Sunday, June 2, 2024

The Success of Jesus


Just a few days before Jesus was crucified, He fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9 by entering the city of Jerusalem riding a young colt while children cried “Hosanna to the Son of David!” (Save now! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!) A customary acclamation at the Feast of Tabernacles. (Psalm 118:25 “Save now O LORD … send prosperity now.”) 


The scribes, the Pharisees, and the chief priests were angry when they saw the children praising Jesus and welcoming Him as the promised Messiah


Matthew 21 NKJV

12 ¶  Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.

13  And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ”

14  Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.

15  But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant

16  and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?”


Jealous and insecure people often hate those who are loved and praised by others. Jesus was often hated. At times He was unjustly accused and viciously attacked by the Pharisees and those shielded by the current people in power. Nonetheless, Jesus never quit helping people. The wonderful things Jesus said and did felt like threats to those in charge.


While some were hearing things that made them mad, Jesus was hearing things that made Him glad. The scribes heard blasphemy while Jesus heard people praising GodGod loved what He heard while the Pharisees hated what they heard. Jesus was hearing with God’s ears … how about you?


Jesus wants us to see things the way God sees them and to not be conformed to the world. I’ve studied the Life of Jesus almost every day for more than 45 years and have catalogued critical steps Jesus took that led Him to be successful in every endeavor, including the cross.


What can we do to be more like Christ?


1. Jesus never pointed His life in the wrong direction.
a. How did He do this?
b. He knew the decision He should make because He knew the direction He was going.
c. Jesus knew where He was going and never took a step that would lead Him farther away from the plan of God for His life


Never step out of the light or into a shadow of God’s will for your life.


Psalms 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.


d. The Word of God gave Jesus the direction He should go.


2. Jesus never let the devil talk Him out of taking the next step.
a. When people and problems start talking loud, you talk louder.
b. Don’t let the devil finish a sentence. It’s not rude to interrupt him and tell him to be quiet.


Mark 1:25  But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!”

c. Jesus quoted a Psalm of David in the passage we read earlier from Matthew 21. He clarified the meaning of perfected praise by connecting it with ordained strength. 
d. Did you know that every time you praise the Lord out loud you get stronger, and the devil has to shut up?


Psalms 8:2  Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, Because of Your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.


Don’t let the devil talk you out of taking your next step. Commit to prayer and be strengthened through praise and worship. Nehemiah 8:10 says that the joy of the Lord is your strength! Both joy and strength are connected to praise. 


Every time the devil says you can’t do it, sing Him a song about Jesus.


3. Learn to be still and let God be God.
a. Just tell yourself, “God’s got this.”
b. He has more invested than we do.
c. Righting injustices is His specialty.
d. Justice is His superpower.
e. When you can’t do anything, talk to Jesus in your head, and do what Jesus did … 


Psalms 46:10  Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!


A part of wisdom and maturity is to know when to speak and when to let God do the speaking for you. One of the deciding factors in what to do, or not do in some cases, is to ask yourself the question: Will what I am about to do or say make things better or make them worse? (Not, “Will this make me feel better if I say or do this … but will this make the situation better?”)


If what you do makes it worse or leads you farther from the plan of God for your life, be still and praise the Lord, if even in your head for a few moments before you make a decision


Then do what God wants you to do and that will be a success.


Only God can judge success. He is the only one who really knows what He wants you to do.


• Never point your life in the wrong direction.
• Don’t let people or problems talk you out of taking the next step.
• Learn to be still and let God be God.