Spring 2021 Bible Reading Plan, Week 16: Luke 19:1-27 - Zacchaeus and The Parable of the Ten Minas
This week's Scripture passage is Luke 19:1-27.
(Click here for a PDF of this week's study.)
Verses 1-10: Jesus Invites Himself to Zacchaeus' Home
This is an incredible encounter and one of the only recorded times Jesus invites Himself into someone's home. He is coming into Jericho on His way to Jerusalem and he sees Zacchaeus up in a tree. Zacchaeus was a very wealthy chief tax collector. He evidently oversaw a team of tax collectors in the area. He was small in stature but so anxious to see Jesus, he went ahead of the crowds and climbed a tree for a better view. This was extraordinary and not a dignified thing to do given his status in life, but he wanted to see the Messiah. As Jesus walks by He looks up, sees him and calls Zacchaeus by name, and tells him to come down for, 'I must stay at your house today!'
Zacchaeus hurries down and welcomes Jesus joyfully into his home. Once again the unbelieving Jews ridicule Jesus as one who goes to be a guest of a sinner...and not just any sinner but the much despised and hated chief tax collector who has become extremely wealthy off the backs of the Jewish people in the area.
But Zacchaeus welcomes the Lord and shows evidence of belief and conversion in his heart as he promises to give half his money to the poor and to pay back 4 times anyone he has defrauded, surpassing even the requirements of the law. Jesus says to him, 'Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost'.
This is a beautiful real-life depiction of how Jesus, who knows us by name, seeks us out, invites Himself into our lives, calls us to Himself in salvation, and completely changes our hearts!
The account of Zacchaeus is in stark contrast to another rich man, the rich ruler in the previous chapter, Luke 18, who could not give up his wealth because his heart was hard and not changed.
Verses 11-27: Jesus' Kingdom and The Parable of the Ten Minas
As Jesus was in Jericho, getting ready to travel to Jerusalem, He tells this parable because the people are supposing the Kingdom of God is going to appear immediately (Luke 19:11).
Jesus' followers believe He, their Messiah, is going to set up His earthly KIngdom and free them from Roman oppression. Instead, He is going to Jerusalem to terribly suffer; to the cross to die for the sins of the world. He will be resurrected and ascend into heaven to return at a point in the future to finally and forever establish His Kingdom.
This is a parable about:
1) Faithful stewardship of the gifts and resources the Lord entrusts to us until He returns and the rewards for that faithful stewardship (Luke 19:11-26)
2) The rejection of the King who has received His Kingdom and punishment for that rejection (Luke 19:14,27)
3) The Lord returning to finally establish His Kingdom, judging the righteous and unrighteous, calling to account the stewardship of His servants (Luke 19:15, 26-27)
Questions for Reflection and Discussion:
Read and meditate on the accounts of the rich ruler in Luke 18 and wealthy Zacchaeus in Luke 19. What are the differences in their responses to Jesus? What accounts for the differences?
Zacchaeus joyfully receives Jesus into his home. What does this tell us about God's work in his heart at this point?
- What can we do to help ensure that we never scoff at or question the Lord because of the sinfulness of someone who He is seeking to save?
Take a few minutes and thank the Lord for inviting Himself into your home, your life!
Are you aware of the giftings, abilities, resources, and talents the Lord has blessed and entrusted you with? Consider all He has given you and who He has created you to be. Are you living your life for Jesus and His Kingdom? Are you developing and using His gifts to you for His Kingdom and His glory?
There will be many who ultimately reject Jesus and His gospel. But do not give up even if you have been praying for a long time for someone to come to Jesus!
- What can we do to not lose heart and hope for someone who is not saved, who we have reached out and shared the gospel to, someone we are praying for who has not yet responded, repented, and received the Lord?
- Ask the Lord to give you fresh faith for that person(s)...a fresh set of eyes to see him or her through the eyes of Jesus. One pastor said, "We all need 'Jesus contact lenses' so we can see people through His eyes".