Luke 18. Forum Discussion

Pride and humility

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.  This is a beautiful prayer, and one that we can use ourselves by simply praying, “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 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 we try to imagine the enormous stress that Jesus must have been under as His death draws near, we can marvel even more at how He selflessly gave everything for us.  What an amazing Savior we have in Jesus!  Amen 


Virtual Bible Study

Are there any thoughts that you would like to share?

Virtual Bible Study

“God, be merciful to me, the sinner!” That is a verse I could say every day.

I like reflecting on that verse as I partake in the Lord's supper. It reminds me of how powerful the blood of Jesus is.