What does Luke 18:39 mean?
ESV: And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
NIV: Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, 'Son of David, have mercy on me!'
NASB: Those who led the way were sternly telling him to be quiet; but he kept crying out all the more, 'Son of David, have mercy on me!'
CSB: Then those in front told him to keep quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me! "
NLT: Be quiet!' the people in front yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, 'Son of David, have mercy on me!'
KJV: And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
Verse Commentary:
A crowd is making its way from the Jordan River to Jerusalem for Passover. The road goes through Jericho. A blind man named Bartimaeus sits along the path, begging for alms (Luke 18:35; Mark 10:46). Considering the busyness of the road and the tradition of donating to the poor on Passover, he's probably doing well.

The crowd is bigger than normal, and Bartimaeus is curious. He asks what's going on. Someone tells him that Jesus of Nazareth has come. His demeanor immediately changes. He cries out, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" (Luke 18:36–38). It's unclear why the crowd tries to quiet him. They may think he's cursed by God because of sin (John 9:2). They may think Jesus is too important to be bothered with beggars, much like the disciples tried to "protect" Jesus from children (Luke 18:15–17). Or maybe they're trying to get Jesus' attention for themselves. Whatever the case, the beggar's yelling isn't welcome.

But Jesus hears him. He stops and tells the crowd to bring Bartimaeus to Him. Then He asks what he wants. When Bartimaeus says his sight, Jesus tells him his faith has made him well (Luke 18:40–42). Bartimaeus is healed, and the crowd grows by one (Luke 18:43).
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.
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