Luke 19:9
And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.
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(9) This day is salvation come to this house.—The Greek tense, This day came there salvation to this house, has a force which it is not easy to express in English, implying that the salvation was already looked back upon as completed in the past. In one sense salvation had come in the personal presence of the Saviour, but we must remember all that the word implied—deliverance, not from the penalty only, but from the habit and the power of sin. This had come, and the words and acts of Zacchæus showed the fruits. And it comes to him because “he also is a child of Abraham.” The Abraham character was in him, as that of the true Israel was in Nicodemus (John 1:47). A son of Abraham, like him in his noble generosity (comp. Genesis 13:9; Genesis 14:23), was found where, to the common observer, it would have seemed as hopeless to look for one as among the stones of the Jordan valley (Matthew 3:9).

Luke 19:9-10. Jesus said unto him — Or, concerning him, as Dr. Campbell translates the words, observing, “The thing said shows clearly that our Lord spake not to Zaccheus, but to the people concerning him: he being mentioned in the third person in the next clause.” For so much as he also is a son of Abraham — Notwithstanding all the sins he has committed, it is now manifest that even this man also is a true son of Abraham, and that, not only in respect of his lineal descent from him, but of his faith and holiness. For the Son of man is come to seek and save that which was lost — “Alluding to the parables of the lost sheep, lost money, and lost son, which he had lately delivered, to prove how agreeable it was to reason, to the duties of his mission, and to the will of God, that he should keep company with the worst of sinners, in order to recover them unto God their rightful owner. And therefore, though Zaccheus had been really as bad a man as the multitude took him, and his vocation bespake him to be, Jesus was in the exercise of his duty when he went to lodge with him.”

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.Salvation is come to this house - This family. They have this day received the blessings of the gospel, and become interested in the Messiah's kingdom. Salvation "commences" when people truly receive Christ and their sins are pardoned; it is "completed" when the soul is sanctified and received up into heaven.

Forasmuch - Because. For he has given "evidence" that he is a new man, and is disposed to forsake his sins and receive the gospel.

The son of Abraham - Hitherto, although a Jew, yet he has been a sinner, and a great sinner. He was not worthy to be called a son of Abraham. Now, by repentance, and by receiving the Christ whose day Abraham saw and was glad John 8:56, he has shown himself to be worthy to be called his son. Abraham was an example of distinguished piety; the father of the faithful Romans 4:11, as well as the ancestor of the Jews. They were called his sons who were descended from him, and particularly they who "resembled" him. In this place the phrase is used in both senses.

9. Jesus said unto him—but also before all.

This day, &c.—memorable saying! Salvation already come, but not a day old.

to this house—so expressed probably to meet the taunt, "He is gone to be guest," &c. The house is no longer polluted; it is now fit to receive Me. But salvation to a house is an exceedingly precious idea, expressing the new air that would henceforth breathe in it, and the new impulses from its head which would reach its members (Ps 118:15; Ac 16:15, 16, 31).

son of Abraham—He was that by birth, but here it means a partaker of his faith, being mentioned as the sufficient explanation of salvation having come to him.

Ver. 9,10. It is the opinion of some, that by house is here to be understood Zacchaeus and his whole family. Nor can it be denied, but that God, when he poureth out the oil of grace upon the head of a family, maketh some of it to run down to the skirts of his garments. God’s covenant was with Abraham and his seed. There is a blessing upon whole nations, and whole families, where the heads of them receive the gospel; but this is not to be extended beyond some gospel privileges, and the liberty of the means of grace. ewthria egeneto (which we translate salvation is come) seemeth to signify much more than this. I had rather therefore interpret this house, the head of this house.

Forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. Here again a question ariseth, in what sense these words are to be understood, whether that he were the son of Abraham, as Abraham was the father of the Jewish nation, or as he was the father of the faithful, viz. of all those who believed, or should believe, in Christ. Those who think he was a Jew, suppose that the Romans did employ some Jews in their service, to gather the public revenue, which is not improbable, being no more than is done by all conquerors: they have also to countenance them,

1. That Zacchaeus is a name of Hebrew extraction.

2. That his mention of a fourfold restitution seemeth to have reference to the law of fourfold restitution, in case of a sheep stolen, and alienated, Exodus 22:1.

3. That the Jews did not charge our Saviour for eating with a person uncircumcised, but a person that was a scandalous sinner.

These make these words to be a reason given by our Saviour why he was so kind to Zacchaeus, because he also was a Song of Solomon of Abraham, one of the lost sheep of the house of Israel. If I could interpret swthria, the means of salvation, I should incline to this sense also; but taking it to signify saving grace, which brings men to a certainty of salvation, remission of sins, and the justification of the soul of this publican, I cannot but think that by a son of Abraham in this text is meant a true believer, which he might be, and yet be a native Jew also. Though all Israel did not obtain, yet the election amongst them did obtain, Romans 11:7. All were not Israel who were of Israel. Neither, ( saith the apostle, Romans 9:7) because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children. Nor were they other than Jews to whom Christ said, John 8:39, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham; and, John 8:44, Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. Our Saviour therefore in saying, Forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham, intendeth much more than that he was a native Jew, (if indeed he were so, for that is not certain), viz. that he was a believer, a son of Abraham considered as the father of the faithful; a genuine son of Abraham, rejoicing with him at the sight of his day, and believing with him, so as it was imputed to him for righteousness; and salvation is already come in a sure title, though not in actual possession, to every soul that is such a one.

For the Son of man (saith he) is come to seek and to save that which was lost. We had the same, Matthew 18:11: See Poole on "Matthew 18:11".

And Jesus said unto him,.... The Persic version reads, "Jesus said to the multitude, and to his disciples"; to which well enough agree the following words:

this day is salvation come to this house: to the master of it, and it may be to others in it; the Arabic version reads, "to the inhabitants of this house". The Persic version reads, "great salvation"; by which may be meant, the Gospel, as in Hebrews 2:3 so called, because it brings the account of salvation by Christ, which is not discoverable by the light of nature, nor made known by the law of Moses; but the Gospel publishes and proclaims it; the ministers of it show unto men the way of salvation, and direct them, and encourage to go to Christ for it; likewise the Gospel is the means of bringing near this salvation, and of applying it to them; and when it comes with the demonstration of the Spirit, it is the power of God unto salvation: and this might be truly said to come to Zacchaeus's house; inasmuch as Christ the great preacher of it, and by whom it first began to be spoken, and was spoken by him, as it never was by any one besides, was now in his house, preaching it; the sum and substance of which lie in the words delivered by him in the following verse; and the Gospel came to him to purpose, and was effectual: sometimes it comes to a people, city, town, or family, and it is rejected, and becomes of no effect; but here it came to Zacchaeus, and into him; and wrought effectually in him, as his words in the preceding verse declare: moreover, the blessing of salvation itself, which is wrought out by Christ, and published in the Gospel, was brought home to him; he was not only made sensible that he stood in need of salvation, but this was brought near unto him, and set before him, and applied to him; he had not only hopes of it, but faith of interest in it; it was made known unto him, that Christ was his salvation; and it was revealed and applied to the rest of the family, as well as to him: sometimes the Lord takes one of a city, and two of a family; and sometimes whole families, as Lydia's and the jailor's, and here Zacchaeus's, as seems probable; for by his house may be meant, his family: though this may be understood of Christ, the author of salvation; who came into his house in a literal sense, as well as in a spiritual sense; and was made known to Zacchaeus, as his Saviour and Redeemer. The Alexandrian copy reads, "in this house": it follows,

forasmuch as he also is the son of Abraham. These words are to be considered, either as a reason, or evidence, of salvation being come to his house; and therefore cannot be understood of him as a son of Abraham, by natural descent: he was indeed a Jew, as appears by his name, and by his knowledge of the Jewish law, concerning restoration; and which may be confirmed by the silence of the Pharisees, who murmured at Christ's going along with him; who, had he been a Gentile, would not have failed to have mentioned it; but then, though this might be a reason justifying Christ in going to his house, who did not exceed the bounds of his office, as the minister of the circumcision, and as sent, and that only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel; yet this could be no reason of spiritual salvation coming to him, which was not confined to Abraham's natural seed, nor was it necessary to them, more than others, and much less general; and indeed, very few of them then in being, partook of it; for though salvation was of them, and Christ the Saviour came unto them, yet they rejected him, and died in their sins: nor is this a reason of salvation coming to his family; for though by virtue of the covenant of circumcision made with Abraham and his natural seed, there were many outward privileges bestowed upon them, yet spiritual salvation was not ensured by it to them; and with regard to that, natural descent from Abraham, and circumcision, were of no avail: but this is to be understood of him, as a son of Abraham in a spiritual sense, he being now a believer in Christ, and so one that walked in the steps of the faith of Abraham; and this was an evidence of his interest in salvation by Christ, the blessing with which he was blessed, with faithful Abraham: and also his being a son of Abraham, which is no other than to be a child of the promise, Romans 9:8 or in other words, one of God's elect, a chosen vessel of salvation, was a reason why Christ, the author of salvation, came to him, why the Gospel of salvation was made known to him, and why the blessing of salvation was applied to him. The Jews use this phrase, not only of one whose natural descent is from Abraham, but whose knowledge in divine things is considerable: so when R. Eliezer ben Arach taught the Mercava, (the mystery of Ezekiel's visions),

"R. Jochanan ben Zaccai stood and kissed his head, and said, blessed art thou, O God of Israel, that has given , "a son to Abraham", who has knowledge to understand, and to search out, and to explain the work of Mercava (d).''

For Abraham is said (e) to be a father in this sort of knowledge, for which reason, this man was genealogized a son of Abraham.

(d) T. Bab. Chagiga, fol. 14. 2.((e) Caphtor, fol. 69. 1.

And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a {c} son of Abraham.

(c) Beloved of God, one that walks in the steps of Abraham's faith: and we gather that salvation came to that house because they received the blessing as Abraham had. (Ed.)

Luke 19:9-10. Πρὸς αὐτόν] to him, πρός, as Luke 19:5; Luke 19:8; not: in reference to him (Grotius, Rosenmüller, Kuinoel, de Wette, and others), so that Jesus spoke to the disciples or to the people (Paulus). He speaks to Zacchaeus, but not in the second person (τῷ οἴκῳ σου), because what He said was to serve at the same time as a correction for those murmurers (Luke 19:7, comp. on Luke 19:11), and consequently was to have a more general destination. Hence it is also at least unnecessary, with Ewald, to assume an audible soliloquy of Jesus, and to read πρὸς αὑτόν (to himself) (comp. πρὸς ἑαυτόν, Luke 18:11).

καθότι καὶ αὐτὸς κ.τ.λ.] in accordance with the fact that (Luke 1:7; Acts 2:21; in the New Testament used only by Luke) he also (as other Jews, although he is despised as a sinner) is a son of Abraham,—as which he belongs to the saving solicitude of the Messiah. Comp. Luke 13:16. It is not the worthiness (Grotius, Kuinoel, Bleek, and others), but the theocratic claim that is meant. Cyprian, Tertullian, Chrysostom, Maldonatus, and others, including Schenkel, who regard Zacchaeus as a Gentile, are compelled to take υἱὸς Ἀβρ. in an ethical sense (“quamvis genere non sit, tamen fide est,” Maldonatus). But that he was a Gentile is in itself (see also on Luke 19:2), and according to Luke 19:8, not to be supposed, and is not implied in Luke 19:7.

Luke 19:10. γάρ] justifies what is said at Luke 19:9 : with full right do I say that this day is salvation come to this house (the family of this house), etc., for the Messiah has come to seek and to save that which is lost, i.e. those who have incurred eternal ruin. The collective neuter used of persons, as in John 17:2; on the thought, see 1 Timothy 1:15.

ἦλθε] emphatically placed first; for Jesus declares the purpose of His appearance.

ζητῆσαι] might be suggested by the idea of a shepherd (Luke 15:4); still the text contains no closer reference of that kind. Hence it is rather a general expression of the seeking of the love that is solicitous for souls. Comp. 2 Corinthians 12:14. Moreover, comp. on Matthew 18:11.

Luke 19:9. πρὸς αὐτὸν, to him or with reference to him; probably both; the words meant for the ears of Zacchaeus and all who might be there to hear, or perhaps spoken half as a soliloquy.—καθότι, inasmuch as; a word of Lk.’s; in his writings only in N.T.—υἱὸς Ἀ., a son of Abraham in the natural sense, a Jew; a protest against popular prejudice, for which a publican was as a heathen. The more radical reason, unexpressed, but present doubtless to the mind of Jesus, was: because he also is a son of man, a human being.

9. a son of Abraham] Used here in the high spiritual sense (Romans 4:11-12; Romans 4:16; Galatians 3:7) though also true (as the name shews) in the literal sense. See Luke 1:55, Luke 3:8.

Luke 19:9. Πρὸς) to him: and yet not directly [“in reference to him”]. Comp. the use of πρὸς; in Romans 10:21 [πρὸς δὲ τὸν Ἰσραὴλ λέγει, “but (in reference) to Israel He saith”].—σήμερον, this day) There may be hereby denoted the day on which a man, who was heretofore lost, begins to be one of Christ’s own people. See Php 1:5 [“Your fellowship in the Gospel from the first day until now”]; Acts 2:41; Acts 16:34. Comp. John 4:52.—σωτηρία, salvation) So in Luke 19:10, σῶσαι, to save. The word accords with the meaning of the name Jesus, [God-Saviour].—οἴκῳ, to this house) which had been lately in bad repute. For the most part, the faith of the head of a family is followed by the members of the household.—αὐτὸς) himself, the chief person of the house.—υἱὸς Ἀβραὰμ, a son of Abraham) as even the Hebrew name of Zaccheus shows.

Verse 9. - And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house. This solemn announcement on the part of the Redeemer was something more than a mere comforting assurance to a man who, in spite of difficulties and temptations, had striven manfully to lead a brave and generous life, helping, it is clear, the very multitude who were so ready to revile him. It is an assurance to the world that men might work in any profession or calling, and at the same time live a life pleasing to God. It repeats with intense emphasis - and this is the great lesson of this striking scene - that it is never the work or the position in life which ennobles the man in the sight of God, but only the way in which the work is done, and the position used, which are of price in his pure eyes. The hated publican at the receipt of custom - the servant of Rome, might so live as to win the smile of God, as well as the priest in the sanctuary, or the rabbi in his theological school. He also is a son of Abraham. That is to say, a spiritual son - a son in the highest and most real sense. Zacchaeus was a faithful follower of Abraham, in his life and in his faith. Luke 19:9
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