19:1 And he entered and was passing through Jericho1. ZACCHAEUS. PARABLE OF THE POUNDS. JOURNEY TO JERUSALEM. (Jericho.) Luke 19:1-28
And he entered and was passing through Jericho. This was about one
week before the crucifixion. Jericho is about seven miles from the Jordan
and about seventeen and a half from Jerusalem.
19:2 And behold, a
man called by name Zacchaeus; and he was a chief publican1,
and he was rich2.
And behold, a man called by name Zacchaeus; and he was a chief publican.
On publicans, see Luke
3:12. It is probable that Zacchaeus was a sub-contractor under some
Roman knight who had bought the privilege of collecting taxes at Jericho, or
perhaps the privilege of all Judea.
And he was rich. As the Jordan separated between the provinces of
Judea and Perea, and as Jericho was the border city between these two
provinces, the custom duties of the place were apt to be considerable. The
famous balm of Gilead was cultivated in Perea, and probably added
considerably to the trade which passed through Jericho. Herod the Great had
raised Jericho to opulence, and to rich in such a city was no small matter.
Zacchaeus had not consented to become a social outcast without reaping his
19:3 And he sought
to see Jesus who he was1; and could not for the crowd,
because he was little of stature.
And he sought to see Jesus who he was. Jericho had been filled with
reports about Jesus, and great excitement existed among the people.
Zacchaeus shared this excitement.
19:4 And he ran on before, and
climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him1: for he was to
pass that way.
And climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him. This tree differs
from the sycamine, and grows only in those parts of Palestine where the
climate is warmest. It is the wild fig, and because of its low trunk and
spreading branches it is very easy to climb. The sycamore which grows along
our streams is the "buttonwood" and is in no way related to the
19:5 And when Jesus came to the place, he
looked up, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste,
and come down; for to-day I must abide at thy house1.
Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to-day I must abide at thy
house. This is the only instance where Jesus invited himself to be any
man's guest. He knew the feeling of Zacchaeus toward him as well as he knew
his name, and hence had no doubt as to his welcome. Jesus says, "I
must". Love constrained him to pause in Jericho that he might save the
house of Zacchaeus.
19:6 And he made
haste, and came down, and received him joyfully1.
And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. Glad
that he had obtained not only the wished-for sight of Jesus, but a favor
which he had not dared to hope for. To be thus honored of the Messiah was
balm indeed to the outcast's heart.
19:7 And when they
saw it, they all murmured1, saying,
He is gone in to lodge with a man that is a sinner2.
And when they saw it, they all murmured. The "all" in
this case did not include Jesus' disciples. Jesus was a constant
disappointment to those who were seeking to make him an earthly king and who
therefore desired him to manifest a kingly pride.
Saying, He is gone in to lodge with a man that is a sinner. See Luke
19:8 And Zacchaeus
stood1, and said unto the Lord, Behold,
Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor2; and
if I have wrongfully exacted aught of any man, I restore fourfold3.
And Zacchaeus stood. To give emphasis emphasis and publicity to his
Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. He does not
mean that he is in the habit of giving half his goods to the poor, but that
he does so now, immediately, on the spot, without delay. He does not merely
promise to do so hereafter, or to make such a provision in his will.
And if I have wrongfully exacted aught of any man, I restore fourfold.
The laws of restoration in cases of theft or fraud will be found at Exodus
5:7. The proposition of Zacchaeus to restore fourfold suggests that the
bulk of his wealth had not been gained in dishonest ways, for if so he would
not have been able to make such a restitution.
19:9 And Jesus said unto him, To-day
is salvation come to this house1, forasmuch
as he also is a son of Abraham2.
To-day is salvation come to this house. The visit of Jesus had
converted Zacchaeus and brought salvation to his house.
Forasmuch as he also is a son of Abraham. Though as yet Jesus was
sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew
15:24), and was not proclaiming salvation to the Gentiles, yet he could
consistently receive Zacchaeus, for, though an outcast publican, he had not
so forfeited his sonship in Abraham as to bar him from this right. He was
one of the "lost sheep", the very class to which Jesus was sent.
19:10 For the Son of man came to seek and
to save that which was lost.
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
19:11 And as they
heard these things, he added and spake a parable1, because
he was nigh to Jerusalem2, and
[because] they supposed that the kingdom of God was immediately to appear3.
And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable. The
opening words show that the parable which follows was spoken in the house of
Because he was nigh to Jerusalem. So far as the record shows, this
was the first time in his ministry that Jesus ever approached Jerusalem with
And [because] they supposed that the kingdom of God was immediately to
appear. By this approaching Jerusalem with a multitude, it seemed to the
people that Jesus was consenting to be crowned. And they were filled with
those dreams and expectations which a few days later resulted in the
triumphal entry. All things pointed to a crisis, and the people were eagerly
looking for honors and rewards under the new ruler. Jesus corrected these
false views by a parable which showed that there must be patient waiting and
faithful work before there could be any season of reward.
19:12 He said therefore, A
certain nobleman went into a far country, to receive for himself a kingdom, and
A certain nobleman went into a far country, to receive for himself a
kingdom, and to return. Those present were looking for the crowning of
Jesus at Jerusalem, but he was to ascend into that far country called heaven
and was there to receive the kingdom of the earth (Matthew
2:32,33), and his return in earthly majesty is yet to take place (1 Corinthians
11:26). For comparison with the parable of the talents in Matthew, see Matthew
19:13 And he
called ten servants of his, and gave them ten pounds, and said unto them, Trade
ye [herewith] till I come1.
And he called ten servants of his, and gave them ten pounds, and said
unto them, Trade ye [herewith] till I come. To each of the servants he
gave a crown, which was equal to about seventeen dollars of our money. It
was a paltry sum for a nobleman and suggests a state of poverty and
humiliation such as would give small incentive to any to remain faithful to
19:14 But his
citizens hated him1, and sent an
ambassage after him, saying, We will not that this man reign over us2.
But his citizens hated him. In addition to the servants, this
nobleman had citizens, or subjects, who owed him respect and reverence
pending the confirmation of his kingdom, and homage and obedience.
And sent an ambassage after him, saying, We will not that this man
reign over us. Their hatred of him led them to oppose his confirmation.
These citizens represented the Jews, and Theophylact well observes how near
the Jews came to repeating these very words of rejection when they said to
Pilate, "We have no king but Caesar . . . Write not, The King of the
19:15 And it came
to pass, when he was come back again1, having received the
kingdom, that he commanded these servants, unto whom he had given the money, to
be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by trading.
And it came to pass, when he was come back again, etc. Thus Jesus
shall call us to account for our stewardship (2 Corinthians
5:10), and some, despite the long absence of their Lord, and the
rebellion of the citizens, will be found to have been faithful.
19:16 And the
first came before him, saying, Lord, thy pound hath made ten pounds more1.
And the first came before him, saying, Lord, thy pound hath made ten
pounds more. As to this servant's answer Grotius says, comparing it with
"He modestly attributes this to his lord's money, and not to his own
19:17 And he said unto him, Well
done, thou good servant: because thou wast found faithful in a very little, have
thou authority over ten cities1.
Well done, thou good servant: because thou wast found faithful in a
very little, have thou authority over ten cities. Thus by small
faithfulness we are proved worthy of great trust (2 Corinthians
4:17). We should note that while the bounty is royal, yet it is
proportionate. It suggests the difference in estate between the nobleman who
departed and the king who returned.
19:19 And he said unto him also, Be
thou also over five cities1.
Be thou also over five cities. The faithful servants are promoted
to be rulers (2 Timothy
2:1,2). The nobleman, having been of low estate himself, could
sympathize with his servants and delight in promoting them (Philippians
19:20 And another came, saying, Lord,
behold, [here is] thy pound, which I kept laid up in a napkin:
Lord, behold, [here is] thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a
napkin. Having no banks in which to store money, such as we have, the
men of Palestine usually concealed it. At the present time the people of
that land are accustomed to bury their money in the ground within their
19:21 for I feared thee, because thou
art an austere man: thou takest up that which thou layedst not down, and reapest
that which thou didst not sow1.
Thou art an austere man: thou takest up that which thou layedst not
down, and reapest that which thou didst not sow. He impudently
criticizes his lord, saying that he was one hard to please and one who
expected others to do all the work and let him reap all the gain. The
injustice of his criticism had just been exposed beforehand by the king's
treatment of the two preceding statements. This servant represents those who
make the labors and difficulties of the Christian life an excuse for doing
19:22 He saith unto him, Out
of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant1.
Thou knewest that I am an austere man, taking up that which I laid not down, and
reaping that which I did not sow;
Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. The
king patiently grants for argument's sake all that is urged, but shows that
even so, the conduct of this servant could not be justified. Thus, no
argument can justify the sinner who contends against God.
wherefore gavest thou not my money into the bank1, and
I at my coming should have required it with interest2?
Then wherefore gavest thou not my money into the bank. The word
"trapeza", translated "bank", means the table of the
money-changer and is so translated at Matthew
And I at my coming should have required it with interest? It would
appear from this passage that the money-changers were willing to borrow and
pay some rate of interest. The bank, therefore, was not a thing incorporated
and watched by government, but merely an individual with whom money might be
secure or not, according to his personal honesty. Our present banking system
has been the slow growth of many centuries. The lesson taught is that we
should work with others if we have not self-confidence enough to work alone.
19:26 I say unto you, that unto every one
that hath shall be given; but from him that hath not, even that which he hath
shall be taken away from him.
For he that hath, to him shall be given: and he that hath not, from him
shall be taken away even that which he hath. See Mark
4:25. The meaning here is that every one who makes use of what he has
shall increase his powers, a rule which applies to all the affairs of life.
19:27 But these mine enemies, that would
not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.
But these mine enemies, that would not that I should reign over them
bring hither, and slay them before me. See Luke
19:14. A reference in the first instance to the Jews who were citizens
of Christ's kingdom and who were justly destroyed for rejecting him when he
ascended his throne. A reference in the second instance to all the
inhabitants of the globe who are all in his kingdom and who shall be
destroyed at his coming if they had rejected him. It is a fearful thing to
contemplate the destruction of sinners, but it is more fearful to think of
sin, rebellion, and uncleanness being tolerated forever.
19:28 And when he had thus spoken, he
went on before, going up to Jerusalem1.
He went on before, going up to Jerusalem. The crowd had paused,
waiting for Jesus, and he now leads on toward Jerusalem.
19:29 And it came to pass, when he drew
nigh unto Bethphage1 and Bethany,
at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples,
JESUS' TRIUMPHAL ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM. (From Bethany to Jerusalem and back,
Sunday, April 2, A.D. 30.) Matthew
Bethphage. See Mark
19:30 saying, Go
your way into the village over against [you]1; in which as
ye enter ye shall find a colt tied, whereon no man ever yet sat: loose him, and
Go your way into the village over against [you], etc. See Mark
19:31 And if any one ask you, Why do ye
loose him? thus shall ye say, The Lord hath need of him.
And if any one ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say, The
Lord hath need of him. See Mark
19:32 And they
that were sent went away, and found even as he had said unto them1.
And they that were sent went away, and found even as he had said unto
them. See Mark
19:35 And they brought him to Jesus: and
they threw their garments upon the colt1, and set Jesus
And they threw their garments upon the colt. See Mark
19:36 And as he
went, they spread their garments in the way1.
And as he went, they spread their garments in the way. See Mark
19:37 And as he was now drawing nigh,
[even] at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole
multitude of the disciples1 began
to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works which they
The whole multitude of the disciples. See Matthew
Began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty
works which they had seen. John has shown us that the raising of Lazarus
was most prominent in their thoughts (John
19:38 saying, Blessed
[is] the King that cometh in the name of the Lord1: peace
in heaven, and glory in the highest2.
Blessed [is] the King that cometh in the name of the Lord. See Mark
Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. For comparison, see Mark
19:39 And some of
the Pharisees from the multitude1 said
unto him, Teacher, rebuke thy disciples2.
And some of the Pharisees from the multitude. Not a committee sent
from Jerusalem for that purpose.
Said unto him, Teacher, rebuke thy disciples. It is possible that
these may have been moved with an honest fear that the enthusiasm of the
people would call down the vengeance of the Romans (John
11:48), but it is more likely that they were prompted solely by envy.
19:40 And he answered and said, I
tell you that, if these shall hold their peace, the stones will cry out1.
I tell you that, if these shall hold their peace, the stones will cry
out. The expression is probably proverbial (Habakkuk
2:11). The meaning is that the occasion of the great King's visit to his
5:35) was so momentous that, if man withheld his praise, inanimate
nature would lend its acclamations.
19:41 And when he
drew nigh, he saw the city and wept over it1,
And when he drew nigh, he saw the city and wept over it. The summit
of Olivet is two hundred feet higher than the nearest part of the city of
Jerusalem and a hundred feet higher than its farthest part, so that the Lord
looked upon the whole of it as one looks upon an open book. As he looked
upon it he realized the difference between what his coming might mean to it
and what it did mean to it; between the love and gratitude which his coming
should have incited and the hatred and violence which it did incite; between
the forgiveness, blessing, and peace which he desired to bring it and the
judgment, wrath, and destruction which were coming upon it. The vision of it
all excited strong emotion, and the verb used does not indicate silent
tears, but audible sobbing and lamentation.
19:42 saying, If
thou hadst known in this day, even thou, the things which belong unto peace! but
now they are hid from thine eyes1.
If thou hadst known in this day, even thou, the things which belong
unto peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. The day then passing
was among the last before the crucifixion, which would present to the Jews a
strong motive for repentance. Had Jerusalem hearkened unto Jesus then, he
would have saved her from that self-exaltation which proved her ruin. But
bigotry and prejudice blinded her eyes.
19:43 For the days shall come upon thee,
when thine enemies shall cast up a bank about thee, and
compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side1,
Thine enemies shall cast up a bank about thee, and compass thee round,
and keep thee in on every side. From where Jesus then stood he could see
the houses which were to be thrown down, he could locate the embankments
which would be built, and he could trace almost every foot of the line of
the wall by which Titus in his anger girdled the city when his embankments
were burned (Josephus, Wars 5:6.2, 11.4-6, 12:1,2).
19:44 and shall dash thee to the ground, and
thy children within thee1; and
they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another2; because
thou knewest not the time of thy visitation3.
And thy children within thee. The city is figuratively spoken of as
a mother, and her citizens as her children. See Luke
And they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another. To leave
one stone upon another is a proverbial expression descriptive of a complete
demotion, but in the overthrow of Jerusalem it was well-nigh literally
fulfilled. Thus, while the people rejoiced in the present triumph, the
prophetic eye and ear of our Lord beheld the judgments which were coming
upon the city, heard the bitter cry of the starved defenders during the
siege, the screams of the crucified left to perish upon their crosses after
its capture, all ending in the final silence of desolation when not one
stone was left upon another.
Because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. The term
"visitation" usually refers to a season of judgment, but here, as
elsehwere also (Exodus
4:31), it means a season of grace.
19:45 And he
entered into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold1,
BARREN FIG-TREE. TEMPLE CLEANSED. (Road from Bethany and Jerusalem. Monday,
April 4, A.D. 30.) Matthew
And he entered into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold.
19:46 saying unto them, It is written, And
my house shall be a house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of robbers1.
And my house shall be a house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of
robbers. See Mark
19:47 And he was teaching daily in the
temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the
people sought to destroy him:
But the chief priests and the scribes . . . sought to destroy him.