Luke 11

* The disciples taught to pray. (1-4) Christ encourages being

earnest in prayer. (5-13) Christ casts out a devil, The

blasphemy of the Pharisees. (14-26) True happiness. (27,28)

Christ reproves the Jews. (29-36) He reproves the Pharisees.


1-4 "Lord, teach us to pray," is a good prayer, and a very

needful one, for Jesus Christ only can teach us, by his word and

Spirit, how to pray. Lord, teach me what it is to pray; Lord,

stir up and quicken me to the duty; Lord, direct me what to pray

for; teach me what I should say. Christ taught them a prayer,

much the same that he had given before in his sermon upon the

mount. There are some differences in the words of the Lord's

prayer in Matthew and in Luke, but they are of no moment. Let us

in our requests, both for others and for ourselves, come to our

heavenly Father, confiding in his power and goodness.
5-13 Christ encourages fervency and constancy in prayer. We

must come for what we need, as a man does to his neighbour or

friend, who is kind to him. We must come for bread; for that

which is needful. If God does not answer our prayers speedily,

yet he will in due time, if we continue to pray. Observe what to

pray for; we must ask for the Holy Spirit, not only as necessary

in order to our praying well, but as all spiritual blessings are

included in that one. For by the influences of the Holy Spirit

we are brought to know God and ourselves, to repent, believe in,

and love Christ, and so are made comfortable in this world, and

meet for happiness in the next. All these blessings our heavenly

Father is more ready to bestow on every one that asks for them,

than an indulgent parent is to give food to a hungry child. And

this is the advantage of the prayer of faith, that it quiets and

establishes the heart in God.
14-26 Christ's thus casting out the devils, was really the

destroying of their power. The heart of every unconverted sinner

is the devil's palace, where he dwells, and where he rules.

There is a kind of peace in the heart of an unconverted soul,

while the devil, as a strong man armed, keeps it. The sinner is

secure, has no doubt concerning the goodness of his state, nor

any dread of the judgment to come. But observe the wonderful

change made in conversion. The conversion of a soul to God, is

Christ's victory over the devil and his power in that soul,

restoring the soul to its liberty, and recovering his own

interest in it and power over it. All the endowments of mind of

body are now employed for Christ. Here is the condition of a

hypocrite. The house is swept from common sins, by a forced

confession, as Pharaoh's; by a feigned contrition, as Ahab's; or

by a partial reformation, as Herod's. The house is swept, but it

is not washed; the heart is not made holy. Sweeping takes off

only the loose dirt, while the sin that besets the sinner, the

beloved sin, is untouched. The house is garnished with common

gifts and graces. It is not furnished with any true grace; it is

all paint and varnish, not real nor lasting. It was never given

up to Christ, nor dwelt in by the Spirit. Let us take heed of

resting in that which a man may have, and yet come short of

heaven. The wicked spirits enter in without any difficulty; they

are welcomed, and they dwell there; there they work, there they

rule. From such an awful state let all earnestly pray to be

27,28 While the scribes and Pharisees despised and blasphemed

the discourses of our Lord Jesus, this good woman admired them,

and the wisdom and power with which he spake. Christ led the

woman to a higher consideration. Though it is a great privilege

to hear the word of God, yet those only are truly blessed, that

is, blessed of the Lord, that hear it, keep it in memory, and

keep to it as their way and rule.
29-36 Christ promised that there should be one sign more given,

even the sign of Jonah the prophet; which in Matthew is

explained, as meaning the resurrection of Christ; and he warned

them to improve this sign. But though Christ himself were the

constant preacher in any congregation, and worked miracles daily

among them, yet unless his grace humbled their hearts, they

would not profit by his word. Let us not desire more evidence

and fuller teaching than the Lord is pleased to afford us. We

should pray without ceasing that our hearts and understandings

may be opened, that we may profit by the light we enjoy. And

especially take heed that the light which is in us be not

darkness; for if our leading principles be wrong, our judgment

and practice must become more so.
37-54 We should all look to our hearts, that they may be

cleansed and new-created; and while we attend to the great

things of the law and of the gospel, we must not neglect the

smallest matter God has appointed. When any wait to catch

something out of our mouths, that they may insnare us, O Lord,

give us thy prudence and thy patience, and disappoint their evil

purposes. Furnish us with such meekness and patience that we may

glory in reproaches, for Christ's sake, and that thy Holy Spirit

may rest upon us.
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