Read Luke Chapter 19
We pick up the account here again in Jericho, but Jesus will soon be and has always been heading towards Jerusalem. There is still much to be said and done, still more to learn from Jesus, but the very purpose of His visitation (to earth) will soon come to a head.
Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Again Jesus confounds the people when he stays at the home of Zacheus: the chief tax collector, a businessman, an important local dignitary, a sinner and a Roman sympathiser. Zacheus was a rich man whose heart was immediately transformed the moment He met Jesus. This caused him to want to generously put right all he had done wrong with regards to obtaining his wealth and to want to feed the poor. Truly this man had recognised what heavenly treasures looked like.
While Jesus had the attention of the crowd following this remarkable conversion, He tells them a parable using money and wealth to illustrate a truth about His Kingdom (Some will not want Jesus to be their King and it doesn’t turn out well for them). The Lord God had invested His name in Israel and they had held on to it so tightly they had missed its true value. As a child of God, one now bears His image and message to the world; He has placed something of value in you, what will you do with it? You must invest in the Kingdom of God.
And now to Jerusalem:
Zechariah 9:9 “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
He is just and endowed with salvation,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
Jesus’ followers still didn’t understand the nature of His Kingdom and organised a triumphal entry into the city fit for a king. Jesus doesn’t stop them, since it is true: He will be king, just not how they think. He is also ensuring the fulfilment of the prophesy in Zechariah quoted above. The Pharisees grumbled about the nature of His coming and Jesus tells them, in so many words, that had they known the truth and who He really was, they would have understood the way to peace. As it is, the truth was hidden from them and the days of the glory of Jerusalem are now numbered.
Luke 19:40 “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!”
The Religious leaders had come so far away from the purpose and glory of the Temple that they even permitted, perhaps even profited from, the traders who operated there. Jesus was not best pleased at this and in His righteous indignation drove them out. He reminds them of the true purpose of the temple:
Luke 19:46 “It is written, ‘And My house shall be a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a robbers’ den.”
So having arrived, not so quietly, into the city Jesus proceeds to spend time teaching in the Temple courts and the people were hanging on to His every word (not a bad practice for all of us). Meanwhile the jealous leading religious Jews of the city were looking for a way to destroy Him. They didn’t seem to like the way He challenged their power, their religious monopoly over the people and the truths He told, which they should have known, about the Kingdom.