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Yes and Amen to the Promise of Mercy

Sermon Series:

Always Yes

Ryan Kimmel
Ryan Kimmel

Lead Pastor

Peace Church

Main Passage:
Matthew 20:29-34


Today is the day that the Lord has made. So let us rejoice and be glad in it. And everyone said, amen.


So here's what I want to do. It is Palm Sunday. I want to start by talking about what Holy Week is. Today's the start of Holy Week. And you may be sitting there thinking everyone knows what Holy Week is. You may be sitting there thinking, don't waste time talking about what Holy Week is. We all know. Let's just get to our passage.

Here's what I'd say to you. If you think that, you've just exposed how out of touch you are. It is, you cannot assume anymore that the culture at large knows anything about the Christian faith. Those days have passed. I had a conversation with a guy the other day at the store who had a cross necklace, a pretty profound cross necklace, and a cross tattoo on his forearm, all to find out that yes, he knew that the cross had like some sort of connection with the Christian faith, but he didn't know that Jesus died on the cross, let alone why Jesus died on the cross.

And this is a dude wearing a cross necklace with a cross tattoo just because the dollar store has chocolate crosses that you can put in Easter baskets. Doesn't mean the world knows anything about the Christian faith. And so let me just say this real quick. If you are here and this is all new to you, or you have no idea what we're talking about, you don't know what Palm Sunday is, you don't know what Holy Week is, you don't know any of that, let me just say this. I'm so thankful you're here. I'm so glad that you're here. I wanna just share with you what Holy Week is because it's something pretty exciting for us as Christians, amen? Amen, so here's what Holy Week is.

Holy Week is what they say is like often, like it's often said like the most holy week of the Christian faith. Now, Holy Week culminates next Sunday with Easter. And the reason that's so special for us is because that's the day that Jesus Christ rose from the grave. All right, that's what I was looking for. But before we get to there, we have to wind back the clocks a week to today, which is Palm Sunday. And so here's what happens. Jesus Christ enters into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. This is the culmination of three years of ministry. He's riding on the back of a donkey as the humble king into Jerusalem. We call it the triumphal entry because as Pastor Logan just taught us, much fanfare, much celebration, they're laying palm branches. People are happy to welcome Jesus into Jerusalem.

Now, this is such a profound story. It's recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. So Jesus, our humble king, enters into Jerusalem, but we cannot forget this. It's going to be very important for our story here today. You can't forget this. Jesus enters into Jerusalem, seemingly to celebrate Passover. That's why many people would already gather there. But more than that, Jesus enters into Jerusalem because He's come to fulfill His mission. He's come to die on the cross in our place for the sins of the world. So Jesus enters into Jerusalem, very much knowing he's going to die by the end of the week. So he enters in Jerusalem, that powerful story on the back of the donkey,

people welcome him, celebration, fanfare, palm branches, they cry out Hosanna, which means save or to save or savior. And this starts Holy Week. And throughout Holy Week, if you read your Bibles, you see that Jesus gives some very profound teachings while in Jerusalem. But then Thursday comes and Thursday is what we call Maundy Thursday. And this is where we see Jesus have his last supper, his final meal with his disciples. Now we call it Maundy Thursday because that comes from the Latin word for mandate. Because what we see here is that Jesus has the last supper. He institutes the first communion. And with that, Jesus ushers in the new covenant, Jesus gives the great new mandate, which we all know, right, is to love each other.

"The Savior of the world, that's His great mandate, go and love one another."

After the supper, Jesus is arrested, where the next day, Good Friday, is the day that Jesus dies on the cross for our sins. We'll be celebrating that with a special Good Friday service this week. We'll talk about that later on. I really, really hope you come and join us for that celebration. But on Good Friday, we see that Jesus Christ takes the punishment we deserve when he dies in our place on the cross. And then we have Silent Saturday, the day where Jesus' dead body lies silent in the tomb.

So Good Friday is day one, Silent Saturday is day two, which leads us to the third day, Easter Sunday, when we see the single most important event, the greatest miracle to date in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, where he triumphed over Satan, sin, and death itself, rose again, thus proving he was who he said he was and thus guaranteeing everything that he promised us, including our new and eternal life.

That's the culmination of Holy Week, which begins today with Palm Sunday. But I'd like to do today, what I want to do today is not necessarily look at the triumphal entry. Pastor Logan helped us look at that today with the kids. I want to look at the story that happens right before that. Right before Jesus enters in Jerusalem, knowing He's going to die, I want to look at the story that happens right before that. This is a story that when you read that story and you are reminded that Jesus is going to die and he knows that, that helps us to read the story and see that it's all the more somber, sober, and special. Our series that we are in for Easter, this four-week series, is called Always Yes.

And the reason is because this comes from a powerful passage that we see in 2 Corinthians 1, verses 19 and 20, where it says this. It says, For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, was not yes and no, but in Him it is always yes. For all the promises of God find their yes in Him. All of God's promises find their fulfillment in Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 1:19-20

19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. 20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.

And in this series, we'll see how on Easter we see the yes to God's promise of grace. On Good Friday, we're going to see God's yes to the promise of justice. But today, on this Palm Sunday, we'll talk about God's yes to the promise of mercy. So if you have your Bibles,

would you please turn to Matthew chapter 20. We'll look at verses 29 to 34.

Now, as you're turning there, here's what's happening. This is right before Jesus enters into Jerusalem and what he's doing, he's actually, he's leaving Jericho, not the same Jericho you learned about in Sunday school with Joshua. This is a separate Jericho. It's a place right by Jerusalem. He's coming out of the neighboring town of Jericho, and as he's leaving, with his eyes set on Jerusalem, with his mission in mind, we see a little interaction that's interrupted on Jesus' journey to Jerusalem. That's what we're going to look at today. So would you hear God's word?

Matthew 20:29-34

29 And as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed him. 30 And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord,[a] have mercy on us, Son of David!” 31 The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!” 32 And stopping, Jesus called them and said, “What do you want me to do for you?”33 They said to him, “Lord, let our eyes be opened.” 34 And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him.

This is God's Word. Let's pray and we'll continue. Let's pray. Father God we come before you on this Palm Sunday, as we remember that Jesus not only rode into Jerusalem, into his city as king, but he rode as our merciful Savior, doing for us what we could not do for ourselves as he traded his life for ours. As we look at this passage today, Holy Spirit, we pray that you continue to be with us. Help us to see not just the beauty here, but the power of the truth of who Jesus is, that we might find our rest, our joy, and our salvation in his name, because it's in his name that we pray these things. And everyone said, Amen and Amen.

So, so, so much we could talk about in this passage, but let me give you this one thought here this morning. It's this. Jesus, our triumphant King, is God's yes and amen to the promise of mercy. Let me just say this. If you don't know Christ as Lord and Savior, if you don't know Him as King and Savior, I hope that today you will see more than just the fact that you're missing out.

My prayer is that you'll see your great need for Him and that you'll turn to Him and cry out for Him just as these blind beggars did. As we look at this beautiful, simple passage today, let's look at three things from this passage. First one is this, that broken or blind by sin, we all need to see our need for mercy. Second thing we'll look at is rejected or ridiculed by people, we still need to seek the mercy of Jesus. Everyone say of Jesus. And third thing, determined or focused on mission, Jesus will always stop to extend us mercy.

1. Broken or blinded by sin we need to see our need for mercy (vv. 29-30)

2. Rejected or reviled by people we still need to seek the mercy of Jesus (v. 31)

3. Busy or bound to mission, Jesus will stop to show us mercy (vv. 32-34)

1. Broken or blinded by sin we need to see our need for mercy (vv. 29-30)

So let's look at this first part. Broken or busy or bound by sin, Jesus will stop to show us mercy. Third thing, let's go back to the first part. Broken or blinded by sin, we all need to see our need for mercy. Let's clarify what mercy is here. Now mercy, mercy is not getting what we do deserve.

"Mercy is not getting what we do deserve."

Like when you're speeding and a cop pulls you over and does not give you a ticket, that police officer is being merciful to you by not giving you what you do deserve. What you do deserve is a ticket, but you don't get that. What you got instead was mercy. That's mercy. And that's what we're going to see in our first point here is broken or blinded by sin. We all need to see our need for mercy. So our passage, please keep your Bibles open. Let's look at this again. Verse 29 and they, meaning Jesus and his disciples, and they went out of Jericho, and a great crowd followed him. And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside. And when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, Lord have mercy on us, son of David. Now listen, the Bible says here that it wasn't just a crowd following Jesus, it was a great crowd.

Listen here. A great crowd was following Jesus, but only two people cried out for Him, cried out to Him. Two people who actually were not part of the crowd. I'm not saying that the crowd didn't have some true believers in their midst. I'm just saying that the Scriptures point out that it wasn't from within the crowd that people cried out to Jesus. It was from without the crowd.

Two people who were not part of the crowd that cried out to Jesus. A couple weeks ago, someone sent me this short little video they found online and It was this it was this girl had taken a video of herself now this girl had Jet black hair. I mean dyed black number one jet black hair Which was in stark contrast to her powder white face She had very thick black mascara on she had fishnet gloves on her hands with black painted fingernails it was just a video of herself and over over top of the video was this was this writing this text and it said this Said I love Jesus That's where you go, ah The reason you didn't say aww is because you know something else is coming. She said, I love Jesus, but the church doesn't love me. And it reminded me that even after 2000 years, some things never change. It's entirely possible to have a group of people following Jesus, but the ones who are actually crying out to Him are the ones rejected by that very crowd following Him. What these two blind beggars teach us is that even though they were blind, they were the ones who most clearly saw their need for mercy. This gothic girl on the video was willing to share before the whole world that she loved Jesus. She was more vocal for Jesus than many of you men are on the job site. So you tell me who's tougher. It's easy to get lost in the crowd and forget how desperately you need Jesus. It's easy to come to church and forget how much we are in need of the mercy of our Lord.

"So my question for you is, have you forgotten your need for God's mercy? We've forgotten how much we need to be saved from the judgment of our sins."

What God should give us is judgment. What God should give us is separation from Him. What God should give us is eternal punishment for our sins, but through Christ we get mercy instead. Now listen, when these beggars cried out for mercy, it's like they were saying, Jesus, we know we don't deserve you. We know we don't deserve your attention. We know we don't deserve your healing, but we're going to cry out anyway for something we don't deserve. We're going to cry out for mercy. These guys were blind because we live in a fallen world, broken by sin. Every aspect is tainted by sin. You know this, whether you're looking in the mirror or out in the world, you know things are not as they should be. Something is wrong. Something is broken. Everyone knows this. But Christianity provides a label for it. It's called sin. Everything from the human heart to the creation around us is broken by sin. We're all affected by this brokenness. It's not just out there. It's in our hearts. All of us have committed sin. But here's the question. Like those two beggars, are you blind enough to recognize that in your sin?

2. Rejected or reviled by people we still need to seek the mercy of Jesus (v. 31)

What you need is the mercy of God Because broken or blinded by sin we all need to see our need for mercy which leads to the second thought here Is that rejected or reviled by people we still need to seek the mercy of jesus now listen here The reason this is so powerful is because the person the only person that can actually give you mercy Is the person who actually also has the power

to pass judgment and punishment upon you.

If they can't give you judgment or punishment, it's not mercy they're showing you, it's just simply kindness. Jesus is the righteous King who sits on the throne, who judges all the earth, and he can pass judgment. This is why we need to seek him for mercy, seek the mercy of Jesus. These beggars, they cry out to the most popular guy in the city and the people around Jesus are like, don't bother him, you bunch of rejects. He does not have time for you.

Look at verse 31. Look at this. The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silence, but I love this. Listen to this. But they cried out all the more, Lord have mercy on us. Do not let the world get you down. Don't let the world intimidate you and make you stay silent about Jesus. Cry out to Him, worship Him. Now is the time to cry out even if you are rejected by the cool kids. Because remember what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 5. Listen to what He said in verses 11-12. He said, blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Then listen to what he says in verse 12. Listen to what Jesus says. He says, rejoice and be glad. Rejoice and be glad when people hate you because of Jesus. Rejoice and be glad for your reward is great in heaven for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Jesus saying, when you take heat for following me, that's a blessing.

"Some of you Christians are not experiencing the blessing of being mocked for following Jesus because nobody knows you're following Jesus. You're hiding in the crowd that's so-called following Jesus. But we need to be the ones crying out to Him."

Sitting in church makes you a Christian as much as standing in the dirt makes you a tree. These guys cried out and the crowd told them to be quiet. And some of you have never had the blessing of being told to be quiet about Jesus because you stay quiet about Jesus. And the crowd rebuked them all the more, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more. So here's a modern day version of what was happening. These guys were posting on their social media about Jesus and they kept posting and they started losing followers. So you know what they did? They started posting all the more. That's what is happening here. Church rejected or ridiculed by people. We still need to seek the mercy of Jesus because the crowd cannot save you. The crowd does not want to save you. The crowd will not show you mercy. So cry out to the one who will show you mercy. Cry out to the one who can show you mercy.

3. Busy or bound to mission, Jesus will stop to show us mercy (vv. 32-34)

Because remember this, busy or bound to mission, Jesus will stop to show us mercy. So these guys are rebuked by the crowd. They're calling out, they're rebuked by the crowd, and they cry out all the more, and then look what happens. and stopping Jesus called them. Let's never forget what's actually happening in the story here.

I tried to stress it early on, but maybe you've already forgotten. Jesus is leaving his last stop before his final destination of Jerusalem, where he knows he is going to be crucified. His entire life and his three-year mission is coming to its fulfillment. It's coming down to the wire. He's leaving his last stop. I know, you know, he can see Jerusalem in his mind. He is focused on where he's going. It's all coming down to this. And these two rejected people cry out to him and he stops. He was moving and he stops to give his attention to them.

You have to remember that Christ is spiritually truly carrying the weight of the world. He knew he was not going to just be arrested. He was going to be rejected by the very people who are about to welcome him. And then he was going to be tortured Roman style. And the Romans were sadistic. He was about to face the most gruesome death ever conceived by the human mind. He was going to die on the cross and he knew this and he's walking out of Jericho, walking towards his death, busy, bound to mission. And yet he stops to turn to two that the world had rejected to give them his full attention. Jesus called to them and said, what do you want me to do for you?

And they said to him, Lord, let our eyes be opened. And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed Him. This is why I follow this guy. There's no one like him. Busy or bound to mission, he stops to show us mercy. You'll find no one else like this because there is no one else like this. He is the only way. Let's not forget that while I'm emphasizing Jesus' compassion and His mercy and His empathy here and His selflessness, don't forget here, Jesus is the miracle worker. He did in an instant what no one else was able to do for these guys. These guys weren't able to do for themselves. Only Christ could do this.

These blind men were given back their sights. But mind you, it was their very own blindness that led them to see their need for mercy. This was the very thing that led them to follow Jesus. Because Christ is not just a, remember this, Christ is not just a worker of miracles, he's not just a teller of truth, he's not just the greatest moral teacher. Jesus Christ is God. Amen. See, back in the Old Testament, when Moses was speaking with Yahweh, when Moses was speaking with the Lord. Moses wanted to see God. There's this beautiful, powerful interaction that happens.

I'll throw it up on the screen. This is from Exodus chapter 33. Moses said, please show me your glory. And God said, I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name, the Lord. And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy. But he said, you cannot see my face for no man, for man should not see me and live.

So this is, this is quite fascinating here. Moses wants to see God. He asked God to see him, but God says, you can't see me and live. God saying, I am too spiritual for your physical eyes. I'm too holy for your sinful eyes. But not only this, notice God makes a declaration about himself that's connected with a story about God revealing himself. In this passage, God is talking about revealing himself.

He's going to reveal his goodness, but he can't reveal his face, his fullness to Moses because it would kill Moses. But yet even in the midst of this story about God revealing his entirety of who he is. He doesn't mention love.

He mentions grace and mercy. These are the things that God promises that will come out of his own nature. We're going to talk about grace on Easter Sunday, but mercy, what we see here in Jesus is the fulfillment of this declaration of this promise that God made about mercy so long ago. And Christ, and in Christ not only do we see mercy, but Christ is the living God. Jesus said in John chapter 14, verse nine, he said, whoever has seen me has seen the Father. Meaning the spiritual second member of the Trinity.

"God the Son took on flesh, stepped into the world, the Son of God, so that we could look upon Him and not die. Not just look upon Him and not die, but look upon Him and have life, eternal life. And through this also, we see the fulfillment of this promise that God made so many thousands of years ago, that in Christ we have the fullness of mercy."

So may you, on this Palm Sunday, not just be reminded of the one who gives you mercy. May you be reminded that this is only found in Jesus Christ. Jesus, the Son of God, our triumphant King, is God's yes and amen to the promise of mercy. What's interesting is about a crowd is that I'd say oftentimes what a crowd is really following is each other. Crowds follow a crowd. But these two guys show us that we don't follow a crowd. We cry out to Jesus. And so if you are a follower of Jesus on this Palm Sunday, as we close in worship, may you cry out. May you not follow the crowd. Because Jesus, our triumphant King, is God's yes and amen to the promise of mercy, the mercy that all of us need so desperately. Amen? Amen.

Amen. Let's stand and let's sing and cry out to our God of mercy. Would you bow your heads and let's pray. Father, we come before you on this Palm Sunday. We are thinking about and we are thankful for the fact that Jesus is the fulfillment of the promise of mercy, that Lord, that you do not give us what we deserve. What we deserve is judgment and separation and hell, but you give us life, eternal life. You give us a relationship with you. You give us what we do not deserve. And so Father, I pray here and now that the people in this room who are your followers, we would not follow the crowd. We'd be like those beggars and we would cry out to you here and now with all of our breath. Holy Spirit, fill this place. Be our worship leader as we worship the God on high. And it's in Jesus' name we pray these things. And everyone said, Amen. Church, let's worship together. Church, let's worship together.

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