Luke 18:37

ESV They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by."
NIV They told him, "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by."
NASB They told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by.
CSB "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by," they told him.
NLT They told him that Jesus the Nazarene was going by.
KJV And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.
NKJV So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by.

What does Luke 18:37 mean?

Bartimaeus (Mark 10:46) is sitting on the side of the road near Jericho. Passover is coming soon. A great number of Jews from the east and north must walk up this road to get to Jerusalem. This is the time of year that Jews donate money to the poor. He's picked a prime begging spot. The crowds are heavier than usual, however. They sound different. So Bartimaeus asks what's going on (Luke 18:35–36).

This is the first of three different responses to him. Here, the crowd just answers his question. They're excited. It does no harm to tell the beggar what's going on.

When Bartimaeus hears that it's Jesus, he cries out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" The crowd has a very different response to this. Jews believe that blindness is God's punishment for the sin of the person or the parents (John 9:2); they think Bartimaeus is cursed by God. A great teacher who performs miraculous works, they think, would never condescend to interact with such people (Luke 18:38–39). Like the disciples with the children (Luke 18:15–17), they try to "protect" Jesus from the powerless but faithful—not knowing they are the ones He came to save.

Jesus stops, of course, and heals Bartimaeus. The crowd again takes a new tone, this time praising and glorifying God (Luke 18:40–43).
What is the Gospel?
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