Summary: In Bethlehem's fields the angels sang, "Peace on earth." The crowd in Jerusalem reply, "Peace in heaven."
PEACE BE WITH YOU
(Luke 19:29). “The mount of Olives” - the direction from which Messiah was expected to come into Jerusalem. (Pilate’s approach was from a different direction, and for a different reason. National feelings would be running high in Passover week, a time ripe for insurrection.)
- and it happened just as He said (Luke 19:30-34).
(Luke 19:35-37). Jesus approached Jerusalem on a colt, amidst the adulation of the crowd. Pilate approached on a high horse, with an unwanted army.
(Luke 19:39). Some of the Pharisees again tried to quieten things down (as in Luke 13:31). It was all too political for them. Were they concerned for Jesus, for the nation, or for their own standing in the nation?
(Luke 19:40). “The stones would immediately cry out.”
b) God is able to raise up children for Abraham from the stones of Jordan (Luke 3:8).
c) The stones of the Temple testify that there now approaches its fulfilment, and the end of all sacrifice.
TEXT: “Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest” (Luke 19:38).
1. When heaven met earth in the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, a multitude of angels sang in Bethlehem’s fields: ‘Peace on earth, goodwill toward men’ (Luke 2:14). What an anthem! Glory was sung in the highest places to God: for salvation is of God alone, through Christ alone.
The father of John the Baptist had already anticipated the coming of the ‘Dayspring from on high’ (who will) ‘guide our feet into the way of peace’ (Luke 1:78-79). Now, at last, peace - Shalom – was pronounced on earth. God has shown His good pleasure towards all men, both Jew and Gentile: what a cause for celebration!
As Jesus proceeded with his peripatetic ministry, God's praises were heard amongst the highways and hedges. It is from there, from amongst the despised and rejected, that the Lord was gathering a people to Himself. For He too would be despised and rejected, and when He came to his own His own would receive Him not!
2. “Peace in heaven,” replies the crowd in the streets of Jerusalem in today’s text (Luke 19:38). Yet their exuberance is short-lived. The Cross looms on the horizon, and soon the mob will be stirred up to say other, less pleasant things.
Were they disappointed that His peace would take a different shape to the political peace which they desired? Jesus had already warned of this: ‘Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you (emphatically), No, but rather division’ (Luke 12:51).
Again, in the passage which follows that currently under review, Jesus says to Jerusalem: ‘If only you had known the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes’ (Luke 19:42)!
Yet to His disciples, those who received Him, Jesus still spoke words of peace (John 16:33). But there is no peace without the Cross. So, after the resurrection, having pronounced the Peace, Jesus proceeded to display the marks of the Cross (John 20:19-20).
‘Preaching peace through Jesus Christ’ is the Apostolic mission of the church to this very day (Acts 10:36). It is not ‘the peace which the world can give’ (John 14:27), but ‘peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Romans 5:1). The peace of the Lord be with you always…