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Luke Chapter 18

  • Bible Study on Luke 

    Luke Chapter 18


    >> Click Here For Audio Version << 
     

    Luke 18 Outline:

    18:01-08 The unjust judge.
    18:09-14 The Pharisee and the publican.
    18:15-17 Jesus and the children.
    18:18-30 The rich young ruler.
    18:31-34 Another prophecy of the coming crucifixion.
    18:35-43 A blind man receives his sight.

    Fun Facts:
    — The young rich man was also a ruler in the kingdom.
    — Tax collectors were Israelites who worked for the Romans to collect taxes and had a social status well below sinners.

    Study Notes:
    Luke 18:1-8 The key verse is 18:1. Jesus told His disciples that they should pray always and not give up. This is often ignored today, and even then, the Jews believed that three times a day was the maximum that you should pray (Daniel 6:10). Jesus then tells a parable about an unjust judge and a widow that bothered him all the time. He ignored her for a while, but when she would not leave him alone, he gave into her commands and gave her what she wanted. Jesus is not comparing God to an unjust judge, but saying “How much more so…” If even an unrighteous judge will do what is good, how much more so will God answer those that pray to Him continuously.

    God’s timing is His own, Peter said that a day is as a thousand years to God, and a thousand years as a day (2 Peter 3:8). I have waited twenty-five years for something to happen, then when I gave up, it suddenly it happened overnight. The thing to remember is that the time is on God’s calendar and He will move when that time comes.

    Luke 18:9-14 Jesus taught about the “Holier than thou” attitude. The Pharisee was a religious man while the tax collectors were usually dishonest, and betrayed their own countrymen. They were Jews that collected taxes for the Romans and kept a portion for themselves. They had a special class ranked lower than sinners.

    The Pharisee was very proud of himself. He mentions God in the first sentence, but talks about himself the rest of his prayer. He covers the things that he is not, then the good things that he does. He stopped just short of thanking God for creating the perfect man.

    The tax collector would not even look up to heaven. He was truly convicted of his sin, knew that he was a sinner, and begged God’s mercy. He made no excuses, just God be merciful to me (the) sinner. Jesus said that he went home justified, not the Pharisee.

    A key verse is 14, “for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” I have seen this come true time after time in my own life. The way up in the kingdom, is down. Serving, and putting others needs before your own, and soon people will be serving you, and putting your needs before their own. Give something away and more will be given back to you. Pray for others, you will be blessed. Kingdom dynamics work backwards from self-centered ones. C.S. Lewis said that “humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less” and I think that is a very true statement.

    Luke 18:15-17 People wanted to bring children to Jesus but the disciples rebuked them, maybe thinking that Jesus was too busy or too important. Most of the time religious leaders ignore the children, but Jesus was different. He summoned them and explained that we need to be as little children to enter into the kingdom. Children are not ashamed to display utter dependence on their parents, unworldliness, openness, and complete trust.

    Luke 18:18-30 Luke is the only one that tells us that this man was a ruler. The rich young ruler asked Jesus what he needed to do in order to inherit eternal life. Jesus mentioned five commandments and the young man said that he had kept all of these.

    Then Jesus put His finger on something that the young man did not want to give up, his money. The first commandment is that you shall have no other God’s before me, and Jesus discerned that this man’s God was his money instead and offered him a chance to follow Him. It made the man sad.

    I had a good friend that was very wealthy. He had worked hard for it and he really loved his money. When he came to the Lord, the Lord rode his back to give, give and give, a thousand dollars at a time. It took years of painful giving until it finally just did not bother him anymore. When he no longer cared, the Lord stopped pressuring him. It was ok for him to have money, but the money could not have a grip on him. When he began to freely let it go, the Lord multiplied what he had. Now he is a wealthy, cheerful giver.

    Jesus saw that the man went away sad and how difficult it was for those who are rich to enter into the Kingdom of God. It goes back to the first commandment, God is a jealous God and He will not allow you to have other gods before Him. You can have them, or Him, but you will not have them both.

    Jesus said that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God. There are a few ways to look at this. One is that Jesus was using a humorous illustration. Another is that eye of a needle referred to a rounded gate of a city, that a camel could get through, but just barely. It was a very difficult fit and when loaded with baggage, impossible. Either way, the meaning is the same. If your money comes before God in your life, you will not be entering into His kingdom easily.

    It was commonly held that money was the blessing of God, and that the rich were the ones with the best chance of being saved. Now Jesus was saying that wealth would prevent you from entering into the kingdom, so they asked “Then who can be saved?” Jesus replied basically that with man, it is impossible to be saved, but all things are possible with God. He would make a way and it would be free to all. God was more demanding than any of them wanted to know, but more generous than they dared hope for.

    When Peter tells Jesus that they have left everything, Jesus reassures him that there will be a reward. The give and it will be given to you is one of God’s laws and I have seen it work in our life so many times. When you have a genuine spirit of self-sacrifice, God supplies the needs.

    Luke 18:31-34 Jesus explained His coming crucifixion, death and resurrection, and this was the seventh time in Luke that He spoke of this suffering (5:35; 9:22, 43–45; 12:50; 13:32; 17:25; 18:31).

    The disciples understood none of these things because it was hidden from them. They heard the words, but they did not understand what it meant until they were standing at His tomb and He wasn’t in it.

    Luke 18:35-43 As Jesus came near Jericho, a blind man called to Jesus “Have mercy on me!” Jesus had the man brought to Him and asked him “What do you want me to do?” Then the man asked to receive his sight. Jesus merely said “Receive your sight. Your faith has healed you.” The man could see again.

    This story reminds me of the widow and the judge from earlier. They tried to get the blind man to be quiet but he cried out all the more “Jesus, have mercy on me.” He then got what he asked for. 

    Study Questions: (if your answers are very long, you may want to type them first in something like Notepad, which doesn't require an Internet connection, then copy and paste (Ctrl-A to select, Ctrl-C to copy, Ctrl-V to paste), to prevent mishaps. Also, there is a 3K character limit, so if they are super long, feel free to post more than once, and just answer a couple of questions at a time. You are welcome to post any questions you may have, as well. We look forward to your thoughts!)

    1. In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus encouraged us to "pray and not lose heart”, that God would “give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night”. He also said, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”. What are your thoughts on this last statement?

    2. Jesus showed that a spirit of humility was more important than our works in the parable of “The Pharisee and the Tax Collector”. How can we better cultivate this kind of humility?

    3. In Luke 18:15-17, Jesus said that we are to receive the kingdom of God “like a child”. What do you think are the qualities that He was referring to?

    4. Jesus told the rich ruler (Luke 18:18-25) that he had to sell all of his belongings and distribute them to the poor in order to follow Him. How do you think this parable applies to us?

    5. When Jesus described the way He would die, non of His twelve disciples seemed to understand, even though it was said very literally. Why do you think that was the case?


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22 comments
  • 0
Lissy Verghese
Lissy Verghese Great! The bible study appears here on Tuesday itself, it's 7:00 AM here! :)
August 31, 2015
  • 1
Carolyn  Douglas
Carolyn Douglas Luke 18 Question 1   Persistent unyielding prayer is what I receive thru this passage. There are some things in life and in our faith walk, that will require well watered prayer. Praying 25 years for the salvation of my parents is one important prayer that I clung to because I knew that this was within the will of God and so therefore I held tightly to the hope that God would answer. I also knew that it was a decision that they had to make, as God gives us free choice. Then the prayers were answered as conditions of outside issues made it unavoidable. Throughout the Bible there are years between a promise or hope and the actual arrival. If there is anything I see in our current culture today, it is the lack of patience to wait for anything. If we fail to understand that God's time is sovereign and to keep praying with faith, it will greatly affect our ability to have peace and victory in other areas of our faith walk.
September 1, 2015
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Kay Rushin
Kay Rushin Q.1- Faith comes from God in the form of a gift (Ephesians 2:8). For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. Grace creates faith instant by instant. I used to ponder this so much, I could not understand why some people can't just believe. We need to continue to encourage each other. Be in his word. Q.2- It's not about me, we all fall short. The bible says none are worthy. Q.3-Kids don't care about the nonsense, they just want to be friends, loved. They don't cast judgement. They just believe. Q.4-Material things don't matter! Q.5- It seem impossible and their mind could not understand. The Holy Spirit came after the death of Christ as he promised in John 14.
September 1, 2015
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Kathy Banfield
Kathy Banfield #1 Since my diagnosis of cancer, I've been looking back on my life, and I realize that EVERY prayer I uttered has come true! Back in 1988 I ended uo marrying "Bob"--just as I had asked God many years ago, although it wasn't the same "Bob" from my grammar school days! I also found that God wants us to be specific in our prayers. When I was anorexic, I prayed to be able to eat everything and not get fat. Well, since my surgery, I've lost 13 pounds--so the lesson is: Be careful what you wish for! I've also found, to my delight, that God has a great sense of humor! #2 I now realize that not only does God want us to stop obsessing over money--He DEMANDS that we do so! I once had a great job and made lots of money, which I spent as quickly as I earned it--always on frivilous things. Only during that past few years have I learned to be a genrous giver.For example, I make painted silk scarves and now find more delight in GIVING them away than I did selling them! Giving is also a sure way to combat depression. It''s impossible to be gloomy when someone is so pleased with a item I've given them that I created myself.#3 I think God wants us to be open and receptive as kids are--not that we are to be immature or "childish" in our behavior.Kids are naturally honest, open, receptive to new things. As we grow up, we tend to become jaded and blase.Amazingly, that never happened to me.I don't know why, considering I've had a rough life, but I still cultivate an open mind and always find good in everyone.(Sadly, my husband feels this is also a character fault in me and often leads me to trouble. I recall the time I worked in the county jail and felt sorry for an inmate, so I bought a VCR and TV for his mother! Not such a good decision, but what the heck!) #4 When we treasure our "stuff" more than Jesus, we are in trouble! But Jesus also told us that moths can destroy what is of this world and our real treasures are in Heaven, so we do need to remember this.In my case, this is quite literl--I treasured an expensive cone of cashmere yarn and never used it because it cost so much. After several years, the moths DID end up eating it!#5 I think the apostles couldn't understand simply because the Holy Spirit had not yet descended upon them to give them the wisdom they needed to understnad Jesus. Before the Spirit came upon me, there were several Bible passages that frustrated me.Once the Spirit comes, wisdom follows---along with the desire to WANT to read further and discover all the Bible has to offer.And I think God still has secrets in the Bible that I haven't found yet.Maybe there are even "secrets" hidden in those pages that humans can't understnad while we are still on this earth.
September 1, 2015
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Cathy Webb
Cathy Webb  1. I think Jesus is pointing out how humans do give up on God despite His unfailing promises to us. It is so easy to fall into doubt and lose faith. There are so many biblical examples of the unyielding faith required to hold onto God despite long periods of time and adversity: Abraham, Job, Paul—for a few. I want to be one of the faithful the Lord finds when He returns!
September 1, 2015
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Shelby Casey
Shelby Caseyedited: September 1, 2015 1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness" NIV   Even after studying for so many years, I am truely in awe at how much life there is in God's Word each time I read it. The Bible is so jam packed with showing us how the world looks at something and how God looks at it.   1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness" NIV   I also love these questions that truely make us think. Faith will be on earth when Jesus comes again. May it means when Kingdom come, thy will be done (as we pray in the Lord's prayer) that we will be surrounded with even more with all that is good; that Earth will be like heaven full of faith and glory. Oh Glory day....   I love this story because if we are truly honest most of us can say that we have had times of being the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. I have had my times praying thank goodness I am not like this guy somehow I felt better about myself when I could judge someone else’s sin more than mine. If I am honest many times I find myself doing it when I pray about an argument or disagreement I had with my husband. See he is always more to blame then I am and God gently reminds me of this story and how I am being a unconscious Pharisee. A very good book, Accidental Pharisees by Larry Osborne.   Other times I have been like the Tax Collector and was concerned about my own sin and the role I have played in my sin and situation; repenting and turning toward God for help. We can do ourselves a lot of favors asking God to work on us and to ask him to tell us what he wants us to do to change and turn toward Him and not worry about the other guy (Big Smile). My grandmother used to say that I will not be held accountable on the day of Judgement for others sin just my own and Jesus has covered that for me by his grace, love and mercy.   One thing I think that Jesus could have meant when he talks about having the nature of children in order to enter the Kingdom, is awe and wonder. We should always look for the little things that come our way like children learning or discovering something new.   I have to tell you I am always uncomfortable with the story of the Rich Young Ruler because I think and hurt for him in what he could he have had, had he laid it down and followed Jesus.  We know what he had when he approached Jesus but what could he have had, which is worth more than all the gold and honor and admiration of man on this earth. Did he truly understand what he was giving up by keeping what he had?   Why do I think the disciples did not understand Jesus about his coming crucifixion? Maybe they were in denial. How could it be that Jesus would be killed in a way that only criminals in that day were killed?  
September 1, 2015
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Melissa-Peter Busse
Melissa-Peter Busse 1. If our prayers aren't answered the way we want them answered, will be still hold true to our faith in Jesus? 2. When we don't get what we want, praise God and don't let our pride get in the way. 3. Total dependance on God, trusting He will care for all our needs. 4. This sounds like a "heart idol" to me. We all have things in our lives that we put before God, but God requires that nothing would be put before Him. 5. They had a complete different picture of what the Messiah would be doing. They were expecting Jesus to overthrow the Roman government, not die a sinners death on a tree.
September 1, 2015
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Carolyn  Douglas
Carolyn Douglas Luke 18 Question 2 ...The Lord detests pride and arrogance especially when connected to those who are within the Church body. It is not in man to be good and the sooner we face that ...the better off we are. Jesus was God in person yet He was born in a barn.He dud not surround Himself with wealth and gold. He lived a life that was ordinary when looked at by others. He did not go around requiring servants and to be waited upon. Jesus displayed no pride but everywhere He went He did good. But in all He glorified the Lord His Father ...and ours too. Thinking about Jesus keeps me in a place of humility and what "good " that anyone sees is Jesus. I die daily that Jesus may filled more.
September 2, 2015
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Carol Pady
Carol Pady 1. We are to continue to pray for our unanswered requests. We are to keep faithfully believing they will be answered.  2. We should never boast about ourselves, because our talents are God given and only with His help do we succeed.  3. We should be as children, not worrying, but trusting our Father to provide for all of our  needs.  4. We need to not let worldly pleasures take precedence over God.  5. I don't think that they could conceive that someone as good as Jesus could come to such a fate. They couldn't understand how God would allow that to happen.
September 2, 2015
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Cathy Webb
Cathy Webbedited: September 3, 2015 2.  It’s easy to draw a comparison between these two men and know which side I want to be on. However, I think your question goes deeper into the character and what humility really looked like in the tax collector. I can mouth the words “I’m unworthy,” but is that what God sees in my heart. I struggle with doing my best work for the Lord, taking pride in my efforts to do a good job at tasks I’m assigned or accept, and being a humble servant who truly puts God first in my life in everything. I don’t think Jesus was providing a simplistic principle here – it’s a daily struggle for me. 3.  I think Jesus wants me to set aside my worldly assumptions and sophisticated experiences. He wants me to drop my explanations, rationalizations, and excuses. It’s a direct question: do you want the kingdom of God? No other trappings or elaborations – do I? First, foremost, only, exclusively?? 4.  I’ve been thinking a lot about what foundation my life is built on. Watched a thought provoking video from Worship House Media entitled Foundation – no sound track – simply striking visuals and a message. The world around me celebrates responsible actions like financial stability, focused career decisions, practical educational choices. Jesus built His foundation on His relationship with His Father. No money, no career, no education, no adherence to the societal wisdom or acceptable norms of His day – simply a godly life work doing His Father’s business. I appreciate Todd and Sylvia sharing their experience of the past month – seeking God’s will for the future. That’s the foundation I think Jesus was describing to the rich ruler and to me.   5.  The scripture clearly states the saying was hidden from them and they didn’t understand. It was not God’s timing for the disciples to grapple with Jesus death. It went into their memory banks at this time for the Spirit to draw it out at the appropriate future time. God never wastes His words and teachings.  
September 3, 2015
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Carolyn  Douglas
Carolyn Douglas Luke 18...Question 3 Children are trusting and dependent, devoid of ego and full of love, without need of walls that shut others out seperating themselves away.They are innocent and hold no grudges. They don't hold onto offenses and forgive quickly moving on to the next adventure. They possess a joy about life and are eager to learn and to be taught. They are not hardened, jaded, and cynical. They are exuberant in their gratitude and without shame.   
September 3, 2015
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Deborah Webb
Deborah Webb Prayer is our direct line of communication with God! So why don't we use it more often, especially, when he says He cares about our concerns and that we can cry out to Him in prayer.  I keep my prayers and concerns forever before Him because I realize my timing is not his timing, and I always trust Him to answer my prayers no matter how long it may take.  Even when my circumstances don't change in the way I want, He gives me peace of mind and His strength to endure it.  Keep believing in faith that God does hear and will answer our prayers in due time.
September 3, 2015
Comment deleted
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Carolyn  Douglas
Carolyn Douglas Luke 18 ...Question 4 It means hold things and wealth loosely and be ready to release it if the Lord asks. It is those who have a lot that live in daily fear of loosing their wealth and spend much time in looking at how to make more...or how to keep others from getting it. Do we own our stuff or does it own us? I think that the rich young ruler found his answer when he walked away. He was faithful in a lot but the Lord was not his master...money was. We would be wise to learn from this! 
September 4, 2015
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<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member 1) I truly believe that when Jesus comes back, He will find here on earth some that have kept the faith, waiting for Him, looking for Him, believing and having faith that He will come back and receive them into His own.
September 4, 2015- Edit- Delete
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<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member 2) I think we as Christians should be among the humbliest of people, because without God's grace and mercy we would not be able to receive Him as our Savior, so I feel that having a humble spirit, far out weighs anyone or anything that has a better than you attitude, because Jesus can use the humble because they are willing, but the proud, they don't think they need anything or anyone.
September 4, 2015- Edit- Delete
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<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member 3) We should be like little children, believing that whatever someone promises us will happen.  We should receive Jesus and believe in our hearts like the little children do, if we ask Him anything, believing, we will receive it, because He is faithful to all His promises. And then we as Christians can receive the blessings and promises of Jesus, because we have allowed our hearts to be like little children, so very very trusting.
September 4, 2015- Edit- Delete
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<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member 4) I think that if we were rich like the young ruler was, a lot of us wouldn't be searching for help through Jesus, because I think many time people that have more than enough, or never have had a need for anything, they don't look for help from others as long as their lives are going the way they want, but when things begin to falter, then they may look for help. But this rich young ruler had desires to follow Jesus, but the grip of his riches had a hold on him that he was not wiling to let go for no one, not even Jesus, and I find that so sad, because no matter whether we are rich or poor, we all need Jesus and one day we will all call on Him one way or the other. I pray that things of this world doesn't keep us from receiving Jesus as our Savior and following His will for our lives. 
September 4, 2015- Edit- Delete
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<i>Deleted Member</i>
Deleted Member 5) I think that if the disciples really understand exactly what Jesus was going to have to face and He would be leaving them, that their hearts and minds couldn't bear what their Savior was going to have to endure. And also they had been in the very presence of Jesus and walked and talked and ate with him and saw Him perform so many miracles, in their minds, Jesus was invinciable, and He truly is invinciable, but He became human like us to die for our sins so that we might have life and have it more abundantly. Jesus knew that He would return to them again and then forever be with His Father, until His returning in the rapture, to join the dead in Christ and the ones that are alive to be caught up in the clouds to be with Him forever more. (Isn't that going to be an awesome day when Jesus returns for His children)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
September 4, 2015- Edit- Delete
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Julie Schneider
Julie Schneider 1. I love it and find so much comfort knowing that God hears my prayers and may have mercy on me if i stay faithful and pray fervently and continously! I also like John 10:41-42 When even Jesus thanks the Father for hearing his prayers. I have added this to my prayers too.
September 11, 2015
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Julie Schneider
Julie Schneider 2. It has always been my greatest fear that i would use my faith as a battering ram to others like a Pharisee. Too many so called Christians use their idenity to "prove" their "rightness" to others. 3. I love listening to my granddaughter talk about God. Her simple complete and total trust is awesome and i strive to be like her!
September 11, 2015
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Julie Schneider
Julie Schneider 4. This one bothers me becasue so many people use this scripture to point out that anyone who is rich wont go to heaven when in fact it is putting money or ANYTHING before God.  I think this is often used as a hate tool for rich people and the fact is that even those of us who arent rich have many things that we value and could easily slip into this unless we keep careful watch.
September 11, 2015