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And he spake ° a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.
And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? none is good, save one, that is, God.
And when Jesus saw that he was very sorrowful, he said, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?
And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.
For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on:
And they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.
And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.
And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging:
And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.
Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight.
And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

18:1 always to pray. Paul also exhorted to “pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17). The context makes it clear that such commands refer, not to interminable prayer, but to persistent prayer (Luke 18:7).

18:8 shall he find faith. Not faith in general, but “the faith.” That is, the true revealed Christian faith. This seems to be a rhetorical question, rather than one of uncertainty, for surely by this time the Lord’s omniscience concerning the future had been restored. At the same time, it both warns us concerning the serious scope of latter-day apostasy and also urges us to warn all men of the wrath to come while there is still time to repent.

18:10 publican. See note on Luke 5:29.

18:12 fast twice. The practice of outward piety—even such self-denying exercises as fasting and tithing—is not the means of earning credit with God. Note that even when the Pharisee prayed, he prayed “with himself” (Luke 18:11), using the first person pronoun five times in his brief prayer.

18:13 be merciful. Actually, the publican’s prayer asked that God “be propitiated to me, the sinner.” The word used referred to the mercy seat; he was confessing his sin and need of forgiveness, trusting in the blood sprinkled on the mercy-seat for atonement. This repentant faith was sufficient to secure his being “justified,” “declared righteous” before God (Luke 18:14). The Pharisee, on the other hand, prayed “with himself,” rather than God, merely congratulating himself on his own self-righteousness, and thus received no forgiveness. If nothing else, he was filled with the sin of pride—perhaps the worst sin of all, since it was the sin of the devil (I Timothy 3:6).

18:17 as a little child. One must be “born again” to see the kingdom of God (John 3:3). Therefore, when he is saved he enters his new life spiritually as a “newborn babe” (I Peter 2:2), not as a grown man. Unless, therefore, one relinquishes all pride of position or attainment when he comes to Christ to receive spiritual life, he cannot receive it.

18:19 none is good. The “rich young ruler” is called “young” only in Matthew 19:22, a “ruler” only here in Luke 18:18, but all three accounts say he had “great possessions” (Matthew 19:22; Mark 10:22; Luke 18:23). He was quite righteous by most legal standards (except for selfishness), but failed to recognize the true nature of Jesus as the Son of God, calling Him “good” only in the sense that he also considered himself “good.”

18:25 needle’s eye. Some commentators suggest that the “needle’s eye” may have been a small gate in the city wall through which a camel could pass only with difficulty. However, Jesus was referring back to the “ruler” who had just asked how “to inherit eternal life” (Luke 18:18), but was unwilling to give up his wealth to follow Jesus (Luke 18:22-23). Just as it would require a great miracle to get a camel through a needle-eye (possibly by removing all the empty spaces in the atomic structure of its body), so it would take a miracle to get a rich ruler saved. He would have to be willing to become poor (note Luke 6:20), and he was not. To be saved, one must come as one who is “dead” in sin, without any reservations or merit of his own. Nevertheless, with God nothing is impossible (Luke 18:27), and God can so miraculously change a man’s heart and life that he becomes a new creation (II Corinthians 5:17). See also notes on Matthew 19:22, 26, and Mark 10:25.

18:33 rise again. It is amazing how often Christ told His disciples plainly of His coming death and resurrection (Luke 9:22; 13:32; etc.), yet they failed to understand (Luke 24:4-8, 25-27, 44-48) until after His resurrection.

18:35 a certain blind man. Jesus healed one blind man as he entered Jericho, two (including Bartimaus) as He was leaving (Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52).

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