The Gospel of Luke tells of the origins, birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.
Luke chapter 19
There are 24 chapters in this book
They bring us through the story of Jesus - the reason for this season.
I also include in the bottom or comments some “extras” like short videos and songs that you may have never heard (or artists you may not know) that resonate with me during this holiday time.
Each post will start with who is who so that you can get a solid understanding of what this chapter is about. I encourage you to read the chapter in your own Bible after you read this. If you don’t have a Bible there are lots of free apps. I use several versions in my studying to ensure I have a full understanding of what I’ve read.
This is my commentary.
Who was Luke?
A physician, a researcher, a traveling friend of Paul (mentioned in Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 1:24), perhaps someone researching facts to help the legal case for Paul while in prison in Rome, a non-Jew, the only Gentile author of a book in the New Testament. He penned not only Luke, but also Acts.
New characters continue to be introduced - new in this chapter:
* A man and his servants
* 2 guys and a donkey
* Unnamed “fans” of Jesus
* More Pharisees
I WANT TO SEE YOU
So many people wanted to see Jesus when he came to town. In Jericho there was a guy who wanted to see him - this guy was a very wealthy and powerful tax collector named Zach (for short). Speaking of short, Zach was short by stature. In order to see Jesus, Zach ran over to a place he knew Jesus would come and he climbed up a sycamore tree so he could see better. This tree can be a symbol for hope and transformation among other things. For Zach, he just wanted to be able to see Jesus and not the backs of taller men.
When Jesus saw him - HE CALLED HIM BY NAME, told him to hurry up and come down from the tree and bring Him to his house. Imagine that? Zach wanted to see this guy - He not only saw him but was asked by Him to have an invite.
Jesus knows even each of us by name even IF you haven’t personally met HIM - not only that - he wants to be invited into your home and your heart.
No matter how elegant or cluttered, big or small, bright or dark. He just wants to be invited. Maybe you’re someone reading these posts who doesn’t comment or “like” but you’re observing like the man in the tree. I encourage you to engage with Jesus.
Even if you don’t comment here - I know there are some of you who read my posts and have a private encounter with what you’re reading.
I don’t write these for the “likes” I write this stuff mainly for me and if they bless others then that is extra special.
Ok. Back to the chapter.
Although Zach was so excited to have Jesus over - everyone saw this and started complaining. How possibly could the king of the universe want to be invited for dinner at the house of a sinner?
It’s the same with us. It’s easy to be judgmental. None are worthy but HE calls us worthy. All of us. I know I’d be happy and I also know some self righteous people would whisper and complain. Hey it may even be one of you reading this.
Do you know that the people that like you least are often the ones that follow you closest?
Yep. Just like Pharisees. They were always around Jesus. But they really wanted to see him stumble and fall. I have worked with people like that. They spend more time trying to see you fail instead of time on improving their own circumstances. If you have people like that in your life - stay focused and keep moving forward.
I’m not concerned with anything but my own heart condition and making sure my eyes are pointed and fixed on Jesus. I do stumble daily but Jesus is always there every time picking me up and dusting me off. He never leaves me or you. I’ve even seen some cold hearted people change dramatically when they have an encounter with Him - often a most unexpected encounter.
Watch what God can do when a cold heart is moved. When Jesus was at dinner - Zach told Him that he wanted to give half of his money to the poor. He also said if he had ever cheated anyone he would pay them back 4 times over. Imagine that.
When you have - give.
Did you know?...
The world economic forum stated that a new billionaire is minted every two days as the poor become poorer. I read that Jeff Bezos had a tremendous sum to pay his ex wife. He paid her - and when covid hit he more than replaced what he lost. Who needs that much money?? When is enough enough? Why are we watching people starving and dying. I would love to see him do good with his money.
It reminds me of the movie Wall-E. Watch it if you haven’t. It’s got lots of wonderful life lessons in that cute Pixar Disney movie.
Back to the chapter.
Zach was trying to do the right thing. Jesus loved him and saved him and told the people who were complaining that the the Son of Man came to find lost people - who were in danger - and save them.
Since He had the people’s attention He decided to tell another story:
“A very important man went to a very far away country to become king. Then he planned to return home and rule his people. He gathered together 10 servants and gave each one a bag of money. The gift bag was valuable. He told them to do good business with what he gave them until he came back. The people in this new kingdom hated the man. They sent a group to follow him to the other country to have him killed. But the man was made king. When he got home he said “call those servants who have my money and tell me if they invested it and how much more money they earned from it.
The first servant came and said “I earned 10 more bags of money from the 1 you gave me”. The man said “you’re a good servant. I can trust you with small things and so I will give you 10 cities to rule over.”
The second came and said he earned 5 bags from the 1. The man gave him 5 cities.
The third servant came and said “I have your bag. I wrapped it in a cloth to protect it and hid it. I was afraid of you and don’t think I could earn more. The man told him he should have at least put his money in the Bank to earn some interest.
Then he told him to give the one bag to the man who earned 10. The king said people who use what they have will get more - but those who don’t use what they have will have everything taken from them.
This is a lesson I’ve been thinking of a lot.
Do I use the gifts God blesses me with or am I just floating through life or worse hiding my gifts because of fear.
Am I missing out on more blessings because of that?
It’s my prayer for this story to continue to become personalized and illuminated for me.
I have the bag in my hand. Am I clutching too tightly?
This is a lesson in trust and faith. It’s one of the stories I’m daily challenged with.
Lastly the king called for his enemies to be brought forward (the ones that wanted him to be killed) he told his servants to have them all killed and that he would watch them die.
I wonder when Jesus told stories what the people really thought.
What did they learn?
Did they think Jesus spoke in riddles?
Did they get aha moments and realize he was talking about himself and us?
HOW DID HE KNOW?
After Jesus said these things he continued on toward Jerusalem. He came near Bethphage and Bethany towns near the hill called the mount of olives. He told two of his followers to go on ahead and they would find a donkey tied there that had never been ridden. Think about that. There was no mail, internet or phones and this town was not close to where he had been before and yet it was already orchestrated and planned. Jesus told them that after they untied it if anyone asked them what they were doing to say “the Master needs it”.
They found it just like he told them and put their coats on it’s back and let Jesus ride into Jerusalem on it.
BEAST OF BURDEN
Everyone could see him coming and were excited praising him for all the things they’d seen and heard - but did they see with clear eyes? Some thought he was coming for earthly rule and to overthrow Rome and oppressors of Israel. He came for so so much more. There are prophesies in the Old Testament of Jesus coming riding on a work animal not a war horse. Remember his mother also rode on this animal right before he was born.
Psalm 118 says “welcome! God bless the king who comes in the name of the lord” - they also said “peace in heaven and glory to God”
The Pharisees were getting angrier by the minute and told Jesus to tell the people to stop saying such things - Jesus must have been getting tired of their constant assaults and harassment and told them “I’m not going to tell them to stop and frankly even if I did the stones would shout the same things”.
Jesus had so many emotions at this time.
Maybe this really irritated him that day.
How often do we wish we could say things to people but just bite our tongues.
Not today. Jesus said what he meant. He-was-frustrated. He wanted the people to hear what he was saying and to understand it all.
As Jesus entered Jerusalem he started to cry and said “I wish you knew today what would bring you peace - but it’s hidden from you now. A time is coming when your enemies will build a wall around you on all sides, destroy all your people and not one stone will stay standing upon one another. Why? All this will happen because you didn’t know or acknowledge the time that God came to save you”.
His emotions were certainly getting high - the pivotal time for why He lived and was brought to earth was about to come to the summit.
As he entered the temple area he threw out all of the people who were selling things. He told them “the scriptures say My temple will be a house of prayer. You’ve changed it into a hiding place for thieves.”
He kept teaching and the priests and Pharisees continued to want to have him killed. They didn’t know how they could do it though since so many people were interested in what he had to say.
He says more in the chapters tomorrow and through Christmas. I hope you’ll keep joining me.
Tomorrow more to come with Ch 20
#ababychangeseverything #ocomeallyefaithful #olittletownofbethlehem #ocomeletusadorehim #ocomeemmanuel #oholynight #whatafriendwehaveinjesus #joytotheworld #jesuslovesmethisiknow #jesusfriendofsinners #loveandjoyuntoyou #thegreatestloveofall #thegiftthatkeepsongiving #whenthehurtandthehealercollide #youfoundme #thinkandgrowrich #havealittlefaith #goodgoodfather #hesawaymaker
Lord thank you for your word. Thank you for the sycamore tree. Thank you for asking me to have you housed in my heart. Thank you for the time to learn about you and think about how much you love me and how much I must also hurt you and yet you forgive me daily. Thank you that you provide more than we need and every time we give what you gave - it is increased. You always bless me more than I deserve and yet I still clutch unsure of what to do or where to go or how deep to dive in. You know. Help me please to know more. You always make a way since you are the way. Thank you for all things. Amen.
MUSIC - the universal language
The song that resonates with me today is this one by Shawn McDonald. https://youtu.be/L4PiNTeEkwo?si=gcF9yfcuJ_mub1ux
And this by Aaron Shust https://youtu.be/uNHroP1a90U?si=jsXrNVLffMgEKwTP
In 1977 this movie came out. I watch it every year. Here’s the full length link. It may give you an entirely different perspective of the purpose of the donkey https://youtu.be/5Ak4eRSnT38
https://youtu.be/evtOaOl1XSo interesting short clip about Hebrew and Greek translation
Lastly - here is the season 4 trailer of The Chosen. The show is free on the app. But this season will also premiere Feb 1 in theaters. You'll see in this clip a LOT about what todays commentary was about. https://youtu.be/wisX-CEjoxc?si=6GD4thjjXUqEAXKI