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Sunday, July 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Luke 19

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

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Verses 1-10

The Story of Jesus and Zacchaeus - The story of Zacchaeus is unique to the Gospel of Luke. Why would Luke have chosen to tell the story of such an incident? One answer may be found in The Apostolic Constitutions, a collection of ecclesiastical law that is believed to have been compiled during the latter half of the fourth century. This ancient document states that a man named Zacchaeus, a former publican, became the first bishop of the church at Caesarea. This may not have been the same person recorded in Luke’s Gospel. However, when the names of Cornelius and Theophilus are found alongside the name of Zacchaeus in the same sentence, and when all three names are found to be unique to Luke’s writings, one has to believe that it was very likely the same Zacchaeus mentioned in Luke’s Gospel. In other words, Luke-Acts were a compilation of testimonies of the life and works of Lord Jesus Christ and the early Church. For Luke to use the testimony of Zacchaeus, the living bishop of Caesarea at the time of his writing, would be fitting for the way in which Luke was gathering his testimonies for these writings.

“Now concerning those bishops which have been ordained in our lifetime, we let you know that they are these:--James the bishop of Jerusalem, the brother of our Lord;(5) upon whose death the second was Simeon the son of Cleopas; after whom the third was Judas the son of James. Of Caesarea of Palestine, the first was Zacchaeus , who was once a publican; after whom was Cornelius, and the third Theophilus.” ( Constitutions of the Holy Apostles 7.4.46)

Luke 19:3 Comments - There were probably other short people in this crowd that had gathered to see Jesus who were having a difficult time seeing, but, Zacchaeus was an industrious person. This was one characteristic of rich people. He was a person with determination to accomplish something in life. He was the type of person who faced a challenge in life with the energy to overcome.

Luke 19:4 Comments - Apparently, the sycamore tree grew wild figs (Amos 7:14).

Amos 7:14, “Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:”

Luke 19:5 Comments - According to the story of Zacchaeus, Jesus did not know him. Thus, when Jesus addressed him by name and said that He would abide in his house, He must have been speaking by the gift of the word of knowledge. Jesus knew his name supernaturally, the fact that he was wealthy enough to own a home, and that he would be willing to host him for a meal.

Luke 19:8 Comments - Today, when people invite preachers into their homes, many times, they talk of the good things which they have done. This is how Zacchaeus conversed with Jesus. The statement by Zacchaeus to Jesus that he would give half of his goods to the poor, and restore fourfold anything taken wrongfully was actually a confession of faith in Christ. It was his way of saying that he is repenting of any past sins and willing to live right. This is why Jesus replied he is a “son of Abraham” and that salvation has come into his house this day.

Zacchaeus had been sowing, and now he was reaping. He was a man who sowed faithfully in material things, and had reaped the same.

Luke 19:9 “This day is salvation come to this house” - Comments - Note faith and works in this story. Zacchaeus had showed his faith by his works (James 2:18).

James 2:18, “Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”

The “house” of Zacchaeus refers to more to just individual family members. It means that everything under their domain is now liberated: his business and finances, their health, their peace of mind, etc.

Luke 19:9 “forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham” Comments - Now, Jesus was not referring to Zacchaeus’ Jewish ancestry when he called him a son of Abraham. Rather, Jesus was declaring that this was a man of right standing with God according to the example of righteousness set by Abraham. In other words, Zacchaeus demonstrated and declared his faith in God by declaring his good works. The epistle of James tells us that our faith is shown by our works.

James 2:17-18, “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”

Verses 1-48

Glorification: Jesus Testifies on the Kingdom of God (Passing thru Samaria and Galilee) - In Luke 17:11 to Luke 21:38 Jesus testifies about the Kingdom of God as He passes through Samaria and Galilee towards Jerusalem. This part of the journey will take Jesus into the Temple to teach the people for the last time. At this time the emphasis of Jesus’ teachings focuses on eschatology, or His Second Coming and the Kingdom of God.

He first enters a village and heals ten lepers (Luke 17:11-19) and is able to teach His disciples about thankfulness. He then responds to a question by the Pharisees and teaches about the coming of the Kingdom of God and tells them the importance of watchfulness (Luke 17:20-37). Jesus followed this teaching with the Parable of the Persistent Widow in order to explain to them how to persevere in faith while awaiting His Second Coming (Luke 18:1-8). To the self-righteous Jesus taught on humility using the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-14). Jesus then blesses the children who are brought to Him in order to teach on childlikeness (Luke 18:15-17). When a rich young ruler asks Jesus about inheriting eternal life, Jesus teaches him and those with Him on the dangers of riches and covetousness (Luke 18:18-30). Thus, each one of these stories tell us virtues that we are to pursue as children of the Kingdom of God awaiting His Second Coming. Jesus concludes this teaching session with a prediction to His twelve disciples about His pending death (Luke 18:31-34). After healing a blind man (Luke 18:35-43), dining with Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10), and teaching of faithfulness in the Kingdom of God (Luke 19:11-27), Jesus gives three prophecies concerning His arrival in Jerusalem (Luke 19:28-47), His rejection (Luke 20:1-19), and His exaltation (Luke 20:20-47). This major division closes with an eschatological discourse (Luke 21:1-38).

Here is a proposed outline:

A. Narrative: Jesus Teachings (Thru Samaria & Galilee) Luke 17:11 to Luke 19:27

B. Discourse: Jesus Instructs (Into Jerusalem) Luke 19:28 to Luke 21:38

Luke 17:11 to Luke 19:27

Narrative: Jesus Teaches on the Kingdom of God in Samaria and Galilee As Jesus makes His way to Jerusalem through Samaria and Galilee, He turns His focus upon the Kingdom of God.

Outline Here is a proposed outline:

1. Healing of the Ten Lepers (Thankfulness) Luke 17:11-19

2. Jesus Instructs Disciples on Second Coming Luke 17:20-37

3. Jesus Instructs Disciples on Prayer Luke 18:1-8

4. Corrects Pharisees on Humility Luke 18:9-14

5. Jesus Instructs Disciples on Childlikeness Luke 18:15-17

6. Jesus Teaches Disciples on Covetousness Luke 18:18-30

7. Jesus Predicts His Death Luke 18:31-34

8. Jesus Heals a Blind Man Luke 18:35-43

9. Jesus Dines with Zacchaeus Luke 19:1-10

10. Jesus Teaches on the Faithfulness in the Kingdom Luke 19:11-27

Verses 11-27

The Parable of the Pounds (Matthew 25:14-30 ) Luke 19:11-27 gives us the Parable of the Pounds.

The Believer’s Role in Government - David Barton, who teaches on America’s Christian founding and heritage, often says that believers should be involved in politics as were many of the founding fathers of the U.S.A. who were devout Christians. He refers to the Parable of the Pounds to explain that one of our rewards in Heaven for being faithful would be to be rewarded with some office of civil government or leadership; for the faithful servants were made rulers over cities. [266]

[266] David Barton, (Wall Builders, Aledo, Texas), interviewed by Kenneth Copeland, Believer’s Voice of Victory (Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Fort Worth, Texas), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

Luke 19:12 Comments We can easily imagine a member of the Herod family being called to Rome to receive the office as king over Palestine. Herod would have delegated his property to certain stewards and made his way to Rome, a journey that would have taken some time in the ancient world. He would probably have a lengthy stay in Rome, building relationships with political figures before returning to Palestine. Such appointments by Rome over the Jews would have been met with mixed feelings. They would have despised Rome’s appointed king over the Jews for imposing a leader over them that served the interests of Rome rather than the Jews. A small factor of zealous Jews would have revolted by publically rallying the people to refuse this new leader, causing him to call in Roman soldiers to squelch such opposition, as is indicated at the end of this parable, while the majority of Jews would quietly submit themselves to unfair and oppressive governance over them.

Luke 19:13 “And he called his ten servants” - Comments The ten servants describes Christians, not lost people who do not know nor serve their Master in heaven (1 Peter 4:10).

1 Peter 4:10, “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

“Occupy till I come” Word Study on “occupy” - The Greek word πραγματεύομαι (G4231) means, “to busy oneself with, i.e. to trade.”

Comments - That is, one must work for a living!

Luke 19:17 Comments Faithfulness is an attribute that is required of stewards (1 Corinthians 4:2).

1 Corinthians 4:2, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”

Luke 19:22 “Thou knewest that I was an austere man” Comments - The phrase “thou knewest” is a key word in this passage.

James 4:17, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”

Luke 19:22 “Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee” Scripture Reference - Note:

Matthew 12:37, “For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”

Luke 19:23 Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?

Luke 19:23 Word Study on “bank” Gesenius says the Greek word τράπεζα (G5132) refers to the dinner table on which a meal was placed. Thus, τράπεζα also refers to the table used by the money-changers ( Gesenius, Strong). Luke uses τράπεζα in the Parable of the Pounds to refer to the place where interest is gained by doing business with the money-changers (Luke 19:23).

Although the KJV translates τράπεζα as “bank,” it actually refers to the table used these ancient businesses of exchanging currency. We find a reference to these money-changers working at their tables in Matthew 21:12, Mark 11:15 and John 2:15, where the Scriptures tell us that Jesus cast them out of the Temple for bringing their business into this sacred place of prayer.

The Gospel of Matthew uses the Greek word τραπεζίτης (G5133) in the Parable of the Talents to mean, “a money-changer, banker” ( Gesenius) (Matthew 25:27). The Scriptures also use the Greek word κολλυβιστη ́ ς (G2855) to refer to a “money-changer” ( Gesenius), or “coin-dealer” ( Strong), who sat at these τράπεζα to do business (see Matthew 21:12, Mark 11:15 John 2:15).

Luke 19:23, “Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?”

Matthew 21:12, “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,”

Matthew 25:27, “Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.”

Mark 11:15, “And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves;”

John 2:15, “And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;”

Comments There was a need to change money change in Palestine because of the various currencies used throughout the Empire,, such as the Roman denarius, the Greek drachma and tetradrachma, and the Phoenician coins. Thus, Jews coming from the Diaspora to Jerusalem would bring an array of currency that needed to be exchanged in order to pay the customary half shekel annual temple tax for all males above the age of twenty (Exodus 30:11-15). [267] In additional money changing, A. R. S. Kennedy says the wealthy members of this profession developed a business system in which people could deposit their money with them in order to gain interest. [268] This type of usury would describe what Jesus was referring to in Matthew 25:27 and Luke 19:24.

[267] Edward Bagby Pollard, “Money-changers,” in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., c1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v. 1.5.11 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).

[268] A. R. S. Kennedy, “Money-changers,” in A Dictionary of the Bible Dealing with its Language, Literature, and Contents Including the Biblical Theology, vol. 3, ed. James Hastings and John A. Selbie (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1901), 432-433.

Luke 19:24 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.

Luke 19:24 Illustration - After firing a marketing agent at Lighthouse Television for being dishonest, I gave out her clients to other marketing agents. I gave the biggest paying clients to the marketing agent who was doing the best job. Naturally, this agent was already making the most money in commissions, and when I gave him the biggest clients, he made even a greater amount, far above the other agents. Faithfulness and hard work were the reasons I gave the good clients to the best agent. The point is that I did not distribute the clients evenly (or fairly, as was said in verse 25, “And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.”).

Verses 28-48

Discourse: Jesus Instructs (Into Jerusalem) - In Luke 19:28 to Luke 21:38 Jesus enters Jerusalem. This part of the journey will take Jesus into the Temple to teach the people for the last time. At this time the emphasis of Jesus’ teachings focuses on eschatology, or His Second Coming.

Outline Here is a proposed outline:

1. Prophecy of His Arrival Luke 19:28-48

2. Prophecy of His Rejection Luke 20:1-19

3. Prophecy of His Exaltation Luke 20:20 to Luke 21:4

4. Eschatological Discourse Luke 21:5-38

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Luke 19". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/luke-19.html. 2013.
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