Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Luke 18:14

I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Bigotry;   Confidence;   Humility;   Jesus, the Christ;   Jesus Continued;   Penitent;   Pride;   Publicans;   Repentance;   Self-Righteousness;   Works;   Scofield Reference Index - Justification;   Thompson Chain Reference - Humility;   Humility-Pride;   The Topic Concordance - Abasement;   Exaltation;   Humbleness;   Hypocrisy;   Self-Righteousness;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Humility;   Justification before God;   Parables;   Prayer, Answers to;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Parable;   Publican;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Adultery;   Boasting;   Humility;   Justification;   Luke, gospel of;   Prayer;   Pride;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Christ, Christology;   Ethics;   Gospel;   Humility;   Justice;   Pharisees;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Hearing the Word of God;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Tithe;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Justification;   Luke, the Gospel According to;   Pharisees;   Prayer;   Simeon;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Humility;   Luke, Gospel of;   Parables;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Ethics;   Gospels;   Jesus Christ;   Luke, Gospel According to;   Parable;   Prayer;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Character;   Christ, Christology;   Common Life;   Complacency;   Confession (of Sin);   Discourse;   Equality;   Error;   Exaltation (2);   Forgiveness (2);   Heart;   Hindrance;   Humility;   Justice (2);   Law of God;   Logia;   Mark, Gospel According to;   Mission;   Parable;   Personality;   Pride (2);   Profession (2);   Property (2);   Quotations (2);   Repentance (2);   Sanctify, Sanctification;   Sinners;   Temple (2);   Trinity (2);   Winter ;   1910 New Catholic Dictionary - parable of the pharisee and the publican;   pharisee and publican;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Pharisee;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Phar'isees,;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Jesus of Nazareth;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Abase;   Court of the Sanctuary;   Exalt;   Forgiveness;   Gospels, the Synoptic;   Guilt;   Humility;   Jesus Christ (Part 1 of 2);   Prayer;   Prayers of Jesus;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for June 30;   Every Day Light - Devotion for April 26;   Faith's Checkbook - Devotion for November 7;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Went down to his house justified - His sin blotted out; and himself accepted.

Rather than the other - Η εκεινος : that is, the other was not accepted, because he exalted himself - he made use of the mercies which he acknowledged he owed to God, to make claims on the Divine approbation, and to monopolize the salvation of the Most High! He was abased, because he vainly trusted that he was righteous, and depended on what he had been enabled to do, and looked not for a change of heart, nor for reconciliation to God. It is a strange perversion of the human mind, to attempt to make God our debtor by the very blessings which his mere mercy has conferred upon us! It was a maxim among the Jews, that whoever brought a sacrifice to the temple returned justified. But our Lord shows that this depended on the state of mind - if they were not humbled under a sense of sin, they were not justified, though they had even offered a sacrifice.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-18.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

I tell you - The Pharisees would have said that the first man here was approved. Jesus assures them that they judged erroneously. God judges of this differently from people.

Justified - Accepted or approved of God. The word “justify” means to declare or treat as righteous. In this case it means that in their prayers the one was approved and the other not; the one went down with the favor of God in answer to his petitions, the other not.

For every one … - See the notes at Luke 14:11.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/luke-18.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

I tell you that this man,.... The publican that so freely owned himself to be a sinner, and by his carriage acknowledged he was unworthy of any favour; and who was treated with so much contempt by the Pharisee:

went down to his house; from the temple which was built on a mountain,

justified, rather than the other: accounted as a righteous person in the sight of God; justified from all his sins, and accepted by him, when the other was abhorred and neglected. The Syriac and Persic versions, and so Beza's most ancient copy, read, "than the Pharisee", who had such an high opinion of himself, and despised others: not that the Pharisee was justified at all, when the publican really was; but the sense is, that if judgment had been to have been made, and sentence passed according to the then conduct and behaviour of both parties, the publican had greatly the advantage, in the sight of God; an humble demeanour being well pleasing and acceptable to him, when pride, and arrogance, boasting of, and trusting in a man's own righteousness, are abhorred by him;

for every one that exalteth himself, shall be abased, and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted. This was a proverbial expression, often mentioned by Christ on different occasions, and frequently used by the Jews; See Gill on Matthew 23:12 to which may be added the following passages;

"whoever is of a haughty spirit, at last shall be made lowF25T. Bab. Sota, fol. 5. 1. .'

And again,

"whosoever humbleth himself, the holy blessed God will lift him upF26Zohar in Lev. fol. 39. 1. .'

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/luke-18.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

rather than the other — The meaning is, “and not the other”; for the Pharisee was not seeking justification, and felt no need of it. This great law of the Kingdom of God is, in the teaching of Christ, inscribed, as in letters of gold, over its entrance gate. And in how many different forms is it repeated (Psalm 138:6; Psalm 147:6; Luke 1:53). To be self-emptied, or, “poor in spirit,” is the fundamental and indispensable preparation for the reception of the “grace which bringeth salvation”: wherever this exists, the “mourning” for it which precedes “comfort” and the earnest “hungerings and thirstings after righteousness” which are rewarded by the “fullness” of it, will, as we see here, be surely found. Such, therefore, and such only, are the justified ones (Job 33:27, Job 33:28; Psalm 34:18; Isaiah 57:15).

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/luke-18.html. 1871-8.

People's New Testament

This man went... justified. With his sins forgiven. His prayer was answered; not the proud boasts of the Pharisee. "This parable teaches us the spirit that should pervade our prayers. The first parable encourages us to pray, and faint not. The second reminds us how we ought to pray. Both should be often pondered by every true Christian."--{Ryle}.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Original work done by Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
Johnson, Barton W. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". "People's New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pnt/luke-18.html. 1891.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

This man (ουτοςhoutos). This despised publican referred to contemptuously in Luke 18:11 as “this” (ουτοςhoutos) publican.

Rather than the other (παρ εκεινονpar' ekeinon). In comparison with (placed beside) that one. A neat Greek idiom after the perfect passive participle δεδικαιομενοςdedikaiomenos (οτιhoti). This moral maxim Christ had already used in Luke 14:11. Plummer pertinently asks: “Why is it assumed that Jesus did not repeat his sayings?”

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The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/luke-18.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

This man went down — From the hill on which the temple stood, justified rather than the other - That is, and not the other.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/luke-18.html. 1765.

The Fourfold Gospel

I say unto you, This man went down to his house justified rather than the other1: for every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled; but he that humbleth himself shall be exalted2.

  1. This man went down to his house justified rather than the other. We are taught here, as in the parable of the prodigal son, that the penitent unrighteous are more acceptable to God than the righteous who make no confession of their sins. See Luke 15:11-32.

  2. For every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled; but he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. See Luke 15:11-32. The Pharisee was an example of the first, and the publican of the second.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.
Bibliographical Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". "The Fourfold Gospel". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tfg/luke-18.html. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

Justified; in the sight of God.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/luke-18.html. 1878.

James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

MISCONCEPTIONS REMOVED

‘I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.’

Luke 18:14

Suffer me to disabuse your minds of some misconceptions which have grown up around this parable, and which prevent the real point of its teaching coming home to our hearts.

I. We generally fail to understand the respective positions of the two men in regard of character. The Pharisee was the better even of the two in every practical sense. Of course it is possible this Pharisee was a hypocrite, and that his account of himself was false; but there is no hint of that. Taking his own account of himself as substantially true, it cannot be denied that he had much cause to give thanks to God for what he was. If the Pharisee had thanked God with humility, remembering that his comparative innocence was due to God’s grace, and to the advantages of position and training, he would have done well. We must, then, allow that the Pharisee was a better Jew, a better neighbour and citizen, and, if it had not been for his pride, a better man than the publican.

II. Another misconception is that the publican was actually justified by his lowly demeanour and self-condemning words.—Our Lord does not say that. He says the publican was justified rather than the other. I imagine that neither was truly justified, but as far as the publican yet was from the Kingdom of Heaven, he was in the right way. In his humility he stood, as it were, on the threshold, and there was nothing to hinder his entering in if he was prepared for the necessary sacrifice; whereas the Pharisee had missed the entrance altogether, and was getting farther and farther from it. But never let us think that our Saviour meant this for an example of sufficient repentance. Our Lord means to impress upon us the fatal danger of spiritual pride, which made the Pharisee, with all his real cause for thanksgiving, to be farther off from the Kingdom than the publican.

III. The last misconception is that of imagining that the self-righteous spirit must always take the same form as here presented—that Pharisaism must always be the proud relying upon outward religious observances. In fact, it has as many different forms as there are fashions in religion. We are always apt to think like this Pharisee, that we can commend our faith by protesting against other people’s errors, and our practice, by condemning faults to which we are not tempted. And truly we must believe that this spirit of self-righteousness must be more offensive to God when united with the lax morality and careless life of the publican, than when connected with the strict morality of the Pharisee.

Rev. R. Winterbotham.

(SECOND OUTLINE)

A CHURCHMAN’S FAILURE

So the man—a thorough Churchman—was not justified! Here was a thorough Churchman who missed the mark. Notice how very tenderly the Lord puts it. ‘I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other.’ Whenever you deal with a soul be very tender. Controversialists sometimes say, ‘Well, if you believe that, you will be damned.’ That is rough speaking; that is rough handling. It is not for us to speak like this. Why was it that this poor Pharisee failed altogether?

I. It was because he compared himself with other men.—He thanked God for having made such a pre-eminently respectable person as himself. Now this is altogether wrong; because we can never pass judgment upon anybody else. We do not know the secrets of their existence.

II. This man put his ecclesiastical duties in the place of his natural duties.—He did two beautiful penances; he fasted and gave alms, and that is what we ought to do. He kept the rules of his Church. He was what we should call a thorough Churchman. He fasted twice in the week, as he was bound to by the law of his Church. And not only did he do this, but he gave a tenth of everything. Now it was not really a requirement that he should give a tenth of everything. There were certain things he was exempt from; but he would not be exempt at all, he gave a tenth of all he possessed—every bit. And yet, good Churchman that he was, he was not good, he was not justified. Where was the wrong? He neglected the natural virtues—the virtues of grace. There was no broken heart, there was no contrite spirit, there was no cry for mercy, no tear ran down his cheek. That is where the Pharisee failed.

III. He thought he had done more than there was any need for him to do.—This is a very subtle and a very sweet temptation. It comes upon us all. We put ourselves into the family of the ‘goodenoughs,’ or possibly we go a little further, and say we belong to the family of the ‘too-goods,’ and the Holy Spirit will put us in the family of the ‘no-goods.’ The whole thing is spoilt The inward pride crops up and spoils the whole thing. There is something in religious pride and self-satisfaction which is execrable, but it is so true!

IV. He never prayed.—He went up to the Temple to pray, and he never said one word of prayer. Do you know that is something like us. Have you ever gone to the church to pray, and never really prayed? Gone through some prayers, but never really prayed? We may say prayers, and shout them, without praying a word; and we may be perfectly silent, but our attitude is so towards God that the very breath we breathe is a prayer. God does not hear you because you talk with your lips. He only hears the longing of the soul.

V. He did not cry for forgiveness.—He did not want it. Now, what I want to ask you is, ‘Do you want God to forgive you your sins, and make you better men and women? Do you really want it? Is there the desire down deep in your heart? Do you want to know the Saviour more; to trust Him more, to love Him more, and to see that He is all in all, and that you are nothing at all? Do you want it? If so, I hope you will creep into a quiet place, somewhere where you may meet God face to face, no man knowing, and pour out your heart to Him, and say, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner.’

—Rev. A. H. Stanton.

Illustration

‘You do not know how other people were brought up, or the environment round about them. Had you had their environment you might have been worse than they are. We know nothing of other people’s temperament. What is an easy sin to resist to you, may be no easy sin for others to resist. Until you know the secrets of their life within, as well as the secrets of their life without, you are utterly out of count in trying in any sense to frame a judgment on them, or they on you. Then there is heredity. What do you or I know about heredity? They tell us that there is the taint which passes down from father to son, and the biologist will tell you that many men are almost irresponsible for what they do, it has come into them by the taint of heredity. God help us never to say, “I thank thee that I am not as other men.”’

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Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/luke-18.html. 1876.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Ver. 14. Justified rather than the other] The Pharisee was not at all justified; neither is there more or less in justification. But our Saviour here useth a popular kind of expression.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/luke-18.html. 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Luke 18:14

Self-Righteousness.

I. We are not saved from the danger of self-righteousness by our full knowledge and hearty recognition of the doctrines of grace. The Pharisee did not dream of taking to himself the credit of the excellence which he supposed himself to have attained to. He acknowledged it to be all God's work in him. He carries with him the spirit of trusting to himself that he is righteous, and despising others, at the very moment that he is thanking God who has made him to differ from them.

II. Righteousness is not self-righteousness. The irreligious man is apt to set down as self-righteous every one who can claim to be better than he pretends to be. There is nothing wrong in being righteous, or in doing good works. The only thing to be frightened about is, if the righteousness be not real, or the works not truly good. The less the real righteousness, the greater the danger of self-righteousness.

III. The best practical rule for avoiding the dangers which arise from comparing ourselves with others is to strive to keep ever before our minds as our rule of life, the character of Him who gave us an example, that we should follow in His steps. There is no example, but one, which may not mislead us—mislead us even when we have succeeded in arriving at the standard we aim at, or in going beyond it. There is but One in striving to resemble whom we can never be led astray; One whose character the more closely we study and the more thoroughly we love, the more nearly we approach to be perfect, even as our Father which is in heaven is perfect. The contemplation of such an Example, and the contrast which you know yourself to be, cannot but deepen your sense of sin, and drive you to the supplication—"God, be merciful to me sinner.

G. Salmon, Non-miraculous Christianity, p. 187.


References: Luke 18:14.—R. Winterbotham, Sermons and Expositions, p. 243; Clergyman's Magazine, vol. v., p. 31. Luke 18:15, Luke 18:16.—J. Vaughan, Sermons to Children, 3rd series, p. 72. Luke 18:15-17.—Shepherd, Thursday Penny Pulpit, vol. vi., p. 309. Luke 18:15-27.—A. B. Bruce, The Training of the Twelve, p. 251.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/luke-18.html.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Luke 18:14. Justified rather than the other: Justified, and not the other. Heylin. The original δεδιχαιωμενος, η εκεινος is a peculiar idiom of the Greek language, and will not admit of a literal construction in English. The following passage will serve to shew, that its true import is as above given. In John 13:10 our Saviour says, He that is washed, need not to wash, save his feet; ου χρειαν εχει η τους ποδας νιψασθαι, where the phrase is exactly the same as here, and excludes all washing but that of the feet. The reader will observe, that there is nothing for rather in the original, and therefore it is printed in Italics in ourBibles. Besides, it is manifest to the least observation, that the Pharisee could not at all be acceptable in the sight of him, who has declared, that he abaseth all who exalt themselves. This appears to have been a very favourite maxim with our Lord. See on Matthew 23:12.

From the present parable we learn several important lessons; as,—that the generality of men are great strangers to themselves, and ignorant of their own characters;—that they oftentimes thank God in words for his benefits, while their hearts are by no means penetrated with any just sense of them;—that it is difficult for men in general to think of the sins from which they themselves are free, without censuring the persons who in their opinion are guilty of them;—that a man may be veryready to censure others, withouta single thought of reforming himself—and that in a certain sense, we may be clear of open and scandalous sins, while we are full of inward spiritual wickedness, pride, envy, malice, hypocrisy, and voluptuousness. We may farther observe, that by propounding this parable immediately after that of the importunate widow, our Lord has taught us, that although our prayers must be very earnest and frequent, theyshould always be accompanied with the deepest humility; because no disposition of mind is more proper for such weak and frail beings as men to appear with before the great God, than an absolute self-abasement. See the Inferences and Reflections.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/luke-18.html. 1801-1803.

Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

14.] The sense is, One returned home in the sight of God with his prayer answered, and that prayer had grasped the true object of prayer,—the forgiveness of sins (so that δεδ. is in the usual sense of the Epistles of Paul, justified before God—see reff.), the other prayed not for it, and obtained it not. Therefore he who would seek justification before God must seek it by humility and not by self-righteousness.

ὅτι πᾶς ὁ ὑψῶν ἑαυτ. has been illustrated in the demeanour of the Pharisee;— ταπεινωθ. in his failure to obtain justification from God:— ταπεινῶν ἑαυτόν in that of the Publican;— ὑψωθήσ. in his obtaining the answer to his prayer, which was this justification. Thus the particular instance is bound up with the general truth.

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Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/luke-18.html. 1863-1878.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Luke 18:14. εἰς τὸν οἶκον, to his house [home]) whether in the parable his house be supposed to have been at Jerusalem, or in that locality where the parable was uttered. Comp. as to returning to one’s own house [Mary], ch. Luke 1:56.— ἤπερ ἐκεῖνος) Otherwise it is read ἐκεῖνος.(202) In either case μᾶλλον is to be understood, as in ch. Luke 15:7; 1 Corinthians 14:19. The Pharisee was not justified at all; for he ἐταπεινώθη, was abased.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/luke-18.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Justified h eceinov, we translate, rather than the other; not that the other was at all justified by God; the other was justified by himself only, and those of his party. The publican was justified by God. It followeth, for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased, & c. It is another of our Saviour’s sentences, often made use of by him, Matthew 23:12, and in this Gospel, Luke 14:11. It is applied to the ordinary practice of men, but here to God in the ways of his providence; he resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. The blessed Virgin magnifies God on this account, Luke 1:51,52.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Luke 18:14". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/luke-18.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

оправданным Т.е. считался праведным пред Богом посредством вмененной ему праведности (см. пояснение к ст. 9).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/luke-18.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Justified; approved and accepted. Chap Luke 14:11.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/luke-18.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

“For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Jesus then summed up the conclusion to be drawn from the parable. Those who exalt themselves will be humbled. Those who humble themselves will be exalted. For God scatters the proud in the imagination of their hearts (Luke 1:51) and exalts those of low degree (Luke 1:52). He draws near to those with a humble and contrite heart, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite (Isaiah 57:15).

A further example of this will now be given in the person of young children who are brought to Jesus. It is at this point that Luke again takes up and uses the Marcan narrative, which he had ceased using at Luke 9:50.

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/luke-18.html. 2013.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

14.I tell you—With what emphasis and power did this tell you come from this divine I.

Down to his house—Where went the strutting Pharisee? Who knows? But this publican sought a home now illuminate by the beams of God’s smiling face.

Justified—Not merely pardoned; but held as enjoying the position of one just before God. The Epistle to the Romans is the expansion of this great thought.

Rather than the otherThe other was amply justified by and before himself; this man is justified by and before God.

Exalteth himself—Our Lord here repeats one of those great formulas which expresses a fundamental law of the kingdom of God.

Here terminates the great series of the (Peculiaria Lucae) Peculiar Contributions of Luke, or the LUKEAN SECTION. (See p. 101.) Thus far his path has been independent and alone; he is now joined by his brother Evangelists. Henceforth, though often furnishing peculiar paragraphs, he moves abreast with them.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/luke-18.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Jesus declared the tax collector justified (i.e, declared righteous, a judicial Acts, not made righteous; cf. Romans 3:24-25). God declared him righteous because he looked to God for the gift of righteousness rather than claiming to be righteous on his own merit as the Pharisee did. [Note: See F. F. Bruce, "Justification by Faith in the non-Pauline Writings of the New Testament," Evangelical Quarterly24 (1952):66-77.] Jesus repeated the principle that God humbles those who exalt themselves, but He exalts those who humble themselves (cf. Luke 13:30; Luke 14:11). In the context Jesus meant that to be righteous in God"s sight one must acknowledge his lack of personal righteousness rather than pretending to have righteousness that he does not have. Justification depends on God"s grace, not on human works or merit.

Many modern Christians have heard this parable so often that we immediately associate Pharisees with self-righteous hypocrisy and tax collectors with humble piety. In Jesus" day the Jews viewed them differently. It was the Pharisees who were the models of righteous behavior and the tax collectors who epitomized sinfulness. Therefore this parable undoubtedly made a great impact on the disciples.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/luke-18.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 18:14. I say unto you. Solemn application.

This man, the publican, went down to his house, returned home, justified, i.e., accepted by God as righteous, in the very sense in which Paul uses the word in his Epistles, that to the Romans being an extended commentary on this statement. Our Lord implies that the publican’s prayer was answered, that God was merciful to this sinner, and this is precisely what is meant by justification, namely, God’s forgiving our sins and accepting us as righteous.

Bather than the other. Our Lord is very forbearing in His judgment on the Pharisee. But He certainly means that the latter was not justified, for he had not asked for this.

For. A general statement, often repeated by our Lord (chap. Luke 14:11; Matthew 23:12), gives the reason for what had been said of the two men.

Every one that exalteth himself, as this Pharisee did in his self-righteousness, shall be humbled, by God, who does not justify such; but he that humbleth himself, as the publican did, shall be exalted, by God, who hears and answers the prayer.. That answer was justification, hence on the great principle so often set forth, the publican went down to his house justified rather than the other. The Pharisee, though previously a more moral man than the other, failed to be justified, not because he was more moral, but because he was self-righteous; the publican, the worse man of the two, was justified, not because he was worse, but because he was a humble penitent. Of the future course of the two men our Lord has no occasion to speak; but Christ came to make men really holy, as well as to provide for their justification; the one being indissolubly connected with the other. We can distinguish them but not divide them. Hence the future of the publican is not uncertain.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/luke-18.html. 1879-90.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Luke 18:14. , justified (here only in Gospels), a Pauline word, but not necessarily used in a Pauline sense = pardoned.— ( , T.R.), in comparison with that one (the Pharisee). The reading ([143] [144]) would have to be taken as a question—or was that one justified? The publican was the justified man; you would not say the other one was?— , etc.: introduces a moral maxim which we have met with already at Luke 14:11. It stands here as the ethical basis of “justification”. It is a universal law of the moral world, true both of God and of men, that self-exaltation provokes in others condemnation, and self-humiliation gentle judgment.

[143] cod. Guelpherbytanus II. 5th century (fragments from Luke and John).

[144] cod. Monacensis. 9th or 10th century (fragments of all the Gospels).

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/luke-18.html. 1897-1910.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

any one should ask why the Pharisee is here condemned for speaking some few words in his own commendation, and why the like sentence was not passed on Job, who praised himself much more; the difference is evident: the former praised himself without any necessity, merely with an intention of indulging his vanity, and extolling himself over the poor publican; the latter, being overwhelmed with misery, and upbraided by his friends, as if, forsaken of God, he suffered his present distress in punishment of his crimes, justifies himself by recounting his virtues for the greater glory of God, and to preserve himself and others in the steady practice of virtue, under similar temptations. (Theophylactus)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/luke-18.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

to = unto. Greek. eis. App-104.

justified. Reckoned as righteous.

rather than. The texts read "compared with", Greek. para. App-104.

the other = that one.

for, &c. Repeated from Luke 14:11. Compare Habakkuk 2:4.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/luke-18.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

I tell you - authoritatively,

This man went down to his house justified rather than the other. The meaning is, 'and not the other.'

For everyone that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. This great law of the Kingdom of God is, in the teaching of Christ, inscribed over its entrance-gate as in letters of gold; but how vividly is it here depicted?

Remarks:

(1) The grand peculiarity of the religion of the Bible is salvation by grace; a salvation, however, unto holiness-not by, but unto, good works. It pervades the Old Testament (Exodus 34:6-7; Psalms 25:7; Psalms 34:18; Psalms 138:6; Psalms 147:6; Isaiah 57:15, etc.); though its full disclosure, in connection with the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world, was naturally reserved for the New Testament. And yet, so natural is self-righteousness to the pride of the human heart, that it has found its way even into the doctrinal system of the Church; and by that apostasy which panders to all the corrupt inclinations of our nature, while preserving the form of evangelical truth, it has been erected into a most subtle scheme which, while apparently ascribing all to grace, is in reality a doctrine of salvation by works. (See the canons and decrees of the Council of Trent, Sess. VI. Decretum de Justificatione; particularly 100: 7: 9: with Can. 9: 11: VI. Decretum de Justificatione; particularly 100: 7: 9. with Can. 9: 11; 12: 13.) 'Even into Protestant Churches the very same doctrine has found entrance, under different forms of language, and in times of religious indifference and general degeneracy has spread its deadly virus over whole regions once blooming with health; nor is it effectually dislodged in any heart except by divine teaching.

(2) To be self-emptied, or "poor in spirit" is the fundamental and indispensable preparation for welcoming the "grace which bringeth salvation." Wherever this exists, that "mourning" which precedes comfort, that "hungering and thirsting after righteousness" which is rewarded with the "fulness" of it, is invariably found-as in this publican. Such, therefore, and such only, are the truly justified ones. "He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away" (Luke 1:53).

Here at length our Evangelist-after traveling over three hundred and fifty-one verses almost alone-gets again upon the line, traveling, as will be seen, in company with the two preceding Evangelists, though each, if one might so speak, on separate rails.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/luke-18.html. 1871-8.

The Bible Study New Testament

14. This man, and not the other. This is the “punch line.” The tax collector was forgiven and made right with God. [He was already a child of God, but had sinned.] This parable teaches us that the right attitude is important, for us to receive the promise of 1 John 1:9. This parable, and the one before this, should be kept in mind by every Christian.

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/luke-18.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(14) This man went down to his house, justified rather than the other.—The Greek participle is in the perfect, implying a completed and abiding justification. There is something suggestive in the fact that the “house” is made the test in each case. Home-life is the test of the reality and acceptableness of our worship. The Pharisee, in spite of his self-fratulation, betrayed a conscience ill at ease by irritability, harshness, sitting in judgment upon others. The publican, not in spite of his self-condemnation, but by reason of it, went home with a new sense of peace, showing itself in a new gentleness and cheerfulness.

For every one that exalteth himself.—Comp. Note on Luke 14:11. What had there been said, in its bearing on man’s outward life, and as shown by the judgment of men, is here transferred, the law remaining the same, to the higher regions of the spiritual life and to God’s judgment. In both cases there is a needless variation in the English version, the Greek giving the same verb for both “abased” and “humbleth.”

The lessons of the parable force themselves upon every reader. The spirit of religious egotism, however, is not easily exorcised, and we need, perhaps, to be reminded that the temper of the Pharisee may learn to veil itself in the language of the publican, men confessing that they are “miserable sinners,” and resting, with a secret self-satisfaction in the confession; or that, conversely, the publican—i.e., the openly non-religious man—may cease to smite upon his breast, and may come to give God thanks that he is not as the Pharisee.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-18.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
went
5:24,25; 7:47-50; 1 Samuel 1:18; Ecclesiastes 9:7
justified
10:29; 16:15; Job 9:20; 25:4; Psalms 143:2; Isaiah 45:25; 53:11; Romans 3:20; Romans 4:5; 5:1; 8:33; Galatians 2:16; James 2:21-25
every
1:52; 14:11; Exodus 18:11; Job 22:29; 40:9-13; Psalms 138:6; Proverbs 3:34; 15:33; Proverbs 16:18,19; 18:12; 29:23; Isaiah 2:11-17; 57:15; Daniel 4:37; Habakkuk 2:4; Matthew 5:3; 23:12; James 4:6,10; 1 Peter 5:5,6
Reciprocal: Leviticus 26:41 - humbled;  Deuteronomy 8:2 - to humble;  1 Kings 1:5 - exalted;  2 Chronicles 12:6 - humbled;  2 Chronicles 30:11 - humbled themselves;  2 Chronicles 33:12 - humbled;  Job 40:11 - behold;  Psalm 10:17 - humble;  Psalm 18:27 - bring;  Psalm 40:12 - mine;  Psalm 101:5 - an high;  Psalm 119:21 - rebuked;  Proverbs 11:2 - pride;  Proverbs 21:4 - An high look;  Proverbs 25:7 - than;  Isaiah 40:4 - valley;  Isaiah 66:2 - to this;  Jeremiah 13:9 - the pride;  Lamentations 1:20 - for;  Daniel 5:20 - when;  Matthew 19:30 - GeneralMatthew 20:26 - it;  Mark 9:35 - If;  Mark 10:43 - whosoever;  John 4:10 - thou wouldest;  John 9:41 - If;  Acts 13:39 - by;  Romans 2:13 - justified;  Romans 11:20 - Be;  1 Corinthians 6:11 - but ye are justified;  Philippians 2:3 - but;  1 Timothy 1:16 - for a

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/luke-18.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

14.This man went down justified. The comparison is not exact; for Christ does not merely assign to the publican a certain degree of superiority, as if righteousness had belonged alike to both, but means thatthe publican was accepted by God, while the Pharisee was totally rejected. And this passage shows plainly what is the strict meaning of the word justified: it means, to stand before God as if we were righteous. For it is not said that the publican was justified, because he suddenly acquired some new quality, but that he obtained grace, because his guilt was blotted out, and his sins were washed away. Hence it follows, that righteousness consists in the forgiveness of sins. As the virtues of the Pharisee were defiled and polluted by unfounded confidence, so that his integrity, which deserved commendation before the world, was of no value in the sight of God; so the publican, relying on no merits of works, obtained righteousness solely by imploring pardon, (334) because he had no other ground of hope than the pure mercy of God.

But it may be thought absurd, that all should be reduced to the same level, since the purity of saints is widely different from that of the publican I reply: whatever proficiency any man may have made in the worship of God and in true holiness, yet if he consider how far he is still deficient, there is no other form of prayer which he can properly use than to begin with the acknowledgment of guilt; for though some are more, and others less, yet all are universally guilty. We cannot doubt, therefore, that Christ now lays down a rule for all to this effect, that God will not be pacified towards us, unless we distrust works, and pray that we may be freely reconciled. And, indeed, the Papists are compelled to acknowledge this in part, but immediately afterwards they debase this doctrine by a wicked invention. They admit that all need the remedy of forgiveness, because no man is perfect; but they first intoxicate wretched men with reliance on what they call imperfect righteousness, and next add satisfactions, in order to blot out their guilt. But our faith needs no other support than this, that God has accepted us, not because we deserved it, but because he does not impute our sins.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Luke 18:14". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/luke-18.html. 1840-57.