Luke and The Lost
We have welcomed many people over the years into our home. Visiting preachers, missionaries, seminary students, other friends and families took their place at our table because we wanted them to be there. God gave us many opportunities to welcome, feed and house some interesting people who blessed us with their presence. Each visit was a joyful, memorable experience. Not so with Jesus who entered Jerusalem for the final battle to redeem us from our sin.
Jesus, with a heart of compassion and a mind of determination to complete His mission, is headed for Jerusalem, the mecca of the God’s people, also called the City of God. Jesus’ followers shout praises, thinking He is about to declare His Kingdom come at last. Some shout because others are shouting and cluelessly join in. Many of God’s people, the religious elite, do not recognize and welcome God’s personal visit to them. They are only frowning and shouting insults and lurking behind the scene, seeking to do Him in. They plot to end this parade of praise as soon as possible. They are just having a hard time coming up with charges that will stick. Still others “hang on every word” Jesus says.
Luke 19, The Message
God’s Personal Visit
28-31 After saying these things, Jesus headed straight up to Jerusalem. When he got near Bethphage and Bethany at the mountain called Olives, he sent off two of the disciples with instructions: “Go to the village across from you. As soon as you enter, you’ll find a colt tethered, one that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it. If anyone says anything, asks, ‘What are you doing?’ say, ‘His Master needs him.’”
32-33 The two left and found it just as he said. As they were untying the colt, its owners said, “What are you doing untying the colt?”
34 They said, “His Master needs him.”
35-36 They brought the colt to Jesus. Then, throwing their coats on its back, they helped Jesus get on. As he rode, the people gave him a grand welcome, throwing their coats on the street.
37-38 Right at the crest, where Mount Olives begins its descent, the whole crowd of disciples burst into enthusiastic praise over all the mighty works they had witnessed:
Blessed is he who comes,
the king in God’s name!
All’s well in heaven!
Glory in the high places!
39 Some Pharisees from the crowd told him, “Teacher, get your disciples under control!”
40 But he said, “If they kept quiet, the stones would do it for them, shouting praise.”
41-44 When the city came into view, he wept over it. “If you had only recognized this day, and everything that was good for you! But now it’s too late. In the days ahead your enemies are going to bring up their heavy artillery and surround you, pressing in from every side. They’ll smash you and your babies on the pavement. Not one stone will be left intact. All this because you didn’t recognize and welcome God’s personal visit.”
45-46 Going into the Temple he began to throw out everyone who had set up shop, selling everything and anything. He said, “It’s written in Scripture,
My house is a house of prayer;
You have turned it into a religious bazaar.”
47-48 From then on he taught each day in the Temple. The high priests, religion scholars, and the leaders of the people were trying their best to find a way to get rid of him. But with the people hanging on every word he spoke, they couldn’t come up with anything.
Mm…Something to ponder…
God, through Jesus Christ and the power of His Holy Spirit living in those who believe, still makes personal visits in our lives.
–Do we recognize Him? Do we welcome His Presence in our lives?
–Do we welcome Him with praise for all that He is to us and has done for us?
–Are others drawn to Him because of our daily adoration and praise of Jesus? Do we “shine so they wonder what we’ve got”? (Newsboys)
–Do we hang on every Word and then live it with the help of His Holy Spirit?
Dear Heavenly Father,
We just want to praise You this morning. Thank you for visiting earth in the form of a man, Jesus. Thank you Jesus for dying for us, saving us from what we most certainly deserve. Thank you for your mercy and grace all wrapped in your unconditional love for us. I will praise and thank you as long as I have breath on earth and then will praise you forever more after that! Thank you, Lord. Thank you Holy Spirit. Thank you Heavenly Father. Three in One. Blessed be Your Name!
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.