Devotional Readings

Luke 18 – Bookends of Mercy

This is a very hard chapter, much to observe.

Here is one highlight.

Luk 18:9  And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:

Luk 18:10  Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.

Luk 18:11  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

Luk 18:12  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.

Luk 18:13  And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

Luk 18:14  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.


I’ll skip over the harder verses on coming to God as a child and the good, self righteous rich ruler who lacked the one thing of “works” to enter heaven on his own accord. That passage is very difficult.


That teaching says shines a light on the righteous Pharisee the parable above that true faith always lacks one thing when we try to do it on our own…or even think we have done enough.


Take comfort in these verses.


Luk 18:26  And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?

Luk 18:27  And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.


Luk 18:7  And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

Luk 18:8  I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?


See footnote below.


We see an example of that as the chapter ends.


Luk 18:35  And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging:

Luk 18:36  And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant.

Luk 18:37  And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.

Luk 18:38  And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.

Luk 18:39  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.

Luk 18:40  And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him,

Luk 18:41  Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight.

Luk 18:42  And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.

Luk 18:43  And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.


Btw perhaps this reflects on the opening parable about always praying..

Luk 18:1  And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;……

So what should we then do?

Soli Deo Gloria! For the Glory of God Alone

“The Reformation reclaimed the Scriptural teaching of the sovereignty of God over every aspect of the believer’s life. All of life is to be lived to the glory of God. As the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.” This great and all consuming purpose was emphasized by those in the 16th and 17th Centuries who sought to reform the church according to the Word of God. In contrast to the monastic division of life into sacred versus secular perpetuated by Roman Church, the reformers saw all of life to be lived under the Lordship of Christ. Every activity of the Christian is to be sanctified unto the glory of God.” ( From the Five Solas)



Footnote, Gill writes about the impossible, in his comment from Matthew 19:26 the parallel passage.

and said unto them, with men this is impossible. Mark adds, “but not with God; for with God all things are possible”; to be done by him, if he will, which are consistent with the glory and perfections of his nature: for as he could, by his almighty power, if he would, reduce a camel to so small a size, as to be able to go through the eye of a needle, which, with men, is an impossible thing; 

so by the mighty power of his grace he can work upon a rich man’s heart, in such a manner, as to take off his affections from his worldly substance, and cause him to drop his trust and confidence in it: he can so influence and dispose his mind, as to distribute his riches cheerfully among the poor, and largely, and liberally supply their wants, and even part with all, when necessity requires it: he can change his heart, and cause the desires of his soul to be after true riches of grace and glory; 

and bring him to see his own spiritual poverty, his need of Christ, and salvation by him; and to deny himself, take up the cross, and follow him, by submitting to his most despised ordinances, and by suffering the loss of all things for his sake; and he can carry him through a thousand snares safe to his kingdom and glory, which is Christ’s sense; though the thing is impossible upon the foot of human nature, and strength, which can never effect anything of this kind: 

and as to what the apostles suggested concerning the safety of persons in the Messiah’s kingdom, if no rich man could enter there, but should be in opposition to it; our Lord’s answer implies, that though, humanly speaking, it was not possible and practicable that they, a company of poor, mean, and despicable men, should be able to stand against the united force of the great and mighty men of the earth; yet God was able to support, and uphold them, succeed, and keep them, and make them both useful and comfortable, amidst all the opposition and persecution they should meet with, until he had finished his whole will and work by them.

Note that some are called to this, but not all…Gill goes on to comment later…..brethren or sisters, or father or mother, or wife or children, lands, for my name’s sake; or, as in Luke, “for the kingdom of God’s sake”; that is, for the sake of the Gospel, and a profession of it. Not that believing in Christ, and professing his name, do necessarily require a parting with all worldly substance, and natural relations, but when these things stand in competition with Christ, he is to be loved and preferred before them; and believers are always to be ready to part with them for his sake, when persecution arises, because of the word. All these things are to be relinquished, rather than Christ, and his Gospel; and such who shall be enabled, through divine grace, to do so,

One example will serve to illustrate the point.

Mar 5:18  And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.

Mar 5:19  Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

Mar 5:20  And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.


Again in whatever way…

Soli Deo Gloria! For the Glory of God Alone


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