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THE GOSPEL OF LUKE
LESSONS ON PRAY AND WOES ON PHARISEES
Matthew 6:9-13: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.
Now it happened later while Jesus was praying in a certain spot that when he stopped a certain one of his disciples said: “Master, teach us to pray,434
just as John taught his disciples.”
Teach us to pray: It would seem strange to many in the Jewish and Christian worlds today that someone, particularly grown Jewish men, asked how to pray. Three factors bear on correct prayer: a] prayer to the right one; b] prayers through the right one; and, c] prayers about the right things. God does not listen to all prayers. [Isaiah 1:15] Prayers may also be “hindered.” [1 Peter 3:7] For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on prayer and compare Matthew 6:5-13. The example of prayer here in Luke is on another occasion than the one in Matthew. It should be noted that the prayer here is different than the one in Matthew.
So Jesus told them:
“When you pray, say: Father, let Your Name be sanctified. Let Your Kingdom come.LK11:3Give to us each day our daily bread.LK11:4And forgive us our sins, for we continue to forgive everyone indebted to us. And may You not lead us into temptation.”
Matthew 7:7-11: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.
Then Jesus said to them:
“Who among you has a friend436 who comes in the middle of the night, and asks: ‘Friend, can I borrow three loaves of bread?
Friend: Many use the word “friend” in a loose manner. Judging from the Nazarene a true “friend” is someone
who feels free to ask a favor though it may be inconvenient.
LK11:6Because a friend has arrived from a trip and I have nothing to feed him.’LK11:7And then your friend answers: ‘Do not bother me. The house is locked up and the children are asleep in bed. I am not able to get up and get you anything.’LK11:8I tell you, even if he would not get up and give him anything even though he is his friend, yet because of his friend’s persistence, he will get up and give him as much as he needs.LK11:9So I tell you this: Continue to ask and it will be given to you. Continue to seek and you will find. Keep knocking and it will be opened to you.LK11:10For everyone asking receives, and the one seeking finds, and it will be opened to the one knocking.LK11:11Which father among you whose son asks for a fish will give him a snake instead?LK11:12Or if he asks for an egg, will the father give his son a scorpion?LK11:13So, if you though being wicked realize how to give good gifts to your own children, how much more will the heavenly Father give holy Pneuma to those asking him!”
Matthew 12:22-30: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.
Mark 3:22-27: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Mark.
Now when Jesus was expelling a mute demon, after the demon came out, the mute person began to speak and the crowds were astonished.
LK11:15 But some among them said: “He casts out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons!”
And others tested Jesus, seeking some heavenly sign from him.
However, realizing their thoughts, Jesus said to them:
“Every kingdom divided against itself becomes desolate. Also, any house divided against itself will collapse.LK11:18So if Satan is also divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you claim I cast out demons by Beelzebub!LK11:19But, if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your disciples cast them out? Therefore, your own disciples439 will become your judges.
Disciples: Or, sons, own people, exorcists. Compare notes on the parallel passage in Matthew. It is likely the word refers to the
pupils of the Pharisees.
LK11:20However, if I cast out demons by God’s finger440 then God’s
Realm has come upon you.
God’s finger: The parallel in Matthew uses “holy spirit.” The holy Pneuma is not a person, but compared to the finger of God.
LK11:21Whenever a well-armed strong man guards his castle, his possessions are secure.LK11:22However, if someone stronger than him arrives he overcomes him and removes the full armament he relied on. Then he distributes his spoils.LK11:23The person who is not with me441 is against me, and the person who does
not gather with me, scatters.”442
The person who is not with me: This would include those who accused Jesus of healing by Beelzebub.
The person who does not gather with me, scatters: Or, BAS: he who will not give me help in getting people together is driving them away; BEC: anyone who doesn’t help me gather scatters.
Matthew 12:43-45: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.
LK11:24“When the unclean demon leaves a person it goes through parched regions seeking a place to rest, but not finding one it then says, ‘I will return to my former place of dwelling.’LK11:25Upon arriving home the demon finds it swept clean and well-ordered.LK11:26Then the demon goes and gets seven other demons more wicked than itself, and upon entering it dwells there. And so the final circumstances of that person become worse than the first.”LK11:27 Then while Jesus was saying these things a certain woman in the crowd raised her voice and yelled: “Blessed the womb that carried you,444
and the breasts that nursed you!”
Blessed the womb that carried you: Jesus in no way encouraged the idolization of his mother.
LK11:28 But Jesus said:
“No! Rather are those blessed who continue to listen to God’s Word445
and secure it!”446
Who continue to listen to God’s Word: Or, hear. The person who listens to God’s Word with the intent to obey it is more blessed than the mother of our Master.
Secure it: Or, guard, keep, obey. This blessed state results from two things: a] hearing or reading God’s word; and, b] obeying what is read.
Matthew 12:38-42: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.
Now as the gathering crowd grew in size, Jesus began to say:
“This generation448 is an evil generation! It continues seeking
a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah.
This generation: Of Jews.
LK11:30For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Humankind will be to this generation.LK11:31The queen of the south will be raised up at the Judgment449 with the
men of this generation, and she will condemn them. Because she came from the ends of the earth to hear Solomon’s wisdom,450 but behold, someone greater than Solomon is here.
Judgment: That is, Judgment Day. Compare Acts 17:31 and Revelation 20:5, 12-14. Humankind in general will be raised to life again
at the end of the Thousand Years, there to be judged according to their former life. [Matthew 12:35-37; Romans 2:15-16; Hebrews 9:27] This generation of Jews contemporary with Jesus Christ will not do well in the judgment. They have failed in obeying the Messiah
as Moses warned. [Deuteronomy 18:15-18] See the Biblical Article God and Judgment.
wisdom: We are still in the context of those who condemned Jesus’ works as done in the power of Satan. Here a non-Jewish queen from Ethiopia traveled so far to hear Solomon, and these Jews had something much greater than Solomon right before them.
LK11:32Ninevite men will be resurrected at the Judgment451 with this generation
and will condemn it. Because they repented at Jonah’s preaching, but behold, someone greater than Jonah is here!
Ninevite men will be resurrected at the Judgment: Or, rise up, stand up again. The Greek is ANASTESONTAI [stand up again] which is
related to the same for “resurrection.” The Jews are raised with the non-Jews in the resurrection at the end of the Thousand Years. Jonah describes these men [ANDRES] as so illiterate they did not know their right hand from their left. For details
see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on resurrection and also see the Biblical Article “The Resurrection According to Paul” or 1 Corinthians 15:20-50.
LK11:33Nobody after lighting a lamp452 puts it in hiding, nor under a measuring
basket, but rather on the lamp-stand so that everyone entering the room may see the light.
Lamp: Compare notes on Matthew 5:14-16.
LK11:34The lamp of the body is your eye. When the eye is well-focused453 then
the entire body is full of light. However, when the eye is evil454 the whole body is blind.
When the eye is well-focused: Or, single, clear, true, healthy, sound. We are still in the context of the accusation against Jesus,
and thus essentially an unhealthy viewpoint based on Pharisaical prejudice. Compare notes on Matthew 6:22.
eye is evil: Or, bad, defective. Those eyes that had beheld Jesus above were evil, because they viewed his good work as evil. Some people cannot see others without looking through a negative or even evil filter. It is impossible for them, because of their
own jealous egotism, to see in others any good or righteousness. This is the self-righteous person’s egocentricity run amuck.
LK11:35Make sure the light within you is not darkness.455
Make sure the light within you is not darkness: As foolish hypocrites their personal enlightenment judged Christ as evil and demonic.
Thinking themselves illuminated, their views and opinions were really evil and based on their own inner darkness.
LK11:36So if your whole body is full of light, without any part in the dark, it will be completely lit as when the light of a lamp shines upon you.”
Matthew 23:6-26: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.
Mark 12:38, 39: For
details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Mark.
Now as Jesus was speaking a Pharisee invited him to a meal and after entering the home he reclined at the table.
Then the Pharisee observing Jesus at the table was astonished that he did not first wash before the meal.
So the Master said to the Pharisee:
“Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup but what you are inside is full of greed and evil.458
Full of greed and evil: Or, KJV: full of ravening and wickedness; ASV: full of extortion; ABU: full of rapacity; KNX: running with
avarice; MOF: your inner life is filled with rapacity and malice. Their greed was manifest in the jealous ambition expressed in their charge against Jesus of demonism. In the end the self-righteous find all those who do not agree with them as apostates.
LK11:40You fools!459 Did not the One who made the outside also make the inside?
You fools: Or, senseless, unreasonable. The Greek is APHRONES or “unthinking.”
LK11:41So if you give charity from the inside,460 look, you will be thoroughly
So if you give charity from the inside: Or, KJV: give alms of such things as ye have; NEB: let what is in the cup be given in charity;
BEC: just give your heart in helping the poor; GDS: give your inmost light as charity; WMS: dedicate once for all your inner self. The self-righteous are seldom charitable unless done with a trumpet and visibly to others.
You will be thoroughly clean: Or, NEB: and all is clean; BEC: you’ll find everything clean; GDS: you will immediately find everything clean. This
inner uncleanness is the darkness mentioned above. The person who is filled with inner uncleanness can never see good in others. The merchant who thinks all others are dishonest does so because he knows himself.
LK11:42Now woe to you Pharisees, because you tithe the mint462 and the rue and every herb, but you disregard God’s justice and love.463 These tithes the Law required, but not to disregard the other matters.
Tithe the mint: The Law required the giving of a tenth of everything, including the most insignificant of herbs.
Disregard God’s justice and love: The most religious of people, rigorous in the smallest detail of rituals, are often the most unjust
LK11:43Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the place of honor in the synagogues,464
and the greeting in the market square.
You love the place of honor in the synagogues: It is a terrible danger when a religious person is motivated by the praise of others.
A man who begins to crave the respect and honor of his office will soon compromise both truth and right.
LK11:44Woe to you Pharisees, because you are like unmarked graves which people walk over without realizing it.”
Matthew 23:29-31, 34-36: For details see notes in Nazarene Commentary 2000 on Matthew.
After Jesus gave his answer, one of those versed in the Law of Moses said to him: “By saying these things you insult us!”466
You insult us: Or, reproach us, affront, offend. Jesus was not interested in the feelings of those so described by his woes above.
LK11:46 But Jesus said:
“Also woe to you versed in the Law467 of Moses, because you burden
the people with heavy loads impossible to bear,468 while you will not even lift a finger to ease
Versed in the Law: Or, lawyers, experts in the law.
Loads impossible to bear: Or, KJV: burdens grievous; NEB: intolerable burdens; PME: back-breaking burdens. [Compare Matthew 23:4.] Religions determined to become “righteous over-much”
who possess a self-righteous leadership fracture rules and regulations until they number in the thousands. [Ecclesiastes 7:16] The “second Moses” created 100,000 laws while explaining the original 600.
LK11:47Woe to all of you, because you build memorials to the prophets, while your forefathers killed them!LK11:48Therefore you are all witnesses that you are in agreement with the deeds of your forefathers, because while they killed them, you built memorials.LK11:49Thus, also, the wisdom of The God469 said: ‘I will send prophets
and apostles to them, and they will kill and persecute some of them,
The wisdom of The God: Or, God’s Wisdom. Compare notes on Matthew 11:19 and Luke 7:35. Jesus seems to speak of himself as Wisdom
and then utters a divine revelatory judgment upon his generation of Jews. The Greek is SOPHIA who speaks in Proverbs 8:22-30. Jesus may allude to his own pre-existence.
LK11:50so that all of the blood of the prophets poured out from the world’s foundation –LK11:51from Abel’s470 blood to Zechariah’s471 blood, the one slain between the altar and the House [of God]’ – yes, I tell you, it will be required from this generation.472
Abel’s: The first person born as a foundation of that world which survived the Flood. [Genesis 4]
Zechariah: Compare 2 Chronicles 24:20, 21.
It will be required from this generation: The generation of Jews in the 1st Century AD bears a terrible responsibility as the Messiah appears during their lifetime and they reject him. Their generation would
see the destruction of Jerusalem and its Temple in 70 AD. Worse, all of them will stand in the Judgment with all the other Hebrews of history to face their own judgment, whether good or bad. [Acts 17:31; 24:15; Revelation 20:5, 12-14] Jesus told his apostles
they would sit on such judgment thrones in the New Genesis as judges of the twelve tribes of Israel. [Matthew 19:28; 1 Corinthians 6:2]
LK11:52Woe to all those versed in the Law of Moses,473 because you have removed
the key of knowledge.474 You yourselves do not enter [into God’s Realm] and those trying to enter you hinder.”
Those versed in the Law of Moses: Teachers bear a special responsibility: first, for not teaching the people the truth; and, second for not standing up courageously against the hierarchy. Compare notes on James 3:1-3.
The key of knowledge: Compare Malachi 3:13 and 1 Thessalonians 2:16.
Luke 11:53-54 – Catch Questions
Now after Jesus had left, the Bible Copyists and the Pharisees became very hostile475
to him trying to examine him with many questions about many subjects.
Hostile: Or, RSV: began to press him hard; BAS: came round him angrily; BER: undertook to heckle him fiercely; KNX: resolved to hunt
him down mercilessly; MOF: follow him closely; NOR: determined to pursue him relentlessly; PME: regard him with bitter animosity; NEB: they began to assail him fiercely; RIE: gave vent to their animosity.
They were plotting to catch Jesus by something from his own mouth.
Review Questions on Chapter Eleven
What did Jesus teach about prayer?
How was Jesus accused?
How did he respond?
What woes did Jesus pronounce against the Jewish leadership?
What became the attitude of the Jewish leadership against Jesus?