Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Year 7, Day 228: Luke 19

Theological Commentary: Click Here

In Luke 19 we begin the end of the story.  We have arrived at the Triumphal entry.  That means over the next few days we’ll finish Jesus’ teaching and end up at the crucifixion.  Then we’ll move on through the resurrection and, because we are in Luke, we’ll hear a few stories of Jesus and His disciples after the resurrection.  That’s the context of the end.  That’s what we look forward to as we read these stories today.

In this light, look at the story of Zacchaeus.  What do we see Zacchaeus doing in this story?  We see him going out and doing what it takes to get the attention of Jesus.  For this reason, Zacchaeus is one of my favorite minor characters in the Gospels.  It isn’t so much that Zacchaeus goes out and gets what he wants.  It is that Zacchaeus wants to get to Jesus.  How do we know this difference?  Zacchaeus finds himself changed by Jesus.  If Zacchaeus was out to get what he wanted, he wouldn’t be changed.  But Zacchaeus is out to get Jesus, and he finds himself changed.  I’m left asking myself these same questions.  Am I pursuing Jesus so that I can be changed or am I pursuing Jesus so that I can get what I want?

This ties in nicely with the story of the ruler who goes on a journey and leaves wealth in the hands of his servants.  Jesus wants us to be proactive.  He wants us to look out into the world and see opportunity to win territory for Him.  He doesn’t want us to sit back.  He doesn’t want us to do nothing and return His power unused and ignored.  He wants us to go out, do His work, and come back changed from it.

I think we can see the inverse of this concept in the portion of the chapter that speaks about Jesus’ lament over Jerusalem.  Look at what Jesus says about Jerusalem.  He wishes that they would be able to see what is being done among them.  He wishes that they would be able to take notice and embrace God’s work around them.  But they can’t.  God’s work is hidden from them.  They are about to be torn down because they are ignoring God.  They aren’t interested in going out and getting the focus of God.  They are interested in getting their own way.  This causes them to be blind.