Israel 2016

Israel 2016
Roman architectural influence in Bet Sean, Israel

Monday, October 31, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Nov 1, Lk 19

Today's reading is Lk 19. Tomorrow's readings are Mk 11, Jn 12.

Nearing the end of His ministry and having just healed the blind man as an example of His ability to make men see who are unable to see on their own, Jesus turns in Lk 19 to fellowship with another type of sinner, a tax collector. Tax collectors were despised as Roman collaborators and traitors to the Jewish people, taking advantage of them whenever possible. Upon encountering Jesus, Zacchaeus turns from his wicked ways and promises restitution far beyond anything the law would dictate for those he had cheated. Jesus proclaims salvation has come to Zacchaeus adding, for the benefit of those who were critical of Him, "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost (Lk 19:10)." This would be a good underlying theme for the entire Gospel of Luke. The inference is that He has come to save those who are aware they need a savior, those who repent and turn toward Him.

We then hear the parable of the ten minas. This is a portrayal of Jesus as He leaves to go to the Father. As He departs, He leaves a precious gift with those who are faithful. The gift is the gospel. If they use it wisely, they will be blessed multiple times over. Their faith in such a little thing as being faithful to portray and display the gospel to the lost world will reap great rewards when Jesus returns. "To everyone who has, more will be given (Lk 19:26)." This is not about money or material possessions, it is about spiritual truth and well-being. 

Jesus enters Jerusalem to shouts of praise and acclaim (Lk 19:28-44). It is a melancholy moment. The religious leaders tell Him to silence the crowd. They're not aware of what's really happening. The crowd believes Jesus is the One who will deliver them from Roman oppression, the One who will finally vindicate them and show the world their lofty status as God's chosen people. Jesus pauses on the way down the Mount of Olives and weeps over the city (Lk 19:41-44). They just don't get it. Not only are they missing the point, they are about to prove how spectacularly they are getting it wrong. 

As a way of driving the point home, Jesus goes to the temple, not to the Roman governor's house. He cleans the temple of the Jews who are defiling it, not the city (Jerusalem) of the Romans who are oppressing it (Lk 19:45-47).

The people listen eagerly (Lk 19:45-47) but they will soon prove they do not hear.  Jesus is not here to meet their expectations, nor is He here to meet ours. He is here to insure that His bride is spotless and holy. This applies as much to us today as it does to the Jews in the first century.

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