Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes


Where Peace Begins
Pastor Steve Schell
Luke 19:28-44
In this election year how many of us put our real hope for peace on the prospect of finding the right president? It seems many assume that if we could just find the right person to lead us or the right military strategy, peace would finally come to our land. And every election year those longings arise again—and Christians aren’t exempt. Over the past couple of decades we’ve noticeably become more and more politically active, thinking that if we could only elect someone who is “right on the issues” our nation, if not the whole world, would become a utopia. But those “right” people never seemed to arrive do they? Either those we support lose or when elected prove to be a disappointment, some more, some less.

This weekend we are celebrating Palm Sunday. This Friday is called “Good Friday” because it was the day Jesus was crucified for our sins, and next weekend we’ll celebrate the day on which Jesus was resurrected which is often called “Easter.” On Palm Sunday Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a young donkey proclaiming Himself as the promised Messiah as described by the prophet Zechariah (Zec 9:9, 10). As He rode down the Mount of Olives toward the Eastern Gate, He was “preaching” a message to the great crowds who were following Him. He was telling them the peace they were seeking would not arrive through a politician or a military commander. It would begin in their hearts with their own salvation, and then after they were changed they would be sent to carry God’s peace to the ends of the earth. They didn’t listen to Him at the time, but the real question before us this Palm Sunday is, will we?
1. Trying to make Jesus king (Jn 6:14-21)
• When it got dark He walked 3-4 miles across the stormy lake and then got into the boat and rode the rest of the way to Capernaum.

2. Zechariah’s Messiah (Zec 9:9, 10)
• Jesus is dramatically enacting the prophecy of Zechariah as a way of preaching to the people.
• The Messiah God would send would bring peace by first changing the hearts of people through salvation.
• God rejects a violent military solution.
• When His people are saved, His peace will spread to the rest of the world by transformed people (Ac 1:8).

3. Palm Sunday (Lk 19:28-37)
• John 12:13 “branches of palm trees”
• Hasmonean kingdom (“Maccabees”)
- 164-61 B.C. (independent Jewish state)
• Alexander the Great / Greek / Antiochus
• Pompey / Rome

4. The Missing Stone (Lk 19:37-40)
• Psalm 118:22 “The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone”
• Humans always tend to look for human solutions to their problems (politicians, military leaders, philosophers, scientists, etc.)
• The spiritual dimension must be healed first
• Even churches try to help people get their lives straightened out by giving them biblical wisdom (keys to success, prosperity, happiness…) before leading them to their Savior.
• This breeds disappointment in people who try to “work” biblical principles, only to find they aren’t working as advertised. Some leave Christianity and go looking elsewhere.
• Where do you and I turn first when we need help? To God or to humans? To God or ourselves?
• Do we look inward (self), outward (people) or upward (God)?
• Where do we turn when our family is in crisis, when our lives are in turmoil, when we are sick or poor or in danger?
• God’s answer will always be to start putting our spiritual life in order, then the other dimensions of life will begin the process of coming into peace.

5. The Missed Opportunity (Lk 19:41-44)
• “If you had repented and believed on Me, the terrible destruction that awaits you would not come upon you”
• By looking to humans for your peace, you’ll actually bring destruction.

6. Questions
• Name one area where you need peace in your life. What is the first step God wants you to take?
• If politicians aren’t going to save our country, what could God do to turn this nation around? How does He want you to help?
• Why is prayer a last resort for so many people? Why should it be the first place we turn?
• Have you ever tried to “fix” somebody without first leading them to Christ?

 


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