Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!
Notes to the Leader: This will never be a popular lesson. It focuses on the fact that each person is only given one choice with regard to their salvation. The hard part comes in that there are only two possible answers, either you are for Christ or against Him.
This lesson is also short and to the point. It is kept that way because that is the way this decision is not to be taken lightly. Each person is called not to complicate it with supposition, superstition, or wishful thinking. By studying and comparing how Jesus interacts with Zaccheus, the tax collector, we can begin to understand how Jesus will interact with us. Tax collectors in Christ’s time are the modern day example of the power hungry politician or the unethical corporate executive. In Biblical times, the tax collector made their money by stretching the rules of law in their financial favor. They were viewed by all as “sinners.”
Who would be the modern equivalent of tax collector’s in today’s society?
- The Internal Revenue Service
- Government groups in oversight roles that abuse their positions
- Remember when you went to register your car or get a driver’s license
- Some would add lawyers and politicians to that group although it is an unfair generalization
Christ chose the tax collector. Would you find Christ today choosing those mentioned above?
- Yes. Just like in Jewish society, the tax collector was viewed by society as a sinful person, we find Christ going to those who need Him most.
Section One: Christ with the Sinner
Have someone in your group read Luke 19:1-10
While this may seem just like another story about a tax collector and Jesus, let’s look at the story and contrast the two people to see what we can learn about each. Use the whiteboard or easel.
Develop a list of the actions of both people.
|Jesus is aware where sinners hide||He acted on his desire to see who Jesus was (v.4)|
|Jesus takes the initiative (v.5)||When Jesus asked to come into his home and life, he welcomed Him gladly (v.6)|
|Jesus attributes value to lost people||He openly confessed his intention to live a new life (v.8)|
|Jesus is willing to ignore human improprieties and public opinion to reach a lost person (v.7)||He demonstrated his change of heart by a new attitude toward the use of his possessions (v.8)|
|Jesus accepts a sinner’s repentance as evidence of spiritual transformation (vv.8-9)||He genuinely sought to make amends for wrongs he had done to others (v.8)
His actions were solid evidence of his salvation (vv.8-9)
Re-read Luke 19:10 to your group.
What meaning to you assign to the word “lost” in this story?
- The New Testament does not mean damned or doomed. It means in the wrong place. Like anything lost, to objective is to return it to where it belongs. So it is the objective of Jesus to return those who are lost to the Kingdom of God.
Section Two: Christ and His People
Have someone in your group read Luke 19:11-27
This is the Parable of the Ten Minas (10 minas were worth three months wages). Like all parables, Jesus had a reason for telling this to His disciples. What was it?
- His disciples still believed that the kingdom Jesus talked about was an earthly kingdom. This was to help them understand that their perception was wrong. Verse by verse, lets look at what Jesus was telling them.
- Before the messianic kingdom can come, Christ would travel to be with His father. (v.12)
- While they were to wait for Christ’s return as king, His loyal servants will each be entrusted with resources with which to work until His return. (v.13)
- There would be bitter opposition. (v.14)
- In spite of the opposition, Christ will be appointed king and return. (v.15)
- Upon His return, Christ will call together His trusted servants to see what they have done with what He has given them. (vv.17,19)
What is the purpose for the evaluation?
- The entrusted, but limited resources and opportunities are designed as a test to see if His servants are fit for more significant service.
- The reward for faithful service is not rest, but promotion to greater service. (vv17,19)
- Unprofitable servants were motivated not by faith but by fear.
What was their fear?
- They had a distorted concept of God. (v.21)
What is the primary principle of the parable?
- Even the smallest gift must be put to good use. (v.26)
Section Three: Christ Enters the City
Have someone in your group read Luke 19:28-44
Why were the people in the city lined up in celebration of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem?
- There were probably at least three motives:
- His miracles had built Him a large following of curiosity seekers;
- His message had won the hearts of people; and
- Some hated Him and were planning His death.
- Note: William Barkley ‘s commentary points out five things about Christ’s entry:
- It was carefully planned. Can you point out one area of careful planning?
- He made prior arrangements with the owners of the colt.
- It was both an act of defiance and of courage.
- It was a deliberate claim to be king.
- It was one last appeal.
Why did Jesus weep over the city of Jerusalem?
- He knew the outcome of their defiance and hatred of Himself.
Do you think that Christ weeps for those who are lost today?
- The answer is easy, it is yes of course. However, the real question is do we weep for the lost with Christ?
Bible Truth Being Taught
People have a choice – To receive Christ as king or to reject Him. Each choice has serious implications (both short term and long term).
To make Christ king of our lives and to be faithful with the opportunities that we have to serve Him.