…(Jesus said) “But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us'” (Luke 19:14).
Jesus’ choice to stay with the chief tax collector Zacchaeus divides the crowd. Some are upset Jesus is associating with such an open sinner. Others think God’s kingdom will appear at once when He reaches the Jewish capital Jerusalem. Jesus tells a parable that answers both ideas.
The people have no trouble picturing His story of a nobleman traveling to a distant country to have himself proclaimed king. That was the way the Roman Empire worked. Herod the Great left the land of Palestine and travelled to Rome before Emperor Augustus proclaimed him king. Only then could he return to rule.
Jesus pictures Himself as that nobleman-the great Son of David and Son of God. Instead of beginning His reign when He enters Jerusalem, He will be murdered by His enemies. But after His resurrection He will leave the earth, ascending into heaven where the Father will proclaim Him King. Then on the Last Day-and not until that Day-Jesus will return to reward His faithful servants and establish His kingdom on the new earth.
Now Jesus turns to His enemies. He has shown great patience, humility, grace, mercy and love toward them, but they have hated Him, without cause. He warns that the time of judgment is coming. He will return with His angel armies to capture His enemies and slaughter them.
To our ears that judgment sounds harsh. But Christ your King has given you fair warning. If you will not bow your knee to Him in faith, you will forfeit your life and suffer eternally in hell.
THE PRAYER: Almighty God, You have established Your Son as the Ruler of all things in heaven and on earth. Break through my rebellious heart that I may love Him and serve Him now and through all eternity. I pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
*Thank you to Lutheran Hour Ministries for providing this devotion.