-The conversion of Zaccheus is found at the beginning of this chapter of Luke’s gospel. Jesus is passing through the Jordan River Valley and comes through Jericho in a Divine appointment with a rich, chief tax collector who was small in stature so he climbed a sycamore tree ahead of Jesus’ path in order to see this Man of God. Jesus looks up and calls Zaccheus to come down for He must go and stay at the tax collector’s house. As we have seen before, the Pharisees are grumbling about this sinner and Jesus’ association with the like. However, a miraculous change comes about in this little man’s life as he gives half of his possessions away and returns four fold what he had defrauded. Salvation had come to his house. He too was a son of Abraham (i.e. a man of faith). *Application* Luke’s reiterated theme of the humility of those in need of grace verses the prideful scorning of the self-righteous is crystal clear in this event. God is after life change and the possessions issue is again reinforced here in the text. A person who wants to truly follow after Christ will give generously and not hold any good thing back from righteous causes. This is a major ingredient in Kingdom of God building (Acts 2:42-47). Christ’s point at the end of the matter is paramount, “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10).”
-Now Jesus relates another parable, which gives us clues into the time between His first incarnation and His return. The people were supposing that the Kingdom of God was going to appear immediately (remember what Jesus said about this in Luke 17:20-21). The parable relates that He would go away for a period of time to receive a Kingdom for Himself (Jesus sits now at the right hand of the Father in Heaven as King until His enemies are made a footstool (Psalm 110:1, Luke 20:41-44, Acts 2:33-36, Hebrews 10:12-14), and that His slaves (i.e. believers bought with a price, 1 Corinthians 6:20) would need to be good stewards of the gifts and talents the Nobleman endowed to them. This points to the giving of the Holy Spirit and His indwelling work (John 14:16-26). *Application* The major thrust of this parable is accountability. We have an exacting Heavenly Father who will hold us responsible for the possessions He entrusts to us. We can use all for His glory or we can foolishly squander our time, talent, and treasure on this earth and its temporal things. There will come a time for reward and rebuke for all God’s servants. Use all that God has given you to build His Kingdom.
-Luke now jumps ahead in the chronology to the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem (Palm Sunday). He comes humbly on a colt in fulfillment of prophecy (Zechariah 9:9). This was a moment of celebration and excitement as Messianic anticipation was at a fever pitch. Although the Pharisees wanted Jesus to rebuke these in joyful triumph, Jesus reminded them that the stones would cry out in exaltation if their mouths were shut (Psalm 96:11, Isaiah 55:12). Then Jesus weeps over Jerusalem because of their blindness and not recognizing the time of their visitation by God’s own Son. The Lord prophesied over the beautiful city, anointed by God, for its destruction by the enemy. This happened in 70 A.D. as the Romans came in and destroyed every last stone of the Temple Mount. The things which would have made for peace had been forfeited because of the rejection of the Messiah. However, the day will come when Israel will recognize their Lord when He returns again to earth (Zechariah 12:8-10, Romans 11).
-Jesus drives out the money changers and those selling for profit in the Temple area. His concern is that God’s house, which is to be a house of prayer, was being corrupted and perverted for personal gain. His teaching was powerful as He daily went to the Temple area, but the chief priests and scribes and leading men among the people were trying to destroy Him and accuse Him. They could find nothing wrong with this perfect Lamb of God and the people were hanging on every word He said.
Verse to Memorize: Luke 19:10