Luke 19 is filled with familiar events and a parable, which many of us have heard from our early days of Sunday School. First, we hear of Zacchaeus, “a wee little man; a wee little man was he” who was too short to see Jesus through the crowd so “he climbed the sycamore tree to see what he could see, to see what he could see!” Jesus invited him down from the tree, went to his house and brought salvation to Zacchaeus’ heart and home that very day.
As Jesus left Jericho, “He went on to tell them a parable, because He was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once.” (Luke 19: 11) With the parable of the “minas” (an amount equaling about three months wages), Jesus instructed His first hearers, and us, to “keep on working for God and for the sake of the Gospel” as diligently as possible, until His ultimate return on the Day of Judgment.
“After Jesus had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. As He approached… He sent two of His disciples, saying… ‘Go to the village… and find a colt tied there… Untie it and bring it here.’” (Luke 19: 28-31) They did as He had instructed, and they found everything – exactly as He had described it!
The crowd put their coats on the colt and on the roadway, and with excitement and great joy, they began waving palm branches. “The whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen.” (Luke 19: 37) They had seen and heard how He had miraculously given sight to the blind; hearing to the deaf; raised the dead; driven out demons; and performed many other signs and wonders showing that He was the promised Messiah sent from the Father. In their joy, they quoted the words of Psalm 118, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” Peace in heaven and glory in the highest! (Luke 19: 38)
These beautiful words of praise bring to mind other words which were proclaimed some 33 years earlier when “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.’” (Luke 2: 13-14) These words of praise and promise foreshadowed Jesus’ earthly ministry and purpose – to suffer and die for the forgiveness of the sin of all mankind, thus bringing peace between God and Man once again.
But, of course, not everyone in the crowd echoed this same sense of jubilation. “Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke Your disciples!’ ‘I tell you,’ He replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.’” (Luke 19: 39-40)
As we read the pages of sacred scripture, we can see “the signs of the times” in our world today – the increase of natural disasters (earthquakes, tornados and fire); that love grows cold (abortion); and the threat of wars and rumors of war (terrorism) grows daily. We, too, like the disciples who first followed Jesus, must speak out, testify and witness to the coming of our Savior, Lord and Advent King – Jesus! There are those “missing from the pews here at Holy Cross” and those who have never heard the message of saving grace, faith and forgiveness which comes only through Christ. We don’t want to be “set aside” while He “raises up the stones who will cry out” if we fail to do so!
We jubilantly sing our praises and cry out, “Come Quickly, Lord!” into our hearts, our homes and our families!
See you in church!
Blessings in Christ,