Check Your Cheering Section

Matthew 21:1-11

21 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

5 “Say to Daughter Zion,

    ‘See, your king comes to you,

gentle and riding on a donkey,

    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”[a]

6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[c]

“Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Matthew 27:22-23,  “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.They all answered, “Crucify him!”23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

There are a number of sports fans around the world.  

There are many professional sports team fans.  

There are semi-professional or amateur sport team fans.  

There are college sports team fans.  

There are wrestling fans.  

There are movie star fans.  

There are musical artist fans.  

And then there are Philadelphia Eagles fans.  

We have a fan base unlike any other.  

We are the fans that booed Santa Clause.  

We are the fans that through snowfalls at visiting fans.  

We are the fans that stand by our team until they lose, and then its time time to trade, fire, and remove every coach, player, and manager associated with the team.  We are die hard cheerleaders for the midnight green and sing fly eagles fly until our throats get soar.  But the moment things don’t go the way we think they should go we are ready to jump ship and toss the entire organization out the window.  This should not surprise you because most teams’ fan bases are the same way.  The reason why is because all fan bases are made up of people and people are fickle.  

One minute they love you and the next they hate you.  

One minute they are at your beckon call.  The next minute they won’t answer your call.  

One minute you are on every talk show.  The next minute they don’t want to talk you about a show.  

One minute they are lifting you up.  The next minute they are bringing you down.  

One minute they are singing your praises.  The next minute they are plotting your downfall.  

One minute you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread.  The next minute they won’t give you a piece of bread.  

All because people are fickle.  This is exactly what happened in our text today and pretty much throughout the gospels.  

As long as Jesus was turning the water to wine.  

Healing the lame.  

Raising people from the dead. 

Healing the blind.  

Casting out demons.  

Multiplying food to feed the multitudes.  

Entering a city on the back of a colt.  

He was okay.  

He was being cheered on.  

He was being praised.  

But the moment a bad word was mentioned about him his cheerleaders turned on him.  They threw their pom poms down and turned their backs on him.  You don’t believe me?  Let’s look at the text.

21 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.”

4 This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

5 “Say to Daughter Zion,

    ‘See, your king comes to you,

gentle and riding on a donkey,

    and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”[a]

6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,

“Hosanna[b] to the Son of David!”

“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”[c]

“Hosanna[d] in the highest heaven!”

10 When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, “Who is this?”

11 The crowds answered, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Matthew 27:22-23 22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.They all answered, “Crucify him!”23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

One minute Jesus was the man.  The next moment they were asking for the release of a murderer named Barabas and screaming crucify him!

I think many of you know exactly how Jesus must have felt.  Some of you know exactly what Jesus experienced because you have experienced it yourself.  Your cheering section has turned on you.  Your support system has ghosted you.  Your team has bailed on you.  Your family and friends have walked away.  Your co-workers don’t include you. One minute they all had your back.  The next minute you turned around to look behind you and everyone was gone and you were all by yourself.  

That is why it is more important than ever that you check your cheering section.  You need to know who’s in the crowd cheering you on. You need to know who is truly cheering you on and who is plotting your downfall.  And remember it was not just the crowd that turn on Jesus.  His disciples turned on him as well. So not only do you need to be checking on those screaming your name in the crowd, but you also need to be checking on the ones that are close to you.  Here are three reasons why you have to check your cheering section.

You have to check your cheering section because everyone cheering is not concerned about you.  You think because they are cheering for you that they are concerned about.  News flash they don’t care about you and are not concerned about you.  The only thing that most people are concerned about is what you can do for them.  And how you make them feel.  The moment you stop doing for them and making them feel good they are out the door in New York minute.  That is what I love about God.  He cares about our every care and He is concerned about our every concern.  We must check our cheering section because everyone cheering for us is not concerned about us.

You have to check your cheering section because everyone cheering is not in your corner.  I like to compare this point to a boxer and his or her corner.  In the boxer’s corner is the trainer, the manager, and the cut man.  All three are in the boxer’s corner for a specific reason.  They are in the corner to support the boxer.  They are in the corner to push the boxer.  They are in the corner to guide the boxer.  They are in the corner to make sure the boxer has the best chance of winning.  They are in the corner because they are on the boxer’s team.  Could you imagine if the trainer was not guiding the boxer?  Could you imagine if the manager was not supporting the boxer?  Could you imagine if the cut man was not properly treating the boxer’s wounds?  It would be a hot drop mess.  And you have some people in your cheering section that are not supporting you.  That are not guiding you.  That are not pushing you to win.  That are not properly addressing your wounds.  As a matter of fact you have a couple folks in your cheering section that are causing your wounds.  They are cutting you every time they get a chance.  How do you say?  They criticize you.  They put your down.  They demoralize you.  They spread lies about you.  They tell you that you’re not going to make.  In the words of the great theologians, the O’Jays. They’re smiling in your face…  You have to check your cheering section because everyone is not in your corner.

You have to check your cheering section because everyone cheering is not connected to you.  I know you want everyone to be concerned about you.  I know you want everyone to be in your corner, because you are under the illusion that everyone is connected to you.  I hate to be a bearer of bad news, but everyone is not connected to you.  And to be honest this should make you happy.  Because you can not, and should not be connected to everybody.  Everybody is not good for you.  We all have that person in our lives that every time we are around them it brings out the worst in us.  We don’t need to be connected to them.  And here’s another fact to consider, everybody does not want to be connected to us.  Why do you think the Sadducees and Pharisees tested Jesus so much?  They wanted to prove that he was not the Messiah because they did not want to be connected to him.  We have to check our cheering section because everyone cheering for us is not connected to us nor do we want them to be.  God places certain people in our live for a certain time and season.  The problem is we want to stay connected to people past their season in our lives.  This causes unnecessary problems that we could and should avoid.

So that’s all fine and dandy Pastor B.  Now we know why we should check our cheering section, but how do we check our cheering section?  I am so glad that you asked.  Here are three reasons how you check your cheering section.

You check your cheering section with conversations.  You can easily tell in conversations if someone is against you or for you.  It is in their words.  It is in their tone.  It is in there facial expressions, gestures, and hand movements.  This is what we call nonverbal communication.  We just ignore the signs.  How many people have fallen victim to ignoring the signs?  You are talking to someone who says something crazy.  And you say to yourself, did they just say what I think they said.  You know that they said it, but you ignore it.  Then when they start to act all crazy like the crazy thing they said you want to act surprised.  There is an old saying.  When someone shows you who they are, believe them.  We must have conversations to check our cheering section. 

You check your cheering section with courage.  Now many people believe that courage is the absence of fear, but courage is the ability to act in spite of fear.  So why do we need courage to check our cheering section?  Well you need courage to check your cheering section because you might not like what you find.  We need courage to check our cheering section because the results may not be what we expected.  We need courage to check our cheering section because the outcome may seem impossible.  It’s like taking your car to get an oil change.  You are hoping to just pay for an oil change.  Then the service guy comes over to you and says we need to rotate your tires, change your breaks, flush your fluids, and tune your engine.  Your thirty dollar oil change just cost you $1,500.00.  It takes courage to get an oil change because you never know what they will find.  Just like it takes courage to check your cheering section.  

You may find out that your best friend is not your friend at all.  You may find out that you father never believed in you.  

You may find our that your spouse does not support you.  

You may find our that the church doesn’t like the way you sing, play, teach, preach, or fry chicken.  You have to check your cheering section with courage.

You check your cheering section with conversations.  You check your cheering section with courage. And last but not least, you check your cheering section with commitment.  No matter what the outcome your must be committed to completing what you started.  You may start checking your cheering section and notice the the more you check the more people you lose.  But you must be committed to the process.  When it is all said and done your cheering section may be cut down to 1-3 folks.   It may be cut down to just you and God.  I don’t know if you know this or not but you plus God makes your the majority.  So everything is going to be alright.  You have yo check you cheering section with commitment.  You have two keep going no matter what.  You are going to have to get rid of some dead weight.  You are going to have to throw somethings overboard so the ship doesn’t sink.  You are going to have to leave some people behind.  Everyone cannot go where you are going.  Everyone cannot handle your success.  Everyone is not ready for what God has in store for you. So you have to be committed to check your cheering section.

You see Jesus didn’t have to check his cheering section because he knew what each and everyone of them would do. He knew that the same ones that were praising him and shouting Hosanna, blessed be the one the comes in the name of the Lord would be the the same ones that would holler crucify him.  

Jesus knew that his disciples would run out on him.  

Jesus knew that Judah would betray him.  

Jesus knew that Peter would go from cutting off a soldiers ear for him to denying him three times.  So he did not have to check his cheering section because he know what they would do, but we don’t know and that is why we must check our cheering section. But despite who’s in your cheering section you must understand that God has you covered.  And God has us covered in three ways.  I will share them with you and then I will let you go.

God has us covered with his control.  Never forget that he has the whole world in his hands.  God is in total control.  He never sleeps.  He never slumbers.  He sits high.  He looks low.  Nothing catches him by surprise.  We can rest in the fact that he has it all under control.

In the midst of a pandemic, he is in control.

In the midst of violent shootings.

In the midst of social injustice.

In the midst of political unrest.

In the midst of drug addiction and an opioid epidemic.

In the midst of prostitution and human trafficking.

In the midst of racism and discrimination.

In the midst of miscarriages, loss, and depression.

In the midst of infidelity, lying, and abuse.

In the midst of unemployment, stimulus checks, and insecurities.

God is in control and we are covered by His control.

God has us covered with his compassion. Compassion is the sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings and misfortunes of others.  Now we all know someone who has a great deal of compassion.  A parent.  A grandparent.  An aunt or an uncle.  A spouse.  A coworker.  But there is no one with the compassion that God covers us with.  

He feels for us.  

He cares for us.  

He understands us.  

He is tender-hearted toward us. 

He has warmth for us.  

He is concerned for us.  

He is sensitive toward us.  

He is sympathetic towards us.  

He is gentle toward us.  

He is kind to us.

He is benevolent toward us.

He has mercy on us.  

He tolerates us.  

He is lenient with us. 

God covers us with His compassion.

God has us covered with his crucifixion.  This is what this is all leading up to.  It is funny how they thought they did this to him and he allowed it to happen.  Because he has always been, and forever will be in control.  But he allowed it all to happen because of his compassion for us.  For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.  That whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.  But he gave his son to die.  To be sacrificed. To be crucified.  In order for us to be covered by his blood.  Is there anybody here excited about the blood.

It soothes my doubts and calms my fears.

And it dries all my tears.

The blood that’s gives me strength.

From day to day.

It will never lose its power.

It reaches to the highest mountain.

It flows to the lowest valley.

The blood that give me strength.

From day to day.

It will never ever lose its power.

I know it was the blood.

I know it was the blood.

I know it was the blood for me.

One day when I was lost. 

He died upon the cross.

I know it was the blood for me.

God covers us with his crucifixion. 

Jesus is Gonna Win Reported by Bernard Travaieille in Illustrations Unlimited

While a student at theological college in the United States Bernard Travaieille was playing basketball with some friends. They were using the court at a nearby school, where a friendly old janitor would patiently wait until they had finished their game before locking up. One day Bernard noticed the janitor was reading the bible. In fact he discovered the old janitor was reading the Book of Revelation.

Bernard was surprised. It was a difficult book to interpret even for highly trained bible students! “Do you understand it?” asked Bernard.

“Oh yes, I understand it” the janitor replied.

Now Bernard was really intrigued. Here was this book that baffled scholars, that was the focus of every conspiracy theory known to humanity, and this old man, a janitor with little formal education, claimed to understand it!

“You understand the Book of Revelation?! What do you think it means?” asked Bernard.

The old man looked up at him and very quietly said, “It means that Jesus is gonna win.”

And because Jesus is going to win it means that we are going to win.  So it does not matter who’s in your cheering section because we are going to win.

It does not matter what it looks like.

It does not matter the situation.

It does not matter the circumstance.

It does not matter how bad it looks.

It does not matter how far you’ve fallen.

It does not matter how many times you messed up.

It does not matter what the test says.

It does not matter what the doctor’s report is.

It does not matter what they say about you.

It does not matter what they do to you.

It does not matter if you lose the job.

It does not matter if they walk out on you.

It does not matter if they turn their back on you.

Because you are going to win. 

And don’t worry about your so called cheering section here on earth.

There are hundreds of thousands of angels rooting for you.

Cheering you on.

Screaming your name.

Dancing and shouting in your honor.

And the most important cheerleader of all is Jesus Christ himself.

Sitting on the right hand side of God.  

Interceding for you and I.

I don’t know about you, but I am excited about the whole thing. So the only cheer you need to be worried about is this one

Hip Hip Hooray.

Jesus loves me anyway.

Jesus!

Jesus!

Loves you!

Loves you!

One minute they were cheering him on.  The next minute they where yelling crucify him.  You have to check your cheering section.


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