TRUTH–IMPOSSIBLE TO DESTROY

Luke – Doors Wide Open!
 
Luke 19 Truth matters
In a world where lying and spinning the situation to your advantage has become an art form, we wonder if anyone is capable of telling the truth. It is really scary when the liars are convinced of their own lies!
 
People were desperately seeking authenticity and truth in Jesus’ day. They saw Truth in Jesus for Jesus is Truth. Common people, both Jews and Gentiles, who encountered Truth, hung on every word Jesus said. They watched Him carefully and followed Him around the countryside to see if He really was who He said He was. Many were convinced He was not lying to them. He was The Word they were seeking.
 
luke-19-truth-way-life.jpgJesus, Son of God, comes to God’s house to correct the lies and cheating of the common people in the courtyard leading to the Temple. The behaviors of the sellers of sacrifices had degraded to cheating the people who were coming seek God which was the opposite of what the Temple was built to be…a house of prayer. The “price of admission” was big business to fill the pockets of the corrupt.
 
People today are also desperately seeking Truth. So many lies have been told in the media from products to politicians that people feel that can trust no one. It is easy to fall into this way of thinking, right?
 
Luke 19 Jesus is Truth.jpgBut Truth DOES exist! Truth, the only Truth, the unchanging Truth, is the Person of Jesus Christ! John explains Truth’s beginnings to us in his introduction of who God is and his relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ;
 
“In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
2 He existed in the beginning with God.
3 God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
4 The Word gave life to everything that was created,
and his life brought light to everyone.
5 The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness can never extinguish it.
(John 1:1-5, NLT)
 
So, now that we know who Truth is let us read Truth and pray for understanding.
 
Luke 19, New Living Translation
Jesus Clears the Temple
 
45 Then Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people selling animals for sacrifices. 46 He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”
 
47 After that, he taught daily in the Temple, but the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the other leaders of the people began planning how to kill him. 48 But they could think of nothing, because all the people hung on every word he said.
 
DID YOU KNOW…
 
PROFIT VERSUS TRUTH TELLING
Luke 19 before the crossThe court of the Gentiles was the only place in the temple that was available to the Gentiles. There the Jews could witness to their “pagan” neighbors and tell them about the one true and living God. But instead of being devoted to evangelism, the area was used for a “religious marketplace” where Jews from other lands could exchange money and purchase approved sacrifices. The priests managed this business and made a good profit from it.
 
PREYING INSTEAD OF PRAYING!
Instead of praying for the people, the priests were preying on the people! The temple was not a “house of prayer” (Isa. 56:7); it was a “den of thieves” (Jer. 7:11). Campbell Morgan reminds us that a “den of thieves” is a place where thieves run to hide after they have committed their wicked deeds. The religious leaders were using the services of the holy temple to cover up their sins (see Isa. 1:1–20). But before we condemn them too harshly, have we ever gone to church and participated in religious worship just to give people the impression that we were godly?
 
TRUTH IS AND REMAINS IN CONTROL
Jesus remained in the temple and used it as a gathering place for those who needed help. He healed many who were sick and afflicted, and He taught the people the Word of God. The hypocritical religious leaders tried to destroy Him, but His hour had not yet come and they could not touch Him. In the days that followed, they argued with Him and tried to catch Him in His words (Luke 20), but they failed. When His hour came, He would surrender to them and they would crucify Him.
 
During His last week of ministry, He would courageously face His enemies and then bravely go to the cross to die for the sins of the world. My sins. Your sins. Three days later Truth defies death and rises again to life to give life to all who believe.
 
Luke 19 for God so loved“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16, NLT
 
TRUTH WINS EVERY TIME!
 
Because of Jesus who is Truth, we finally have Someone we can fully trust with our very lives because He laid down His life for ours! Jesus cleared the Temple of all that offended God. Let Jesus clear out the lies, corruption, misbehavior, lack of trust, doubt from our hearts so we can become a “temple” of prayer that houses His Holy Spirit living in us. Jesus in us, WOW…that is the “secret” to knowing and living Truth!
 
Luke 19 my house“The secret is Christ in me, not me in a different set of circumstances.” — Elizabeth Elliot, Missionary
 
“And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.” –Paul. Colossians 1:27
 
HOLY PAUSE…
 
Luke 19 my body his temple“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?”
1 Corinthians 6:19
 
Does Jesus/Truth live in you? Is it time for a cleansing?
 
Welcome Jesus to come into your being and ask Him to take up residence. Repent of the old life and ask Jesus to clean His temple–your heart, mind and soul. Ask Jesus to guide you to His Truth that never changes so you can think more and more like Jesus. He love us, forgives all our sins, cares for us and wants the best in us. And that is the Truth.
 
Dear Heavenly Father,
When all around us are lies, reveal Your Truth. When circumstances change in our lives that might cloud our thinking, let Truth rise to the top, easy to see. You do not hide Truth. Thank you. Help us to seek You (Truth) first. Help us to then help others find and follow you as Truth.
In Jesus Name, Amen
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WEEPING THROUGH PRAISE

Luke – Doors Wide Open!
 
Luke 19 joy and weepingThose of us who have kids know that they love us best when they want something. Kids are kids. They think we don’t know their tricks of manipulation to get what they want or think they need. Parents want love and hugs so we fall for it at first until it goes over the top with doing tasks without being told, suddenly helping their siblings instead of fighting with them, doing their homework, or even washing the car! Yes, that happened once with one of our kids. Washing the car was certainly over the top! When “love” is expressed as a bargaining chip, we would sit them down so we could get to the heart of what is really going on…AFTER, they finish all these good activities, of course! (Smiling.)
 
Love expressed in praise, is awesome if it is pure, from a heart expecting nothing in return.
 
Luke 19 kingJesus has gained a great deal of popularity because of His love, compassion for all people, and his miracles of restoration and life. He is like no other the world has ever seen. So in response, people burst into praise for Jesus. Jesus allows it but knows their hearts well for He is also God, sent from God in human form. He knows that many praise Him for only what He has done. Many praise Him for Who He is. He heard all their praise.
 
But, Jesus knows what will come after the praise. He knows His enemies. He knows the mission He must complete as the Lamb of sacrifice for all the sin of the world. So, Jesus weeps over Jerusalem “because you did not recognize it when God visited you.” You, the chosen children of God just didn’t “get it”. I was here and you rejected Me.”
 
Luke 19, New Living Translation
Jesus’ Triumphant Entry
 
LUke 19 coming28 After telling this story, Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of his disciples. 29 As he came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead. 30 “Go into that village over there,” he told them. “As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”
 
32 So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said. 33 And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?”
 
34 And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs it.” 35 So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on.
 
36 As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. 37 When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.
 
38 “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!”
 
39 But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!”
 
40 He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”
 
Luke 19 weeping King.jpgJesus Weeps over Jerusalem
 
41 But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. 42 “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes. 43 Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. 44 They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not recognize it when God visited you.”
 
THINK ABOUT IT…
(With help fro Warren Wiersbe, Commentator)
 
This is the only time that Jesus permitted a public demonstration on His behalf, and He did so for at least two reasons. First, He was fulfilling prophecy and presenting Himself as Israel’s king (Zech. 9:9). How much of this the crowd really understood we cannot tell, even though they responded by quoting their praises from a messianic psalm (Ps. 118:25–26). No doubt many of the Passover pilgrims thought that Jesus would now get rid of the Roman invaders and establish the glorious kingdom.
 
Luke 19 for God so lovedThe second reason for this demonstration was to force the Jewish religious leaders to act. They had hoped to arrest Him after the Passover (Matt. 26:3–5), but God had ordained that His Son be slain on Passover as the “Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29; and see 1 Cor. 5:7). Every previous attempt to arrest Jesus had failed because “his hour was not yet come” (John 7:30; 8:20; also see John 13:1; 17:1). When they saw this great public celebration, the leaders knew that they had to act, and the willing cooperation of Judas solved their problem for them (Matt. 26:14–16).
 
While the crowd was rejoicing, Jesus was weeping! This is the second occasion on which our Lord wept openly, the first being at the tomb of Lazarus (John 11:35). There He wept quietly, but here He uttered a loud lamentation like one mourning over the dead. In this, He was like the prophet Jeremiah, who wept bitterly over the destruction of Jerusalem (Jer. 9:1; see also the book of Lamentations). Jonah looked on Nineveh and hoped it would be destroyed (Jonah 4), while Jesus looked at Jerusalem and wept because it had destroyed itself.
 
Luke 19 crossNo matter where Jesus looked, He found cause for weeping. If He looked BACK, He saw how the nation had wasted its opportunities and been ignorant of their “time of visitation.” If He looked within, He saw spiritual ignorance and blindness in the hearts of the people. They should have known who He was, for God had given them His Word and sent His messengers to prepare the way.
 
As He looked AROUND, Jesus saw religious activity that accomplished very little. The temple had become a den of thieves, and the religious leaders were out to kill Him. The city was filled with pilgrims celebrating a festival, but the hearts of the people were heavy with sin and life’s burdens.
 
As Jesus looked AHEAD, He wept as He saw the terrible judgment that was coming to the nation, the city, and the temple. In AD 70, the Romans would come and, after a siege of 143 days, kill 600,000 Jews, take thousands more captive, and then destroy the temple and the city.
 
Why did all of this happen? Because the people did not know that God had visited them! “He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (John 1:11). “We will not have this man to reign over us” (Luke 19:14).
 
HOLY PAUSE…
 
Luke 19 weeping
Do our hearts cause Jesus to weep?
 
Do we recognize God at work in us and in the lives of those around us?
 
What causes us to praise God?
 
Jesus IS coming back, you know.
 
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
Lord, nothing seems to break your heart more than what is inside our hearts. Oh, Lord, cleanse our hearts of all that is offensive to you. Restore the joy of Your salvation. Renew a right Spirit in us. Guide our every thought and action. Help us to recognize You and the evidence of Your work in us, all around us and in the lives of others. Keep us all close to You, focused on You, hearing you and quickly obeying You. It is all about You. You are God and we are not. We praise you with hearts, minds and souls full of love for you.
In Jesus Name, Amen
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FAITHFULNESS WINS EVERY TIME

Luke – Doors Wide Open!
Luke 19 faith
The parable of the talents teaches us to be faithful to use our different gifts as God gives us opportunities to serve. Some people have a great deal of ability, so God gives them greater opportunity. The important thing is not how much ability you have but how faithful you are to use what you have for the Lord. The person with the least ability, if he or she is faithful, will receive the same reward as the most gifted church leader.
 
Luke 19, New Living Translation
Parable of the Ten Servants
 
11 The crowd was listening to everything Jesus said. And because he was nearing Jerusalem, he told them a story to correct the impression that the Kingdom of God would begin right away. 12 He said, “A nobleman was called away to a distant empire to be crowned king and then return. 13 Before he left, he called together ten of his servants and divided among them ten pounds of silver, saying, ‘Invest this for me while I am gone.’ 14 But his people hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We do not want him to be our king.’
 
15 “After he was crowned king, he returned and called in the servants to whom he had given the money. He wanted to find out what their profits were. 16 The first servant reported, ‘Master, I invested your money and made ten times the original amount!’
 
17 “‘Well done!’ the king exclaimed. ‘You are a good servant. You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, so you will be governor of ten cities as your reward.’
 
18 “The next servant reported, ‘Master, I invested your money and made five times the original amount.’
 
19 “‘Well done!’ the king said. ‘You will be governor over five cities.’
 
Luke 19 opportunities20 “But the third servant brought back only the original amount of money and said, ‘Master, I hid your money and kept it safe. 21 I was afraid because you are a hard man to deal with, taking what isn’t yours and harvesting crops you didn’t plant.’
 
22 “‘You wicked servant!’ the king roared. ‘Your own words condemn you. If you knew that I’m a hard man who takes what isn’t mine and harvests crops I didn’t plant, 23 why didn’t you deposit my money in the bank? At least I could have gotten some interest on it.’
 
24 “Then, turning to the others standing nearby, the king ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one who has ten pounds.’
 
25 “‘But, master,’ they said, ‘he already has ten pounds!’
 
26 “‘Yes,’ the king replied, ‘and to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away. 27 And as for these enemies of mine who didn’t want me to be their king—bring them in and execute them right here in front of me.’”
 
THINK ABOUT IT…
 
Luke 19 JesusIt’s sad when a Christian is motivated by slavish fear instead of loving faith. While there is a proper “fear of the Lord” that should be in every Christian’s heart, that “fear”should be the respect of a loving child and not the dread of a frightened slave. “Nothing twists and deforms the soul more than a low or unworthy conception of God,” wrote Dr. A. W. Tozer. How important it is that we do the will of God from our hearts (Eph. 6:6).
 
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
We repent of doing just to be doing or doing nothing at all. Renew our Spirit by the power of Your Holy Spirit. May our love for You and others guide our behaviors in the opportunities you invite us to serve. It is all about you! Thank you for continually inviting us into your work so we will grow and mature in your love, mercy and grace.
In Jesus Name, Amen
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WEE MAN – CHANGED HEART

Luke – Wide Open Doors
 
Luke 19 out
Zacchaeus was a wee little man
And a wee little man was he
He climbed up in a sycamore tree
For the Lord he wanted to see
 
And when the Savior passed that way
He looked up in the tree
And said, ‘Zacchaeus, you come down!
For I’m going to your house today!
For I’m going to your house today!’
 
Zacchaeus was a wee little man
But a happy man was he
For he had seen the Lord that day
And a happy man was he;
And a very happy man was he
 
I grew up on this song. We sang about Zacchaeus and Jesus as we rocked our babies and grand-babies. We sang the song with high energy motions with little kids in Sunday School. Yes, those of us who are “lifers” who grew up in church, know the song of the wee, little man.
 
Luke 19 Sycamore treeThere is so much more going on in this passage than a wee hearted man of small stature driven to see Jesus. Zacchaeus was a despised tax collector who had permission from the government to collect more than was required so he could make a living that suited him by skimming off the top. Being “chief” tax collector he had the ability to earn/take even more. So, you can imagine why he was hated by the common people. Zacchaeus was a Jewish man, hated by his own, and deemed a traitor of sorts for working for the Roman government…a sinner in the eyes of the religious elite. But, “the Lord he wanted to see”.
 
By now, Jesus had gained great popularity throughout the region because of what He could do, not necessarily of who He was. Crowds gathered when he came through their towns on His mission to Jerusalem. They wanted to see what Jesus would do next. Zacchaeus was one of them.
 
Imagine the CEO of a large company climbing a tree, hanging out on a limb, so to speak, to see anyone. I am smiling at the thought. What made Zacchaeus run ahead in his robes of importance, climb a tree like a kid throwing caution and pride to the wind, just so he could get a glimpse of the man everyone had been talking about?
 
Luke 19, New Living Translation
Jesus and Zacchaeus
 
Luke 19 Zac in the tree
Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. 3 He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.
 
5 When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
 
6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 7 But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.
 
8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”
 
9 Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”
 
THINK ABOUT IT…
 
Though Zaccheus was a renegade in the eyes of the Jews, he was a precious lost sinner in the eyes of Jesus. It is interesting to see the changes Zaccheus experienced that day, all because Jesus visited Jericho.
 
In the East, it is unusual for a man to run, especially a wealthy government official, yet Zaccheus ran down the street like a little boy following a parade. And he even climbed a tree! Curiosity is certainly characteristic of most children, and Zaccheus was motivated by curiosity that day.
 
FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)
John Calvin wrote, “Curiosity and simplicity are a sort of preparation for faith.” This is often the case, and it was certainly true of Zaccheus. Why the big crowd? Who is this Jesus of Nazareth they are following? What am I missing?
 
Luke 19 seekingWHO was seeking?
Zaccheus thought he was seeking Jesus (Luke 19:3), but Jesus was seeking him (Luke 19:10)! By nature, the lost sinner does not seek the Savior (Rom. 3:11). When our first parents sinned, they hid from God, but God came and sought them (Gen. 3:1–10). When Jesus was ministering on earth, He sought out the lost; and today the Holy Spirit, through the church, is searching for lost sinners.
 
We do not know how God had worked in the heart of Zaccheus to prepare him for this meeting with Jesus. Was Levi, the former publican (Luke 5:27–39), one of his friends? Had he told Zaccheus about Jesus? Was he praying for Zaccheus? Had Zaccheus become weary of wealth and started yearning for something better? We cannot answer these questions, but we can rejoice that a seeking Savior will always find a sinner who is looking for a new beginning.
 
It was not Zaccheus’s fault that he was “little of stature” and could not see over the crowd. He did what he could to overcome his handicap by putting aside his dignity and climbing a tree. In a spiritual sense, all of us are “little of stature,” for “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). No one measures up to God’s high standards; we are all “too little” to enter into heaven.
 
Zaccheus trusted Jesus Christ and became a true “son of Abraham,” meaning, of course, a child of faith (Rom. 4:12; Gal. 3:7). That is as big as you can get! Small of stature but now possessing a changed heart with giant faith.
 
HOLY PAUSE
 
Luke 19 seek and saveIs Jesus, through His Holy Spirit, seeking you?
 
Do you see His Holy Spirit moving through your family and friends?
 
What will you do? “Come down” out of that tree and welcome Him into your life?
 
“For I’m coming to your house today, I’m coming to your house to stay.”
 
EPILOGUE
Zaccheus was not saved because he promised to do good works. He was saved because he responded by faith to Christ’s gracious word to him. Having trusted the Savior, he then gave evidence of his faith by promising to make restitution to those he had wronged. Saving faith is more than pious words and devout feelings. It creates a living union with Christ that results in a changed life (James 2:14–26).
 
When a day begins, you never know how it will end. For Zaccheus, that day ended in joyful fellowship with the Son of God, for he was now a changed man with a new life. Jesus is still seeking the lost and yearning to save them. Has He found you?
 
Mark 1 Jesus
Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
You found me! I’m yours, imperfections and all. Thank you for continually transforming me to be all you created me to be. There will always be critics, you had them, but my eyes are fixed on You. Continue to teach me, mold and shape me. Guide my every thought, word and action. Keep me close to You. Thank you, Holy Spirit for correction, challenge, encouragement and direction. Thank you for being with us always as you promised.
In Jesus Name, Amen
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I WANT TO SEE!

Luke – Wide Open Doors!
 
Luke 18 regain my sight
Getting older, our worn eyes cannot see as clearly unaided as we once could. It’s so annoying, right? But consider the alternatives of not seeing at all! Being blind is a little like waking up in the middle of the night in darkness while trying to make your way to the bathroom. You run into things as you hurry on your mission without a light. Your eyes take longer to adjust to seeing in the dark. You only see outlines of the furniture in the dim light coming from street lights. So you reach out with both hands to feel your way to where you want to go. This is a mere example of short term “blindness”. Once you flick on the bathroom light, all is well. It’s all good–until you flick off the light to go back to bed…again in darkness.
 
Luke 18 glassesThe blind man spent his life begging on the street for a living. His sense of hearing, however, was great! He HEARD the noise of the crowd who was following the man everyone wanted to be close to because of the miracles that had witnessed. He asked what was happening.
 
And they told him.
 
Luke 18, New Living Translation
Jesus Heals a Blind Beggar
 
35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind beggar was sitting beside the road. 36 When he heard the noise of a crowd going past, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him that Jesus the Nazarene was going by. 38 So he began shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
 
39 “Be quiet!” the people in front yelled at him.
 
Luke 18 BartBut he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
 
40 When Jesus heard him, he stopped and ordered that the man be brought to him. As the man came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?”
 
“Lord,” he said, “I want to see!”
 
42 And Jesus said, “All right, receive your sight! Your faith has healed you.” 43 Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus, praising God. And all who saw it praised God, too.
 
HOLY PAUSE
 
WHO told the blind man about Jesus and who He was?
 
Would he have been healed had they not told him?
 
Mm. Who have I not told?
 
GOING DEEPER…
Matthew tells us that there were two blind beggars who met Jesus as He left Jericho (Matt, 20:29–30), but Luke introduces us to one blind beggar, Bartimaeus, who called out as Jesus approached Jericho. The two men, one of whom was more outspoken, were sitting at the entrance to the new city, so there is no contradiction.
 
Luke 18 Jesus
In that day, blindness was a common affliction for which there was no cure, and all a blind person could do was beg. These two men had not been born blind, for their prayer was to “regain” their sight. They persisted in crying out to the Lord, in spite of the obstacles in their way: their inability to see Jesus, the opposition of the crowd, and our Lord’s delay in responding to them. They were not going to let Jesus pass them without first pleading for mercy.
 
As soon as SOMEONE told the blind men WHO was passing by, they cried out to Jesus, believing He could heal them. The fact that they addressed Him as “Son of David,” a messianic title, indicates that these two Jewish beggars knew that Jesus could and would give sight to the blind (Isa. 35:5). Jesus responded to their faith and healed them, and what a change took place! They went from darkness to light, from begging to following Jesus, and from crying to praising the Lord. They joined the pilgrim crowd going to Jerusalem and lifted their voices in praising the Lord. What a story, right?
 
WRAPPING UP CHAPTER 18…
(Warren Wiersbe, Commentator)
 
Luke 18 do what“The “human editions” we have “read” in this chapter encourage us to put our faith in Jesus Christ, no matter what others may say or do. The widow was not discouraged by the indifferent attitude of the judge, nor the publican by the hypocritical attitude of the Pharisee. The parents brought their little ones to Jesus in spite of the selfish attitude of the apostles, and the blind men came to Jesus even though the crowd told them to keep quiet and stay put. Jesus always responds to faith and rewards those who believe.”
 
“But the rich young ruler stands as a warning to all who depend on character to save them from sin. This young man shows us how close a person may come to salvation and yet turn away in unbelief.”
 
The blind men became the sighted men, no longer begging or feeling their way through life. The rich man still groped through the dark, never turning on the Light.
 
Luke 18 what do you want

I want to see, don’t you?
 
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
Thank you for saving our souls, healing our brokenness, restoring the joy of our salvation. We praise you because of Who your are! We praise you for being with us, knowing us inside out and loving us anyway. We thank you for continually caring for our growth with nurturing our hearts as we seek to follow you. Your stories give hope and life to our walk. Thank you, Lord.
In Jesus Name, Amen
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BTW, THIS IS WHAT WILL HAPPEN, GUYS….

Luke – Wide Open Doors!
 
Luke 18 btw guys
When you are explaining something that is going to happen to your family, we reserve some of the details of how and when it will occur from our kids so they will not become too excited, overly anxious or afraid. Maybe it is a new job that requires moving to another city and state. It might require leaving your extended family. It might be an illness that will change their way of life. Whatever it might be, we ease them into transitions in their lives in small parcels of information to help them in the journey of change.
 
The Twelve are given detailed information about what will happen to Jesus when they “go up to Jerusalem”. They are almost there. It has been a long journey with many miracles and teaching along the way. The Twelve are getting used to the popularity of Jesus. They have witnessed the power of Jesus. They are imagining a revolution from the tyranny of the Roman government. But that is not the reality of what will occur. Jesus knows what they are thinking.
 
All that will happen and has been predicted by prophets before them in scripture. Jesus shares the details once more. By the way, guys, “listen”… But it is too much for them. Are they in shock, denial or just not listening? Maybe God is softening the blow of these acts of violence against the One they love by not allowing their minds to take it all in…yet.
 
Luke 18, New Living Translation
Jesus Again Predicts His Death
 
Luke 18 Jesus predicts31 Taking the twelve disciples aside, Jesus said, “Listen, we’re going up to Jerusalem, where all the predictions of the prophets concerning the Son of Man will come true. 32 He will be handed over to the Romans, and he will be mocked, treated shamefully, and spit upon. 33 They will flog him with a whip and kill him, but on the third day he will rise again.”
 
34 But they didn’t understand any of this. The significance of his words was hidden from them, and they failed to grasp what he was talking about.
 
THINK ABOUT IT…
Luke 18 Jesus on the crossWe have the details of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and many still do not grasp the significance of who Jesus is, why the Son of God came to earth as a human and what He did to save our souls. In our country, we cannot imagine the Roman forms of torture of being whipped beyond recognition then nailed to boards, hoisted up and place on a hill in humility for all to see. HE who had no sin died for all sinners.
 
PAUSE TO THANK GOD!
 
Yes, as Jesus journeyed to Jerusalem, He told His disciples what would happen there, but they could not grasp what their Lord was saying (Luke 18:31–34). Some of the people in the crowd thought He was going to Jerusalem to deliver Israel from Roman bondage and usher in the kingdom of God. Still others followed Him just to see the next miracle He would perform.
 
Luke 18 listenHOLY PAUSE…
Are we like those in the crowd who are just waiting for the next miracle?
 
Do we understand exactly what Jesus did for each of us?
 
Do we shudder at the thought of all Jesus endured for us so we can be free from sin? He suffered, died and rose again for our sin. Our part is to believe that He did and say yes to His forgiveness for our sins.
 
Too simple? It might seem that way at first until we are ALL IN, believing, trusting, obeying, AND following Him as we get to know Him, love Him, and listen to Him while realizing more and more each day how much He loves us. We will spend a lifetime on earth getting to know and love Him more as we realize the depth and breath of His love for us. Then later, we will spend an eternity WITH Him in glory! The best is yet to come!
 
Paul explains His walk of faith…
Luke 18 cross to empty grave
“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
 
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.
 
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3, NIV)
 
Luke 18 come trueWe don’t “get it” all at once. God understands and gives us exactly what we need to know when we need to know it as we trust Him. Be ready to listen when He does. He is such a good, good Father.
 
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
Thank you for saving my soul. Thank you for taking me on this faith journey in ways I can grasp and understand. Thank you for being with us and never leaving us. Thank you for your Holy Spirit that guides, challenges our thinking, teaches Truth, corrects our walk and leads us to deeper love of you and others.
In Jesus Name, Amen
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IF I WERE A RICH MAN…

Luke – Wide Open Doors!
 
Luke 18 dear GodDear God, you made many, many poor people.
I realize, of course, that it’s no shame to be poor
But it’s no great honor, either.
So what would have been so terrible if I had a small fortune?
 
If I were a rich man,
Daidle deedle daidle
Daidle daidle deedle daidle dumb
 
All day long I’d biddy-biddy-bum
If I were a wealthy man
I wouldn’t have to work hard,
Daidle deedle daidle
Daidle daidle deedle daidle dumb
If I were a biddy-biddy rich,
Daidle deedle daidle daidle man
 
I’d build a big tall house with rooms by the dozen
Right in the middle of the town,
A fine tin roof with real wooden floors below.
There would be one long staircase just going up
And one even longer coming down,
And one more leading nowhere, just for show.
 
Luke 18 tevye pointingThe most important men in town will come to fawn on me
They will ask me to advise them,
Like a Solomon the Wise
“If you please, Reb Tevye?”
“Pardon me, Reb Tevye?”
Posing problems that would cross a rabbi’s eyes
Ya va voy, ya va voy voy vum
 
And it won’t make one bit of difference
If I answer right or wrong
When you’re rich they think you really know.
If I were rich, I’d have the time that I lack
 
To sit in the synagogue and pray,
And maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall,
And I’d discuss the learned books with the holy men
Seven hours every day
That would be the sweetest thing of all
Oy!
 
If I were a rich man,
Daidle deedle daidle
Daidle daidle deedle daidle dumb
All day long I’d biddy-biddy-bum
 
LUke 18 tevyeIf I were a wealthy man.
I wouldn’t have to work hard,
Daidle deedle daidle
Daidle daidle deedle daidle dumb
 
Lord who made the lion and the lamb,
You decreed I should be what I am
Would it spoil some vast, eternal plan,
If I were a wealthy man?
 
Tevye was my dad’s favorite character in the movie “Fiddler on the Roof”. He watched the movie many times. Sometimes, in the privacy of our home, my dad would burst into this song and do the little dance. I would giggle and my mom would remark with a smile, “Oh Vernon…”
 
As soon as I saw the title of our passage, this memory flashed in my mind. So I looked up all the lyrics, because sometimes my dad would make up his own lyrics. I didn’t print all the lyrics here as it is a lot! Tevye is tired of being poor and asks God to bless him with being rich. But what he is really asking for is money, power, influence and notoriety in his community and beyond. He says nothing of helping others with his riches.
 
Jesus is talking to a “Tevye” with riches as he forces the man to look at his heart, mind and soul. Jesus is not impressed with his riches, but He is passionate for his soul. Because Jesus, God in human form, sees right through his pretense in wanting to “follow” Jesus, He asks him to do what the rich man clings to the most…his wealth.
 
Luke 18, New Living Translation
The Rich Man
Luke 18 rich to Christ18 Once a religious leader asked Jesus this question: “Good Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?”
 
19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “Only God is truly good. 20 But to answer your question, you know the commandments: ‘You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. Honor your father and mother.’”
 
21 The man replied, “I’ve obeyed all these commandments since I was young.”
 
Luke 18 rich22 When Jesus heard his answer, he said, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
 
23 But when the man heard this he became very sad, for he was very rich.
 
24 When Jesus saw this, he said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God! 25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
Luke 18 camel.jpg
26 Those who heard this said, “Then who in the world can be saved?”
 
27 He replied, “What is impossible for people is possible with God.”
 
28 Peter said, “We’ve left our homes to follow you.”
 
29 “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, 30 will be repaid many times over in this life, and will have eternal life in the world to come.”
 
THINK ABOUT IT…
 
Luke 18 went awayThe rich young ruler (Matt. 19:20) may be the only man in the Gospels who came to the feet of Jesus and went away in worse condition than when he came. And yet he had so much in his favor! He was moral and religious, earnest and sincere, and probably would have qualified for membership in the average church. Yet he refused to follow Jesus Christ and instead went his own way in great sorrow.
 
HOLY PAUSE…
 
Lord, examine my heart…See if there is anything wrong that needs to be set right. Holy Spirit convict me of wrong thinking and behaving.
 
What am I asking for at the feet of Jesus?
 
What was wrong with the rich man? In a word: DISHONESTY. In spite of the fact that he came to the right Person, asked the right question, and received the right answer, he made the wrong decision. Why? Because he was not honest with God or with himself. Therefore, he would not do what he was commanded to do. He was a superficial young man who said one thing but did another.
 
Consider the areas in which the young rich man was dishonest:
 
WHO IS GOOD
Rabbis were called “Master” (Teacher), but it was most unusual for a rabbi to be called “good.” The Jews reserved the word good for God. This explains why our Lord asked the young man what he meant, for if he really believed that Jesus was “good,” then he had to confess that Jesus was God. By asking this question, our Lord was not denying His deity but affirming it. He was testing the young man to see if he really understood what he had just said.
 
Luke 18 sorrowHIS HEART
His subsequent behavior proved that the young ruler did not believe that Jesus Christ was God. If he really thought he was in the presence of Almighty God, why did he argue politely about the law, brag about his character, and then refuse to obey the Word? Surely he knew that God sees the heart and knows all things!
 
HIS VIEW OF SIN
He also had a superficial view of his own sin. No doubt the young man sincerely tried to keep the law; in fact, this may have been what brought him to the feet of Jesus (Gal. 3:24). Jesus did not quote the law to him as a means of salvation, because obedience to the law does not save us. He held the law before the young man as a mirror to reveal his sins (Rom. 3:19–20; Gal. 2:21; 3:21).
 
HOLY PAUSE…
 
Am I honest in my relationship with God?
 
What IS my heart’s passion and motivation for living life?
 
Oy! The young man looked into the mirror and would not see the stains and blemishes in his life. Jesus knew the young man’s heart, so instead of preaching to him about covetousness, He asked him to do something that a covetous person would not do.
 
Nobody is saved by giving all his wealth to the poor, but nobody can be saved who will not repent of his sins and turn away from them. This young man was possessed by the love of money and he would not let go.
 
HOLY PAUSE…
Luke 18 fist of money
What am I clinging to with clenched fists?
 
What do I need to let go of today?
 
The young man thought that eternal life came to those who “did something” (Luke 18:18), which was a typical Jewish conviction (Luke 18:9–12). But when Jesus gave him something to do, he refused to obey! He wanted salvation on his terms, not God’s, so he turned and went away in great sorrow.
 
Like Tevye, the disciples couldn’t quite understand why Jesus said it is difficult, almost impossible, for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God. They were Jews and the Jews believed that riches were a mark of God’s blessing. “If rich people can’t be saved,” they reasoned, “what hope is there for the rest of us?”
 
BUT HERE’S THE POINT, TEVYE…
 
It is not possessing riches that keeps people out of heaven, for Abraham, David, and Solomon were wealthy men. It is being possessed by riches and trusting them that makes salvation difficult for the wealthy. Wealth gives people a false sense of success and security, and when people are satisfied with themselves, they feel no need for God.
 
The rich young ruler is a warning to people who want a Christian faith that does not change their values or upset their lifestyle. Jesus does not command every seeking sinner to sell everything and give to the poor, but He does put His finger of conviction on any area in our lives about which we are dishonest.
 
Luke 18 bow before HimDear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
I may not have wealth in the world’s eyes, but I may have something that still stands in the way of our rich and pure relationship. I repent of holding on to my time. You gave me this time on earth. I give it all back to you with unclenched fists. Guide my every thought and action. Give me wisdom in my time managed by you. Help me to see your will and purpose and pursue that which you planned for me long ago. Continue to transform me so that I will bear the fruits of Your Holy Spirit, the characteristics of you in me.
In Jesus Name, Amen
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