April 1st Luke 19
E. The Perfect Man in Jericho & Jerusalem
Zacchaeus meets Jesus
1: And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2: And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. 3: And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. 4: And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. 5: And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. 6: And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. 7: And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. 8: And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 9: And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10: For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
The ten pounds
11: And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. 12: He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13: And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. 14: But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 15: And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16: Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17: And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18: And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19: And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. 20: And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21: For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 22: And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23: Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? 24: And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. 25: (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) 26: For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. 27: But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
The Triumphal entry
28: And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. 29: And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, 30: Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. 31: And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. 32: And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. 33: And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? 34: And they said, The Lord hath need of him. 35: And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. 36: And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. 37: And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; 38: Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. 39: And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. 40: And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. 41: And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 42: Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. 43: For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, 44: And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.
The cleansing of the Temple
45: And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; 46: Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves. 47: And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, 48: And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.
In the previous passage we see that Christ touches the very poorest of the poor and the neediest in society. In this passage Luke tells us of Christ’s ministry among the rich. Zacchaeus was certainly wealthy because he was the chief publican and Luke says in simple tones, He was rich. But in spite of all this he had a deep longing for Christ. And nothing was going to stand in his way of seeing him even his own height deficiency. Christ knew of his longing and so invited himself to stay at his house. Zacchaeus was overjoyed. Zacchaeus stood publically to make an announcement. The first thing was that half of his wealth was to be given to the poor. The greatest expression of righteousness under the law was charity and this was a very great statement of charity. And then he promises to find out if anything has ever been taken unrighteously. And if he finds that this has happened then he will restore fourfold. In the law ill-gotten gains were restored double. But Zacchaeus restores double the Mosaic requirement. Christ responds, this day is salvation come to this house, forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham. Christ is not saying that Zacchaeus was saved – as Christ’s are saved by grace. What he is saying is that Salvation in the sense of restoration to the God of His fathers, had come to Zacchaeus, he was after all a son of Abraham. Then Christ describes his mission with the famous words. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Zacchaeus had previously lived for himself and lived for money but now he had repented of his and returned unto Jehovah his God. He had been a son of Abraham – lost. But now he has been found. And now he will live righteously under the law.
Now the disciples had the mistaken idea that the Kingdom of God would appear immediately, so Christ tells a parable. In this parable Christ describes a nobleman who went into a far country to receive the kingdom. And in the meanwhile he left ten servants with responsibility in terms of wealth. The instructions of the nobleman were clear - Occupy till I come. However they hated him – without a cause and sent a message which encapsulates exactly how Israel felt about Jesus. We will not have this man to reign over us, however when he returned having received the kingdom he commanded that the servant give account. It seems that this money was given as a test of the servants wisdom and industry. The servant who gained nine more pounds was promoted to authority in the kingdom over ten cities. The servant who gained four more pounds was given authority over five cities. However there was one man who was lazy. Under law the Jews were and are responsible to be occupied until the return of their Messiah. Those who are lazy which Christ calls wicked will suffer the judgment of God but those who are industrious will be given great responsibility when the kingdom dawns. This is pure law. Those who do right are blessed and those who do wicked are cursed. How unlike this is with the church which is his body. They are not under the Mosaic Law and they are blessed not because of what they do but because of what Christ has done. Those that reject Christ in Israel will be destroyed Christ said, But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
As they were now approached Jerusalem, Christ knew that within a week he would be rejected crucified so he first sends two disciples to find the ass upon which he will sit to ride into Jerusalem. As Christ came riding on the donkey the whole company of disciples gathered rejoicing and praising God. Saying, blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. The religious leaders objected to their Hosannas but Christ said that if they did not speak then the stones themselves would cry out. When Christ first saw the city he wept for it and then prophesied of its destruction by Titus and of the total destruction of the Temple. And why was this going to happen? - Because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. Israel had seen and heard their Messiah and King and they knew not the time of his visitation. Then Christ entered the Temple and threw out those who sold and who had turned it into a filthy cattle market and a den of robbers. Robbery is theft with violence, a serious charge indeed. Christ turned the Temple back into a place of Prayer. Over the following days he taught in the temple but the religious leaders set about to murder him.
- In what way did Christ’s ministry touch both the very poorest and the rich?
- When will the Kingdom of God appear on earth?
- How significant was the entrance of Christ into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday?