“If you had known, even you, especially in this your day. . .  – Luke 19:42

 

The last week of Jesus ministry began with a triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Jesus was met with shouts of rejoicing, “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Hosanna in the highest!” (Mat. 21:9). But the scriptural account goes on to state, “Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, . . .” (Luke 19:41). Jesus wept because He knew the fickleness of humanity and their dullness to the ways of God. He wept because He knew the sad truth that humanity misses out on God’s blessings because they are unready for them. Humanity misses out on God’s best because of disregard, spiritual dullness, and a degenerate set of priorities.

The nation of Israel missed her Messiah because she was not ready for Him. To this day they sadly still look for the first coming of their Messiah when He has come and is due to come again. Despite hundreds of prophetic identifiers Israel wasn’t ready for her Messiah. This was the source of sorrow for Jesus.

We need to learn from history. Otherwise as George Santayana said, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Just as Israel missed the first coming of their Messiah, we can miss our first coming of Messiah Jesus. What do I mean? Well, what about you? No one is here by accident. God is looking for you. He knows where you are. He is reaching out to you, inviting you to know Him and spend eternity with Him. He has a great day planned for you. Right now, this is your day! What will you do with it? Is this your day, your day of salvation?

When we examine Luke 19 we find instructions on how to be ready for Jesus. If we heed the scripture, we’ll be ready for Jesus. Then we’ll be the cause of rejoicing not weeping in our Savior. What do we learn in Luke 19 about being ready for His coming?

Don’t Let Anything Keep You from the Salvation Jesus Offers

Luke 19:1–10 (NKJV) – Then Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, “He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner.” Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

First, don’t let anything keep you from the salvation Jesus offers (19:1-10). On His way to Jerusalem Jesus passed through Jericho (19:1). Jericho was known for its palm trees. It was a rich and flourishing town. It was at this point we are introduced to Zacchaeus, a rich chief tax collector (19:2). Tax collectors were despised and because his wealth came from collecting taxes he was likely resented by those around him. He was wealthy and had position in society and yet when he heard of Jesus nearby he sought Him out (19:3).

God really does have His eyes on you. That can be good. That can be bad. That can give you a sense of safety or make you scared. It all depends on where you stand with God. If you search your Bible for the phrase “eyes of the Lord” you will find it occurs twenty times. The phrase is used in the following ways:

  1. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord – Genesis6:8.
  2. The eyes of the LORD are always on the Land of Israel – Deuteronomy 11:12.
  3. God promises to have compassion on and multiply those listen to the voice of the LORD, keep His commandments, and do what it right “in the eyes of the LORD your God” – Deuteronomy 13:18.
  4. David, after he had spared King Saul’s life, asked of King Saul, “as your life was valued much this day in my eyes, so let my life be valued much in the eyes of the LORD, and let Him deliver me out of all tribulation” – 1 Samuel 26:24.
  5. What David’s son Absolum rebelled against him, David did not take the ark of the Covenant with him but instead said, “If I find favor in the eyes of the LORD, He will bring me back and show me both it and His dwelling place” – 2 Samuel 15:25.
  6. King David was known for having done, “what was right in the eyes of the LORD, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite” – 1 Kings 15:5.
  7. King Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD – 1 Kings 15:11; 2 Chronicles 14:2
  8. Omri did evil in the eyes of the LORD – 1 Kings 16:25.
  9. King Jehoshaphat followed the example of his father King Asa and did what was right in the eyes of the LORD – 1 Kings 22:43.
  10. King Asa was told by the Hanani the seer, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this [i.e., seeking support form a foreign nation instead of God] you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars” – 2 Chronicles 16:9.
  11. King Hezekiah confessed, “For our fathers have trespassed and done evil in the eyes of the LORD our God; they have forsaken Him, have turned their faces away from the dwelling place of the LORD, and turned their backs on Him” – 2 Chronicles 29:6.
  12. In Psalms it states, “The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry” – Psalm 34:15.
  13. In Proverbs it states, “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and He ponders all his paths” – Proverbs 5:21; “the eyes of the LORD are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good” – Proverbs 15:3; “The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge, but He overthrows the words of the faithless” – Proverbs 22:12.
  14. In Isaiah God’s Servant, Messiah Jesus comments, “For I shall be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and My God shall be My strength” – Isaiah 49:5.
  15. The prophet Amos was inspired to write that the LORD said to sinful Israel, “Behold, the eyes fo the LORD God are on the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from the face of the earth; yet I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob,’ says the LORD” – Amos 9:8.
  16. The prophet Zachariah was inspired to write, “For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the LORD, which scan to and fro through the whole earth” – Zechariah 4:10.
  17. The Apostle Peter quotes Psalm 34:15, “For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the LORD is against those who do evil” – 1 Peter 3:12.

God has His eyes on you. How does that make you feel? In light of these verses, its safe to say the LORD had His eye on Zacchaeus that day. And its just as safe to say THE LORD HAS HIS EYE ON YOU TODAY, RIGHT NOW! What will you do in the sight of the LORD?

Zacchaeus had some obstacles to overcome in order to see Jesus. Zacchaeus was short. Even though he didn’t measure up physically, he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree so that he could see Jesus (19:3-4). For a wealthy man of status to run and even climb a tree was an act of humiliation. Zacchaeus made seeking Jesus a priority by humbling himself to a position where he could see Him. When we come to the Lord we do so humbly, on His terms, not our own. Zacchaeus didn’t proudly push through the crowd for an audience with Jesus. He humbly and in a childlike way scampered up a tree to see Jesus. Jesus said to enter his kingdom you had to enter it as a child, humbly and open to learn (Luke 18:16-17).

Jesus has His eye on us because He loves us. The story is told of a young elementary school boy who was quite a handful in his Sunday School class. As he was disrupting the class his teacher turned to him and said, “Johnny, the LORD has His eye on you.” The comment was meant as a fearful deterrent. After church that Sunday, when John and his Dad were spending some quality time together, his Dad could see that something was on Johnny’s mind. “Johnny is something bothering you?” the father asked. After a quite pause, Johnny said, “The teacher told me God was watching me when I was acting out today in Sunday School. It Jesus always watching me? Am I in trouble.” The father thought and then said, “Johnny, its true God’s eyes are on us always, but not only to see if we’re doing something wrong. Jesus has His eyes on us because He loves us so much He can’t take His eyes off us.” Johnny went from sullen and concerned to bright and wide eyed. “God loves me?” “Yes He does Johnny” the father affirmed. Johnny thought, “Well Dad, if Jesus loves me that much, I think I’m going to try to behave better and listen more so I can know Him better.” “I think that’s a good idea son. Let’s start now. Get my Bible” the father said. And they proceeded to have a great time together getting to know Jesus better and how much He loved them.

Jesus knows our name because He loves us. Jesus has His eyes on us. He loves us so much He can’t take His eyes off us. As Jesus passed by, He looked up and saw Zacchaeus and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house” (19:5). Jesus knew Zacchaeus’ name. You know the name of those you love. Jesus looked at Zacchaeus and knew His name because He cared for His soul. Jesus knows your name too, because He loves you and wants you to spend eternity with Him.

Jesus invites Himself into our lives. Zacchaeus was seeking Jesus, but Jesus knew of and was maybe looking for the short tax collector too. Jesus invited Himself to Zacchaeus’ house. What right did He have to do this? A King can invite Himself anywhere He wants. The host Zacchaeus then became the guest of King Jesus. Jesus takes control of the salvation process. He comes our way and is ready when we respond or show evidence of receiving the word He offers.

Receive Jesus when He comes to dine with you. At Jesus’ invitation, Zacchaeus immediately scampered down the tree and, “received Him joyfully” (19:6). Zacchaeus accepted the invitation of Jesus. He did so joyfully. Something in the rich tax collector responded to the invitation of Jesus. He may have had all he needed materially, but he was missing something more important. He knew that too. Otherwise he wouldn’t have climbed that tree. When Jesus said He would stay at his house, Zacchaeus heart leaped for joy. He sensed his emptiness was about to end.

Don’t let naysayers deter you from Jesus. The bystanders complained about this. They resented Jesus going to stay with a “sinner” (19:7). But public opinion didn’t prevent Zacchaeus from receiving Jesus. Even though these were the people he had to work with and live amongst, Zacchaeus didn’t let their opinion and peer pressure deter him. Nothing could keep him from opening his home and heart to the Savior.

When salvation is genuine it has a real measurable effect on the one saved. We don’t know what the entire conversation was between Jesus and Zacchaeus but what we do know is that it had an impact on the rich tax collector. He stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold” (19:8). These words indicate a life change based on an inward heart transformation. Zacchaeus was convicted of his sin. He wanted to make things right. What Jesus brought Him, he received. We know this because Jesus responded, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham” (19:9). A “son of Abraham” is another way of saying Zacchaeus had put his faith in God (see Gen. 15:6; Rom. 4). Zacchaeus was not saved by his works; his works were a product of being saved by the faith he put in Jesus.

Jesus’ priority is that you would be saved from your sins. The account of Zacchaeus salvation is an example of Jesus’ priority. Jesus said, “for the Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost” (19:10). That was Jesus’ priority and that should be our priority. If we are going to be ready for His coming we have to be saved ourselves. We have to receive Jesus into our hearts. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me” (Rev. 3:20). That’s the first order of business, be saved yourself. Then once your salvation is secure, make evangelism a priority like Jesus did. This is the first step in getting ready for Jesus.

Be Faithful to Use What the LORD Gives You

Luke 19:11–27 (NKJV) – 11 Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately. 12 Therefore He said: “A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’ 14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We will not have this man to reign over us.’

15 “And so it was that when he returned, having received the kingdom, he then commanded these servants, to whom he had given the money, to be called to him, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16 Then came the first, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned ten minas.’ 17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant; because you were faithful in a very little, have authority over ten cities.’ 18 And the second came, saying, ‘Master, your mina has earned five minas.’ 19 Likewise he said to him, ‘You also be over five cities.’

20 “Then another came, saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I have kept put away in a handkerchief. 21 For I feared you, because you are an austere man. You collect what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 And he said to him, ‘Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. 23 Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’

24 “And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.’ 25 (But they said to him, ‘Master, he has ten minas.’) 26 ‘For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 27 But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay them before me.’ ”

Second, be faithful to use what the Lord gives you (19:11-27). As Jesus spoke of His priority to seek and save the lost He shared the parable of the ten minas. He spoke of a nobleman who went away on a journey to receive a kingdom. As he left he entrusted ten of his servants with a mina (i.e., about three months wages) each with the command, “Do business till I come” (19:11-13). Despite some resistance the nobleman received his kingdom (19:14). Upon his return he called the servants to give an account of what they had done with the ten minas (19:15). The first two servants that gave account had differing achievements, but the nobleman complimented both and gave each even greater responsibility (19:16-19). But the third servant came and returned the mina with no profit reasoning that he was fearful and implied the nobleman was harsh, unjust, and unreasonable (19:20-21). The nobleman assessed this one as a “wicked servant,” and took his mina from him and gave it to the servant who had invested the mina wisely (19:22-26). Then the nobleman called for his enemies to be brought before him to be slain before him (19:27).

The sin of no expectations. What was so wicked about the inaction of this last servant? Was it simply a monetary matter? No, it was much more than this. The inactivity of the wicked servant implied that he did not expect or desire the return of the nobleman; he assumed he would not come back. He was an enemy within the household of the nobleman and deserved the same fate of the enemies that outwardly opposed the nobleman (compare the Parable of the Talents in Mat. 25:30). e He waActions speak louder than words. When we do nothing with what the Lord entrusts to us, it implies we really don’t believe He’s coming back. We may even have a desire that He doesn’t come back. That is wicked.

Faithfulness is wisely using the Lord’s resources. The message here is faithfulness means wisely using and investing what the Lord entrusts to you. If we are going to be ready for Jesus coming we need to invest what He has entrusted to us in a way that will yield a profit. Our talents, material resources, spiritual gifting, everything He has entrusted to us should be invested in the priority of seeking and saving the lost.

Understand Jesus Will Be Praised.

Luke 19:28–40 (NKJV) (Matt. 21:1–9; Mark 11:1–10; John 12:12–19) – 28 When He had said this, He went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. 31 And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.’ ”

32 So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. 33 But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?”

34 And they said, “The Lord has need of him.” 35 Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. 36 And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road.

37 Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, 38 saying:

“ ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’

Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.”

40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”

 

Third, understand Jesus will be praised (19:28-40). As Jesus drew near Jerusalem He instructed His disciples to go ahead of Him to secure His mode of transportation, a colt (19:28-31). In Matthew’s account it mentions a donkey and a colt (Mat. 21:1-7). This is not a contradiction only a typological insight added by Matthew. Typologically the donkey and colt refer to the Old Testament and New Testament. In Matthew it states Jesus “sat on them” (Mat. 19:7). But in Luke it shows that while Jesus may have begun sitting on both, He made the transition to sitting only on the colt. Typologically this refers to the transition from Old to New Testaments.

Don’t let anyone stop you from praising and glorifying Jesus. As Jesus rides the colt His “disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen saying: ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” (19:32-38). When some Pharisees heard this, they immediately knew Jesus was being hailed as Messiah. They called for Jesus to rebuke His disciples (19:39). To this Jesus said, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out” (19:40). Jesus is going to be praised. A day is coming when every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:9-11). This is going to happen. Nothing people say or do can prevent it. Will you be one of the disciples praising Jesus or will you be a religious Pharisee trying to prevent it? Will you be ready when Jesus comes?

Don’t Neglect God’s Word to You e.g., Prophecy

Luke 19:41–44 (NKJV) – 41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.”

Fourth, don’t neglect prophecy (19:41-44). Jesus coming as Messiah should not have met with resistance or rejection. The Messiah was clearly identified in prophetic scriptures. Jesus laments, “If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes” (19:41-42). Because they neglected God’s prophetic word and rejected Jesus as Messiah, blindness came upon them that prevented them from seeing Messiah Jesus for who He was. Rejecting God’s word always leads to a hardening, a dulling, and desensitization to the truth of God. The apostle Paul spoke of a blindness that has come upon many Jews that will last until the end times (Rom. 11). Then through a series of events that blindness will be lifted. It will be lifted when they see Jesus’ return (Zech. 12:10). And Paul says, “And so all Israel will be saved” (Rom. 11:26). That will be a great day!

But before that day comes Jesus prophesied there would be great trial and hardship for Israel. He predicted the enemies of Israel would surround Jerusalem and literally bring it down stone by stone (19:43-44). This was literally fulfilled in 70 AD when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. You can trust the word of Jesus.

That God’s word predicted clearly what the coming of Messiah would be like is seen in such passages as Zechariah 9:9 that states:

Zechariah 9:9 – “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.

This is how Jesus entered Jerusalem. But if that isn’t enough, the book of Daniel contains a more incredible prophetic word identifying to the day when Messiah would make His triumphal entry into Jerusalem:

Daniel 9:25 – “Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.”

This is an incredible prophecy! What it means is that from the time that the people are permitted to return to the Holy Land to rebuild Jerusalem, there will be “seven weeks and sixty-two weeks” or 69 weeks of seven years each, 483 years (69×7 = 483). We need to keep in mind too that the Hebrew year consisted of 360 days, not 365 like our calendar.

In the book of Nehemiah we are told of the “command” made by King Artaxerxes to allow the Jews to return to their land from captivity and to rebuild Jerusalem, (not just the Temple but the city of Jerusalem):

Nehemiah 2:1,5,8 – “And it came to pass in the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, that I took the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had never been sad in his presence before.5  . . .And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it.” . . . 8 “and a letter to Asaph the keeper of the king’s forest, that he must give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel which pertains to the temple, for the city wall, and for the house that I will occupy.” And the king granted them to me according to the good hand of my God upon me.”

It is well documented in history that the first day of Nisan “in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes” is equivalent to March 14, 445 B.C. That is the starting point for this prophecy. You might think, “Wait a minute teacher, how do you know what day of the month in Nisan it was?” In his great book entitled, The Search for Messiah, Mark Eastman explains the following:

“By Hebrew tradition, when the day of the month is not specifically stated, it is given to be the first day of that month. So, the day of the decree by Artaxerxes was the first day of the Hebrew month Nisan 445 B.C.E. The first day of Nisan 445 B.C.E. corresponds to the 14th day of March. This was verified by the astronomical calculations at the British Royal Observatory and reported by Sir Robert Anderson.” [1]

Now if we multiply 69 x 7-year units (360-day years) the result is 173,880 days. When we mark off 173,880 days from March 14, 445 B.C. it brings us to April 6th, 32 A.D. In Luke 3:1 it states that Jesus’ ministry began “in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar.”  The date at which Tiberius’ reign began is calculated with certainty to be 14 A.D. If we add 15 years starting from 14 A.D. it brings us to 29 A.D. We then need to add an additional 3 years due to the three years of ministry depicted chronologically in the gospels. That therefore brings us to 32 A.D. In his pamphlet Jesus Historical Facts, Ralph O Muncaster notes that:

“The Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England confirms the Sunday [Palm Sunday – Triumphal Entry] before Passover [in 32 A.D.] to be APRIL 6TH, 32 A.D.’[2]

Therefore, what we have in Daniel 9 is an exact calculation to the day when Messiah Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem! This not only attests to the supernatural Divine authorship of this prophecy, but it also identifies and bears testimony that Jesus is the Messiah!

The prophecy of Daniel goes on to predict what would happen to Messiah at the end of that week that began with the triumphal entry:

Daniel 9:26a – “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;

Here we have a direct reference to the crucifixion of Jesus one week after His triumphal entry into Jerusalem. “Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;” is referring to the substitutionary atonement of Jesus as the Scripture attests:

Isaiah 53:4-6 – “Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”

In the New Testament it speaks of the substitutionary work of Jesus in the following way:

2 Corinthians 5:21 – “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

1 Peter 2:24 – “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.”

1 Peter 3:18 – “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,”

The Jews had been looking for a political Messiah who would free them from the oppression of the Romans. But had they checked the word of God more closely and not relied so heavily on the tradition of men, they would have understood that Messiah would first give His life as a substitutionary sacrifice for the sins of all humankind.[3]

We need to pay attention to prophecy in scripture. Otherwise when Jesus returns, we may not be ready. Learn from those who missed His first coming so that you won’t miss His second coming!

Clean House

Luke 19:45–48 (NKJV) (Matt. 21:12, 13; Mark 11:15–17) – 45 Then He went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it, 46 saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ ” 47 And He was teaching daily in the temple. But the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people sought to destroy Him, 48 and were unable to do anything; for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.

Fifth, clean house (19:45-48). Upon entering Jerusalem Jesus went straight to the Temple. As soon as He got there He cleaned house. He drove out those who had reduced the holy Temple grounds to a place of manipulative monetary profit. The money changers preyed on pilgrims who came to the Temple to bring offerings to the Lord. The pilgrims would bring their own sacrifices, but they would be rejected and told they needed to buy the acceptable sacrificial animals from the priests. To do this they had to convert their secular money to Temple money. When people would go to the money changers to convert their money, they would be charged exorbitant conversion charges. Since the pilgrims had travelled far from home, they had no recourse but to pay the extortionist expense. Jesus threw those involved in such unjust practices out of the Temple. He then reemphasized that God’s house was to be a house of prayer not a den of thieves (19:45-46). And He taught daily in the Temple. The religious Pharisees resisted and objected to this. They began plotting how to kill Jesus. But the people were hungry for God’s word and there was nothing that could prevent them from receiving the word Jesus taught.

Invite jesus in and let Him clean house. The final thing we need to do to be ready for Jesus’ coming is to clean our house. Christians are likened to being temples of the Holy Spirit who are not their own but are now owned by God (1 Cor. 6:19-20). We need to invite Jesus into our house and ask Him what needs to go. We need to reestablish prayer and the teaching of God’s word in our house, in our hearts.

Jesus is coming again. Many missed Him the first time He came despite hundreds of prophetic indicators. When He comes back next time He will return in two phases. He will come secretly to rapture true believers (1 Thess. 4:13-5:9) before the Tribulation. Then He will come in power and great glory for all to see at His Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation (Luke 21:25-28; Mat. 24:27-31; Mark 13:24-27). Will you be ready? Are you ready? Is this your day? I pray it is.

How Can This Be My Day of Salvation?

Realize eternal life is not a matter of religion, but involves personally knowing God –

    • John 17:3 – “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”

Realize sin separates people from Holy God –

 Psalm 66:18 – “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear.”

    • Isaiah 59:2 – “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you.”
    • Habakkuk 1:13 – “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness.”

 Realize you are a sinner –

 Exodus 20:1-17 – Examine and assess yourself by the Ten Commandments

    • 2 Corinthians 13:5 – “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?”
    • Romans 3:10 – “As it is written: ‘There is none righteous, no, not one.”
    • Romans 3:23 – “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
    • James 2:10 – “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” (also Gal. 3:10)

 Realize there is a penalty for sin –

    • Matthew 25:46 – “And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
  • Romans 2:8–9but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek.
    • Romans 6:23a – “For the wages of sin is death,”
  • Galatians 6:7-8 – Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.

Realize you are lost and need to be saved from your sins –

  • Luke 9:25 – For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?
  • Luke 13:3 – I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
  • Luke 18:11 –11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men—extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.
  • Luke 19:10 – 10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
  • John 3:18–20 – 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
  • John 8:24 – 24 Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins.”

Realize Jesus paid the penalty for you –

    • 2 Corinthians 5:21 – “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
    • 1 Peter 1:18–19 – 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
    • 1 Peter 3:18 – 18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit,

Realize your salvation is a free gift from God.

    • Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
    • Ephesians 2:8–9 – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
    • Titus 3:5not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

Realize God did this because He loves you –

  • John 3:1616 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
  • Romans 5:8 – “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
  • 1 John 4:9–10In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Realize salvation requires a repentant-heart-faith decision from you to receive it – To “repent” means to confess to God and forsake your sin. To “believe” or have “faith” unto salvation means Forsaking All (others or other means of salvation) I Trust Him.

    • Acts 3:19-20 – “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you.”
    • Acts 16:31 – “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”
    • John 1:12 – “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.”

Realize salvation is a matter of the heart –

    • Acts 8:36–38 – Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” 38 So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
    • Romans 10:10 – “For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

Realize now is the time to call on God to be saved from your sins –

    • Romans 10:13 – For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
    • 2 Corinthians 6:2 – “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

A SALVATION PRAYER:

 If you believe the above Gospel and are willing to trust in Jesus with all your heart as Savior, if you want the forgiveness of sins and eternal life God in this Gospel freely offers to you, with all your heart, pray this prayer:

“Dear God, I have sinned and disobeyed Your Laws. I admit I deserve eternal punishment. But I repent; I confess my sins to You and forsake them. I ask that You please forgive me, not because of any good works I have done, but because I believe Jesus paid the just penalty for my sins by dying for me on the cross. I believe He rose from the dead. I believe that with all my heart. I receive it by faith, as a gift of Your grace. Help me to live for You. Please Holy Spirit fill me, give me spiritual life, eternal life. Please help me to know you Father, Son Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit. Help me grow in a relationship with You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Now, begin praying and reading your Bible daily, regularly. Find a church that believes in and teaches the Bible as the word of God. Find a church where the Gospel is preached, and people believe in being born again. Find such a church and become a part of your new eternal family. And tell someone else about what God has done for you. Don’t go by feelings, live by faith in Jesus. He is faithful. He will help you. Remember this:

2 Corinthians 5:1717 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

1 Corinthians 10:1313 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

2 Timothy 2:1515 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 3:16–1716 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

 

Acts 2:4242 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

 

 

 

[1] Mark Eastman, The Search For Messiah, Costa Mesa, CA: The Word For Today, 1993) p. 80.

[2] John O Muncaster, Jesus Historical Facts – Investigation of the Evidence, (Mission Viejo, CA 92691: Strong Basis To Believe, 1996) p. 14-15.

[3] A good book to consult concerning what the Rabbis were expecting Messiah to be is Mark Eastman’s book The Search For Messiah. Mark Eastman, The Search For Messiah, (Box 8000 Costa Mesa, CA 92628. Phone 714-979-0706).

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