Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Luke 19 - Investing Wisely, Triumphal Entry, and Temple Cleansing

LINK: Luke 19

BACKGROUND

180. Jesus brings salvation to Zacchaeus's homeLuke 19:1-10


The name Zacchaeus means "righteous one."  He needed Jesus in order to live up to his name. He worked for unclean Gentiles and collected more taxes than required so he could have more income. Jesus asked to dine at his house and shocked the Jews who despised the tax-collectors. Jesus gave salvation to this lost man who was willing to become like a child and change his ways after an encounter with Him. This story is in contrast to the rich ruler of Luke 18:18-25.

181. Jesus tells the parable of the king's ten servants: Luke 19:11-27

This is the last parable in response to the growing opposition and sums up His teaching to His disciples. Each disciple had responsibilities, and each was to follow through on those responsibilities. We should make the most of the gifts and talents He has given us. 

The nobleman is Jesus. His followers thought He was going to set up His kingdom immediately, but He was leaving, and they would be responsible for the work. A mina was three months' wages (A LOT of money - if you have $2,000 a month in income, that would be $60,000, $3,000 a month would be $90,000, $4,000 a month would be $120,000!) and represented the numerous gifts and talents He has given us to use for His glory until He comes again. They were to invest the minas wisely. The group that did not want the nobleman to be king represented the religious leaders and even the nation in general. 


The first two servants were commended for earning more minas. The last servant, who did not even invest, did not really expect the nobleman to come back so he was not involved in the king's business. He was thrown out of the kingdom. Sobering!  We need to invest our minas!


Jesus entering jerusalem on a donkey
By Unknown publisher of Bible Card
(http://thebiblerevival.com/clipart46.htm)
 [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Palm Sunday, Spring A.D. 30

183. Jesus Rides into Jerusalem on a Donkey: Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, John 12:12-19

Jesus is riding on to die. This is the start of the final days of Jesus' life. Jesus' death is emphasized in all four gospels. Matthew devotes 33 percent, Mark 37 percent, Luke 25 percent, and John 42 percent to the last seven days of Jesus' life. 

This event is often called the "Triumphal Entry."  Jesus entered Jerusalem for the last time and the mood was celebratory for some but others plotted His death. 

Jesus rode on a donkey as a just and humble King and fulfilled the prophecy found in Zechariah 9:9, but He also rode on to die. All four Gospel accounts include this event, but Matthew 21:2 mentions a donkey and a colt.  Mark 11:2 and Luke 19:30 record the colt only. A simple explanation would be that a mother donkey would naturally go along with her colt. Apparently Jesus rode on the colt so Mark and Luke did not add that his mother came along. Also, Matthew would often add more detail for his Jewish audience. John starts his narrative when Jesus enters Jerusalem and mentions nothing about the donkey or the colt.

The crowd spread out palm branches. The palm symbolized the beauty and righteousness of man (Psalm 92:12-14). It also symbolized the head of state and victory.  "Hosanna!" means "save now" in Hebrew, and they were asking the One who was coming in the "name of the Lord" (Psalm 118:25-26) to do just that!

When Jesus rides in, the crowd acknowledges Him as the Son of David, the Messiah they have waited for all these years. There are three different groups present:

1) Passover pilgrims (John 12:12,18)
2) Locals who had witnessed the raising of Lazarus (John 12:17)
3) Religious leaders who threatened He would start a revolution (John 12:19)

The religious leaders were threatened because Jesus' followers were proclaiming Him to be the Messiah or King and because Jesus prophesied that Jerusalem would someday fall (Luke 19:39-44). It did just that when the Romans totally destroyed it in A.D. 70. National acceptance of Him would have brought them peace, but they did not recognize the time of God's coming! So sad!

184. Jesus clears the temple again: Matthew 21:12-17, Mark 11:12-19, Luke 19:45-48

The Matthew account implies that Jesus entered the temple after his triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matthew did not write chronologically), but the other accounts indicate He went out to spend Sunday night in Bethany and came back to the temple the next morning (Mark 11:11-16). 

On his way to the temple, the Matthew and Mark accounts record Jesus cursing a fig tree. Many commentators believe this was an "acted out parable" of the clearing of the temple. The fig tree had the potential for fruit, but it did not produce anything; just as the temple did not reach its potential for being a "house of prayer for all nations."  This was figuratively a rejection of the nation of Israel and prediction that they would wither away. This came true. In 70 AD, the nation of Israel ended when the Romans came and demolished the temple. 

This is the second time Jesus has cleared the temple. The first one was recorded in John 2:13-25 (Event #23).  Here is a link to a diagram of the temple. He cleared the Court of the Gentiles (#12 on diagram). 


In the Court of the Gentiles, there was buying and selling of animals for the many pilgrims who were required to come to Jerusalem for the Passover and make sacrifices for sins. Merchants and money changers were allowed there making it crowded and difficult for worship. 
The city itself and the neighbourhood became more and more crowded as the feast approached, the narrow streets and dark arched bazaars showing the same throng of men of all nations as when Jesus had first visited Jerusalem as a boy. Even the temple offered a strange sight at this season, for in parts of the outer courts a wide space was covered with pens for sheep, goats, and cattle to be used for offerings. Sellers shouted the merits of their beasts, sheep bleated, oxen lowed. Sellers of doves also had a place set apart for them. Potters offered a choice from huge stacks of clay dishes and ovens for roasting and eating the Passover lamb. Booths for wine, oil, salt, and all else needed for sacrifices invited customers. Persons going to and from the city shortened their journey by crossing the temple grounds, often carrying burdens … Stalls to change foreign money into the shekel of the temple, which alone could be paid to the priests, were numerous, the whole confusion making the sanctuary like a noisy market. 
(Geikie’s Life of Christ from Easton, M. (1996, c1897). Easton's Bible dictionary. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.)
In addition, the money changers would often charge exorbitant exchange rates for the foreign worshipers and the merchants would jack up the prices. This angered Jesus because greed flourished rather than worship. 

Jesus condemned them for the corruption of their worship without true devotion to God. They had made this "house of prayer for all the nations" a "robber's den [cave]" (Mark 11:17, Isaiah 56:7; Jeremiah 7:11). 

The Mark and Luke accounts record that this caused the religious leaders to seek a way to destroy Him because the multitudes were hanging on His every word. Luke's account mentions that Jesus was "everyday teaching in the temple" (Luke 18:47). 

REFLECTION/APPLICATION

Just this morning, I was compiling a list of the spiritual gifts of our ministry team so I could send it to each of the members, exhorting them to pray that God would "fan into flame" (1 Timothy 1:6) the gifts God has given each of us. 

God has given you gifts, talents, and abilities so that you might work together with others in the body of Christ to bring Him glory. 

Do you know Your what your gifts are?  If you have followed the Bible Book Club, you know that I teach on SHAPE:

Spiritual Gifts
Heart Passions
Abilities
Personality Type
Experiences of Life 

All tests are flawed because they are usually based on things you have already experienced. How will you know if you have the gift unless you have had a situation where you have needed to exercise it?  

Here are three things that might be helpful in interpreting your gifts:

How Can I Discover My Spiritual Gifts?

Spiritual Gifts Bible Study

Spiritual Gifts at a Glance  - This handout is based on my biblical study of each gift. I suggest you give this list to three trusted friends/loved ones and see what they think your gifts are.

PRAYER

Thank you for equipping us for the privilege of responsibilities in your coming kingdom! Help us to be passionate about carrying out those responsibilities for Your glory! We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen. 
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