Luke 11

#Lu 11:1| LXXXVI. PRAYER TAUGHT AND ENCOURAGED. (Probably Judaea.) #Lu 11:1-13| One of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, even as John also taught his disciples. Jesus had already taught his disciples how to pray in the Sermon on the Mount (#Mt 6:5-15|). This disciple probably thought that the prayer already taught was too brief to be sufficient, especially as Jesus often prayed so long. It was customary for the rabbis to give their disciples forms of prayer, and the Baptist seems to have followed this practice, though the prayer taught by him appears soon to have been forgotten. (TFG 479) #Lu 11:2-4| When ye pray, say, Father, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. The form given by Matthew is fuller than this. See on #Mt 6:9-13|. The variation of the two prayers is an evidence of the independence of the two Gospels. (TFG 479-480) #Lu 11:4| And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. In the prayer as usually publicly repeated, the word "trespasses" is often used in place of the word "debts." This is a remnant of Tyndale's translation (A.D. 1526) which has been preserved and handed down in the Episcopal Liturgies. Tyndale renders Matthew as follows: "And forgive us our trespases even as we forgive them which trespas vs." (TFG 480) #Lu 11:5| Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight. A most unseasonable hour. And say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves. The occasion here described would call for three loaves, that the host and the guest might each have one, and that there might be one in reserve as an evidence of liberality. (TFG 480) #Lu 11:6| For a friend of mine is come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him. In the summer Orientals often travel by night to avoid the heat of the day. The customs of the land then made hospitality so obligatory that the greatest inconvenience and deepest poverty did not excuse one from practicing it. (TFG 480) #Lu 11:7| Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee? The man within does not use the word "friend." His answer is blunt and discouraging. In the house of a laboring man, the family all sleep in one room. The pallets, or thin mattresses, are spread upon the divan, or raised platform, which passes around the room next to the wall. Where there was no divan they were spread upon the floor. For a father to rise and grope about in the dark that he might unbolt the door and find the required bread was indeed no slight trouble. He would be apt to step upon, or otherwise disturb, the sleeping children. (TFG 480) #Lu 11:8| Though he will not rise and give him because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will arise and give him as many as he needeth. Friendship should have prompted the man to supply his friend. It failed, however; yet the bread was given to get rid of a noisy beggar, to be rid of whom all the bread in the house would be willingly sacrificed if necessary. If a selfish man can be thus won by importunity, much more can a generous God, whose reluctance is never without reason, and whose ever-present desire is to bless. Idle repetition of prayers is forbidden; but persistence and importunity are encouraged. See #Isa 42:6 Ge 18:23-33 Mt 15:27,28|. (TFG 480-481) #Lu 11:9-13| Ask . . . seek . . . knock. See TFG "#Mt 7:7|". The substance of this passage is recorded by Matthew as a portion of the Sermon on the Mount. See on #Mt 7:7-11|. (TFG 481) #Lu 11:10| For every one that asketh receiveth. See TFG "#Mt 7:8|". #Lu 11:11| And of which of you that is a father shall his son ask a loaf, and he give him a stone? See TFG "#Mt 7:9|". Or a fish, and he for a fish give him a serpent? See TFG "#Mt 7:9|". #Lu 11:12| Or if he shall ask an egg, will he give him a scorpion? #Lu 11:12| is peculiar to Luke. The scorpion is an insect somewhat similar to a small lobster. It is two or three inches long, and has a sting at the end of its tail which is about as severe as that of a wasp. The old commentators tell us that the white scorpion, when rolled up, closely resembled an egg. (TFG 481) #Lu 11:13| How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Matthew has "good things" (#Mt 7:11|) where Luke has "Holy Spirit." The Holy Spirit is the best of all gifts, being as necessary to the soul as food to the body. (TFG 481) #Lu 11:14| XLVIII. BLASPHEMOUS ACCUSATIONS OF THE JEWS. (Galilee.) #Mt 12:22-37 Mr 3:19-30 Lu 11:14-23| He was casting out a demon that was dumb. See TFG "#Mt 12:22|". And the multitudes marvelled. See TFG "#Mt 12:23|". #Lu 11:15| But some of them said. That is, some of the multitude. Who these "some" were is revealed by Matthew and Mark (#Mt 12:24 Mr 3:22|). By Beelzebub the prince of the demons casteth he out demons. See TFG "#Mr 3:22|". (TFG 299) #Lu 11:16| And others, trying him, sought of him a sign from heaven. These probably felt that the criticisms of the Pharisees were unjust, and wished that Jesus might put them to silence by showing some great sign, such as the pillar of cloud which sanctioned the guidance of Moses, or the descending fire which vindicated Elijah. (TFG 300) #Lu 11:17| But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, etc. See TFG "#Mr 3:23|". #Lu 11:18| And if Satan also is divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? See TFG "#Mr 3:23|". #Lu 11:19| And if I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges. See TFG "#Mt 12:27|". #Lu 11:20| But if I by the finger of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of God come upon you. See TFG "#Mt 12:28|". The finger of God signifies the power of God (#Ex 8:19 31:18 Ps 8:3|). (TFG 301-302) #Lu 11:21| When the strong man fully armed guardeth his own court, his goods are in peace. See TFG "#Mr 3:27|". #Lu 11:22| But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, etc. See TFG "#Mr 3:27|". #Lu 11:23| He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. See TFG "#Mt 12:30|". #Lu 11:24| XLIX. SIGN SEEKERS, AND THE ENTHUSIAST REPROVED. (Galilee on the same day as the last section.) #Mt 12:38-45 Lu 11:24-36| The unclean spirit . . . passeth through waterless places, etc. See TFG "#Mt 12:43|". I will turn back unto my house whence I came out. See TFG "#Mt 12:44|". #Lu 11:25| And when he is come, he findeth it swept and garnished. See TFG "#Mt 12:44|". #Lu 11:26| Then goeth he, and taketh, etc. See TFG "#Mt 12:45|". #Lu 11:27| A certain woman out of the multitude lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the breasts which thou didst suck. This woman is the first on record to fulfill Mary's prediction (#Lu 1:48|). It is the only passage in the New Testament which even suggests the idolatry of Mariolatry, but it was far enough from it, being merely a womanly way of expressing admiration for the son by pronouncing blessings upon the mother who was so fortunate as to bear him. (TFG 309) #Lu 11:28| Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. Jesus does not deny the fact that Mary was blessed, but corrects any false idea with regard to her by pointing to the higher honor of being a disciple which was attainable by every one. Mary's blessing as a disciple was greater than her blessing as a mother; her moral and spiritual relation to Jesus was more precious than her maternal. Mary's blessings came through believing God's word (#Lu 1:45|). To know Christ after the Spirit is more blessed than to know him after the flesh (#2Co 5:15,16 Joh 16:7|). (TFG 309) #Lu 11:29| This generation is an evil generation: it seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it but the sign of Jonah. See TFG "#Mt 12:39|". #Lu 11:30| For even as Jonah became a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation. Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian Empire, situated on the Tigris River, and in its day the greatest city of the world. Jonah's preservation was a sign from heaven, because wrought without human instrumentality. The resurrection of Christ was such a sign to the Jews, but rejecting it, they continued to seek other signs (#1Co 1:22|). Also see TFG "Mt 12:40". (TFG 307) #Lu 11:31| The queen of the south, etc. See TFG "#Mt 12:42|". #Lu 11:32| The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it, etc. See TFG "#Mt 12:41|". #Lu 11:33-36| No man, when he hath lighted a lamp, putteth it in a cellar, etc. This passage given in a slightly varying form is found in the Sermon on the Mount. See TFG "#Mt 5:15|". It is here addressed to the Pharisees and reproves them for not using the light (his miracles) which was given to them. If they had had an eye single to goodness, Christ's light would have enlightened their souls. But their eye was double; they desired wonders and spectacular signs. (TFG 309-310) #Lu 11:34| The lamp of thy body is thine eye: when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light. See TFG "#Mt 6:22|". But when it is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. See TFG "#Mt 6:22|". #Lu 11:35| Look therefore whether the light that is in thee be not darkness. See TFG "#Mt 6:22|". #Lu 11:36| If therefore thy whole body be full of light, etc. See TFG "#Mt 6:22|". #Lu 11:37| LI. DINING WITH A PHARISEE, JESUS DENOUNCES THAT SECT. #Lu 11:37-54| Now as he spake, a Pharisee asketh him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat. The repast to which Jesus was invited was a morning meal, usually eaten between ten and eleven o'clock. The principal meal of the day was eaten in the evening. Jesus dined with all classes, with publicans and Pharisees, with friends and enemies. (TFG 312) #Lu 11:38| And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first bathed himself before dinner. The Pharisee marveled at this because the tradition of the elders required them to wash their hands before eating, and, if they had been in a crowd where their bodies might have been touched by some unclean person, they washed their whole bodies. It was a custom which ministered to pride and self-righteousness. (TFG 312) #Lu 11:39| The Lord said to him. Our Lord's speech is unsparingly denunciatory. To some it seems strange that Jesus spoke thus in a house where he was an invited guest. But our Lord never suspended the solemn work of reproof out of mere compliment. He was governed by higher laws than those of conventional politeness. (TFG 312) #Lu 11:40| Did not he that made the outside make the inside also? Since God made both the inner and the outer, a true reverence for him requires that both parts be alike kept clean. (TFG 312) #Lu 11:41| But give for alms those things which are within; and behold, all things are clean unto you. That is, give your inner life, your love, mercy, compassion, etc., to the blessing of mankind, and then your inner purity will make you proof against outward defilement (#Mt 15:11| #Tit 1:15 Ro 14:4|). (TFG 312-313) #Lu 11:42| But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and every herb. See TFG "#Mt 23:23|". And pass over justice and the love of God: but these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. The Pharisees in paying the tenth part, or tithe, to God, were so exact that they offered the tenth part of the seed even of the spearmint, rue and other small garden herbs, and many contended that the very stalks of these plants should also be tithed. Jesus commends this care about little things, but nevertheless rebukes the Pharisees because they were as careless about big things, such as justice, and the love of God, as they were careful about herb seed. Rue was a small shrub about two feet high, and is said to have been used to flavor wine, and for medicinal purposes. (TFG 313) #Lu 11:43| For ye love the chief seats in the synagogues, and the salutations in the marketplaces. They were vainglorious, loving the honors and attentions given by men (#Joh 5:44|). They loved on week days to be saluted in the marketplace, and on the Sabbath to sit in the semi-circular row of seats which were back of the lectern, or desk of the reader, and which faced the congregation. On the synagogue, see TFG "Mr 1:39". (TFG 313) #Lu 11:44| For ye are as the tombs which appear not, and the men that walk over them know it not. According to the Mosaic law, any one who touched a grave was rendered unclean (#Nu 19:16|). That they might not touch graves and be made unclean without knowing it, the Jews white-washed their graves and tombs once a year. But Jesus likens a Pharisee to graves which defiled men unawares. Their hypocrisy concealed their true nature, so that men were injured and corrupted by their influence without being aware of it. Jesus pronounces three woes upon the Pharisees for three sins, namely: 1. Hypocrisy, shown in pretending to be be very careful when they were really extremely careless; 2. Vainglory (#Lu 11:43|); 3. Corruption of public morals (#Lu 11:44|). (TFG 313) #Lu 11:45| And one of the lawyers answering saith unto him, Teacher, in saying this thou reproachest us also. Lightfoot supposes that a scribe was one who copied the law of Moses, while a lawyer expounded the oral law or traditions of the elders. But it is more likely that the terms were used interchangeably. They leaned to the Pharisee party, and hence this one felt the rebuke which Jesus addressed to that party. The scribe intimated that Jesus had spoken hastily, and his speech is a suggestion to Jesus to correct or modify his unguarded words. But Jesus made no mistakes and spoke no hasty words. (TFG 313-314) #Lu 11:46| For ye load men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers. We have seen in the traditions with regard to the Sabbath how these Jewish lawyers multiplied the burdens which Moses had placed upon the people. They were careful to lay these burdens upon others, but equally careful not to bear them themselves--no, not even to keep the law of Moses itself (#Mt 23:2,3|). (TFG 314) #Lu 11:47| For ye build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. Tombs were usually dug in the rock in the sides of hills or cliffs. To build them therefore was to decorate or ornament the entrance. Though their act in building the sepulchres was a seeming honor to the prophets, God did not accept it as such. A prophet is only truly honored when his message is received and obeyed. (TFG 314) #Lu 11:48| So ye are witnesses and consent unto the works of your fathers: for they killed them, and ye build their tombs. The lawyers were not in fellowship with the prophets, but with those who murdered the prophets: hence the Saviour pictures the whole transaction from the killing of the prophets to the building of their sepulchres as one act in which all concurred, and all of which were guilty. Abbott gives the words a figurative meaning, thus: your fathers slew the prophets by violence, and you bury them by false teaching. (TFG 314) #Lu 11:49| Therefore also said the wisdom of God. The phrase "wisdom of God" has been very puzzling, for the words spoken by Jesus are not found in any Old Testament book. Among the explanations the best is that which represents Jesus as quoting the trend or tenor of several prophecies such as #2Ch 24:19-22 36:14-16 Pr 1:20-33|. It may, however, be possible that Jesus is here publishing a new decree or conclusion of God, for the words specifically concerned the present generation. If so, Jesus assents to the decree of the Father by calling it "the wisdom of God," and the language is kindred to that at #Mt 11:25,26|. (TFG 315) #Lu 11:51| From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zachariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary: yea, I say unto you, it shall be required of this generation. Abel is accounted a prophet because his form of sacrifice prefigured that of Christ. His murder is described at #Ge 4:1-8|, the first historical book of the Bible, while that of Zachariah is described at #2Ch 24:20-22|, the last historical book of the Old Testament. From the record of one, therefore, to the record of the other embraces the entire catalogue of the Old Testament martyrs. Tradition assigns one of the four great sepulchral monuments at the foot of Olivet to Zachariah. That generation sanctioned all the sins of the past and went beyond them to the crucifixion of the Son of God. The best comment on this passage is the parable at #Lu 20:9-16|. God made that generation the focus of the world's light and privilege, but the men of that time made it the focus of the world's wickedness and punishment. The punishment began about thirty-seven years later in the war with Rome, which lasted five years and culminated in the destruction of Jerusalem. (TFG 315) #Lu 11:52| Woe unto you lawyers! for ye took away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered. A true knowledge of the Scriptures was a key which opened the door to the glories of Christ and his kingdom. This the lawyer had given away by teaching not the contents of the book, but the rubbish and trifles of tradition. They did not open the door for themselves, and by their pretentious interference they confused others in their efforts to open it. (TFG 315-316) #Lu 11:53| And to provoke him to speak of many things. They plied him with many questions, hoping that they could irritate him into making a hot or hasty answer. (TFG 316) #Lu 11:54| Laying wait for him. For methods used to entrap Jesus see #Mt 22:15-17,23-28,34-36,46|.
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