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30 DAY STORY OF THE BIBLE #23


LUKE 19:29-48 – JESUS’ TRIUMPHANT ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM

Following his baptism and temptation, “Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee” (Luke 4:14), where he began to teach and perform miracles. When he came back to Nazareth, in the Synagogue he laid out the agenda for his ministry:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luke 4:18-19, reading from Isaiah 61:1-2)

In summarizing Jesus’ ministry in his sermon to Cornelius, Peter said, “He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him” (Acts 10:38). Mark wrote, “Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel’” (Mark 1:14-15).

Preaching Gospel and doing good. Proclaiming good news, especially to the poor, the captives and oppressed. Doing good in his miracles – but also in lifting up those who were fallen. When John in prison sent disciples to ask Jesus if he were the one who was to come or if Israel must look for another, Jesus replied:

Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. (Matthew 11:3-6)

Crowds flocked to him, not only because of his miracles, but also because his teaching amazed them, whether at the Mountain, the seaside, or the Synagogue. “The crowds were astonished at his teaching, for he was teaching them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes” (Matthew 7:28-29).

Sometimes Jesus’ words were hard, and many who followed him just to be blessed by his miracles went away. Once, he even asked the twelve he had chosen, “’Do you want to go away as well?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life’” (John 6:67f.). He thought no alternative is better than Jesus.

Near the end of his life, he came to Jerusalem for the climax. The authorities were already determined to kill him, but the people still followed him gladly. He came as the roads were thronging with pilgrims coming to the Passover. When those in the city heard he was approaching, they went out to meet him.Together, along with his closest disciples, they made a joyful procession into Jerusalem.

They took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, “Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” (John 12:13-15)

The shouts of the crowds announced him as the promised King, Messiah, and Christ. This led the Pharisees to ask him to shut them up. He replied that if they were silent, even stones would cry out and continued into the Temple where he cleansed it.

Yet, in this moment of triumph, Jesus wept over the city because they did not recognize that God was visiting them to redeem Israel. (The STORY will continue….)

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