Luke 18.1-43 tells us about the persistent widow; the Pharisee from Beit Shammai and the tax-gatherer; receiving the kingdom like a child; a ruler asking Yeshua what he must do to inherit eternal life; and the healing of a blind man.
v 1…Now he was telling them a parable (midrashic aggadah) to show that at all times (when you have the opportunity) they ought to pray and not lose heart (quit, give up because we don’t see answers to our prayers yet),
v 2…saying, “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man (no regard).
v 3…And there was a widow (helpless in this world, like a believer) in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent (adversary).’
v 4…And for awhile he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man,
v 5…yet this widow bothers me (by her repeated appeals for help), I will give her legal protection, lest by continually coming she wears me out (by her persistence).’ “
v 6…And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge said;
v 7…now shall not God bring about justice for his elect, who cry to him day and night, and will he delay long over them (be patient over them-yes; he hears our prayers but his plan for others is involved, too; 2 Pet 3.9 says he won’t delay forever)?
v 8…I tell you that he will bring about justice for them speedily. However, when the son of Man (Bar Enosh of Dan 7.13, a messianic title) comes, will he find faith (emunah based on the body of doctrinal truth found in the Torah-Jer 5.3; 1 Tim 4.1) on the earth?”
v 9…And he also told this parable (midrashic aggadah) to certain ones who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and viewed others with contempt (to expose their pride and arrogance and self-confidence).
v 10…”Two men went up into the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee (probably from Beit Shammai), and the other a tax-gatherer.
v 11…The Pharisee (self-righteous) stood and was praying thus to himself (to commend himself), ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax-gatherer (Beit Shammai hated Rome and the tax-gatherers were seen as helping them).
v 12…I fast twice a week (the oral law says they did this on Mondays and Thursdays) and I pay tithes of all I get (income).
v 13…But the tax-gatherer, standing afar off (conscious of his own sin, possibly in the court of the non-Jews), was even unwilling to lift his eyes to heaven (his countenance had fallen, could not even look towards the sanctuary building), but was beating his breast (the source of his sin was his heart) saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner (definite article in Greek here; not just “a” sinner but “the” sinner meaning if there ever was a sinner, it’s me)!’
v 14…I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every one who exalts himself shall be humbled, but he who humbles himself shall be exalted.”
v 15…And they were bringing even their babies (infants) to him, in order that he might touch them (in a blessing-Gen 48.14-15), but when the talmidim saw it, they were rebuking them (for taking up his time with this).
v 16…But Yeshua called for them (children) saying, “Permit (allow) the children (Greek “Paidia” or children, other than the infants of v 15) to come to me, and stop hindering them (obstructing them from coming on their own), for the kingdom of God (his movement and rule in action and power) belongs to such as these (how Matt 5.3-11 should read).
v 17…Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child (without pride, prejudice, ambition, vanity) shall not enter into it (his movement and rule in power and action in their life; unfit to enjoy it).”
v 18…And a certain ruler (a synagogue ruler) questioned him, saying, “Good teacher, what shall I do to obtain eternal life (first of all, his premise is wrong)?”
v 19…And Yeshua said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone (he must see that all men are not good, including himself, and Yeshua is emphasizing that fact here-Rom 3.10-18).
v 20…You know the commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your father and mother (notice he doesn’t say, “Accept me into your heart.’ He made it very clear here that obedience to the Torah is essential, not to earn salvation, but as evidence that you have received salvation, and on how to live after you have received the redemption-John 14.15; 1 John 2.1-4; Jam 2.14-26).”
v 21…And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth (but really didn’t because his “god” is money-v 23).”
v 22…And when Yeshua heard this, he said to him, “One thing you still lack; sell all that you possess, and distribute it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me (he is basically getting to the heart of the matter he made in Matt 5 through 7, showing him he can’t be saved by his own works, like selling his possessions and giving to the poor because he can’t do it, and he needed a redeemer; Yeshua gave this answer to others also-Luke 14.33).”
v 23…But when he heard these things, he became very sad; for he was extremely rich (truth be known, he was relying on good works not faith, and Yeshua showed him an area where he was weak. He was greedy and had no compassion for the needy, which is the heart of the Torah-Deut 15.7-11. This is to show that if any of us try to keep the Torah for salvation, there will be something in the Torah that will show us we fall far short, bringing us to the realization we cannot be saved by our own efforts, but need a redeemer).
v 24…And Yeshua looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God (because riches can be a distraction, it’s “hard” but not impossible, but you need God’s perspective of riches and a redeemer)!
v 25…For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle (a Hebrew idiom meaning “impossible”), than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God (the Aramaic word for “rope” is “kamilon” and is almost identical to the Greek word for “camel” which is “kamelon.” Some scholars believe the word may have been misspelled and Yeshua was making an analogy about threading a thick rope through the eye of a needle-see the article called, “What is the Meaning of a Camel Going Through the Eye of a Needle” by Wendy McMahan on the Internet; on the other hand, this is an idiom and is seen in the Talmud, Bava Mezia 38b, where it talks about two rabbis arguing, and one suggests the other is speaking impossible things by saying he is trying to “make an elephant pass through the eye of a needle.” In another case in the Talmud, Barakot 55b, it shows the impossibility or unlikelihood about what men dream, it is said, “They do not show a man a palm of gold, nor an elephant going through the eye of a needle”).”
v 26…And they who heard it said, “Then who can be saved (for who does not try or desire to have wealth; they heard “impossible”)?”
v 27…But he said, “The things impossible with men are possible with God.”
v 28…And Peter said, “Behold, we have left our own homes and followed you (what reward can we expect)?”
v 29…And he said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God,
v 30…who shall not receive many times as much at this time (in the Olam Ha Zeh) and in the age to come (the Olam Haba) eternal life (which is what the ruler wanted in v 18).”
v 31…And he took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold (take note), we are going up to Jerusalem (for Passover), and all things which are written through the prophets about the son of Man will be accomplished (Psa 40.7-8; Luke 24.27; John 5.39-47).
v 32…For he will be delivered up to the Gentiles (for the first time Yeshua is implying he will be crucified, used by Rome for death sentences), and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon,
v 33…and after they have scourged him, they will kill him; and the third day he will rise again.”
v 34…And they understood none of these things, and this saying was hidden from them (they could not reconcile this with their messianic expectations-19.11), and they did not comprehend the things that were said.
v 35…And it came about that as he was approaching Jericho, a certain blind man was sitting by the road begging (his name was Bartimaeus meaning “son of honor”).
v 36…Now hearing a multitude going by, he asked what it meant (what was going on).
v 37…And they told him that Yeshua of Nazareth was passing by.
v 38…And he called out, saying, Yeshua, son of David (a term for the Messiah- he believed in him), have mercy on me!”
v 39…And those who led the way were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept on crying all the more (he was persistent, the theme of v 1-7), “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
v 40…And Yeshua stopped and commanded that he be brought to him; and when he had come near, he questioned him,
v 41…What do you want me to do for you (Yeshua already knew, but he was saying this to elicit a response from the man and for the others to hear)?” And he said, Lord, I want to receive my sight!”
v 42…And Yeshua said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith (confidence in action) has saved you (from your blindness).”
v 43…And immediately he received his sight, and began following him, glorifying God; and when all the people saw it, they gave praise to God (for manifesting his mercy and power to heal this man, and for sending Yeshua, who they believed was the Messiah).
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