Luke 18 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Luke 18)

Verse 7

[7] And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

And shall not God — The most just Judge, vindicate his own elect - Preserve the Christians from all their adversaries, and in particular save them out of the general destruction, and avenge them of the Jews? Though he bear long with them - Though he does not immediately put an end, either to the wrongs of the wicked, or the sufferings of good men.

Verse 8

[8] I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Yet when the Son of man cometh, will he find faith upon earth — Yet notwithstanding all the instances both of his long suffering and of his justice, whenever he shall remarkably appear, against their enemies in this age or in after ages, how few true believers will be found upon earth!

Verse 9

[9] And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

He spake this parable — Not to hypocrites; the Pharisee here mentioned was no hypocrite, no more than an outward adulterer: but he sincerely trusted in himself that he was righteous, and accordingly told God so, in the prayer which none but God heard.

Verse 12

[12] I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

I fast twice in the week — So did all the strict Pharisees: every Monday and Thursday.

I give tithes of all that I possess — Many of them gave one full tenth of their income in tithes, and another tenth in alms. the sum of this plea is, I do no harm: I use all the means of grace: I do all the good I can.

Verse 13

[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 sinner.

The publican standing afar off — From the holy of holies, would not so much as lift up his eyes to heaven - Touched with shame, which is more ingenuous than fear.

Verse 14

[14] I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

This man went down — From the hill on which the temple stood, justified rather than the other - That is, and not the other.

Verse 15

[15] And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.

Matthew 19:13; Mark 10:13.

Verse 16

[16] But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.

Calling them — Those that brought the children: of such is the kingdom of God - Such are subjects of the Messiah's kingdom. And such as these it properly belongs to.

Verse 18

[18] And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

Matthew 19:16; Mark 10:17.

Verse 20

[20] Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother.

Exodus 20:12, etc.

Verse 22

[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 poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me.

Yet lackest thou one thing — Namely, to love God more than mammon. Our Saviour knew his heart, and presently put him upon a trial which laid it open to the ruler himself. And to cure his love of the world, which could not in him be cured otherwise, Christ commanded him to sell all that he had. But he does not command us to do this; but to use all to the glory of God.

Verse 31

[31] Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.

Matthew 20:17; Mark 10:32.

Verse 34

[34] And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.

They understood none of these things — The literal meaning they could not but understand. But as they could not reconcile this to their preconceived opinion of the Messiah, they were utterly at a loss in what parabolical or figurative sense to take what he said concerning his sufferings; having their thoughts still taken up with the temporal kingdom.

Verse 35

[35] And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging:

Matthew 20:29; Mark 10:46.