Daily Bible Studies
|Series Theme: Luke's Gospel Studies|
Chapter: Luke 19
Passage: Luke 19:1-10
A. Find Out:
1. Where was Jesus now? v.1
2. Who was there? What are we told about him? v.2-4
3. So what did Jesus say when he arrived? v.5
4. What two things followed that? v.6,7
5. What did Zacchaeus say he was going to do? v.8
6. How did Jesus describe him? v.9
7. What did Jesus say he had come to do? v.10
This is a remarkable encounter, a story full of surprises! It is remarkable first of all, because of the sort of person Zacchaeus is. He is a CHIEF tax collector, a Jew who works for the Romans. He is therefore strongly disliked and probably corrupt (you didn't get to the top of that profession by being straight!). He's also a little man, which means he probably tries to make up for it in arrogant behaviour. Not a nice man! But he wants to see who Jesus is! Why???
What is next (possibly) surprising (if you are a Pharisee) is Jesus' response to him. Jesus basically invites himself to dinner! This teacher of good morals is going to the home of a man with no morals!
What is the third surprising thing is that Zacchaeus responds gladly. He wants Jesus to come. The man with no morals wants the man with morals to come! Why????
Zacchaeus is overwhelmed by Jesus' acceptance of him and responds very positively. He is a changed man, but love does that! Jesus has loved and accepted this man and that has released Zacchaeus to make a step of faith and become, in Jesus' words, a man of faith, a son of Abraham. He was lost and now he is saved – that is what Jesus comes to do.
1. Would we have loved and accepted Zacchaeus in this way?
2. Love transforms. Are we transforming people?
A. Find Out:
1. Why did Jesus tell this parable? v.11
2. What happened to the man in the story? v.12,,15
3. What did he do with his servants? v.13
4. What happened with the first two servants? v.16-19
5. What happened with the third servant? v.20-24
6. What did Jesus teach from this? v.26,27
A powerful story! Again Luke tells us why Jesus tells it: because there is a growing sense in the people about Jesus that he is going to Jerusalem to bring about some change which will usher in the kingdom of God. The story is a warning to live wisely while waiting for the kingdom to arrive in its fullness.
In the story Jesus pictures a man who is of noble birth ( he is the Son of God) who is going away to be proclaimed king (when he returns to heaven he will be acclaimed as such by what he has achieved!). Before he leaves he gives each of his servants one mina (a limited amount of money). When he returns he calls them to account for what they have done with it. To the ones who used it well he gives more authority to rule. To the one who did nothing with it, he takes away even the one . The message is clear: use what has been entrusted to you.
At the end of it the point is emphasised and in the spiritual realm we must assume the words to mean, that if you receive Jesus and have a little faith and use it, much more will be given to you. If you refuse Jesus or refuse to use even the little faith he grants you, what you have will be taken from you and eternal death is the ultimate end. The call in the kingdom is to respond to the king and go on responding to him, for this is what faith is all about.
1. Faith either dies or grows. There is no standing still.
2. We are called to use what God has given us.
Chapter: Luke 19
Passage: Luke 19:28-38
A. Find Out:
1. Where was all this taking place? v.28,29a
2. What did he do? v.29b - 31
3. What happened? v.32-34
4. What started to happen as Jesus rode along? v.35,36
5. What then happened as they got nearer? v.37
6. What did they declare? v.389
They are rapidly approaching Jerusalem on this last journey and when they actually draw near there is a tremendous sense of rejoicing (v.37) and an anticipation that this is the entry of the conquering king, the one long foretold in the prophecies of old. The crowd are going wild. Yet, there is a sense that the whole thing is being stage-managed by God.
First Jesus performs miracles in the surrounding area that excite the people. We've recently read (18:35 -) of the healing of the blind beggar – an obvious miracle. John's Gospel records the miracle of the raising of Lazarus from the dead (The Synoptic Gospels don't perhaps because Lazarus was still alive while they were writing). The crowds have been seeing the wonderful things he did. He appealed to the ordinary people as he mixed with tax collectors and ‘sinners'.
Second he gets his disciples to get a donkey for him to ride in on, and thus he fulfils a very well known prophetic Scripture (Mt 21:5) and the crowds know it! Everything about Jesus' activity goes towards building up a tremendous climax at his entry. Here is a conquering king – a threat to the Roman and Jewish religious authorities, a threat to the stability of Jerusalem and the religious order. The sinful hearts of men will rise up and destroy him, just as he predicted.
1. Understand that Jesus is in control of events – yes, even today!
2. Jesus understands the hearts of men and knows how they will act.
A. Find Out:
1. Who objected and what was Jesus' response? v.39,40
2. What did Jesus feel about Jerusalem and why? v.41,42
3. What did he say would happen to Jerusalem ? v.43,44
4. Where did he go, what did he do and why? v.45,46
5. What did he do each day and who watched to do what? v.47
6. But why couldn't they? v.48
The crowd is welcoming Jesus along the road to Jerusalem as a glorious deliverer. They declare that he comes in the name of the Lord, and this upsets the Pharisees. All this adoration is too much for a religious teacher, is what they reason.
No, it's real, replies Jesus, it's right. If they didn't do it the stones would! That really would have added further upset to them. But Luke is more concerned to record Jesus' feelings for Jerusalem. He sees the holy city and weeps, because in his spirit he knows the failure of inhabitants of the city to be God's people, and he knows what will happen in the future, that in AD70 Jerusalem will be destroyed. Yes, the Son of God knows all these things and his heart is broken for their failure. This is the God with whom we deal!
When he arrives in Jerusalem, he doesn't go towards the Roman garrison, for this is not a military move, but goes the other way up to the Temple where he ousts all those making trade out of religion. This is a spiritual revolution and, as he continues teaching in the week leading up to Passover, those diehards of traditional, deathly, orthodox religion looked on, felt uncomfortable and threatened and considered how they could possibly do away with him. But the reality was that he was surrounded by adoring crowds and so any move against him would have caused instant rebellion. The time is not yet right.
1. Jesus comes to bring a spiritual revolution. All else follows!
2. Has my life been revolutionised by Jesus? Really?
Chapter: Luke 20
Passage: Luke 20:1-8
A. Find Out:
1. Who came to challenge Jesus? v.1
2. What challenge did they give him? v.2
3. What question did he give in return? v.3,4
4. What first alternative did they consider? v.5
5. What second alternative did they consider? v.6
6. So what was the outcome? v.7,8
It's the week before Passover and Jesus is teaching the crowds of Jerusalem in the area surrounding the Temple . The religious authorities from within the Temple, together with some of the community leaders, come to challenge him, basically saying, “Who said you could do this?”
The obvious answer is “My father in heaven”, but Jesus doesn't want to provoke anything prematurely so wants to avoid having to give that answer. In return, therefore, he poses a question that puts them in an awkward spot. They could have replied, “No you give us an answer first and then we'll answer you,” but they realised that if he gave an answer they'd have to commit themselves to an answer and be in trouble.
The possible answers before them were clear: Yes John, was from God, or, no he wasn't. It was the things that followed on from those answers that caused the problem! A 'ye's answer was difficult because they had opposed John, and a 'no' answer would have upset the crowds, so they didn't want to say that.
The lack of their authority becomes even more obvious when Jesus refuses to give them an answer and they do nothing, except leave him to carry on teaching! If they had authority they could have demanded he left the Temple precincts. He stays! They're upset!
1. Carping challenges are of turned away by appeals to the truth.
2. The kingdom is all about truth, not man-made rules.
Chapter: Luke 20
Passage: Luke 20:9-19
A. Find Out:
1. What scene does Jesus set in this parable? v.9
2. What did the owner do at harvest? v.10a
3. What response did he get? v.10b-12
4. So what did the owner decide to do, with what result? v.13-15a
5. What would the owner then do? v.15b,16
6. What does Jesus then quote to make the point? v.17
7. How did the authorities react and why? v.19
Jesus now goes on to tell a further parable. There are certain similarities in it to the one told in Luke 19:12. It starts out with a man who goes away. Both parables give remind us that God leaves us responsibility for the way we live on earth while He remains in heaven. In both parables there is a time of accounting which tells us that we will be answerable to God. But then there are differences.
In the first parable it was all about how the servants used the talents they had been given. In this parable it is about how the tenants responded to first the servants and then the son of the owner. Their rejection of all those coming form the owner means eventually their destruction. Jesus clearly speaks about Israel. The servants were the prophets sent from God who were constantly rejected, and of course he himself is the Son who will be killed.
The parable is told not just to say what has happened and will happen to those sent from God, but to warn those who have rejected them, that their day WILL come, there will be an accounting, there will be a judgement.
When Jesus told stories they had a point to them and the religious authorities know that he is talking about them and so again they think how they can remove him, because he is a constant thorn in their side. Truth often is when our sins are being exposed. That's why Jesus has to die.
1. Our time on earth is strictly limited. There will be an accounting.
2. The crucial issue will be how we have responded to God here.
Chapter: Luke 20
Passage: Luke 20:20-26
A. Find Out:
1. What was going on at this time and why? v.20
2. What did they say about Jesus? v.21
3. So what did they ask? v.22
4. How did Jesus respond? v.23,24
5. What was their response and his instruction? v.25
6. What was the result? v.26
Again Luke gives us personal commentary about what was taking place. It is the final week before Passover, Jesus is teaching daily in the Temple precincts, and the authorities are becoming more and more upset. Now they devise a trap. They'll ask him about paying taxes. If he says yes, he'll be unpopular with the crowds who hate the Romans, and if he says no, we'll tell the Romans he is inciting rebellion against them.
Jesus saw right through this and with the wisdom that was his from heaven, gave an answer that was right and true and which offended no one. His enemies were silenced.
We see in all this the gradual rising of the antagonism of the authorities against Jesus. It was all right while he was up in Galilee, he was just another Galilean prophet who could be ignored, but now he has arrived on their doorstep with great fanfare and has the temerity to be teaching on a daily basis right outside the Temple.
Worse than that, his teaching is under-girded with subtle criticisms of the religious authorities, past and present. Yet even worse, every time they send someone outside to try and find some grounds to criticise and even arrest him, he manages to turn the situation round and turn it back against them. As far as they are concerned this situation is going nowhere, only worse and worse. Something will have to be done – soon!
1. Don't try to catch Jesus out – you won't!
2. Don't criticise God. It only reveals things about you!
Chapter: Luke 20
Passage: Luke 20:27-40
A. Find Out:
1. Who next came to test Jesus? v.27
2. What was the question they set up? v.28-33
3. What did Jesus say happens now in this life on earth? v.34
4. What did he say about eternal life? v.35,36
5. What did he say the story of Moses shows? v.37,38
6. What was the outcome? v.39,40
First it was the teachers of the law, but now it is the Sadducees, and Luke reminds us, or tells us if we didn't know, that they are the ones who were religious but didn't actually believe in an afterlife. So, they come with a question about something they don't believe in! Possibly they come to try to show, in their logic, why the afterlife can't be. They speak about the practice of the next brother marrying the widow to maintain the Jewish name and set up a scenario where there are several brothers who marry her.
What happens in heaven? Answer from Jesus - nothing, because heaven is a completely different existence where there is no marriage. We're told elsewhere in Scripture that it is a spirit-existence, or at least we have spirit-bodies, so the material body experiences, such as marriage, will no longer exist.
With such an explanation does Jesus answer their question, but he's not happy to leave it there. He wants to challenge their false beliefs. Look, he says, when Moses was talking to God he referred to his ancestors in the present tense. They may not be alive on the earth but they are alive in heaven. Now we may not have interpreted Moses' words like that but the Son of God does. This is the truth. If you are one of God's children, when you die here on earth, you simply go into an eternal existence in heaven with God. Your future is assured!
1. Rest in the promise of eternal life as a child of God.
2. Understand that it is wonderfully different from this life.
Chapter: Luke 20
Passage: Luke 20:41-47
A. Find Out:
1. What question did Jesus then ask the teachers of the law? v.41
2. What prophecy does he quote? v.42,43
3. What does he ask about that quote? v.44
4. To whom did Jesus then speak? v.45
5. What did he say about the teachers of the law? v.46,47a
6. What does he say will happen to them? v.47b
The teachers of the law have just applauded Jesus for the way he corrected the liberal-theologian Sadducees and so now Jesus turns on them to correct them. He chooses the subject of the Messiah. They believed that the Messiah would be from David's family. Very well, says Jesus, how do you square that with the prophecy you accept to be Messianic from Psalm 110? In that, David refers to one who is his ‘Lord' who speaks to one greater than he, presumably God. So David is not going to call one of his sons, Lord. No, clearly the Messiah is someone much greater than a simple member of David's family.
That is interesting for both us and them. It's interesting for us because often in the New Testament Jesus accepts the designation, “Son of David”, so he accepts that naturally he comes from that human line. It is interesting for them because it must have left them thinking, wondering how the Messiah can be greater than a member of David's family. For us the answer is now obvious – he's also the Son of God from heaven – God in the flesh.
To round this off, Jesus turns to his disciples and publicly warns them against the hypocrisy of the teachers of the law. That would have delighted the crowd but angered the teachers. Yet another nail in Jesus' coffin – but then that is exactly what he intends it to be!
1. Jesus is God in man's clothing. Worship him.
2. The truth always angers unrighteous people.
In this fourth group of 9 studies we have seen Jesus :
In these two chapters we find Luke telling about events just before and just after Jesus triumphant entry to Jerusalem. Before it he is in Jericho and calls a tax collector, Zacchaeus, and then teaches the crowds about being accountable for the way they lived. We then had the triumphal entry and his upsetting the ‘market place' in the Temple. From then on, in the week running up to Passover, he returns each day and teaches in the outer courts of the Temple.
Being right on the doorstep of the religious establishment, he is challenged by them over his authority to be there and is then given various theological challenges. In his answers he confounds the authorities and even challenges their past behaviour by a teaching parable, and by actively publicly denouncing them to his disciples. There is no doubt here that he is being provocative by declaring the truth in the face of their hypocritical religion.
1. Jesus welcomes all repentant sinners.
2. We are to use the gifts God has given us and will be accountable.
3. Jesus is in control and is working out his plans and purposes.
4. Jesus is all wise and has all the answers.
Thank the Lord that just as he was sovereignly in control of his destiny as we have seen in these chapters, so he is still today, working out his plans and involving us. Ask him to release faith in you for you to fully use all the gifts he has given you.
SECTION SUMMARY - Luke 14 to 20
- healing on the Sabbath (14:1-4)
- teaching about humility and hospitality (14:5-14)
- telling the parable of the Great Banquet (14:15 -24)
- teaching about the cost of being a disciple (14:25 -35)
- telling the parable of the Lost Sheep (15:1-7)
- telling the parable of the Lost Coin (15:8-10)
- telling the parable of the Lost Son (15:11 -24)
- telling the parable of the Ungrateful Son (15:25 -32)
- telling the parable of the Shrewd Manager (16:1-15)
- teaching about the Gospel and the Law (16:16 -18)
- telling the story of the rich man and Lazarus (16:19 -31)
- teaching about sin, repentance & forgiveness (17:1-4)
- teaching about faith (17:5-6)
- teaching about servant heartedness (17:7-10)
- healing ten lepers (17:11 -19)
- teaching on the coming of the kingdom? (17:20-37)
- telling the parable of the Persistent Widow (18:1-8)
- telling the Parable of the Two Prayers (18:9-14)
- speaking about being childlike (18:15 -17)
- encountering a rich young ruler (18:18 -30)
- predicting his death (18:31 -34)
- healing a blind beggar (18:35 -43)
- encountering Zacchaeus (19:1-10)
- telling the Parable of the Ten Minas (19:11 -27)
- approaching and entering Jerusalem (19:28 -44)
- in the Temple (19:45 -48)
- being challenged over his authority to be there (20:1-8)
- telling the Parable of the Tenants (20:9-19)
- answering a question about paying taxes (20:20 -26)
- answering a question about the resurrection (20:27 -40)
- challenging the teachers of the law (20:41 -47)
CONCLUSION - Luke 14 to 20
As we come to the end of this set of studies, we may wish to consider the following:
Teaching: Realities of Salvation
The teaching in this set of studies contains some of the most wonderful teaching about God's concern for the lost (esp. ch.15) which is acted out in Jesus' acceptance of Zacchaeus (ch.19). If we ever have doubts – read again these parables.
But there are also warnings for those who refuse God in the parable of the great banquet (ch.14), the story of the rich man and Lazarus (ch.16) and the parable of the tenants (ch.20), and also for those who want to hold onto their personal security in the incident of the rich young ruler (ch.18).
For those who consider coming into the kingdom there is a challenge to count the cost (ch.14), and be childlike in the way you enter (ch.18).
For those in the kingdom of God, there is the challenge to use what God has given you in the parable of the shrewd manager (ch.16) and the parable of the ten minas (ch.19). There is also a challenge to be hospitable (ch.14), a challenge to be forgiving and thankful, and faithful while awaiting Jesus' return (ch.17), a challenge to be persistent in prayer (ch.18), and a challenge to avoid show (ch.20).
Jesus: In Control
Particularly in the latter part of these studies, we cannot help observing again just how much Jesus was in control of his destiny. No one reading these chapters could ever say that the death of Jesus was a horrible accident, something that took Jesus completely off guard. No, Jesus predicts what is going to happen specifically (18:31-33) and by implication ( 20:14 ,15).
When it comes to his entry into Jerusalem one cannot help but notice
(a) the miracles that he performed almost on Jerusalem's doorstep (healing a blind beggar at Jericho and raising Lazarus (Jn 11) at Bethany) which built the crowds,
(b) the way he stage managed a prophetic entrance (ch.19),
(c) his ‘attack' on the temple, and
(d) his sitting himself in the temple precincts while teaching in that last week.
This says what we should know and experience in OUR lives, that Jesus KNOWS and Jesus IS IN CONTROL of his (and our) destiny.