Sacrificial worship in light of eternity.

What does the future hold? When I say future, do you think next year, 10yrs, 20yrs? Do you think about the end of this world as ‘The Future’?Knowing what we do about the future, what is important? Right now, today. Christ gives us information about what lies ahead and He also gives us guidance for the here and now of our relationship with God.

Luke 21:1-19

21 While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. 2 Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins. 3 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. 4 For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.”

  • Jesus seems to have spent the better part of each day at the temple that week
  • Not just teaching but observing
  • He is pointing out what sacrificial worship looks like
  • Draws a clear distinction between sacrificial giving & ‘meaningless’ giving
  • If it doesn’t cost you something, it is not worth anything! = False Worship
  • No matter what the future holds, sacrificial giving should be a way of life for us

5 Some of his disciples began talking about the majestic stonework of the Temple and the memorial decorations on the walls. But Jesus said, 6 “The time is coming when all these things will be completely demolished. Not one stone will be left on top of another!”

  • The disciples demonstrate how quickly we get distracted
  • They voice popular sentiments of how awesome The Temple is
  • Christ is making the point that the Temple is not essential to God
  • God is going to allow it to be completely destroyed and not rebuilt to this day
  • In that time The Temple had replaced God as the object of worship (corruption)
  • ‘All these things’ amounts to the false worship that was going on @ The Temple

7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will all this happen? What sign will show us that these things are about to take place?” 8 He replied, “Don’t let anyone mislead you, for many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and saying, ‘The time has come!’ But don’t believe them.

  • It is odd that they don’t ask WHY this will happen but instead WHEN
  • Christ warns of many…many have come, many more to come…
  • He warns us because the deception will come from false messiahs & prophets
  • If someone says the time has come, NEVER believe them

9 And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place first, but the end won’t follow immediately.” 10 Then he added, “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven.

  • The End He is speaking of is both the end of the Temple and this age
  • This world, like the Temple has a temporary use…
  • He list things that will happen…No one knows the sequence, except the Father
  • Great Earthquakes are accompanied by Miraculous signs from heaven

12 “But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are my followers.

  • Jesus was predicting the persecution that is chronicled in the book of Acts
  • He is also predicting what’s coming at the end of this age (parallel prophecy)

13 But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me. 14 So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, 15 for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you!

  • Christ calls His followers to capitalize on the opportunity that persecution brings
  • We don’t need to to try to answer any charges, we are to speak by the Spirit
  • When Christ speaks through us, our persecutors will be speechless!
  • How do we prepare for this day? SACRIFICIAL WORSHIP

16 Even those closest to you—your parents, brothers, relatives, and friends—will betray you. They will even kill some of you. 17 And everyone will hate you because you are my followers. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish! 19 By standing firm, you will win your souls.

  • Anyone who is not indwelt by the Spirit of Christ can and will turn on you!
  • Without God’s Spirit you can be deceived and manipulated to do anything!
  • There will be unity of opposition to Jesus Christ in this world (see it even now)
  • The things of this world can only harm this body
  • Christ’s followers can be sure that their eternal souls belong to Him
  • The only thing that really matters in the future is who your soul belongs to!


Biblical worship involves sacrifice. Sacrificial worship is giving to God what is dear to you.

This prophecy is both about Jerusalem’s destruction in 70 AD and His return.

Jesus predicts the destruction of The Temple to pronounce Judgement on the Jewish Establishment / False Worship.

Christ foretells events that transpire before His return, and warns against false Messiahs.

Persecution & betrayal should be expected, our response is to stand firm & speak by Christ’s power.

Christ encourages His followers to trust that He will protect their eternal souls.


List some things you sacrifice by giving to God of your time, money and emotions.

What ideas do you have about when Christ is going to return and how He will come?

What is going to enable you to stand firm and speak by Christ’s Power when persecuted?

Why would you trust that Christ will protect YOUR eternal soul?

Resurrection Based on The Christ

Luke 20:27-47

27 Then Jesus was approached by some Sadducees—religious leaders who say there is no resurrection from the dead. 28 They posed this question: “Teacher, Moses gave us a law that if a man dies, leaving a wife but no children, his brother should marry the widow and have a child who will carry on the brother’s name.”

  • They were sent to try to trip Him up…Sadducees = Rich Priestly Class
  • The Sadducees derived their power from their class, not learning
  • Their ‘Doctrine’ was that there is no resurrection of the dead… this life is it
  • They quote Moses to Christ…They only recognized Moses’ books as scripture

29 “Well, suppose there were seven brothers. The oldest one married and then died without children. 30 So the second brother married the widow, but he also died. 31 Then the third brother married her. This continued with all seven of them, who died without children. 32 Finally, the woman also died. 33 So tell us, whose wife will she be in the resurrection? For all seven were married to her!”

  • The extreme hypothetical situation was fabricated to make Jesus look foolish
  • Loosely resembles a story in the Apocryphal book of Tobit… 2 O.T. Examples
  • Their scenario views resurrection as an extension of this life
  • They thought they had the ‘Gotcha’ question!

34 Jesus replied, “Marriage is for people here on earth. 35 But in the age to come, those worthy of being raised from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage. 36 And they will never die again. In this respect they will be like angels. They are children of God and children of the resurrection.”

  • They are so focused on this life; not comprehending how different the next is
  • Jesus confirms A Resurrection that will constitute a whole new existence
  • He confirms there is No Universal Salvation
  • God decides who is worthy of The Resurrection, He raises them by on His Will
  • They will have an existence not requiring marriage; no need to reproduce
  • The Biblical Meaning of Marriage: It is for the purpose of procreation
  • ‘Immortal’ being, like angels in this respect (We will be different that angels too)

37 “But now, as to whether the dead will be raised—even Moses proved this when he wrote about the burning bush. Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, he referred to the Lord as ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ 38 So he is the God of the living, not the dead, for they are all alive to him.”

  • Jesus uses Moses to refute them (they cannot dismiss it out of hand)
  • You say you follow Moses but you don’t follow his teachings (same with Christ)
  • Moses wrote God’s view: that those who are truly alive to Him live forever!

39 “Well said, Teacher!” remarked some of the teachers of religious law who were standing there. 40 And then no one dared to ask him any more questions.

  • This would be Pharisees agreeing with Christ (teachers were not Sadducees)

41 Then Jesus presented them with a question. “Why is it,” he asked, “that the Messiah is said to be the son of David? 42 For David himself wrote in the book of Psalms: ‘The Lord said to my Lord, sit in the place of honor at my right hand 43 until I humble your enemies, making them a footstool under your feet.’ 44 Since David called the Messiah ‘Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?”

  • Since they wouldn’t ask a question, Jesus can
  • He goes to the absolute core of the matter: His Messiahship & His Divinity
  • Christ uses this beloved passage to identify Himself
  • They were looking for another David; David had pointed them to God Incarnate
  • Great insight missed by Jews because they were so corrupt & self-serving

This is Tremendous Revelation: Psalm 110

How condescending on Jehovah’s part to permit a mortal ear to hear, and a human pen to record his secret converse with his co-equal Son! How greatly should we prize the revelation of his private and solemn discourse with the Son, herein made public for the refreshing of his people!” ~ Charles Spurgeon

45 Then, with the crowds listening, he turned to his disciples and said, 46 “Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. 47 Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be severely punished.”

  • Christ gives this warning directly to His disciples (You and I)
  • Look out for their influence! Beware of becoming like them!


You cannot apply the principals and norms of this life to The Resurrection / Heaven.

God decides who will be resurrected, and this next life is eternal.

Those who belong to God have always been and will always be, alive to Him.

Understanding Christ’s divinity as Messiah is a crucial element to Biblical Salvation.

God’s judgement is and will be upon those who steal His Glory and exploit people.


What do YOU know from Scripture about Eternity for those God gives salvation to?

What does it specifically mean to YOU to be ‘Alive to God’?

What do YOU know about the Old Testament prophecies concerning The Messiah / Christ?

Why does God want US to know He will punish those who abuse His authority?

I love the way the Scripture chronicles Christ’s ministry, the conversations He had. Our passage today is a classic example of how Jesus would deal with tricks & traps. He’d put the question asker on the spot, then tell stories that featured a version of His enemies. He would also make profound theological statements that left everyone speechless. He would do all of that in one exchange, like we see in our passage today. He will get asked a question that will lead him into a story that points out the wickedness of the religious establishment and then take another question and turn it into the deep lesson.

Ch 20:1-26

20 One day as Jesus was teaching the people and preaching the Good News in the Temple, the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders came up to him. 2 They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right?”

  • Teaching & preaching the Good News in the Temple, against the establishment
  • ‘We’ the ruling religious establishment did not give you the right / authority
  • They thought God’s authority was theirs to do with as they pleased

3 “Let me ask you a question first,” He replied. 4 “Did John’s authority to baptize come from heaven, or was it merely human?”

  • Answer a question with a question…
  • Classic Jesus question: there is a right answer but it is costly…

5 They talked it over among themselves. “If we say it was from heaven, he will ask why we didn’t believe John. 6 But if we say it was merely human, the people will stone us because they are convinced John was a prophet.” 7 So they finally replied that they didn’t know.

  • They had to protect their franchise of power, that was the overriding concern
  • Recognizing John’s ministry when was preaching was the thing to do…

8 And Jesus responded, “Then I won’t tell you by what authority I do these things.”

  • If you cannot be honest about the reality of God you wont listen to what I say
  • If someone denies the obvious work of God they will not recognize His authority
  • Jesus says: you guys don’t get to demand anything based on what you’ve done

9 Now Jesus turned to the people again and told them this story: “A man planted a vineyard, leased it to tenant farmers, and moved to another country to live for several years. 10 At the time of the grape harvest, he sent one of his servants to collect his share of the crop. But the farmers attacked the servant, beat him up, and sent him back empty-handed.

  • This story is to illustrate the the way the Jewish establishment has acted to God
  • The people in charge of the Temple are the tenant farmers (Stewards)
  • God sent a representative (Prophet) to get His due harvest (honest worship)
  • They had stopped treating the Temple like it was God’s & used it as their own
  • This prophet is ignored & attacked

11 So the owner sent another servant, but they also insulted him, beat him up, and sent him away empty-handed. 12 A third man was sent, and they wounded him and chased him away. 13 “‘What will I do?’ the owner asked himself. ‘I know! I’ll send my cherished son. Surely they will respect him.’

  • Obviously the owner is God, He doesn’t give up on the tenants, 2nd chance…
  • These next two ‘Prophets’ are physically ill treated… It keeps getting worse
  • The Owner figures that it is a matter of Him needing to show more authority
  • He figures there is no way they will not respect His ‘Only Son’ (His Beloved)

14 “But when the tenant farmers saw his son, they said to each other, ‘Here comes the heir to this estate. Let’s kill him and get the estate for ourselves!’ 15 So they dragged him out of the vineyard and murdered him.

  • Instead of responding with contrition, they get even more ruthless & rebellious
  • They decide instead of abusing the owner’s authority, they will be the authority
  • They take Him from what is His and Murder Him (not just kill, murder)

What do you suppose the owner of the vineyard will do to them?” Jesus asked. 16 “I’ll tell you—he will come and kill those farmers and lease the vineyard to others.” “How terrible that such a thing should ever happen,” his listeners protested.

  • Christ puts the question directly to the Sanhedrin: What should these guys get?
  • Jesus says here is what is gonna happen: Tenants are going to be replaced
  • The Sanhedrin guys are like: Oh how could anyone be that awful?
  • Jesus is describing what they have actually done (Like Nathan with King David)

17 Jesus looked at them and said, “Then what does this Scripture mean? ‘The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.’ 18 Everyone who stumbles over that stone will be broken to pieces, and it will crush anyone it falls on.”

  • Christ points them to the Scriptures to understand who He is and who they are
  • If they don’t recognize Jesus for who He is, He will end up being their demise
  • There is an incredibly high price to pay for rejecting Jesus The Christ

19 The teachers of religious law and the leading priests wanted to arrest Jesus immediately because they realized he was telling the story against them—they were the wicked farmers. But they were afraid of the people’s reaction.

  • Once they see Jesus is directly criticizing them they want to silence Him
  • But they had to tread lightly because they feared the crowd turning on them

20 Watching for their opportunity, the leaders sent spies pretending to be honest men. They tried to get Jesus to say something that could be reported to the Roman governor so he would arrest Jesus.

  • Sanhedrin start a campaign to trip Jesus up so the Romans will silence Him
  • They want to get the Romans to do their dirty work for them, was safer that way

21 “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you speak and teach what is right and are not influenced by what others think. You teach the way of God truthfully. 22 Now tell us—is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”

  • The set up is to flatter Him, get Him to become prideful…
  • The trap they tried to set was to have Christ make a treasonous statement
  • They are asking Christ to recognize Rome’s authority

23 He saw through their trickery and said, 24 “Show me a Roman coin. Whose picture and title are stamped on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. 25 “Well then,” He said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.”

  • Of course God / Christ knows exactly how to combat their argument
  • ‘Coin’ is a metaphor for what belongs to this fallen world, embedded with sin
  • The reality of things as they are in this world must be dealt with
  • God’s followers are to have a value system that is different, different priorities
  • We participate in this world a little as possible, giving everything else to God
  • Giving everything else to God means having values that are formed by HIM

SURRENDER TO THE GOSPEL = Give God what belongs to God, YOUR LIFE!

26 So they failed to trap him by what he said in front of the people. Instead, they were amazed by his answer, and they became silent.

  • The effect was the opposite of what the Religious Leaders wanted
  • Obviously they had no idea of Christ’s divinity, constantly underestimating Him
  • They could choose to give up trying to kill Him…


God requires honesty in the way you inquire of Him, He is not obligated to respond.

God will not reveal Himself to those playing power games with people’s faith.

As Christ’s followers we are all Stewards of Christ’s Redemption and God’s Glory.

God entrusts His authority to Leaders, but they are held accountable by Him.

The system of this fallen world is not what God’s people are to invest in.

Christ’s Followers are stuck in ‘This World’ but are focused on eternal values.


In what ways might you be less than honest with God? How do you stop doing that?

How might you specifically be a better steward of The Gospel & God’s Reputation?

What role can you play in our Church Body to encourage Kingdom Stewardship?

How do you evaluate whether you are more invested in this world or the next?

This is the week before Christs resurrection, the beginning of Holy Week, The Triumphal Entry to Jerusalem, Palm Sunday… No palm leaves in Luke’s Gospel… This may be familiar story to you but I hope you find something deeper in it today. We will see Jesus of Nazareth demonstrates He IS Jesus The Christ! The masses recognize Him as the Messiah, for a minute. To them He might be the Messiah, but is He their messiah? Christ speaks of the Judgement that falls on those who don’t recognize The Messiah. He condemns profiteering by religious authorities and sets up shop in the Temple.

Luke 19:28-48

28 After telling this story, Jesus went on toward Jerusalem, walking ahead of his disciples. 29 As he came to the towns of Bethphage and Bethany on the Mount of Olives, he sent two disciples ahead. 30 “Go into that village over there,” He told them. “As you enter it, you will see a young donkey tied there that no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks, ‘Why are you untying that colt?’ just say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”

  • Christ just told the Parable of the Ten Servants (Kingdom Stewardship)
  • This is a week before his resurrection
  • Jesus gives instructions that demonstrate His authority over ALL things

32 So they went and found the colt, just as Jesus had said. 33 And sure enough, as they were untying it, the owners asked them, “Why are you untying that colt?” 34 And the disciples simply replied, “The Lord needs it.” 35 So they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their garments over it for him to ride on.

  • After 3 years with Christ the disciples are getting used to the supernatural
  • Riding a colt Zachariah 9:9
    • This is a different kind of kingship / Humble & Gracious; not Overlording.
    • Jesus The Christ knows exactly what is going to happen

    36 As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. 37 When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen. 38 “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!”

    • A lot of people, a lot of excitement: singing and shouting praises to God
    • Many of garments were ‘Prayer Shawls’ Tassels on corners, inscribed collar
    • Collar read: ‘Lord of lords and King of kings’, reminder of the coming Messiah
    • Laying these garments down was recognition of Jesus’ Messiahship
    • V 38 Literal: ‘Blessed is the coming one, the king, the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest.’ Psalm 118:26
    • End of Psalm: ‘From the house of the Lord we bless you.’ (Hebrew is Plural)

    39 But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!” 40 He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”

    • Jesus of Nazareth being called ‘Messiah’ made the Religious Elites indignant
    • They could not even be open to the idea that Jesus was the Christ
    • Jesus says: God ordained the recognition of Him as Christ, one way or another

    41 But as he came closer to Jerusalem and saw the city ahead, he began to weep. 42 “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way to peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes.

    • Seeing Jerusalem changed His mood…
    • Knowing that the Jewish Establishment would not recognize Him as Christ hurt!
    • Of all people… It is so Ironic, yet consistent with Israel’s history
    • The die is cast! It is God’s will that the majority of Jews not recognize Christ
    • The way to peace with God in Christ is to be hidden from the majority of Jews

    43 Before long your enemies will build ramparts against your walls and encircle you and close in on you from every side. 44 They will crush you into the ground, and your children with you. Your enemies will not leave a single stone in place, because you did not recognize it when God visited you.”

    • Jesus predicts what will happen to the Religious Establishment / Temple
    • This happens in 70 AD when the Roman destroy Jerusalem and The Temple
    • This is God’s Judgement on the corrupt Jewish Religious Establishment
    • Was it God’s will? If it happened, it is God’s will.
    • God’s Justice is not in our power to judge whether it is fair or not

    45 Then Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out the people selling animals for sacrifices. 46 He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”

    • Then He goes to the center of the cancer, the source of the corruption
    • The Temple Rulers were cheating people who were trying to worship God
    • Serious offense: Stealing from people by using God!
    • 2nd time Jesus has dome this, it’s the 1st thing he does upon entering the city.

    47 After that, he taught daily in the Temple, but the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the other leaders of the people began planning how to kill him. 48 But they could think of nothing, because all the people hung on every word he said.

    • The next four day Jesus The Christ is going to do some serious teaching
    • This will drive the religious leaders to get rid of Him
    • They realized how popular Jesus was… so they were going to have to play dirty


    With the colt Christ demonstrates His omniscience and omnipotence.

    Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem was intentional fulfillment of prophecy.

    For a fleeting moment Jesus was recognized as Messiah / Christ by the masses.

    God is grieved when people reject Him. Then & Now.

    God’s judgement is based on HIS idea of justice, and can seem unfair to us.

    Fighting the corruption of true worship was Jesus’ priority, it should be ours as well.


    What practices can you build into your life to continually recognize Jesus as Christ?

    How do you avoid complacency in your relationship with Christ?

    What do you specifically base your ideas and expectations of ‘Justice’ on?

    What can you do to keep worship pure here at Midtown?