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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Luke 18

 

 


Introduction

Luke 9:51 to Luke 18:14.—Lk. now more than atones for his great omission (of Mark 6:45 to Mark 8:26) by a great insertion. This section is mainly peculiar to Lk. It describes incidents of the last journey from Galilee to Jerusalem.


Verses 1-8

Luke 18:1-8. Parable of the Unrighteous Judge (Lk. only).—There is a connexion with the preceding sayings; the Advent may be delayed, yet the disciples should incessantly pray for it—it will surely come. The parable has a specific point, it is not simply an exhortation to prayer like Luke 11:5-8. There is a striking parallel with Sirach 35:12-19, even to the idea of vengeance on enemies of the community and the faith. The parable is constructed on the a fortiori principle. God is not compared to but contrasted with an unjust judge. If the one yields to the persistency of an unknown widow, how much more will the other hear and answer His own chosen people, though it is not merely because they pray that He will punish the persecutor. Note the use of "the Lord" for Jesus in Luke 18:6, as in Luke 7:13, Luke 10:39, Luke 12:42, Luke 13:15, Luke 17:6, Luke 22:61. Cf. Luke 16:8 f.

Luke 18:5. wear me out: annoy or pester me, lit., "hit me under the eye"; "buffet" as in 1 Corinthians 9:27.

Luke 18:7. and he is long-suffering over them: either (a) will He delay His vengeance in their case? or (b) will He be tolerant towards them (the wicked)?

Luke 18:8 b. The note of encouragement is followed by one of warning. It is not enough to pray for the Parousia; see that you are ready for it. There is no doubt about the Coming, there is grave doubt about the state of the world at the Corning. "Who shall stand when He appeareth?"


Verses 9-14

Luke 18:9-14. Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (Lk. only).—In Luke 18:9 we should perhaps translate "concerning those who trusted," etc. The parable, not necessarily spoken on the same occasion as the preceding one, also deals with Prayer, though with its spirit rather than its subject. When ye pray, think not so much of the sins of others as of your own. The Pharisee draws a rigid line between himself (and his class) and "the rest of men"; they are outside the pale. His prayer is the prototype of that of Burns's Holy Willie. Fasting, though only enjoined by the Law for the Day of Atonement, was regularly practised by many Jews; cf. Matthew 6:16*. In the matter of tithes also they went beyond the farm crops suggested in Numbers 18:21 : cf. Matthew 23:23.

Luke 18:13. smote is really "kept on smiting."

Luke 18:14. justified: not "made righteous" but "deemed righteous"; cf. Sanday and Headlam, Romans, p. 30f. There is no Pauline dogma here, only a statement that in what was "a sort of unconscious lawsuit" God decides in favour of the tax-gatherer and his prayer.—shall be humbled, exalted: i.e. in the Judgment. The parable is one of the most characteristic pieces of Jesus' teaching; it is a commentary on the Beatitudes about the poor in spirit, the meek, and them that hunger for righteousness.

Lk. has now come to the end of his "great insertion," and once more follows Mk. as his chief source.


Verses 15-17

Luke 18:15-17. Jesus Blesses the Children (Mark 10:13-16*, Matthew 19:13-15*).—Lk. makes the children babes.


Verses 18-30

Luke 18:18-30. The Great Refusal and the Obstacle of Riches (Mark 10:17-31*, Matthew 19:16-30*).—Lk. describes the inquirer as a ruler (probably of the local synagogue), and unlike Mt. keeps Mk.'s words in Luke 18:18 f. Luke 18:27 is a wider saying than the parallels. In 29 Lk. adds "wife" and gives "for the Kingdom of God's sake" in place of "for the Gospel's sake" (Mk.), or "for my name's sake" (Mt.).


Verses 31-34

Luke 18:31-34. Prediction of the Passion (Mark 10:32-34*, Matthew 20:17-19*).—This prediction is the third in Mk. and Mt., the fourth in Lk., Luke 17:25 being added to Luke 9:22; Luke 9:44

Luke 18:34 is repeated from Luke 9:45.—In Luke 18:31 b there is an addition which speaks of the fulfilment of prophecy.


Verses 35-43

Luke 18:35-43. A Blind Man Healed (Mark 10:46-52*, Matthew 20:29-34*).—There is one man as in Mk., but the name (Bartimæus) is not given. Unlike Mk. and Mt., Lk. says the incident occurred as Jesus was entering (not leaving) Jericho. Loisy thinks the change was made to explain the presence of the crowd in Jericho.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Luke 18:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/luke-18.html. 1919.

Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, November 24th, 2020
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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