What does Luke 18:38 mean?
ESV: And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
NIV: He called out, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!'
NASB: And he called out, saying, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!'
CSB: So he called out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! "
NLT: So he began shouting, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!'
KJV: And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
Verse Commentary:
A beggar named Bartimaeus sits beside the road near Jericho (Luke 18:35; Mark 10:46). It's a prime spot for a blind man as Jews stream across the Jordan River, walk through Jericho, and climb to Jerusalem for the Passover. Plus, Passover is traditionally the time to give to the poor. This crowd is unusual for this time of year, however. It's a "great" crowd (Mark 10:46), more than Bartimaeus is used to. He asks what's going on. They tell him that Jesus of Nazareth has come (Luke 18:36–37).

The blind man starts hollering. He's heard of this Jesus: likely that He heals. If Bartimaeus could get his sight back, it would mean everything. The crowd tries to shush him. Many might think his blindness is a curse from God (John 9:1–2); perhaps they don't want Jesus distracted from their own needs. Their efforts fail. Bartimaeus yells louder. Finally, Jesus stops, sees his faith, and heals him (Luke 18:39–42).

"Son of David" is a messianic term. David wanted to build a temple for God, but God told him no, his prowess as a warrior had left too much blood on his hands. God turned the request around and promised to make David "a house." That is, God would establish David's descendants as kings, culminating in the Messiah who will reign on David's throne forever (2 Samuel 7:1–17).

At this point in Israel's history, David's house hadn't had a king since the Babylonian exile. Jesus is from the line of David on both His mother's (Luke 3:23–31) and His adoptive father's sides (Matthew 1:6–16). When God the Son took on human flesh and was born as a baby, His reign was inaugurated. When He returns at the end of the tribulation and destroys Satan and his allies, the Messiah's reign will be fulfilled (Revelation 21:5).

Bartimaeus doesn't know how Jesus will get there, but he can see enough to know who Jesus is.
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 12:42:50 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.