Luke 18

1. Then Jesus used this story to teach his followers that they should always pray and never give up.

The Lord has not put this warning here for nothing! Many Christians let their problems build up and tell everybody about how bad things are. If you ask them if they have prayed about it they sometimes talk as if praying is not going to do much good. We say it is at least worth a try!

2 – 5

Once there was a judge in a town. He did not care about God. He also did not care what people thought about him. In that same town there was a widow who kept coming to this judge. She said, ‘There is a man who is not being fair to me. Give me my rights!’

But the judge did not want to help the widow. After a long time, he thought to himself, ‘I do not care about God. And I do not care about what people think. But this widow is bothering me. I will see that she gets her rights, or she will bother me until I am worn out!’”

The judge in this story is not showing what God is like. The idea is that if an evil judge would answer your prayer then God will do much better than this!

6 – 8

The Lord said, “Listen to what the bad judge said. God’s people cry to him night and day. God will always give them what is right, and he will not be slow to answer them. I tell you, God will help his people quickly! But when the Son of Man comes again, will he find those on earth who believe in him?”

This is why we pray that God’s will is done and not our own. He will give us what is best. Sometimes we beg God to change His mind and do what we want and He might let us have it to show us that it was not best for us. Do not pray this way!

9 – 12

There were some people who thought that they were very good and looked down on everyone else. Jesus used this story to teach them: “One day there was a Pharisee and a tax collector. Both went to the Temple to pray. The Pharisee stood alone, away from the tax collector.

When the Pharisee prayed, he said, ‘God, I thank you that I am not as bad as other people. I am not like men who steal, cheat, or take part in adultery. I thank you that I am better than this tax collector. I give up eating twice a week, and I give one-tenth of everything I earn!’

It would be a sad thing to go around every day not knowing how proud you are. It would be embarrassing if we could see what other people see in us.

13. “The tax collector stood at a distance. When he prayed, he would not even look up to heaven. He beat on his chest because he was so sad. He said, ‘God, have mercy on me. I am a sinner!’

Mercy is when you do not get what you deserve.

14. I tell you, when this man went home, he was right with God. But the Pharisee was not right with God. Everyone who makes himself great will be made humble. But everyone who makes himself humble will be made great.”

If you cannot say, “My life is for you” to the people you are serving and really mean it then you should not be in the ministry.

15 – 17

Some people brought their small children to Jesus so that he could touch them. When the followers saw this, they told the people not to do this. But Jesus called the little children to him and said to his followers, “Let the little children come to me.

Do not stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to people who are like these little children. I tell you the truth. You must accept God’s kingdom like a little child, or you will never enter it!”

The Bible says that children are a blessing from the Lord. Sometimes we treat children as if they are not important. It is a privilege to know a child and teach them God’s ways. We should see each child as someone we can help to know God better than we did at that age.

18 – 20

A Jewish leader asked Jesus, “Good Teacher, what must I do to get the life that continues forever?”

Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? Only God is good. You know the commands: ‘You must not be guilty of adultery. You must not murder anyone. You must not steal. You must not tell lies about your neighbor in court. Honor your father and mother.’”

This man had been taught by the Jewish rulers but his spirit told him that these things would not get him into heaven. Jesus was asking this man if he knew who he was talking to. If this man could see that Jesus was the Son of God then his question would be answered.

21. But the leader said, “I have obeyed all these commands since I was a boy!”

This man thinks that he has been walking with God and that walking with God has not helped him. Many people think this way but there is something in their life that is hidden.

22 – 23

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “But there is still one more thing you need to do. Sell everything you have and give the money to the poor. You will have a reward in heaven. Then come and follow me!” But when the man heard this, he became very sad because he was very rich.

Jesus did not remind him of the tenth commandment about being greedy. When Jesus began to talk about his money this man started to see that he had not kept all the commandments.

People will not give their lives to Christ if they do not think that they have done anything wrong. We can use the Ten Commandments to show them that everybody has broken at least one of God’s laws.

After we show them this the Holy Spirit will speak to them about how they have been thinking that they are not so bad. God will show them that they need their sins forgiven after they see that they have sinned.

24 – 26

When Jesus saw that the man was sad, he said, “It will be very hard for rich people to enter the kingdom of God! It would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God!” When the people heard this, they asked, “Then who can be saved?”

God has not called many wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or rich men.
1 Corinthians 1:26

27 – 30

Jesus answered, “The things impossible for men are possible for God.” Peter said, “Look, we left everything we had and followed you!”

Jesus said, “I tell you the truth. Everyone who has left his house, wife, brothers, parents, or children for God’s kingdom will get much more than he left. He will receive many times more in this life. And after he dies, he will live with God forever.”

There will never be a time when God owes you anything. If something was taken away from you because of serving the Lord, He will pay it back.

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. Jim Elliot

31 – 34

Then Jesus talked to the 12 apostles alone. He said to them, “Listen! We are going to Jerusalem. Everything that God told the prophets to write about the Son of Man will happen! He will be turned over to the non-Jewish people. They will laugh at him, insult him, and spit on him. They will beat him with whips and then kill him.

But on the third day after his death, he will rise to life again.” The apostles tried to understand this, but they could not; the meaning was hidden from them.

The followers of Jesus were afraid because they knew that the Jews wanted to kill Jesus. We cannot be too hard on these followers when we see that they did not understand about the cross. Today we do not even understand completely what the cross means to us and how we have been crucified with Christ. Galatians 2:20

35 – 43

Jesus was coming near the city of Jericho. There was a blind man sitting beside the road, begging for money. When he heard the people coming down the road, he asked, “What is happening?”

They told him, “Jesus, the one from Nazareth, is coming here.” The blind man cried out, “Jesus, Son of David! Please help me!”

The people who were in front, leading the group, told the blind man to be quiet. But the blind man shouted more and more, “Son of David, please help me!”

Jesus stopped and said, “Bring the blind man to me!” When he came near, Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, I want to see again.”

Jesus said to him, “Then see! You are healed because you believed.” At once the man was able to see, and he followed Jesus, thanking God. All the people who saw this praised God.

Matthew tells us that there were two blind men. Luke only tells us about the one who did most of the talking. Matthew 20:30

Jesus healed many other people, but this man wanted a new life of following Jesus every day. Jesus is asking you today, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Is there something you need to see that you have been blind to?