New Testament Commentary - Luke 18

by Don R. Hender

Scriptural Text [& Editorial]
Commentary & Explanation
Footnotes ~ References ~ JST
             CHAPTER 18

Jesus gives the parable of the unjust judge, and of the Pharisee and publican—He invites little children to come unto him and teaches how to gain eternal life—He tells of his coming death and resurrection, and gives sight to a blind man.

  1 AND he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought aalways to bpray, and not to cfaint;
  2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
  3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
 1a D&C 128:20;
 2a Mark 9:2 (2-13);
     Luke 9:29 (28-36); John 1:14;
     2 Pet. 1:16 (16-19);
     TG Jesus Christ, Glory of;
  4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
  5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
  6 And the Lord said, Hear what the aunjust judge saith.
 1a D&C 128:20;
 2a Mark 9:2 (2-13);
     Luke 9:29 (28-36); John 1:14;
     2 Pet. 1:16 (16-19);
     TG Jesus Christ, Glory of;
  7 And shall not God aavenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with bthem?
  8 aI tell you that he will bavenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
 1a D&C 128:20;
 2a Mark 9:2 (2-13);
     Luke 9:29 (28-36); John 1:14;
     2 Pet. 1:16 (16-19);
     TG Jesus Christ, Glory of;
  9 And he spake this parable unto certain which atrusted in themselves that they were righteous, and bdespised others:
  10 Two men went up into the temple to apray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
  11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am anot as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
  12 I afast twice in the week, I give btithes of all that I cpossess.
  13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a asinner.
  14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that aexalteth himself shall be abased; and he that bhumbleth himself shall be exalted.
  15 And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.
  16 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little achildren to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
  17 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.
  18 And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit aeternal life?
  19 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is agood, save one, that is, God.
  20 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit aadultery, Do not bkill, Do not steal, Do not bear cfalse witness, dHonour thy father and thy mother.
  21 And he said, All these have I kept from my youth up.
  22 Now when Jesus heard these things, he said unto him, Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the apoor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.
  23 And when he heard this, he was very sorrowful: for he was very rich.
  24 And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
  25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
  26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?
  27 aAnd he said, The things which are impossible with men are bpossible with God.
  28 Then Peter said, Lo, we have left all, and followed thee.
  29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake,
  30 Who shall not areceive bmanifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.
  31 ¶ Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are awritten by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.
  32 For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be amocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on:
  33 And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall arise again.
  34 And they aunderstood none of these thingsa: and this saying was hid from themb, neither knew they the things which were spokenc.
 34a they understood none of these things Now even is one is not before taught, when one is taught and heareth by the spirit, it may be brought unto his understanding. This first statement implies 'hearing, they did not hear' and though 'seeing they did not see'. And this even though Jesus the Christ did stand before them and speak it by his own words from his own mouth. And thus it is with all that man so speaks one unto the other. And though the physical senses are there to be wrought upon, there is still no understanding given unto men of such things but by the Spirit of God. If one is not prepared to hear, desires to hear and is so impressed upon by the Spirit of God, there is still no lasting understanding. Thus though an angel of God or even God does stand amoung us, without one's preparation and having the spirit to be with them, they still will not come to an understanding of it.
 34b this saying was hid from them Now there are various manner is which things may be hid from the understanding of men. Other men may hide it by either confusing the issue, giving false interpretations, or even taking it completely from view. Also, the actual words and how they are spoken may hide them. Did the twelve understand that Jesus was the Son of Man or the son of man? Did they suppose Jesus to be speaking generally or in a parable about some one or some thing other than of himself? And then the actual physical or attentiveness of the audience may hide it. Were they preoccupied with other concerns even tiredness, sleepiness or day dreaming? And lastly, God may purposefully hide it from understanding. So plain and clear were the words however, one must consider one of the previous reasons. It was likely hidden within their understanding and application of the gospel doctrine. They did not apply it to the Messiah that he would be killed in such a manner. Or even it was hid in the tradition of the Jews and they looking first to their false tradition for their understanding of the Law rather than to looking first to the giver of the Law, who stood before them. They would measure Jesus against their traditions and Law first. They put prior preference upon past dead tradition and prophets and ignored the 'Living Prophet', who spoke plainly before their eyes and ears. We do the same with general conference or which a local authority gives us direct and personal instruction. Rather than giving it immediate attention and understanding, we look to see how it 'measures up' to that which we use as the standard, in this case the traditions of the Jews.
 34c neither knew they the things which were spoken Lastly, we come down to the whole matter of prior learning. They had not been taught these things before. It was new to them. And anything 'new' is not immediately internalized when there is nothing previous upon which to associate it and base it upon. They had never been taught that their temple sacrifices were in the similitude of that sacrifice of the death and atonement of Jesus to come. So they had no reinforced prior knowledge or understanding of it.
  35 ¶ And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging:
  36 And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant.
  37 And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.
  38 And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
  39 And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
  40 And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him,
  41 Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight.
  42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy asight: thy bfaith hath saved thee.
  43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, aglorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.