First Sunday in Advent
November 29, 2020icon-download-pdf-wp

Gospel: Mark 11:1-10 or Mark 13:24-37
Epistle: Corinthians 1:3-9
Lesson: Isaiah 64:1-9
Psalm: Psalm 80:1-7


CLB Pastors Network – Professor Mark Erickson

The first text is Mark’s account of Jesus’ “Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.” This event stands at a significant juncture between Jesus’ first entry into this world in a Bethlehem cave or shed and His second coming on the clouds and in great glory. The throng of people, while not really able to grasp the significance (nor the irony) of the event, nor the greatness of the One who came to town that day, still understood that something of significance was taking place as Jesus rode in to Jerusalem in majesty. Here we read in verses 9-10 “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” The Advent theme is that the Savior comes to Jerusalem in order to offer His life as the ultimate sacrifice for sin.

The LAW in this passage is implicit – it is not directly stated or may not be obvious to the casual reader. The LAW is that “in Adam all die.” (Genesis 2:17; Genesis 3:17-19; and 1 Cor. 15:22) Whether we realize it or not, the fact that no one escapes death is because of the fact that everyone has sinned and the result of sin is death.

However, the GOSPEL is that Jesus comes to Jerusalem to offer His life as the final and really only effective Sacrifice for sin. “In Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them…” (2 Corinthians 5:19) As they shout, “Hosanna” (“Save us, please!”), the people are rightly celebrating the arrival of a charismatic leader sent by God. But few, if any, of the celebrants realize that Jesus was so much more than a savior from Rome and other enemies of Israel, he was THE savior from sin and death.


Sermon Studies on the Gospels – Series B

“In complete charge of the events of his life, Jesus has decided to declare by his actions that he is the Messiah. He directs two of his followers to go to the village ahead of them (probably Bethphage) and bring back a colt for him to ride into the city. In this way he will demonstrate to anyone who knows Scripture that he is the Messianic King. Zechariah the prophet had said, ‘Rejoice,… Daughter of Zion?… See, your king comes to you… riding… on a colt, the foal of a donkey’ (Zec 9:9).

Jesus shows himself as the Lord in several other ways as well. First, he gives the two disciples an exact description of what they will find on the road ahead. A clear demonstration that our King knows all things! And if Jesus knows what his disciples will encounter in the village of Bethphage, he most certainly knows what lies ahead for him in the city of Jerusalem. Jesus knows where he is going and what he will find there. As God’s true King, he deliberately sets into motion the final act of his Father’s saving will, though it will mean the cross for him. Secondly, Jesus gives directions to his followers which he expects them to carry out. As the one who will redeem them by becoming their slave, he has the right to claim their willing obedience. Thirdly, Jesus tells the two disciples to refer to him simply as ‘the Lord,’ should anyone ask any questions. Martin Franzmann makes the interesting comment here, ‘This is the first time in Mark that Jesus calls himself Lord; this act is a royal requisitioning.’”

Wendland, E.H., Sermon Studies on the Gospels – Series B. Milwaukee, WI: Northwestern Publishing House, 1984.


Interpretation of Saint Mark’s Gospel

“While Luke and John preserve the title ‘King,’ Mark preserves the whole clause about the ‘kingdom’: ‘Blessed the coming kingdom of our father David!’ ‘The One coming’ and ‘the coming kingdom’ go together. As the King is the coming One, so his kingdom is one that is coming. Both were promised to the Jews and were in this sense ‘coming.’ Both of these present participles contain the note of absolute certainty: ‘coming’ without fail. The crowd calls this ‘ the coming kingdom of our father David.’ The people distinguish between the past kingdom which David ruled, the earthly nation Israel, and the everlasting spiritual kingdom which was promised to David’s heir. Note that before Jericho Jesus had been called the Son of David. The main point in the acclaim of the multitude is the fact that in Jesus there has appeared the coming One, the Messianic King, who is about to assume his rule and the kingdom of David.”

Lenski, C.H., Interpretation of Saint Mark’s Gospel. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House, 1943.


Second Sunday in Advent
Second Sunday of Easter