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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Luke 19

 

 

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 7446)

Luke 19:3Comments- 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 19:4Comments- 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 19:5Comments- 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 19:8Comments- 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 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 19:12Comments - 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 (G 4231) means, "to busy oneself with, i.e. to trade."

Comments- That Isaiah , 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 19:23Word Study on "bank" - Gesenius says the Greek word τράπεζα (G 5132) 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 (G 5133) in the Parable of the Talents to mean, "a money-changer, banker" (Gesenius) ( Matthew 25:27). The Scriptures also use the Greek word κολλυβιστή ς (G 2855) 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, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [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 19:24Illustration- 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 28-38

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


Verses 28-48

Prophecy of His Arrival - Luke 19:28-47 contains a prophecy of Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem when the multitudes cry out a passage from Psalm 118:26.

Psalm 118:26, "Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the LORD: we have blessed you out of the house of the LORD."

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem — Luke 19:28-40

2. Jesus Weeps Over Jerusalem — Luke 19:41-44

3. Jesus Cleanses the Temple — Luke 19:45-48

Luke 19:28-40 — The Triumphant Entry ( Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, John 12:12-19) - Luke 19:28-40 gives us the story of Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem during the week preceding His Passion.

Luke 19:31Comments - How could God, who created all things, come down to earth, and claim to have a need? Perhaps part of the answer lies in the fact that when Jesus became a man through divine conception, He laid aside the privileges of His pre-incarnate divinity, humbling Himself by living within the limitations of a man. Within the limitations of His physical body, He lived His life as an example of God's unlimited ability and desire to work in a man's in order to train His disciples how to live by faith in God. In other words, Jesus now showed His disciples their full privileges as children of God, in whom the Holy Spirit would dwell, and although they would have needs, God was always ready to meet that need; yet He chose to fulfill that need through the means that was available to mankind, that Isaiah , through the law of faith.

In the story of Jesus' Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem ( Matthew 21:1-11, Mark 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-38, John 12:12-19), Jesus demonstrated to His disciples how their needs were to be met as they learned to be led by the Spirit of God, operating in the gifts of the Spirit, and trusting in divine providence and divine provision. Jesus' public ministry was coming to a close, and His departure was at hand. His disciples must learn how to walk as Jesus walked. Thus, Jesus acknowledges a need, then demonstrates to His disciples how God the Father could meet that need.

Luke 19:35-38Comments- The People Received Jesus- It was a common custom in Palestine for people to go out and meet an important person who was approaching a town to pay an official visit. The leaders of the town would go out to meet him and escort him to his final destination. Thus, the Pharisees saw that the people were looking to Jesus as their coming King to deliver them from Roman oppression.

Luke 19:39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.

Luke 19:40Comments - Perhaps creation is recognizing that their redemption is drawing near with the arrival of Jesus Christ ( Romans 8:19-22).

Luke 19:41-44 — Jesus Weeps Over Jerusalem - In Luke 19:41-44 Jesus weeps over Jerusalem, knowing its pending judgment and destruction by the Romans in A.D 70.

Historical Testimonies of the Destruction of Jerusalem- According to the early Church fathers, the events described in Luke 19:43-44 happened in A.D 70, when Titus besieged the city of Jerusalem. Josephus, the Jewish historian, describes its destruction exactly the way Jesus prophesied it would happen in these verses (see The Wars of the Jews). Eusebius (A.D 260 to 340) tells us that this passage is a reference to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D 70. He goes on to describe the horrors of perhaps the most tragic event in the history of the Jewish people. Both Josephus and Eusebius give many graphic details of the destruction of Jerusalem. Eusebius credits this tragic event to the judgment of God because of the rejection and crucifixion of the Lord and Saviour by the Jews. (Ecclesiastical History 371-10)

Luke 19:42 — "at least in this thy day" - Comments- Many conservative scholars believe that Jesus was referring to the day in which Daniel's 70-week prophecy was to be fulfilled. In Daniel 9:20-27, the prophet prophesied that the Messiah would be cut off in the sixty-ninth week. Based upon the widely held view that each day represents one year, Robert Anderson calculated that if this prophecy began with the decree of Artaxerxes to Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem on March 14, 445 B.C, then 483years of 360 days per year would equal 173 ,880 days counting 1 B.C. and A.D 1as one year. This would place Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, April 6, A.D 32. 269]

269] Robert Anderson, The Coming Prince (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1909).

This is the day that Jesus presented Himself to the nation of Israel as their king. Note:

Zechariah 9:9, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass."

If they would have accepted Him, He could have begun to reign over His people on that day. Instead, it became the week of His rejection by the Jews. Jesus' rejection and crucifixion fits Daniel's prophecy that says the Messiah will be "cut off."

Daniel 9:26, "And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined."

Thus began the age of the Gentile. The last week of Daniel's prophecy has been delayed for the last two thousand years until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled. Note:

Romans 11:25, "For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in."

In verse 44Jesus that the Jews did not know the "time of their visitation." Therefore, the last week of Daniel's prophecy is reserved for the seven-year tribulation period that ushers in the earthly reign of Jesus Christ, but only after a two-thousand year delay.

Within this context, it can be said that the theme of Luke's Gospel could be "The Road to Jerusalem," while the theme of the book of Acts could be "The Road to Jerusalem."

Luke 19:44 — "because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation" - Comments- A day of visitation is a time when God interrupts the natural flow of worldly events and moves supernaturally to effect His divine purpose and plan of redemption upon earth. It is a day when the physical laws of nature yield to the supernatural, divines laws of grace and mercy.

This phrase is also found in 1 Peter 2:12. With this epistle's frequent references to the Second Coming of Christ, the phrase "in the day of visitation" most likely refers to the this event within this epistle, rather than a divine encounter for one individual. In Luke 19:44 if clearly refers to Jesus' First Coming.

1 Peter 1:12, "Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into."

Luke 19:45-48 — Jesus Cleanses the Temple ( Matthew 21:12-17, Mark 11:15-19, John 2:13-22) - In Luke 19:45-48 we have the account of Jesus cleansing the Temple after He enters into Jerusalem. John's parallel account takes place at the beginning if Jesus' ministry, leading many scholars to suggest that this event took place at the beginning and at the end of His earthly ministry.

The Chronological Placement of Jesus Cleansing the Temple - Scholars have noted for centuries that the four Evangelists did not record all of the events of Jesus' public ministry in the same order. While the Synoptic Gospels place the cleansing of the Temple by Jesus at the end of His ministry, John puts this event at the beginning of his Gospel. Although scholars today debate as to the original order of this event, it is not a new concern. For example, Isho'dad of Merv (c. A.D 850), the Syriac bishop of Hadatha, comments on the efforts of the apostle John to set in order the events of Jesus' public ministry because the Synoptic Gospels had recorded some events out of chronological order.

"On account of this reason therefore, he [John the apostle] took special care also about the orders and sequences of the things that were done. This none of these Evangelists took care to do; but they wrote many things that were done first after those that were done last; and many things last, that were spoken and done before the former things; so therefore John did not [do this], but took care to put first the things that were at the first, and after them those that were afterwards; and yet in the middle he left many things out, those that had been related by those others." 270]

270] Margaret Dunlop Gibson, ed. and trans, The Commentaries of Isho'dad of Merv Bishop of Hadatha (c 850 A.D.) in Syriac and English, vol 1, in Horae Semiticae, no 5 (Cambridge: The University Press, 1911), 211-212.

In support of this testimony, Eusebius cites Papias (A.D 60-130), bishop of Hierapolis, who stated that Mark did not always put the events of his Gospel in chronological order.

"It is in the following words: ‘This also the presbyter said: Mark , having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately, though not indeed in order, whatsoever he remembered of the things said or done by Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor followed him, but afterward, as I said, he followed Peter, who adapted his teaching to the needs of his hearers, but with no intention of giving a connected account of the Lord's discourses, so that Mark committed no error while he thus wrote some things as he remembered them. For he was careful of one thing, not to omit any of the things which he had heard, and not to state any of them falsely.' These things are related by Papias concerning Mark." (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 33915)

Luke 19:45Comments- Evidently the scribes and Pharisees made no effort to put the merchants out of God's house, therefore, supporting it. This is comparable to many pastors and leaders today who go along with worldly activities in God's house.

Luke 19:46Comments - The phrase "den of thieves" means that these money changers were overcharging the people, who were required by the Law to purchase their Temple sacrifices. It was very likely that the chief priests received kickbacks for allowing these merchants into the Temple.

The time of this temple-cleansing was during the last part of Jesus" ministry before the Cross. The first cleansing took place at the beginning of Jesus' earthly ministry ( John 2:13-22). Therefore, Jesus cleanses the Temple at the beginning and end of His earthly ministry.

 


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Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Luke 19:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/luke-19.html. 2013.

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