Luke chapters 18 and 19 take us to what his Gospel account means. In chapter 9, Peter owned Jesus as the Messiah, and Jesus immediately begins to tell them why He was sent with verse 22. As the end is drawing near, and they must understand this, He tells them again four more times with 9:44, 12:50, 13:33 and 17:25, but not plainly. He makes it perfectly clear with 18:32+33, but they still do not understand. These matters are the heart of #5, the Gospel and how that, in just 10 words, ‘Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead‘. Now, here in chapter 19, and just before we commence Passion Week, we come to the very heart, meaning and purpose of all Luke’s Gospel account.
Within chapter 18, we already saw that the need was for #1, righteousness with the rich young ruler and verses 18 thru 22, and that only God has it. It is intimated that the righteousness needed in order to gain eternal life comes through a most simple and child-like #7, faith, as verses 15 thru 17 demonstrate. Finally, with verses 31 thru 33, we are told just what it is that we all need to believe in, and that it has everything to do with the 2 elements of #5, the Gospel and Jesus being killed and rising again! Chapter 18 is rich! The chapter concludes on what is believed to be the Friday before Passion Week, and Jesus entering the city of Jericho on His way to Jerusalem with verses 35 thru 43. He gives sight to a blind beggar and makes the point of the necessity for #7, faith in Him, verse 42.
Chapter 19 opens with that passage that gives us the very reason for His coming. In verses 1 thru 10, we have the story of wee Zacchaeus, a tax collector. In the account, Zacchaeus acknowledges that he is a #2, sinner, and is willing to make restitution in verses 7 and 8. This demonstrates that important issue of #6, repentance. The result is that salvation has come to him, illustrative of the #8, New Birth, and that it is not because Zacchaeus has saved himself, but it is because Jesus had come to seek and to save what was lost! Zacchaeus repented, and believed upon Jesus. Jesus forgave him of all his sins and saved him! As with Matthew 20:28, and Mark 10:45, we have here Luke’s purpose verse around which all of his Gospel account serves to elevate. Luke’s question to you is: Are you lost in your sins? Will you let Jesus save you? It’s what the Book is all about!
On their way up to Jerusalem, the next passage, verses 11 thru 27, is to explain that He will not be bringing the kingdom right away, but will be going away, and returning to establish it later, and that His own will have responsibilities and services to perform for Him ’til He returns. Passion Week then commences with 19:28. We begin there next….
Harold F Crowell