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Luke 19


Jesus and Zaccheus Jesus Comes to Zaccheus' Home Zaccheus Jesus and Zaccheus Zaccheus
19:1-10 19:1-10 19:1-10 19:1-5 19:1-10
The Parable of the Ten Pounds The Parable of the Minas Parable of the Pounds The Parable of the Gold Coins Parable of the Pounds
19:11-27 19:11-27 19:11-27 19:11-14 19:11-14
      19:15-27 19:15-26
    The Last Week
The Triumphal Entry Into Jerusalem The Triumphal Entry Palm Sunday The Triumphant Approach to Jerusalem The Messiah Enters Jerusalem
19:28-36 19:28-40 19:28 19:28-31 19:28-34
19:37-40     19:37-38 Jesus Defends His Disciples for Acclaiming Him
      19:39 19:39-40
  Jesus Weeps Over Jerusalem   Jesus Weeps Over Jerusalem Lament for Jerusalem
19:41-44 19:41-44 19:41-44 19:41-44 19:41-44
The Cleansing of the Temple Jesus Cleanses the Temple Cleansing the Temple Jesus Goes to the Temple The Expulsion of the Dealers from the Temple
19:45-46 19:45-46 19:45-46 19:45-46 19:45-46
        Jesus Teaches in the Temple
19:47-48 19:47-48 19:47-48 19:47-48 19:47-48

READING CYCLE THREE (from "A Guide to Good Bible Reading")


This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects. Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.



 1He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. 3Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. 4So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. 5When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, "Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house." 6And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly. 7When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner." 8Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much." 9And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. 10For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost."

19:1 "Jericho" Jericho is one of the most ancient cities in the world. It is located about nineteen miles northeast of Jerusalem on the western side of the Jordan River close to the mouth of the Dead Sea. It was noted for its balsam wood and date palms (cf. Josephus, Antiq. 15.4.2). It was once Anthony's gift to Cleopatra. There were apparently an old town and a new town, which helped explain the apparent discrepancy in the Synoptics between "entering" (Luke 18:35; 19:1) and "leaving" (Matt. 20:29; Mark 10:46).

▣ "was passing through" Luke uses this term often. It is a compound of dia and erchomai. Here it is an imperfect middle (deponent) indicative, which denotes the beginning of an action. This same tense can emphasize repeated action in past time, but this meaning does not make sense in this context. Context, not lexicons or Greek grammar, is the key to authorial intent. Words and forms have meaning only in a specific literary context.

Here are some examples of how Luke uses this term.

1. "to proceed," Luke 2:15 (cf. Acts 9:38)

2. "to pierce through," Luke 3:35

3. "to pass through," Luke 4:30

4. "to spread abroad a rumor," Luke 5:15

5. "to pass over," Luke 8:22

6. "to pass along," Luke 9:4

7. "to travel through a country," Luke 9:6


19:2 "Zaccheus" This is a Hebrew term meaning "pure" or "innocent" (cf. BDB 269). He will fulfill his name in this encounter with Jesus.

▣ "he was a chief tax collector" The term architelōnēs is very unusual and is not found in the Septuagint, Koine Papyri, or Greek literature, but it seems to mean that he was a tax commissioner over the district of Jericho. He would have purchased this position from the Roman authorities. The local Jews hated and ostracized those who worked for Rome because they often, if not always, overtaxed them. This is how they made their salaries.

▣ "and he was rich" Although he had wealth, he was not happy. He seems to be a perfect example of the truth found in Luke 18:24-27. Zaccheus is a literary foil to the rich, young ruler of Luke 18. See SPECIAL TOPIC: WEALTH at Luke 12:21.

19:3 "was trying to see who Jesus was" This imperfect tense here means continual action in past time. The Holy Spirit had already done His work drawing this man.

▣ "for he was small in stature" This term usually means "age" (cf. Luke 2:52; John 9:21,23; Heb. 11:11), but in the NT it can also mean "height" (cf. Luke 12:25; and possibly 2:52 and Eph. 4:13; Matt. 6:27). In this context the phrase can refer to the height or stature of Zaccheus or Jesus, but most probably of Zaccheus.

19:4 "he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree" This is highly unusual for an Oriental of great wealth. His pride was gone. He had heard that Jesus accepted and fellowshipped with tax collectors. One was even one of His close associates (i.e., Levi, Matthew).

"sycamore" This is not the same as the sycamore tree in America. This tree is of the nettle family, which also includes the mulberry and fig. In Greek the term sukomorea is made up of "fig" (sukon) and "mulberry" (moron). It was a large tree with low branches, which made it easy to climb (cf. United Bible Societies, Fauna and Flora of the Bible, pp. 179-182).

19:5 "He looked up and said to him, 'Zaccheus, hurry and come down’" This is an aorist active participle (used in the sense of an imperative) combined with an aorist active imperative which means "come down quickly." I wonder how Jesus knew his name. Some commentators use John 1:47-48 as a parallel of Jesus' supernatural knowledge.

▣ "I must stay at your house" Jesus had a divine appointment with this man (use of dei). I am so glad Jesus loved outcasts, both rich and poor, male and female, slave and free, Jew and Gentile!

19:6 Zaccheus was surprised but thrilled! The NET Bible (p. 1864 footnote 29) mentions that "joy as a response to what God was doing" is characteristic of Luke's Gospel (cf. Luke 1:14; 2:10; 10:20; 13:17; 15:5,32; 19:37; 24:41,52).

19:7 "When they saw it, they all began to grumble" This is another imperfect tense. The root word for "grumble" is from the buzzing of bees (cf. Luke 5:30). It was used in the Septuagint to describe the griping (murmuring) of Israel (cf. Exod. 15:24; 16:2,7,8; Num. 14:2). It is found only twice in the NT, both in Luke's Gospel (cf. Luke 15:2; 19:7). The local Jews felt that Jesus' fellowship with sinners (those unable or unwilling to observe the Oral Traditions) made him ceremonially unclean and theologically suspect (i.e., 5:30-32; 7:37-50; 15:1-2).

19:8 "Zaccheus stopped and said" Zaccheus must have heard the murmuring! This is his public statement of confession, repentance, and restitution as a sign that a brand new relationship of love and forgiveness had been established with God through this encounter with Jesus, the Messiah.

"half of my possessions I will give to the poor" This was a large amount of money. Being right with God opens one's eyes to the needs of the poor!

Some think this refers to his regular actions, like Cornelius (cf. Acts 10:2), but in context it seems that it refers to his accumulated wealth. This man is an antithesis to the rich man in Luke 18.

▣ "if" This is a first class conditional sentence, which is assumed to be true. He was publicly admitting that he had defrauded the people.

▣ "I will give back four times as much" He was using the OT standard from Exod. 22:1 and the example in 2 Sam. 12:6 as restitution for a violent robbery. This was a much larger sum than Lev. 6:5 and Num. 5:7 required, where only an added one fifth was required as restitution. His restitution was a proof of a changed heart, not a means to it. This statement, combined with the previous promise, meant he was not a wealthy man anymore. What a contrast to Luke 18!

19:9 "And Jesus said to him, 'Today salvation has come to this house'" A new relationship with God was evidenced by this man's changed attitude and actions, which impacted his whole family (cf. Acts 10:2; 11:14; 16:15,31-33; 18:8). This salvation was a present reality (cf. 2 Cor. 6:2), as well as a future consummation.

The phrase "to this house" implies that the other members of the extended family and servants would be affected by Zaccheus' conversion. Household evangelism is seen several times in Acts (cf. Acts 10:2; 11:14; 16:15,31-34; 18:8). Western individualism is not the only biblical model.

▣ "because he, too, is a son of Abraham" Apparently he was already a racial Jew, but now through faith in Jesus, he had become a true descendant of Abraham by faith (cf. Rom. 2:28-29; 3:22; 4:11-12; 10:12; Gal. 3:9,26,28,29; 4:5,12; 5:6; 6:15). His lineage did not bring salvation, but his faith, evidenced by his public confession and restitution, surely did!

19:10 "the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost" This may be an allusion to the Septuagint of Ezek. 34:16 and it certainly relates to Luke 1:68-79. It is the theological emphasis of Luke 15's parables. It is also similar to the central summary statement of the Gospel of Mark (cf. Mark 10:45 and 1 Tim. 1:15). Theologically Jesus came for several reasons:

1. to reveal the Father

2. to die for sin

3. to give converted humans an example to follow

In this context the redemptive theme is emphasized. Both verbals "seek" and "save" are aorist active infinitives.

For "Son of Man" see Special Topic at Luke 5:24.

The word "lost" is a perfect active participle of apollumi, which means to destroy. Here it is used as a metaphor of permanent spiritual loss (see Matt. 10:6).


 11While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately. 12So He said, "A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return. 13"And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, 'Do business with this until I come back.' 14But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, 'We do not want this man to reign over us.' 15When he returned, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these slaves, to whom he had given the money, be called to him so that he might know what business they had done. 16The first appeared, saying, 'Master, your mina has made ten minas more.' 17And he said to him, 'Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.' 18The second came, saying, 'Your mina, master, has made five minas.' 19And he said to him also, 'And you are to be over five cities.' 20Another came, saying, 'Master, here is your mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief; 21for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did not sow.' 22He said to him, 'By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? 23Then why did you not put my money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest?' 24Then he said to the bystanders, 'Take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has the ten minas.' 25And they said to him, 'Master, he has ten minas already.' 26I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. 27But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence."

19:11 "a parable" See the Introduction to Luke 8 for the hermeneutical principles for interpreting parables.

Jesus gives two reasons for telling this parable at this time and place:

1. He was approaching Jerusalem

2. the crowd was expecting an immediate coming of the Kingdom

Many commentators assert that Luke's Gospel accentuates a delayed Second Coming. This parable is one evidence (cf. Robert H. Stein, The Method and Message of Jesus' Teachings, pp. 54-55).

▣ "the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately" The Jews only expected one climactic coming of God in history through the Messiah and the setting up of the Age of Righteousness with Jews in charge! Many thought this would happen when Jesus came to Jerusalem at Passover. See Special Topics "The Kingdom of God" at Luke 4:21 and "This Age and the Age to Come" at Luke 2:17.

19:12 This is similar to Matt. 25:14-30. Obviously Jesus used the same themes and teachings in different settings for different purposes.

NJB"a nobleman"
NKJV"a certain nobleman"
TEV"there was once a man"

This parable is introduced with tis, which is normally translated "a certain." Many of Luke's parables are introduced with this textual marker (cf. Luke 7:41; 10:30; 14:16; 15:11; 16:1,19; 19:12).

▣ "A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return" Many historians see this as an allusion to Herod the Great's death and his son Archelaus's attempted succession (cf. Luke 19:14, which is an unusual footnote). This historical incident is recorded in Josephus' Antiq. 17.

19:13 "he called ten of his slaves" Although he called ten, only three are mentioned specifically. The term doulos would denote a household servant.

▣ "and gave them ten minas" This is the Greek term maneh (Semitic loan word mena), which equals one hundred drachmas, (one sixth of a talent). A drachma is equivalent to a denarius, which was the day's wage for a laborer or soldier. Therefore, this was less than one third of a year's wage, not a large sum at all. It may reflect this master's stinginess or frugality. See Special Topic: Coins in Use in Palestine of Jesus' Day at Luke 15:8.

NASB, NRSV"do business with this until I come back"
NKJV"do business till I come"
TEV"See what you can earn with this while I am gone"
NJB"Trade with these, until I get back"

This is an aorist middle (deponent) imperative ("do business") followed by a present middle (deponent) indicative ("while I am gone"). In John 14:3 it is used of the return of Jesus. The master was testing the skills and trustworthiness of his servants. He gave them some responsibility! He will call them to account at an unspecified future date (cf. Luke 19:15-20).


NASB"you are to be in authority over ten cities"
NKJV"have authority over ten cities"
NRSV"take charge of ten cities"
TEV"I will put you in charge of ten cities"
NJB"you shall have the government of ten cities"

This is a periphrastic present active imperative, which denotes continuing authority.

19:20 "handkerchief" Possibly there is an Aramaic confusion between the word "ground" (see parallel in Matt. 25:25) and "handkerchief." The custom of the day would have this man burying the money in the ground for safekeeping. However, this term is used of a cloth in John 11:44.

19:21 "I was afraid of you" This is an Imperfect middle (deponent) indicative, which denotes repeated action in past time. Paralyzing fear is not a motive for effective service.

NASB, NJB"you are an exacting man"
NKJV"you are an austere man"
NRSV"you are a harsh man"
TEV"you are a hard man"

This Greek word is used in the Septuagint of II Macc. 14:30 for "harsh," "rough," or "sour behavior." It is used in the Koine Papyri for an exacting, strict, penny-pincher and letter-of-the-law type of personality.

This word is just part of the parable. It in no way describes Christ at judgment (cf. 2 Cor. 5:10).

19:22 Some translations make this verse a question (NASB, NRSV, NJB, NIV), but others see it as an affirmation (NKJV, TEV, NAB).

19:24-26 Remember this is a near eastern parable, which often uses hyperbole. The details of the story cannot be allegorized. These overstatements are usually part of the surprising twist which denotes the main point of the parable. Possibly this is analogous to 8:18.

The central paradox of the gospel is that salvation is free in the finished work of the Messiah, but the resulting reality is a cost-everything service (cf. Eph. 2:8-9,10). See Special Topic: Degrees of Rewards and Punishments at Luke 10:12.

19:25 The NKJV and NRSV put this verse in brackets because some ancient Greek texts omit it (MSS D, W, several lectionaries, as well as some Old Latin, Syrian, and Coptic translations. The UBS4 translation committee rates its inclusion as "certain"!

19:26 One wonders how far to push the details of this (and every) parable. Is it possible to identify

1. the nobleman as Jesus (Luke 19:12)

2. the slaves (Luke 19:13) as disciples

3. the citizens (Luke 19:14)

Is so then Luke 19:26 presents the interesting question, "Is the slave punished but still in the family (cf. Luke 8:18; Matt. 13:12; 25:29; Mark 4:25; 1 Cor. 3:10-15; Jude 23)? The Parable of the Soils (Matthew 13; Mark 4; Luke 8) strongly suggests that some initially respond, but do not remain. See SPECIAL TOPIC: APOSTASY (APHISTĒMI) at Luke 6:46.

Although the speculation is interesting, usually parables have one main truth or at least one truth connected to each main character. Often the details are just part of the story. See Introduction to Luke 8.

19:27 "But bring these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence" This statement refers to Luke 19:14. Exactly how the people who rejected the master's reign relate to the slave who did not act, is uncertain. Possibly two groups are judged:

1. those who reject the master's reign

2. those who refuse to act in the service of the master

The introduction in Luke 19:11 relates this to Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The people and their leaders will reject Jesus and be rejected for different reasons, related to #1. Zaccheus was fully accepted and his actions proved it, which related to #2.

 28After He had said these things, He was going on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.

19:28 This paragraph division matches NRSV. This continues Luke's theme of Jesus' travels to Jerusalem, begun in Luke 9:51 and here concluded in His triumphal entry.

 29When He approached Bethphage and Bethany, near the mount that is called Olivet, He sent two of the disciples, 30saying, "Go into the village ahead of you; there, as you enter, you will find a colt tied on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here. 31If anyone asks you, 'Why are you untying it?' you shall say, 'The Lord has need of it.'" 32So those who were sent went away and found it just as He had told them. 33As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, "Why are you untying the colt?" 34They said, "The Lord has need of it." 35They brought it to Jesus, and they threw their coats on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36As He was going, they were spreading their coats on the road. 37As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, 38 shouting: "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" 39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Him, "Teacher, rebuke Your disciples." 40But Jesus answered, "I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!"

19:29 "Bethphage" The Talmud says this was a suburb of Jerusalem. The exact location is uncertain. Its name meant "house of unripened figs" (cf. Matt. 21:1; Mark 11:1).

▣ "Bethany" This name means "house of dates" (cf. Matt. 21:17; Mark 11:1). This village was about two miles away from Jerusalem on the opposite side of the ridge of which the Mount of Olives was a part. When Jesus was in Jerusalem, He normally stayed in the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, which was located in Bethany.

19:30 "you will find a colt tied on which no one yet has ever sat" This is a prophetic (typological) fulfillment of Zech. 9:9 (cf. Matt. 21:2). It must be remembered that the donkey (mule, cf. 2 Sam. 18:9; 1 Kgs. 1:33) was a royal mount of the kings of Israel. Near eastern asses were large, stately animals (United Bible Societies, Fauna and Flora of the Bible, 2nd ed., pp. 5-7). This was a symbol of Jesus' kingliness, not simply His being a man of peace. The reason it was a colt that no one had ridden is because the king had his own donkey that no one else rode (cf. 1 Kgs. 1:33). Jesus had either made previous arrangements (cf. Luke 19:31, 33-34) for this animal or he was using His supernatural knowledge.

19:31 "if" This is a third class conditional sentence, which denotes potential action.

19:36 "they were spreading their coats on the road" This was a sign of kingship (cf. 2 Kgs. 9:13). Luke does not mention the palm branches here. This event is characterizes as "the triumphal entry into Jerusalem" (cf. Matt. 21:1-9; Mark 11:1-10; John 12:12-15).

19:37 "near the descent of the Mount of Olives" M. R. Vincent, Word Studies, vol. 1, p. 208, makes the topological comment that on this pilgrim road approaching Jerusalem one can see the city briefly (Luke 19:37), but then it is hidden again for a period. Verse 41 describes the panoramic view of the final descent when the white, limestone temple comes into full view.

▣ "disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen" "The whole crowd of disciples" refers to

1. the disciples (cf. Luke 19:39)

2. those who traveled with them

3. pilgrims from Galilee who Jesus joined on the way to Jerusalem (cf. Luke 19:39)

"All the miracles which they had seen" refers to Jesus' previous actions from 9:51 through this context, which happened on the road to Jerusalem.

19:38 "Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord" This is a quote from Ps. 118:26, but is modified:

1. "the King" replaces "the one who" (cf. Luke 13:35)

2. it omits Mark's "hosanna" (cf. Mark 11:9-10 because Gentiles would not know this term)

This quote (and Mark's) does not fit the MT (Masoretic Text) or the LXX (Septuagint). This is part of the Hallel (praise) psalms (Psalm 113-118) that were traditionally

1. quoted to pilgrims entering Jerusalem during the Passover season

2. chanted while the Passover lambs were slaughtered in the temple

3. chanted on the first day of Passover (and the other major feast days)

4. quoted before meals during Passover week (Psalm 113-114) and after meals (Psalm 115-118)

I believe much that is being said here was done every year, but the fact that the people of Jerusalem and the pilgrims applied the text specifically to Jesus of Nazareth shows that they understood the uniqueness of His person and work. This was not just another Passover!

▣ "Peace in heaven and glory in the highest" This phrase is not part of Ps. 118:26. It was part of the angel's message to the shepherds (cf. Luke 2:14). The promised peace is about to have a surprising redemptive cost (Calvary, cf. Isaiah 53 ).

19:39 "Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said" This refers to

1. the Pharisees who welcomed pilgrims to Jerusalem

2. the Pharisees who were part of the pilgrims who were traveling from Galilee through the Perean area to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast

3. the Pharisees planted in the crowd trying to find some way to charge Jesus with blasphemy (cf. Luke 13:31; 14:1,3; 15:2; 16:14; 17:20; 19:39)

Jesus' answer clearly asserts His sense of Messianic fulfillment in this statement (cf. Luke 19:40).

19:40 "if" This is a First class conditional sentence (using ean, cf. Acts 8:31).

▣ "the stones will cry out" This is possibly a proverb of immanent divine judgment (cf. Hab. 2:11). It could relate to nature's convulsions at God's approach (i.e., visitation, cf. Luke 19:44).

 41When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, 42saying, "If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes.
 43For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side, 44and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."

19:41 "He saw the city and wept over it" Here we see Jesus expressing human emotions over the tragedy of His rejection by His own people (cf. Luke 13:34-35). The OT conditional promises have been nullified; only judgment remains!

19:42 "if" This is an incomplete second class conditional sentence (A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures, vol. 2, p. 246). The Jewish leadership and most of the population of Jerusalem ("even you") did not know the significance of Jesus' coming.

NASB, NRSV"the things which make for peace"
NKJV"the things that make for your peace"
TEV"what is needed for peace"
NJB"the way to peace"

This is a broken, incomplete sentence. Jesus' emotions over Jerusalem's coming judgment overwhelms Him! This spiritual peace, peace with God (this is a word play on "Jerusalem," BDB 436, "possession of peace") comes only through faith in Christ. Jesus brought this peace if they would have only listened to Him and responded (cf. Isa. 48:18). Jesus was not the kind of Messiah they expected, so they rejected Him and by so doing, sealed their physical (destruction of Jerusalem) and spiritual (personal and corporate lostness) doom.

▣ "but now they have been hidden from your eyes" This is an aorist passive indicative. Luke mentioned this in Luke 9:45; 10:21; 18:34. It either denotes a divine blinding (cf. Rom. 11:7,25) or an idiom expressing rejection.

19:43-44 This seems to refer to the destruction of Jerusalem (in five descriptive phrases of OT siege warfare, cf. Jeremiah 6) under the Roman General Titus in a.d. 70, as well as possibly foreshadowing the events of eschatological judgment (cf. Luke 21; Psalm 2; Isa. 29:1-4; Ezekiel 38-39; Dan. 9:24-27; Zechariah 13-14; Rev. 20:7-10).

The Bible is clear that a period of persecution precedes the Second Coming. However, some commentators believe that a.d.70 completely fulfills this prediction. They are called preterists. A good example of this position is John Bray, Matthew 24 Fulfilled.

Other commentators expect a future literal fulfillment affecting the city of Jerusalem and the nation of Israel. They are called dispensational premillennialists. Two good books are Dispensationalism Today by Charles C. Ryrie (reformed dispensationalism) and Progressive Dispensationalism by Blaising and Bock (progressive dispensationalism). There are also many who are historical premillennialists, like George E. Ladd, who hold to a similar end-time agenda.

This may be a multiple fulfillment prophecy, but I think the NT universalizes the OT prophecies whereby geographical and/or racial Israel is no longer the key to the gospel. The OT prophecies have been fulfilled and now include all people.

19:43 "the days will come" This was an idiom used of (1) the eschatological coming of the bridegroom (cf. Luke 5:35) and (2) the destruction of Jerusalem (cf. Luke 23:29). This idiom is used in the Septuagint of God's judgment on (a) Eli and his family (cf. 1 Sam. 2:31) and (b) Hezekiah's arrogant actions turning into prophecy of Judah's and the temple's destruction by Babylon (cf. 2 Kgs. 20:17).

19:44 "Because you did not recognize" This refers to Luke 19:42 (second class conditional). The Jews should have seen evidence in Jesus' words and actions that fulfilled OT prophecy. Their cherished traditions blinded them to the truth, however. May God have mercy on all of the fallen race of Adam!

Although Jesus never specifically mentions "the remnant" concept from the OT prophets, in effect, His disciples and followers were this believing prophetic remnant from Israel (cf. "little flock" of Luke 12:32). Even in the OT Israel as a whole was never "right" with YHWH. The "lost" of Luke 19:10 surely includes Israel!

▣ "the time of your visitation" From the OT this time of visitation could be for blessing or judgment (cf. Isa. 10:3; 23:17; 24:22; 29:6, episkopē in the LXX). In Luke 1:68,78 and 1 Pet. 2:12 it is a visitation of blessing for believers, but judgment for unbelievers (i.e., the Second Coming). It must be remembered that God's love and grace spurned turns to God's wrath of accountability and judgment (cf. the parable of Luke 19:11-27).

NASB"and they will level you to the ground and your children within you"
NKJV"and level you, and your children with you"
NRSV"they will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you"
TEV"they will completely destroy you and the people within your walls"
NJB"they will crush you and the children inside your walls to the ground"

The death of children may be an allusion to Ps. 137:8-9, where the very same verb is used in the Septuagint. The verb literally means "to level" (cf. Isa. 3:26), but came to mean metaphorically "to dash to the ground" (cf. Hos. 10:14; Nah. 3:10). This verb occurs only here in the NT. As salvation affected Zaccheus' family (cf. Luke 19:9), so too, is judgment a corporate experience (i.e., all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, cf. Luke 19:44-45).

I often ponder this corporate aspect of biblical faith, since I have grown up in a western, individual-focused culture. However, the Bible speaks of judgment to the third and fourth generations (cf. Deut. 5:9), but covenant loyalty to a thousand generations (cf. Deut. 5:10; 7:9)! This has helped me in my confidence that God will work with my children and their children (but this does not eliminate personal choice and consequences).

 45Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling, 46saying to them, "It is written, 'And My house shall be a house of prayer,' but you have made it a robbers' den."

19:45 "Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling" This seems to be a prophetic fulfillment of Mal. 3:1-2 ("suddenly" is combined with "judgment"). John 2:13ff records a cleansing of the Temple earlier in Jesus' ministry, while the Synoptics record a cleansing in the last week of His ministry. Because of the thematic organization and freedom of the four Gospel writers, it is uncertain whether there were only one or two cleansings of the temple. The Sadducees owned the commercial rights on the Mount of Olives and in the Court of the Gentiles. They were cheating the people (1) with their exorbitant charges to exchange common coins into the Tyrian shekel and (2) their quick disqualifications of sacrificial animals brought from home. The sacrificial animals available through these merchants were very expensive.

This act of Jesus

1. reveals His authority

2. reveals the corruption in God's house

3. seals His death by the Jewish leaders (Sadducees, Herodians, and Pharisees, cf. Luke 19:47)


19:46 "It is written" This is an idiom for Scripture. Exactly why Luke did not quote the entire passage (cf. Isa. 56:7), which continues (in both MT and LXX), "unto all nations" is uncertain, because it would seem to fit his recurrent theme of Luke of a universal love of God through Jesus for all humans (of which Zaccheus is an immediate example).

▣ "but you have made it a robber's den" Jesus is combining Isa. 57:6 with Jer. 7:11 ("a den of robbers"). Jeremiah 7 is the prophet's famous temple sermon addressed to those who are trusting in the temple instead of YHWH.

 47And He was teaching daily in the temple; but the chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people were trying to destroy Him, 48and they could not find anything that they might do, for all the people were hanging on to every word He said.

19:47 "He was teaching daily in the temple" This is a periphrastic imperfect. Jesus taught regularly in public during this last week of His life. Part of the Temple area was dedicated to teaching. It was known as the Portico of Solomon and it surrounded the Court of the Women, therefore, all visitors to the Temple (Jewish men and women, as well as Gentiles) could hear Him.

19:48 This verse is the culmination of the hostility which began in Luke 6:11and 11:53-54. It is quite sad, the leaders refused to listen to Jesus because they were threatened by His popularity. However, His popularity never lasted because the crowd heard the call to total commitment and service that was required and they were unwilling to pay the cost. The leaders wanted a different gospel and the people an easier gospel!


This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

These discussion questions are provided to help you think through the major issues of this section of the book. They are meant to be thought-provoking, not definitive.

1. Compare the attitude of Zaccheus in Luke 19:1-10 with the attitude of the rich young ruler in Luke 19:18-23.

2. What is the central theological truth of the parable found in Luke 19:12-27?

3. What is the significance of the Triumphal Entry?

4. Why did Jesus cleanse the Temple? Why did the religious leaders allow Him to cleanse the Temple? How many times did He cleanse the Temple?


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