Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mar 7: Luke 19

Today's reading in our daily plan is Luke 19. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • Now the story of Jesus’ life starts heating up as he enters Jerusalem for the last time. But first, he defines why he was sent and what he’s looking for.
  • Zacchaeus was a tax collector, which means he took the money of his own people to pay the unwelcome and foreign Roman government to enforce “peace” in the town. Tax collectors could collect as much money as they wanted and pocket whatever they weren't required to give to the government, so Zacchaeus wasn't exactly the guy everyone liked to hang out with (like the IRS, but way more old-school). After Zacchaeus encounters Jesus in a life-changing way, he repents and pays back those he cheated.
  • Jesus says that he came to seek and save"lost" people like this. "Lost" here refers to people who are separated from God.
  • Jesus then tells a parable about a master entrusting investment money to some of his servants while he’s away. Two of the servants invest well while a third fearfully hides the money. The master applauds the two and condemns the other one. He seems overly harsh on the fearful servant, but Jesus’ point is about how we live our lives.
  • And then we get to witness the people of Jerusalem formally welcome Jesus into town. As the rightful king, Jesus could’ve ridden in on a war horse but instead chose to ride a young donkey. And instead of going to overthrow the ruling Roman Governor, he went to the Temple, where he began his last teaching series. Jesus is modeling humility and a relationship with God, which is where true peace is found.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • Jesus says his mission is to find people who are far from God and give them life through knowing him. This is also the mission of all Jesus' followers, who are often called disciples. The term "disciple" is synonymous with "student," which implies that a disciple is in the process of becoming like the teacher.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • If we risk our lives (our reputation, wealth, security, etc.) for the Kingdom of God, we will have an impact. But if we play it safe, we’ll have nothing to show for it.