Luke 19 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Luke 19)

Verse 2

[2] And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.

The chief of the publicans — What we would term, commissioner of the customs. A very honourable as well as profitable place.

Verse 4

[4] And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.

And running before — With great earnestness.

He climbed up — Notwithstanding his quality: desire conquering honour and shame.

Verse 5

[5] And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.

Jesus said, Zaccheus, make haste and come down — What a strange mixture of passions must Zaccheus have now felt, hearing one speak, as knowing both his name and his heart!

Verse 7

[7] And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.

They all murmured — All who were near: though most of them rather out of surprise than indignation.

Verse 8

[8] And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.

And Zaccheus stood — Showing by his posture, his deliberate, purpose and ready mind, and said, Behold, Lord, I give - I determine to do it immediately.

Verse 9

[9] And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.

He also is a son of Abraham — A Jew born, and as such has a right to the first offer of salvation.

Verse 10

[10] For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Matthew 18:11.

Verse 11

[11] And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.

They thought the kingdom of God — A glorious temporal kingdom, would immediately appear.

Verse 12

[12] He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.

He went into a far country to receive a kingdom — Christ went to heaven, to receive his sovereign power as wan, even all authority in heaven and earth. Matthew 25:14; Mark 13:34.

Verse 13

[13] And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

Trade till I come — To visit the nation, to destroy Jerusalem, to judge the world: or, in a more particular sense, to require thy soul of thee.

Verse 14

[14] But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.

But his citizens — Such were those of Jerusalem, hated him, and sent an embassy after him - The word seems to imply, their sending ambassadors to a superior court, to enter their protest against his being admitted to the regal power. In such a solemn manner did the Jews protest, as it were, before God, that Christ should not reign over them: this man - So they call him in contempt.

Verse 15

[15] And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.

When he was returned — In his glory.

Verse 23

[23] Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?

With interest — Which does not appear to be contrary to any law of God or man. But this is no plea for usury, that is, the taking such interest as implies any degree of oppression or extortion.

Verse 25

[25] (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)

They said — With admiration, not envy.

Verse 26

[26] For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.

Matthew 25:29; Luke 8:18.

Verse 27

[27] But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

He went before — The foremost of the company, showing his readiness to suffer.

Verse 29

[29] And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples,

He drew nigh to the place where the borders of Bethphage and Bethany met, which was at the foot of the mount of Olives. Matthew 21:1; Mark 11:1.

Verse 37

[37] And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen;

The whole multitude began to praise God — Speaking at once, as it seems, from a Divine impulse, words which most of them did not understand.

Verse 38

[38] Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.

Peace in heaven — God being reconciled to man.

Verse 39

[39] And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.

Rebuke thy disciples — Paying thee this immoderate honour.

Verse 40

[40] And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

If these should hold their peace, the stones, which lie before you, would cry out - That is, God would raise up some still more unlikely instruments to declare his praise. For the power of God will not return empty.

Verse 42

[42] Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.

O that thou hadst known, at least in this thy day — After thou hast neglected so many.

Thy day — The day wherein God still offers thee his blessings.

Verse 43

[43] For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,

Thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee around — All this was exactly performed by Titus, the Roman general.

Verse 44

[44] And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.

And thy children within thee — All the Jews were at that time gathered together, it being the time of the passover.

They shall not leave in thee one stone upon another — Only three towers were left standing for a time, to show the former strength and magnificence of the place. But these likewise were afterward levelled with the ground.

Verse 45

[45] And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought;

Matthew 21:12; Mark 11:11.

Verse 46

[46] Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Isaiah 56:7.