I have something I’ve been studying and thinking about for quite some time now, but I just don’t know where to begin with it. So I’m just going to start with it today, hopefully short and sweet, and prayerfully attempt to have a coherent thought come through. In any case, coherent or incoherent as I may be on a daily basis, today’s message is only the beginning.
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! Behold, your house is forsaken. And I tell you, you will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’
Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. Fact is, Jesus actually spent very little time in Jerusalem. It doesn’t seem or feel that way when we read the gospels, because so much happens in Jerusalem. But most of his life and ministry were outside of Jerusalem, in Capernaeum, Galilee, Jericho. But like this teaching, it seems that so much happens on the road to Jerusalem.
Jesus is on the road to Jerusalem, on his way to die. It was not unforeseeable, what was to came. Some of those Pharisees who heard him speak and teach tried to warn him. At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” Then again, later at his triumphal entry into the city, he gets another warning. “And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”” Luke 19:39-40 ESV. Funny thing is, before this point, Jesus had always told his followers not to tell who he really was. “Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” And he strictly charged and commanded them to tell this to no one, saying, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”” Luke 9:20-22 ESV. Jesus was fully aware of what he was going to endure, and he also was fully aware that the time had come.
“Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”” Luke 19:38 ESV. Just as Jesus had said in Luke 13 above, Jerusalem will not see me until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’
When Jesus followers would proclaim him to be the Christ, he would always tell them to keep it quiet. That’s because Israel already had a king, a Messiah. His name was Herod Antipas, appointed by Caesar, confirmed by the Roman senate. To claim to be king without these confirmations could get you killed for treason, which ultimately is exactly what Jesus was crucified for. So when Jesus says to the Pharisees I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out, he knows he is setting up a confrontation that could end up just as it did, with him hanging on a cross.
Now, to the chorus of Hosannas as he comes into Jerusalem, Jesus is coming to the zenith if his ministry. He had always silenced his followers who declared him messiah, because it would not have accomplished anything to die in the first month if his ministry. But now, he lets them shout, just as he said they would.
I am working to a point here, but won’t get there today. Today, as in Jesus’ day, we live in tumultuous times, both at home and abroad. Jesus had much to say on “the end”, many of us get very excited when we see conflict and “rumors of war”. We see our craziness and try to tie the teachings of Jesus and the Bible to it. We start dreaming of raptures and second comings. But where does it all fit in? That is the point I’m working toward. It’s not going to take weeks, but I can’t finish it today.
As someone once said, I’ll be back.