In chapter 19, Jesus makes reference to a historical event (vv12-15). The background for this is Herod the Great (40 BC) and his son Archelaus (4 BC) both of whom had to go to Rome to seek the kingdom (of man). Ever helpful, Luke tells us that “he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once” (v11). The Jewish people expected the Messiah to usher in the Kingdom by defeating the Romans and ruling from Jerusalem.
Beware of teachers of the law…they devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely (20:46f). I was reading an article in Time today about the effect of prosperity gospel preachers on Americans during the subprime mortgage crisis. It is a sobering article about pastors encouraging excessive borrowing by their parishioners. I hope the shoe doesn’t fit.