Luke 18

Parables on Prayer

1 Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they 1ought to pray and not to 2lose heart,
2 saying, "In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not 3respect man.
3 "There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, 'Give me legal protection from my opponent.'
4 "For a while he was unwilling *; but afterward * he said to himself, 'Even though I do not fear God nor 4respect man,
5 yet 5because this widow bothers * me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise * by continually * coming she will 6wear me out.' "
6 And 7the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge said;
7 now, will not God 8bring about justice for His 9elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He 10delay long over them?
8 "I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, 11will He find faith on the earth?"

The Pharisee and the Publican

9 And He also told this parable to some people who 12trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and 13viewed others with contempt:
10 "Two men 14went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
11 "The Pharisee 15stood and was praying this to himself: 'God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
12 'I 16fast twice a week; I 17pay tithes of all that I get.'
13 "But the tax collector, 18standing some distance away, 19was even unwilling * to lift up his eyes to heaven, but 20was beating his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, the sinner!'
14 "I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; 21for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted."
15 22And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them.
16 But Jesus called for them, saying, "Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
17 "Truly I say to you, 23whoever * does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all."

The Rich Young Ruler

18 24A ruler questioned Him, saying, "Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
19 And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.
20 "You know the commandments, '25DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, DO NOT MURDER, DO NOT STEAL, DO NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS, HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.' "
21 And he said, "All these things I have kept from my youth."
22 When Jesus heard this, He said to him, "One thing you still lack; 26sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have 27treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me."
23 But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.
24 And Jesus looked at him and said, "28How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!
25 "For 29it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
26 They who heard it said, "Then who can be saved?"
27 But He said, "30The things that are impossible with people are possible with God."
28 Peter said, "Behold, 31we have left our own homes and followed You."
29 And He said to them, "Truly I say to you, 32there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God,
30 who will not receive many times as much at this time and in 33the age to come, eternal life."
31 34Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, "Behold, 35we are going up to Jerusalem, and 36all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished.
32 "37For He will be handed over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon,
33 and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again."
34 But 38the disciples understood none of these things, and the meaning of this statement was hidden from them, and they did not comprehend the things that were said.

Bartimaeus Receives Sight

35 39As 40Jesus was approaching Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the road begging.
36 Now hearing a crowd going by, he began to inquire what this was.
37 They told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by.
38 And he called out, saying, "Jesus, 41Son of David, have mercy on me!"
39 Those who led the way were sternly telling him to be quiet; but he kept crying out all the more, "42Son of David, have mercy on me!"
40 And Jesus stopped and commanded that he be brought to Him; and when he came near, He questioned him,
41 "What do you want Me to do for you?" And he said, "Lord, I want to regain my sight!"
42 And Jesus said to him, "Receive your sight; 43your faith has made you well."
43 Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him, 44glorifying God; and when 45all the people saw it, they gave praise to God.

Images for Luke 18

Luke 18 Commentary

Chapter 18

The parable of the importunate widow. (1-8) The Pharisee and the publican. (9-14) Children brought to Christ. (15-17) The ruler hindered by his riches. (18-30) Christ foreshows his death. (31-34) A blind man restored to sight. (35-43)

Verses 1-8 All God's people are praying people. Here earnest steadiness in prayer for spiritual mercies is taught. The widow's earnestness prevailed even with the unjust judge: she might fear lest it should set him more against her; but our earnest prayer is pleasing to our God. Even to the end there will still be ground for the same complaint of weakness of faith.

Verses 9-14 This parable was to convince some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others. God sees with what disposition and design we come to him in holy ordinances. What the Pharisee said, shows that he trusted to himself that he was righteous. We may suppose he was free from gross and scandalous sins. All this was very well and commendable. Miserable is the condition of those who come short of the righteousness of this Pharisee, yet he was not accepted; and why not? He went up to the temple to pray, but was full of himself and his own goodness; the favour and grace of God he did not think worth asking. Let us beware of presenting proud devotions to the Lord, and of despising others. The publican's address to God was full of humility, and of repentance for sin, and desire toward God. His prayer was short, but to the purpose; God be merciful to me a sinner. Blessed be God, that we have this short prayer upon record, as an answered prayer; and that we are sure that he who prayed it, went to his house justified; for so shall we be, if we pray it, as he did, through Jesus Christ. He owned himself a sinner by nature, by practice, guilty before God. He had no dependence but upon the mercy of God; upon that alone he relied. And God's glory is to resist the proud, and give grace to the humble. Justification is of God in Christ; therefore the self-condemned, and not the self-righteous, are justified before God.

Verses 15-17 None are too little, too young, to be brought to Christ, who knows how to show kindness to those not capable of doing service to him. It is the mind of Christ, that little children should be brought to him. The promise is to us, and to our seed; therefore He will bid them welcome to him with us. And we must receive his kingdom as children, not by purchase, and must call it our Father's gift.

Verses 18-30 Many have a great deal in them very commendable, yet perish for lack of some one thing; so this ruler could not bear Christ's terms, which would part between him and his estate. Many who are loth to leave Christ, yet do leave him. After a long struggle between their convictions and their corruptions, their corruptions carry the day. They are very sorry that they cannot serve both; but if one must be quitted, it shall be their God, not their wordly gain. Their boasted obedience will be found mere outside show; the love of the world in some form or other lies at the root. Men are apt to speak too much of what they have left and lost, of what they have done and suffered for Christ, as Peter did. But we should rather be ashamed that there has been any regret or difficulty in doing it.

Verses 31-34 The Spirit of Christ, in the Old Testament prophets, testified beforehand his sufferings, and the glory that should ( 1 Peter. 1:11 ) that they would not understand these things literally. They were so intent upon the prophecies which spake of Christ's glory, that they overlooked those which spake of his sufferings. People run into mistakes, because they read their Bibles by halves, and are only for the smooth things. We are as backward to learn the proper lessons from the sufferings, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ, as the disciples were to what he told them as to those events; and for the same reason; self-love, and a desire of worldly objects, close our understandings.

Verses 35-43 This poor blind man sat by the wayside, begging. He was not only blind, but poor, the fitter emblem of the world of mankind which Christ came to heal and save. The prayer of faith, guided by Christ's encouraging promises, and grounded on them, shall not be in vain. The grace of Christ ought to be thankfully acknowledged, to the glory of God. It is for the glory of God if we follow Jesus, as those will do whose eyes are opened. We must praise God for his mercies to others, as well as for mercies to ourselves. Would we rightly understand these things, we must come to Christ, like the blind man, earnestly beseeching him to open our eyes, and to show us clearly the excellence of his precepts, and the value of his salvation.

Cross References 45

  • 1. Luke 11:5-10
  • 2. 2 Corinthians 4:1
  • 3. Luke 18:4; Luke 20:13; Hebrews 12:9
  • 4. Luke 18:2; Luke 20:13; Hebrews 12:9
  • 5. Luke 11:8
  • 6. 1 Corinthians 9:27
  • 7. Luke 7:13
  • 8. Revelation 6:10
  • 9. Matthew 24:22; Romans 8:33; Colossians 3:12; 2 Timothy 2:10; Titus 1:1
  • 10. 2 Peter 3:9
  • 11. Luke 17:26f
  • 12. Luke 16:15
  • 13. Romans 14:3, 10
  • 14. 1 Kings 10:5; 2 Kings 20:5, 8; Acts 3:1
  • 15. Matthew 6:5; Mark 11:25; Luke 22:41
  • 16. Matthew 9:14
  • 17. Luke 11:42
  • 18. Matthew 6:5; Mark 11:25; Luke 22:41
  • 19. Ezra 9:6
  • 20. Luke 23:48
  • 21. Matthew 23:12; Luke 14:11
  • 22. Luke 18:15-17: {Matthew 19:13-15; Mark 10:13-16}
  • 23. Matthew 18:3; Matthew 19:14; Mark 10:15; 1 Corinthians 14:20; 1 Peter 2:2
  • 24. Luke 18:18-30: {Matthew 19:16-29; Mark 10:17-30;} Luke 10:25-28
  • 25. Exodus 20:12-16; Deuteronomy 5:16-20
  • 26. Matthew 19:21; Luke 12:33
  • 27. Matthew 6:20
  • 28. Matthew 19:23; Mark 10:23
  • 29. Matthew 19:24; Mark 10:25
  • 30. Matthew 19:26
  • 31. Luke 5:11
  • 32. Matthew 6:33; Matthew 19:29; Mark 10:29
  • 33. Matthew 12:32
  • 34. Luke 18:31-33: {Matthew 20:17-19; Mark 10:32-34}
  • 35. Luke 9:51
  • 36. Psalms 22; Isaiah 53
  • 37. Matthew 16:21
  • 38. Mark 9:32; Luke 9:45
  • 39. Luke 18:35-43: {Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52}
  • 40. Matthew 20:29; Mark 10:46; Luke 19:1
  • 41. Matthew 9:27; Luke 18:39
  • 42. Luke 18:38
  • 43. Matthew 9:22
  • 44. Matthew 9:8
  • 45. Luke 9:43; Luke 13:17; Luke 19:37

Footnotes 12

Luke 18 Commentaries