Read thru New Testament Devotional – April 23, 2017

April 23

 

Luke 19:1-28

Luke 19:1-10-Jesus is passing through Jericho.

 

Jericho has a long and interesting history

http://www.bibleplaces.com/jericho.htm

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/vie/Jericho.html

 

Jesus saw Zaccheus (a rich chief tax collector…this meant that he was over all of the taxes and other tax collectors in Jericho) who had climbed into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, because he was small in stature.  Jesus told him to climb down and that He was going to stay at his house.  Some of the people complained that Jesus was associating with a "sinner" (:7).  Zaccheus said that he would give one-half of his possessions to the poor and give back to anyone four-times as much as whatever he had gained from them by fraud (:8).  Jesus said, "Today salvation has come to this house..." (:9)  He then said, "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost" (:10).  The word “salvation” (:9) and “save” (:10) come from the same Greek root word…”soteria”.  It means: “deliverance, preservation, safety, salvation”.  But what helps us to understand the true meaning of salvation (and what it means to be “saved”) even clearer is when we see what we are saved from, which is summarized in the word, “lost”.  In the Greek, it is a “perfect active participle”, showing that it is a state of existence that has been previously established and has on-going consequences.  From a purely human perspective, the state of lostness is permanent, and self-perpetuating.  It’s root word means far more than to just be lost, as in something that is missing, or cannot be found.  It actually means to be “destroyed”.  To be lost from God…is for life to be destroyed.  Lostness destroys all of it’s meaning, all of it’s purpose, all of it’s significance.  Lostness destroys all of it’s future, all of it’s hope, all of it’s promise.  Jesus “seeks”…that which is lost.  Jesus “saves”…that which is destroyed.

 

Destroy, Destroyer, Destruction, Destructive:

"ruin, destruction," akin to A, No. 6, always translated "destruction," is used in 1Cr 5:5, of the effect upon the physical condition of an erring believer for the purpose of his spiritual profit; in 1Th 5:3; 2Th 1:9, of the effect of the Divine judgments upon men at the ushering in of the Day of the Lord and the revelation of the Lord Jesus; in 1Ti 6:9, of the consequences of the indulgence of the flesh, referring to physical "ruin" and possibly that of the whole being, the following word apoleia (see No. 1) stressing the final, eternal and irrevocable character of the "ruin."

(http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G622&t=NASB, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words)

 

Luke 19:11-28-Jesus continues in His teaching and tells a parable..."because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately" (:11).  For Jews, the mere sight of their capital city of Jerusalem evoked memories of past glories (under their great kings such as David and Solomon) and hope of future expectations (under the coming Messiah…that they often saw as a conquering military/political leader).  There were those who believed that Jesus was this very Messiah that they were looking for.  The parable, which Jesus tells, is about His going to Heaven and then one day returning.  In the parable, some of the people did not want the nobleman (who represented Jesus) to reign over them and said so when He left.  Before leaving, the nobleman placed his kingdom into the hands of managers...and told them to manage it while he was gone.  When he returned he rewarded those who had done well and punished those who had not.  He also punished those who had been against him.  It is a parable about what will happen when Jesus returns from Heaven to earth at the Second Coming.  God expects us to manage what we have been given...to be productive with it for His Kingdom.  It is His and He expects us to multiply it and to give an account of what we have done with it.  Those who don't want Him to rule over them will one day face His judgment.  There are those today who don't want God to rule over them and their lives.  They are not willing to use Kingdom resources for Kingdom work...but rather, they want to do with it what they want.  We don't know when Jesus will return...so we had better be ready at all times.  He gave equal responsibility to everyone...not necessarily expecting them to all have the same productivity...but, that they would all have the same faithfulness.  Notice that they were each rewarded in a manner that was comparable to how they had managed what they had been given responsibility for.  How am I managing what am I responsible for...because what I do with it will determine my blessings in Heaven.  The difference between this parable and the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30) is that in the latter they were given different amounts to be responsible for.

Prayer: Lord, I can see the joy of salvation on the face of Zaccheus and hear it in his voice.  Please, help me to have that same joy all of my days.  Don't ever let it diminish, or subside.  Help me to live in the joy of Your salvation each and every day.  Let Your salvation change my life as certainly as it did Zaccheus' life.  Help me to not keep it to myself...but let it be expressed through my life to others.  And guide me, Lord, to use the resources that You have placed in my life to advance Your kingdom.

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