Thursday, March 28, 2019


Luke 20:1-8

Luke 20:1-2 And it came to pass, that on one of those days, as he taught the people in the temple, and preached the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes came upon him with the elders, And spake unto him, saying, Tell us, by what authority doest thou these things? or who is he that gave thee this authority?

Susie: Several commentators say these events probably occurred on the Tuesday of Passion Week. The entry on the colt would have been on Sunday and the cleansing of the Temple on Monday. Jesus was teaching and “preaching the gospel” in the temple. The word used for preaching, evangelizing, is used most by Paul and Luke:

Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers as quoted at
And preached the gospel.--The Greek verb (to evangelise) is one specially characteristic of St. Luke. Neither St. Mark nor St. John use it at all; St. Matthew once only (Matthew 11:5), in a passive sense; St. Luke ten times in the Gospel, fifteen times in the Acts. So in the Epistles, neither St. John nor St. James use it; St. Peter once; St. Paul twenty times. It, too, was clearly one of the words which the two friends and fellow-workers had in common.

Susan: The chief priests, scribes, and elders together comprised the body of the Sanhedrin. This suggests that there may have been a secret meeting of the Sanhedrin for the purpose of brainstorming methods to entrap Jesus with His own words.

Susie: Their first attempt was to ask Jesus whether John the Baptist had a valid commission from God to baptize people or it was just an idea thought up by men.

Luke 20:3-4 And he answered and said unto them, I will also ask you one thing; and answer me: The baptism of John, was it from heaven, or of men?

Susan: Jesus wisely backed His detractors into a corner with His question about the authority of John the Baptist. No matter which way they answered, they would be in trouble with the people.

Susie: John had introduced Jesus onto the scene immediately after baptizing Him in the Jordan River. He had gone so far as to point blank declare Jesus to be the Messiah, the Son of God.

John 1:32-36 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God. Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

Susan: By using the term “Lamb of God” John was proclaiming Jesus to be the final, perfect sacrifice for our sins. He was prophesying the end of the sacrificial system and the beginning of salvation by grace through faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Luke 20:5-6 And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say, Why then believed ye him not? But and if we say, Of men; all the people will stone us: for they be persuaded that John was a prophet.

Susie: The chief priests, scribes, and elders discussed the fact that if they said John baptized in the name of the Lord, people would ask why they hadn’t been baptized themselves and why they did not believe him as a prophet when he declared Jesus to be the Son of God.

Susan: If they proclaimed John’s baptism to be from men, all those who understood John to be a prophet might turn on them, hurling stones to kill them.

Luke 20:7 And they answered, that they could not tell whence it was.

Susie: Being the big, fat chickens that they were, they just said they didn’t know. They knew that either answer could be political suicide if not physical suicide.

Susan: They also had no desire to die that day.

Luke 20:8 And Jesus said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

Susan: Jesus told them if they could not answer His question, He did not need to answer theirs, nor was it required of Him. He knew they were trying to trick Him into declaring God as His Father which they could then proclaim “blasphemy” and have an excuse to arrest Him.

 Ponder this and Apply it: The religious leaders of His day tried many times to trick Jesus into saying something they could twist into being against their Law or equating Himself with God which they would have seen as blasphemy even though He would have been speaking the truth. He kept His wits about Him and replied carefully each time, displaying great wisdom. Our own source of wisdom is the word of God, the Bible. Those who do not believe in God, nor trust in Jesus, will try to get Christians to speak rashly or angrily. They will provoke us. We must remain calm, trust the Lord, and rely on the wisdom we have learned in His word. Our weapon is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Do we have it stored up in our hearts in order to be prepared to give a defense? (Psalm 119:11, 1 Peter 3:15).

Monday, March 25, 2019


Luke 19:45-48
(Matthew 21:12-15 & Mark 11:15-17)

Luke 19:45-46 And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Susie: John records that earlier in His ministry, Jesus had cleared the temple (John 2:14-16), but now in His final week before the crucifixion, He does it again.

Susan: The two occasions are like bookends to His ministry. Both times, Jesus emphasized the true purpose of the Temple, to worship God and seek Him in prayer. Jesus quoted from the prophet Isaiah:

Isaiah 56:7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.

Susie: Isaiah pointed to the day that all nations (both Jews and Gentiles) would worship God together or as Jesus would say, “one fold, and one shepherd”:

John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Susan: Jesus found merchants in the temple instead of true worshipers. It was as if Jesus could see dollar signs in their eyes because He sees into people’s hearts.  

Susie: Not only were they profiting from the sale of animals to be sacrificed, but the exchange rate offered to replace Roman coins with temple coins was exorbitantly high, giving them a tidy profit. 

Susan: They were building their own affluence by robbing the people who desired to worship sacrificially. This egregious behavior troubled and angered Jesus to His very core.  

Susie: Again, Jesus reference an Old Testament prophet when He accused them of turning the Temple into a den of thieves:

Jeremiah 7:11 Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the Lord.

Luke 19:47-48 And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.

Susan: Jesus methodically, fearlessly went to the Temple to teach every day, being about His Father’s business.

Susie: This seems to be a bold move since He (being omniscient) knew the hearts of the priest and scribes. However, as the Apostle John stated over and over in His gospel, “His time had not yet come.” Jesus knew they could not seize Him until the time the Father had foreordained.

Susan: The hearts, motives, and evil agenda of the religious leadership did not move or threaten Jesus. The only thing that fueled His actions was His Father’s purposes. Jesus’s tenacious pursuit was the will of God the Father.

Susie: Although the Jewish religious elite wanted to get rid of Jesus, to kill Him, they were inhibited by the crowds of people who were in awe of Him. As Luke says, the people were hanging on His every word. Therefore, those who wanted Jesus dead backed off for the moment, all the while plotting to find a way to end Him.

Ponder this and Apply it: We may not turn the worship center into a “house of robbers,” but do we consistently enter into the sanctuary with an attitude of worship, praise, and prayer? Are we there each Sunday to be involved in a nice social club, or are we there to worship and seek a Holy God? Do we examine our hearts, desiring to know God more intimately; or are we just checking off a list of things we “should” do. Are we there for intimacy (into me see), a transparent exchange with the all-seeing Father, or are we there only to receive blessings? Is God a vending machine that dispenses fulfilment of promises, or is He the Master to be obeyed? This week before entering your place of worship, perform a heart check. Check your spiritual pulse and prepare yourself to worship, praise, and pray to the Holy, Sovereign Lord of all creation.

Thursday, March 21, 2019


Luke 19:41-44

Luke 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,

Susie: This was not the only time Jesus grieved over the unrepentant, unbelieving state of the city of Jerusalem, but Luke is the only gospel writer who records that Jesus shed tears over it.

Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

Luke 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!

Susan: Luke, being a doctor, may have been more attuned to the compassion of Christ. Perhaps Luke felt it was important to transparently record the emotion and passion of Jesus toward people.

Luke 19:42 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.

Susie: Jerusalem, the city of the Sanhedrin, the Pharisees, the leaders of the Jewish faith, should have been able to recognize Jesus as the Messiah based on the teachings of the Prophets. But they had blinded themselves to the truth that was right before their eyes.

Susan: A very few of the religious leadership were given the ability to see Jesus as Messiah, such as Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathaea. However, those who refused to see were, in the end, given over to their blindness by the Lord.

Luke 19:43-44 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, 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.

Susie: Jesus prophesied the judgment that would come upon Jerusalem for their failure to recognize Him as the Christ, the Son of God.

Susan: Even though Jesus, the righteous judge, would eventually execute vengeance upon the city, He compassionately wept over them because of the judgement the Lord would have to carry out. Jesus shed tears for the very people who would shout “Crucify Him!”, demanding His execution. Jesus, the Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice, cried for those who would condemn Him to an agonizing and humiliating death on the cross.

Susie: The events Jesus described would occur in AD 70 when the Romans besieged then demolished both Jerusalem and its inhabitants. The Temple and the city, including homes, were completely leveled. Most of the inhabitants were killed outright, and those who were not were taken prisoner to fight as gladiators or in other ways die as a spectacle for the Roman citizens.

Susan: The reason for this future calamity upon Jerusalem was their failure to recognize Jesus. As the Voice translation says:

Luke 19:44b because you did not recognize the day when God’s Anointed One visited you.

Ponder this and Apply it: The Lord has revealed Himself in nature (Romans 1:20), through His Word, and through the testimony of believers. If you have not already seen the truth of Jesus, ask God to open your eyes. Seek Him in the Bible and listen to the witness of those who serve Him. Today is the day to recognize Jesus as the Son of the Living God and surrender your life to Him, the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2). Tomorrow is not promised to you. Trust in Jesus now!

Monday, March 18, 2019


Luke 19:35-40

Luke 19:35-36 And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way.

Susan: The Passion Translation translates the garments as being their prayer shawls. That is plausible since that was an outermost garment. However, the Greek word used is generic for the outer garment. The Hebrew word that specifically indicates a prayer shawl was not used.

Susie: One commentator claimed that the disciples would have chosen the best garments offered to them for the “saddle,” but that is not expressly stated either. However, the tradition of covering the path with clothes was indicative of welcoming a king, a red carpet of sorts:

MacArthur Study Bible
11:8 spread their clothes. Such action was part of the ancient practice of welcoming a new king (see note on Matt. 21:8). branches. Palm branches which symbolized joy and salvation and pictured future royal tribute to Christ (Rev. 7:9). The crowd was greatly excited and filled with praise for the Messiah who taught with such authority, healed the sick, and raised the dead (Lazarus; cf. John 12:12–18).

Luke 19:37 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;

Susie: As Jesus neared Jerusalem, a crowd gathered and began shouting praises. Luke does not mention the palm branches that the MacArthur Study Bible explained, but they are mentioned in Matthew’s account.

Reformation Study Bible

19:37 This entry into Jerusalem fulfilled prophecy (Zech. 9:9) and was a public claim to messiahship, but messiahship of a distinctive kind, since the donkey was the animal of a man of peace. A conquering king would ride a horse. The people seem to have recognized the kingship, but not to have seen the emphasis on peace.

Susan: Most Bibles label this passage “The Triumphal Entry,” but it would be better titled, “The Coronation Celebration.”

Susie: Even though the only crown Jesus would wear would be the crown of thorns placed upon his head by Roman soldiers, the disciples were recognizing Him as their Messiah, the King, with the praises they shouted.

Luke 19:38 Saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest.

Susan: The crowd of Jesus’s followers specifically recited a well-known messianic Psalm indicating their conviction that Jesus was, indeed, the long-awaited Messiah:

Psalm 118:26a Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord

Luke 19:39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples.

Susie: Many commentators agree that these may have been Pharisees that recognized Jesus as a great Rabbi but felt His followers were going too far in proclaiming Him to be the Messiah. Other commentators made the point that this would have been in view of the fortress housing the Roman soldiers, and the Pharisees feared the enthusiasm of the crowds might be interpreted by them as an uprising against Rome.

Luke 19:40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.

Susan: If people fail to occupy their rightful station of praising God, nature will fill the gap and take up the song. There are many scriptures that reveal this concept:

Psalm 96:11-13 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice Before the Lord: for he cometh, for he cometh to judge the earth: he shall judge the world with righteousness, and the people with his truth.

Isaiah 55:12 For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Susan: I can only imagine what it will be like to be able to clap my hands in praise to the Lord! I look forward to that day!

Ponder this and Apply it: The crowds praised Jesus as their king but failed to understand the nature of His kingship. He was not there to conquer Rome but to defeat Satan and sin for all who believe in and trust Him. Do you know that Jesus has conquered sin and death for you by His death on the cross and His resurrection from the grave? If so, are you shouting His praise; or will the rocks have to take your place? As Christians, we have the choice to use our voices as instruments of praise. We should not leave this privilege to hail Him as King to an orchestra of trees and a chorus of stones.

Thursday, March 14, 2019


Luke 19:28-34
(See also Matthew 21:1-8 & Mark 11:1-8, John 12:12-19)

Luke 19:28 And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.

Susie: After finishing the parable about the servants who invested wisely (or not), Jesus began His final ascent up the hill from Jericho to Jerusalem. We saw Him determined to fulfill His purpose by going to Jerusalem back in chapter nine.

Luke 9:51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem

Susan: Although Jesus traveled many other places along the way, Jerusalem and His foreordained destiny were always in the back of His mind.

Luke 19:29 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,

Susan: Bethany was the home of some of Jesus’s closest friends, Lazarus, Martha, and Mary. He had stayed with them many times for rest and familyship.  Their home seemed to be a place of respite for Him where He could make Himself at home.

Susie: They lived near Mt. OIivet, so named because at one time it was covered with olive trees. Bethany was about two miles from Jerusalem, easy walking distance to go back and forth to the Temple during the week of Jesus’s “passion,” the last few days before His sacrifice on the cross.

Luke 19:30 Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither.

Susie: Jesus had not physically scouted out a place to rent a ride beforehand. There was no Enterprise™ to bring a rental to Him. This shows His omniscience (the fact that He knows everything) because He was able to describe exactly where the disciples would find the donkey colt. Matthew’s gospel notes that it was tied next to its mother.

Susan: This a fulfilment of prophecy found in Zechariah 9:9:

Zechariah 9:9 (NIV) Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Susie: Wouldn’t the mare have been more suitable for an adult male to ride on? Why the baby donkey?

Susan: The donkey needed to be a young colt that had never even had anyone sit on it because this honor was symbolic of holiness and purity. Matthew’s gospel tells us the disciples brought the mare along as well. This may have been done to insure the colt’s cooperation.

MacArthur Study Bible

The Jews regarded animals that had never been ridden as especially suited for holy purposes (cf. Num. 19:2; Deut. 21:3; 1 Sam. 6:7).

Luke 19:31 And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him.

Susan: Jesus had no way to send a message ahead to the owners of the colt that He would need to borrow it.

Susie: There were no cell phones or even telegraphs. Since He knew most people would question someone just taking off with their beast, He gave the disciples instructions in case they asked them, “What do you think you’re doing?!”

Susan: Jesus specifically instructed them to say, “The Lord needs him.” The owners would understand that by “the Lord” they meant Jesus of Nazareth and release the donkey to them.

Luke 19:32-33 And they that were sent went their way and found even as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt?

Susie: The two disciples found the colt tied next to his mother just as Jesus had described the scene.

Susan: The owners confronted the two disciples asking, “Why are you untying our colt, and where are you taking him?”

Luke 19:34 And they said, The Lord hath need of him.

Susie: They answered exactly as they had been instructed and were given the colt to take back to Jesus.

Susan: After hearing the appropriate answer, the owners released the donkey for his royal appointment.

Ponder this and Apply it: Jesus knew in advance that the donkeys would be there and would be released for His purposes. He sees our needs ahead of time and knows how He will meet them, too. We need not fret about anything. Also, note that the disciples did exactly as Jesus told them even though they may have wondered how He knew these things. They simply obeyed immediately, completely, and without questioning. How often is our obedience to the Lord performed like that?

Monday, March 11, 2019


Luke 19:11-27

Luke 19:11 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.

Susan: Since Jesus had left Jericho and was nearing Jerusalem, his followers assumed that He would now set up His earthly kingdom. They were still thinking of the Messiah as the One who would conquer the Romans and get them out from under their rule.

Susie: Therefore, Jesus told a parable that makes the point that the timing of His earthly kingdom is not as important as the fact that they should be about building that kingdom and serving Him until such time as He returns to take the throne.

Susan: The timing of Him assuming His role as an earthly kingdom is His part. Our part is to go ahead and serve Him here and now. We are to not only occupy but be busy about Kingdom business until His returns. We should be multiplying His Kingdom by internalizing His word in order to share it and make disciples.

Luke 19:12 He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.

Susie: This concept would have been familiar to Jesus’s listeners. In order to officially assume rule over an area, the king would have to travel to another place to be named king by a higher king. Herod the Great had to travel to Rome to be awarded his kingship.

Luke 19:13 And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.

Susie: He gave ten pounds (or minas) to servants to be used while he was gone. There were ten servants, and each one got one mina which was the equivalent of about three months wages.

Susan: They were all given the same amount. The Complete Jewish Bible says they are to “Do business with this while I’m away.” Today, they might invest it in the stock market, a mutual fund, a certificate of deposit, or a savings account.

Susie: Or they might buy something at a low price and sell it at a higher price like the show “Flea Market Flip.”

Luke 19:14 But his citizens hated him, and sent a message after him, saying, We will not have this man to reign over us.

Susan: Some of his subjects sent an envoy ahead of him with the message, “We despise the idea of this man ruling over us. We won’t stand for it.”

Susie: As we will see in a later verse, this message apparently got back to the king. He found out about their rejection.

Luke 19:15 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.

Susan: He called them to, as they say in Missouri, “Show me the money!”

Susie: He required that each man give an accounting of how wisely he had invested his one mina.

Luke 19:16-17 Then came the first, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds. And he said unto him, Well, thou good servant: because thou hast been faithful in a very little, have thou authority over ten cities.

Susie: The amount they were given to start with was not a huge sum of money. In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14-30), the three servants were given a great deal more. A mina was 1/60th of a talent!

Susan: A current example would be if a Sonic™ waitress had been given $100 and brought back $1000 to her boss. Then her boss makes her the manager of 10 Sonic™ locations.

Susie: The servant had been responsible for really very little compared to now being awarded the responsibility of managing ten cities!

Susan: Even though we are saved by grace, our works done as a result of knowing Jesus, will be rewarded even more bountifully than we can imagine.

1 Corinthians 3:13-15 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Revelation 22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Luke 19:18-19 And the second came, saying, Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds. And he said likewise to him, Be thou also over five cities.

Susan: We know the king was not disappointed with the second servant because he gave him no rebuke for only multiplying his money five times.

Susie: Perhaps he was aware of this man’s abilities and realized he had done his best.

Susan: The king gave him a reward in keeping with his skill set. He multiplied the money five times and was put over five cities.

Susie: We do not see the servant complaining that the other man got ten cities and he was only awarded five. I think they were both in shock that they were being given this great honor and responsibility.

Luke 19:20-21 And another came, saying, Lord, behold, here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin: For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up that thou layedst not down, and reapest that thou didst not sow.

Susan: The third man had no internal motivation to do his best to serve the master. Instead, out of abject terror, he just made a point not to lose the one mina he had. He wrapped it up carefully and hid it so it would not be stolen or lost.

Susie: His impression of the master was that he cheated people by reaping something that someone else sowed and taking out what he didn’t put in.

Luke 19:22-23 And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow: Wherefore then gavest not thou my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have required mine own with usury?

Susie: The king is not admitting that he truly was as the man described him. He is just stating that if the man truly believed this about him, he should have made a point to put the money to use. He should have known the master would want to see an increase.

Luke 19:24-26 And he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound, and give it to him that hath ten pounds. (And they said unto him, Lord, he hath ten pounds.)  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.

Susan: He told those standing nearby to take the money from the one who had not multiplied it and give it to the one who had multiplied his resources most wisely. It makes sense to place his money with the better investor.

Susie: The crowd protested that the first servant already had ten pounds (minas), but the king did not change his mind. The only punishment for the servant that earned nothing was to take away the small amount he had been given. Lest we think this is too harsh, remember that he had not earned this money. It belonged to the master the whole time. He was just not given further opportunity to prove himself as a steward of the king’s resources.

Luke 19:27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

Susan: Those who protested his appointment as king and secretly sent an envoy to try to have his kingship annulled were brought before him to be executed.

Susie: Those who had rejected him as king would not be given the privilege of living in his kingdom. In fact, they would not be given the privilege to keep on living at all!

Ponder this and Apply it: Every believer has been given the gift of salvation and the responsibility to multiply the kingdom of God by sharing the Gospel and making disciples. Some are more diligent about Kingdom business than others and will receive greater rewards. Are you using the skills the Lord has given you to His glory? Are you using your time wisely to further the Kingdom of God by witnessing as you go about your daily business? Do we proclaim the victory of His cross and the reality of His resurrection? Do you long to hear the words, “Well done!” when you meet the Lord? Then be about His business while we wait for His return to reign on the earth.

Thursday, March 7, 2019


Luke 19:1-10

Luke 19:1-2 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.

Susie: I’ve read and heard this account more times than I can remember, but apparently the “where” of it has passed right through my mind and never stuck before today. Zacchaeus lived in or near Jericho, the city whose walls tumbled down in the book of Joshua!

Susan: Zacchaeus was one of the head tax-collectors, a very wealthy man.

Susie: Did tax-collectors get paid a lot of money?

Susan: I don’t know whether they got paid a living wage, but they lined their pockets by overcharging the people and taking the overage for themselves.

Luke 19:3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.

Susan: I know what little stature is all about since 2015! I am now 3’2 and even in my power chair, I cannot see over a crowd. I sit on the second row in church in order to see, but I can’t do what Zacchaeus did!

Luke 19:4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.

Susan: Zacchaeus booked it on his short but strong legs and climbed up a tree. He now had the best seat in the house, or outside the house (as the case may be).

Susie: He knew the route Jesus was taking and chose a tree that would allow him to see Him pass by.

Luke 19:5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for today I must abide at thy house.

Susan: Jesus didn’t “just happen” to look up at that moment. He was well-aware of Zacchaeus’s seat in the “bird’s nest”.

Susie: What sticks out for me is that Jesus calls Zacchaeus by name even though they have never met. Jesus not only knew where he was but who he was.

Susan: Then Jesus invites Himself to supper!

Susie: He even tells Zacchaeus to hurry up!

Luke 19:6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.

Susan: Zacchaeus did not take offense at Jesus inviting Himself over and telling him to make it quick. He was elated to come down and entertain such an important guest.

Luke 19:7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.

Susie: Why did the crowd whisper to each other that Zacchaeus was a sinner?

Susan: Tax-collectors, in the eyes of the crowd, were scoundrels and thieves who worked for the Roman government and stole from their own people.

Susie: At the time of Jesus, the Romans had conquered Israel, occupied it, and ruled it sometimes cruelly. Working for them as tax-collectors, and then taking even more than they had to charge, was a horrible crime in the minds of Zacchaeus’s fellow Jews.

Luke 19:8 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 anything from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.

Susie: We do not know at exactly what moment Zacchaeus realized Jesus was the Messiah, Emmanuel, God in his presence, but he must have found saving faith that evening. The fact that Zacchaeus truly trusted in Jesus is evidenced by his conviction to make restitution for his work as a tax-collector. John MacArthur explains the significance of his promise far better than we could:

MacArthur Study Bible
19:8 I restore fourfold. Zacchaeus’ willingness to make restitution was proof that his conversion was genuine. It was the fruit, not the condition, of his salvation. The law required a penalty of one-fifth as restitution for money acquired by fraud (Lev. 6:5; Num. 5:6, 7), so Zacchaeus was doing more than was required. The law required 4-fold restitution only when an animal was stolen and killed (Ex. 22:1). If the animal was found alive, only two-fold restitution was required (Ex. 22:4). But Zacchaeus judged his own crime severely, acknowledging that he was as guilty as the lowest common robber. Since much of his wealth had probably been acquired fraudulently, this was a costly commitment. On top of that, he gave half his goods to the poor. But Zacchaeus had just found incomprehensible spiritual riches and did not mind the loss of material wealth (see notes on 14:28; Matt. 13:44–46). He stands in stark contrast with the rich young ruler in 18:18–24.

Susan: Zacchaeus’s encounter with Jesus impacted him so much that he determined to restore over and above what The Law required. Jesus did not demand this of Zacchaeus: the man just did it from the conviction in his heart.

Luke 19:9-10 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

Susan: Zacchaeus had a total heart change because Jesus called him, and he responded in trust. He came down out of the tree, took Jesus into his home, and Jesus saved him. The evidence of Jesus’s calling Zacchaeus out of the tree and into fellowship with Himself was the positive response Zacchaeus had to the conviction in his heart.

Susie: Zacchaeus was not saved because he gave away half his goods to the poor and restored four times the amount he had taken from people. These acts were proof that Jesus had come into his life and empowered him to do what was right.

Ponder this and Apply it: To what lengths or heights will you go to draw near to Jesus? Will you enter His house regularly to worship and hear His word preached? Will you make time to dive into His word daily? Will you seek Him in prayer moment by moment? Amazing, complete changes happen in a person who truly encounters the Son of God! Jesus has gone to great lengths to demonstrate His love for us, even dying in our place on the cross.