Luke 18- Chapter Text - New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Parables on Prayer

18 Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’”And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

The Pharisee and the Publican

And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and viewed others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

15 And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them.16 But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”

The Rich Young Ruler

18 A ruler questioned Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 20 You know the commandments, ‘ Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother .’” 21 And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.” 22 When Jesus heard this, He said to him, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” 23 But when he had heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich. 24 And Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!25 For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They who heard it said, “Then who can be saved?” 27 But He said, “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.”

28 Peter said, “Behold, we have left our own homes and followed You.”29 And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.”

31 Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. 32 For He will be handed over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, 33 and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again.” 34 But the disciples understood none of these things, and the meaning of this statement was hidden from them, and they did not comprehend the things that were said.

Bartimaeus Receives Sight

35 As Jesus was approaching Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the road begging. 36 Now hearing a crowd going by, he began to inquire what this was. 37 They told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. 38 And he called out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 Those who led the way were sternly telling him to be quiet; but he kept crying out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 And Jesus stopped and commanded that he be brought to Him; and when he came near, He questioned him, 41 “What do you want Me to do for you?” And he said, “Lord, I want to regain my sight!” 42 And Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43 Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him, glorifying God; and when all the people saw it, they gave praise to God.

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Luke 18. BLOG PAGE

Luke’s Gospel continues to take us through the life of Jesus and is now approaching the time of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. 

Chapter 18 begins with The Parable of the Woman and the Unrighteous Judge.  Jesus is telling His disciples the story of a woman that kept coming to the judge saying, “Give me legal protection from my opponent.”  The judge at first was unwilling, however, the woman persevered.  Eventually, the judge said to himself, “Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, lest by continually coming she wear me out.”  Jesus points out that God hears our cries, day and night, and if the unrighteous judge – who does not fear God – eventually grants the woman her request, how much more will God, “Bring about justice for His elect.”  It is important to note that Jesus said God will bring about justice and not that He will give us everything that we ask Him for.  Our Creator has a plan for us, and He knows what we need even before we ask Him.  As it says in Jeremiah 29:11:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Next, Luke records Jesus sharing The Parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector.  Jesus tells His disciples the story of a Pharisee and a tax collector going into the temple to pray.  The Pharisee has a great deal of pride and his prayer to God was full of bragging and putting others down.  The tax collector, however, was humble.  He would not even raise his eyes to heaven.  I always found his prayer beautiful and often pray these words myself, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!”

Jesus said of the tax collector’s prayer, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other.”  In Luke 18:14, Jesus says, “Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted.” 

Verses 15-17 in this chapter talk about children. 

“And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them. But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”

This passage to me is all about keeping our priorities simple, like a child.  We know that God wants us to love Him and keep His commandments.  We also know that God wants us to love our neighbor as ourselves.  Sometimes we may overcomplicate the scripture unnecessarily.  Our God is not a God of confusion.  – 1 Corinthians 14:33. Children are also innocent, obedient, and dependent on others for their well-being.  Likewise, we need to acknowledge that we are dependent on God to provide for us through His love, grace and mercy. 

In the Parable of the Rich Young Ruler (Luke 18:18-27), Jesus says to the ruler, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess, and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”  This made the rich young ruler very sad because of his many possessions.  There will be times in our own lives where God will ask us to give something up, maybe something we have worked a very long time at, in order to follow Him.  We need to be obedient, like a child is to their parents, and follow God when these opportunities present themselves.  And just like children, we need to have the humility to ask for help when we are struggling.  In all things, giving God the glory!

In verse 28, Peter says to Jesus, “Behold, we have left our own homes, and followed You.”   Jesus responds to Peter, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, who shall not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life.”  When we make sacrifices to glorify God, we will receive our reward, and great that reward will be.

Chapter 18 concludes with Jesus healing a blind man and foretelling of his death and resurrection.  When I try to imagine the enormous stress that Jesus must have been under as His death draws near, I marvel even more at how He selflessly gave everything for us.  What an amazing Savior we have in Jesus!  - Amen 

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