Term 2 – Week 10
Big Idea – Praise the promised King who has come to us!
- See the importance and joy of praising the King and the warning for those who reject him.
- Belief – Jesus really is the King, but not the one the world expects
- Behaviour – Enjoy praising Jesus for who he is
Here we see the peak of Jesus’ royal procession into Jerusalem, in this section that follows the travel narrative, where Luke comes back in line with much of the content shared with Matthew and Mark (who was likely a key source for Luke’s material). Remember that as Jesus approaches Jerusalem, Luke is at pains to point that there is a lot of ‘half-truth’ flying about. As Jesus comes, rightly heralded as King on his way to take his throne and win victory for his people, they have got it seriously wrong about the manner of this royal crusade. Luke 18:14 shows how the disciples did not understand the prediction of suffering. Luke 19:11 shows how the people expected the sudden appearing of the kingdom of God. Lets not forget, Jesus had been announcing the coming of the kingdom and teaching on the kingdom of God. Yet they had understood this to be a political event, liberating the Jews from the Romans and establishing Jewish hegemony over the Gentiles.
The events Luke records then show us the correct understanding of Jesus’s arrival in Jerusalem, so that we are not also mistaken. The coming Kingdom must centre on the cross (18:31-34), and the kingdom draws people in through faith and mercy (18:35-42 – note how the blind beggar joined the triumphant procession to Jerusalem). We saw last week how the Kingdom is to come through salvation in the hearts of people, and not political change, as Zacchaeus shows a radical change of heart (19:1-10). The parable of the ten minas demonstrated the kingdom must grow through the faithful in the lengthy time before Jesus returns (19:11-27).
Now Jesus enters Jerusalem, and begins to confound expectations from the outset. He commands two disciples to pick up a young donkey (demonstrating God-like omniscience) on the authority of ‘the Lord’. This colt confirms Old Testament prophecy and undermines the ‘political warrior’ perspective. Cloaks were thrown on the donkey and on the road, building a royal procession for the King. The crowds of disciples began to sing as Jesus came near the Mount of Olives, praising God for the miracles. They had seen the signs as we have done in Luke – Jesus is the promised King! They quote old Testament songs to align Jesus with King David – the descendant who’s throne would last forever. This euphoric praise is frowned upon by the Pharisees – for its exuberance or for its blasphemous suggestions we don’t know – but Jesus affirms their recognition of his kingship and aligns himself with nature itself; even the stones know that Jesus is King.
However this passage takes a turn as Jesus weeps over the city of Jerusalem, as city that will soon howl for his execution and seal its fate as they reject God’s coming. Jesus predicts the fateful day when Jerusalem is ransacked and its people dispersed by the Romans in AD 70. The coming kingdom will not be based off the old city or even the old people, but salvation will be proclaimed and followed around the world. Jesus is the King!
‘Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it,
and whoever loses their life will preserve it.’
Lift Up Your Voices – Awesome Cutlery
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