And it came to pass, as he was praying in a certain place, that when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray1
, even as John also taught his disciples2
PRAYER TAUGHT AND ENCOURAGED. (Probably Judea.) Luke 11:1-13
- One of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray. Jesus had already taught his disciples how to pray in the Sermon on theMount. This disciple probably thought that the prayer already taughtwas too brief to be sufficient, especially as Jesus often prayed solong.
- Even as John also taught his disciples. It was customary for the rabbis to give their disciples forms of prayer, and the Baptist seemsto have followed this practice, though the prayer taught by him appearsto have been forgotten.
11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Father, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come1.
- When ye pray, say, Father, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. The form given by Matthew is fuller than this. See Matthew 6:9-13 . Thevariation of the two prayers is an evidence of the independence of thetwo Gospels.
11:5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight1, and say to him, Friend, lend me three loaves2;
- Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight. A most unseasonable hour.
- And say to him, Friend, lend me three loaves. The occasion here described would call for three loaves, that the host and the guestmight each have one, and that there might be one in reserve as anevidence of liberality.
11:6 for a friend of mine is come to me from a journey1, and I have nothing to set before him2;
- For a friend of mine is come to me from a journey. In the summer Orientals often travel by night to avoid the heat of the day.
- And I have nothing to set before him. The customs of the land then made hospitality so obligatory that the greatest inconvenience anddeepest poverty did not excuse one from practicing it.
11:7 and he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not1: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee2?
- Trouble me not. The man within does not use the word "friend". His answer is blunt and discouraging.
- The door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee? In the house of a laboring man, the family allsleep in one room. The pallets, or thin mattresses. are spread upon thedivan, or raise platform, which passes around the room next to thewall. Where there was no divan and grope about in the dark that hemight unbolt the door and find the required bread was indeed no slighttrouble. He would be apt to step upon, or otherwise disturb, thesleeping children.
11:8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him because he is his friend1, yet because of his importunity he will arise and give him as many as he needeth2.
- Though he will not rise and give him because he is his friend. Friendship should have prompted the man to supply his friend. Itfailed, however.
- Yet because of his importunity he will arise and give him as many as he needeth. 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 willinglysacrificed if necessary. If a selfish man can be thus won byimportunity, much more can a generous God, whose reluctance is neverwithout reason, and whose ever-present desire is to bless. Idlerepetition of prayers is forbidden; but persistence and importunity areencouraged. See Isaiah 42:6 ; Genesis 18:23-33 ; Matthew 15:27 Matthew 15:28 .
11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
- Ask . . . seek . . . knock. See Matthew 7:7. The substance of this passage is recorded by Matthew as a portion of the Sermon on theMount. See Matthew 7:7-11 .
11:10 For every one that asketh receiveth1; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
- For every one that asketh receiveth. See Matthew 7:8.
11:11 And of which of you that is a father shall his son ask a loaf, and he give him a stone1? or a fish, and he for a fish give him a serpent2?
- And of which of you that is a father shall his son ask a loaf, and he give him a stone? See Matthew 7:9.
- Or a fish, and he for a fish give him a serpent? See Matthew 7:10.
11:12 Or [if] he shall ask an egg, will he give him a scorpion1?
- Or [if] he shall ask an egg, will he give him a scorpion? This verse is peculiar to Luke. The scorpion is an insect somewhat similarto a small lobster. It is two or three inches long, and has a sting atthe end of its tail which is about as severe as that of a wasp. The oldcommentators tell us that the white scorpion, when rolled up, closelyresembled an egg.
11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him1?
- How much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Matthew has "good things" ( Matthew 7:11 ) where Lukehas "Holy Spirit". The Holy Spirit is the best of all gifts, being asnecessary to the soul as food to the body.
11:14 And he was casting out a demon [that was] dumb1. And it came to pass, when the demon was gone out, the dumb man spake; and the multitudes marvelled2.
BLASPHEMOUS ACCUSATIONS OF THE JEWS. (Galilee.) Matthew 12:22-37 ; Mark 3:19-30 ; Luke 11:14-23
- He was casting out a demon [that was] dumb. See Matthew 12:22.
- And the multitudes marvelled. See Matthew 12:23.
11:15 But some of them said1, By Beelzebub the prince of the demons casteth he out demons2.
- But some of them said. That is, some of the multitude. Who these "some" were is revealed by Matthew and Mark ( Matthew 12:24 ; Mark 3:22 ).
- By Beelzebub the prince of the demons casteth he out demons. See Mark 3:22.
11:16 And others, trying [him], sought of him a sign from heaven1.
- And others, trying [him], sought of him a sign from heaven. These probably felt that the criticisms of the Pharisees were unjust, andwished that Jesus might put them to silence by showing some great sign,such as the pillar of cloud which sanctioned the guidance of Moses, orthe descending fire which vindicated Elijah.
11:17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them1, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house [divided] against a house falleth.
- But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, etc. See Mark 3:23.
11:18 And if Satan also is divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand1? because ye say that I cast out demons by Beelzebub.
- And if Satan also is divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? See Mark 3:23.
11:19 And if I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.
- And if I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges. See Matthew 12:27.
11:20 But if I by the finger of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of God come upon you1.
- But if I by the finger of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of God come upon you. See Matthew 12:28. The finger of Godsignifies the power of God ( Exodus 8:19 ; Exodus 31:18 ; Psalms 8:3 ).
11:21 When the strong [man] fully armed guardeth his own court, his goods are in peace1:
- When the strong [man] fully armed guardeth his own court, his goods are in peace. See Mark 3:27.
11:22 but when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him1, he taketh from him his whole armor wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.
- But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, etc. See Mark 3:27.
11:23 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth1.
- He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. See Matthew 12:30.
11:24 The unclean spirit when he is gone out of the man, passeth through waterless places, seeking rest, and finding none, he saith, I will turn back unto my house whence I came out2.
SIGN SEEKERS, AND THE ENTHUSIAST REPROVED. (Galilee on the same day as the last section.) Matthew 12:38-45 ; Luke 11:24-36
- The unclean spirit . . . passeth through waterless places, etc. See Matthew 12:43.
- I will turn back unto my house whence I came out. See Matthew 12:44.
11:25 And when he is come, he findeth it swept and garnished1.
- And when he is come, he findeth it swept and garnished. See Matthew 12:44.
11:26 Then goeth he, and taketh1 [to him] seven other spirits more evil than himself; and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man becometh worse than the first.
- Then goeth he, and taketh, etc. See Matthew 12:45.
11:27 And it came to pass, as he said these things, a certain woman out of the multitude lifted up her voice1, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the breasts which thou didst suck2.
- A certain woman out of the multitude lifted up her voice. This woman is the first on record to fulfill Mary's prediction ( Luke 1:48 ).
- Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the breasts which thou didst suck. It is the only passage in the New Testament which even suggeststhe idolatry of Mariolatry, but it was far enough from it, being merelya womanly way of expressing admiration for the son by pronouncingblessings upon the mother who was so fortunate as to bear him.
11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it1.
- 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 correctsany false idea with regard to her by pointing to the higher honor ofbeing a disciple was greater than her blessing as a mother; her moraland spiritual relation to Jesus was more precious than her maternal.Mary's blessings came through believing God's word ( Luke 1:45 ). Toknow Christ after the Spirit is more blessed than to know him after theflesh ( 2 Corinthians 5:15 2 Corinthians 5:16 ; John 16:7 ).
11:29 And when the multitudes were gathering together unto him, he began to say, This generation is an evil generation: it seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it but the sign of Jonah1.
- 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 Matthew 12:39.
11:30 For even as Jonah became a sign unto the Ninevites1, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation2.
- For even as Jonah became a sign unto the Ninevites. Nineveh was the capital of the Assyrian Empire, situated on the Tigris River, and inits day the greatest city of the world. Jonah's preservation was a signfrom heaven, because wrought without human instrumentality.
- So shall also the Son of man be to this generation. The resurrection of Christ was such a sign to the Jews, but rejecting it, they continuedto seek other signs. Also see Matthew 12:40.
11:31 The queen of the south1 shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and shall condemn them: for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
- The queen of the south, etc. See Matthew 12:42.
11:32 The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it1: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here.
- The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it, etc. See Matthew 12:41.
11:33 No man, when he hath lighted a lamp, putteth it in a cellar1, neither under the bushel, but on the stand, that they which enter in may see the light.
- No man, when he hath lighted a lamp, putteth it in a cellar, etc. This passage is given in a slightly varying form found in the Sermon onthe Mount. See Matthew 5:15. It is here addressed to the Phariseesand reproves them for not using the light (his miracles) which wasgiven to them. If they had had an eye single to goodness, Christ'slight would have enlightened their souls. But their eye was double;they desired wonders and spectacular signs.
11:34 The lamp of thy body is thine eye: when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light1; but when it is evil, thy body also is full of darkness2.
- The lamp of thy body is thine eye: when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light. See Matthew 6:22.
- But when it is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. See Matthew 6:23.
11:35 Look therefore whether the light that is in thee be not darkness1.
- Look therefore whether the light that is in thee be not darkness. See Matthew 6:23.
11:36 If therefore thy whole body be full of light1, having no part dark, it shall be wholly full of light, as when the lamp with its bright shining doth give thee light.
- If therefore thy whole body be full of light, etc. See Matthew 6:22.
11:37 Now as he spake, a Pharisee asketh him to dine with him1: and he went in, and sat down to meat2.
50. DINING WITH A PHARISEE, JESUS DENOUNCES THAT SECT. Luke 11:37-54
- Now as he spake, a Pharisee asketh him to dine with him. The repast to which Jesus was invited was a morning meal, usually eaten betweenten and eleven o'clock. The principal meal of the day was eaten in theevening.
- And he went in, and sat down to meat. Jesus dined with all classes, with publicans and Pharisees, with friends and enemies.
11:38 And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first bathed himself before dinner1.
- And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first bathed himself before dinner. The Pharisee marveled at this becausethe tradition of the elders required them to wash their hands beforeeating, and, if they had been in a crowd where their bodies might havebeen touched by some unclean person, they washed their whole bodies.It was a custom which ministered to pride and self-righteousness.
11:39 And the Lord said unto him, Now ye the Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter; but your inward part is full of extortion and wickedness.
- 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 wasan invited guest. But our Lord never suspended the solemn work ofreproof out of mere compliment. He was governed by higher laws thanthose of conventional politeness.
11:40 Ye foolish ones, did not he that made the outside make the inside also1?
- 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 requiresthat both parts be alike kept clean.
11:41 But give for alms those things which are within; and behold, all things are clean unto you1.
- 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 yourinner purity will make you proof against outward defilement ( Matthew 15:11 Titus 1:15 ; Romans 14:4 ).
11:42 But woe unto you Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue2 and every herb, and pass over justice and the love of God: but these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone4.
- But woe unto you, Pharisees! Jesus pronounces three woes upon the Pharisees for three sins, viz.: (1) Hypocrisy, shown in pretending tobe be very careful when they were really extremely careless; (2)Vainglory ( Luke 11:43 ); (3) Corruption of public morals ( Luke 11:44 ).
- For ye tithe mint and rue. Rue was a small shrub about two feet high, and is said to have been used to flavor wine, and for medicinalpurposes.
- And all manner of herbs. See Matthew 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 payingthe tenth part, or tithe, to God, were so exact that they offered thetenth part of the seed even of the spearmint, rue, and other smallgarden herbs, and many contended that the very stalks of these plantsshould also be tithed. Jesus commends this care about little things,but nevertheless rebukes the Pharisees because they were as carelessabout big things, such as justice, and the love of God, as they werecareful about herb seed.
11:43 Woe unto you Pharisees! for ye love the chief seats in the synagogues, and the salutations in the marketplaces1.
- For ye love the chief seats in the synagogues, and the salutations in the marketplaces. They were vainglorious, loving the honors andattentions given by men ( John 5:44 ). They loved on week days to besaluted in the marketplace, and on the Sabbath to sit in thesemi-circular row of seats which were back of the lectern, or desk ofthe reader, and which faced the congregation. On the synagogue,see Mark 1:39.
11:44 Woe unto you! for ye are as the tombs which appear not1, and the men that walk over [them] know it not2.
- For ye are as the tombs which appear not. According to the Mosaic law, any one who touched a grave was rendered unclean ( Numbers 19:16 ).That they might not touch graves and be made unclean without knowingit, the Jews white-washed their graves and tombs once a year. Matthewrecords Jesus as having taught this lesson by an exactly oppositefigure. See Matthew 23:27.
- And the men that walk over [them] know it not. But Jesus likens a Pharisee to graves which defiled men unawares. Their hypocrisyconcealed their true nature, so that men were injured and corrupted bytheir influence without being aware of it.
11:45 And one of the lawyers answering saith unto him1, Teacher, in saying this thou reproachest us also2.
- And one of the lawyers answering saith unto him. Lightfoot supposes that a scribe was one who copied the law of Moses, while a lawyerexpounded the oral law or traditions of the elders. But it is morelikely that the terms were used interchangeably. They leaned to thePharisee party, and hence this one felt the rebuke which Jesusaddressed to that party.
- Teacher, in saying this thou reproachest us also. The scribe intimated that Jesus had spoken hastily, and his speech is a suggestionto Jesus to correct or modify his unguarded words. But Jesus made nomistakes and spoke no hasty words.
11:46 And he said, Woe unto you lawyers also! for ye load men with burdens grievous to be borne1, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers2.
- For ye load men with burdens grievous to be borne. We have seen in the traditions with regard to the Sabbath how these Jewish lawyersmultiplied the burdens which Moses had placed upon the people.
- And ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers. They were careful to lay these burdens upon others, but equally carefulnot to bear them themselves--no, not even to keep the law of Mosesitself ( Matthew 23:2 Matthew 23:3 ).
11:47 Woe unto you! for ye build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them1.
- 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 orcliffs. To build them therefore was to decorate or ornament theentrance. Though their act in building the sepulchers was a seeminghonor to the prophets, God did not accept it as such. A prophet is onlytruly honored when his message is received and obeyed.
11:48 So ye are witnesses and consent unto the works of your fathers: for they killed them, and ye build [their tombs]1.
- 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 infellowship with the prophets, but with those who murdered the prophets.Hence the Savior pictures the whole transaction from the killing of theprophets to the building of their sepulchers as "one act" in which allconcurred, and all of which were guilty. Abbott gives the words afigurative meaning, thus: your fathers slew the prophets by violence,and you bury them by false teaching.
11:49 Therefore also said the wisdom of God1, I will send unto them prophets and apostles; and [some] of them they shall kill and persecute;
- 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 inany Old Testament book. Among the explanations, the best is that whichrepresents Jesus as quoting the trend or tenor of several propheciessuch as 2 Chronicles 24:19-22 ; 2 Chronicles 36:14-16 ; Proverbs 1:20-33 . It may, however, be possiblethat Jesus is here publishing a new decree or conclusion of God, forthe words specifically concerned the present generation. If so, Jesusassents to the decree of the Father by calling it "the wisdom of God",and the language is kindred to that at Matthew 11:25 Matthew 11:26 .
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 generation2.
- From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah. Abel is accounted a prophet because his form of sacrifice prefigured that of Christ. Hismurder is described in the first historical book ( Genesis 4:1-8 ), whilethat of Zechariah is described in the last historical book of the OldTestament ( 2 Chronicles 24:20-22 ). From the record of one, therefore, to therecord of the other embraces the entire catalogue of the Old Testamentmartyrs. Tradition assigns one of the four great sepulchral monumentsat the foot of Olive to Zechariah.
- It shall be required of this generation. That generation sanctioned all the sins of the past and went beyond them to the crucifixion of theSon of God. The best comment on this passage is the parable at Luke 20:9-16 . God made that generation the focus of the world's lightand privilege, but the men of that time made it the focus of theworld's wickedness and punishment. The punishment began aboutthirty-seven years later in the war with Rome, which lasted five yearsand culminated in the destruction of Jerusalem.
11:52 Woe unto you lawyers! for ye took away the key of knowledge1: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered2.
- For ye took away the key of knowledge. A true knowledge of the Scripture was a key which opened the door to the glories of Christ andhis kingdom. This the lawyer had given away by teaching not thecontents of the book, but the rubbish and trifles of tradition.
- Ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered. They did not open the door for themselves, and by theirpretentious interference they confused others in their efforts to openit.
11:53 And when he was come out from thence, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press upon [him] vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things1;
- And to provoke him to speak of many things. They plied him with many questions, hoping that they could irritate him into making a hotor hasty answer.
11:54 laying wait for him1, to catch something out of his mouth.
- Laying wait for him. For methods used to entrap Jesus, see Matthew 22:15-17 Matthew 22:23-28 Matthew 22:34-36 Matthew 22:46 .