Your King is Coming… to Die

John 12:12-19

Events of this day very striking compared to nature of Jesus’ interaction with people before now. On a number of occasions – the deaf and dumb man, the blind man, one of the ten lepers, Jairus and his wife, the disciples on the mount of transfiguration – strictly warned them not to tell what they had experienced. After feeding the 5000, people were convinced he was “the Prophet who was to come into the world” and set about to forcibly make him king. Instead of receiving their acclaim he withdrew from them, foiling their improper plan. All of this to fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy (Isaiah 42:2;Matthew 12:19) that he would “not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street.”

Yet here, for probably the only time in his adult life, he rode a donkey rather than walk to his destination; even more uncharacteristic was his allowing such a stir to be made that his enemies claimed “the whole world has run after him”.John 12:19Crowds of people shouting and paving the road with their garments and palm branches, children in the temple crying “Hosanna to the Son of David”, the entire city of Jerusalem on edge, Pharisees calling on Jesus to put an end to the uproar.

Hear the shouts, feel the tension and animosity, see the range of emotions cross Jesus face as he receives a hero’s welcome from a crowd that doesn’t fully understand what they are doing in a city that has its heart obstinately set against him. But in reality he is the king like no other with a kingdom like no other, having authority and power like no other, and having a task like no other.

A. the king like no other vv.13-15a


riding a donkey, not a horse


sitting on borrowed clothes on a borrowed donkey, wearing only the robe of a teacher; not the distinguished appearance expected of a ruler

speaking peace (cf.Luke 19:38; Zech. 9:9-10)

proclaiming the truth of the Gospel; his people would submit peacefully to his rule

B. a kingdom like no other vv.15b-16, 19 (vv.16, 19 unique)

universal in scope – the nations, from sea to sea (Zech. 9:10)

a real king with a real kingdom and real subjects

spiritual, not earthly (temporal)

his kingdom will have nothing in common with the pomp, splendor, wealth, and power of the world; and it was proper that this should be made known by an outward manifestation, that all might be fully assured that it is spiritual.Calvin

not only differing in appearance from earthly kingdoms, having different origin and qualities –John 18:36

not immediately recognized

unwitting fulfillment of prophecy

prophecy not applied to Jesus by disciples until after the fact

consequently failed to give them hope during dark hours later in the week

C. authority like no other v.13

comes in the name of the Lord

The champion had done everything “ in the name of the Lord”: in that name he had routed all his adversaries, and had risen to the throne, and in that name he had now entered the temple to pay his vows. We know who it is that cometh in the name of the Lord beyond all others. In the Psalmist’s days he was The Coming One, and he is still The Coming One, though he hath already come. We are ready with our hosannas both for his first and second advent; our inmost souls thankfully adore and bless him and invoke upon his head unspeakable joys. Treasury of David, Psalm 118

by divine commission

“This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” John 6:29

“I have not spoken on my own, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given me a command” John 12:49

“I have finished the work which you gave me to do” John 17:4

“The Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world” 1 John 4:14

with divine authority

“the Father has given to the Son …authority to execute judgment” John 5:27

“you have given him authority over all flesh” John 17:2

“all authority has been given to me in heaven and earth” Matthew 28:18

had the authority

to teach in a unique way – “as one having authority, and not as the scribes” Mark 1:22

to command demons – “with authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him” Mark 1:27

to forgive sin – (the paralytic) “Son, your sins are forgiven” Mark 2:5

to govern nature – “Peace, be still” Mark 4:39

to bring order to the temple Mark 11:28

D. power like no other vv.17-18 (v.17 unique)

able to do miracles like no other

“Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind” John 9:32

“no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him” John 3:2

able to raise the dead

like Lazarus

many were part of the crowd because of Jesus’ miracles – those who were present and others who had heard about them

like you and me

the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live.” John 5:25

we like them should be continually testifying (bearing witness) of the wonderful and amazing things Jesus has done in our lives

E. a task like no other vv.31-33

to be glorified through death

not that of a martyr

but of a willing sacrifice

glorified by

dealing with sin

as awful and powerful as sin is, God is greater and has the answer for it

defeating Satan

as powerful as Satan’s hold on the sinner, God’s hold on him is stronger

dying in the sinner’s place

as awful as the penalty for sin is, only God could and did endure it that we might live

Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, to save his people from their sins. Are you one of his people? Has he saved you from your sins? If not, he still stands waiting with arms outstretched to receive all who come to him by faith. Come to him now, throw yourself on his mercy, beg his forgiveness for your sin and cleansing from all your unrighteousness. Then you can join your brothers and sisters in Christ, raising your voice in praise to the King, the Lord of heaven and earth who is our Redeemer.


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