Commentary

Luke 20

Yet in the precincts of the temple the Lord taught daily during this last week of His life, so it is not surprising that He came into conflict with them. The whole of this chapter is occupied with details of the conflict. The chief priest and scribes began the conflict, and at the end they were left silenced and unmasked. They started by challenging His authority. They were the people in authority there, and to them He was but an upstart "Prophet" from Nazareth. Their question assu...

Luke 19

Only Luke tells us about the conversion of Zacchaeus, which fits in so strikingly with the theme of his Gospel. The publican, though so despised by the leaders of his people, was a fit subject for the grace of the Lord, and he was marked by the faith which is ready to receive it. Zacchaeus had no physical or material needs; his was a case of spiritual need only. The people flung the epithet, "sinner," at him. It was a true epithet, and Zacchaeus knew it, yet it provoked him into an atte...

Luke 18

In speaking the parable, with which this chapter opens, the Lord was continuing the same line of thought, as is shown by His application of the parable in verses 7 and 8. When the kingdom arrives it will mean judgment for the evil-doers, but the days just before its arrival will mean tribulation for saints. Their resource will be prayer. Even an unjust judge will be moved to right the wrongs of a widow, if she is sufficiently importunate; so the saint may continue waiting upon God with ...

Luke 17

The latter part of the previous chapter, verse 14 to the end, was spoken to the Pharisees: at the beginning of this chapter the Lord again addresses His disciples. The rich man had stumbled over his possessions into hell, and now the Lord tells His disciples that, the world being what it is, "offences," or occasions of stumbling are inevitable. The great thing is to avoid being an "offence" to anyone else, to even the least important. The consequences are so serious that anything is bet...

Luke 16

These parables were spoken to the Pharisees but the one that opens this chapter was spoken to the disciples. They were instructed by it as to the position in which men find themselves before God, and the behaviour that befits them in that position. We are stewards, and have been unfaithful in our stewardship. The steward was accused to his master that he had "wasted his goods." This phrase gives us a link with the previous parable, for the younger son had "wasted his substance with r...

Luke 15

From the two verses that open this chapter, it would seem that these words about grace and discipleship drew the publicans and sinners toward Him, while repelling the Pharisees and scribes. He did indeed receive sinners and eat with them: such action is according to the very nature of grace. The Pharisees flung out the remark as a taunt. The Lord accepted it as a compliment, and proceeded by parables to show that He not only received sinners but positively sought them, and also to demon...

Luke 14

In the closing verses of the previous chapter the Lord accepted His rejection and foretold its results for Jerusalem; yet He did not cease His activities in grace nor His teachings of grace, as the opening part of this chapter shows. The Pharisees wished to use their law of the sabbath as a cord wherewith to tie up His hands of mercy and restrain them from action. He broke their rope and showed that He would at least have as much mercy on the afflicted man as they were accustomed to s...

Luke 13

Just at that moment some of those present mentioned the case of certain unhappy men of Galilee, who had paid the extreme penalty under Pilate. They had the impression that they were sinners of the deepest dye. The Lord charged home upon His hearers that their own guilt was just as great, and that they too would perish, and He cited the further case of the eighteen slain by the fall of the tower at Siloam. In the popular view these were exceptional happenings indicating exceptional wi...

Luke 12

Instead of being provoked by the vehement opposition of the scribes and Pharisees, the Lord improved the occasion by calmly instructing His disciples in the presence of the enormous crowd, that the controversy had drawn together. He had just been fuming the searchlight of truth on the religious leaders: He now turned the same light on the disciples and their path. In the first place He warned them against the hypocrisy, which He had just been unmasking in the Pharisees. It is indee...

Luke 24

The closing verses of Luke 23, and the opening part of this chapter makes it very plain that none of His disciples in any way anticipated His resurrection. This makes the testimony to it all the more pronounced and satisfying. They were not enthusiastic and visionary, inclined to believe anything, but rather of materialistic mind and despondent, inclined to doubt everything. The women are brought before us in the first place. They had no thoughts but those suitable to an ordinary f...
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