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Luke 20:1-18 "STILL ABSOLUTELY FOCUSED ON PREACHING THE GOSPEL"
Day 245 – Luke 20
Text: Luke 20:1-18
STILL ABSOLUTELY FOCUSED ON PREACHING THE GOSPEL
“But we see Jesus…” The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem was a very important marker in the Life of the Lord Jesus. It marked the fact that He had begun His last week on earth as the Incarnate Word. How would YOU have spent your last week on earth?
Luke recorded a truly inspiring truth. Let us read this observation with awe.
“He taught the people in the temple,
and preached the Gospel…”
Jesus was not out to attack the religious establishment. His cleansing of the temple represented the bald fact that the religious authorities were wrong in their use of the precincts. The cleansing of the Temple was no private or personal vendetta against the religious authorities!
The focus of the Lord Jesus first and last was to preach the Gospel! The last week of His life on earth, and He was still absolutely focused on reaching out to people with the Gospel of the Kingdom of God! What a tremendous example of living one’s life in full faith and power!
AN ALL-OUT ASSAULT
Luke recorded an all-out assault by the religious leaders against Jesus. All the sects of Judaism were reported to have attacked Jesus on one front on another. Luke 20 makes fascinating reading because it shows us how Jesus ably defended Himself on the basis of His knowledge of the Scriptures!
Luke revealed the identities of the enemies of Jesus. We knew them through our earlier reading of the Gospel.
“The chief priests and the scribes,
together with the elders, confronted Him and spoke to Him,
saying, ‘Tell us, by what authority are
You doing these things?
Or who is he who gave You this authority?’ “
It seems strange that the people who opposed Jesus in His ministry should be the religious leaders of the nation! One would imagine that these religious leaders would have recognized the power and the authority of Jesus and supported Him instead of opposing Him.
Yet, this is not all that strange. We have a good number of examples in the Old Testament Scriptures where religious leaders opposed the prophets of God. One clear example may be seen in the life and ministry of Amos. Amaziah, a priest of Bethel opposed Amos and gave an evil report against him to Jeroboam II, the King of Israel (Amos 7:10-13).
Amaziah tried to intimidate Amos with the following words,
“Go, you seer!
Flee to the land of Judah.
There eat bread,
And there prophesy.
But never again prophesy at Bethel,
For it is the king’s sanctuary.
And it is the royal residence. “
Amos had prophesied that Jeroboam II would die by the sword, and that Israel would be led away captive (Amos 7:11). These words were solemn and ominous words. Amaziah being “a royal priest” took up the defence of the evil King Jeroboam II and sought to counter the prophetic ministry of the prophet Amos!
Amos replied and said,
” I was no prophet,
Nor was I a son of a prophet,
But I was a sheep breeder
And a tender of sycamore fruit.
Then the Lord took me
As I followed the flock,
And the Lord said to me,
‘Go, prophesy to My people Israel.’ “
Amos refused to be intimidated! He was not cowed by the taunting words of Amaziah. God had called him and given him a ministry of proclaiming His Word! As long as he was faithfully preaching the Word of God, there was absolutely nothing to fear at all! He stood toe to toe with Amaziah. God vindicated Amos, His true prophet!
As the religious leaders of Israel gathered themselves to wage an all out assault against Jesus, they found that He was not one bit intimidated by them. They must have been astounded that Jesus was totally unafraid of their combined might!
THE POWER TO BE TOTALLY UNAFRAID
Why was Jesus so unafraid? Can we also find that kind of courage and strength should we ever be challenged by people who oppose our faith in Christ?
Let us be reminded of a word of exhortation that the Apostle Paul gave to young Timothy in his life and ministry. Timothy must have at times been daunted by the difficult circumstances he found himself in. To encourage him to find courage and strength, Paul wrote these famous words to him. May our courage rise as we read these words.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear,
but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7