March 05, 2023 | Peter Rowan
Passage: Luke 19:28-48
Jesus enters into Jerusalem with crowds shouting that he is the King who comes in the name of the Lord, but we know that Jesus knows what his reign will cost him. This may be a triumphal entry, but it brings with it the tragedy of the world that brings peace in heaven and earth. He weeps over Jerusalem, Zion, for even there they have exchanged the things of God for the things of this world, they have made the house of the Lord a den of robbers. The wrongs of the world must be put to right and that will mean the tragic death of the world's true king.
Here, it seems as though Luke is intense. With this question of "are you going to receive Jesus when He comes?" Are you going to receive Him when He comes? Or are you going to reject Him as those who simply couldn't care less? Keep on going with what you've been up to? Jerusalem as the city rejects them, the people buying and selling in the temple seem to care less when he enters in until he starts making a fuss of it all. What we have here is this triumphal tragedy, actually, a king coming and visiting a king offering peace. The king offering mercy, a king offering redemption. And what we find is the people say, we don't want it. We've got better things to do with our time. Just let us keep making money, doing our thing. There's a place for finding ourselves in this crowd, which is often what I've preached on Palm Sunday: the flakiness, right? The wishy-washy dynamic, how we move from saying "Hosanna" to saying "crucify him." There's a place for that crowd that's self absorbed, like us, praising Jesus for what we hope he can give us and do for us.
But I think what Luke wants to teach us this morning, I think how Luke has orchestrated things in his book, and how he's put them together here is that he's trying to tell us once again, there's kind of two options. There's two options when you come to Jesus. Are you going to receive him? Or are you going to reject them? Are you going to receive God's visitation? As an offer of peace and mercy? And redemption? Are you gonna reject it? And I think as lovely as that sounds as something that we would all say, "Yeah, well, 100 plus one is 101. How easy can it be?" As you look at the Gospel of Luke, what you see is it's not so easy. Some people run to him. Some people want to come and listen to him and even ask good questions. Right? The rich young ruler says, "teacher, Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Eventually, he says, "I don't, I don't want to do that. I don't want to follow you." So what are you going to do? When God visits What do you do with Jesus? Will you prepare yourself for his visitation? Will you ready your heart and your life? Will you seek Him? He says, Ask, seek and knock. And he's gonna show up.
The Gospel of Luke is best described by its author in the first four verses of the book: "Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught."