Luke Chapter 18

October 21, 2010

This Preaching in Shorts Bible study is on the Book of Luke. Each chapter is read verse by verse with the major points highlighted and discussed.

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Luke Chapter 18 from Preaching In Shorts on Vimeo.

Luke 18:1-43 (NIV)
1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ 4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!'” 6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” 9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ 13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ 14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” 15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'” 21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said. 22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, 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 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?” 27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” 28 Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!” 29 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.” 31 Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. 32 He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. 33 On the third day he will rise again.” 34 The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about. 35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” 38 He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 40 Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. 42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” 43 Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.

Luke begins chapter 18 by talking about Jesus and prayer.

Luke 18:1-10

Jesus tells of a judge who did no care about God or others, and a woman who had appealed to him to right a wrong that had been committed against her. He would not. So she just kept coming at him. Finally, out of frustration he did what she asked. He didn’t act because he cared, but because he was bothered.

Jesus is using this as a contrast between the character of God and the character of man. Sometimes when we pray and we don’t see an immediate answer we begin to question. Is God listening? Does God care? We often get discouraged and might even stop praying. What difference does it make?

Or we may begin to think that we have done something wrong and that God is punishing us. The story is meant to get us to turn our attention off of us and onto God. God is a loving Father who acts on our behalf not because He is bothered by us, but because He loves us. If there is a delay in the answer it is not because He is unconcerned or uncaring. When we cry out to God He hears and He is acting. We may not see in the immediate what He is doing or what He will do, but we can know that He is involved. We can trust Him. This is where faith comes in. Faith allows us to keep God in the equation and look past our circumstances so that we focus on God who cares for us.

Luke 18:11-14

This illustration of the prayers offered by the Pharisee and the tax collector again help us realize that in prayer, it is not about “us” but about Him. We do not earn His movement into our lives, it happens because of His love for us, not our performance for Him. Thinking like the Pharisees keeps us from seeing God and our own hearts clearly. Understanding, like the tax collector, that we are sinners, allows us to come before God in humility, knowing that it is He who takes our brokenness and makes us whole.

Luke 18:15-17

Jesus than tells us that we must all receive the Kingdom of God like little children. We look up to God, realize that He loves and forgives us, and we take a hold of the hand that He offers to us.

Luke 18:18-34

The story of the rich young ruler is a shocker to the disciples.

First, the rich young ruler, sees Jesus as good but not as God. Next, he is quite confident that he has it all figured out and is able to tell Jesus that he has followed the law. But then, Jesus cuts to the heart of the matter. Go and sell your possessions and follow me. The rich young ruler could not. Why? He loved his money more than God. It is like the verse we have discussed over and over, where are to love God most, with all our mind, soul, heart and strength. His money was not the issue, it was his love of money that kept him from God.

In he Jewish culture, the rich were considered blessed. The disciples were shocked when Jesus said it would be hard for the rich to enter the Kingdom. Who then can be saved the disciples asked? Only those who look to God for what they themselves can never do. Salvation, impossible with men, is like all things, possible for God. Our faith and trust must be in Him, for He alone can do the impossible. Luke then closes the chapter with a story about the power of faith.

Luke 18:35-43

The blind man who cries out to Jesus is given sight. As we come in faith, crying out the Lord, we are also able to see Him more clearly, knowing that he hears us, and answers us because He loves us and that He is always acting on our behalf.

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