Oct12MonOctober 12, 2020
Good morning Church,
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! Hope you have a great day reflecting on how good our God is, and how much He has blessed us!
We are continuing our walk through Luke. Last week, we turned a corner as we entered into the final week of Jesus' ministry. He entered into Jerusalem as King, went into the temple and caused quite a stir, by throwing out the merchants making a profit off of organized religion. The Messiah was supposed to deliver the Jews from the Romans not criticize this great religious system they had developed. What kind of king was this? For His actions, a large group of religious leaders labeled Jesus as enemy #1, concluding that He must be destroyed (19:47). Despite the bounty on His head, Jesus continued to teach the truth to the people, preaching the gospel and offering the true path to salvation (19:45-20:1).
The religious leaders confronted Jesus, hoping to trap Him in his words, looking for a reason to sentence Him to death. Could you imagine a whole group of really prominent leaders trying to back you into a corner, so they could find a way to get rid of you? They come at Jesus by questioning His authority - who gave you the right to do what you are doing? What would you do under such pressure? We need to take a lesson from Jesus on how to answer tough questions - ask a question back, one that will trap your accusers in their own scheme! Jesus asked the leaders about John the Baptist - the last of the great Old Testament Prophets, who declared Jesus to be the coming Messiah (Luke 3:1-22). It was brilliant! If they said John was from God, then they would have to acknowledge that his message was from God; which meant that they would be acknowledging that Jesus was the Messiah. They knew that they were stumped, and refused to answer the question - so Jesus refused to answer their question to Him (Luke 20:3-8).
From here Jesus launches into a parable, which depicts the whole history of the Jewish people using imagery they were very familiar with - a vineyard (See Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80:7-15). God planted this vineyard, and entrusted leaders (vinedressers/farmers) to produce a harvest - at harvest time God sent prophets (slaves/servants) to collect the harvest, but the leaders beat the prophets, and sent them away without a harvest for the owner. Finally, the owner sent his beloved son (20:13), but they killed him. The allegory was very clear - the Jews rejected the prophets God sent, and now would kill Jesus, God's beloved Son. The Jewish leaders knew the parable was about them (20:19). They were deeply offended and plotted to trap Him in another attempt at answering a tough question regarding taxes. But Jesus answered perfectly (20:20-26). Jesus had so much wisdom and understanding of people's hearts and intent. He could not be trapped by human schemes (20:23)
Here is the message in a nutshell: Jesus is the beloved Son of God who will inherit all that the Father has planted. Jesus is the Stone, the Chief Cornerstone (20:17-18), upon which God is building a new building to contain the harvest (see: 1Peter 2:6-10; Isaiah 28:16). Luke's Gospel is intensifying - people are forced to make a decision - to believe that Jesus is who He says He is, the King and Messiah; or reject Him as a threat to any false religion/ideology. Jesus Christ is the only foundation upon which to build your faith, life and future!
Give God glory that He has opened your eyes to this truth!
Have a great week,