Weekly Word: Lesson 10
Luke: Message of Hope
THE PURCHASE OF HOPE:
At the beginning of this study, we mentioned several themes prevalent in Luke, one of which was the revelation-response principle. Throughout Luke’s gospel we have seen Jesus gradually reveal more and more evidence as to His true identity and have heard Him progressively reveal how He would accomplish His purpose stated in Luke 19:10. The response to Jesus has been as diverse as it is in our day. In this last week before the crucifixion, the revelation-response principle will come to a head, and Jesus will reveal the consequences of those responses.
Since Jesus’ enemies can’t control Him, they decide to eliminate Him in their way and timing. Jesus, Son of God, is sovereign even over this. He will choose the timing and surrounding details of the giving of His life, thus fulfilling prophecies and the atoning sacrifice given in the Law.
DAY ONE: Jesus comes as messianic king. (Luke 19:28-46)
A. Jesus’ triumphal entry. (Luke 19:28-40)
- If you think back through Luke, you will recognize that Jesus had clearly proven His identity as the Messiah-king. He had the required lineage, spoke with divine wisdom and authority, and did miracles including ones only the Messiah would be able to do. In addition, He had claimed to be the Son of God, making Himself equal with God. Now He prepared to enter Jerusalem in a way that visually proclaimed He was their long-awaited king.
- What do you see in verses 28-34 that indicates Jesus planned this ahead of time?
- To personalize this, is your car or your home also available for Jesus’ use at a moment’s notice?
- What would those who remembered the prophecy of Zechariah 9:9-10 be thinking?
- Using your cross-reference guide, find the source of the peoples’ response in verse 38.
- All history has pointed either forward or backward to the events of this week; therefore, isn’t Jesus’ response in verse 40 totally appropriate? (Also see the interesting Romans 8:19-22 passage in conjunction with Genesis 3:17) 1 God desires Jesus to be celebrated!
B. Jesus’ weeps over Jerusalem. (Luke 19:41-44)
- Not everyone responded with praise (verse 39). I might have expected Jesus’ response to be anger. Instead, how did Jesus respond in verse 41? (Do you remember the angels’ proclamation at Jesus’ birth in Luke 2:14? How Jesus’ heart must be broken as His offer of peace with God is rejected.)
- Jesus’ tears reveal His compassion. What do Ezekiel 33:11 and II Peter 3:9 add?
- What was the awful consequence of rejecting the revelation of Jesus in verse 42?
- What further consequences did they face which literally happened in 70 AD? (vv. 43-44)
DAY TWO: Jesus comes with divine authority. (Luke 19:45-21:4)
A. Jesus cleanses the Temple. (Luke 19:45-46)
- Jesus cleansed the Temple at the beginning of His ministry (John 2:12-22), as well as at the end. Why is He angry in the Luke passage? Not only were the religious leaders taking advantage of worshipers, they were doing so in the court of the Gentiles. The Jews were to be a blessing to the world. Instead they were preventing Gentiles from worshiping.
- Perhaps we should stop and think about our churches. Are they houses of prayer? What might be a distraction there preventing people from hearing God and worshiping Him?
- Read I Corinthians 3:16 and 6:19. Given this truth, is there anything in your life which Jesus needs to cleanse so you can worship acceptably? Journal your thoughts as a prayer to God.
B. Jesus’ authority is questioned. (Luke 19:47-20:19)
- Jesus made Himself readily available to everyone in this week before the crucifixion. Although the religious leaders were trying to kill him, Jesus was in control! (Luke 19:47-48) Angered by the Temple cleansing, they questioned Jesus’ authority. Read Luke 20:1-8 to see their tactic and Jesus’ wise response.
- Read the parable Jesus told in Luke 20: 9-19 to answer their question. The man who planted the vineyard was God. The vineyard was Israel and the farmers in verse 9 were the Jewish leaders. From verses 10-15, how is Jesus different from the prophets? Verse 16 describes the consequence of rejecting the son — removal from their position — with God giving the vineyard to Gentiles.
- From what messianic psalm is Jesus quoting in verse 17? Here the word “rejected” means “to reject after investigation.” Just as they thoroughly examined the Passover lambs for blemishes, they also were examining Jesus and finding Him to be without any blemish – yet they purposely rejected Him. 2 Verse 19 shows they understood the warning.
C. Jesus reverses religious leaders’ traps. (Luke 20:20-40)
- The religious leaders were desperate! They decided to neutralize Jesus by trapping Him in a way in which He would either lose His popularity with the people or attract the ire of Rome.
- The first trap was political. I don’t know of anyone who enjoys paying taxes. Taxes are an issue in every election. Notice how the Pharisees’ spies used that issue to try to trap Jesus in verses 20-26. How did Jesus counter their question? Are we to pay taxes to our government? What does Romans 13:1-7 add?
- From Genesis 1:27, whose image is stamped on you and me? Therefore, what do we owe to God?
- The Sadducees, who didn’t believe in life after death, tried a religious trap in verses 27-40. This ridiculous sounding scenario was an exaggeration based on “levirate law” which was designed to continue a man’s family line, thus protecting the family, their inheritance, and also God’s covenant promise to Israel. 3
- Jesus’ answer is interesting. Read verses 34-36 carefully. Does everyone go to heaven? Do we become angels or do we become “like” them in also becoming immortal? Why do you think marriage is important in this life but not necessary in the life to come? (Consider Ephesians 5:22-33 and Revelation 19:6-9; 21:1-3 as well as your own thoughts.)
- From verses 37-38, what proof is given for life after death?
D. Jesus clarifies His identity in verses 41-44. Not only was the Messiah the descendant of David who would one day come in power to rule, but He was also Lord. As Lord, He ruled over hearts, including David’s heart.
E. Jesus warns against following hypocritical religious leaders. He instead commends the humble faith of the poor widow (who should have been cared for by the religious leaders). See Luke 20:45-21:4. Which one most represents you?
DAY THREE: Jesus prophesies coming events. (Luke 21:5-38)
A. Signs of the times. (Luke 21:5-11)
- Have you thought that if you knew a crisis was coming, you could be prepared to handle it? Jesus used the disciples’ remarks about the glory of the Temple as a catalyst to prepare them, and us, for the future. Jesus answered more than their immediate question. He explained two future crises in Jerusalem plus events preceding each. Some of these prophecies are telescoped together, so they are challenging to understand. (The “rapture” is not dealt with here. You might find it helpful to refer to the Matthew study, Lesson 17.) Links are currently inactive as we are in the process of archiving.
- Jesus began in verses 5-7 with a prophecy about Herod’s Temple, which was fulfilled literally in 70 AD. Before the destruction of the Temple by the Romans, the events of verses 8-9 would begin to happen. Can you think of some false messiahs who have also appeared in our lifetime?
- The fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD was also an example of the events of the “end of the age” preceding Christ’s second coming. The predictions of verses 10-11 will be fulfilled before those final events. (This is called the “great tribulation” in Revelation 7:14, “the time of Jacob’s trouble” in Jeremiah 30:7, and is referred to in Daniel 12:1.)
B. Interim persecution. (Luke 21:12-24)
- Verses 12-19 describe persecution which can be expected by disciples in any generation. What will the result of persecution be from verse 13? What precious promise is given in verses 14-15? What kind of life is promised to those who stand firm in verse 19?
- Verses 20-24 describe what literally happened in 70 AD. 4 Those who believed Jesus’ prophecy had time to flee, and their lives were saved. Many believe this will happen again during the Great Tribulation. The “times of the Gentiles” actually began with the Babylonian captivity in 586 BC, and will end when Jesus returns. 5
C. Final signs. (Luke 21:25-38)
- Verses 25-28 describe cosmic events which have not yet occurred. These will occur during the latter portion of the “Great Tribulation” and precede Christ’s return. What encouragement do you take from verse 28?
- The fig tree (vv. 29-31) is often used to symbolize Israel. Considering Israel’s return to her land in the 1900s, her establishment as a sovereign nation in 1948, and her recovery of Jerusalem in 1967, how seriously are you taking this prophecy?
- Verse 32 is interpreted in various ways: (1) “this generation” might represent the Jewish people who will still be a people when Christ returns, (2) Jesus might be referring to those listening to Him who would still be alive at the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, or (3) Jesus might mean that those who see the sign of the fig tree sprouting (possibly meaning Israel again becoming a nation) will be alive to see the final events before Christ’s return.
- What warning does Jesus give to you and me in verses 34-36? Are you ready? Are you watching?
DAY FOUR: Jesus presides over “Last Supper.” (Luke 22:1-38)
A. Judas agrees to betrayal. (Luke 22:1-6)
- The religious leaders wanted to get rid of Jesus but not during Passover when the city was crowded with perhaps hundreds of thousands of people, many of whom believed in Jesus. As always, God was sovereign not only over events, but also over timing. Unlike the Jewish leaders, Satan was not afraid of the people. What was his role? (verses 1-3)
- Was Judas a helpless pawn? (John 6:64, 70; 13:2, 10-11, 27) How does this demonstrate that exposure to Jesus and His teachings is not enough? One must believe and receive Him to truly become one of His own (John 1:12; 3:36).
- How can you and I avoid being used by Satan for evil purposes? (James 4:7)
B. Jesus explains the Last Supper. (Luke 22:7-20)
- In order to control the timing of events and accomplish what He needed to do, Jesus arranged the location of the Last Supper to remain unknown to Judas. Read verses 7-13. What is unusual in verse 10?
- Luke gives an abbreviated version of the Last Supper. Jesus gave new meaning to the bread and wine of the Passover meal, explaining that they pointed ahead to His atoning sacrifice on the cross. What does Hebrews 9:11-14 teach about the efficacy of Jesus’ sacrifice?
- From I Corinthians 11:23-26, how do you and I look both back and ahead when we celebrate “The Lord’s Supper”? From I Corinthians 10:16-17, how does this also illustrate the unity of the body of Christ?
- What do the words, “poured out for you” (NIV), mean to you personally?
C. Jesus explains true greatness. (Luke 22:21-38)
- Did the disciples hear anything Jesus said? Obviously they didn’t understand until later. What do you think Jesus was feeling as He spoke the words in verses 21-22?
- What was the disciples’ greater concern: their roles in the kingdom or the price Jesus would have to pay to bring the kingdom in? (vv. 23-24)
- What principle did Jesus give and model in verses 25-27?
- What reward did He promise these eleven apostles? (Judas had already left.)
- In verses 31-32, what warning did He give Peter (notice He uses his former name, Simon)? How has Satan sifted you? What encourages you from Jesus’ words?
- What stands out to you in verses 33-38?
DAY FIVE: Jesus prepares for the cross. (Luke 22:39-65)
A. Jesus prays in Gethsemane. (Luke 22:39-46)
- What two words in verse 39 indicate the importance of a place of prayer in Jesus’ life?
- What is the command in verse 40?
- How often have you or I agonized in prayer? Certainly it has not been to the extent Jesus did in verses 41-44. Would we not see amazing answers to prayer if we were willing to pray as Jesus prayed?
- How often are we instead like the disciples in verses 45-46?
B. Jesus is betrayed by Judas. (Luke 22:47-53)
- Although Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray Him, I believe He genuinely loved Judas. Imagine the deep emotional pain of being betrayed by a friend with whom He had shared so much!
- What might have been the consequence to the disciples if Jesus had not healed the servant’s ear in verse 51?
- How did Jesus display His majesty in verses 52-53? (Also see John 18:4-9)
C. Jesus is denied by Peter. (Luke 22:54-65)
- Read the familiar story of Peter’s denial. Rather than being too hard on Peter, join me in asking, “When have I denied Jesus, if not by words, then by my silence?”
- What hope did Peter avail himself of which is also available to you and me? (1 John 1:8-9)
We become so familiar with the story of our redemption that we sometimes take it for granted. This week and next, periodically pause and ponder the fact that it was for you Jesus suffered and died! What impact does that have on you? How will you respond to Him?
1 Another view is that the stones would symbolically cry out as a witness against those who rejected Jesus (Habakkuk 2:11) when they were overturned in 70 AD.
2 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, Volume 1 (Wheaton: Victor Books, 1989), 256.
3 Deuteronomy 25:5-10.
4 “Josephus estimated that 1 million Jews died in the war against Rome… thousands who tried unsuccessfully to escape were crucified outside the city walls during the siege… Titus took 97 thousand Jewish exiles to Rome…” from: C. Marvin Pate, Moody Gospel Commentary: Luke (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), 405.
5 Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, 262.
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