Thu, Aug 28th - 9:30PM
STUDY IN LUKE
"And if any man ask you, "Why do you untie him?' thus shall you say to him, "Because the Lord has need of him." And they that were sent went their way, and found the colt even as He had said to them. And as they were untying the colt, the owners of it said to them, "Why do you untie the colt?" And they said, "The Lord has need of him." And they brought the colt to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus upon the colt. And as He went, they spread their clothes on the ground in front of Him. And when He was come near, 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; saying, "Blessed be the King that comes in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest." And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said to Him, "Master, rebuke Your disciples." And He answered them, "I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. (19:31-40)"
There were people proclaiming Him to be King. The first thing to notice is that they were mostly disciples of Christ. They praised God for all of the mighty works that they had witnessed being done by Christ. Miracle after miracle had been witnessed, causing the people to rejoice. Lazarus had been raised from the dead! Multitudes had been fed! The atmosphere was electric! There was excitement and expectation! Was He about to bring the Kingdom of God to earth?!!? They proclaimed Jesus to be the King that comes in the name of the Lord. They obviously thought that the hour had arrived and Jesus was going to usher in the Kingdom of God now. They must have been thinking that God was going to free all the nations of the earth from Roman domination; that He was going to set up the throne of Jesus in Jerusalem from which the rule and reign of righteousness would be executed; and that He would establish Israel as the leading nation of the entire earth. These were the common expectations of the people who believed in the Messiah. They were not accurate expectations, ones to be found within the Scriptures. These expectations arose from misinterpreting God's Word, altering what actually is there into what they wanted it to say. Above all, these people failed to observe that Jesus was riding into the city upon a colt, coming as the King of Peace. They failed to see that He was riding in upon the beast of burdens, coming as the King who wished to bear the burdens of all people. "For we do not have a high priest which can't be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted just as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15-16)." They failed to see that Jesus was riding the animal that symbolized meekness, coming in as the King of meekness.
Verses 39-40 reveal the insistent claim of Jesus to be Almighty God in the flesh. He was to be proclaimed King by the people. The religious rulers in the Sanhedrin were hostile. They had already given the go-ahead to hunt Jesus down and arrest Him (John 11:57). Still, Jesus publicly and triumphantly entered Jerusalem. The importance of His mission, "to seek and to save that which was lost" is clearly evident in such incongruous behavior. We can't overlook the clear declaration to deity that Jesus made: "I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." Nature did cry out when He hung upon the cross. The world and the disciples had forsaken Him, but the sun hid its face and the earth split open in a demonstration of th ecry of nature for its King, its Creator.
It is to be noted here that Jesus' entry into Jerusalem was not really very triumphant in the eyes of most people. His entry at this time culminated in His death upon the cross at Calgary. He came this time to offer Himself once, to bear the sins of the many; He will come again and appear to those that look for Him, but this time He comes in triumph and in power. His true triumphal entry will be at His second advent into this world of ours. At that time He will usher in His personal reign over the entire world.
That is all for today, beloved! Next time will be looking at Jesus weeping over Jerusalem and its terrible fate revealed. Grace and peace be yours this day.
Wed, Aug 27th - 9:21PM
STUDY IN LUKE
"After Jesus had said this, He traveled on and went up to Jerusalem. As He approached Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, he sent two of His disciples on ahead. "Go into the village ahead of you," He said, "As you enter, you will find a colt tied up that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it along. If anyone asks you why you are untying it, say this: "The Lord needs it."(19:28-30)
These events took place immediately after Jesus was finished telling the parable about the coins. This passage revealing the Lord's arrival into Jerusalem can also be found in Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, and John 12:12-19. These scriptures provide some slight changes in perspective, but not in what happened.
This passage in Luke 19 begins the last week of Jesus' life on earth. It is called the Holy Week or Palm Sunday. Christ felt compelled to move on toward Jerusalem for there the climax of His purpose was to take place. He had come to suffer and die for all people. Jesus was constrained, compelled with an iron determination to complete His Father's business. His entire spirit is pictured in the words, "Therefore have I set My face like a flint" (Isaiah 50:7). We must remember that Jerusalem was only around seventeen miles away from where He had spoken the last parable. He set the final sequence of events into motion on purpose.
We can see that Jesus plainly made it known that He considered Himself to be King. He planned a dramatic demonstation in detail. It all was to center around His riding into the city on a colt. He used the title "the Lord" in laying claim upon all people and their property. "The Lord" (o kurios) is a strong expression; it is the same as saying Jehovah. Jesus claimed the right to use the colt because He was "the Lord." It is conceivable that Jesus had already set up the acquisition of the colt on an earlier trip, arranging it with a believer. The two disciples that were sent to retrieve this colt were engaged in helping with the proclamation of Jesus as King. This task was essential, even as it appeared to be rather random. Unknowingly the two disciples were recognizing His Kingship. They obeyed His instructions explicitly without question.
Bethphage means "House of Figs". It was a suburb of Jerusalem, lying toward the Mount of Olives. Jesus arrived in Bethphage on foot, picturing the great humiliation the Son of God subjected Himself to in order to come to earth and save mankind. While on earth Jesus traveled either by foot or by boat. Bethany was a suburb of Jerusalem, about two miles east. The city was the home of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. Jesus stayed with this family when ministering in and around Jerusalem. Jesus had no home of His own to go to. His immediate family, outside of His mother, did not believe in His claims at this time (John 7:1-5).
In those days the colt or donkey was a noble animal. It was used as a beast of service to carry the burdens of men. More significantly, it was used by Kings and thei remissaries when they entered a city in peace. They rode a colt to symbolize their peaceful intentions (Judges 5:10, 10:4). This differed tremendously from entry of a conquering King. When a King entered as a conqueror, he rode in upon a stallion. In this fashion Jesus demonstrated that He was unquestionably the promised King, the Savior of the people, and second, He was not coming as the people assumed. He was not coming as a conquering King or as a worldly potentate, nor as the leader of an army to kill, injure, maim, and subjugate. People had to change their concept of the Messiah, for He was coming as the Savior of Peace. He was coming to save mankind not to destroy mankind. He was coming to show that God is the God of love and reconciliation. Just as the colt was used in the service of men to carry their burdens, Jesus was coming upon a colt in order to carry their burdens for them. Jesus came in service of mankind. This colt also symbolized sacredness, for it had never been ridden before that day. Animals and objects used for sacred or religious purposes had to be never used for anything prior to this special service (Numbers 10:2, Deuteronomy 21:3, I Samuel 6:7). This often overlooked point reveals the sacredness of this event. It pictured that Jesus was deliberately taking every precaution to proclaim that He is the sacred hope, the promised Messiah of the people.
Next time I will continue with this passage as Christ rides into Jerusalem. Grace and peace be with you!
Tue, Aug 26th - 6:55AM
STUDY IN LUKE
"So the king told those standing nearby, Take the coin away from him and give it to the man who has the ten coins. They answered him, Sir, he already has ten coins! I tell you, to everyone who has something, more will be given, but from the person who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine who didn't want me to be their king, bring them here and slaughter them in my presence. (19:24-27)"
The purpose of these servants was not money-making. The purpose was to show how capable and responsible they all were. Could they be trusted with responsibility, with the authority of God? The leaders who are to rule God's universe in the coming kingdom and world must be strong and responsible. The dominant idea here is that of the Nobleman's purpose of testing, a time of trial, in order to develop distinguished rulers: leaders that are faithful, decisive, firm, and strong. It must be noted that God spoke in terms of hundreds of percent increase in describing the person who really pleased God. One gave 1000% effort while another gave 500% effort. Isn't there significance in these percentages when it comes to God's people today? After studying this entire passage, is there any Christian who dares to waste a moment of time? Is there anyone who claims to be a Christian who simply attends worship services on Sundays but does absolutely nothing else for God?
Those good and faithful servants of Christ shall be given the reward of the unfaithful. Why is this? Simply because they have proven they can handle any amount of responsibility. they had taken a little (one pound) and used it to the maximum. They were as responsible as they could be. They properly managed whatever God gave them to watch over. We also must notice that there were some who objected. Who it was that objected is not known. Jesus simply said that they who had labored diligently to increase would receive more and more. The person who did not work to increase would lose even what they had been given. If a person does not use his/her gifts, they will lose them, just as a person with a healthy arm would lose it if they did not use it at all.
Finally, we are able to see that judgment is executed upon those who become enemies of God's rule. There are two points of note here.
1. The person who rejects Christ and His reign over their life is an enemy of Christ. They oppose and stand against Christ.
2. The enemy of Christ shall be condemned before Christ. That person shall suffer doom, be slain, be put to death and separated from God eternally and spiritually. "And cast the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 25:30)." "Then shall He say also to them on the left hand, Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels (Matthew 25:41)." "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that do not know God, and that do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ (II Thessalonians 1:7-8)."
That is all for this day, beloved! The teaching here is that we all are to work diligently at what God has given each of us to do. It is a matter of correctly discerning two terms: office and vocation. Our office is that which we do to earn a living in order to support our families and ourselves. Our vocation is what we do in service to God. Sometimes these two things can become one and the same: if we are a pastor or priest leading a congregation or a chaplain. Our vocation ought to never change, but our office is definitely open to change. Next time I shall begin to look at Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the peoples' claims that He was the King. May God richly bless you this day. Grace and peace from Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
Mon, Aug 11th - 7:09AM
STUDY IN LUKE
"And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called to him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. Then came the first, saying, Lord, your pound has gained ten pounds. And he said to him, Well, you good servant: because you have been faithful in a very little, have you authority over ten cities. And the second servant came, saying, Lord your pound has gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be you also over five cities. And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is your pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: For I feared you, because you are an austere man: you take up that which you have not laid down, and you reap that which you did not sow. And he said to him, Out of your own mouth will I judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, taking up that which I did not lay down, and reaping that which I did not sow: Why then did you not give my money to the bank, that at my coming I might have required my money with usury? (19:15-23)"
This illustrates the Lord's servants are to be rewarded according to the percent of our labor. It is clear. But take note of these things:
1) Scripture is clear about judgment - there is to be a day of judgment. "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels: and then he shall reward every person
according to their works (Matthew 16:27)" "When the Son of man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall he sit upon the throne of His glory; and before
Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:31-32)." "So then every one of us shall
give account of ourselves to God (Romans 14:12)." "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every person may receive the things done in their body,according
to that which they have done, whether it be good or bad (II Corinthians 5:100."
2) In the parable the Lord did return. The day of accounting did arrive. Every servant was called to report on what he/she had done with the gifts Christ had given them.
3) Only the servants of the Lord are pictured as appearing before the Lord. The three results illustrate the three courses of actions taken by God's servants: being very faithful, faithful,
4) The first two servants were both faithful. Both worked diligently, but there was a difference. One worked ever so diligently: daily, hourly, every day and every hour. He was always
walking with the Lord, never easing up or allowing the trials of life to hinder nor distract his work for the Lord. He worked to increase the Lord's possessions regardless of circum-
stances. He was 1000% faithful. The other servant was not quite as sold out for Christ; he did not strive and sacrifice as much. He was 500% faithful. "And He said to them all, If
any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me (Luke 89:23)." "He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he
that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much (Luke 16:10)." "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy,
acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service (Romans 12:1)."
5) The two faithful servants were rewarded:
a. He who worked 1000% was told, "Well, you good servant." So too for the servant who worked 500%.
b. The servants were rewarded exactly as they worked for Christ. A city for every pound. Perfect justice was executed. Each servant determined exactly what their reward would
be. The amount of effort put into increasing the Lord's possessions determined their reward.
c. The reward involved responsibility, the assigning of duties to perform for the Lord. the two faithful believers reigned with the Lord: they were put in charge of certain cities that
6. The servant who did not work received nothing:
a. This servant did nothing with what Christ had given him.
- he had no vision of what could be done
- he had no sense of responsibility to the Lord
- he had no concern for the growth of the Lord's kingdom and property
- he felt the gift given him did not matter that much and was not needed that much
- he did not look for the blessed moment of his Lord's return
- he had a false security, believing the Lord would accept him and understand even if he did fail to use the gifts.
b. He tried to justify his behavior. He accused the Lord of being austere (austeros), which means sharp, stringent. He felt the Lord was demanding and strict, that is he committed
himself to the Lord's affairs he would lose out on too much of the pleasures and comforts of life. But this appears to be merely an excuse for his failures. He had chosen to live a
a life of selfishness and comfort and worldliness in the kingdom of the Lord without paying the price of helping to build it. He had been complacent and idle, doing little to
nothing for the Lord. His excuse was unacceptable. He was judged by what he had done, and finally by what he had said. His life and and behavior determined his judgment to
Beloved, we are to be extremely faithful to Christ and to use the gifts that He has given us to bring His Good News to as many people as we possibly can before His return. We can't simply go and sit in a pew each Sunday morning, sing a few songs, bow our heads in prayer, and plunk some coins in the offering plate, and all the while live exactly like the world around us. That won't cut it in God's eyes. He demands much more of His servants, of His adopted sons and daughters in Christ Jesus. We are of His family, and family does not sit around and do nothing while there are others that are in desperate need. So, we must get up and go out to those who need to hear God's Word of promise, who need to see, hear, and feel His love being demonstrated by people. If you and i have experienced the mercy, grace, and love of Christ, why wouldn't we deeply desire that others could experience the exact same thing also?
Grace and peace be with you all this day!
Thu, Aug 7th - 6:56AM
STUDY IN LUKE
"And he called his ten servants, and delivered to them ten pounds, and said to them, Occupy till I come. But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us(19:13-14)."
This lord insisted that his servants occupy until his return. We must recognize that he called his servants. They were already his servants and already belonged to his household; therefore, he believed in them, feeling that he could trust them in his absence. They obviously were supposed to be responsible persons, completely trustworthy. We must see that he put his business affairs into their hands while he was gone. This is illustrated with money, the lord said, "Occupy till I return." Just four simply exact, straightforward, and powerful words. The servants were to take what was given to them and use it until their lord returned. The word "occupy" (pragmateuomai) is a word of diligent action. It is from the root word meaning to walk, to set in motion, and to continue in motion. It also meant to do business, to get busy, to work for gain or to trade. This is the only time this word is used in the New Testament. The servants were to labor diligently, never letting up and using all the lord had given them to look after. Every believer in Christ is called and gifted by Christ to serve (Romans 12:3; I Corinthians 12:7; Ephesians 4:11; I Peter 4:10). Servants are to act as stewards of what they have been given to do. They must, therefore, remain faithful to their duties. The word "pound" in the Greek testament is mna which was a Greek coin worth about one hundred drachmai. One drachmai was about one days wage for a laborer, so these servants had been entrusted with the equivalent of 1000 days worth of wages.
We also see here that the citizens of the "world" hate the lord and reject his rule over them. This depicts the unbelievers who refuse to acknowledge Christ and surrender their lives to the rule of Christ in our world today. It can also apply to Israel's rejection of Christ back in that time period. People are rejecting Christ every day. Why? Simply because they will not let Him rule over them; they desire to have complete personal freedom to do whatever they feel like doing, whenever they feel like doing it, for however long they feel like doing it. They want to control their own lives, do their own thing just as they wish.
People either deny His existence or else they reject His rule over them. They may deny He exists due to their feelings that He is a controlling and mean-spirited God. Or that no such Being could possibly exist considering the condition of this world. They may reject His rule over them because they have already experienced being absolutely controlled by another person. They may have been abused and manipulated by another person and now they vigorously reject any perceived attempt to control their actions by anyone or anything. Without being aware, their past experiences continue to control them, to manipulate them. They are not free to choose how to live their lives for they remain imprisoned in the past, slaves to the abuse that they were forced to endure. They remain closed to being able to truly love anyone, perhaps including even themselves. That is a very sad and unfortunate place to have to live one's life in. Especially when there is a better place to be, a better way to live one's life. And so this morning I remind you of that "better Way." By accepting Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior, by recognizing and repenting of your personal sin/s, and by being baptized into God's royal family, you too can become a faithful servant of Jesus Christ who loves you just as you are. You become an ambassador of Christ for He already has a kingdom and a throne. You become His emissary to a lost and desperate world, the one who is to bring the Gospel to those in your life. You have been given valuable gifts to labor with diligently and continuously until He returns to take you home to be with Him always. I pray that you will choose to do so.
Beloved, may the grace and peace of the Lord Jesus be with you this day! May diligence and faithfulness be what fills your heart. We all have work to do until Christ returns, let us be about it.
Mon, Aug 4th - 6:52AM
STUDY IN LUKE
"And as they these things, He added another parable, because He was close to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear(19:11)."
We find here that Christ Jesus corrected a wrong idea about the kingdom of God. The disciples and people following Him believed that the capital of God's kingdom on earth was to be set up in Jerusalem. They were very aware of how He had been talking about Jerusalem and setting His face like a flint for the city. They also thought that the kingdom "should immediately appear." They believed that as soon as they reached Jerusalem, Jesus was going to usher in the kingdom of God, freeing Israel from Roman domination and establishing the rule of God over all of the earth. In their minds the climax of human history and the beginning of God's reign upon the earth was now at hand. They knew that with the power He possessed, He could do whatever was necessary to subdue the nations of the earth and bring God's righteousness to the earth.
But all of their thoughts were upon this earth, upon the temporal and the worldly, the physical and the material. The disciples saw themselves in positions of leadership and honor, as the princes and counsellors of state (Luke 22:24-30; Matt. 20:20-28; Mark 9:33-37). There is a problem with this concept: at most a person would enjoy an earthly kingdom for only a few short years of a lifetime. The disciples just weren't thinking in terms of the spiritual world. This is a world in which an eternal life lives on forever, which actually exists but in another dimension of being, which is very real and more real than this physical world which fades away in its corruption. Jesus had to correct this misconception and teach them all the truth about the kingdom of God. In this new parable, Jesus is the nobleman, the citizens are the unbelievers of the world, the servants are the professing believers of God.
"He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return(19:12)."
This lord went to a far country to receive a kingdom, but he would then return. There are some important facts to be found here. 1) The "far country" indicates He will be gone for a significant period of time. It takes time to travel a long distance and handle the affairs and then return. This was especially true back in this time period. 2) He was gone to receive a kingdom from obviously the King of the entire realm since kings were the ones who dispensed "kingdoms." The picture therefore is that of Jesus Christ sitting at the right hand of God in glory while He and God discuss the kingdom and all of its affairs. 3) He is to return. He will be gone a long time, perhaps the discussions surrounding His kingdom, His rule, and His reign taking some time. But He will return. The day of His arrival will come (Matthew 19:23-24). "In My Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you into Myself; that where I am, there you may be also (John 14:2-3).'
That is all for this morning, beloved! I think that this will be the format of my postings for the foreseeable future. I will be interspersing the text scripture verses with commentary to better suit the available time I have for posting right now. Postings will be shorter, which may come as a relief to some, due to the time blocs that are available to me. I pray that God's hand of healing will be upon you. I pray that His mercy falls upon you. I pray that His grace and peace become yours, something that you can reflect back out into this dark and sin-filled world in which we must live. Be peaceful and be agents of reconciliation. Do no wrong to others, and forgive those who do wrong to you for none of us are perfect, yet.
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