No, I’m not talking about politics…
In our study of Luke, we’ve arrived at Jesus’ last week in Jerusalem, and as I always find myself doing, I’ve couched these passages of Luke’s in military terms and metaphors. I’m not sure when I started teaching these passages that way, but it was a long time ago. As of this writing, no one has complained about it, although there is still time, I suppose. You see, as many times as I’ve taught with military terms over multiple decades, I’ve never gotten through it without someone objecting. Once a student called me a “warmonger”!
It’s important for us to recognize that when Jesus entered Jerusalem, war was exactly what was going on there, from the moment He entered the gate of the city. It was not however a war between Nations or peoples, it was a war in the spiritual realm between God and Satan. The scenes that are portrayed in the Gospels are the physical manifestations of that spiritual conflict, and it was a battle to the death.
The Jewish authorities by and large were the pawns of the Devil himself, whether or not they were aware of it, as in the end were Judas Iscariot and the Romans who nailed Jesus to the cross. Jesus Himself had even said previously that the Pharisees were the sons of the Devil…
Clearly, this conflict continued through the Book of Acts, and even up to the present day, and is easily seen many times in the centuries that have passed from then until now. Whether we want to hear it or not, the same battle rages around us to this very day.
Of course any discussion of spiritual warfare must include the good news about the victory of Christ and His Church over the powers of darkness, and even over death itself. It is the Gospel of Jesus Christ that is on the offensive in our time, and the forces of evil that are desperately trying to hold on to a forlorn hope that somehow God will fail in His purpose, and that forlorn hope will bring about the utter destruction of evil on the day that it pleases God to do so.
I should say that this is very good news indeed!