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MARK 10:32-34

Pastor Stephen Muncherian
April 9, 2006

Please turn with me to Mark 10:32.

In the time just before Palm Sunday Jesus was out in Judea - out beyond the Jordan River.  As was pretty typical, there were large crowds of people that had gone out to see Him.  Jesus is teaching.   Some of that teaching is pretty familiar.  Like when they were bringing children to Jesus and the disciples were telling them to go away.  Remember this. 
“Permit the children to come to Me… whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” (Mark 10:13-16)

There was the rich young ruler - that we talked about last Sunday.  Filthy rich - kept all the commandments - but couldn’t give up his wealth to follow Jesus.  Then Jesus’ rebuke of the disciples who were so arrogant - so impressed - with their own sacrifices in following Jesus.  Jesus just cutting to the heart of the matter. 
“You haven’t even begun to sacrifice.  Many who are first will be last, and the last first.  So get in line.”  (Mark 10:28-31)

All of that has been going on out beyond the Jordan River.  Coming to Mark 10:32 - Jesus begins the journey that will take Him to Jerusalem and His entrance on Palm Sunday.

Mark 10:32: 
They were on the road going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking on ahead of them; and they were amazed, and those who followed were fearful.  And again He took the twelve aside and began to tell them what was going to happen to Him, saying, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and will hand Him over to the Gentiles.  They will mock Him and spit on Him, and scourge Him and kill Him, and three days later He will rise again.”

I’d like to share three observations and then we’ll talk about application.

First Observation: 
Jesus Is On A Mission.  Say that with me, “Jesus is on a mission.”

Thomas Henry Huxley was a devoted disciple of Darwin.  Famous biologist - teacher - author - defender of the theory of evolution - self-avowed humanist - traveling lecturer.

Having finished another series of public assaults against several truths we hold sacred, Huxley was in a hurry to catch his train to the next city.  He took one of Dublin’s famous horse-drawn taxis and settled back with his eyes closed to rest himself for a few minutes.  He assumed the driver had been told by the hotel doorman, so all he’d said as he got in was,
“Hurry, I’m almost late.  Drive fast!”  The horses lurched forward and galloped across Dublin.  Before long Huxley glanced out the window and frowned as he realized they were going west, away from the sun, not toward it.

Leaning forward, the scholar said,
“Do you know where you’re going?”  Without looking back, the driver yelled, “No, your honor!  But I am driving very fast.” (1)

There’s a town in Minnesota with a volunteer fire department that has the slogan,
“We’ll know where we’re going when we get there.” (2)

Jesus is going from point A to point B - Jordan River to Jerusalem.  Shortest distance being a straight line.  He’s moving fast - with determination - with purpose.  He knows where He’s going.  You ever try follow somebody like this?  As they’re weaving through traffic or a crowd.  Just try and keep up.

Mark says that Jesus was out ahead of the pack.  Those who were following - possibly this large crowd - most certainly the disciples - they were amazed and they were fearful.

As Jesus has been teaching things have been heating up.  The exchanges with the Pharisees have not gone well.  Going to Jerusalem will probably mean trouble.  Lately Jesus has been saying weird things about being killed.  There’s a feeling of foreboding.

They’re amazed.  Jesus is actually in a hurry to get to Jerusalem.  Why wouldn’t He want to avoid that place?  They’re fearful.  Why is He in such a hurry to get there?  All kinds of bad things can happen there.  Things we’d like to avoid.

But Jesus is on a mission.  He’s focused on where He’s going.  Keep up.

Second Observation: 
Jesus’ Explanation To The Disciples.  Say that with me, “Jesus’ explanation to the disciples.”

There’s a point where Jesus stops.  Turns to the disciples.  Waits for them to catch up.  Gives them this explanation of what He’s doing and why.

His explanation is succinct - to the point.  There’s nothing in the explanation about riding into town on a donkey - crowds singing Hosanna.  Nothing about cleaning out the Temple - or teaching in the Temple.  Nothing about celebrating the Passover.  This is a rest stop not a camp ground.  We need to keep moving.

“All the things that the prophets wrote is about to come true.  I’m going to be betrayed to the chief priests and scribes.  They’re going to condemn Me.  I’m going to get the death sentence.  Then they’re going to hand me over to the Gentiles - the Romans.  I’m going to be mocked and insulted and spit on.  They’re going to scourge Me.  Then they’re going to crucify Me to death.  Good news is that on the third day - just like I’ve told you before - I will rise again.  Got it?  Good.  Let’s get going.”

Third Observation: 
The Reaction Of The Disciples.  Say that with me, “The reaction of the disciples.”

Going on in Mark chapter 10 and looking at Matthew’s record of this rest stop tells - what happens next is that Momma shows up.  The mother of James and John comes dragging her two sons with her..  She makes this request of Jesus and her sons also make this request of Jesus.  They ask Him,
“In Your Kingdom - once You get past all this - whatever it is that you were talking about - when you finally get Your Kingdom - grant that one son can sit on the right hand side of your throne and the other son can sit on your left.”

Jesus in a very nice way basically tells them that they have no clue what they’re talking about and that even if they did they’re not the one’s who get to sit there anyway.  When the other 10 disciples hear this they’re totally disgusted with James and John.  Angry - indignant.  Jesus has to call them back over and tell them,
“Its not who rules that’s important.  Its who serves.  Guys.  Check your attitudes.”

The contrast here is huge.  Jesus talking about the fulfillment of prophecy - the death and resurrection of the Messiah.  The defining moment in human history.  And the disciples are squabbling over who gets to be first.

Luke’s record of this rest stop says this - Luke 18:34: 
“The disciples understood none of these things, and the meaning of this statement - Jesus’ explanation - was hidden from them - it got buried by their own self-focus - and they did not comprehend the things that were said.”

Jesus is on a mission.  He explains that mission to His disciples.  And they don’t get it because they’re focused on themselves.

There are two thoughts of application that I’d like to share.  Thinking about what took place at this rest stop on the way to Jerusalem.  Thinking about Palm Sunday - and the week ahead leading up to the crucifixion and resurrection - two thoughts of application that can be helpful for us to be thinking about.

The Sovereignty of God.  Say that with me, “The Sovereignty of God.”

A man opened a new business and his best friend sent him a floral arrangement.  The friend dropped in a few days later to visit his buddy and was pained to see that the flowers had a sign that read, “Rest In Peace.”  He called the florist to complain.  The florist said,
“It could be worse.  Somewhere in this city is an arrangement in a cemetery that reads, ‘Congratulations On Your New Location.’” (3)  I know.  Old Joke.  Bad Joke.

In Jesus’ explanation to His disciples there are at least 20 different predictions.  Where.  Who.  How.  When.  Its an amazing prophetic statement - fulfilled in every detail - accurate - with no mistakes.  Everything happened exactly the way Jesus said it would happen.

Jesus is heading to Jerusalem with purpose.  He’s got a mission to fulfill.  He’s been born to die.  Dying to live.  This isn’t a surprise.  Something thrown together at the last minute because things are going badly.  There’s purpose - planning.

Its important for us to be reminded that the events of Palm Sunday - and what follows - the events of the following week - Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection - were all ordained before creation.  What Jesus is predicting is really a description of future ordained history - the unfolding of history according to the will of the sovereign God.

When I was living in Portland there was a Roman Catholic monastery behind my house that was famous for its 14 stations of the cross.  Have you seen these?  At this monastery - which had incredibly beautiful gardens - there was this path that when a person walked down it they would pass by 14 different spots - stations - each with a statue depicting a scene from the passion - events following Palm Sunday.  The first was the scene where Jesus was condemned.  Second was when He had the cross laid on Him.  Third was when He fell the first time.  And so on through the crucifixion.  The fourteenth was when Jesus was laid in the tomb. 

The whole point of these stations - as I understand it - was to help people to think about the events that were taking place - to focus us on Jesus.  It takes time to walk and pause and think and pray.  That’s important for us - that we don’t miss the opportunity of this coming week.

In your sermon notes there’s a list of the events of Jesus’ last week along with the days when the events took place and the passages where we can read about them. (see end of sermon for list)  The reason that list is there is to encourage us - as we go through this week - to stop and think about those events - to think about Jesus.  Remembering Jesus’ prophecy - to help us see Palm Sunday and beyond - as a sequence of events sovereignly ordained - used by God to accomplish our salvation. 

The suggestion is for us to take the time to look at those events - think about what was going on and why.  To praise the sovereign God for what He’s done.  To thank Jesus for all that He did for us during that week.  And in prayer to ask God to show you the significance of those events for our own lives.

The second thought of application is
Trust.  Say that with me, “Trust.”

Several years ago I was with a group of tourists visiting
Bangkok, Thailand.  Bangkok is a very different place.  Any of you ever been there?  One of my overall impressions of Bangkok was a city - very dirty - very crowded - full of hopeless people.  Our hotel was like an island.  A modern high-rise in the middle of confusion, congestion, and poverty.

One night - about dusk - I left the hotel to look around and find a few bargains
.  I saw something that has stuck in my mind.  On the sidewalk - a few feet away from our hotel entrance - on the sidewalk up against the hotel wall - sat a boy - probably about 9 or 10 years old.  A boy who was begging.  This boy was crippled - his bones broken and pushing out at very odd angles.  In other words, his bones had been broken and no attempt had been made to set them right.

arents deliberately break the bones of their children so that their kids can earn more while begging.  The more theyre crippled - the more theyre pitied - especially by the tourists - the more pity the more money people will give to them.

A while back I was in
downtown San Francisco.  That’s not unusual.  What was unusual was that this time I just stood there - down on Market Street - with my back up against a building - and just watched the world go by.  San Francisco is a very different place.  That’s an understatement. 

Years ago we always had to dress-up if we were going into “the city”.  Downtown was a special place - opulent - surreal -  the opera , theaters - the financial district - business men in suits.  It’s not like that today
.   Just standing there, watching everything that was happening, was to vividly see how empty, how hopeless, how impoverished our society is today.

Merced - in many ways - is no different. 
I would suspect that each of us - wherever we live - if we open our eyes - we will see tremendous needs all around us.

When Jesus began His public ministry - He came to Nazareth - to the synagogue there.  Remember this scene?  The book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him.  Jesus opens the book and reads: 
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor.  He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18,19)

The scribes of the Pharisees saw Jesus eating with sinners and tax collectors, and they asked Jesus’ disciples,
“Why is He eating and drinking with those people?  They’re tax collectors and sinners!”  Jesus heard them and said, “Its not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are - what? sick;  I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  (Mark 2:17)  “I came for the poor people - for the captives - the blind - the oppressed.”

In the sovereignty of God’s plan Jesus is purposefully moving to Jerusalem - to Palm Sunday - to the events which lead to the cross - to resurrection - for the hopeless - the desperate - those who are bound and looking for release.  Who’s marriages are breaking.  Who’s families are coming apart.  Who’ve hit bottom and see no way up.  Those struggling with deep issues of the heart - wounds - grief.  For those the spiritually empty.

Jesus says,
“I came that they might have - what? life.  And have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)  Not just eternal forever and ever.  But right here.  Right now.   With God.

As the disciples are running - trying to keep up with Jesus - as Jesus is heading to Jerusalem - they’re amazed at His boldness.  Fearful of the consequences.  When Jesus stops and explains - yet again - God’s sovereign purpose - they don’t get it - why?  Because they’re focused on themselves.

What a tragedy - knowing the sovereignty of God - how that week worked out just as Jesus said it would - what a missed opportunity if we would focus on ourselves - all that binds us - brings fear to our lives - and miss all that Jesus offers to us as He enters Jerusalem.

The entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem is a very familiar scene for us
- almost routine.  On what we call Palm Sunday, close to 3 million pilgrims from all over the Jewish Diaspora are gathered in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover Festival - commemorating God’s salvation of His people from Pharaoh - from bondage in Egypt.  As Jesus enters, they cry out, “Hosanna to the Son of David.  Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest!” (Matthew 21:9)

There were political leaders who saw Jesus and the crowd and feared unrest.  Religious leaders who saw Jesus and feared their positions - retreating within their understanding of how God worked.  Crowds demanding God’s justice.  Children caught up in the celebration.  Young - old - ignorant - astute - humble - moral - spiritual - religious - arrogant - from their own understanding and perspective shouting out
“Hosanna!”  Yet, without a clue to what God was doing because while many had religion or a religious culture - their focus was themselves.

Then there were those who -
as Jesus entered the city - there were those who were with God.  They’re on the same page with God.  They understood that God was at work.   People who feared God - esteemed God.  Perhaps as students of history and prophecy - they had followed Jesus - listened to His teaching and believed that He is the Messiah.   For them “Hosanna!  Save us!” had a very deep and personal meaning.  They knew that Jesus had come to save sinners - to save them from their sins and lead them into a new kind of relationship with God. 

Jesus - the Wonderful Counselor - Mighty God - Eternal Father - Prince of Peace - Lord and Savior - Messiah - Christ - the Anointed One who is the answer to the deepest of all our needs - He enters and the question is asked of each of us - will you trust Him?  Whatever your need - emotional - psychological - physical - spiritual.  To celebrate Palm Sunday - is to trust that He has come for you.



1. Charles R. Swindoll, Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life
2. Charles R. Swindoll, Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes

3. Charles R. Swindoll, Swindoll’s Ultimate Book of Illustrations & Quotes

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible®, © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation.  Used by permission.



The Triumphant Entry Into Jerusalem
Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:29-44; John 12:12-19


Jesus Curses The Fig Tree
Matthew 21:18,19; Mark 11:12-14

Jesus Cleanses The Temple
Matthew 21:12,13; Mark 11:15-18


The Questioning Of Jesus’ Authority
Matthew 21:23-27; Mark 11:27-33; Luke 20:1-8

Jesus Teaching In The Temple
Matthew 21:28-23:39; Mark 12:1-44; Luke 20:9-21:4

Jesus Anointed
Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; John 12:2-11


The Plot Against Jesus
Matthew 26:14-16; Mark 14:10,11; Luke 22:3-6


The Last Supper
Matthew 26:17-29; Mark 14:12-25; Luke 22:7-20; John 13:1-38

Jesus Comforting His Disciples
John 14:1-16:33

Garden Of Gethsemane
Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22:40-46


Jesus’ Arrest And Trial
Matthew 26:47-27:26; Mark 14:43-15:15; Luke 22:47-23:25; John 18:2-19:16


Jesus’ Crucifixion And Death
Matthew 27:27-56; Mark 15:16-41; Luke 23:26-49; John 19:17-30

Jesus Is Buried In Joseph’s Tomb
Matthew 27:57-66; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:31-42