Jesus is King (not king)

Josh Buice

Yesterday morning, I preached from Mark 11:1-11 in our series through the Gospel of Mark.  The passage is focused on what has become known as the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem.  The setting puts Jesus entering the city on Sunday and this will be the final week of His life before the crucifixion.  In this passage, Mark puts on display some important information about Jesus that must not be overlooked.  This text is full of information that transcends Jesus riding on the back of a donkey into the city.

Scripture Reveals Jesus as Lord (Vs. 1-7)

In the text, we see a clear declaration by Jesus regarding His Lordship.  In the directions provided to the disciples, Jesus claims to be Lord as He directs them to tell anyone who confronts them for untying the animal that “The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately” (Mark 11:3).  The word used by Jesus for Himself is the Greek word κύριος and has in mind more than an earthly master or lord. This was Jesus’ declaration of His Lordship. Jesus was not the owner of the colt, but we can be certain that He was Lord of the colt.

As the two disciples go off into the town as directed by Jesus, they found the donkey and colt there just as Jesus had described.  When they untied the animal, they were confronted by people standing nearby.  The disciples responded by saying, “The Lord has need of it” (Luke 19:34).  The disciples had been to school on this issue for quite some time now.  They had watched Jesus calm the raging sea, rebuke the violent wind, raise Lazarus from the dead, heal people who were crippled with disease, restore blind eyes to sight, and many other signs and wonders.  Therefore, just as Jesus commanded – they responded to these men and directed them to the authority of the Lord.  Jesus is more than a good man, a great teacher, a prophet, or a spiritual guru.  Jesus is Lord!

Scripture Reveals Jesus as King (Vs. 8-11)

Jesus is not just any lord – He is Lord.  Jesus is not just any king – He is King!  As Jesus mounts the animal and prepares to ride into the city, the people covered the back of the donkey with their cloaks.  They covered the street with their cloaks and leafy branches.  They were treating Jesus in a kingly manner.  As the crowds grew – as Jesus rode into the city of Jerusalem – they were shouting loudly from Psalm 118, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest” (Mark 11:9-10)!  They were fulfilling a 500 year old prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 in the process.  The word Hosanna – (ὡσαννά) is a shout of praise – literally, “help” or “save, I pray.”

Psalm 118 is one of the top six most quoted psalms in all of the New Testament.  It’s rich with Messianic prophecy.  Although the origin of this worship song is unclear, it was sung at the Feast of Tabernacles and the Feast of Passover.  Here as Jesus is riding into the city of Jerusalem in preparation for Passover – the people are singing loudly from this worship song “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest” (Mark 11:9-10)!

As we consider this entire scene, we must remember the overarching context.  It’s Sunday as the people loudly shout Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem with words of praise.  They had recognized Him as the coming Deliverer and promised One of Zechariah 9.  The sad reality is that they failed to see Jesus as the connection to Isaiah’s prophecy in Isaiah 53.  They were too focused on their immediate need of deliverance from foreign oppression and control.  They needed deliverance, but they failed to see their need for deliverance from sin.  Jesus was not coming to lead a military uprising to deliver the people.  Instead, He was riding in on a donkey – in humility – to deliver the people from their sin.

It’s quite probable that some of these people who were shouting praises of Jesus and hailing Him as the Son of David on Sunday were there in the crowd shouting “crucify” on Friday.  Jesus didn’t fit their view of a king.  They failed to see Jesus as King because they were looking for a king.  They came so close to Jesus, but finished so far away.

Consider the words of Jesus in Matthew 7:21-23 – “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. [22] On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ [23] And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

It would be most profitable to examine yourself and see if you are in the faith.  More than one person has gone off into eternity with a wrong perspective of Jesus.  According to the Bible, Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords.  As Master and King, we must submit our lives to Him.


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Author Jesus is King (not king)

Josh Buice

Pastor Pray's Mill Baptist Church

Josh Buice is the founder and president of G3 Ministries and serves as the pastor of Pray's Mill Baptist Church on the westside of Atlanta. He is married to Kari and they have four children, Karis, John Mark, Kalli, and Judson. Additionally, he serves as Assistant Professor of Preaching at Grace Bible Theological Seminary. He enjoys theology, preaching, church history, and has a firm commitment to the local church. He also enjoys many sports and the outdoors, including long distance running and high country hunting. He has been writing on Delivered by Grace since he was in seminary and it has expanded with a large readership through the years.