While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately. So He said,”A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return. And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘Do business with this until I comeback.’ But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ When he returned, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be called to him so that he might know what business they had done. The first appeared, saying, ‘Master, your mina has made ten minas more.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.’ The second came, saying, ‘Your mina, master, has made five minas.’ And he said to him also, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ Another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief; for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did not sow.’ “He *said to him, ‘By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? ‘Then why did you not put my money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest?’ Then he said to the bystanders, ‘Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ And they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas already.’ I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.”
After He had said these things, He was going on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. When He approached Bethphage and Bethany, near the mount that is called Olivet, He sent two of the disciples, saying,”Go into the village ahead of you; there, as you enter, you will find a colt tied on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of it.'”
So those who were sent went away and found it just as He had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” They said, “The Lord has need of it.” They brought it to Jesus, and they threw their coats on the colt and put Jesus on it. As He was going, they were spreading their coats on the road. As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting: “BLESSED IS THE KING WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” But Jesus answered,”I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!” When He approachedJerusalem,He saw the city and wept over it, saying,”If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.”
“For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”
Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling, saying to them,”It is written, ‘AND MY HOUSE SHALL BE A HOUSE OF PRAYER,’ but you have made it a ROBBERS’ DEN.” And He was teaching daily in the temple; but the chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people were trying to destroy Him, and they could not find anything that they might do, for all the people were hanging on to every word He said.
On one of the days while He was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders confronted Him, and they spoke, saying to Him, “Tell us by what authority You are doing these things, or who is the one who gave You this authority?” Jesus answered and said to them,”I will also ask you a question, and you tell Me: “Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?” They reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us to death, for they are convinced that John was a prophet.” So they answered that they did not know where it came from. And Jesus said to them,”Nor will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”
And He began to tell the people this parable:”A man planted a vineyard and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey for a long time. At the harvest time he sent a slave to the vine-growers, so that they would give him some of the produce of the vineyard; but the vine-growers beat him and sent him away empty-handed. And he proceeded to send another slave; and they beat him also and treated him shamefully and sent him away empty-handed. And he proceeded to send a third; and this one also they wounded and cast out. The owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ But when the vine-growers saw him, they reasoned with one another, saying, ‘This is the heir; let us kill him so that the inheritance will be ours.’ So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What, then, will the owner of the vineyard do to them?
“He will come and destroy these vine-growers and will give the vineyard to others.”When they heard it, they said, “May it never be!” But Jesus looked at them and said,”What then is this that is written:’THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED,THIS BECAME THE CHIEF CORNERstone’?Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust.” The scribes and the chief priests tried to lay hands on Him that very hour, and they feared the people; for they understood that He spoke this parable against them.Luke 19:11-20:19
Well that is a big chunk to read isn’t it? I know for some of you it is enough to put you off reading. Ian, don’t you know I only read one pericope a day? Yes and that is why you don’t understand the whole picture the Bible paints. You don’t lift up your eyes to take in the big picture. You are content with the bite sized chunks. That is good in order to understand the details before you, but you need also to set each piece in the context of the wider picture. When you see what Luke is doing with the thrust of what he is compiling it is awe-inspiring. Take time to read through the large portion I have served you up today and take in the panorama.
One of the things we are doing in Berean Insights with Deeper Bible, in conjunction with ALBATA and Pioneer Bible Translators is to produce a version of four New Testament books – Luke, John, Romans and the Corinthian letters of Paul in Indonesian. The unique thing about this package is that it has all the chapter boundaries and verse numbers removed. It is a version of the Bible that simply is one continuous serving. So it is up to you where you stop reading and where you think the topic has changed. It is very helpful for seeing the big picture and not stopping at chapter boundaries as we are prone to do. But more importantly in the context of Deeper Bible these are the very passages which are used in the 2nd and 3rd level Deeper Bible to learn the reality of just how deep Scripture is.
I have not included the segments before the passage above related to Bartimaeus and Zaccheus, nor have I added the segments which follow the current focus where we find ourselves in Luke. But I have clipped the collection of related segments for you to peruse with new eyes. To see the way in which this is all building to a point and teaching us about the nature of this One we are dealing with is inspiring when we take it all in.
Is it coincidence that Jesus tells one story in Luke 19:11 ff and then another in Luke 20:9 ff which are very similar in many ways and yet so different? Yet clearly they are both setting the context for the return of an absentee landlord or king who has gone off to a distant land. All of that in the context of debate about the Messiah and His coming to His vineyard Israel (in the context of the Isaiah parable (Chapt 5). But in this case the focus is not the vineyard; it is centered on the nature of the vineyard owner. When all of it is put together in the context of the question related to whether this one is the promised Messiah or not, everything about the segments Luke has compiled shout out with one voice – Behold, Blessed is the One Coming in the Name of the LORD. Yes the timing of His Coming is perfection itself – timed down to the day according to Daniel’s prophecy. But also everything else about what He does has that Divine ring of truth about it.
In the context His cleansing of the Temple is right and appropriate for what the Coming One would do. It is also has been alluded to in the Old Testament. In passages where God is warning Israel what would happen if they chose to ignore Him the indication is that He would come and clean house (as Eugene Peterson puts it). The religious leaders pontificate about His actions but if they really the knew the Scriptures they pretend to teach from they would be convicted and fall on their knees to pay homage to this One they have been waiting for, for so long. But they are not interested in Truth; they are interested in perpetuating the system. To Jesus the system is rotten to the core and needs to be overturned. Now where have we heard that before in Luke?
Now ponder the notion first put forth by Simeon when He first saw the baby Jesus, that this One would causing the falling and rising of Israel. Oh yes, falling first, then rising. You can’t rise when rotten elements are left unattended. If you Pharisees and spiritual leaders want to ask about My authority to do such a thing (cleanse the temple) go look at your Old Testament. There is My authority. “I do nothing of My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught me” as Jesus told the Pharisees in John 8:28.
This is all one related whole. Layer upon layer of proof and challenge related to who Jesus really is. Time after time the Pharisees react badly when the people call Jesus, Messiah. It is an affront to them. The people know it. They follow Him in huge crowds, excitedly looking to Him to bring in the Age to Come. The leaders ask for signs to prove that He is Who He says He is. But with each step along the way He is fulfilling Old Testament prophecy by what He does, when He does it and how He does it and where He does it. It couldn’t be any clearer but the leaders have simply hardened their hearts and refuse to listen. Now where have we heard that before? Takes you back to soil types, doesn’t it? Seeing they will not see and hearing they will not hear lest they repent and turn around.
Both parables which top and tail the section I have given you above are focused on the Coming of the Messiah but from two different points of view, each of which widens our perspective on the significance of the Coming of the Messiah and what we can expect to happen. In the midst of this the matter of His authority to do what He has done in the Temple is questioned. To answer their question He merely tells them another parable. A similar parable to the one He tells at the end of this series of statements. Notice the context of the verses before the first parable which follow the stories of Bartimaeus and Zaccheus.
And Jesus said to him,”Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”Luk 19:9-10
There we have the central verse (Luke 19:10) which explains why all this is happening. It is all connected. It is all part of the one unfolding story. Open your eyes to take in the awe-inspiring panorama of it all.
Every disappointment, every wrong, even every closed door has helped make you into who you are.Joel Osteen
People can tell you things, but it’s what you tell yourself that has the most impact on your life.Victoria Osteen
Be with those who bring out the best in you, not the stress in you.Wendy Treat
You will never learn FAITH in comfortable surroundings.Ribka Yusuf Wijaya