Each week we webcast Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, morning public worship at 11a, and p.m. singing and sermon at 2:30p (sermon at 3:30); and the Weds. Prayer Meeting at 6:30p

Thursday, June 24, 2021

2021.06.24 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 19:41–20:8

Read Luke 19:41–20:8

Questions from the Scripture text: Where did Jesus go (Luke 19:41)? What did He see? What did He do over it? What did He call the time of His arrival (Luke 19:42)? What didn’t the city know? Why not? What would happen to the city as a result (Luke 19:43)? And what to whom else (Luke 19:44)? For what sin? Into where did He then go (Luke 19:45)? What did He do? What was He saying (Luke 19:46, cf. Isaiah 56:7, Jeremiah 7:11)? What was He doing daily (Luke 19:47)? But what three groups were trying to do what? Why weren’t they able to (Luke 19:48)? What was He preaching, when He was teaching in the temple (Luke 20:1)? What did the three groups do on one of those days? What do they ask in this confrontation (Luke 20:2)? With what kind of sentence does He answer (Luke 20:3)? What question does He ask (Luke 20:4)? Why don’t they want to say it was from heaven (Luke 20:5)? What are they afraid of, if they say it was from men (Luke 20:6)? On the basis of just these two considerations, how do they answer (Luke 20:7)? How, then, does Jesus answer their original question (Luke 20:8)?

Taken as a whole, this passage reminds us that popular spiritual movements may be quite impressive on the surface, but comparatively empty and ineffective in their substance. The chief priests, scribes, and elders are prevented from destroying Jesus by His popularity (Luke 11:47–48), and paralyzed by the popular opinion that the baptizer was a prophet (Luke 20:6). 

But Jesus knows better. By the end of the week, the crowds will be shouting “crucify Him!” They may have much enjoyed His preaching (Luke 11:48), but Jesus knows that Jerusalem “did not know the time of your visitation (Luke 11:44). 

This is a sobering word for us. We may enthusiastically join in religiously zealous praise of Jesus (Luke 11:38). We may attend eagerly upon the preaching of Jesus (Luke 11:48). We may approve of preachers that He sends us to call us to repentance and announce to us that Jesus is the Lamb of God Who takes away our sin, and even that He is the Holy One whose sandal straps we are unworthy to untie (Luke 12:6). Yet, for all of this, we may still be failing to know the time of our visitation.

We might be elated about our perceived spiritual condition in the same moment that Jesus is weeping over that exact spiritual condition (Luke 11:41). Jerusalem would be leveled—not as other cities in world history have been leveled, but as the city which murdered the Christ (Luke 11:43-44, cf. Psalm 2, Acts 4:24–28). And while crowds of thousands rejoice over Him, He weeps over what is going to come upon them as a consequence of their actual spiritual condition, which they cannot even see.

We should tremble with dread at how easily enthusiasm about Jesus can lead to rejection of Jesus. Even today, many of the so-called “worship musicians” have rejected the faith altogether and come out in support of wickedness that Christ abominates. And will we blindly follow spiritual-feeling experiences of enthusiasm, when they can lead to such acts and such consequences?

So, let us not put much stock in how we feel about our responses to Jesus, but rather rest entirely upon Jesus Himself. Then, we will not be led into doing things because we feel worshipful in them, but rather doing those things which Jesus Himself in His Word calls worship, or obedience, or service. His house must be a house of prayer, because that is what “is written” (Luke 11:46). So let us cling to His Word, because that is how we truly cling to Him. 

To Him Who weeps over His people’s low spiritual condition. To Him Who perfectly adheres to the Word. To Him Whose wisdom confounds His enemies. To Him Who was doing all of this in order that He might die and rise again for all who cling to Him.

How do you evaluate your worship? Your service? Your obedience? How would Jesus evaluate it?

Suggested Songs: ARP2 “Why Do Gentile Nations Rage” or TPH459 “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less”

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