christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

luke 19, salvation of zachaeus

Read Luke 19 at Bible Gateway.

In Luk 19, first salvation finds Zachaeus, one who was a sinner because he was a lover of money instead of God. Then in the parable of the three servants, those who are faithful in a little are made overseers to be faithful in much, and the one who was not faithful in a little was cast out into the outer darkness. So the whole thing put me in mind of Luk 16, where there are several parables about men who loved money, and because of their love for money, they were found to not love God and were lost. I think the chiastic structure we found yesterday, in fact, can be continued forward and backward:

Luk 16:1-19:27
1a) Luk 16:1-31, Those who were not faithful in little because they were lovers of money;
1b) Luk 17:1-10, Forgive the one who has repented is the command of the master;
1c) Luk 17:11-19, Ten lepers cry for mercy from Jesus + He heals them + your faith has made you well;
1d) Luk 17:20-21, He was asked by the Pharisees of the coming of the kingdom of God;
1e) Luk 17:22-37, Whoever loses his life will preserve it on that Day;
central axis) Luk 18:1-17, Three who are humbled seeking eternal life:
–1) Luk 18:1-8, The humble widow before the unjust judge;
–2) Luk 18:9-14, The humble sinner before the Temple;
–3) Luk 18:15-17, The humble child before the kingdom of God;
2e) Luk 18:18-30, Inheriting eternal life: the rich young ruler and the twelve;
2d) Luk 18:31-34, Jesus prophesies His crucifixion and resurrection, but the disciples did not understand;
2c) Luk 18:35-43, A blind man cries for mercy from Jesus + He heals him + your faith has made you well;
2b) Luk 19:1-8, Zacchaeus and Jesus: a man who loved money, who repented and found forgiveness;
2a) Luk 19:11-27, The parable of the ten minas (because you were faithful in a very little).

The entire structure is a teaching on finding eternal life. Obedience to the Law is not discarded: those who love God will listen to Moses and the Prophets and repent (in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus). But it is not those who obey the Law who are saved; it is those who are humbled and repent, who are saved. You can be sure that if Jesus commands His disciples to forgive the one who has repented of their sin, then He also forgives the one who has repented of their sin, as illustrated by the salvation of Zachaeus. Those who are saved are then shown to be saved, by their change of heart, in that they now love God instead of money, and now seek to obey God instead of seek to be justified in the sight of men.


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