Monday, June 04, 2007

From the Desk of Walter Martin:

"Now as they heard these things, He spoke another parable, because He was near Jerusalem and because they thought the kingdom of God would appear immediately. Therefore He said: "A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and to return. So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, 'Do business till I come.' But his citizens hated him, and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We will not have this man to reign over us.'"
Luke 19:11-14

Before his triumphal entry into Jerusalem Jesus told the people a parable, and therefore this parable has enormous historical and chronological significance. What is He talking about? In the first part of the story He is talking about the coming of the Kingdom. He is saying the people of that day did not know the time of their visitation. They thought the “Kingdom” would come at once, and when it didn’t, they turned away. When the true Kingdom of God itself was offered unto them, they did not understand and turned from it.

Jesus says this just before He enters Jerusalem—before all the “Hosannas”, before the people give Him a tumultuous welcome. He knows their hearts before they do. These are the same people who will be out there not long afterwards saying, “Crucify him! Crucify him! We have no King but Caesar!” How fickle, how fragile is the human heart and the emotion of the moment. It changes like the current and the tide—suddenly—and in this case, for their own destruction.

Jesus is pointing to Himself as the King in this parable. He’s saying, “Let me tell you something: This King is me and the citizens here are the Jews. They may yell ‘hosanna’ today, but they will end up saying, ‘We will not have this man reign over us,’ tomorrow.” And that’s exactly what they did. Jesus told this parable when He did for many reasons, one of which was this: He wanted us to know that He knew in advance what was going to happen. And even then, He was trying to warn them. He was trying to teach them but they would not listen.

How well He knows the fickle human heart and still, He loves us.


JohnD said...

Hi, Jill.

Interesting post.

He loves us, of this there can be no doubt. But we cannot dismiss the fact that we human beings have a nature only a God could love. No one else would have what it takes to love humanity as fickle and as evil as we are.

We almost daily see in the news some kidnap or murder victim since the restraint of Christian principles have been all but lifted in our society... and we have to remind ourselves that such repulsive behavior is by the nature of the beast... the beast that were it not for the grace of God there go we all.

George Lucas showed in the last Star Wars installment how a series of bad choices and fears could turn the lovable waif Anakin Skywalker into the demonic Darth Vader. But that capacity is in us all and has been since we were adorable little tots.

And we must rise above our fears and temptations but the one historic method that has proven successful: biblical discipline.

Biblical discipline whereby we rise above our own self our own nature to do that which would never even occur to us. In the moving Capra film Mr. Smith goes to Washington, the principle character Jefferson Smith concluded a poignant speech after hours of filibuster... "Mr. Pain once knew the lost causes were the only causes worth fighting for because of one simple principle... 'love thy neighbor.'"

Right out of the Bible.

When American and other societies of the past had a time of common decency and general prosperity, it was due to that society following this Christian principle. Love thy neighbor is not capitalist or socialist (for example) but fair market free enterprise. It was what helped America through the great depression... people helping people and not evicting them to the snow filled streets because they'd fallen on hard times.

Yeah humanity is fickle alright. But it's more harmful than it sounds... at the root of human fickle is the combination of the desire to be one's own God... and the inept inability to even come close to being a God.

12:46 AM  
JohnD said...

This is why people guard their theology so closely and object so strongly to the slightest challenge.

People individually or collectively decide how their God is going to be. It is the best of both worlds when you think about it. People get to invent God and tell him what to do and how to think in accord with their {doctrine} and if there is ever a problem they can blame that trumped up personage instead of receiving the blame themselves.

Stubbornly holding to a false theology has its origin in self deification.

12:50 AM  
JohnD said...

Self deification = the ultimate fickle thinking.

12:51 AM  

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