(Luke 19) The Time of God's Visit

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"You did not recognize the time when God was visiting you." (Luke 19:44 Amplified)

"You did not know the time of your visitation." (Luke 19:44)

Read Luke 19:28-47 (and compare it with Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, John 12:12-19).

Introduction

The Bible mentions a number of times when God visited His people. (See Luke 1:68 & 78, at birth of Christ, Exodus 3:16 & 4:31, Ruth 1:6, Psalm 17:3, Zechariah 10:3).

But this visit Jesus refers to was for 30 years amongst them. Yet many refused to accept Him. The Lord is still visiting His people today.

For His visit to all of us there must be:

1 A Time of Preparation (Luke 19:29-34)

For His first visit, there were some special arrangements made.

  1. The angel choir sang an invitation to the shepherds.
  2. The prophecy of His visit was found in the Scripture.
  3. The special star called "His Star" was created by God the Father, for this momentous occasion.
  4. This star guided wise men from the East to His birth.
  5. The angel of the Lord announced His coming to Joseph and Mary.
  6. The Holy Spirit led Anna and Simeon to meet Him.
  7. The Lord directed John the Baptist to announce His ministry to all Israel.

2 For His final visit to Jerusalem

The Master sent two of His disciples into the town of Bethany to borrow a colt and a donkey. They found the mother donkey with its untamed colt (it had never been ridden) - just as He said to them. The preparation was humble and simple, but there was more than just the obedient preparations of these two disciples.

The Lord was preparing Himself for His final steps toward the cross. He is preparing to deliver Himself into the hands of those who He knew were preparing to kill Him. Jesus comes to Jerusalem to be crucified "to make His death a ransom price for their souls!" (A. Clarke on Matthew 21:5)

The final preparation Jesus made for His crucifixion was: to have the Lord's Supper with His disciples, and to pray with them in the Garden of Gethsemane.

3 His visit was A Time of Great Rejoicing for all the disciples (Luke 19:35-40)

  1. Jesus riding on a donkey was a symbol of peace and humility. In Isaiah 9:6 He is called "Prince of Peace." and in Luke 19:42 Jesus was saying, "If only you had known and accepted the things that make for your peace!"

    Jesus had told the disciples "In Me you may have peace (John 16:33), because "I give you My peace." (John 14:27)

  2. Jesus riding on a donkey was a time of great rejoicing to the disciples

    They recognized their wonderful Lord as their King.

    They showed their love for Him by: throwing their clothes on the colt, by spreading their clothes on the road, by praising God together, and by waving palm branches in acclamation and shouting a verse from Psalm 118 (verse 26) "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord."

    It is good for God's people to rejoice in the Lord. Notice that part of their praise is that they recognize He brings peace in Heaven. (verse 38)

  3. Jesus riding a donkey was a fulfillment of prophecy. Zechariah 9:9 had foretold that Israel's king would come to Jerusalem riding on a colt and bringing salvation. This is exact fulfillment of this prophecy. "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey."

4 Jesus' visit was also A Time of Weeping (Luke 19:41-44)

By this time He would have been standing at the top of the Mount of Olives, and could see the whole city of Jerusalem spread out before Him. And as He looked upon Jerusalem for the last time, He wept over it, but not for Himself, but for them - because they had rejected their time of God's visit to them.

He prophesied what their enemies would do to Jerusalem - not in retaliation, but to forewarn them of the consequences of rejecting God's visit to them.

When Jesus wept over Jerusalem, Matthew (23:37-38) records Jesus' lament over Jerusalem: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under wings, but you were not willing! See! Your house is left to you desolate."

"The metaphor which our Lord uses here is a very beautiful one. When the hen sees a beast of prey coming, she makes a noise to assemble her chickens, that she may cover them with her wings from danger. The Roman eagle is about to fall upon the Jewish state." (Adam Clarke)

Jesus wept for the present condition of Jerusalem. He also wept for what destruction was going to fall on them. But to those who did receive Him - His disciples - He gave clear warning instructions how to respond when destruction would come upon Jerusalem (In Matthew 24:15-25).

He warned the disciples that when they see "the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel (that means "the desecration of the temple" - then they were to flee to the mountains before Jerusalem was surrounded.

In Luke (19:43 & 44), Jesus prophesied what would happen to Jerusalem. "The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you to the ground; and they will not leave in you, one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation." That means you did not accept the fact of God visiting you, through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

"This prophecy was literally fulfilled when this city was besieged by Titus (the Roman General) in AD 70. Josephus gives us a very particular account of the building of this wall...The Jews were so enclosed on every side that no person could escape out of the city, and no provision could be brought in." (Adam Clarke)

5 Jesus' visit was also A Time of Cleansing (Luke 19:45-48)

The merchants had polluted the temple, by making a corrupt business out of worship.

  1. They sold doves and pigeons for temple sacrifices at rip-off prices.
  2. They would only deal in temple money, so again they robbed the people by extreme exchange rates.
  3. Then Jesus went into the temple in Jerusalem and drove out the racketeers - the moneychangers and sellers of doves. Then He healed the blind and lame in the temple. Then Jesus returned to Bethany, about 2 miles away, late in the afternoon, to stay for the night as He did each day that week, till He was arrested on Thursday night.

When the Lord said (in Luke 19:46) "You have made it (the Temple) a den of thieves" - "Our Lord alludes here to those dens and caves in Judea, in which ... robbers either hid or kept themselves fortified." (A. Clark on Matthew 21:13)

A lot of things that go on in some so-called Christian churches today again need the cleansing visit of the Lord. When the Lord comes into our lives, He cleanses the temple of God, so that His Holy Spirit can live there.

Conclusion

When the Lord comes to visit, it will be a time of preparation, a time of great rejoicing for His disciples, a time of weeping for the lost, and a time of cleansing His people.

Are you ready for the Lord to visit you? Are we ready as a church for the Lord to visit us? For He is coming, ready or not.

Note:

Unless otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the New King James Version.

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