Sunday, April 21, 2013

Luke 19:28-48

v. 28-44 Jesus was continuing His journey to Jerusalem.  He sent two disciples to get a colt that had never been ridden and if anyone asked they were supposed to say that the Lord needs it.  The disciples put their cloaks on the colt and then Jesus got on the colt to ride into town.  As He went the people were throwing down their cloaks on the road in front of Him.  As they came near the road that goes down from the Mount of Olives, the entire crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:  "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!  Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"  Some of the Pharisees in the crowd told Jesus to rebuke His disciples.  Jesus replied, "I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out."  As they approached Jerusalem and saw the city, He wept over it and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace-but now it is hidden from your eyes.  The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side.  They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls.  They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."

By this time Jesus was well known.  The people were coming to celebrate the Passover feast and were excited to see Him.  Palm Sunday is to celebrate when Jesus rode in town, the people also were using palm branches to celebrate His arrival.  Zechariah 9:9 said that the King would ride on the back of a colt, which was a young donkey.  Later when it was certain that Jesus was not going to be the King that defeated Rome, the people turned against Him.  The Pharisees were being challenged for their power and authority and they did not like that idea at all.  I like the part where Jesus says that if the disciples kept quiet then the stones will cry out.  Several months ago I had a thought that what if our lack of sharing the gospel and God's love made the earth cry out.  People tend to blame God for nature disasters.  What if the earth is crying out due to our lack of action for the Kingdom?  Maybe earthquakes, tornado's, hurricanes, etc. are the response from the earth to our inactivity.  You might think that is crazy and that is perfectly ok, but here Jesus says that the stones will cry out.  What do you think that means?  After reading the bible, there is nothing that is impossible with God.  It is making me think differently about natural disasters. 

God did not turn away from those that believed in Him, but because they turned from Him the people would suffer.  About 40 years after Jesus died, His words would come true.  In 66 A.D. the Jews revolted against Rome, three years later Titus, son of Emperor Vespasian was sent to crush the rebellion.  The Roman soldiers attacked Jerusalem and broke through a wall of the city but still could not take the city at that time.  In 70 A.D. they were able to enter the already weakened city.  Six hundred thousand Jews were killed during this long battle.  Jesus wept because He knew His people had a choice and they decided to turn away from God.  There had been many who were healed by Jesus during His ministry and many more who saw His miracles.  Not even a generation later the people had turned away from God once again.  I can only imagine what it was like after Jesus left earth.  The Pharisees probably went right back to their strict rules and did not teach the people to love God.  So that every person in the city had a hard heart.  Such a quick turn around from when the Son of Man was right there in their lives.  Many times when a tragedy occurs people turn to God, but then live moves on, life gets back to normal and many drift away from Him again. 

v. 45-48 Jesus then entered the temple area and started driving out those who were selling, "It is written, My house will be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of robbers."  Jesus was teaching at the temple every day and yet the religious leaders were trying to find a way to kill Him.  He was so favored with the people that they couldn't find a way to get rid of Him without making themselves look bad.  They were more worried about their reputation then killing someone.  These leaders did not want Jesus to stir up trouble and get Rome's attention, they feared there would be more Roman control if there was a rebel presence in that area.  Jesus was messing up their money making racket in the temple, the sellers would gouge the people with extremely high prices for their sin offerings.  Jesus seemed to be calm most of the time, in this He was angered.  It's fine to make a living with the gift's God has given, but honest business practices will be pleasing to God.  Jesus was preaching against injustice and favoring the poor over the rich.  Which the Pharisees opposed, this got at one of the core problems with their rules and actions.

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