The Lord was at Jericho, on His way to Jerusalem for the final time. He brought salvation to Zacchaeus, and has re-stated his mission to earth for the large crowds gathering. (v.10)

Luke 19:11-27

While they were listening to these things, Jesus went on to tell a parable, because He was near Jerusalem, and they supposed that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately.

  • Crowds are pressing around Him. In response to their thinking (the kingdom is imminent), He taught a story.

A nobleman went to a distant country to receive a kingdom for himself, and then return. And he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘do business with this until I come back.’ But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying ‘we do not want this man to reign over us.’ When he returned, after receiving the kingdom, he ordered that these servants to whom he had given the money, be called to him so that he might know what business they had done.”

  • He was going away. After a prolonged absence, He will return. He will lay down His life, defeat sin and death, then go to the Father and receive His kingdom.
  • Prior to departure, He gave each servant the same trust, one mina, approx. 4 months wages. Not enormous, but sufficient. He commands them to do business with it, and get on with life and their responsibilities.
  • While similar, this story is distinct from the parable of the Talents (Matt 25), in which the servants were distributed varying talents/differing responsibilities.
  • This story refers to our common and equal obligation, the gospel. The gospel makes us one (Gal 3:28), joint heirs with Christ. Our handling and use of the gospel is a serious stewardship matter with the Lord.

“The first appeared, saying, ‘Master, your mina has made ten minas more.’ And he said to him, “well done, good servant, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.’ The second came, saying, “Your mina, master, has made five minas.’ And he said to him also, ‘and you are to be over five cities.'”

  • He will return, and summon His servants to account for this stewardship. One gained 10. Another gained 5. Both were rewarded with vast kingdom authority, far beyond any accounting of their actual stewardship.

“Another came saying, ‘Master, here is your mina, which I kept put away in a handkerchief; for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did not sow.’ He said to him, ‘by your own words I will judge you, you worthless servant. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? Then why did you not put my money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest?’

  • This servant slanders His Lord, degrades Him as a harsh, vindictive fraud, who gains wealth by plundering, but never working for anything.
  • The Lord does not acknowledge or agree with the servant’s accusation, but throws his words back at him in judgment. If the servant really believed what He said, he would have acted differently.
  • The unfaithful servant made no attempt to do anything with the trust given to him.

“Then he said to the bystanders, ‘take the mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’ And they said to him, “Master, he has ten minas.’ I tell you that to everyone who has, more shall be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. But these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them in my presence.”

  • The faithless servant was exposed as a fraud, and stripped of his trust.
  • The Lord ends with a shocking and sobering warning to those who reject His Lordship.
  • It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Heb 10:31)

Application for the church:

If we invest the kingdom in people and release them to conduct kingdom work, then expect God to send us more…..people.

If we hoard and collect people, hold onto them as a possession of the church, then expect God to hollow us out.


-Can you concisely explain / describe the gospel? And why it matters?

-Are you prepared to share your God story? To those who ask the reason for your hope and joy.

The practices that begin a relationship with Jesus are the same practices that grow a relationship with Jesus. It is critical how we approach Christ, and how we respond to Christ. He we follow Jesus’ teachings we then can become what God wants us to be: reflections of the image of His Son.

18:35-43 & 19:1-10

35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind beggar was sitting beside the road. 36 When he heard the noise of a crowd going past, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him that Jesus the Nazarene was going by. 38 So he began shouting, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 39 “Be quiet!” the people in front yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

  • Everywhere Jesus went crowds followed, they called him ‘Jesus the Nazarene’
  • When the beggar starts yelling: ‘Jesus Son of David’, he is told to be quiet!
  • He just yelled Louder, but same thing: ‘Son of David’
  • Calling Jesus ‘Son of David is calling Him Messiah / THE Son of David
  • He is asking for mercy, this is an approach from brokenness not entitlement
  • The beggar is persistent.

40 When Jesus heard him, he stopped and ordered that the man be brought to him. As the man came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?”“Lord,” he said, “I want to see!”

  • Jesus ‘heard him’… He heard the beggar call him Messiah
  • He stops, says: ‘bring that guy’ and then the beggar approaches Christ
  • He doesn’t ask for eternal life from the one he has identified as Messiah, why?
  • What is most important to him, what amounts to mercy for him is SIGHT

42 And Jesus said, “All right, receive your sight! Your faith has healed you.” 43 Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus, praising God. And all who saw it praised God, too.

  • Christ is quick to accommodate the request
  • Christ identifies the conduit that brought God’s healing to the beggar
  • The Beggar responds by becoming Christ’s follower and giving God the credit
  • It was the general consensus among those who witnessed it that God did it!

SO the crowd grows! And Christ continues into Jericho

1 Jesus entered Jericho and made his way through the town. 2 There was a man there named Zacchaeus. He was the chief tax collector in the region, and he had become very rich. 3 He tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way.

  • Chief tax collector in the region is a big deal (Levi / Matthew similar position)
  • These were private contractors, entrepreneurs who bid for the job
  • It was understood: ‘tax collectors’ were traitors that helped Rome oppress Israel
  • He was unable to get through the large crowd, could have gone back inside
  • But something was drawing Zacchaeus to Jesus… He became persistent
  • He got up in the tree! This kind of tree is easy to climb, they grow horizontally
  • Not only would he see Jesus, Jesus could not miss him!

5 When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”

6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 7 But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled.

  • Zacchaeus appears to not say a word, hanging out being humble
  • Christ knew Zacchaeus just like He knows you and me
  • Jesus says: ‘I want to be your guest, I know your deal, things are changing’
  • But the ‘Crowd’ didn’t like that Christ had picked Zacchaeus to stay with
  • People who don’t understand who Christ is are always critical of what He does

8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”

  • While everyone else was ‘second guessing’ God… Zacchaeus gets real with Jesus
  • He pledges actions in response to the personal invite to be together
  • He is going to not only make it right, he is going to sacrifice his rightful earnings
  • Zacchaeus is a camel going through the eye of the needle!
  • What seemed impossible for someone like him, became possible with God
  • The approach enabled the response

9 Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

  • Christ declares salvation is here right now
  • Zacchaeus has become a true child of faith through his response / action
  • Jesus is in the biz of finding guys like Zacchaeus, guys and girls like us
  • He finds us in our lostness and changes everything, like He did for Zacchaeus!


Those who have it hard in this life readily recognize Jesus as God.

When Jesus is approached as Lord & Christ, HE will bring healing to your life.

Faith in Jesus as ‘The Christ’ not only heals; it makes you follow Him and praise Him.

Our response to Christ’s love should be extravagant and cost us things we valued.

A Son of Abraham believes God is who He says He is; that is the basis of salvation.

Christ is going to seek those who realize they are lost.

God enables us to approach Him with humility, repentance, trust and persistence.

When we approach Jesus like this we come to know Him as The Christ / God

THE GOSPEL: When we recognize Jesus as The Christ we become ‘Children of Faith’!


What does it mean Biblically for us to recognize Jesus as ‘Son of David’?

What’s Christ specifically done for you, causing you to actively follow & worship Him?

How can you be more like Zaccheaus? (Persistent, Humble, Trusting, & Repentant)

How do you recognize your lostness while showing yourself to be a child of faith?

Last Week: The Persistent Widow, The Pharisee & The Tax Collector, and The Children all stories Christ tells to show us how to approach God. This week: The Young Rich Ruler, there is more about approaching God, but Christ also speaks directly to how we are to enter into the Kingdom. Christ’s exchange with the ruler leads to a back and forth about eternity and ends with Christ disclosing to the clueless disciples how it will all end for Him on earth as the Messiah.

Ch 18:18-34

18 Now a certain ruler asked Him saying, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

  • Text says certain ruler, he is called ‘The Rich Young Ruler’
  • He asks what must I do? As in how do I earn eternal life?
  • The idea of eternal life being inherited is about religious entitlement

19 And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good except one: God. 20 You know the commandments: you shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not bear false witness, honor your father and mother.”

  • Christ make a clear distinction God & humans, no human is good, only God
  • He then shifts to the idea of the man keeping the law
  • These commandment Christ lists are meant to represent the whole law
  • Truly defined these commandments cannot be kept by human power
  • Biblical definition of Adultery (all sex outside of God ordained marriage)
  • Murder (not Killing)
  • Stealing (taking of anything, even ideas & credit)
  • False witness (Commission & Omission)
  • Honoring your parents (not dependent on them being honorable)

21 The man replied; “All these I have kept since my youth.”

  • So here is why they call him ‘young’; the only past he can cite is his youth
  • He tries to claim he has kept all of God’s Law according to the Jewish religion
  • It is surprising Jesus dosen’t call BS right then and there
  • He is going to let the ‘Young Ruler’ prove himself false in his claim

22 Upon hearing this Jesus said to him, “One thing you still lack: sell all that you possess and distribute the proceeds to the poor, and then you will have treasures in heaven. Then come follow me.”

  • Christ says: ‘I will assume you are telling the truth, so you will do what I ask”
  • He tells him to sell all of his ‘stuff’ and give the proceeds to those in need
  • You will not actually lose anything because you will be rewarded eternally
  • And surrender your life to following Me (God / Messiah / Son of Man / Christ)
  • Jesus asked him to demonstrate what had priority in his life; stuff or God

23 But when he heard this he became very sad; he was extremely wealthy.

  • Here is why we call him rich: he had lot’s of stuff & money
  • He dosen’t own his wealth, his wealth owns him!
  • His possessions have come between him & eternal life
  • No middle ground: either you are possessed by God or by your possessions

24 Jesus looked at him, becoming very sad, and said, “How difficult it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God! 25 In fact it is easier for a camel to enter through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God!”

  • Christ sees the ‘Young Rich Rulers’ heart, it’s not for God, & that saddens Him
  • It makes Him sad because He knows many will fall into this trap
  • He declares how difficult it is to have resources and enter relationship W/ Christ
  • It is a mini parable about a Universal Spiritual Truth
  • How a camel enters the door known as the ‘eye of the needle’
  • Those with wealth must emulate the camel: lose the stuff & get on your knees

26 Those who heard it said, “Who then can be saved?” 27 Jesus said, “What is impossible for mortal beings is possible for God.”

  • The response to Jesus is: “That is super hard, how can anyone pull that off!”
  • Christ makes the point: You can’t earn heaven or have it passed down to you
  • Heaven is only entered into by those who God gives ‘Grace’ (undeserved favor)
  • Who can be saved? Whoever God enables to be saved: end of story
  • Knowing you can’t do enough to be good enough for God is the starting point
  • Then asking God to do what only He can…and being good with Him calling all the shots
  • I know I begged Him to save me… I was willing to give up whatever He asked
  • Giving up stuff dosen’t get you saved, it proves God’s work in you of salvation

28 Then Peter said, “ Look, we have left what was ours and followed you.”

  • Peter is like, ‘Yeah, we have done that, given up everything to follow Christ’
  • They didn’t do it to win God’s favor, it was their response to experiencing it

29 Then Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, there is no one who has left home or wife or siblings or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 who will not receive many times as much in this age and in the age to come; eternal life.

  • Pat attention when Christ says: ‘I tell you the truth’
  • Sacrifice made at God’s request and for His purposes will be blessed
  • The rewards in this life are relational
  • In the next age, eternal life with Christ is THE reward (no eye has seen…)

31 Taking the twelve aside, He said to them, “See we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything written by the prophets regarding the Son of man will be carried out. 32 For He will be handed over to the Gentiles and will be ridiculed and ill treated and spate on. 33 Then after scourging Him they will kill Him, but on the third day He will rise again.”

  • To the twelve Christ describes part of how that eternal life will be purchased
  • It is the example of sacrifice Christ gives His followers
  • He is going to give up everything He has in this life for things more valuable

34 But the twelve understood none of these things; in fact, what He said was kept hidden from them and they did not grasp what was being said.

  • Christ implanted un-comprehended truth that the Spirit would later illuminate


There have been and will always be the idea that you can earn or inherit eternal life.

It is immature, prideful and foolish for anyone to believe they can keep God’s law.

An unwillingness to part with possessions will keep you from eternal life.

Christ’s followers use possessions to help those in need & approach God humbly.

The ability to give up your life for Christ is God given, only He can make it happen.

Sacrifice of what we have will lead to a greater richness for this life and eternity.

Christ leads the way for us in showing how sacrifice leads to God’s glory.

We may not understand what Christ is modeling for us, but by faith we will one day.


How well do you obey the ten commandments?

How do you plan to keep your possessions from coming between you and God?

What is your response to the Biblical truth that it is God alone who can save anyone?

In what ways does Christ’s sacrifice inspire your attitudes and lifestyle choices?

1 One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. 2 “There was a judge in a certain city,” he said, “who neither feared God nor cared about people. 3 A widow of that city came to him repeatedly, saying, ‘Give me justice in this dispute with my enemy.’ 4 The judge ignored her for a while, but finally he said to himself, ‘I don’t fear God or care about people, 5 but this woman is driving me crazy. I’m going to see that she gets justice, because she is wearing me out with her constant requests!’”

• Another parable, Jesus uses devices that he knows his audience will understand.

• Very few parables where we start being given the point the message with the point.

• An unjust judge, the polar opposite of how the audience would see God. Does not respect the natural or man-made order of things. Jesus repeats this twice, it is meant to be very clear.

• there is no way that judge would do something right!

• characteristics of the widow: alone, helpless. society was supposed to take care of this person. persistent. ask for justice.

• judge’s response: he helps her! motivation not proper, but she gets what she asks for

6 Then the Lord said, “Learn a lesson from this unjust judge. 7 Even he rendered a just decision in the end. So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will grant justice to them quickly! But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?”

• I won’t summarize, Jesus does it for me. If the unjust judge does the right thing, how much more justice will God dispense?

• How God cares for the sparrow. Luke 12:16 “Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God.”

• Jesus says God “will surely give justice”. not new cars, not a spouse, not health. justice.

• Justice – “things as they should be”. shalom, means as it should be.

• What is Justice? We inherently have a desire for justice, God put it in us as our creator.

2 Samuel 12:1-14 Backstory: David slept with another man’s wife, Nathan coming to reprimand.

So the LORD sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: “There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest.” David was furious. “As surely as the LORD lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die!”

• David is the bad guy in this story. David understands what justice is. we know it when we see it. but only partially, what actually happens?

• David doesn’t get death he thinks he deserves. it seems unjust that an innocent child would die because of actions not his own.

• our desires are good! But we need to moderate it with humility that our limited capacity gets in the way.

• 2 Peter 3:13 says “we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells”. by expecting that justice will come in this life, we are setting ourselves up for failure, expectations that wont always be met.

• Thousands of years after the original sin, justice was satisfied once and for all.

• 1 Peter 3:18

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God”.

• Why should He have to die? Our fleshly take is wrong!

• Do we trust our own intellect to decide how or when things are to be made right?

• Do you believe God will vindicate his elect, are you taking it in to your own hands?

• Persistence, bred by trust. trust that His justice will come. we are to faithfully ask for it.

9 Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: 10 “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector.

• Parables are important to keep the context.

• tax collector, lowest possible occupation. seen as traitor, worked for roman government. associated with corruption and scum. “despised” is added for our context.

• Pharisee, we see as bad guys. but they were the religious establishment, seen as the go between God and the people. the teachers, righteous and holy. standard bearers, cultural virtue. they knew about God, they know how to approach him.

• defined audience, ” great confidence in their own righteousness “

11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! 12 I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

• what is the focus of this prayer?

• the works play a big part, his own actions, things done and hasn’t done.

• works based theology is still around today!

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ 14 I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

• what a difference in posture! won’t look toward heaven. standing at a distance, not bringing attention to himself.

• Putting on a show, is our relationship with Christ meant to be a public display?

• acknowledgment of his nature. what does God prioritize, care about? repentance, acceptance of the real world? Or putting on a facade?

• can we get real with God?

• The Pharisee does not show any conviction about his own actions.

• pulls the rug out, subverts the audiences expectation.

• Humility, which is cultivated by honest assessment of our condition on earth, which is our sinful nature.

15 One day some parents brought their little children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But when the disciples saw this, they scolded the parents for bothering him. 16 Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. 17 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

• children in the ancient world were seen and not heard. bothersome to serious activity. rabbi in town, shouldn’t be bothered by some kids.

• vs 16 ” For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children”. Focuses on how they receive the kingdom.

• a spoiled child isn’t what we’re talking about. 12 year old’s are men, we’re talking about kids under 5. newness, innocent toward life, not made bitter.

• wonder, amazement, no preconceived notions, without entitlements. with trust.

• we build over time defense mechanisms, jadedness, self-preservation

• parent knows everything in the world

• God wont betray the trust.

• Trust, built by throwing out preconceived notions, and acknowledge that God loves and cares about us, what he has for us is great.


Jesus tells us to approach God with persistence, humility, and trust.

From the parable of the widow, we learn to persist because we know God will deliver

From the second parable, we learn to be humble because we know we cannot do it on our own.

From the third interaction, we learn to trust Him because He loves us so much He sent his son to die for us.


Why do we try to take matters into our own hands instead of giving them over to God?

Are you putting on a spiritual show? What can we do to avoid a glamorous spiritual life?

In what ways can we remain humble?