Lord, help me desire what you desire. Change my heart and wean me from desires not glorifying to you. Help me be a faithful steward, holding loosely to all the gifts you’ve entrusted to me and using them to advance your kingdom. You always provide all we need. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Read Luke 19-21
Luke 19 Jesus continues His journey to Jerusalem where He will suffer and die. When Zacchaeus repents and receives salvation, it’s as though a camel goes through the eye of a needle: a rich man has entered the kingdom of God—another lost sinner has been found by Jesus!
Here’s the underlying point of the parable of the minas: In the kingdom of God, the more we put into practice what we learn, the more opportunities we’ll be given.
Jesus, the Messiah-King-Savior, enters Jerusalem just as the prophets predicted He would—as the anointed Ruler-King. He is welcomed gladly and with praise to God by some, and is rejected by others, namely, the Pharisees.
Luke 19:41–48 Jesus is saddened that Jerusalem and many of its people do not recognize Him as the long-awaited Savior. This, too, was predicted in the Old Testament. Jesus returns to the temple where as a 12-year-old boy He had surprised the priests with His understanding. Now, after cleansing the temple of profit-making merchants, He was teaching daily in the temple area, but the Jewish leaders rejected what He taught, even though many found Jesus and His teaching interesting.
Luke 20:1–40 When quizzed by the religious leaders in the temple, Jesus communicates indirectly, answering their questions with questions of His own. Three consecutive times, they try to trap Him with complicated religious and legal questions—and three consecutive times, they fail.
Luke 20:41 Jesus then gives the religious leaders a theological quiz about Psalm 110, which speaks of the coming Messiah-Savior as David’s Son and Lord, that is, as God. Here, Jesus hints at His identity as a descendant of David and as the Son of God.
According to Jesus, Psalm 110 points to the Messiah-Savior as both human and divine, as the risen Savior ruling from God’s right hand. This Messiah will be so great that even King David said of Him, “My Lord!” If David in Psalm 110 so honored the Messiah, why didn’t these Jewish religious leaders honor Jesus? In short, Jesus is both the descendant of David and also his Lord and Savior.
Psalm 110: This Psalm speaks of the Messiah-Savior being the Davidic King who perfectly rules at God’s right hand. The early church often described this passage as prophetic about Jesus as Lord. See Acts 2:30–36, 7:55–56, 13:33–39; 1 Corinthians 15:22–28; Ephesians 1:19–23; Hebrews 1:3–14; and Hebrews 5–7.
Jesus also suggests here that all of this accords with the eternal plan of God the Father. He established the coming Messiah to rule as God’s chosen Son of David. But the religious leaders rejected Jesus as sent from God; they do not recognize Him as the promised and expected King of God’s kingdom!
Luke 21:1–3 Jesus sees things differently than the world. Sacrificial, devoted giving of a small amount is worth more in His kingdom than a large amount that requires little or no sacrifice.
Luke 21:4–38 By predicting the destruction of the Jerusalem temple, which occurred in 70 A.D., Jesus invites questions about the future and how history will end. As the end approaches, Jesus’ followers will face much suffering and trials as God brings judgment on the world. But God will grant them endurance, and they will be rescued from coming judgment.
Followers of Jesus are not to fear the future. They’re to be on guard, remaining alert and praying for strength to persevere amidst future trials. In the Old Testament, Israel did not remain alert, and instead of recognizing God’s salvation in Jesus, they rejected Him and even had Him put to death. Jesus’ disciples remember that God is in control of all the events of history, even future events that will unfold before the end.
3 And he said, ‘Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. 4 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’
- God transforms people as they meet Jesus and believe the gospel. Jesus forgives Zacchaeus’ sins and also satisfies his soul. As a new follower of Jesus, Zacchaeus gives generously and welcomes Jesus into his life and home. Zacchaeus now desires what Jesus desires. How has Jesus changed your desires?
- Disciples recognize Jesus in the Old Testament and, having put confidence in Him as their King and the Ruler over all history, they’re not afraid to suffer and are able to persevere to the end. Knowing Jesus is in control changes how we face the future, including trials.
Read Psalm 22 and Psalm 110 and consider how they point to Jesus, the coming King from David’s line. To learn more about the different kinds of psalms, here is an 8-minute video that gives an overview of the different types of psalms and how they can be used as the prayer book of the church. Or, read this article on praying the Psalms.