Not Too High And Lofty For Sinners

Text: Matthew 21:1-9

In the name of Jesus: Amen.

He is a peculiar King.  Yes, our Lord Jesus Christ is peculiar because He is not like other kings or rulers.  He is not like other prestigious people of influence.  He is not like the politicians and celebrates of our day and age. 

You see, Jesus, unlike all of these individuals, is humble.  Yes, He is so low and humble that no burdened sinner is driven away from Him as if He is too high and lofty for sinners. 

We hear about this peculiar humility in this morning’s Gospel reading from Matthew.  That is to say; when Jesus came into the city of Jerusalem, there was no private jet, no limousine, and no security detail, but instead, a donkey and a colt.  Furthermore, there was no red carpet with Armani or Calvin Klein suits, but a dirty road with palm branches and typical first-century garments. 

And unlike the kings, rulers, politicians, and celebrates throughout every generation, the Lord Jesus Christ did not keep away from the people.  He did not stand at a distance with apathy toward the crowds. There were no crowd barriers between Jesus and the people.  He was not on some center stage, separated from the masses of people with crowd controlling security guards.  Instead, Jesus rode into Jerusalem – He rode into the midst of the people who were gathering to see Him.  He did this to fulfill the Old Testament prophecy that stated,
“Look, your king is coming to you, humble, and mounted on a donkey and a colt, the foal of a donkey.”       

There is no doubt about it, the Lord Jesus Christ is indeed a peculiar King.  You and I do not seek Him, but He seeks us.  We do not go out to find Him, but He finds you and me.  He is not high and lofty, but humble and meek. He does not chastise us to come to Him so that we might give Him our best, but He graciously comes to us to so that He might give us His best.

Now, all of this is quite typical of our Lord.  He is quite the opposite of all the other kings, rulers, celebrates, politicians, and prestigious people of the world.  He most certainly comes to His people and He comes in humility.  He comes to serve, not to be served.   And He continually comes to His church every single day of every single week – 365 days a year. 

Now, do you realize what this means?  It means that Jesus comes for each and everyone one of you!  It is personal with Jesus.  But just like His humble coming into Jerusalem, some two-thousand years ago, Jesus comes to you with humility.  That is to say; Jesus comes to you this very day through His Word – His Word spoken through the mouth of a sinful insignificant pastor.  He comes to you today in modest bread and wine, to give you Himself.  And let’s not forget, Jesus came to you in simple water that was poured upon your head, marking you as one of His redeemed.  No laser shows, no fog machines, no countdowns, no pyrotechnics, no drumrolls, but rather, just simple humble Words and simple humble elements applied to you by an unimportant pastor.  This is the humility of Jesus and how He humbly engages His church. 

Tragically, though, we Christians can get a little bored with this humbleness of Christ and the church.  And let’s be honest, we are attracted to the theatrics.  Yes, we are quickly swayed and distracted by dramatic performances with extreme emotional behavior.  Like a fly attracted to bright lights, we Christians can easily dismiss or get bored with the humble ways of the church and seek after the dramatic and the impressive. 

Just think about this for a moment.  How much time, energy, and money do we use to see the kings, rulers, celebrates, and politicians of the world?  Whether it is a famous music artist or a famous athletic team or a visiting politician, we will drop everything we are doing.  We spend a fortune on tickets, get hotel rooms, and spend money on transportation to get close to them and maybe even touch one of these prestigious people who neither know us nor personally care for us, but are sure glad to take our time and money. 

Yes, we go through great inconveniences and a lot of money to draw near to so-called prestigious kings and their dramatic performances.  We do this while unfortunately grumbling at the so-called burdens of having to go to an hour meek church service where the King of the universe longs to gather near us.  Frankly stated, we will pay a fortune for the dazzle of one of the world’s so-called kings who gives us two hours of entertainment, but we then roll our eyes at a humble and tame church service where the King of the universe gives us His body and blood.  Lord have mercy on you and on me too. 

Dear friends, the nature of Jesus is that He comes for you and He comes in meekness and humility.  He did not come into Jerusalem riding arrogantly on a white horse, and He will not come to you in any other way than His humble and straightforward Word and Sacraments.  And the reason why He comes in humility is that He has no intention of making it seem that He is too important for you.  In other words, He does not come with flashiness or showiness as if He is trying to convince you that He is among Time Magazine’s most influential people of 2017.  He has no desire to ‘wow’ you and make you chase after Him.  He isn’t interested in popularity contests or what people think.  He does not care about being on the ‘A-squad.’  But rather, His only desire is to come in humility, so that no burdened sinner would be driven away from Him, as if He is too high and too lofty for sinners. 

What this means is that no matter how low you are in your sin, no matter how much you have failed, and no matter how ugly your sin, Jesus comes to you in meekness, gentleness, and simplicity, so that He might not drive you away in fear, but forgive you.  Christ Jesus came for the sin-sick – you and me. 

Dear friends, unlike the rulers of our day and age, Jesus comes to you this very day, for your well-being.  He comes to you this morning as your own.  He comes to you so that He might deliver you from sin and death, and thus become your King.  In coming to you in His preached Word and Sacraments, He comes not to take from you but to give to you.  He comes not to impress you or entertain you, but to forgive you.  He comes not to get you to reach out to Him but He comes to reach out to you in delivering His gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation. 

Baptized Saints, do not despair. Yes, the Lord comes to you in His humble Word and Sacraments every church service to grace you with reassurance and comfort, and to bring you to Himself by His love and kindness.  Do not forsake the Lord’s church services as many are in the habit of doing.  But know that the Lord longs to meet you personally here at Zion, in the Divine Services.  

The Lord is indeed a peculiar King – a King who offers Himself up to you and be your possession, that whatever He is and has may be yours. 

This is your King, coming to you – humbly in the Word and Sacraments. 

In the name of Jesus: Amen.

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