in the hymns we’re singing this morning. In addition to hymns of praise, singing Hosanna’s to Jesus Christ our King, the hymns also point to all nature recognizing Christ’s Lordship. One that we didn’t include is Be Still, My Soul which, to this point, contains one of my all-time favorite lines from a hymn: “Be still, my soul, the waves and wind still know his voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.” Again, this is a beautiful poetic way of indicating that all creation knows its Creator. And if you notice in our passage, even the donkey Jesus rode upon, despite the fact that, as stated in verse 30, “no one [had] ever ridden” upon it before—and therefore it was unaccustomed to having a rider since it had never been broken—nonetheless allowed its Maker, Christ Jesus, to ride upon its back.

And so here we find a second paradox of Palm Sunday: That whereas those who were made in Christ’s image—whether the crowds, the religious leaders, or Jesus’ inner circle of twelve disciples—didn’t understand that his rule as King wasn’t political, but cosmic, creation did know. Now needless to say, the rocks wouldn’t literally have cried out if the crowds had not for rocks cannot speak. Yet throughout Scripture nature is personified to remind us of the truth that the creation knows, and is obedient to, its Creator. For example, the allusion in Be Still, My Soul is, of course, to when Jesus’ disciples feared for their lives because of a storm that overtook them as they were out in a boat and, from their fear, they awoke Jesus who was fast asleep. Once they had awakened him, “he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.”[24] And then we’re told that “The men were amazed and asked, ‘What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!’” [25] What kind of man is this, indeed?! Well, as Jesus’ disciples would come to learn, he wasn’t simply a man but was also Christ, God’s Son who had entered human history in the flesh to redeem the creation he himself had made. But the wind and waves knew then, even as they do now, who Jesus was, is, and will ever be.

So I want to return to the reason given for the “whole crowd of disciples” in our passage, verse 37, praising God “in loud voices”—namely, “for all the miracles they had seen,” which I briefly noted earlier. For stilling the wind and the waves wasn’t the only time Jesus demonstrated his power over nature. We know as well that he once walked on water[26]—which has become a proverbial way of asking whether someone thinks they are god. Yet in Jesus’s case, the answer is yes, he was and is God. And as God who came into this dark world as light,[27] he gave sight to a man who had been born blind. [28] And as the Messiah who came to undue the debilitating effects of sin upon this fallen world, he enabled not only a lame man to walk [29] but did the same for a man who was paralyzed.[30] In fact, following his entry into Jerusalem on a donkey, Matthew notes that after Jesus overturned the tables of the money changers in the Temple, both “[t]he blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.” And these healings became yet another occasion for him to receive “Hosanna’s” for Matthew goes on to state that the children were “shouting in the temple courts, ‘Hosanna to the Son of David,’” which, of course, yet again caused “chief priests and the teachers of the law” to become indignant.[31] But Jesus, as was his wont, replied from Scripture[32] asking, “Have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”

But Jesus not only healed but also cared for others by multiplying fish and loaves and thereby feeding them.[33]

And he further demonstrated his authority and power over nature when, as we noted last week, he raised Lazarus from the dead. But we sometimes forget that Lazarus wasn’t the only person the Gospels record as having been raised from death by Jesus. He also raised the 12-year old daughter of Jairus, a synagogue leader, from death. [34] And he further raised the widow of Nain’s son from death as well. [35]

But Scripture shows us that Jesus wasn’t simply Lord over nature; he was also Lord over super-nature, or the entire supernatural world, as demonstrated by his ability to cast out demons who, like nature, always and ever obeyed his casting them out. [36] And this supernatural, demonic world continues to know the voice of its Maker against whom it has rebelled. As James puts it, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.”[37] In this one regard the demons have a better theology than many living today for though they hate their Maker and seek to destroy all he has made, nonetheless they believe in him for they know he is real. And they know the power that he has over them and that their doom is sure for this, too, is why God in Christ came.[38] He came not only to die for the sin of those who bore his image, but also to destroy Satan, that ancient serpent who led astray our first parents in the Garden, in order that sin, death, and the devil might be destroyed by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In demonstrating his power over all creation in all of these ways, we see how creation, both nature and supernature, obeyed its Maker because it knew and knows and will ever know the voice of its Maker.

So let’s review the categories of those who rightly understood Jesus to be the cosmic King he was then and is now:

  • Satan and his servants know Christ Jesus is God. As we saw a few weeks ago,[39] when Jesus cast demons from those whom they had possessed, the demons always knew who he was and always obeyed as in the case of “a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit” who was in the synagogue in Capernaum in Galilee where Jesus was teaching on the Sabbath, who “cried out at the top of his voice, 34‘Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!’”[40] In other words, the demon knew Jesus is God;
  • And as we’ve also reviewed this morning, the creation that had come into being through Christ[41] also knew and obeyed him. Paul tells how “19the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed” and how “22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved.”[42] Creation, which has suffered the effects of the Fall, now awaits the redemption of its Maker and Savior;
  • And this brings us to the final category of those who rightly understand who Jesus is and therefore desire and seek to obey him. It’s all who, like Paul and Zacchaeus, the tax collector, understand themselves to be lost sinners in need of a Savior; who realize that even our best efforts to be good are futile apart from the help we all need from Christ, from the Word he’s given us in the Old and New Testament Scriptures, from the Holy Spirit he sends us, and from those he’s placed around us. Life is hard but to those who have turned from their ways to the ways of Christ he gives even more for those who are his can regularly accept his invitation from Matthew 11, “28“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

And so all who know and love Jesus are able to cry out as did “the whole crowd of disciples” on that first Palm Sunday to King Jesus Christ who is not a political King but who is far more than that:

He is King over heaven;

he is King over earth;

he is King over nature;

he is King over super-nature;

And of his Kingdom, the Kingdom of God, there will be no end.

So let us this morning and always honor him as the true King he is as we exclaim, “38 Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

Let us pray.

[1] Verse 2 of Luke 19. The entire account may be found in Luke 19:1–8: 1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

[2] Verse 3.

[3] Verse 4.

[4] Verse 6.

[5] Verse 7.

[6] Verses 9–10.

[7] Verse 8.

[8] Verses 9–10.

[9] Luke 19:11.

[10] Luke 19:12.

[11] Verse 15a notes he succeeded in his desire to be king: He was made king, however, and returned home.

[12] Luke 19:26–27.

[13] Luke 19:29–34: 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’” 32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

[14] Luke 19:35–36: 35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

[15] Luke 19:37: When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen.

[16] John 11:38–44: 38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

[17] Luke 19:38 quoting Psalm 118:26: Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. From the house of the Lord we bless you.

[18] This statement by Jesus is reminiscent of Habakkuk 2:11: The stones of the wall will cry out, and the beams of the woodwork will echo it.

[19] Matthew 21:4–5: 4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet: 5 “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”; John 12:15: “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” This is from Zechariah 9:9: Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

[20] Matthew 21:9: 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 heaven!”; Mark 11:9–10:Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” 10 “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!” “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”; John12:13: They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!”

[21] John 12:17–19.

[22] John 12:16.

[23] Hebrews 12:2b.

[24] Matthew 8:26b.

[25] Matthew 8: 27. The entire account may be found in Matthew 8:23–27: 23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”; Mark 4:35–41: 35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”; Luke 8:22–25: 22 One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. 23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. 24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

[26] Matthew 14:22–33: 22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” 32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”; Mark 6:45–56: 45 Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray. 47 Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, 50 because they all saw him and were terrified. Immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 51 Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed, 52 for they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened. 53 When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. 54 As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. 55 They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed.; John 6:16–24: 16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, 17 where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. 18 A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” 21 Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore where they were heading. 22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone. 23 Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus.

[27] As attested to by both Jesus and John. See, respectively, John 8:12:  When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.; and John 1:1–5: 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

[28] John 9:1–12: 1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing. 8 His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No, he only looks like him.” But he himself insisted, “I am the man.” 10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked.  11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.” 12 “Where is this man?” they asked him. “I don’t know,” he said.

[29] John 5:1–15: 1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. [4] 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” 7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” 8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” 11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’” 12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” 13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. 14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.

[30] Matthew 9:1–8: 1 Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. 2 Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” 3 At this, some of the teachers of the law said to themselves, “This fellow is blaspheming!” 4 Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said, “Why do you entertain evil thoughts in your hearts? Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.” 7 Then the man got up and went home. 8 When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to man.; Mark 2:1–12: 1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

[31] Matthew 21:12–17: 12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’” 14 The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. 16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?” 17 And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.

[32] The quote is from Psalm 8:2: Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.

[33] See Matthew 14:13–21: Mark 6:30–44: Luke 9:10–17: John 6:1–15:

[34] Matthew 9:18–26: 18 While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples. 20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” 22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment. 23 When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, 24 he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. 26 News of this spread through all that region. Mark 5:21–43: 21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” 35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?” 36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” 37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat. Luke 8:40–56: 40 Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. 45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” 47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” 49 While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.” 50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” 51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.” 53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.

[35] Luke 7:11–17: 11 Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. 12 As he approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out—the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.” 14 Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother. 16 They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” 17 This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.

[36] Matthew 12:22–23: 22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23 All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”; Mark 1:21–28: 21 They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22 The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23 Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an impure spirit cried out, 24 “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!” 25 “Be quiet!” said Jesus sternly. “Come out of him!” 26 The impure spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek. 27 The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, “What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to impure spirits and they obey him.” 28 News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.

[37] James 2:19.

[38] Concerning Satan’s doom, see Revelation 12:9: The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.; Revelation 20:2: He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.

[39] Sermon preached on March 17, 2019, The Greatness of God on Luke 9:28–43a.

[40] Luke 4:33–34.

[41] John 1:1–3: 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.; Colossians 1:16: For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.; 1 Corinthians 8:6: yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.; Hebrews 1:1–2: 1 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.

[42] Romans 8: 19, 22–24.