Luke Chapter 19

Bible Study on Luke 

Luke Chapter 19


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Luke 19 Outline:

19:01-10 Zacchaeus.
19:11-27 The parable of the ten minas.
19:28-40 The approach to Jerusalem in triumph.
19:41-44 The lament over Jerusalem.
19:45-46 The cleansing of the temple.
19:47-48 Teaching in the temple.

Fun Facts:
— The mina coin (pound) was worth about one hundred days wages for common labor like fruit picking.
— Jesus may have cleansed the temple twice. John records one at the beginning of His ministry, and Luke one at the end.


Study Notes:
Luke 19:01-10 The story of Zacchaeus and the term “chief tax collector” are only mentioned in Luke. He was a chief tax collector, and very rich. The Roman occupiers imposed taxes on the Jewish people. The tax collectors then collected the money, kept a portion for themselves, and passed on what was required to Rome.

Tax collectors were usually Jewish people who preyed upon their own people. They were especially hated, considered traitors, and socially classed below prostitutes and sinners. They had a special social class of their own and you see the phrase many times in the New Testament, “Tax collectors and sinners.” Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector, meaning that he oversaw others.

The road was crowded with people as Jesus came to the town and the crowd would not have given way for a tax collector like Zacchaeus. They would have ignored him or told him “You have no part in this, sinner.” Zacchaeus was short and could not see over the crowd, but he wanted to see Jesus so badly that he climbed up in a tree just to get a look at him as He passed by.

Jesus stopped underneath the tree, looked up and said “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” Jesus called Zacchaeus by name and said I “must” stay at your house. The whole crowd murmured and complained that Jesus went to eat with a sinner.

Zacchaeus immediately had a complete change of heart when visited by the Lord and gave half his goods to the poor, and made a vow to restore four times what he had wrongfully taken. Thieves that stole animals were required to restore four-fold (2Sam. 12:6). Zacchaeus made a complete turn around in his life.

Jesus said that He had come to seek and to save the lord, and here He had done exactly that. Zacchaeus was lost, but after he was visited by Jesus, he was saved. The humble nature of Zacchaeus is a stark contrast to the rich young ruler.

Hunger draws the Lord. Jesus will pass by ten-thousand people to get to one that truly desires His presence. Often these are some of the lowest in the social order. Jesus has friends in low places.

Luke 19:11-27 Jesus told a parable about a nobleman that called ten servants and gave each one a mina coin. This parable resembles the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, but they are different parables entirely. Jesus sometimes used the same type of story, in a different way to bring out a different meaning.

In the parable of the talents in Matthew, the man gave the servants varying, but large sums according to their ability. Here the man gave ten servants the same amount. The servants here are being tested to see if they are fit for larger tasks. The parable in Matthew reminds us that we all have different gifts, while this one in Luke shows that we all have one basic task while here, living out our faith.

The mina coin (pound) was worth about one hundred days wages for common labor like fruit picking. When the nobleman returned, he called his servants to give their accounts. The first had increased by 1,000%. The second increased by 500%. They were both humble servants as well and took no credit, but only said “Your mina has gained…” Both of them are promoted and given cities to rule over according to their increase.

The third man was called and had done nothing with his mina, but hid it away in a napkin. He said that he was afraid (21). He described his master as a severe man who expected to get blood out of a stone. The servant could have at least put the money in the bank on interest. There were no banks then but interestingly enough, the word bank is derived from bench, the money-lenders bench. Instead the frightened servant did nothing. The money was taken from the frightened servant and given to the man that had proved that he could make good use of it.

The other seven servants, we are left to wonder about. There were only two classes of servants though: Those that made good use of what they had, and those who did not. Those who can be trusted with a little, can be trusted with much (Luke 16:10). Fear was a major factor in making the third servant ineffective.

To me the parable is about Jesus who has traveled far away to receive His Kingdom. One day He will return. We are the servants that He has left here and are to be about His business until He comes back. Fear will stop us if we allow it. In the Christian, life we do not stand still. We use our gifts and make progress or we lose what we even have. If I stop reading the Bible for a year, I tend to forget what I already once knew.

The parable has a scary ending. After the master settles accounts with his faithful servants, he calls the enemies that did not want him to be their king, and has them killed before him. God is long suffering, loving, compassionate and patient, but today is the day of salvation (2Cor. 6:1). When Jesus returns, it will be too late to repent. Those that have rejected Him their whole lives will be considered enemies and forever lost. It is not His choice, it is entirely ours and it is a matter of life and death.

Luke 19:28-40 The chief priests and Pharisees had in a way put a bounty out for Jesus, and wanted anyone that knew where He was to tell them so that they could arrest Him (John 11:57). Jesus, instead of hiding in fear, rides straight into Jerusalem in broad daylight with an entourage. Jesus was so popular with the people that it overrode the hostility of the religious haters. When they did come for Him, it was at night.

Bethany was a village about two miles from Jerusalem, on the east side of the mount of olives. As Jesus got close, He sent two of His disciples ahead to fetch a donkey. They went and found it exactly where He had said, and when the owners asked what they were doing, they told them, “The Lord needs it” and they let them leave with it. This was either a pre-arranged password with disciples that would know Jesus as “The Lord” or it was a word of knowledge, but they brought the donkey.

The disciples placed their cloaks on the donkey and set Jesus on it. The procession began their entry into Jerusalem and they made a carpet out of their cloaks before Him. John tells us that they also used palm branches. It was a very happy scene and the disciples began to rejoice and praise God and said “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!” All four gospels mention this statement.

Zechariah 9:9 records that the Messiah would come to Jerusalem riding on the colt of a donkey. The donkey was the mount of a man of peace, merchants or priests. A king would usually show up on a mighty warhorse. The King of Kings rode into town on an humble donkey. The Pharisees tell Jesus to calm the crowd down, but He told them that if they were silent, the stones would cry out. This was a pinnacle in the history of the world.

Luke 19:41-44 Jesus stopped and wept over the city of Jerusalem. Though this day was prophesied in many places in the scriptures they cherished, they did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah. They did not know the time of His visitation. The day soon came when every word that Jesus spoke over the city was fulfilled and Jerusalem was destroyed.

Around thirty years later in 66 AD, the Roman procurator (treasury officer) was Gessius Florus, who happened to love money and hated Jews. When the tax revenues became low, he seized silver from the temple in Jerusalem. When the Jews started an uproar, he sent troops into Jerusalem and massacred 3,600 citizens. That started a rebellion that grew into a full blown war, the First Jewish Revolt.

The revolt began (and ended later) at Masada and spread all through the region. Jerusalem killed or expelled all the Roman soldiers there, and then Galilee. Cestius Cailus who was the Roman governor, sent 20,000 Roman soldiers and besieged Jerusalem for six months, but he lost 6,000 men and withdrew.

Then Roman Emperor Nero sent a decorated general named Vespasian to recapture the area, but as he neared Jerusalem, Nero died and Vespasian had to return home. He soon became the next Emperor, and he appointed his son Titus to fight the Jewish war in his place.

Forward to 69-70 a.d. Titus was now a general and the Romans had dug a trench completely around the walls of Jerusalem which were nearly five miles in length. They did this to lock the inhabitants in and starve them into surrender. The Romans fought hard to take the city, and the Jews very stubbornly resisted.

The Romans used catapults to pound the walls with boulders and battering rams against the fortifications. The defenders fought all day and struggled to rebuild the walls at night.

As the war waged on, the people began starving to death and dying from plagues. Eventually the Romans overcame the defenses, broke through the outer wall, the second wall, and finally the third wall. The remaining defenders locked themselves in the temple as their last line of defense.

When the walls were breached, Titus marched in with 30,000 Roman soldiers and began a systematic slaughter of all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. It is estimated that they killed 600,000 people including many visitors who had become trapped there because the siege began during the passover.

Titus had wanted to preserve the temple, but the soldiers were so angry at the Jews that they burned it, and the city to the ground. The fires raged on for a month and were so hot that it caused the gold that lined the temple walls to melt and run down between the cracks in the stones.

The Romans then pulled down every single stone and used a plow to rake the dirt in the temple area so they could get at the melted gold. The siege of Jerusalem had lasted 143 days. By 73 a.d. All traces of a Jewish nation were completely gone. That marked the end of a Jewish state until modern times. On May 14th 1948, Israel became a nation again.

“Jesus went out from the temple, and was going on his way. His disciples came to him to show him the buildings of the temple. But he answered them, “Don’t you see all of these things? Most assuredly I tell you, there will not be left here one stone on another, that will not be thrown down” (Matthew 24:1–2).

He was so right…

Luke 19:45-46 Mark tells us that the cleansing of the temple happened the following day (Mark 11:11). Jesus entered into the temple at Jerusalem and began to drive out those buying and selling there as well as the money changers. He said it is written, "My house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of robbers!"

Luke 19:47-48 Jesus began to teach daily in the temple, but now the chief priests, the scribes and the leading men of the people sought to destroy Him. Still, the people were too close to Jesus and eagerly listened to Him. The man they wanted to kill so bad, sat teaching right in front of them, yet they could not do anything about it. The friction is building.

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 19:1-9, what was it about Zacchaeus that caused Jesus to single him about amongst all others?

2) In the Parable of the Ten Minas, why was the nobleman so angry with the servant who did nothing with the money he was given?

3) For what reason were the Pharisees telling Jesus to rebuke His disciples in Luke 19:39?

4) Why was Jesus so angry at those in the temple in Luke 19:45?

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