Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 18:13-30

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Luke 18:13-14

See WLC 185.

Luke 18:13

tax collector. He was a dramatic contrast to the Pharisee (vv. 10-12; see note on 3:12). standing at a distance. Everything about the man's posture and position shows that he felt unworthy to stand before God in prayer. mercy. This is not the normal word for mercy in the New Testament. Instead, it's the word which speaks to the satisfaction of God's wrath (propitiation) as atonement is made for sins (Rom. 3:25; 1 John 2:2; 4:10). It was a word associated with the sacrifice made on Israel's Day of Atonement (Exod. 25:17-22; 37:6-8; Lev. 16:15-16; Heb. 2:17). The Pharisee boasted before God, while the tax collector appealed to God for atonement which brings forgiveness (Ps 25:11; 65:3; 78:38; 79:9). sinner. He did not flaunt his righteousness or suppose that he had anything to impress God. He makes no case to convince God to save him. He simply trusts in God's mercy.

Luke 18:14

justified. A legal declaration made by God toward sinners. To be justified is not to be made righteous, but considered righteous by God (Rom. 3:24-26). Sinners are justified by God when they trust Jesus to save them (Rom. 4:5; 5:1, 9; Gal. 2:16). The tax collector looked to God to provide forgiveness and justification as a merciful gift (v. 13). the other. The Pharisee trusted in his own righteousness and was not justified by God (v. 9; Gal. 3:11). exalts . . . humbled. This was an unexpected reversal for Jesus's listeners. They expected the Pharisee to be justified, not the tax collector (see note on 1:51-55).

Luke 18:15-17

Jesus's interactions with children pointed to the humble faith needed to be his disciples.

Luke 18:15-16

See WCF 10.3; 28.4; WLC 166.

Luke 18:15

bringing. Not, they brought, or as Luke often said, On one occasion (5:1; 10:25; 14:1). The tense speaks to the fact that the people kept doing this. It was a common occurrence for Jesus. touch them. The ancient Jews had a cultural history of the elder men in society speaking a blessing onto those who were younger (Gen. 48; Num. 6:24-26).

Luke 18:16

Though the disciples rebuked the crowds (v. 15), Jesus rebukes the disciples. He wanted to reverse their thinking about children and the preaching of the gospel. Permit . . . do not forbid. Jesus gave a positive exhortation for children to be brought to him. He also gave a prohibition not to hinder children from coming to him. kingdom . . . belongs to such. Not that children are always saved. But that those who are saved receive the kingdom like children (v. 17).

Luke 18:17

Little children are needy and trusting toward their parents. Thus, Jesus says that those who believe they are spiritually self-sufficient will not be entering God's kingdom. Only those who come to God like children will be saved. Those that go like children are trusting and wholly dependent on him for salvation (see note on 18:13-14).

Luke 18:18-30

Luke recounted an interaction with someone questioning Jesus to teach about the dangers of wealth. It is hard for rich people to be saved because their confidence must be in God, not money.

Luke 18:18

ruler. This a generalized term, but it indicated a wealthy man in the local community who was influential. eternal life. Life with God, which comes by knowing Jesus by faith (John 3:16; 17:3; Rom. 6:23). It is the same as entering God's kingdom (vv. 24-25; see John 3:3-5, 16).

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