Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."

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1 Jesus is, at this point of Luke s Gospel, right on the doorstep of Jerusalem. He s about to arrive in the place where he knows he will be killed. Jesus is just over a week from his death. The whole book has been building and building to this point. The disciples knew Jesus was the Christ, God s long promised King, but they d not really seen what he d come to do. They were still confused about Jesus mission. So Jesus tells them again, in verses what he d come to do. Luke 18:31 Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, "We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. 32 He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. 33 On the third day he will rise again." They re going to Jerusalem. EVERYTHING written in the Old Testament about the long promised King, the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of Man, will be fulfilled. Passages like our first reading from Isaiah, and many, many others. All of them, every single one was about to be fulfilled in the next week or so. This is what Jesus came to do. He came to fulfil all the Old Testament promises. That s what he d come to do. And in 19:10 he tells them again why he d come. Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." Jesus came to find and save the lost. The Bible makes it clear we re all lost and in need of saving. We can t find God, we re lost, we need someone to come and find us, we need someone to come and save us. And that s exactly why Jesus came. He does the finding and the saving, we re totally passive. This passage is all about those who ve been found by Jesus. It s about those who could see the truth about Jesus and what they do with that knowledge. From verse 34 onwards Luke answers 2 key questions. Who could, or couldn t, see who Jesus was? And, secondly, what difference does a right or wrong view of Jesus make? - The disciples couldn t see who Jesus was Look at verse 34, they didn t understand; they didn t know what he was talking about. Their confusion is about what Jesus said about what he came to do; look at verses again. They 1

2 don t seem that confusing or difficult to understand. Don t you think they seem pretty clear? They re going to Jerusalem where Jesus will be beaten and abused and then killed. And 3 days later he will rise. That doesn t seem that difficult to understand, does it? What s wrong with these disciples? Are they just exceptionally thick? Well, just for a moment, try and put yourself in their shoes. Pretend you ve not read to the end and you don t know what happens in the next few days. Forget that you know that Jesus did die, that he did rise and defeat death. Try, just for a moment to forget that. Okay, now put yourself in the Apostles shoes. This bloke is talking about being killed and then coming back to life again. Yes, they know he s the Christ, yes they ve seen him heal people, walk on water, even raise other people from death. But here it sounds like he s saying he s going to die and then 3 days later rise from the dead. Now, that can t be right, that s too extreme, too farfetched. So, I have some sympathy with them for their confusion. But, even more than that, it s not actually all their fault that they don t get it. The meaning was hidden from them. The meaning was concealed. They were kept form seeing the truth. But, why hidden? And hidden by whom? Doesn t that also seem a bit odd? Well the Bible makes it clear that seeing who Jesus truly is. Seeing him as the King who died in our place on the cross is only possible if God opens our eyes to the truth. We can t find that truth ourselves; we need God to reveal it to us. Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. Faith is a gift from God. Faith is seeing and believing who Jesus truly is. We need God to open our unbelieving eyes to see who Jesus is. At this point the apostles still don t know who Jesus is; the meaning was hidden from them. But, only a few weeks from this point their confusion is utterly transformed. They see clearly and these are the men that God built his whole church on. Their eyes were opened and they could see the truth. But, not all the people were like the disciples, some of them could see, their eyes were opened. And the fact that the ability to see who Jesus is depends on God is brilliantly illustrated from verse The blind man could see who Jesus was 2

3 The contrasts in this whole section are brilliant. The contrast between things being hidden and people seeing. People with sight not being able to see and the blind man being able to see. Look down from verse 35. The blind man heard a crowd coming and he asks what s going on. They told him Jesus of Nazareth is passing by. The crowd just see Jesus as a bloke from Nazareth who does some pretty amazing stuff, but he s ultimately just a bloke from Nazareth. But, the blind man s response shows he sees who Jesus really is. Look at what he says in verse 38. Luke 18:38 He called out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Not Jesus of Nazareth, but Jesus, Son of David. What s so special about that? Well let me read from 2 Samuel 7 a prophesy given to King David 1,000 years before Jesus was born. 2 Samuel 7:11 "'The LORD declares to you that the LORD himself will establish a house for you: 12 When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.. 16 Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.'" This blind man could see that Jesus is the Son of David, the King who will reign forever on God s throne forever. And to further illustrate the point that the blind man could see who Jesus was. Jesus healed him. Jesus had mercy on him. Jesus, who came to seek and save what was lost, gave the blind man, who saw who Jesus was, his sight back. Luke 18:42 Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; your faith has healed you." 43 Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God. So the blind man could see who Jesus was, secondly; - The short man could see who Jesus was Like the blind man, Zacchaeus couldn t physically see who Jesus was. The crowd was too large and he was too short. This chief tax collector, not just an ordinary one, a chief one. This hated man. This man ran ahead and climbed a tree. He was desperate to see who Jesus was. 3

4 So far in Luke s Gospel we ve heard of a number of rich people who Jesus met. But, those guys just wanted to spend time finding out about the man Jesus. Simon the Pharisee wasn t interested in truly seeing who Jesus was. The rich ruler wasn t willing to follow Jesus and give up his wealth. Those guys couldn t truly see who Jesus was. But, Zacchaeus, the least likely person to really see Jesus. The hated man who worked for the enemy, the occupying forces. The man who got rich by cheating his fellow Jews. This despicable man, he got it right. He saw Jesus for who he was. His eyes were opened to the truth. When Jesus called him, in verse 5, he welcomed him gladly. And he made it obvious that he d seen who Jesus truly was by how he responded. Look at verse 8. Luke 19:8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." Instead of ripping people off in his search for more and more money, he gave half his possessions away. And anyone he d defrauded, he repaid four times more than he d taken. Money wasn t the most important thing in his life anymore. What had changed? Well he d met Jesus. He saw who Jesus was. His life was transformed because Jesus came to seek and save the lost and brought salvation to Zacchaeus. Imagine the difference in Zacchaeus from that day on. And imagine how shocked everyone else would have been by his transformation. Seeing who Jesus was utterly changed him. Not by sight p. 43 The Bible doesn t mention Zacchaeus again, but we know from church history, that he became a Bishop of the early church. He saw who Jesus truly was and his life was utterly transformed. And that s the point of the parable from verse 11 onwards. - What you see about Jesus the King makes a massive difference to how you live 4

5 Many of the Jewish people expected the long promised King to come and boot out the Romans and set up the Kingdom of God in Jerusalem and then the Jews would be the top dogs and be a great powerful nation. Jesus tells this parable to show them they d got it completely wrong. Jesus is the man of noble birth in the parable. He s talking about the fact that he will ascend to heaven to be appointed King. This happened. After Jesus died, he rose again, and then he ascended into heaven where God the Father has made him King. Philippians 2:9 God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. The parable in Luke 19 then tells us the King will return. We re still waiting for that. But, the Bible makes it very clear he is coming back. And this parable, in Luke 19, shows there are 3 different groups of people whilst we re waiting for the King to return. 2 groups don t see who Jesus truly is, and one group does see. And you can tell who does or doesn t see, by what they do whilst the King is away. See verse 14. The first group is those who reject Jesus as any kind of King. It s those who want nothing to do with him. But, that s foolish because it doesn t matter what we say, the reality is that Jesus is the King. And to reject him is a foolish and dangerous thing to do. Look at verse 27 and see what happens to those who reject Jesus as God s eternal King. See what happens to those who don t see who Jesus truly is. Luke 19:27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them-- bring them here and kill them in front of me.'" That s a terrible warning. If that describes your attitude to Jesus, then please be aware of the danger you are in. That s the first group who openly reject Jesus. The second group is more subtle, but they too don t see who Jesus is. Luke 19:20 "Then another servant came and said, 'Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. 21 I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.' 5

6 This guy recognized Jesus was a king, but he thought of him as a tyrant, a bully, a hard man. He didn t do anything in the service of this king, he actually showed he had no respect, no desire to please his master. He looked like a servant, but showed by his inaction that he was nothing of the sort. It s like people who go through the motions of saying they re a Christian, they pitch up to church, possibly even quite regularly. But, their so called faith has no impact on the rest of their week. There is no transformation that follows faith in Christ. They don t really see Christ as the King who died in their place on the cross. They go through the motions of trying to appease God, but think of him as a distant, uncaring, bully, who is ultimately a kill joy. That is a foolish thing to do. If that is your attitude you ll be left with nothing. Any semblance of being part of the church, part of God s people will be taken away. And the truth will be revealed. If you think of God as a cruel, hard man, then that is a wicked thing to think about God. And God will treat you as the wicked person you are. You will be treated as one who hasn t seen who Jesus the King truly is. And the final group is those who are good servants. It s those who use what they ve been given by Jesus the King for his glory. The final group include the blind man who saw who Jesus was and followed him praising God. It includes Zacchaeus who, in response to being saved, to seeing who Jesus was, was utterly transformed. Instead of serving money he served King Jesus. Have you seen who Jesus truly is? Do you recognise that Jesus is God s King who died in your place on the cross and defeated death? Do you see that Jesus is, right now, God s eternal King ruling all things from heaven? Are you using all he s given you, your time, your energy, your resources, your money, for his glory? When King Jesus returns will he welcome you into his kingdom saying those wonderful words of verse of verse 17. Luke 19:17 "'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.' 6

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