Lessons 19-24 in the Gospel of Luke
The next lesson will be in Acts
Luke Lesson 24
Scripture for this lesson will be taken from: Luke 24, Matthew 28, Mark 16
In Lesson 23, we studied about Jesus’ trials where He was taken to Pilate, then to Herod Antipas and back to Pilate. The members of the Sanhedrin incited the crowd to push Pilate to crucify Jesus. Then chapter 23 closed with the miracles of the cross.
[Luke 24:1-8] On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8 Then they remembered his words.
[Matthew 28:1] After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
[Mark 16:1-3] When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. 2 Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3 and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
It was just past dawn on Sunday morning after the Sabbath and the women who had been with Jesus and His disciples came to the tomb with spices to prepare His body for burial. They had followed Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus when they brought Jesus’ body to the burial place so they knew where to go. All four gospel writers tell this story. By comparing all of them we learn that Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, Salome, the mother of James and John and Joanna were among the group. There were most likely other women there too. They knew that Joseph and Nicodemus had
placed Jesus’ body in the tomb but they did not know that the body had already been prepared for burial with the spices that were customary at that time. They certainly were not expecting Jesus to have risen from the grave even though He had told them several times that He would raise on the third day. Jesus was actually in the tomb part of Friday, all of Saturday and part of Sunday. By Jewish reckoning that was 3 days. When they arrived at the tomb and looked inside they found that Jesus was gone. As the women wondered in confusion, two angels appeared which terrified the women. They reminded them of Jesus’ words concerning His resurrection. Then they hurried back into Jerusalem to relate their experience with the 11 apostles and the other disciples.
[Luke 24:9-12] 9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.
You can imagine all the questions that were on the minds of Jesus’ followers. Are these women crazy? If Jesus is alive where is He? Why would He not come to us? Has He gone to heaven? Were there really angels there? Did the angels take Him? Peter had to see for himself so he rushed to the tomb and found that all the women had said was true.
[Luke 24:13-35] Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him. 17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24
Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” 25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. 28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
The two disciples meet Jesus on the road to Emmaus, about 7 miles from Jerusalem which was apparently where they lived. They did not recognize Jesus. Why, we are not told. Was His appearance altered? Did He purposely not allow them to recognize Him? We don’t know. While they were walking on the road, Jesus explained to them all the Old Testament scriptures that related to the coming of the Messiah from the time of Moses. They still did not know who He was until He came to eat with them and blessed the food and broke the bread. This would indicate to me that these two men were possibly at the last supper with Jesus. Anyway this was when they recognized Him. After they knew who He was, Jesus disappeared. Then they got up and went back to Jerusalem to tell the apostles and disciples that they had seen Jesus. Sometime after the women had been to the tomb and Jesus appeared on the road to Emmaus, He had appeared to Peter.
[Luke 24:36-49] 36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” 40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence. 44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
Jesus tried to make them understand that He was not a ghost, by asking them touch Him, look and his hands and feet through which the iron spikes had been driven on the cross. He wanted them to see Him eat so that they could believe that He was truly alive again. He had risen from the dead just as He told them He would. Then Jesus related to them the scriptures as He had done for the two on the way to Emmaus, that the Messiah would come as a suffering servant and not as a military and political leader. The Messiah would die and rise again on the third day. The Messiah would bring forgiveness of sins. They were to be witnesses that these prophesies had come true. Then Jesus promised to send to them something that God the Father had promised, which was the Holy Spirit. Then Jesus told them to stay in Jerusalem until power from on high had come, again the power of the Holy Spirit.
What we can learn from Luke 24:
1. Jesus did exactly as He told His disciples He would. He suffered and died and rose on the third day. When we pray for something are we surprised when God answers or do we pray believing?
2. The two men on the road to Emmaus told Jesus that they thought the Messiah would come and redeem Israel. They believed that meant raising an army and overthrowing the Romans. The mission for the Messiah was to redeem Israel and all men from their sins. They did not understand until Jesus explained to them the Old Testament scriptures. We are expecting Jesus to come back and gather the saints then come and reign for 1,000 years on earth. That is what we are expecting. He said He would come for us and I believe that He will. The exact details may not be exactly as we think, but it will be wonderful
3. Jesus told the 11 that they would be witnesses to all that the Old Testament prophesies concerning the Messiah had come true. That ministry has now been given over to us, today’s Christians.
4. Jesus told the 11 to wait for the power from on high before they began their witnessing. We need to pray for the power and guidance from the Holy Spirit to lead us in witnessing and all of our Christian ministries.
Luke Lesson 23
Scriptures for this lesson are taken from Luke 23, Matthew 27
In lesson 22 we studied the trials of Jesus and closed when Jesus was taken to Pilate. The leaders of the Sanhedrin wanted Pilate to give Jesus a death sentence because they were not allowed to give a death sentence, only the Roman authorities could do that.
[Luke 23:1-5] Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. 2 And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Messiah, a king.” 3 So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so,” Jesus replied. 4 Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.” 5 But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.”
It says that all of the members of the Sanhedrin, which was 71 in number including the High Priest, went to appear before Pilate to make charges that Jesus claimed to be King of the Jews and refused to pay taxes to Rome. They were saying that Jesus was a threat to Rome’s claim to power in Israel. In other words, they claimed Jesus was guilty of treason. When Pilate questioned Jesus he could find no reason to crucify Him.
Pilate was a Roman from a wealthy family and probably very wealthy himself. Tradition holds that he had a wife whose name was Procula. At this time, Pilate had been governor of Judea for 5 or 6 years. He had no understanding or sympathy for Jewish religion or customs. Pilate knew that Jesus was popular with the Jewish people but his only interest was keeping order. When someone mentioned that Jesus was from Galilee, Pilate found a path of escape. Galilee was in Herod Antipas’ territory and since Herod was in Jerusalem at the time, Pilate chose to let Herod decide what would be done with Jesus.
The historian, Philo described Pilate as being stubborn and cruel and guilty of bribery, theft, assault and other acts of violence. His ruthlessness finally caused him to be deposed from office and sent to Rome for trial.
[Luke 23:6-12] On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. 7 When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. 8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort. 9 He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. 11 Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. 12 That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies.
Herod Antipas was the Roman ruler over Galilee and the son of Herod the Great. Antipas was the one who had John the Baptist beheaded because John openly criticized him for divorcing his wife and marrying the wife of his brother, Phillip.
Antipas had heard a lot about Jesus but had never seen Him. He had heard that Jesus could do miracles and was hoping that Jesus would perform one for him. The member of the Sanhedrin were there accusing Jesus of crimes against Rome. Not wanting to upset the Jewish leaders, Herod had his soldiers to ridicule and mock Jesus. They put an elegant robe around Him and sent Jesus back to Pilate. We are told that Herod and Pilate had been enemies before that day but they became friends. The old adage says that “politics makes strange bedfellows.” Both men knew that the Jewish religious leaders could make trouble for them with Rome if they did not do what they wanted. But on the other hand, Jesus was very popular with the people and His execution could cause a riot which would also make trouble with Rome.
[Luke 23:13-25] 13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. 15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.” (there is no verse 17) 18 But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.) 20 Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” 22 For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.” 23 But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand. 25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.
Both Pilate and Herod Antipas believed that Jesus was not a threat to Rome. They understood that the problem the Jewish leaders had with Jesus was a religious problem and not political. Barabbas was in prison for inciting the people against Rome and for murder. He was guilty of the charges that the Jewish religious leaders had charged against Jesus. Barabbas was guilty and Jesus was innocent, yet the Religious leaders led the crowd in shouting, “release Barabbas.” It was customary for the Romans to release a Jewish prisoner at Passover time. The Jews choose the criminal, Barabbas and shouted for the crucifixion of their Messiah. Pilate knew that crucifying Jesus was wrong but he gave in to the Jews to protect his position as governor. Why would the people in Jerusalem turn against Jesus? On Palm Sunday they had heralded Him as the Messiah, and just 5 days later they accept Him as a criminal. I think the number one reason was the members of the Sanhedrin, who were their supposed spiritual leaders and the judges of the nation other than giving a death sentence said that Jesus had blasphemed against God, He was not the Messiah, He was a criminal. Two, Jesus was not what the people expected the Messiah to be. They believed that the Messiah would raise an army, free them from Roman rule and reestablish the Nation of Israel as it was in the days of King David. Jesus did none of these things. They did not understand that the kingdom that Jesus established was the Kingdom of God, an eternal, spiritual kingdom.
[Luke 23:26-43] 26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then “‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” 31 For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” 32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” 38 There was a written notice above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. 39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
As they began the journey to Golgotha, Jesus was carrying His cross, but because of His physical condition from being whipped and abused, He was unable to carry it far. Then the soldiers called Simon from the crowd to carry it for Him. Simon was from Cyrene, Libya, was located on the northern coast of Africa. It was a Greek colony and a Jewish Community that had a large settlement of approximately 100,000 Jews. In later years it was a center of Christianity. There was a Cyrenian Jewish Synagogue located in Jerusalem and the Jews would go for the annual feasts. There is no certainty that Simon was Jewish but he was in Jerusalem at Passover time.
The women who were following were likely some of Jesus’ followers from Jerusalem, the women from Galilee who had been with Him throughout His ministry and some were likely professional mourners. Jesus told the women not to weep for Him. He knew that very soon He would be back in heaven with God, but they had some very hard times coming in about forty years. All of the things He warned them about came true when Titus, the Roman commander took Jerusalem in 70 AD.
When the Roman soldiers put Jesus on the wooden cross and nailed His hands and feet to it, Jesus asked God the Father to forgive them because they did not know what they were doing. They were following orders and had no idea that they were killing the Son of God. These soldiers were Romans and worshiped the Roman gods, so the Son of God, King of the Jews, would have had no personal meaning for them.
There were too criminals crucified with Jesus, one was Barabbas. They were placed on each side of Jesus who was in the middle. As the soldiers mocked and insulted Jesus, Barabbas defended Him. They were guilty but Jesus was innocent. It sounds like Barabbas came to believe Jesus was the Son of God. Maybe when Jesus asked God to forgive the Roman soldiers. He asked Jesus to remember him when He came to His kingdom. Jesus, who looks into the heart, promised Barabbas that he would be with Jesus that day in paradise. His belief in Jesus was his salvation.
[Luke:44-49] 44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. 47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
Matthew’s record of Jesus’ crucifixion recorded additional information. [Matthew 27:45-49] 45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[c] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). 47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.” 50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
During the three hours while Jesus hung on the cross and it was dark, Jesus took on the sin of all mankind. Matthew 27:46 recorded that Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Jesus was both man and God. It was for this purpose that Jesus was born and lived a man; to be the perfect sacrifice for man’s sins. God does not be in the presence of sin so God separated Himself from Jesus while He bore all our sins. The people watching wanted to see if the Old Testament prophet, Elijah, would come and rescue Jesus from the cross. As Jesus died, His human body ceased to function, but He gave up His spirit which went back to God
[Matthew 27:51-53] 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
When Jesus died, the veil in the temple was torn into. This veil was between the Holy of Holies in the temple, where God dwelt with the people of Israel and no one went into the Holy of Holies except the High Priest and he entered only once a year. The Holy Place was where the priest went to offer prayers for the people up to God on a regular basis. The torn veil represented the fact that man now had access to God through Jesus Christ and no longer had to go through the priest. Another miracle occurred when Jesus died. The ground shook like an earthquake and graves of many of the holy people split open and their bodies rose up and went from the cemetery into Jerusalem and many people saw them.
[Luke 23:50-56] Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid. 54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. 55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.
Joseph was from Arimathaea, a wealthy man and member of the Sanhedrin. In Luke 23:51 we are told that he did not consent to the Sanhedrin’s decision to have Jesus killed. He was in fact secretly a believer that Jesus was the Messiah. After Jesus death on the cross, Joseph went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body to bury it. It was dangerous even for a wealthy powerful man to admit at this time that He was a believer in Jesus but Joseph chose to take that risk. He took Jesus’ and Nicodemus brought the spices to prepare the body for burial. They prepared Jesus’ body and put it in Joseph’s personal tomb.
The women from Galilee who traveled with Jesus and His disciples followed Joseph and Nicodemus to see where they buried Jesus. They did not know that Jesus’ body was already properly prepared to burial, so they planned to come on Sunday morning after the Sabbath to prepare His body.
Lessons we can learn from Luke 23:
1. A Christian should stand for Jesus even under difficult or even dangerous situations.
2. Study God’s Word and make your own decisions about what you believe. The people in Jerusalem let the members of the Sanhedrin convince them that Jesus was not the Messiah but a threat to Israel.
3. Like Barabbas, accept Jesus as your Savior when you have the opportunity.
4. The miracles that occurred when Jesus died on the cross are proof that Jesus was the Son of God and that He died for our sins.
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Luke Lesson 22
Scriptures for this lesson are taken from Luke chapter 22, Matthew 10, John 12
Jesus has been in Jerusalem teaching and sharing with His followers on Tuesday of His last week on earth. The events of the first part of chapter 22 occurred on Tuesday or Wednesday.
[Luke 22:1-6] Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover, was approaching, 2 and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some way to get rid of Jesus, for they were afraid of the people. 3 Then Satan entered Judas, called Iscariot, one of the Twelve. 4 And Judas went to the chief priests and the officers of the temple guard and discussed with them how he might betray Jesus. 5 They were delighted and agreed to give him money. 6 He consented, and watched for an opportunity to hand Jesus over to them when no crowd was present.
Judas Iscariot was from Keroith and the son of Simon. He is listed as one of the 12 apostles in [Matthew 10:2-4] These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee and his brother John; Phillip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. When the apostles became organized and began receiving donations to support their ministry, Judas was made the treasurer so he kept up with the money. His attitude was told clearly by John in these verses: [John 12:4-6] But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages. He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. The chief priests had been looking for a way to find Jesus and arrest Him ever since the raising of Lazarus at Bethany a few weeks before this time. It says that Satan entered Judas tempting him to betray Jesus. God created man with a spirit. God is a spiritual being and so is Satan. So Satan is able to enter the spirit of man to tempt him.
[Luke 22:7-13] 7 Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. 8 Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.” 9 “Where do you want us to prepare for it?” they asked. 10 He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, 11 and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ 12 He will show you a large room upstairs, all furnished. Make preparations there.” 13 They left and found things just as Jesus had told them. So they prepared the Passover.
Jesus was making arrangements for a place where He could celebrate the Jewish Feast of Passover in the same manner that He sent His disciples to get the donkey that He rode in His entry into Jerusalem. Jesus called this the day of Unleavened Bread. This is one of the Laws given to Moses on Mt. Siani that the Israelites were required to do. The feast was a remembrance of the Exodus when God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, out of slavery to become His nation that would represent Him and teach His laws to the other nations. Jewish tradition holds that the house they went to belonged to the family of John Mark, but that is tradition and not told in scripture. The Passover was held on the 14th day of Nisan which was the first month of the Jewish year. The lamb that was sacrificed represented the lamb sacrificed in Egypt; its blood put over the outside door of their home. When the death angel came through killing every first born man or animal, those who were inside a home with blood over the doorpost were spared. The sacrificed lamb was cooked and eaten by the family. They ate unleavened bread because at the first Passover, they had to be ready to leave Egypt as soon as Pharaoh let them go and did not have time to let the bread rise before it was cooked. The Feast of Unleavened Bread was the 7 days following and they represented the Exodus and thanking God for their grain harvest.
[Luke 22:14-23] 14 When the hour came, Jesus and his apostles reclined at the table. 15 And he said to them, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.” 17 After taking the cup, he gave thanks and said, “Take this and divide it among you.18 For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”
19 And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new
covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” 21 But the hand of him who is going to betray me is with mine on the table. 22 The Son of Man will go as it has been decreed. But woe to that man who betrays him!” 23 They began to question among themselves which of them it might be who would do this.
There are several things to discuss is this passage. (1) Jesus told His apostles that He was glad that they were able to keep the Passover one more time before he suffered. Jesus was referring to His crucifixion but I do not believe that the apostles understood this. (2) He told them that He would not celebrate the Passover again until it was fulfilled in the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God is the eternal kingdom. (3) Jesus explained to His apostles that the wine they drank represented His blood that would be shed and the bread His body, His life that would be given on the cross. He represented the sacrificial lamb of the Passover, the lamb that would die for the sins of all mankind. He was establishing a new covenant. (4) Jesus told the Apostles that when they ate the Passover meal in the future that they should do it in remembrance of Him not the Passover lamb. Jesus was establishing what we call the “Lord’s Supper” which is one of the ordinances of the New Covenant church. (5) Jesus told all the apostles that one of them at the table would betray Him and woe to the one who did!
[Luke 22:24-27] 24 A dispute also arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. 25 Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Jesus’ disciples and the apostles believed that He had come to reign over the Kingdom of Israel, that He would raise an army and overthrow the Romans and that Israel would be a powerful nation again as it was in the time of King David. They believed that this kingdom would operate like earthly kingdoms did in that day. It would have a man who was leader of the military, a man who was treasurer, one in charge of the palace, etc. They were ambitious and desired high positions in this new kingdom. The mother of James and John came to Jesus and asked that her two sons would sit on His right hand and on His left. In other words, she wanted them to be placed in the number 2 & 3 positions of importance in His kingdom. This story is told in Matthew 20:20-28. Jesus tried to explain to them that His kingdom was not like earthly kingdoms. Instead of being in high position and having power over other men, those who were great in His kingdom would serve others. But He went on to tell them that in His heavenly kingdom they would have their own thrones and would sit in judgment of the twelve tribes of Israel; Revelation 4:4-5.
[Luke 22:31-34] 31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” 33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” 34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.”
Who did Satan ask to give permission to test the apostles? The answer must be God. Does Satan always have to ask God before he can test believers?
Jesus told Simon Peter that He prayed for him that Peter could resist Satan and that Peter would be able to give spiritual strength to the other apostles. Peter replied that he was prepared to go to prison or to die with Jesus, meaning that he would never betray Him. Then Jesus told Peter that he would deny that he knew Jesus three times before daylight the next morning.
[Luke 22:35-38] 35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered. 36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.” 38 The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That’s enough!” he replied.
I don’t believe that Jesus was telling His disciples that they needed to raise an army complete with weapons. I think that He was warning them that hard times were going to come their way. They would have to be strong and trust in Him to protect them. They took Jesus literally and showed Him their swords. Later, Jesus rebuked Peter for cutting one of the priest’s guard’s ears off.
[Luke 22:39-46] 39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” 41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. 45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
As He had done all week, Jesus and his disciples went out to a private garden on the Mt. of Olives for the evening. But this evening was different because it was His last one with His followers before He would be crucified. Asking His disciples to pray, Jesus went off to Himself to pray to His father, God. This passage is one that shows Jesus as a human who needed strength to endure what lay ahead for Him. He knew what was coming. Crucifixion was a horrible way to die and Jesus took on the sins of all men at the cross. We cannot even imagine what that would be like. But He was willing to suffer whatever was required to accomplish the will of God. His concern and His needs were so intense that his sweat was like blood from inside His body! We think that our suffering is hard at times, but nothing we endure can even come close to what Jesus did for us on the cross. Imagine how Jesus felt when He found His disciples sleeping when He had asked them to pray.
[Luke 22:47-53] 47 While he was still speaking a crowd came up, and the man who was called Judas, one of the Twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him, 48 but Jesus asked him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” 49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him. 52 Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? 53 Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour—when darkness reigns.”
It was traditional at that time in that area of the world for a man to kiss another on the cheek or on his beard as a greeting showing honor. I believe that they still do this in some areas of the Middle East today. Judas came with the priests and their temple guards out to the garden where Judas knew that Jesus would be. Jesus and His disciples knew that the Jewish religious leaders were looking for Him. Peter took his sword and cut off one of the ears of a servant of the high priest named Malchus. Jesus rebuked Peter. A fight was not the way. Jesus would not have had to go with them, but he went voluntarily. They would not have been able to take Him if He had not been willing to go. Jesus put the man’s ear back on his head. You would think that that action alone would have stopped them. Then Jesus told them that He had been teaching in the temple every day and they could have taken Him then. But no, they wanted to wait until nighttime in a remote place where there were no crowds to witness. The priests did not want a rebellion among the people that would get the Romans upset. They had to work in secret, in the dark. The way Satan likes to work.
[Luke 22:54-62] 54 Then seizing him, they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest. Peter followed at a distance. 55 And when some there had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and had sat down together, Peter sat down with them. 56 A servant girl saw him seated there in the firelight. She looked closely at him and said, “This man was with him.” 57 But he denied it. “Woman, I don’t know him,” he said. 58 A little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” “Man, I am not!” Peter replied. 59 About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.” 60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly.
Jesus was taken first to the house of Annas. Caiaphas was the son-in-law of Annas and the High Priest at that time, but Annas was the man in control. This is told in John 18. The family of the High Priest was extremely wealthy because they owned the trading booths at the temple where people purchased their animal sacrifices and changed their money to temple money. Jesus was brought to this house in the middle of the night so that the chief priests could plot and plan a trial that would condemn Jesus before the Jews and would force the Romans to sentence Him to death. Death was the only sentence that they would accept.
Peter had followed the soldiers to see where they would take Jesus. In the inner courtyard of the High Priest’s house complex people were gathered around a fire. Peter interred and sat among the people there. A young servant girl recognized Peter as one of Jesus’ followers. But Peter denied being Jesus’ disciple. Then after a while someone else recognized Peter and he denied knowing Jesus again. About an hour later someone else identified Peter as being a Galilean and one of Jesus’ group. 60 Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Jesus looked at Peter and he heard the rooster crow as the sun was coming up. Peter, remembering Jesus’ words, went outside and wept. In Peter’s defense, he was afraid for his own life. Not only were the priests after all of Jesus’s immediate followers but it was a common practice for the Romans kill the followers of anyone who was tried and convicted of treason.
[Luke 22:63-71] 63 The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. 64 They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” 65 And they said many other insulting things to him. 66 At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. 67 “If you are the Messiah,” they said, “tell us.” Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, 68 and if I asked you, you would not answer. 69 But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.” 70 They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You say that I am.” 71 Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.”
The guards who were watching Jesus began to taunt Him, make fun of Him. They put a blindfold over His eyes, then one of them hit Jesus. Then they challenged Him to use His powers to identify His assailant. Jesus was moved from the home of Annas to the Council Chambers of the Sanhedrin. This was Friday Morning, the day before the Sabbath. They would now hold the legal trial against Jesus that they had prepared for the night before. When the trial began they asked Jesus if He was the Messiah. He replied, “You say that I am.” They took this reply to mean that He said that He was the Messiah. He was saying the He was the Son of God. Anyone claiming to be God or the Son of God was guilty of Blasphemy and could be stoned to death. Blasphemy is defined in Lev. 24:15-16. There are two forms: attributing some evil to God or denying Him some good that should be attributed to Him; or giving the attributes of God to a person. This is the type of blasphemy for which Jesus was charged. By claiming to be the Messiah He was saying that He was the Son of God. But they were under Roman rule and they could not bring a death sentence. So they needed a charge to use against Him in Roman court. Could Jesus have walked away? Of course He could have. They would not have been able to hold Him. But this was His mission to die on the cross for the souls of men. That was the purpose for Him to be born a human child, to live a sinless life and die on the cross. If it was the plan and will of God then Jesus would obey.
Next time in Luke chapter 23, Jesus will be taken to Pilate, to Herod and back to Pilate before He is crucified.
Lessons for us from Luke chapter 22:
1. If we keep our spirits filled and occupied with God and His ministries, then Satan will not be able to tempt us to sin.
2. The “Lord’s Supper” is one of the ordinances of the New Testament church. When we partake of this supper, we remember that Christ gave His life and suffered so that we would not have to suffer for our sins.
3. Living the Christian life is no promise for worldly riches and comforts. Our rewards will come in the next life that will last through eternity.
4. Our prayer time should be in a quiet place where we can clear our minds of all worldly things and focus on praising God and seeking His will.
Luke Lesson 21
Scripture for this lesson taken from Luke 21
Jesus is now in Jerusalem during His last week just a few days before the crucifixion.
[Luke 21:1-4] As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. 2 He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3 “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4 All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
Jesus is in the temple with His disciples watching people give their tithes into the temple treasury. He pointed out the wealthy men putting in their large sums of money and then the poor widow who put in two copper coins that were worth very little. The others gave of their abundance but she gave all she had to the Lord. In God’s eyes her gift was much greater because her gift was given out of love. The lesson for us it that we are all important to the Lord and our giving will be judged by what we are given and how we choose to give back to the Lord. Whether we give in order to be seen or give from our love for Jesus.
[Luke 21:5-7] 5 Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, 6 “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.” 7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?”
After teaching in the temple during the day, Jesus went out to the Mt of Olives to spend the night. It is interesting that the disciples were discussing the temple. It was a very magnificent building. It was 1200 x 1500 feet in size. It was made of white marble with parts of the outside walls overlaid with gold and silver. From a distance it looked like a snow castle. The building of the temple began in 19 BC by Herod the Great and was still not complete when the Roman general, Titus destroyed it in 70 AD. The temple was believed to be the dwelling place of God with Israel. God did dwell with them from the time the tabernacle was completed at Mt Siani until Solomon’s temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. There is no record that God returned to dwell with Israel following the 70 year exile in Babylon. The Jews were very proud of their temple and believed that when the Messiah came; He would overthrow the Romans and rule over Israel from this temple. By this time, the disciples believed that Jesus was the Messiah so this is probably what was behind their discussion about the beauty and magnificence of the temple. As Jesus answered the disciples questions, He continued to give them a glimpse of the immediate future and on into the end times.
When you are in the mountains and look off to the distance, two large mountains look like they are close together but in truth they are many miles apart. With Jesus, the infinite creator, thousands of years are but a short time. The events in these passages are to us thousands of years apart but to Jesus’ concept of time they could seem very close together.
[Luke 21:8-11] 8 He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. 9 When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.” 10 Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.
I believe that these verses deal with the end times as revealed in “Daniel’s Prophesy of the 70 Weeks.” Jesus said that there would be many who would claim to be the Messiah and there would be wars and tribulations but that would not be the end. Then there will be powerful earthquakes, famines and pestilences and great signs from heaven. We have experienced an increase in earthquakes in recent years. I, myself live in Oklahoma in the area where we had a 5.6 not too long ago. It was very frightening. Also pestilences such as AIDS and the recent outbreak of Ebola which had killed 1552 people by 9:00 am 28 August 2014. These are terrifying experiences and diseases which would indicate we are moving closer to the end times. But then there will be great signs from heaven which will be much worse than what we have ever seen before.
[Luke 21:12-19] 12 “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13 And so you will bear testimony to me. 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 Everyone will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 Stand firm, and you will win life.
This prophecy from Jesus came true in the lives of the people who were listening to Him speak. During the three missionary journeys, Paul, Silas, Barnabus, Timothy, Luke and others suffered greatly. Paul was stoned and left for dead, they were imprisoned in Phillippi. Tradition holds that all of the original apostles were martyred except for Judas Iscariot who killed himself and John who died in old age at Ephesus. Stephen was not one of the twelve but he was stoned as told in Acts 7. Missionaries continue to give their lives while spreading the gospel today.
[Luke 21:20-24] 20 “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those in the city get out, and let those in the country not enter the city. 22 For this is the time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written. 23 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! There will be great distress in the land and wrath against this people. 24 They will fall by the sword and will be taken as prisoners to all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled on by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
The main focus of this prophecy is the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in AD 70 by the Roman general, Titus. The destruction was brought on by the Roman procurator, Gessius Florus, who ruled Judea from 64-66 AD and hated Jews. He took silver from the temple when tax collections were low. This caused a revolt by the Jews. The actions of Gessius Florus inspired some Jewish Zealots to attack the city of Masada,
defeating the Roman troops there. Cestius Callus, the Roman governor then, came to Jerusalem with 20,000 soldiers and besieged Jerusalem for 6 months but was unsuccessful. Then Emperor Nero sent Vespasian, a great Roman general to Judea to take Jerusalem but before they could take the city, Nero died and Vespasian returned to Rome to become Emperor. Then Vespasian sent his son Titus to take on Jerusalem. Titus took new and better war engines to use against the walls of Jerusalem. The people inside the city had been isolated for a long time, there was starvation, plague and dispute over their defense. Eventually the Romans broke through the three walls of the city. Those Jews who were still alive were killed or sold as slaves, thus fulfilling these prophesies of Jesus and those of the prophet, Daniel. The times of the Gentiles means the time when Gentiles rule over Israel. That time began in 586 BC when the Babylonians took Jerusalem and will continue until Jesus comes back and God will rule over Israel once again.
[Luke 21:25-28] 25 “There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26 People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
Jesus is clearly talking about when He would come back again. Disturbances in the heavens, sounds like the judgments to come during the tribulation. It may be just the beginnings of these signs when Jesus will come back and claim the church as told in 1Thessalonians 4:16, “For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.” Whether Christ will come back before the tribulation begins or half way through is uncertain.
[Luke 21:29-33] 29 He told them this parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. 30 When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. 31 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.
The parable of the fig tree here was a reference to time. When the leaves appear on the fig trees it was a sign that summertime was near. Jesus told them that the signs He had told them about, when they began to happen then they would know that He would be coming back soon. In verse 32, Jesus said that the current generation would not die until these things had happened. Some of these prophesies did come true, but some are still in our future. Verse 33 is a separate event, clearly stating that the Words of Christ will still exist even when Heaven and our earth have gone.
[Luke 21:34-36] 34 “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. 35 For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.”
This is a serious warning from Christ that Christians should not be involved in the pleasures of this world but be separate and keep our hearts and minds focused on the Lord in order to escape the tribulations that are coming.
[Luke 21:37-38] 37 Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, 38 and all the people came early in the morning to hear him at the temple.
Jesus had but a few days left and he came every day to the temple to teach the people about the Kingdom of God. He came early and stayed all day to be with the people and to share what was coming and how important is was for them to trust in Him and draw near to God. Every night He stayed on the Mt of Olives.
Lessons for us from Luke chapter 21:
1. When we give to the Lore, we should give out of love, neither from habit nor to be seen.
2. Christians need to stay close to the Lord and avoid the ways of this world lest Satan get a foot in the door of our hearts.
3. The end times are drawing closer. Sinner beware!
4. Jesus promised that He would come back for His church.
5. We should live each day like it was our last. At best the time we have on earth to reach the lost is short.
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LUKE (LESSON 20):
Scriptures for this lesson are taken from Luke 19. In lesson 19 we studied the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19 and then moved to the Gospel of John chapters 11 and 12 to study about the death and resurrection of Lazarus that was used by God to bring about the crucifixion of Christ at the coming Passover which was only a couple of weeks away. We will now go back to the gospel of Luke chapter 19.
[Luke 19:28-31] 28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”
“After this”, refers to the parable that Jesus told in Luke 19:11-27. In the NIV it is referred to as the “Parable of the 10 Minas”. In other versions it is called “Parable of the Pounds.” Jesus told this parable as He was coming near to Jerusalem. The people who were following Jesus thought that the Kingdom of God was going to be established on the earth all at once and soon. So Jesus told this story that shows we are responsible for how we use the wealth, means and time that God gives here on earth. There will be rewards and punishments when Jesus comes again. The story seems to refer to Jesus’ second coming. Our life here on earth is a training time for that next life and we will be held responsible for how we use it.
Jesus had come across the Jordan River from Peraea, over to Jericho where He met Zacchaeus in the tree and then went to his home for dinner. In Luke 19:28, Jesus approached Bethphage and Bethany near the Mount of Olives just outside Jerusalem. He sent two of His disciples to go ahead to Bethphage (Matthew 21:1-9) where they would find a colt, a young donkey that had never been ridden tied up. If anyone challenged them for taking the donkey they were to say, “The Lord needs it.”
[Luke 19:32-40] 32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it.
36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road. 37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen: 38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 Some 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.”
Jesus’ disciples were obedient in going to Bethphage where they found the young donkey just as Jesus told them they would. The owner of the donkey asked why they were taking it and they replied as Jesus instructed, “The Lord needs it.” Apparently the owner was okay with that. Whether the donkey was returned to the owner is not told but a young colt was a valuable animal to the owner so he was being generous in allowing them to take it. When they came to Jesus they put their outer cloaks on the donkey so that Jesus would have a more comfortable ride. As Jesus and His disciples moved closer to Jerusalem down the road that went through the Mount of Olives, a big crowd was moving with them. They spread their cloaks in the road as was customary for an entering king and waived palm branches. As they walked along they were shouting out praises to the King. “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” These praises were acknowledging that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God. Some of the Pharisees who were in the crowd told Jesus to tell them not to call Him, “Messiah and Son of God.” But Jesus said that if they did not shout it out that the rocks along the road would. He was the Messiah, the Son of God entering the Holy City, Jerusalem as its King. Why was Jesus riding on a donkey? Why not a great stallion? It was a custom in that time if a King or the leader of an army entered a city on a white horse; they were coming to do battle. If they rode in on a donkey, they were coming in peace. So, in this case, Jesus entered the Holy City as its King who came in peace. The next time Jesus comes He will come to do battle with the gentile nations.
[Luke 19:41-44] 41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”
Jerusalem, the city that God had chosen as the place where He would dwell with His people, Israel, had received her king and was about to reject Him. As Jesus looked over the city, He wept because of their great loss and what it was going to cost the people before they were willing to accept Him as their Messiah. The great trials and tribulations they would go through. In about 40 years, the Romans, led by Titus would take the city and destroy it. Many times of war and troubles would follow. Hitler’s determination to destroy all Jews brought such terrible suffering and loss of life. Even today there is war going on in Israel.
It is estimated that 3 to 3 ½ million Jews were killed in concentration camps during WWII.
[Luke 19:45-48] 45 When Jesus entered the temple courts, he began to drive out those who were selling. 46 “It is written,” He said to them, “My house will be a house of prayer’; but you have made it ‘a den of robbers.” 47 Every day he 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. 48 Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words.
The Temple was God’s dwelling place. It was here that the people brought their gifts and sacrifices to God as their worship under the Old Covenant Mosaic Law. The family of the High Priests, led by Annas owned the booths where they changed money to temple money, sold lambs, bulls, pigeons and turtle doves that were used for the sacrifices. People could bring their own animals but the priests would say they were unfit and force the people to purchase their animals and birds from them. They cheated and robbed the people by charging too much. When Jesus came into the temple area with His whip driving the booth tenders out, He was publicly and personally attacking the integrity of the High Priest’s family. They were supposed to be the spiritual leaders for the people, but instead they used them and their worship system to make themselves rich! This was not pleasing to God.
We will go now to Luke chapter 20. These events told by Luke happened during Jesus’ last week on earth. He is in Jerusalem where He will spend time in the temple speaking and teaching God’s Word.
[Luke 20:1-8] One day as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and proclaiming the good news, 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?” 3 He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me: 4 John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin?” 5 They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ 6 But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.” 7 So they answered, “We don’t know where it was from.” 8 Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”
This scene showed Jesus in the temple teaching His disciples who were gathered in front of Him and a larger crowd to the side listened. The Priests and Pharisees dressed in their fine robes were also listening trying to hear Jesus say something that they could use against Him. Following the raising of Lazarus, the High Priest had declared that Jesus must die. On Monday of Jesus’ last week He had chased the men who worked for the High Priest’s family selling the sacrificial animals and changing the money out of the temple area. In Luke 20:2 it is Tuesday of Jesus’ last week. The religious leaders asked Jesus who gave Him the authority to teach about God’s Kingdom. The people where acknowledging that Jesus was the Son of God, the Messiah. What they were actually asking was whether Jesus was claiming that He was the Messiah or a man or a prophet. Who did He say He was? If He said that He was the Messiah then they could say He was guilty of blasphemy and have cause to stone Him. But Jesus, knowing what they were doing, asked them whether John’s baptism was from God or from man. Well John the Baptist was very popular with the people and they feared if they denied that John was a true prophet of God they people would rise up and kill them. If they said that John was a prophet then why did they not believe his message? So they did not answer Jesus’ question. Then Jesus refused to answer their question.
[Luke 20:9-18] 9 He 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. 10 At 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. 11 He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. 12 He 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.’ 15 So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. “What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 16 He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When the people heard this, they said, “God forbid!” 17 Jesus looked directly at them and asked, “Then what is the meaning of that which is written: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone? 18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”
This parable follows the Jewish religious leaders trying to get Jesus to openly say that He was the Messiah, trying to use that to have Him killed. Jesus tells this story aimed directly at them. The man who planted a vineyard represents God. The vineyard is Israel and the nation’s mission to teach the world about God and God’s laws. The servants are God’s prophets, John the Baptist being the last. The fruit is the souls of men. The heir to the vineyard is Jesus Christ. Plainly Jesus was saying to the religious leaders, “you are the leaders of Israel and you should be teaching the people to love God first, to love each other, to take care of the poor, etc. But you have failed. You are righteous on the outside and sinners on the inside. God’s prophets have come to warn you but you killed them. Now God has sent His Son and you will kill Him. God will destroy you and give your ministry to others.” Jesus went on to say that they rejected the cornerstone which is Jesus and that rejection will be their downfall. Then Jesus said that anyone, on whom the cornerstone falls, meaning Jesus as judge, will be destroyed. These are strong words of condemnation coming from Jesus toward the Priests and other religious leaders.
[Luke 20:19-26] 19 The 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. 20 Keeping a close watch on him, they sent spies, who pretended to be sincere. They hoped to catch Jesus in something he said, so that they might hand him over to the power and authority of the governor. 21 So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. 22 Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” 23 He saw through their duplicity and said to them, 24 “Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. 25 He said to them, “Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” 26 They were unable to trap him in what he had said there in public. And astonished by his answer, they became silent.
The priests and religious leaders were really upset with Jesus after the parable he told about them so they arranged for spies who would be dressed like the people who regularly followed Jesus to blend into the crowd to try to get Him to say something that they could use to bring a charge of treason against Him and take it to the Roman governor who was the only one who could deliver a death sentence. They desperately wanted Jesus dead. One of their spies asked Jesus if it was right for a Jew to pay taxes to Rome or should they pay their tithes to God. This was a very clever question because the people hated paying taxes to Rome. If Jesus said to pay taxes to Rome then the people would be upset with Him, and if he said to pay the tax money to God instead then that would be against the Roman law and could be called treason. But Jesus could see into their minds and He knew what they were trying to do, so He answered the question by asking them a question: 24 “Show me a denarius. Whose image and inscription are on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. 25 He said to them, “Then give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” They had no answer. They were no match for Jesus.
[Luke 20:27-40] 27 Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. 28 “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 29 Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. 30 The second 31 and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. 32 Finally, the woman died too. 33 Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?” 34 Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. 35 But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, 36 and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. 37 But in the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. 38 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” 39 Some of the teachers of the law responded, “Well said, teacher!” 40 And no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Still trying to get Jesus to say something that they could use against Him, some Sadducees asked Him a question about marriage. First, let me say that the Sadducees did not believe in resurrection of the dead. The Pharisees, however, did believe in resurrection. The Sadducees chose the law of Levirate marriage taken from Deuteronomy 25:5-10 to try to get Jesus so answer in a way that would make trouble for Him among the Pharisees. Briefly this law says that if a married man dies and he has no sons then his brother should marry his wife and her first son would be the dead man’s heir. The purpose for this was to take care of the widows and to keep the tribal lands in the hands of their rightful families. Once again, Jesus was way ahead of them. His answer gives us an insight into what our life after earthly death will be like. In heaven there will be no married life and no one will die. We will be like the angels praising God and doing His will day and night. Note that Jesus did not say that we would be angels but that we would be like the angels, not marrying and not dying. Well the scribes and Pharisees praised Jesus for His answer but the Sadducees had no more to say.
[Luke 20:41-47] 41 Then Jesus said to them, “Why is it said that the Messiah is the son of David? 42 David himself declares in the Book of Psalms: “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand 43 until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”’ 45 While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 47 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”
Jesus quoted Psalm 110:10. The Pharisees were pleased with Jesus’ answer about the resurrection of the dead and life in heaven, but they were silent about Jesus’ question about the Messiah being the son of David. The Psalm 110 said basically that Jesus as the Son of God was David’s Lord, but as a man Jesus was the son of David. The scribes were the teachers and the interpreters of the Law. They went around wearing their long tasseled robes, sitting in the most prominent seats in the synagogues and banquets, making long loud prayers in public places trying to look pious and righteous, but they used their position to steal the homes of widows and the poor. Jesus said that they would receive severe punishment for their hypocrisy.
Lessons from Luke 19:28-20:47
1. We should be generous with our gifts to the Lord.
2. When the Lord calls, we should be obedient to go.
3. We need to be sincere in our worship. God will not tolerate hypocrisy
4. Out time here on earth is but a training time for our next life. We will be held responsible for how we use our spiritual gifts, our time and all wealth that God gives us.
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Luke Lesson 19
Scriptures for this lesson are taken from Luke 19, John 11, John 12
As Jesus’ ministry on earth was coming to a close, the events that would bring about His crucifixion began to happen. We will study in Luke 19 the story of Zacchaeus and then move to the gospel of John to cover events that are not included in Luke’s gospel.
[Luke 19:1-10] 19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. 5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” 8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
We are told that Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector. That means that he had other tax collectors working under him. He was responsible to Rome for collecting taxes over a larger general area and other workers would collect taxes from a smaller area and give the money to Zacchaeus to turn in to the Roman superior. Tax collectors were required to collect a certain amount of money from an area. Any money collected over what was required they could keep. They often were greedy and collected much more than required, robbing the people. For this reason they were hated by the people. Jericho was a city where many of the temple priests lived. When Jesus came through on the Jericho road and chose to eat with a tax collector the people were amazed and very upset. Zacchaeus was a small man, but he wanted to see Jesus badly enough to climb up in a tree. He wanted what Jesus had to offer, he wanted the salvation that Jesus offered. When the crowd objected to Jesus going with Zacchaeus, Jesus reminded them that Zacchaeus too was a son of Abraham, and because of his willingness to give of his money to be a follower of Christ, he had put the Lord first and could receive salvation. Jesus reminded the crowd and us that He came to save the lost, the sinner, not the righteous. Of course the Jewish religious leaders considered themselves to be righteous.
For about the first eight months of His public ministry, Jesus preached and ministered to the people on the east side of the Jordan River. The area was highly populated with many Roman cities. The area was ruled by Herod so the Religious leaders in Jerusalem had no control.
Jesus was on the east side of the Jordan waiting for the Passover. Now we will go into John chapter 11 to study the events that led to His crucifixion.
[John 11:1-3] Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
Lazarus was a man who lived in Bethany, a town about two miles from Jerusalem. He had two sisters, Martha and Mary who lived with him. He seemed to be a fairly rich man and Jesus and His followers frequently stayed at his home when they were in the Jerusalem area. Tradition holds that Lazarus was about 30 years old at this time. In John chapter 12 the story is told where Mary poured expensive perfume over Jesus’ feet and wiped it with her hair.
[John 12:1-3] Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
This event occurred about three weeks after the passage in John chapter 11 just above. Remember that these scriptures were written sometime after they occurred so John made a reference to Mary’s act here in chapter 12 when he was describing the events about Lazarus’ death and resurrection in chapter 11.
[John 11:4-16] 4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” 8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.” 11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” 12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. 14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
Martha and Mary knew where Jesus was so when Lazarus became very ill they sent word to Jesus. In verse 4, Jesus told His disciples that Lazarus’ sickness would not end in death but that He, God’s son would be glorified because of it. Jesus waited two more days and then told the disciples that they would go back to Judea into the territory were the Jewish Priests had control. The disciples reminded Jesus that the Jews tried to stone Jesus not long ago. Then Jesus made this cryptic statement: “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”
He used daylight and the idea that one can walk safely because he can see where he is going but in the dark it is not safe. I believe that Jesus is trying to get them to understand that He is the light. If they are with Him they will be safe. Then Jesus told them that Lazarus was asleep so they then reasoned that Lazarus would wake up and there was no need for them to go. Jesus explained clearly that Lazarus was now dead and that they must go. So Thomas told that others that they would go with Jesus and they would all die there. It is obvious that the disciples had no idea that Jesus would be crucified at Passover which was coming in about three weeks. But Jesus knew that the events that would take place in Bethany would bring about His death on the cross.
[John 11:17-37] 17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. 21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” 28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there. 32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.
34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. 35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
It was about a two day journey from where Jesus was on the east side of the Jordan River to Bethany so Lazarus had been dead 4 days and was already in the tomb. The Jews did not practice embalming like the Egyptians did so they buried their dead very quickly. They also had professional mourners who would come and moan and cry and wail at a funeral. There were many people there, friends and relatives as well as the professional mourners who had come from Bethany and Jerusalem for Lazarus’ funeral and to comfort the two sisters. When Martha was told that Jesus was coming, she went to meet Him. She spoke to Jesus telling Him that she knew if He had been there He could have saved Lazarus, but she also knew that God would give Him whatever He asked for. This sounds like she believed that Jesus could bring Lazarus back from the dead. But then Jesus reminded her that Lazarus would rise again at the resurrection in the last days and that He was the resurrection and the life, He had control over life and death. Martha then went to tell Mary that Jesus had arrived and was asking for her. Some of the Jewish visitors followed Mary thinking she was going to the tomb to mourn and they would go along to comfort her. When Mary got to Jesus she said the same thing that Martha had said, “If you had been here my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw Mary and the others with her crying about Lazarus, Jesus was deeply moved. Then when they showed Him where Lazarus was buried, He wept. The question Is, why did Jesus weep? He knew that He would raise Lazarus in just a few minutes and Mary and Martha’s tears would turn to joy. Jesus had waited until Lazarus was dead to come there because He knew that the raising of Lazarus would bring about His crucifixion at the Passover that was coming shortly. This was God’s timing and God’s will. I think partly Jesus wept because these people were His friends and they were suffering from grief. And remember that the 12 Apostles were there with Jesus. But mainly I think that Jesus wept because these people He knew so well and they knew Him had so little understanding and faith about who He was and why He had come to earth. What His mission and purpose was. These were His closest friends, He loved them and they had heard His message, witnessed His miracles but they still did not understand. I believe that is why He wept.
[John 11:38-44] 38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
It is obvious now that Martha did not believe that Jesus was going to bring Lazarus back to life because when Jesus told the men to roll away the stone covering the entrance to the tomb, she told Jesus that the body would have a bad odor after 4 days. Jesus then told them that they should remove the stone and they would see the glory of God. After the stone was rolled away, Jesus called out to God to hear His plea, and then He said that He was audibly asking for the benefit of those listening so that they would believe that He, Jesus, was the Son of God. Then Jesus called to Lazarus and told him to come out of the tomb. When Lazarus came back to life and walked out of the tomb, he was still wrapped in the linen strips of cloth that they wrapped around a dead body and put perfumes and spices in the burial wrappings. The people who had gathered to mourn for Lazarus saw the Glory of God. Witnessing this miracle convinced the people that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. This had been Jesus’ purpose in waiting until Lazarus was dead before he came to Bethany.
45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. “What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.” 49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” 51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life. 54 Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the people of Judea. Instead he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples. 55 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. 56 They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple courts they asked one another, “What do you think? Isn’t he coming to the festival at all?” 57 But the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who found out where Jesus was should report it so that they might arrest him.
As already stated many people from Jerusalem were in Bethany and saw Lazarus come out of the grave. A large number of those people believed that Jesus was the Messiah. Some of the witnesses went to the Jewish Religious leaders telling them what Jesus had done. Members of the Sanhedrin expressed their fear that if Jesus was not stopped then the Romans would no longer allow them to rule in Jerusalem. The Sanhedrin was allowed by the Romans to rule except they could not give a death sentence. Only Rome could do that. They were obviously not concerned whether Jesus was the long awaited Messiah, only what they stood to lose. Then Caiaphas who was the High Priest and the son-in-law of Annas prophetically said that it was better to have Jesus killed than for them to lose control and power over the nation. The wheels were set in motion then for Jesus to be killed at the Passover.
Lessons from Luke 19 and John 11:
1. Jesus came for the lost and they should be our mission today.
2. Everything works on God’s time table.
3. Take all things to the Lord. Nothing is too big and nothing is too small.
4. We should be more concerned with our heavenly wealth than our worldly wealth and power.