Luke 19:3
And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBVWSWESTSK
(3) He sought.—Better, was seeking. The verb expresses vividly the oft-repeated attempts of the man, little of stature, to get a glimpse of the Prophet as He passed.

For the press.—The word is the same as that elsewhere rendered “multitude” or “crowd.” The motive is left to be inferred. It was not mere curiosity, for that would not have met with the Lord’s warm approval. Had he heard that there was a publican like himself among the chosen disciples of the Teacher whom the people were receiving as the Son of David? Had some one told him of the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican? Had the fame of the miracle wrought on the entrance into Jericho made him eager to see the Worker?

He was little of stature.—The individualising feature may be accepted, in connection with what follows, either as a touch of consummate art, or a note of artless truthfulness.

Luke 19:3-4. And he sought to see Jesus — The great things which he had heard of Jesus made such a powerful impression on his mind, that when he was informed he was coming that way, he diligently sought an opportunity to see what sort of a person he was; and could not for the press — Could not compass his design, Jesus being now surrounded by a prodigious multitude of people, and Zaccheus himself being little of stature. The passover being near at hand, the roads to Jerusalem were full of people, many of whom, happening to meet with Jesus, chose to travel in his company, that they might behold his miracles. And he ran before — With great earnestness; and climbed up, &c. — Notwithstanding his quality; desire conquering honour and shame. Zaccheus, it seems, was in Jericho when Jesus passed through, though his house was farther on the road to Jerusalem. This accounts for his running before the multitude on this occasion. His desire to see Jesus was, no doubt, increased by the account which he had received in Jericho, of the miracle performed on the blind beggars; for the news of so extraordinary a transaction would be quickly spread abroad.19:1-10 Those who sincerely desire a sight of Christ, like Zaccheus, will break through opposition, and take pains to see him. Christ invited himself to Zaccheus' house. Wherever Christ comes he opens the heart, and inclines it to receive him. He that has a mind to know Christ, shall be known of him. Those whom Christ calls, must humble themselves, and come down. We may well receive him joyfully, who brings all good with him. Zaccheus gave proofs publicly that he was become a true convert. He does not look to be justified by his works, as the Pharisee; but by his good works he will, through the grace of God, show the sincerity of his faith and repentance. Zaccheus is declared to be a happy man, now he is turned from sin to God. Now that he is saved from his sins, from the guilt of them, from the power of them, all the benefits of salvation are his. Christ is come to his house, and where Christ comes he brings salvation with him. He came into this lost world to seek and to save it. His design was to save, when there was no salvation in any other. He seeks those that sought him not, and asked not for him.Who he was - Rather "what sort of person," he was, or how he appeared. He had that curiosity which is natural to people to see one of whom they have heard much. It would seem, also, that in this case mere "curiosity" led to his conversion and that of his family. Compare 1 Corinthians 14:23-25. God makes use of every principle - of curiosity, or sympathy, or affection, or hope, or fear - to lead people in the way of salvation, and to impress truth on the minds of sinners.

The press - The crowd; the multitude that surrounded Jesus. Earthly princes are often borne in splendid equipages, or even carried, as in Eastern nations, in palanquins on the shoulders of people. Jesus mingled with the multitude, not seeking distinctions of that sort, and perhaps, "in appearance," not distinguished from thousands that followed him.

Little of stature - Short. Not a tall man.

3. who he was—what sort of person. Curiosity then was his only motive, though his determination not to be baulked was overruled for more than he sought.Ver. 3,4. All this was but curiosity; he saw a great crowd passing by, and asks what was the matter. The people tell him, that it was Jesus of Nazareth, that famous Prophet, whose fame had filled Judea as well as Galilee. He hath a great curiosity to see him, and runs before to find out a convenient station; but perceiving the crowd was great, and knowing that he was too low of stature to look over all their heads so well as to satisfy himself, he climbeth up upon a sycamore tree, by the way side in which he knew that he must pass. And he sought to see Jesus who he was,.... What sort of a person he was for complexion, stature, and age: having heard much of him, he was very desirous of indulging his curiosity with a sight of him; having, as yet, nothing else that induced him to desire to see him: his desire to see Jesus was not of the same kind with the kings and prophets, Matthew 13:16 but rather like that of Herod, Luke 23:8

and could not for the press; the multitude of people that were flocking to meet Jesus, or who came before him, or were about him; for one part of the multitude went before him, and the other followed after him; so that he was in the crowd, and therefore could not easily be seen;

because he was little of stature. The Syriac and Persic versions read, "because Zacchaeus was little of stature", lest it should be thought that this is said of Jesus; for the reason why Zacchaeus could not see him for the crowd, was not because Christ was little of stature, and was hid among them, but because Zacchaeus was little of stature, and could not see over their heads.

And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
Luke 19:3-4. Τίς ἐστι] i.e. which among those who were passing by is Jesus. “Fama notum vultu noscere cupiebat,” Grotius.

προδραμὼν ἔμπροσθεν] Comp. Tob 11:2; Plat. Gorg. p. 497 A; Xen. Cyrop. iv. 2. 23.

συκομορέαν] The form μορέα occurs in Nicander as quoted by Athen. I. p. 51, and συκομορέα, Geop. x. 3. 7; more frequently συκόμορος (Dioscor. i. 184; Aq. Amos 7:14; Suidas). The authorities, however, are very much divided between συκομορέαν (so now Tischendorf also, following B L D א) and συκομωρέαν (Lachmann); Galen also has μωρέα, de comp. med. 5 (in Wetstein on Luke 17:6). As, nevertheless, the reading συκομοραίαν also adds to the support of συκομόρ., although it is plainly a transcriber’s error, the Recepta is to be maintained. The word itself is = συκάμινος (see Dioscor. i 184): Egyptian fig tree, Luke 17:6.

ἐκείνης] see on Luke 5:9.

διέρχεσθαι] to pass through, through the city, Luke 19:1.Luke 19:3. ἐζήτει: imperfect, implying continuous effort, for a while unsuccessful, because of (ἀπὸ) the crowd, too dense to penetrate, and not to be seen over by him, being short of stature (ἡλικίᾳ as in Matthew 6:27).—ἰδεῖν τὸν Ἰ. τίς ἐστι = ἰδεῖν τίς ἐστιν ὁ Ἰησοῦς, to see who Jesus is = de facie cognoscere (Kuinoel); “fama notum vultu noscere cupiebat” (Grotius).3. he sought to see Jesus] Doubtless his riches increased the odium of his position, and being accustomed to contempt and hatred, he wished to see One who was not only a great prophet, but also kind to tax- gatherers and sinners.Luke 19:3. Εζήτει, he was seeking) Therefore he had known Jesus before by face.Verse 3. - He was little of stature. Such a curious detail comes, of course, from some memoir written just at the time. He sought (ἐζήτει)

Imperfect. He was busy seeking as Jesus passed.

Who he was

Lit., is. Not to see what kind of a person, but which one of the crowd he was.

Stature (ἡλικίᾳ)

See on Luke 12:25.

Luke 19:3 Interlinear
Luke 19:3 Parallel Texts

Luke 19:3 NIV
Luke 19:3 NLT
Luke 19:3 ESV
Luke 19:3 NASB
Luke 19:3 KJV

Luke 19:3 Bible Apps
Luke 19:3 Parallel
Luke 19:3 Biblia Paralela
Luke 19:3 Chinese Bible
Luke 19:3 French Bible
Luke 19:3 German Bible

Bible Hub

Luke 19:2
Top of Page
Top of Page