Luke 18:9 “…who trusted in themselves that they were righteous…”
What they did. Who they were. Followed the law. Were children of Abraham. All that led to was pride.
11 “…extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector”
I think Jesus was throwing in some irony here. These are the sins He normally called out from the Pharisees. They extorted money from worshippers, had traditions which allowed theft, were not straight with their dealings, and committed idolatry with self, the highest form of adultery against God. But they thought as long as they appeared righteous on the outside they were good.
12 “I fast…I give…”
Could check off all the items on the list, but gave no thought to the condition of their hearts. No thought to the reason they fasted or gave.
13 “…beat his breast…”
Sign of anguish, remorse, great sorrow. He was showing the signs of true repentance.
14 “…this man went down to his house justified…”
Not due to anything he could do, but because he forsook his sin and asked God for mercy and forgiveness, he received justification from God. God cleansed him of his sin and justified him. His righteousness was not from self but from Christ.
14 “…he who humbles himself will be exalted”
Exalted, lifted up. From his condition of sin and shame to righteousness and justification. Like the psalmist said, he was lifted out of the miry clay and set upon the rock.
15 “…when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them”
Wonder why? Did they think Jesus’s time was too important to bother with children? Doesn’t fit what Jesus has always taught about the worth of people. Commentaries agree. Disciples were trying to avoid annoying Jesus and considered children too young to receive anything from Him. Jesus set them straight on that. Children are closer to the truth than adults.
17 “…whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child…”
Children haven’t been taught to not trust. They have an innate faith in those they love. That’s the way we have to approach Christ. We trust Him because of His love for us, without question. Childlike faith.
18 “…Good Teacher…”
In all the accounts of this incident I don’t get the impression the young man was disingenuous. But Jesus’s reply about only One being good makes me think perhaps the man only saw Jesus as a teacher or a good man, not as the Christ.
22 “…Sell all that you have…”
Jesus doesn’t tell everyone to sell all they have, but He does want us to give up anything that is an idol, anything that comes between us and Him. That was the man’s problem. He loved his riches more than anything else.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.