Luke 19

1 He entered Jericho and was passing through it.
2 A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich.
3 He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature.
4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way.
5 When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today."
6 So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him.
7 All who saw it began to grumble and said, "He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner."
8 Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much."
9 Then Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham.
10 For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost."
11 As they were listening to this, he went on to tell a parable, because he was near Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.
12 So he said, "A nobleman went to a distant country to get royal power for himself and then return.
13 He summoned ten of his slaves, and gave them ten pounds, and said to them, "Do business with these until I come back.'
14 But the citizens of his country hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, "We do not want this man to rule over us.'
15 When he returned, having received royal power, he ordered these slaves, to whom he had given the money, to be summoned so that he might find out what they had gained by trading.
16 The first came forward and said, "Lord, your pound has made ten more pounds.'
17 He said to him, "Well done, good slave! Because you have been trustworthy in a very small thing, take charge of ten cities.'
18 Then the second came, saying, "Lord, your pound has made five pounds.'
19 He said to him, "And you, rule over five cities.'
20 Then the other came, saying, "Lord, here is your pound. I wrapped it up in a piece of cloth,
21 for I was afraid of you, because you are a harsh man; you take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.'
22 He said to him, "I will judge you by your own words, you wicked slave! You knew, did you, that I was a harsh man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow?
23 Why then did you not put my money into the bank? Then when I returned, I could have collected it with interest.'
24 He said to the bystanders, "Take the pound from him and give it to the one who has ten pounds.'
25 (And they said to him, "Lord, he has ten pounds!')
26 "I tell you, to all those who have, more will be given; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.
27 But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and slaughter them in my presence.' "
28 After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
29 When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples,
30 saying, "Go into the village ahead of you, and as you enter it you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden. Untie it and bring it here.
31 If anyone asks you, "Why are you untying it?' just say this, "The Lord needs it.' "
32 So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them.
33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, "Why are you untying the colt?"
34 They said, "The Lord needs it."
35 Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it.
36 As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road.
37 As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen,
38 saying, "Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!"
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, order your disciples to stop."
40 He answered, "I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out."
41 As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it,
42 saying, "If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes.
43 Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side.
44 They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God."
45 Then he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there;
46 and he said, "It is written, "My house shall be a house of prayer'; but you have made it a den of robbers."
47 Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill him;
48 but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were spellbound by what they heard.

Luke 19 Commentary

Chapter 19

The conversion of Zaccheus. (1-10) The parable of the nobleman and his servants. (11-27) Christ enters Jerusalem. (28-40) Christ laments over Jerusalem. (41-48)

Verses 1-10 Those who sincerely desire a sight of Christ, like Zaccheus, will break through opposition, and take pains to see him. Christ invited himself to Zaccheus' house. Wherever Christ comes he opens the heart, and inclines it to receive him. He that has a mind to know Christ, shall be known of him. Those whom Christ calls, must humble themselves, and come down. We may well receive him joyfully, who brings all good with him. Zaccheus gave proofs publicly that he was become a true convert. He does not look to be justified by his works, as the Pharisee; but by his good works he will, through the grace of God, show the sincerity of his faith and repentance. Zaccheus is declared to be a happy man, now he is turned from sin to God. Now that he is saved from his sins, from the guilt of them, from the power of them, all the benefits of salvation are his. Christ is come to his house, and where Christ comes he brings salvation with him. He came into this lost world to seek and to save it. His design was to save, when there was no salvation in any other. He seeks those that sought him not, and asked not for him.

Verses 11-27 This parable is like that of the talents, ( Matthew 25 ) . Those that are called to Christ, he furnishes with gifts needful for their business; and from those to whom he gives power, he expects service. The manifestation of the Spirit is given to ( 1 Corinthians. 12:7 ) ( 1 Peter. 4:10 ) account required, resembles that in the parable of the talents; and the punishment of the avowed enemies of Christ, as well as of false professors, is shown. The principal difference is, that the pound given to each seems to point out the gift of the gospel, which is the same to all who hear it; but the talents, distributed more or less, seem to mean that God gives different capacities and advantages to men, by which this one gift of the gospel may be differently improved.

Verses 28-40 Christ has dominion over all creatures, and may use them as he pleases. He has all men's hearts both under his eye and in his hand. Christ's triumphs, and his disciples' joyful praises, vex proud Pharisees, who are enemies to him and to his kingdom. But Christ, as he despises the contempt of the proud, so he accepts the praises of the humble. Pharisees would silence the praises of Christ, but they cannot; for as God can out of stones raise up children unto Abraham, and turn the stony heart to himself, so he can bring praise out of the mouths of children. And what will be the feelings of men when the Lord returns in glory to judge the world!

Verses 41-48 Who can behold the holy Jesus, looking forward to the miseries that awaited his murderers, weeping over the city where his precious blood was about to be shed, without seeing that the likeness of God in the believer, consists much in good-will and compassion? Surely those cannot be right who take up any doctrines of truth, so as to be hardened towards their fellow-sinners. But let every one remember, that though Jesus wept over Jerusalem, he executed awful vengeance upon it. Though he delights not in the death of a sinner, yet he will surely bring to pass his awful threatenings on those who neglect his salvation. The Son of God did not weep vain and causeless tears, nor for a light matter, nor for himself. He knows the value of souls, the weight of guilt, and how low it will press and sink mankind. May he then come and cleanse our hearts by his Spirit, from all that defiles. May sinners, on every side, become attentive to the words of truth and salvation.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. The mina, rendered here by [pound,] was about three months' wages for a laborer
  • [b]. Gk lacks [from God]

Luke 19 Commentaries

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.