THE WAY OF PEACE
Lord, give us peace in our lives.
Read LUKE 19:28–44
Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King
28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”
32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”
34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”
35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”[a]
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
41 As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42 and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43 The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44 They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”
a Luke 19:38 Psalm 118:26
New International Version (NIV)
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“To shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” (Luke 1:79)
At the conclusion of Luke’s travel narrative, Jesus enters Jerusalem as God’s Servant coming to save the lost. The laying of the cloaks on the ground recalls the coronation of Jehu as Israel’s king (2 Kings 9:13). Jesus’ disciples sing an adaptation of Psalms 118:26, stressing his kingship. They are giving him the red-carpet treatment – heralding him as Israel’s Messiah (Darrell L. Bock, Luke 9:51 – 24:53, Baker Academic, 1996, p. 1557 Logos). The words of peace and glory recall the angels singing at Jesus’ birth. Creation itself sings his praise (40)! Astride a colt, Jesus blazes the path of peace.
Luke adds Jesus’ poignant lament for Jerusalem (41–44). As he cried over Lazarus’ death (John 11:35), he similarly weeps for the spiritually dead city. He predicts the imminent destruction of the nation by Rome, as Israel will soon reject its King and consent to his crucifixion. In a few years they will choose the path of war, failing to recall Christ’s summons to peace (42). Like so many of us, they will not heed Jesus’ earlier call to do good to enemies, both loving and praying for them.
As our collective memory of the twentieth century’s conflicts fades, political tensions and empires are again on the rise. Our natural reaction is to meet force with force. Such a demand for retaliatory force was axiomatic at the time of Christ. Empire after empire rose and fell. All anticipated messianic figures in Israel’s varied prophetic hope were militaristic. Jesus shows us something different – a kingdom established through a King who suffers and dies at the hands of one of the world’s kingdoms. We are beckoned to reject revolution and follow his path of re-love-ution, affecting the world through compassion, service, suffering, sacrifice, and humility. As tensions ramp up, we must not resort to our base instincts but should continue to walk that path of peace and forgiveness.
Pray for the world with the heart of Jesus. Pray for our enemies. Bless them. Rise. Go to them. Love them.
Lord, we believe that You are the Messiah, and the only Messiah that heaven intends to give for Jew and Gentile.