Luke Chapter Eleven
v.1 “AND IT CAME TO PASS, THAT, AS HE WAS PRAYING IN A CERTAIN PLACE, WHEN HE CEASED, ONE OF HIS DISCIPLES SAID UNTO HIM, LORD, TEACH US TO PRAY, AS JOHN ALSO TAUGHT HIS DISCIPLES.”
Jesus prayed often. At this time he was in a certain place, perhaps even a place that he had gone so that he could pray without being surrounded by people, could have some privacy. As a man who lived in perfect obedience to God, he gives us an example in prayer as well as in many other aspects of his life. We should imitate him and David who when his enemies were everywhere about him, keeping him on the run and an outcast; he wrote the following:
Psalms 109:4 “FOR MY LOVE THEY ARE MY ADVERSARIES: BUT I give myself unto PRAYER.”
v.2-4 “AND HE SAID UNTO THEM, WHEN YE PRAY, SAY, OUR FATHER WHICH ART IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BY THY NAME. THY KINGDOM COME. THY WILL BE DONE, AS IN HEAVEN, SO IN EARTH. GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD. AND FORGIVE US OUR SINS; FOR WE ALSO FORGIVE EVERY ONE THAT IS INDEBTED TO US. AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL.”
Of course, this is called the “Lord’s Prayer” by most of the world. Many denominations repeat it by rote as part of the ritual of their worship. By using it as such they have made it a part of their vain worship, giving it some special purpose which it did not have, nor does it have today.
At the same time, it serves as a good model of what should be included in the prayers that we voice to God. First and most important God is acknowledged as the sovereign ruler of this universe, he is honored. Secondly they were to pray for the kingdom. The kingdom has already come but we can and should pray for the kingdom today as well. We should pray hat souls continue to be brought into it, that it will grow and prosper. Then they are instructed to pray for their substance, we give thanks but how many of us remember to pray that God continues to bless us materially. They were to pray for the forgiveness of sins, and stand reminded that if they did not forgive others then they would not be forgiven either. What did Jesus teach?
Mark -26 “AND WHEN YE STAND PRAYING, FORGIVE, IF YE HAVE OUGHT AGAINST ANY: THAT YOUR FATHER ALSO WHICH IS IN HEAVEN MAY FORGIVE YOU YOUR TRESPASSES. BUT IF YE DO NOT FORGIVE, NEITHER WILL YOUR FATHER WHICH IS IN HEAVEN FORGIVE YOUR TRESPASSES.”
In order to be forgiven we must forgive. And lastly we are to pray that God will provide for us and help us to see the escape that he promised us from the effects of temptation:
I Corinthians 10:13 “THERE HATH NO TEMPTATION TAKEN YOU BUT SUCH AS IS COMMON TO MAN: BUT GOD is FAITHFUL, WHO WILL NOT SUFFER YOU TO BE TEMPTED ABOVE THAT YE ARE ABLE; BUT WILL WITH THE TEMPTATION ALSO MAKE A WAY TO ESCAPE, THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO BEAR it.”
v.25-26 “25And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and
garnished. 26Then goeth he, and taketh to
him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell
there: and the
v.27-28 “27And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.”
A woman in the crowd around Jesus speaks up. She has been impressed by his wisdom and moral character, so she speaks a blessing on his mother Mary. We understand her sentiment. Mother’s especially, as being the keepers at home and most often those that train their children, are honored by their sons and daughters when they do well. Jesus agrees, but reminds them and us that even greater blessings are found in serving God, James records the same thought:
James 1:25 “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
v.29 “29And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.”
Why did Jesus call this group of
people an evil generation? Matthew tells
us that this was certain of the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew -45). Had they
done anything that man would call evil?
They didn’t believe him. They had
seen the miracles that he performed to confirm his words. Yet they looked for something more. They didn’t want to accept the signs that God
gave them, they wanted a sign of their own choosing and they wouldn’t have
believed that either. Jesus says that
they would be given the same sign that Jonah had given
v.30 “30For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.”
How was Jonah a sign to
v.31 “31The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.”
Who was the queen of the south? The queen of
I Kings 10:1 “1And when the queen of
She came from far away to prove the wisdom of Solomon and honored him because of it. She displayed a working faith, a faith that
caused her to travel that distance to see Solomon and hear him speak. Someone is here in front of these people who is much greater than Solomon; presenting
signs and miracles to prove the source of his wisdom and power, yet these
people will not believe him. The queen
v.32 “32The men of Nineveh shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.”
The men of
Jonah 3:5 “5So the people of
Did you ever wear something made out of a toe sack, an old tator sack, wouldn’t be very comfortable, would it. All Jonah did was preach the message that God gave him to preach in that city. He had not miracles or signs to verify the source of his words. Yet this Gentile city believed him and repented. Now someone much greater than Jonah is here and he’s rejected by his own people.
v.33 “33No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.”
Do you turn a light on and then hide it away in a secret place or cover it up? Of course not, that would defeat the entire purpose of turning it on. We try to get all of the good out of it that we can.
v.34 “34The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.”
The light of the body is the eye. It allows light and images to penetrate our minds. What does he mean by the eye being “single”? It’s clear and in perfect condition, it’s not blurred or seeing double. Just as a blurred eye, or an eye with a problem, such as a cataract, causes us to be in darkness; a hard, prejudiced heart will prevent us from understanding, or seeing something that we need to see in God’s word.
v.35-36 “35Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. 36If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.”
Watch therefore, take heed that you don’t allow your life to become darkness. The eye has been called the “window to the soul”. Don’t allow yourself to become blind to spiritual things, only darkness and evil can result. Don’t be blinded as those whom Paul describes:
II Corinthians 4:4 “4In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
v.37 “37And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat. 38And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner.”
A certain Pharisee, a particular person, one who was more friendly with Jesus than most of the others. He invites Jesus to dinner, so he goes in and sits down to share the meal.
v.38 “AND WHEN THE PHARISEE SAW it, HE MARVELLED THAT THE HAD NOT FIRST WASHED BEFORE DINNER.”
I thought only children did that. With some you even have to check their hands to see if they actually got wet. But that’s not what Luke is writing about here. With the Jews it was a ceremonial washing, personal hygiene had nothing to do with it. It was one of their traditions. They would dip their hands in water before eating and frequently even between courses. Since Jesus neglected to follow their custom, his host looked upon him with disfavor.
v.39 “AND THE LORD SAID UNTO HIM, NOW DO YE PHARISEES MAKE CLEAN THE OUTSIDE OF THE CUP AND THE PLATTER; BUT YOUR INWARD PART IS FULL OF RAVENING AND WICKEDNESS.”
Jesus reads this man’s thoughts, as we see him do often, and takes him to task for his hypocrisy. Why is it that they were so concerned about their outward appearance, their false front, their show of piety and were completely oblivious to their inward condition. Jesus says that on the surface they’re very pious and religious, but in actuality they are full of ravening (what does that word mean? (Extortion) and wickedness. They’re phony. David says that God wants us to be true in our inward parts (Psalms 51:6). They weren’t. Paul condemned them this way:
Titus 1:15-16 “UNTO THE PURE ALL THINGS ARE PURE: BUT UNTO THEM THAT ARE DEFILED AND UNBELIEVING is NOTHING PURE; BUT EVEN THEIR MIND AND CONSCIENCE IS DEFILED. THEY PROFESS THAT THEY KNOW GOD; BUT IN WORKS THEY DENY him, BEING ABOMINABLE, AND DISOBEDIENT, AND UNTO EVERY GOOD WORK REPROBATE.”
v.40-41 “Ye FOOLS, DID NOT HE THAT MADE THAT WHICH IS WITHOUT MAKE THAT WHICH IS WITHIN ALSO? BUT RATHER GIVE ALMS OF SUCH THINGS AS HE HAVE AND, BEHOLD, ALL THINGS ARE CLEAN UNTO YOU.”
God made the outward part and the inward part as well. Shouldn’t both be as pure as we can make them? He calls them foolish or fools. Many of them obtained their wealth from the sweat of others, some in ways that weren’t always above board; as we remember when Jesus accused them of devouring widow’s houses;
Matthew “WOE UNTO YOU, SCRIBES AND PHARISEES, HYPOCRITES! FOR YE DEVOUR WIDOWS’ HOUSES, AND FOR A PRETENCE MAKE LONG PRAYER: THEREFORE YE SHALL RECEIVE THE GREATER CONDEMNATION.”
v.42 “BUT WOE UNTO YOU, PHARISEES! FOR YE TITHE MINT AND RUE AND ALL MANNER OF HERBS, AND PASS OVERJUDGMENT AND THE LOVE OF GOD: THESE OUGHT YE TO HAVE DONE, AND NOT TO LEAVE THE OTHER UNDONE.”
Jesus says that they very carefully measured all of their goods, all of their income even the spices and herbs grown for use in their kitchens, to determine how much they should tithe. What is a tithe? Are we required to tithe today? He follows by saying they should work at being fair in their giving to God but that they also should be concerned about the things that they are leaving undone, such as loving God, his prophets and His Son.
v.43 “WOE UNTO YOU, PHARISEES! FOR YE LOVE THE UPPERMOST SEATS IN THE SYNAGOGUE, AND GREETINGS IN THE MARKET.”
They like to occupy the chief seats. They loved to have someone look up to them and fawn over them. They loved to have people recognize and speak to them in the marketplace. They wanted to be treated with reverence when reverence is due only to God. Do we have any parallels to these men today? I’m sure that not all use the title this way but I can’t help but think of Jesus words here when I see one of our brethren using the PHD behind his name. There are even those that would be highly offended if you don’t use that PHD and recognize their academic achievements. We can throw in all of the other high-flown names that men use from Pope, Cardinal, Right Reverend, Reverend, Pastor, and all of the other titles that today’s religious leaders demand.
v.44 “WOE UNTO YOU,
SCRIBES AND PHARISEES HYPOCRITES! FOR YE