[Lesson 78: The Resurrection & the Life] [Table of Contents] [Lesson 80: Hard & True Words]
Jesus Enters Jerusalem
Luke 18-20, etc.
Peace be with you, listening friends. We greet you in the name of God, the Lord of peace, who wants everyone to understand and submit to the way of righteousness that He has established, and have true peace with Him forever. We are happy to be able to return today to present your program The Way of Righteousness.
In our last lesson, we saw how the Lord Jesus raised to life a corpse that had been in the grave for four days. The power of death was not a problem for Jesus, because He Himself was (and is) the Resurrection and the Life. Today we plan to continue in the Gospel to see how Jesus entered Jerusalem where He was to be killed. Jesus knew everything that was going to happen to Him. He knew that the leaders of the Jewish religion would turn Him over to the Romans who would torture Him and nail Him to a cross. Still, that knowledge did not prevent Him from going to Jerusalem. Concerning this, the Gospel says: "As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem!" (Luke 9:51) As He was walking, heading toward Jerusalem, Jesus said to His disciples, "I have a baptism [of suffering] to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed!" (Luke 12:50)
Why did Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem? He did this to give Himself up to those who wanted to kill Him! This is amazing! If you knew that, in a certain city, men wanted to torture and kill you, would you resolutely set out for that city? That is exactly what Jesus the Messiah did. Jesus knew that the reason He was born was to die as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. Jesus did not come into the world to seek His own pleasure, but to fulfil what the prophets had written long before concerning Him: that the Messiah would suffer and shed his blood outside Jerusalem on the mountain where Abraham offered the ram in place of his son. It was necessary that the symbolism of the sacrificial ram be fulfilled in Jesus. That was why Jesus went to Jerusalem, the city which, for Him, was like a den of hungry lions awaiting their prey.
Now let us continue our study in the book of the Gospel. The Scripture says:
"They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him." (Mark 10:32) "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled." (Luke 18:31) "The Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise." (Mark 10:33,34)
(Luke 18) 34The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about. 35As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by." 38He called out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" 39Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" 40Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41"What do you want me to do for you?" "Lord, I want to see," he replied. 42Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has healed you." 43Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
(Matt. 21) 1As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, "Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3If anyone says anything to you, tell him that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away." 4This took place to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet: 5"Say to the Daughter of Zion, 'See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.'"
6The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7They brought the donkey and the colt, placed their cloaks on them, and Jesus sat on them. 8A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!"
(Luke 19) 39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, rebuke your disciples!" 40"I tell you," he replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." 41As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42and said, "If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace-but now it is hidden from your eyes. 44…because you did not recognize the time of God's coming to you."
(Matt. 21) 10When Jesus entered Jerusalem, the whole city was stirred and asked, "Who is this?" 11The crowds answered, "This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth in Galilee." 12Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the benches of those selling doves. 13"It is written," he said to them, "'My house will be called a house of prayer,' but you are making it a 'den of robbers.'"
14The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. 15But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple area, "Hosanna to the Son of David," they were indignant. (They were angry because "Hosanna" means "God save us"-- a word to be used for praising God alone.) 16"Do you hear what these children are saying?" [the priests] asked him. "Yes," replied Jesus, "have you never read, "'From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise'?"
"The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching." (Mark 11:18)
(John 12) 23[Then Jesus spoke to his disciples, saying,] "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24I tell you the truth, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds…
27"Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." 29The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. 30Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine. 31Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." 33He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.
Let us stop here briefly. We saw how Jesus entered Jerusalem, riding on a colt of a donkey, and how the crowd of Jews praised and applauded Him, wanting to make Him their king. However, the people did not understand why Jesus had entered Jerusalem. Even Jesus' disciples did not realize what was going to happen. They hoped that Jesus would save the Jewish people from the dominion of their enemy, the Romans. But that was not why Jesus came into the world. Jesus did not come to destroy the empire of Rome, but to destroy the empire of Satan. He did not come down to change this corrupt world, but to change the hearts of people. Indeed, one day, Jesus Christ will return to judge the people of the world and to restore the created world. However, when He came into the world the first time, He came to die as a sacrifice. He came to save the children of Adam from the penalty of their sin, as God had promised through His prophets long beforehand.
Continuing in the story, the Scripture says:
(Luke 19) 47Every day [Jesus] was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. 48Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.
(Luke 20) 1One day as [Jesus] was teaching the people in the temple courts and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. 2"Tell us by what authority you are doing these things," they said. "Who gave you this authority?" 3He replied, "I will also ask you a question. Tell me, 4John's baptism-was it from heaven, or from men?" 5They discussed it among themselves and said, "If we say, 'From heaven', he will ask, 'Why didn't you believe him?' 6But if we say, 'From men', all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet." 7So they answered, "We don't know where it was from." 8Jesus said, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things."
9He went on to tell the people this parable: "A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time. 10At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 11He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. 12He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out. 13"Then the owner of the vineyard said, 'What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.' 14"But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. 'This is the heir,' they said. 'Let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' 15So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. "What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others." When the people heard this, they said, "May this never be!" 17Jesus looked directly at them and asked, "Then what is the meaning of that which is written: "'The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone'? 18Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed!" 19The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest him immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people.
Through the parable of the wicked farmers, Jesus warned those who were plotting to kill Him. Do you understand the meaning of this parable? Interpreting it is not difficult. In this parable, the Lord Jesus compares God to the owner of the field. The field of grapes (vineyard) is the nation of Israel. The evil farmers illustrate the religious leaders of the Jews. The servants that the owner of the field sent to collect the grapes, whom the farmers mistreated, are the prophets. The son of the owner of the field, whom the farmers killed, represents the Messiah, Jesus.
We can understand why the priests and the teachers of the law became very angry. They knew very well that Jesus was speaking about them! They understood that Jesus was comparing them to the wicked farmers who had harassed the servants of the owner of the field, and, in the end, killed his son. Thus Jesus denounced them as those who ignored the words of the prophets, and as those who would kill the Messiah, the Son of the Most High. Not only did Jesus tell them the parable, but He also quoted that which is written concerning Himself in the Psalms, saying: "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone. Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed!" (Luke 20:17,18; Psa. 118:22) Thus Jesus warned the religious leaders that the Savior whom they refused and planned to kill, would, in the end, become their Judge!
Friends, our time is up. Thank you for listening. God willing, in the next lesson, we will continue with the amazing story of Jesus and the religious rulers.…
God bless you as you think about what the Scripture declares concerning the Messiah:
"He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him!" (John 1:10)