Luke 19:10

ESV For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
NIV For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.'
NASB For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.'
CSB For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost."
NLT For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.'
KJV For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

What does Luke 19:10 mean?

Jesus is walking through Jericho when He sees a small man in a sycamore tree, peering at Him over the heads of the large crowd. Jesus calls the man down and tells him, "I must stay at your house today" (Luke 19:5). The man hurries down, delighted to host Jesus (Luke 19:1–6). The man is a tax collector named Zacchaeus. He works for the Roman government taking money from the Jews to fund their occupation. In addition, he adds a hefty fee for himself. He has betrayed his countrymen on several different levels.

When he meets Jesus, however, everything changes. He repents of his extortion and proves it by returning what he has taken unjustly—with substantial interest. Jesus declares he is restored as a child of Abraham (Luke 19:7–9).

This statement is especially poignant considering the situation. Directly following, Luke records the parable of the ten minas (Luke 19:11–27). He begins, "As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately" (Luke 19:11).

Only recently, James, John, and their mother asked Jesus to give the sons favored positions in His kingly court. This, directly after Jesus told the disciples—again—that when they reach Jerusalem, the chief priests and scribes will betray Him and have Him crucified (Matthew 20:17–23). The other disciples heard and were angry at James and John. Jesus told the entire group, "the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28).

Here, Jesus repeats the sentiment with a slightly different emphasis. He hasn't come to be king—yet. He has come to save the lost, like Zacchaeus. The triumphal entry will be a glorious and appropriate reaction to Jesus' entrance into Jerusalem (Luke 19:28–40), but during the rest of that week, the Jewish leaders will reject Him as their Messiah and crucify Him.

Christ's kingdom is coming, but His disciples need to be patient and faithful. He will give them significant responsibilities. Their faithfulness with those responsibilities will reflect their faith in Him and determine their positions in His future kingdom (Luke 19:11–27).
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