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The Catholic Study Bible A special version of the New American Bible, with a wealth of background information useful to Catholics.

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Commentary on Luke

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Commentary spanning earlier chapters

18, 15–19, 27 :

Luke here includes much of the material about the journey to Jerusalem found in his Marcan source ( 10, 1–52 ) and adds to it the story of Zacchaeus ( 19, 1–10 ) from his own particular tradition and the parable of the gold coins (minas) ( 19, 11–27 ) from Q, the source common to Lk and Mt.

19, 1–10 :

The story of the tax collector Zacchaeus is unique to this gospel. While a rich man (2), Zacchaeus provides a contrast to the rich man of 18, 18–23 who cannot detach himself from his material possessions to become a follower of Jesus. Zacchaeus, according to Luke, exemplifies the proper attitude toward wealth: he promises to give half of his possessions to the poor (8) and consequently is the recipient of salvation (9–10).

19, 9 :

A descendant of Abraham: literally, “a son of Abraham.” The tax collector Zacchaeus, whose repentance is attested by his determination to amend his former ways, shows himself to be a true descendant of Abraham, the true heir to the promises of God in the Old Testament. Underlying Luke's depiction of Zacchaeus as a descendant of Abraham, the father of the Jews ( 1, 73; 16, 22–31 ), is his recognition of the central place occupied by Israel in the plan of salvation.

19, 10 :

This verse sums up for Luke his depiction of the role of Jesus as savior in this gospel.

19, 11–27 :

In this parable Luke has combined two originally distinct parables: (1) a parable about the conduct of faithful and productive servants (13.15b–26) and (2) a parable about a rejected king (12.14–15a.27). The story about the conduct of servants occurs in another form in Mt 25, 14–20 . The story about the rejected king may have originated with a contemporary historical event. After the death of Herod the Great, his son Archelaus traveled to Rome to receive the title of king. A delegation of Jews appeared in Rome before Caesar Augustus to oppose the request of Archelaus. Although not given the title of king, Archelaus was made ruler over Judea and Samaria. As the story is used by Luke, however, it furnishes a correction to the expectation of the imminent end of the age and of the establishment of the kingdom in Jerusalem (11). Jesus is not on his way to Jerusalem to receive the kingly power; for that, he must go away and only after returning from the distant country (a reference to the parousia) will reward and judgment take place.

19, 13 :

Ten gold coins: literally, “ten minas.” A mina was a monetary unit that in ancient Greece was the equivalent of one hundred drachmas.

19, 28–21, 38 :

With the royal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, a new section of Luke's gospel begins, the ministry of Jesus in Jerusalem before his death and resurrection. Luke suggests that this was a lengthy ministry in Jerusalem ( 19, 47; 20, 1; 21, 37–38; 22, 53 ) and it is characterized by Jesus' daily teaching in the temple ( 21, 37–38 ). For the story of the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, see also Mt 21, 1–11; Mk 11, 1–10; Jn 12, 12–19 and the notes there.

19, 38 :

Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord: only in Lk is Jesus explicitly given the title king when he enters Jerusalem in triumph. Luke has inserted this title into the words of Ps 118, 26 that heralded the arrival of the pilgrims coming to the holy city and to the temple. Jesus is thereby acclaimed as king (see 1, 32 ) and as the one who comes (see Mal 3, 1; Lk 7, 19 ). Peace in heaven …: the acclamation of the disciples of Jesus in Lk echoes the announcement of the angels at the birth of Jesus ( 2, 14 ). The peace Jesus brings is associated with the salvation to be accomplished here in Jerusalem.

19, 39 :

Rebuke your disciples: this command, found only in Lk, was given so that the Roman authorities would not interpret the acclamation of Jesus as king as an uprising against them; cf 23, 2–3 .

19, 41–44 :

The lament for Jerusalem is found only in Lk. By not accepting Jesus (the one who mediates peace), Jerusalem will not find peace but will become the victim of devastation.

19, 43–44 :

Luke may be describing the actual disaster that befell Jerusalem in A.D. 70 when it was destroyed by the Romans during the First Revolt.

19, 45–46 :

Immediately upon entering the holy city, Jesus in a display of his authority enters the temple (see Mal 3, 1–3 ) and lays claim to it after cleansing it that it might become a proper place for his teaching ministry in Jerusalem (19, 47; 20, 1; 21, 37; 22, 53). See Mt 21, 12–17; Mk 11, 15–19; Jn 2, 13–17 and the notes there.

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