The Lord heals a dumb possessed man. The Phari- Luke xi. 14-26. sees accuse Him of casting out devils through Beelzebub. He replies to them, and while He is speaking a woman in the crowd blesses Him. He continues to discourse to " xi. 27-36. the multitude on the desire for signs. He dines with a Pharisee, and sharply rebukes Pharisaical hypocrisy. " xi. 37-54. The Pharisees are greatly enraged, and He proceeds to " xii. 1-12. address the disciples, admonishing them to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and to fear God only. One " xii. 13-22. of those present desires of Him that He will make his brother divide the inheritance with him. He denies his
request, and speaks the parable of the rich fool. He Luke xii. 22-53.
admonishes the disciples to watch for the coming of the
Son of Man, and, after answering a question of Peter,
proceeds to address the people respecting their inability " xii. 54-59.
to discern the signs of the times.
The relation of this miracle of the dumb possessed, and of the discourse following it, to the healing mentioned by Matthew, (xii. 22,) and the discourse there given, has been already discussed. Most agree that Luke has placed them here out of their historical connections.1 Tischendorf identifies this healing with the miracle in Matt, ix, 32-34, but regards it rightly placed here. Greswell strongly insists that this account is wholly distinct from those in Matthew and Mark. It being impossible to come to any certain result, we shall follow Luke's order, assuming that Matthew relates other cases of healing and another discourse. In regard to the rebukes of the Pharisees by the Lord, spoken at the house of a Pharisee, (vs. 37-52,) we cite the just observation of Alford, that He " spoke at this meal parts of that discourse with which He afterward solemnly closed His public ministry."
That Jesus should have been invited by a Pharisee to dine with him, or rather to breakfast with him, when the sect in general was so hostile to Him, may have been owing to the desire to have one so famous for a guest, or perhaps to a true impulse of hospitality. The severity of His language seems directed rather against Pharisaism than against the individuals then present, except so far as their consciences should compel a self-application. The sins are rebuked which were characteristic of that party. The lawyer (v. 45) seems to make a distinction between his class and the Pharisees in general, as if the former were a kind of higher order, a learned aristocracy.
1 So Robinson, Alford, Lichtenstein.
That the Lord touched his hearers to the quick, is apparent from their vehement attempts to entangle Him by their questions.
It would seem that immediately after the rebuke of the Pharisees, the Lord admonished His disciples to beware of their hypocrisy, and added other injunctions, (xii. 1-12.) But as His words are given by Matthew in other relations, which seem historical,we must suppose either that He repeats sayings earlier spoken, or that Luke connects them with this occasion, disregarding the order of events. This remark also applies to all from v. 22 to the end of the chapter.1
The request of one of the company, that the Lord should speak to his brother to divide the inheritance with him, and the following parable of the rich fool, are mentioned only by Luke. The request shows how much the attention of men was turned to Jesus as the Messiah, and this fact doubtless greatly inflamed the hostility of the Pharisees.
* See Oosterzee in loco; also Alford.