Section 127b

Parable to teach responsibility while the kingdom is delayed

Jericho Jerusalem

Luke 19:11-28
11And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear. 12He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come. 14But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us. 15And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading. 16Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities. 18And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities. 20And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow. 22And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury? 24And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. 25(And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) 26For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. 27But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. 28And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.



OT Jericho

The emerald green of Jericho stands out in stark contrast with the barren white valley surrounding it. Palm trees, citrus trees, and banana trees grow together in groves in this natural hothouse, 812 feet below sea level—the lowest city on earth. Perhaps one could anticipate its richness, but not its size: after years of hearing how the Israelites walked around the city and gave the shout that felled the walls, perhaps you have imagined a large city with piles of huge stones lining its perimeter. You may be disappointed when you see a lumpy, light brown mound with holes in it and realize that this is Jericho.

What is visible of the ancient city is primarily a large mound made of eroded mud brick. In one of the large trenches made by one of the excavators, Kathleen Kenyon, you will see a round stone tower which has been dated to about 7000 B.C., making Jericho the oldest city in the world.

The earliest archaeological remains in Jericho have been dated to about 9000 B.C. Remains of floors of huts date to a few hundred years later when the village expanded around the area of the spring. Around 7000 B.C. the villagers worked together to construct a large fortification wall, with a large tower next to it. The tower, over 27 feet in diameter at its base, is preserved to a height of 25 feet. A staircase in the center provides access to the top of the tower.

NT Jericho

By the time Jesus and his disciples strolled into New Testament Jericho, the city sat at a distance from the Jericho of the Old Testament. And between these two sights set some blind beggars who panhandled the pilgrims bound for Jerusalem. The two cities, sitting side-by-side with the same name, explain why different Gospel accounts refer to Jesus meeting the blind man as he left Jericho and others expressed the event occurring as he entered Jericho.

After healing blind Bartimaeus, Jesus dined and spent the evening with Zacchaeus. Leaving Jericho, Jesus began his ascent into the hill country of Judea by starting up the Wadi Kelt, along the gorge that drains the hills around Jerusalem eastward into the Jordan Valley. Here Jesus would have passed between Herod the Great’s palace buildings, which the late monarch built for himself in Jericho so that he had a place to escape Jerusalem’s winters. The huge complex boasted large bath houses, assessable through a vast reception hall, complete with mosaics, frescoes, and gold and marble columns. The opulent palace straddled the ancient road Jesus travelled and connected to itself across a bridge that spanned the road. The buildings must have seemed striking to all who passed below - especially to disciples impressed with Herod’s handiwork.

When Jesus passed beneath the bridge between the buildings of Herod the Great, he must have considered this paranoid king who tried to kill him as a boy - but who instead succeeded in slaughtering all baby boys in Bethlehem. Ironically, King Herod died in this palace while the true King of Israel lived to pass between its walls on his way to lay down his life.



Video 30: Final Ascent to Jerusalem (Jericho)

Jericho & Jerusalem