Luke 19

Chief among the publicans; a head officer of the customs or taxes.

A sinner. It seems that he had been habitually guilty of injustice and extortion in his office.

I give to the poor;—I restore him fourfold; that is, I will do so. It was a promise of immediate and entire amendment of life, the result, probably, of conversation with the Savior not recorded.—False accusation; false demands and exactions.

Should immediately appear; should immediately be established, as a worldly kingdom, at Jerusalem, whither they were going.

A kingdom; that is, kingly authority. Such cases were not uncommon under the Roman emperors. Men who, by hereditary succession, or in other ways, acquired claims to the government of a province or a country, went to Rome to be invested with authority, and then returned to enter upon their administration. Of course, during such an absence, plots were often formed against them, as represented in v. 14.

The ten servants represent the disciples and followers of Jesus, who received the communications of divine truth from him, as a sacred treasure, which they were bound to improve and to disseminate in a faithful manner, during his approaching absence from them.

His citizens; the people of the province over whom he was to reign. They represent the Jews generally.

Have thou authority, &c.; that is, having been faithful to the trust reposed in them by the prince in his private capacity, they were promoted to stations of authority under his government when he became invested with power.

Usury; interest.

The general idea of the parable is, that Jesus was not then about to establish his kingdom, as they had supposed, (v. 11.) He was going to leave the world for a time, to reappear again, at a future day, fully invested with power. In the mean time, he was to leave in the hands of his friends and followers the revelations of divine truth which he had made, as a private trust, for the faithful exercise of which they would be called to a strict account, when he should come again in power. A parable somewhat similar to this in form, but yet very different in its intent and import, was given by our Savior on another occasion, as recorded Matt. 25:14-30.

And he went into the temple; on the following day, as is distinctly stated by Mark, (11:12, 15;) so that the buyers and sellers, in submitting to this ejection, were not overawed by the multitude which followed Jesus, but they yielded voluntarily, from consciousness of wrong, and through veneration for the personal character of Jesus, whom they doubtless regarded as a prophet.

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