for this week: Jer 49:22 Behold, he
shall come up and fly as the eagle, and spread his wings over Bozrah:
and at that day shall the heart of the mighty men of Edom be as the
heart of a woman in her pangs.
We continue our study of
the book of Luke this week as we continue in chapter 18. Last
weeks lesson Jesus taught on how we should be always willing to
forgive others who have offended us. He then taught about how we
have a responsibility to serve the Lord when we are saved. We also
studied about the ten lepers Jesus healed. Only one of the ten came
back to glorify the Lord for being cleansed.
I. Parable of
the Unjust Judge
18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought
always to pray, and not to faint;
18:2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God,
neither regarded man:
18:3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him,
saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
had earlier asked the Lord to teach them how to pray. Perhaps there
is nothing that we can do that invokes more power than to pray to
the Lord. Many people spend all their money and exhaust every
avenue to correct a sickness, and then say “I guess we just need to
pray about it.” This is almost like saying that nothing else has
worked, so our last resort is prayer. Prayer shouldn’t be our last
defense… it should be our first avenue of support. Two weeks ago
we studied about how the faith of just a mustard seed could move
mountains. Jesus was teaching a great truth here in verse 1 when
he said “men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” We should
petition the Lord, and then have enough faith to believe God will
answer our prayers. In the parable of the unjust judge, we see a
man in a city who feared neither God nor man. I thank the Lord
that he is not this way. Jesus came to seek and save those who are
lost. How someone could love us when we are His enemy is love
beyond understanding, but that is exactly what Jesus did. This
certain widow in the city come and asks the judge to avenge her of
18:4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within
himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
18:5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest
by her continual coming she weary me.
18:6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
The judge grows
tired of hearing the woman continue to plead her case over and over,
and finally agrees to avenge her. I think that we can see that like
this widow who would not stop coming, we in prayer need to be
continual and unrelenting with our prayers. If we keep coming
back, the Lord is impressed with our faith and many times will grant
our petition if it is within His will for us. God instructs us to
hear what the unjust judge said. If he avenged the woman and
feared not man nor God, will God not do much more for the saved?
18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and
night unto him, though he bear long with them?
18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless
when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
The answer is a
resounding ‘yes’ as to whether God will not do much more for the
saved. God will avenge his own elect. Just as the unjust judge
avenged the woman who was insistent with her demands, those who have
cried before the Lord will be avenged. Not only will he, but it
says in verse 8 he will avenge them speedily. Then Jesus asks a
question. “When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the
earth?” I pray he will find many with faith, but we know that
there will always be a remnant of the church that will stand to the
In the King
James Study Bible, the writers said this about the first 8 verses.
And he spake a parable unto them. The verses that follow are
often called the parable of the unjust judge. This judge was
blatantly bad, unprincipled, lawless, and void of moral fortitude to
do what was right. The poor widow, on the other hand, was helpless,
friendless, destitute, and with no hope. Yet through her great
persistence, the wicked judge was so bothered that he finally
granted her request. Although Jesus taught perseverance in prayer in
other places (Mt 7:7–8), He is here using a form of logic that
reasons from the lesser to the greater. Jesus said, regarding God’s
children, that he will avenge them speedily (vs. 8). The idea
is this. If this poor woman with no hope received help from a wicked
unscrupulous judge, how much sooner and greater will be the help a
loving heavenly Father gives to His own dear children.
II. Parable of
the Pharisee and the Publican
18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in
themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee,
and the other a publican.
In this parable
the Lord impresses upon us the true attitude that we should take
before coming before Him when we pray. No matter how good we are,
we can not come to God on the grounds of our righteousness.
Remember what it says in the book of Isaiah… all our righteousness
are as filthy rags in God’s sight.
64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our
righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf;
and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
The only way any
of us can approach God is to do it via coming as confessed
sinners. We must recognize that it is only due to the grace of God
that we can approach the Lord. We find one man who came to the
temple was a Pharisee while the other was a publican. The
Pharisees were one of the leading religious groups of that period,
and thought very highly of themselves. And the publicans were a
despised group in their sight. The Pharisee was a self-righteous man
which gave the credit to himself for being of such exceptional
18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank
thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust,
adulterers, or even as this publican.
18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I
18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so
much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God
be merciful to me a sinner.
I think it is
interesting that it says the many prayed ‘thus with himself.’ He
wasn’t getting anywhere near God with this prayer. Prayers like
this bounce right back from the ceiling. Until we are saved, the
prayer God wants to hear from us is to acknowledge we are a sinner
and by faith accept Jesus to save us. This man was so full of
himself that all he could do was brag on himself compared to
others. He says “I’m not like other men who are extortioners,
unjust, adulterers or even as this publican.” The one thing he
did right was to thank the Lord with thanksgiving. However, this
was not a prayer praising the Lord but rather praising himself and
his virtues. He wasn’t thanking God for what grace had done for
him, but rather praising himself for what he had done on his own.
Without Jesus, we are nothing. He said not only was he good, but
he fasted twice each week and gave tithes on all he possessed.
While this may have been commendable, we can’t come to God bragging
about it. We see the publican was not self-righteous in his
thinking. It says he stood afar off being conscious of his
unworthiness. He was so ashamed that he would not lift up his eyes
unto heaven but smote upon his breast and confessed to God that he
was a sinner. And then he asked God to be merciful to him. Note
what Jesus said in verse 14.
18:14 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.
The man who saw
himself as an unrighteous sinner and begged for God’s mercy was the
one who went down justified. It says ‘he that humbleth himself
shall be exalted.‘
Blesses Little Children
18:15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch
them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.
18:16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little
children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the
kingdom of God.
18:17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the
kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.
As the people
gathered around Jesus, many brought infants that they might be
blessed by the Lord. This attitude of bringing the little
children to Christ was something that Jesus was very pleased. This
upset the disciples that the people would waste the Lord’s time with
these little children, but Jesus rebuked them for their misguided
thoughts. He tells them to ‘Suffer little children to come unto me
and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.’ Think of
the unquestioned faith a small child has in their parents. They
believe them and don’t question every thing the way we do when we
are grown. He says that this is what the kingdom of God is all
about. In other words God wants us to have that total trusting
faith and no doubts. He says unless we come as a child, we will in
no wise enter therein.
said this about the children.
None are too little,
too young, to bring to Christ, who knows how to show kindness to
them that are not capable of doing service to him. 2. One gracious
touch of Christ’s will make our children happy. They brought
infants to him, that he might touch them in token of the
application of his grace and Spirit to them, for that always makes
way for his blessing, which likewise they expected. So
welcome are children to Christ that those grown people are
most welcome to him who have in them most of the disposition of
children (v. 17): Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God
as a little child, that is, receive the benefits of it with
humility and thankfulness, not pretending to merit them as the
Pharisee did, but gladly owning himself indebted to free grace for
them, as the publican did; unless a man be brought to this
self-denying frame he shall in no wise enter into that
kingdom. They must receive the kingdom of God as children,
receive their estates by descent and inheritance, not by purchase,
and call it their Father’s gift.
IV. The Rich
18:18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what
shall I do to inherit eternal life?
18:19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is
good, save one, that is, God.
This young ruler
comes and wants to know what it would take to inherit eternal
life. He certainly came to the right one to find the answer.
Jesus wants to immediately get the young man’s eyes on the heavenly
Father, and says there is none good, save one, and that is God.
The young man most likely did not know that Jesus was God manifested
18:20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not
kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and
18:21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.
young man was questioning how to inherit eternal life in regards to
the law of Moses. Jesus quotes some of the ten commandments as he
points out things that we should not do. The young man is very
confident in himself and says he has kept all of these from a youth
up. While the young man may have lived a very good life, it is
highly unlikely that he had done all of these things perfectly.
3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh
3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become
unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and
the truth is not in us.
John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive
us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
John 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar,
and his word is not in us.
18:22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet
lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto
the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow
18:23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was
18:24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How
hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
18:25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye,
than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
that the young man was guilty of breaking the very first commandment
which was to put God first in our lives. This man loved his money
more than God. When Jesus tells him to sell all that he had and to
come and follow him, it was something that brought great sorrow to
him. It says in verse 23 he was very rich. Does Jesus tell us to
all sell everything we have and come and follow him with nothing at
all? No, he normally does not. However, I have met a few people
who said that after they were saved, they were directed of the Lord
to dispose of the riches. The main thing is that “IF” the Lord
asks us to do it, we should be willing to do it. If money is more
important than our service to God, our priorities are mixed up.
Jesus goes on to say that few rich people would enter into the
kingdom of God. Does money prevent us from being saved? It can
if we put our trust in riches. He says it is easier for a camel to
go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the
kingdom of God.
18:26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?
18:27 And he said, The things which are impossible with men are
possible with God.
then who can be saved? It may be impossible with man, but all
things are possible with God. A rich man can still be saved, but
he must see his need of a Savior and come in faith and repentance
just like the poor man. So many times money blinds people to their
need of a savior. I was on visitation this week with Samuel Turk,
our missionary from Indonesia. We came to a huge house with
columns probably worth over $200,000. I told Samuel that I used to
not like coming to visit people of great wealth, but God convicted
me of that and made me realize that ALL MEN and WOMEN need a
savior. Are they easy to reach? No, they are aren’t. But
nothing should intimidate us in presenting the Gospel. I praise
God for what it says in verse 27… “The things which are impossible
with men are possible with God.” No we can’t do much to reach the
rich man, but God can.
18:28 Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.
18:29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man
that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children,
for the kingdom of God's sake,
18:30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and
in the world to come life everlasting.
what he and the other disciples will receive for leaving all and
following Jesus. He promises that nothing we have ever given up
for the cause of the kingdom will be blessed not only in the world
to come, but will receive manifold more in this present time. I
don’t think we will receive exact monetary rewards, but most likely
will be much greater spiritual blessings. Having lots of money
means little when it comes to happiness. But having the Lord in
your life, your health, and a proper love of your family and fellow
man is so much greater than anything this life has to offer.
However God chooses to bless us, it will be much greater than any
thing we have sacrificed for God’s sake.
Foretells His Death and Resurrection
18:31 Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold,
we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the
prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.
18:32 For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be
mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on:
18:33 And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the
third day he shall rise again.
18:34 And they understood none of these things: and this saying was
hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.
tries to explain what will soon be happening to Him. He explains in
detail how he would be delivered and spitefully entreated and put to
death on the cross. And that after three days, he would rise
again. However, it says they understood none of these things.
These things were not clear at this time, but later God brought back
the teachings to them after Jesus was resurrected.
VI. A Blind Man
Healed Near Jericho
18:35 And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a
certain blind man sat by the way side begging:
18:36 And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant.
18:37 And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.
18:38 And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on
18:39 And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold
his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou son of David, have
mercy on me.
18:40 And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him:
and when he was come near, he asked him,
18:41 Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he
said, Lord, that I may receive my sight.
18:42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath
18:43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed him,
glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise
For a blind man
to be healed was very uncommon. The man comes to the right one to
find the healing. He was on the side of the road begging. He
cried out “Thou son of David, have mercy on me.” Just by these
words I think we can see the faith of the man. He had to believe
Jesus was the messiah and promised Savior. When Christ asked him
what he wanted, he asked for his sight. And it says he immediately
received his sight. When we pray to the Lord, we need to be
specific about our requests. Pick out a missionary on the board,
read his newsletter, and pray about that one specific person’s
needs. Specific prayers see specific answers.
J. Vernon McGee
points out how this verse does NOT conflict with other gospel
accounts of the healing of the blind men. As usual, if you study it
out, you find that man is always at fault. God’s word is perfect
and without error.
Before we look at this
incident, I should mention that critics of the Bible find in this a
contradiction, because Matthew speaks of two blind men, while Mark
and Luke mention only one. However, if you will read this passage
carefully, you will see that Matthew and Mark obviously refer to a
work of healing as Jesus departed from Jericho. Bartimaeus, the
active one of the two, the one who cried, “… Jesus, thou son of
David… ,” is specifically mentioned in Mark 10:46. The healing
described by Luke, in verses 40–43, occurred before Jesus entered
Jericho. This man also used the familiar form of address, “son of
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4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth
more and more unto the perfect day.
e-mail at: email@example.com
Practice Random Acts of Kindness. Each act spreads, and many will
executive editor; Edward E. Hinson and Michael Kroll
Woodrow, general editors, KJV Bible commentary [computer
file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville:
Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1994.
Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible,
(Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.
McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file],
electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas
Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.