Scripture:

Luke 23

 

Vs 3 And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.”

 

Vs 8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him.

Vs 9 So he questioned him at some length, but he (Jesus) made no answer.

 

Vs 10 The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him.

Vs 11 And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him.

 

Vs 27 And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. Vs 28 But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. …”

 

Vs 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

 

Vs 35 And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!”

Vs 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 

 

Vs 39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 

 

Vs 42 And he (the other criminal) said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Vs 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

 

Observation:

 

Luke describes many interactions taking place with Jesus in this chapter. What stands out to me here is the striking difference in the tone of the many people addressing Jesus and then Jesus’ response to them, or non-response as it were.

So many of the individuals make direct demands on Jesus.

Perhaps they want Jesus … but only on their own terms. But Jesus will give them no such satisfaction.

Pilate wants an answer to his direct question.

Herod wants to see a sign done by Jesus.

The chief priests vehemently accuse Him.

The rulers want Him to prove Himself … “save Himself” … “if He is the Christ”.

The soldiers mock Him, also wanting Him to prove Himself … “If you are the King of the Jews … save Yourself!”

And one of the criminals wants Jesus not just to save Himself, but to save him, too … “save Yourself and us!”

Jesus gives no response to any of these folks.

Who does Jesus respond to? The mourning women, the repentant criminal, and His Heavenly Father.

To the mourning women, He says, “… do not weep for Me…”

To the repentant criminal, He says, “… today you will be with Me …”

And to His Father, He says, “Forgive them …”

 

Application:

 

Do I want Jesus on my own terms?

Do I want Jesus only if He can answer my direct questions? (Pilate)

Do I want Jesus only if He can show me a sign? (Herod)

Do I want Jesus only if He can prove Himself to me? (religious rulers and soldiers)

Do I want Jesus only if He can help me out of a tough spot I got myself into? (the criminal)

Jesus feels no compulsion to answer to my agenda.

Jesus can see my heart, what’s beneath the surface. Jesus can see my truest motivation.

I may even claim things that sound good like Herod … I “long desired to see Him”.

But is my longing ultimately selfish like Herod? He “was hoping to see a sign.”

What is the risk of coming to Jesus with such a posture? … Contempt!

Each of these people who did not get what they wanted from Jesus ultimately had contempt for Him.

What a wretched state to be in. Worse than annoyance, worse than anger, worse than even rage.

In contempt I see so many put false characteristics and impressions on Jesus and then write Him off when He doesn’t live out this false image.

In contempt I see people mock Jesus/God for not living up to their own expectations for Him.

So, what should be my posture in coming to Jesus? Lament and Repentance.

I should lament the condition of my own self, though.

Jesus told the women not to weep for Him, but themselves.

And I should repent, recognizing who Jesus truly is as the second criminal.

And how does Jesus respond when I repent? … “You will be with Me”.    

 

Prayer:

 

Thank you, God, for your word.

Help me see You clearly in front of me and not my own agenda.

Help me weep for myself and those around me.

Thank you for your forgiveness

In Jesus name

Amen