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The Gospel According to Luke: Chapter 19

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1He entered Jericho and was passing through it. 2A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. 3He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. 5When 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.” 6So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. 7All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.” 8Zacchaeus 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.” 9Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”

11As 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. 12So he said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to get royal power for himself and then return. 13He summoned ten of his slaves, and gave them ten pounds, a Gk him those who were with him and said to them, ‘Do business with these until I come back.’ 14But the citizens of his country hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to rule over us.’ 15When 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. 16The first came forward and said, ‘Lord, your pound has made ten more pounds.’ 17He said to him, ‘Well done, good slave! Because you have been trustworthy in a very small thing, take charge of ten cities.’ 18Then the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your pound has made five pounds.’ 19He said to him, ‘And you, rule over five cities.’ 20Then the other came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your pound. I wrapped it up in a piece of cloth, 21for 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.’ 22He 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? 23Why then did you not put my money into the bank? Then when I returned, I could have collected it with interest.’ 24He 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. 27But 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.’ ”

28After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

29When he had come near Bethphage and Bethany, at the place called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of the disciples, 30saying, “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. 31If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ just say this, ‘The Lord needs it.’ ” 32So those who were sent departed and found it as he had told them. 33As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34They said, “The Lord needs it.” 35Then they brought it to Jesus; and after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. 37As 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, 38saying,

“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!”

39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” 40He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”

41As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42saying, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43Indeed, 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. 44They 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.” a Gk tetrarch

45Then he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; 46and he said, “It is written,

‘My house shall be a house of prayer’; but you have made it a den of robbers.”

47Every 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; 48but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were spellbound by what they heard.


e Gk him those who were with him

f Gk tetrarch

Text Commentary view alone
Commentary spanning earlier chapters

4.16–30 : Jesus in Nazareth

(Mt 13.53–58; Mk 6.1–6 ). Luke has transposed this incident to make it a frontispiece at the outset of Jesus' ministry. The parallel account in Mark 6.1–6 follows earlier appear ances and work in Galilee; statements in Luke's version of this incident seem out of sequence because Jesus has not yet engaged in the specific ministry to which he refers in this speech (v. 23 ). The details given here of synagogue worship are the earliest accounts of them.

17 :

The scroll of … Isaiah was given to Jesus by the “chazzan” or attendant of the synagogue (v. 20 ). Scrolls were kept in a special place in the synagogue and were given to readers by the attendant.

18–19 :

Isa 61.1; 58.6; 61.2 .

24–27 :

Traditions of the prophets (1 Kings 17.8–16; 2 Kings 5.1–14 ) illustrate that foreigners sometimes experienced God's aid when Israel did not.

28 :

The hostile reaction comes in response to Jesus' references to Gentiles (vv. 24–27 ), not to his apparent messianic claims (v. 21 ).

9.51–19.27 : Jesus' journey to Jerusalem with his followers

(Mt 19.1–20.34; Mk 10.1–52 ). This section, most of which is found only in Luke, reports the ministry of Jesus in Samaria and Judea.

19.1–10 : Zacchaeus's salvation.

Although he is rich, Zacchaeus's response to Jesus is a striking contrast to that of the rich man in 18.18–23 .

1 :

Because of its location Jericho was an important customs center.

2 :

As chief tax collector Zacchaeus had contracted with the Roman overlords for the right to collect revenues (lit. “tolls”) in the district. His neighbors despised him for sharing in the Roman domination (v. 7 ).

7 :

5.29–30; 15.1–2 .

8 :

I will give, henceforth, a vow amounting to repentance. Four times as much, cf. Ex 22.1; Lev 6.5; Num 5.6–7 .

9 :

Salvation, or the kingdom of God, has come in Jesus' presence and message and evinces itself in Zacchaeus's transformation.

10 :

A summary of Jesus' ministry in the entire Gospel; see ch 15 .

19.11–27 : Parable of the ten pounds

(Mt 25.14–30; Mk 13.34 ). The parable alludes to the journey of Archelaus to Rome in 4 BCE to assure his succession to his father Herod's throne; his mission was opposed by a delegation of leaders from Judea (Josephus Ant. 17.9.4; 17.10 ).

11 :

9.51; 13.22; 17.11; 18.31 .

13 :

Ten pounds, lit. “ten minas,” golden coins, each of which equaled a hundred drachmas (see 15.8n. ).

17 :

16.10 .

26 :

see 8.18 .

19.28–21.38 : Jesus' ministry in Jerusalem

(Mt 21.1–24.36; Mk 11.1–13.37 ).

19.28–40 : The entry into Jerusalem

(Mt 21.1–9; Mk 11.1–10 ). Jn 12.12–18 .

29 :

Bethphage and Bethany, villages just east of Jerusalem.

32 :

22.13 .

36 :

Cf. 2 Kings 9.13 .

37 :

The road crossed a ridge into the Kidron valley.

38 :

Incorporates a phrase from Ps 118.26; see Zech 9.9; Lk 13.35 . This scene depicts a royal entry, naming Jesus as king, a title that will be used in the charges against Jesus before Pilate in 23.2 .

39–40 :

Hab 2.11 .

19.41–44 : Weeping over Jerusalem.

See 13.33–34; cf. 23.27–31 . These verses may reflect historical knowledge of the actual destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE.

43 :

21.20–24; 21.6; Isa 29.3; Jer 6.6; Ezek 4.2 . Your enemies, the Roman army. Ramparts, palisade that would keep out all supplies of food.

44 :

Ps 137.9; Hos 10.14; 13.16 .

19.45–46 : Cleansing of the Temple

(Mt 21.12–13; Mk 11.15–17; Jn 2.13–17 ). In this display of authority in the Temple, Jesus dramatically acts out Mal 3.1–2 .

45 :

Selling the prescribed offerings, as in 2.24; Lev 1.14 .

46 :

Isa 56.7; Jer 7.11 .

19.47–48 :

The religious leaders' hostility toward Jesus (Mk 11.18–19 ).

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