Luke 19: “Today salvation has come to this house”.

Vallotton Annie Vallotton drawings _Good news bible Collins Fontana 1976 British and foreign bible societies 146 Queen Victoria Street London

The significance of this passage lies in Jesus’ declaration of the availability of salvation “today”, long before his alleged death for man’s sins. NT scholars have long noticed that for Luke salvation and forgiveness of sin does not depend of Jesus’ atoning death. Rather, like an Old Testament prophet Jesus calls the people of Israel to sincere repentance and faith in the One God. Jesus as such is not the object of his proclamation, a fact that is curiously ignored by many Christians today. These Christians do not follow the religion of Jesus but the religion about Jesus. Luke 19 is a key text to understand Jesus’ soteriology:

‘He entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax-collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycomore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him,

‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.’

So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said,

‘He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.’

Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,

‘Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.’

Then Jesus said to him,

‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.’

Note that the man received salvation that very day – not later as a result of Jesus’ alleged death on the cross.

Categories: Bible, Biblical scholarship, God, The Gospel of Jesus

10 replies

  1. That’s Luke 19, not 18.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Boy, you go from being bad to outright pathetic! First, it is Luke 19 not 18. Second, how convenient of you to ignore what the text itself says about the basis of the tax collector’s salvation:

    ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I MUST STAY AT YOUR HOUSE TODAY.’… ‘TODAY SALVATION HAS COME TO THIS HOUSE, because he too is a son of Abraham. FOR THE SON OF MAN CAME TO SEEK OUT AND SAVE THE LOST.’

    Jesus was clearly referring to himself as the SALVATION THAT HAD COME TO ZACCHAEUS’ HOUSE! This is further seen by all the references in Luke-Acts where Jesus is identified as the Savior who was sent to save and forgive:

    “Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David A SAVIOR, who is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:9-11

    “God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and SAVIOR that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.” Acts 5:31

    “All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes IN HIM receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” Acts 10:43

    “When he had removed him, he made David their king. In his testimony about him he said, ‘I have found David, son of Jesse, to be a man after my heart, who will carry out all my wishes.’ Of this man’s posterity God has brought to Israel A SAVIOR, Jesus, as he promised… Let it be known to you therefore, my brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you; by this Jesus everyone who believes is set free from all those sins from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses.” Acts 13:22-23, 38-39

    “After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, ‘My brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that I should be the one through whom the Gentiles would hear the message of the good news and become believers. And God, who knows the human heart, testified to them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us; and in cleansing their hearts by faith he has made no distinction between them and us. Now therefore why are you putting God to the test by placing on the neck of the disciples a yoke that neither our ancestors nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary, we believe that we will be SAVED through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.’” Acts 15:7-11

    “Then he brought them outside and said, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be SAVED?’ They answered, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be SAVED, you and your household.’” Acts 16:30-31

    Moreover, since Jesus is the Savior he could therefore save anyone and everyone who would believe in him even before his vicarious death since from God’s perspective Christ’s death for sinners is a done deal, having been foreordained beforehand with no possibility of anything or anyone stopping it from coming to pass:

    “Then he took the twelve aside and said to them, ‘See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets WILL BE ACCOMPLISHED. For he will be handed over to the Gentiles; and he will be mocked and insulted and spat upon. After they have flogged him, they will kill him, and on the third day he will rise again.’” Luke 18:31-33

    “For I tell you, this scripture MUST BE FULFILLED IN ME, ‘And he was counted among the lawless’; and indeed what is written about me is being fulfilled.” Luke 22:37

    “Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms MUST BE FULFILLED.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed IN HIS NAME to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.’” Luke 24:44-47

    “You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know—this man, handed over to you ACCORDING TO THE DEFINITE PLAN AND FOREKNOWLEDGE OF GOD, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power.” Acts 2:22-24

    “For in this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant[a] Jesus, whom you anointed, to do WHATEVER YOUR HAND AND YOUR PLAN HAD PREDESTINED TO TAKE PLACE.” Acts 4:27-28

    “Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that was to be yours made careful search and inquiry, inquiring about the person or time THAT THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST WITHIN THEM INDICATED WHEN IT TESTIFIED IN ADVANCE TO THE SUFFERINGS DESTINED FOR CHRIST AND THE SUBSEQUENT GLORY. It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in regard to the things that have now been announced to you through those who brought you good news by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look!… You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. HE WAS DESTINED BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, but was revealed at the end of the ages for your sake.” 1 Peter 1:10-12, 18-20

    Therefore, seeing how the context of Luke 19 affirms that Jesus himself is the Salvation of God for everyone who chooses to believe in him, this means you have again managed to help us prove that Muhammad was a false prophet for contradicting the testimony of the very biblical texts that you yourself appealed to in a failed attempt to undermine the Christian Gospel! OUCH!


    • Sam thanks for the sermon. I notice you hardly dealt with the actual passage and issues raised.

      The significance of this passage lies in Jesus’ declaration of the availability of salvation “today”, long before his alleged death for man’s sins. NT scholars have long noticed that for Luke salvation and forgiveness of sin does not depend of Jesus’ atoning death. You have not noticed this. It is very significant. In Luke, like an Old Testament prophet Jesus calls the people of Israel to sincere repentance and faith in the One God.

      Luke 19 is a key text to understand Jesus’ teaching about salvation:

      Note that the man received salvation that very day – not later as a result of Jesus’ alleged death on the cross.

      How do you explain this fact?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Williams, thanks for your pathetic ad hominem. I noticed when you get refuted and pwned you resort to silliness and stupidity, and pretend that your objection wasn’t dealt with.

    Now which part of Jesus being the Salvation that came to Zacchaeus’ house since he is the Son of man who came to seek and save the lost wasn’t clear? The Salvation part or the seeking and saving part?

    Moreover, which part of my reply that Jesus could save people on the basis of his atoning death even before he died since from God’s perspective the vicarious death of Christ is a done deal wasn’t clear?

    Finally, I know you are master at dodge ball and of logical fallacies, which is why you run away from providing cogent and coherent responses by an appeal to “scholarship,” which is nothing more than the fallacy of appealing to authorities (select authorities at that), but that doesn’t fly with me or anyone else with half a brain.

    Nice try though.


  4. Enjoy!

    Now watch what I am going to your apotheosis file. I am going to use that to again show how in your blind hatred of your God and Master Jesus Christ, you end up making arguments that prove Muhammad was an agent of Satan and an antichrist! great job of helping the Christian cause my brother! If I didn’t know any better I would think you are a closet Christian pretending to be Muslim in order to destroy Muhammad from within. 😉


  5. Sam: I reject your interpretation of the passage. It is Zacchaeus’s expressed intention to repent and do reparations for his sin…

    ‘Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.’

    …which elicits Jesus’ response that ‘salvation has come to his house’.

    Jesus brings salvation through his preaching of the kingdom. Some people respond positively and this makes them true sons of Abraham.

    The New Living Translation brings out the meaning well:

    Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”

    Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham.

    As the great Christian NT scholar Rev Professor Raymond E. Brown comments

    “the story illustrates Luke’s attitude towards wealth: Zacchaeus is a rich man, but the salvation can come to his house because he gives half his goods to the poor.”

    page 252, An Introduction to the New Testament (Anchor Bible Reference).



  1. Jesus Christ – God’s Salvation Has Come! – Answering Islam Blog

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