What does Luke 18:35 mean?
ESV: As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging.
NIV: As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging.
NASB: Now as Jesus was approaching Jericho, a man who was blind was sitting by the road, begging.
CSB: As he approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the road begging.
NLT: As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind beggar was sitting beside the road.
KJV: And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging:
Verse Commentary:
Luke is winding down his so-called "travelogue" (Luke 9:51—19:27) as Jesus approaches Jerusalem. Luke has recorded several events, teachings, and miracles aimed at teaching the disciples about the kingdom of God. He also wraps up a series of contrasts in this chapter. A blind man trusts what he has heard about Jesus. Like the persistent widow (Luke 18:1–8), the tax collector (Luke 18:13–14), and the children (Luke 18:15–17), he knows he cannot save himself, so he persistently, humbly, and boldly asks Jesus for help.

The beggar is equally unique as are the other characters in the chapter. He does not have the autonomous power of the judge (Luke 18:1–8), the outwardly holiness of the Pharisee (Luke 18:11–12), or the riches of the young ruler (Luke 18:18–30). And unlike the disciples (Luke 18:31–34), he knows and accepts the blunt truths of what he has heard about Jesus.

Luke says they are drawing near to Jericho during this encounter; Matthew and Mark say it happens as they leave Jericho (Matthew 20:29; Mark 10:46). All three of them are right, in different perspectives. In that era, there were two locations labeled as "Jericho." After the first Jericho fell into ruins (Joshua 6), the city was rebuilt a short distance away (1 Kings 16:34). The gospels probably refer to both the city and the ancient ruins. Matthew mentions two men, a detail that doesn't affect the veracity of Luke's and Mark's accounts. It's possible Bartimaeus remained a disciple through the establishment of the church.
Verse Context:
Luke 18:35–43 records Jesus healing a blind beggar in Jericho. The trusting man believes the plain meaning of what he's heard about Jesus, in contrast to the disciples (Luke 18:31–34). This story is the beginning of the last of four sets of stories that begin with a miracle and go on to explain truths about God's kingdom. After meeting Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1–10) and telling a parable about faithfulness in the kingdom (Luke 19:11–27), the "Travelogue to Jerusalem" will end and Jesus will triumphally enter the city. Mark 10:46–52 identifies the blind man as Bartimaeus. Matthew 20:29–34 says Jesus heals two blind men.
Chapter Summary:
Luke continues to arrange Jesus' teachings by their topic. Here, he includes two parables: the persistent widow and the Pharisee and the tax collector. Jesus encourages children to approach Him. He interacts with a moral, wealthy man who can't bear to follow Jesus if it means giving up wealth. After another prediction of His death, Jesus encounters and heals a blind man on His way to Jerusalem.
Chapter Context:
Luke 18 approaches the end of Jesus' "travelogue" to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51—19:27). Luke has selected miracles, teachings, and events to show how Jesus trained His disciples. His emphasis was explaining the kingdom of God in preparation for their work to build the church. Luke 18 includes several contrasts between those who understand God's kingdom and those who don't. Luke 19 includes the story of Zacchaeus and another parable before Jesus' triumphal entry and the Passion Week. These stories are also found primarily in Matthew 19—20 and Mark 10.
Book Summary:
Luke was a traveling companion of Paul (Acts 16:10) and a physician (Colossians 4:14). Unlike Matthew, Mark, and John, Luke writes his gospel as an historian, rather than as a first-hand eyewitness. His extensive writings also include the book of Acts (Acts 1:1–3). These are deliberately organized, carefully researched accounts of those events. The gospel of Luke focuses on the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. Luke's Gentile perspective presents Christ as a Savior for all people, offering both forgiveness and direction to those who follow Him.
Accessed 4/16/2024 12:25:57 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.