Sermon Starters

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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor

Sixth Sunday In Lent
Sunday of the Passion/Palm Sunday
Series B

Option #1: "The Proper Prevention of Crying Stones"
Luke 19:28-40
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, M.Div.

Note:  this Sermon Starter departs from the ILCW text to use one of the historic Palm Sunday texts:

1) The Right Destination--Jerusalem: Lk 18:31-33; Heb 12:2

2) The Right Transportation--vv28-34, Zech 9:9; Ps 50:10; Acts 10:36

3) The Right Pavement--vv35-36: 2 Kings 9:13

4) The Right Praise--vv37-40--Lk 7:16; also 1 Kings 8:56; Ps 118:22-26; Eph 1:7-8, 2:14-18, 5:9-14; Col 1:19-20; re stones: Ps 96:11, 98:7-9; Isa 55:12; Matt 3:9-10, 21:15-16, 27:51-53

Holman Bible Dictionary: The triumphal entry is of vital significance in understanding the messianic mission of Jesus. Prior to this moment, Jesus had refused to allow any public acknowledgment of His being the Messiah. By conducting His ministry outside Jerusalem, He had avoided further intensification of conflict with the Jewish religious leaders. Now, however, the time was at hand. The opponents of Jesus understood the strong messianic implications of the manner of His entry into Jerusalem. The riding upon the colt, the garments and palm branches in the road, and the shouts of the multitude--all of this pointed to Jesus as the Messiah. When He was urged to quiet the people, Jesus replied, "If these become silent, the stones will cry out!" (Luke 19:40 NASB).

Ironically, though the triumphal entry was a public acceptance of being the Messiah and presented a direct challenge to His enemies, it must have been a disappointment to many of His followers. Christ did not enter Jerusalem upon a war horse of conquest but upon a colt representing humility. As a result, the religious leaders demanded His crucifixion, while the multitudes ultimately turned away with indifference.

Matthew Henry: Whether men praise Christ or not, he will and shall and must be praised (v 40): If these should hold their peace, and not speak the praises of the Messiah’s kingdom, the stones would immediately cry out, rather than that Christ should not be praised. This was, in effect, literally fulfilled, when, upon men’s reviling Christ upon the cross, instead of praising him, and his own disciples’ sinking into a profound silence, the earth did quake and the rocks rent. Pharisees would silence the praises of Christ, but they cannot gain their point; for as God can out of stones raise up children unto Abraham, so he can out of the mouths of those children perfect praise.

 Spurgeon, Charles H.: I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." Lk 19:40

But could the stones cry out? Assuredly they could if he who opens the mouth of the dumb should bid them lift up their voice. Certainly if they were to speak, they would have much to testify in praise of him who created them by the word of his power; they could extol the wisdom and power of their Maker who called them into being. Shall not we speak well of him who made us anew, and out of stones raised up children unto Abraham? The old rocks could tell of chaos and order, and the handiwork of God in creation’s drama; and cannot we talk of God’s decrees, of God’s great work in ancient times, in all that he did for his church in the days of old? If the stones were to speak, they could tell of their breaker, how he took them from the quarry, and made them fit for the temple, and cannot we tell of our glorious Breaker, who broke our hearts with the hammer of his word, that he might build us into his temple? If the stones should cry out they would magnify their builder, who polished them and fashioned them after the similitude of a palace; and shall not we talk of our Architect and Builder, who has put us in our place in the temple of the living God? If the stones could cry out, they might have a long, long story to tell by way of memorial, for many a time hath a great stone been rolled as a memorial before the Lord; and we too can testify of Ebenezer's, stones of help, pillars of remembrance. The broken stones of the law cry out against us, but Christ himself, who has rolled away the stone from the door of the sepulcher, speaks for us. Stones might well cry out, but we will not let them: we will hush their noise with ours; we will break forth into sacred song, and bless the majesty of the Most High, all our days glorifying him who is called by Jacob the Shepherd and Stone of Israel.

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Lamb's Message on Luke 19:40: "If these remain silent, I tell you, the stones will cry out!"

Do you like to watch cartoons? Yeah, I did too when I was your age. There was a mighty mouse who could fly and sing; a horse who was a cowboy, and a duck who could quack and talk at the same time. Today there is even a talking sponge!

Today is Palm Sunday and I hope you remember from your Sunday School classes what happened on Palm Sunday. Animals were really important on the first Palm Sunday. Jesus asked that a donkey and her mother be brought to him. At the right time, Jesus rode on the colt when he entered Jerusalem. That showed people that he didn’t come to make war on them, but to bring peace. The peace he came to bring was peace with God. He did that by dying on the cross for our sins.

Here’s a little of what the Bible says about that day: When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" "I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." The Bible says that Jesus’ word created everything, including the stones. But he doesn’t want praise from stones. He wants praise from the people for whom he died. He didn’t die on the cross for stones; he died for you and me.

Jesus said that if we don’t give him praise, then the stones will. That would be kind of noisy--to hear talking stones, so I think we should make sure that never happens.

So let’s praise him for:

As long as you and I sing God’s praises, the stones in these walls will never sing out. Let’s keep it that way, as long as we live. After that we will sing His praises in heaven forever and ever.

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 Option #2: "Joy to the Goy!"
Zechariah 9:9-10
Rev. Kelly Bedard, M.Div.

A. Kingdom Coming
    1. A personal--to you--and righteous--just if I'd never sinned--kingdom
    2. A humble kingdom: not wa-benzi but wa-donkey

B. A Comely Kingdom

    1. Peaceable: not just lip, but life, service 

    2. Universal: "from sea to the ends of the earth"


1. Tsiyown {tsee-yone'}, v9: Zion, parched place. (Strong's)

2. Y@ruwshalaim {yer-oo-shaw-lah'-im}, v9: Jerusalem = "teaching of peace." (Strong's)

3. 'Ephrayim {ef-rah'-yim}, v10: Ephraim = "double ash-heap: I shall be doubly fruitful"; second son of Joseph, blessed by him and given preference over first son, Manasseh; the tribe Ephraim; the mountain country of Ephraim; sometimes-used name for the northern kingdom (Hosea or Isaiah); a city near Baal-hazor; a chief gate of Jerusalem. (Strong's)

4. In Kenya an important person is called wa-benzi (for Mercedes-Benz). They expect that an important person will arrive in suitable fashion. Notice how different our King is. Our King comes, not wa-benzi, but wa-donkey.

5. Instead of making war to bring peace, Jesus brings peace that makes war.

6. The word "goy" in the title is a play on gowy {go'-ee} of verse 10: "He will proclaim peace to the nations (go'-ee)."

7. In the Old Testament kings and kings' sons did ride now and then on asses. But they did not ride on asses when they were going into war. Then they rode on war horses. The ass was an animal for peace time -- for work time -- not for war. What the donkey stands for then is that this king is coming not only as a humble man, but as a peacemaker. (John Piper)


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