Luke 11All who are wise will earnestly desire to be taught rightly to pray, and will ask Jesus Christ to instruct them. This is a blessing which he delights to give, and with it is connected, in his providence and by his grace, all needed good. "Ask and it shall be given you." Mt 7:7. 2-4. The Lord's prayer. Mt 6:9-13. Shut; bolted, as the original word implies. Because of his importunity he will rise and give him; the point of the parable is to show the power of importunity in prayer. If it prevails with selfish men, how much more with God, who loves his children, and takes pleasure in granting their requests. Ask, and it shall be given; now comes the application of the parable. Be importunate in asking, seeking, and knocking at God's door, and you will be heard and answered. God often delays answering prayer, that he may try the faith and earnestness of the suppliant. 9-13. Asking of God in prayer. Mt 7:7-11. Scorpion; a poisonous reptile, with eight legs, eight eyes, and a sting in its tail, which inflicts great pain. Give the Holy Spirit; this is the gift of gifts, including in itself all needed good. God loves to have men pray for the greatest blessing he can bestow, the Holy Spirit, which he has promised to those who ask him. If any, therefore, do not receive it, and are not enlightened, sanctified, and saved, it is because they do not in faith and love ask for this blessing. 14-23. Casting out devils by Beelzebub. Mt 12:22-30. 24-26. Return of the unclean spirit. Mt 12:43-45. Wicked men reject the revealed truth of God, not because there is not sufficient evidence that it is truth, but because they are wicked, and the truth condemns them. When men reject evidence which God gives, and seek such as he will not give, they grow more wicked, and their last state becomes worse than any which preceded it. Yea, rather, blessed; the outward relation of Mary to Jesus as his mother was not so high a privilege, and did not confer such blessedness, as a believing and obedient spirt brings to the humblest of his disciples. How wrong, then, to exalt Mary to be an object of worship because of this outward relation. A disposition to hear the voice of God and obey it, is the greatest of blessings. Blessed as was the Virgin Mary on account of her being the mother of Jesus, more blessed, according to his decision, are all who believe on and obey him. Even Mary herself was more blessed as his believing and obedient disciple, than as his mother according to the flesh. 29-32. A sign sought. Mt 12:38-42; Mr 8:11,12. 33-36. Candle under a bushel. Mt 5:15; 6:22,23. If thy whole body--full of light; a clear view of spiritual things is to the soul what sight is to the body. It enables us to see clearly and correctly all truth that relates to God and Christ. Thus the soul becomes like a well-lighted chamber, having no dark corner. Washed; in the original, baptized. Great attention may be paid to outward forms and ceremonies, especially when men are taught to depend on them for salvation, and yet their hearts be abominably wicked. All such dependence is vain. To be accepted of God, men must give him their hearts, and must manifest this by obeying him and doing good, as they have opportunity, to their fellow-men. And the Lord said; this discourse at the Pharisee's table has much in common with that recorded in Mt 23.1-39; but it was delivered on a different occasion.Make clean; cleanse by washing. Mt 23:25,26;Ravening; greedy violence. Fools; they who mock God with outward forms merely, while inwardly full of impurity, are not only wicked, but most foolish.Made that which is without--that which is within; the argument is, that since God made the spirit as well as the outer man, he must require that also to be kept clean from pollution. Give alms of such things as ye have; that is, according to our version, bestow your property, as you have means and opportunity, in deeds of love for Christ's sake, and you will be accepted of him. But we may better render, Give the things within as alms; the things, namely, within the cup and platter. Instead of spending your time in washing their outside, while "within they are full of extortion and excess," see that their contents are made clean by being devoted, in the fear of God, to men's good, and then the outside will be clean also. The cup and platter here represent covetous and rapacious men, whose souls are polluted by unrighteous gain. Let them begin by making their hearts clean, and then they need not be troubled about outward defilements. Uppermost seats--and greetings; the most honorable places and public salutations. Mt 23:6,7. As graves which appear not; so that men walking over them are polluted without knowing it. In Mt 23:27,28, there is a contrast between a fair outward appearance and inward abomination. Here the point is the carefulness of the Pharisees in hiding their wickedness. Reproachest us; as being inwardly corrupt. 46-51. Sin and doom of the Pharisees. Mt 23:4,29-36. The wisdom of God; as manifested in the words and works of Christ. The key of knowledge; they prevented the people from obtaining the true knowledge of Jesus as the Messiah. They would not believe in him themselves, and they hindered others. To hinder men from obtaining that knowledge which God has revealed in his word, is a great sin, and one which exposes all who against light continue in it, to an awfully aggravated condemnation.
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