Luke Chapter Nineteen
v.1-2 “1And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. 2And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.”
As noted in our discussion about the
blind man healed on the road to
v.3-4 “3And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. 4And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.”
Zacchaeus was one who sought to see
Jesus, not just out of idle curiosity but he was determined that he would see
him. He was a small man. For the rest of my life I will always
associate him with Mark Aites, who preaches for the church at
v.5-6 “5And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. 6And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.’
Jesus knew the heart of this man; that he was a good man, he knew the reason he was in the tree and the effort that he went to in order to see him. So Zacchaeus was not only rewarded by being able see Jesus but Jesus also invited himself to stay in his house. Even though Zacchaeus was a very prominent man, rich and in authority over other tax-collectors he came down from his perch and “RECEIVED” Jesus “JOYFULLY.”
v.7 “And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.”
They, we don’t know who all is included in this “THEY” but just as the scribes and Pharisees did on the occasion recorded in Luke 5:30; they condemned Jesus for associating with a man they considered to be a sinner. The Jews hated the publicans because of their service to the Roman government and, of course, because they were paid out of the taxes they collected or worked on a percentage basis; many were corrupt as well.
v.8 “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.”
Zacchaeus probably heard the murmurings of the people. Yes, he was a publican, yes, he was in a position that would have allowed him to abuse his authority but his integrity would not allow him to stand by and just accept the accusations made against him. He stood, the same word we found in Luke 18:11, he took a posture and declared to Jesus that he gave half of his income to the poor, half, yet he was rich. Can we out give God? Absolutely not. Not only did he give half his income away, if he took anything or exacted taxes against someone based upon incorrect information, he restored to that person four times the amount that was taken. Why would he do that? It was the spirit of the Mosaic Law.
Exodus 22:1 “1If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep”
When confronted with Nathan’s example designed to convict David of his sin with Bathsheba, he makes reference to that requirement.
II Samuel 12:6 “6And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”
v.9-10 “9And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
“This day is salvation come to this house”, Jesus saw in the heart of this man a penitent and contrite spirit. He was a welcome guest, just as he must be in our houses and hearts today. This man, though a man of authority and prominence in his community was willing and ready to receive instruction from Jesus and just as willing to follow from the heart that instruction.
Jesus also notes that this man was a “son of Abraham”, a Hebrew, one of the chosen of God, but lost, and because of his receptiveness; one that Jesus had come to seek and to save. Paul says that all of us that are of “Faith” are also spiritual children of Abraham and enjoy the same blessing:
Galatians 3:7 “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.”
v.11 “And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.”
Jesus now gives the multitude some
instruction in the form of a parable.
They are coming near to
v.12-13 “12He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return. 13And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.”
Though this parable is very similar
to the parable of the talents it was given at a different time and for a
different purpose. This parable was
actually presented to the entire multitude during Jesus journey to
A nobleman or ruler goes into a far country but before he goes, he calls in ten of his servants and gives them a small amount of money to manage while he is gone. The word translated “pound” here is the Greek “mimas” and is equal to about sixteen or eighteen dollars, whereas the “talent” in the parable of the talents was a large amount equal to about one thousand dollars. In this parable the nobleman (Jesus) is transferring only a small portion of his goods to test the faithfulness of his servants, in the parable of the talents the nobleman (Jesus) is transferring his entire substance on earth to his disciples. Matthew 25:14-30
v.14 “14But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.”
The nobleman was hated; his citizens
didn’t want him to rule over them. H.
Leo Boles points out in his commentary that this has a parallel in secular
history. When Herod died his son,
Archelaus, traveled to
v.15 “And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.”
In spite of the opposition of his citizens this nobleman received his authority to rule over this kingdom. So when he returns he calls in his servants for an accounting of the funds that he gave them to trade and get gain, which is what the word “occupy” in verse 13 means they should do.
The day of reckoning has come, just as the day of reckoning will come for all those whom God has given blessings when we present the results of our stewardship in the day of judgment. Judgment that Peter tells will begin with us:
I Peter “17For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?”
v.16-17 “16Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. 17And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.”
The first servant called to give an account is very faithful to his Lord’s instructions. He has taken the pound that he was given and through his stewardship it has been multiplied ten times. Consequently he is given the authority to rule over ten cities in the nobleman’s new kingdom.
v.18-19 “18And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. 19And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.”
The second servant didn’t do as well as the first but he still has a good report and has multiplied his pound by five and is given a proportionate reward as ruler over five cities.
v.20-21 “20And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: 21For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.”
We’re not given an account of all ten of these servants, just three because that is all that is needed to make the point that Jesus wants to make with this parable. The next servant is simply called “another” servant and his report is not at all what this nobleman wants to hear. Because he says that his lord is a austere man, (what does this mean? Severe in manner, strict, harsh, stern) he was afraid to take any kind of risk with the pound he was given. He was afraid of failing, so he did nothing. He wrapped his lord’s money in something translated as a napkin. Do we know what that was? Who has seen a bandanna handkerchief? They came in red or blue when I was a boy and we used them to wipe sweat. This servant didn’t need it for that purpose so he used it to wrap his lord’s pound for safe keeping.
v.22-23 “22And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: 23Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?”
The nobleman says that this servants very own words have condemned him. He’s like the Amalekite who killed Saul and Jonathan; when he presented the crown and bracelet to David expecting a reward David condemned him to die:
I Samuel 1:16 “16And David said unto him, Thy blood be upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying, I have slain the LORD’S anointed.”
This nobleman also says that the least that this servant could have done was to put his money in the bank, or money lenders, so that it might gain interest.
v.24 “24And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.”
We do not read here of any special punishment for this unfaithful servant just complete rejection by his lord. Any blessings or privileges that this servant may have enjoyed are taken away and he is cast aside as worthless. We too, if found to be unfaithful servants will be cast aside by God, the difference being that if we are cast aside by God we will also suffer eternal separation and punishment along with his enemies.
v.25-26 “25(And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.) 26For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.”
The nobleman’s servants don’t understand why the one who gained ten pounds should receive the single pound that he has removed from the unfaithful servant. They react the way most people would today, he already has ten, why give him more. Jesus now makes the point intended with this parable. When we fail to use the trust given us by God, however small we may think that to be, we will lose it. At the same time the one who is found faithful will be blessed with increased blessings. This is a principle that he has taught many times and in fact is recorded for us in scripture that we have studied before in this series: Matthew 13:12, Matthew 25:29, Mark 4:25 and:
Luke “Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.”
v.27 “27But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”
Jesus here refers back to his example in verse 14. Those that hated him, those that were his enemies, those that rebelled against him and refused to allow him to rule over them would be destroyed. When the king comes into his kingdom they will be treated as rebels in the final judgment and they will receive just recompense just as the Hebrew writer tells us:
Hebrews 2:2-3 “2For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; 3How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;”
v.28 “28And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.”
When he finished his discourse Jesus
continues on his journey. You go up from
v.29 “29And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples,”
Jesus is now in the place from which
he will make his final entrance into
v.30 “30Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither.”
Jesus prepares for his entry into the city. He sends two of his disciples to secure a colt “WHEREON YET NEVER MAN SAT”. Why did Jesus want an animal that had never been ridden, seems like that may be somewhat dangerous? Under Mosaic Law they were not to use animals that had been worked or used for any other purpose for sacrifices or any other sacred purpose.
Numbers 19:2 “2This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring thee a red heifer without spot, wherein is no blemish, and upon which never came yoke:”
When David recovered the Ark of the Covenant from the Philistines, he didn’t do much of anything else right but he did do this part right. I Samuel 6:7
v.31-32 “31And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. 32And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them.”
He also tells his disciples that if anyone questions them, or asks why they are taking the animal they are simply to say that the Lord has need of him. Jesus in his divine wisdom knew what they would find, knew where they were to go and what preparations had already been made for him.
v.33-34 “33And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? 34And they said, The Lord hath need of him.”
When they take the colt, either the owner or his servants apparently see them and do ask why they are doing what they’re doing. They give the answer that Jesus told them to give and there were no further questions or objections.
v.35-36 “35And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. 36And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way.”
The disciples brought the colt to Jesus and prepared him to be ridden by putting their mantles on his back and then set Jesus on him. These mantles apparently belonged to Jesus disciples. The balance of the multitude spread their clothes before Jesus for him to ride over. Matthew 21:8 says that they also spread the branches of trees in his path, John tells us that it was palm tree branches. What religious man-made holiday is celebrated in remembrance of this occurrence? Palm Sunday. Why did they spread their clothes in his path? It was a sign of honor:
II Kings “13Then they hasted, and took every man his garment, and put it under him on the top of the stairs, and blew with trumpets, saying, Jehu is king.”
v.37 “37And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;”
Jesus is descending the mount of
Olives into the Kidron valley going toward the city of
v.38 “38Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.”
Matthew 21:9, Mark 11:9-10 record their actual words
calling Jesus the Son of David, one who was coming in the name of the Lord, the
Messiah who was to bring the kingdom of God to Jerusalem. They believed on Jesus at this point and
thought that he had come to take over the throne of David and rule the
Israelite nation from
John “15When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.”
v.39-40 “39And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. 40And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”
Jesus enemies are still with
him. They don’t appreciate the tumult,
they especially don’t like the idea that the multitude is claiming that Jesus
is the promised Messiah, the Son of David, the one who is to become the ruler
v.41-42 “41And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 42Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.”
As the procession descends the mount
of Olives and the city comes into view, Jesus weeps over
Matthew 13:15 “15For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”
v.43-44 “43For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, 44And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.”
The days of
Micah “12Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.”
Isaiah 29:3-4 “3And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee. 4And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.”
v.45-46 “45And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; 46Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.”
After his description of the
destruction of this city and his entrance into it Jesus goes to the
temple. He, of course, did not enter
into the sacred places restricted to the priests, as he was not a priest under
the Mosaic Law but entered the porches and courts that were open to regular
John 2:14-15 “14And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: 15And 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;”
As it is written; the temple was supposed to be a house of prayer, the prophets speak of it as such:
Isaiah 56:7 “7Even them will I bring to my
But they had made it a den of thieves, people gouging those that traveled a long way to attend the feasts because they needed animals for sacrifice and because they needed to exchange the money from their homelands to the temple shekels that were required to make their offering. The words of Jeremiah’s question have indeed come to pass:
Jeremiah “11Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the LORD.”
v.47-48 “47And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, 48And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.”
Jesus earthly life is about to come
to an end. He is teaching daily in the
temple, returning to