The King Is Come – Gospel in Life

The King Is Come

Tim Keller |  March 2, 1997

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  • Prophecy
Matthew 21:1-17
RS 74-1


What we have here is the story of Jesus’ triumphal entry. We’re going to see three things in this passage about the kingship of Christ. First of all, we learn here the confrontational nature of the kingship of Christ; secondly, the paradoxical nature; and thirdly, the transformational nature. Confrontational: “… your king …” Paradoxical: “… your king comes, gentle …” Transformational: “But he is coming. He is on the way.”

Matthew 21:1–17

On Palm Sunday, Jesus enters Jerusalem, beginning the last week of his life. The people celebrate him as the “Son of David”, fulfilling old prophecies. This surprising event makes the disciples question things and highlights Jesus’ authority and unique style of leadership.

1. The confrontational nature

Jesus displays a mix of deep kindness and bold confidence. He shows love and care, but also makes big claims about being God. He asks for a clear decision from people, to either fully accept or reject him as their king. His power isn’t like magic; it works through people humbly submitting to him.

2. The paradoxical nature

Jesus rides a donkey, showing humility and vulnerability, not like a usual king. Sin is when we try to be God, but salvation is God sacrificing himself for our wrongdoings. This shows the Christian message of being saved through weakness, not strength. Christianity teaches that God takes our place, leading to a new understanding of salvation that encourages humility and courage, not pride or resentment.

3. The transformational nature

Jesus’ leadership is both confronting and surprising. He’s always here, but his rule isn’t fully here yet. The palm leaves represent the hope of a time when Jesus rules completely, changing the world into what it should be. Accepting Jesus as a kind but challenging King can bring about a remarkable change in us.



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