Luke 11

The Model Prayer

1 He was praying in a certain place, and when He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples."
2 He said to them, "Whenever you pray, say: Father, [a] Your name be honored as holy. Your kingdom come. [b]
3 Give us each day our daily bread. [c]
4 And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone in debt [d] to us. And do not bring us into temptation." [e]

Keep Asking, Searching, Knocking

5 He also said to them: "Suppose one of you [f] has a friend and goes to him at midnight and says to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
6 because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I don't have anything to offer him.' [g]
7 Then he will answer from inside and say, 'Don't bother me! The door is already locked, and my children and I have gone to bed. I can't get up to give you anything.'
8 I tell you, even though he won't get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence, [h] he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
9 "So I say to you, keep asking, [i] and it will be given to you. Keep searching, [j] and you will find. Keep knocking, [k] and the door will be opened to you.
10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
11 What father among you, if his son [l] asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish?
12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
13 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give [m] the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"

A House Divided

14 Now He was driving out a demon that was mute.[n] When the demon came out, the man who had been mute, spoke, and the crowds were amazed.
15 But some of them said, "He drives out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons!"
16 And others, as a test, were demanding of Him a sign from heaven.
17 Knowing their thoughts, He told them: "Every kingdom divided against itself is headed for destruction, and a house divided against itself falls.
18 If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say I drive out demons by Beelzebul.
19 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, who is it your sons [o] drive them out by? For this reason they will be your judges.
20 If I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you.
21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his estate, his possessions are secure. [p]
22 But when one stronger than he attacks and overpowers him, he takes from him all his weapons [q], the armor and weapons of a foot soldier; Eph 6:11 , 13 he trusted in, and divides up his plunder.
23 Anyone who is not with Me is against Me, and anyone who does not gather with Me scatters.

An Unclean Spirit's Return

24 "When an unclean spirit comes out of a man, it roams through waterless places looking for rest, and not finding rest, it then [r] says, 'I'll go back to my house where I came from.'
25 And returning, it finds [the house] swept and put in order.
26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and settle down there. As a result, that man's last condition is worse than the first."

True Blessedness

27 As He was saying these things, a woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, "The womb that bore You and the one who nursed You are blessed!"
28 He said, "Even more, those who hear the word of God and keep it are blessed!"

The Sign of Jonah

29 As the crowds were increasing, He began saying: "This generation is an evil generation. It demands a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. [s]
30 For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation.
31 The queen of the south will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and look-something greater than Solomon is here!
32 The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at Jonah's proclamation, and look-something greater than Jonah is here!

The Lamp of the Body

33 "No one lights a lamp and puts it in the cellar or under a basket, [t] but on a lampstand, so that those who come in may see its light.
34 Your eye is the lamp of the body. When your eye is good, your whole body is also full of light. But when it is bad, your body is also full of darkness.
35 Take care then, that the light in you is not darkness.
36 If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, the whole body will be full of light, as when a lamp shines its light on you." [u]

Religious Hypocrisy Denounced

37 As He was speaking, a Pharisee asked Him to dine with him. So He went in and reclined at the table.
38 When the Pharisee saw this, he was amazed that He did not first perform the ritual washing[v] before dinner.
39 But the Lord said to him: "Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and evil.
40 Fools! Didn't He who made the outside make the inside too?
41 But give to charity what is within, [w] and then everything is clean for you.
42 "But woe to you Pharisees! You give a tenth [x] of mint, rue, and every kind of herb, and you bypass [y] justice and love for God. [z] These things you should have done without neglecting the others.
43 "Woe to you Pharisees! You love the front seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.
44 "Woe to you! [aa] You are like unmarked graves; the people who walk over them don't know it."
45 One of the experts in the law answered Him, "Teacher, when You say these things You insult us too."
46 Then He said: "Woe also to you experts in the law! You load people with burdens that are hard to carry, yet you yourselves don't touch these burdens with one of your fingers.
47 "Woe to you! You build monuments [ab] to the prophets, and your fathers killed them.
48 Therefore you are witnesses that you approve [ac] the deeds of your fathers, for they killed them, and you build their monuments. [ad]
49 Because of this, the wisdom of God said, 'I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,'
50 so that this generation may be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world [ae] -
51 from the blood of Abel [af] to the blood of Zechariah, [ag] who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. "Yes, I tell you, this generation will be held responsible. [ah]
52 "Woe to you experts in the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge! You didn't go in yourselves, and you hindered those who were going in."
53 When He left there,[ai] the scribes and the Pharisees began to oppose Him fiercely and to cross-examine Him about many things;
54 they were lying in wait for Him to trap Him in something He said.[aj]

Luke 11 Commentary

Chapter 11

The disciples taught to pray. (1-4) Christ encourages being earnest in prayer. (5-13) Christ casts out a devil, The blasphemy of the Pharisees. (14-26) True happiness. (27,28) Christ reproves the Jews. (29-36) He reproves the Pharisees. (37-54)

Verses 1-4 "Lord, teach us to pray," is a good prayer, and a very needful one, for Jesus Christ only can teach us, by his word and Spirit, how to pray. Lord, teach me what it is to pray; Lord, stir up and quicken me to the duty; Lord, direct me what to pray for; teach me what I should say. Christ taught them a prayer, much the same that he had given before in his sermon upon the mount. There are some differences in the words of the Lord's prayer in Matthew and in Luke, but they are of no moment. Let us in our requests, both for others and for ourselves, come to our heavenly Father, confiding in his power and goodness.

Verses 5-13 Christ encourages fervency and constancy in prayer. We must come for what we need, as a man does to his neighbour or friend, who is kind to him. We must come for bread; for that which is needful. If God does not answer our prayers speedily, yet he will in due time, if we continue to pray. Observe what to pray for; we must ask for the Holy Spirit, not only as necessary in order to our praying well, but as all spiritual blessings are included in that one. For by the influences of the Holy Spirit we are brought to know God and ourselves, to repent, believe in, and love Christ, and so are made comfortable in this world, and meet for happiness in the next. All these blessings our heavenly Father is more ready to bestow on every one that asks for them, than an indulgent parent is to give food to a hungry child. And this is the advantage of the prayer of faith, that it quiets and establishes the heart in God.

Verses 14-26 Christ's thus casting out the devils, was really the destroying of their power. The heart of every unconverted sinner is the devil's palace, where he dwells, and where he rules. There is a kind of peace in the heart of an unconverted soul, while the devil, as a strong man armed, keeps it. The sinner is secure, has no doubt concerning the goodness of his state, nor any dread of the judgment to come. But observe the wonderful change made in conversion. The conversion of a soul to God, is Christ's victory over the devil and his power in that soul, restoring the soul to its liberty, and recovering his own interest in it and power over it. All the endowments of mind of body are now employed for Christ. Here is the condition of a hypocrite. The house is swept from common sins, by a forced confession, as Pharaoh's; by a feigned contrition, as Ahab's; or by a partial reformation, as Herod's. The house is swept, but it is not washed; the heart is not made holy. Sweeping takes off only the loose dirt, while the sin that besets the sinner, the beloved sin, is untouched. The house is garnished with common gifts and graces. It is not furnished with any true grace; it is all paint and varnish, not real nor lasting. It was never given up to Christ, nor dwelt in by the Spirit. Let us take heed of resting in that which a man may have, and yet come short of heaven. The wicked spirits enter in without any difficulty; they are welcomed, and they dwell there; there they work, there they rule. From such an awful state let all earnestly pray to be delivered.

Verses 27-28 While the scribes and Pharisees despised and blasphemed the discourses of our Lord Jesus, this good woman admired them, and the wisdom and power with which he spake. Christ led the woman to a higher consideration. Though it is a great privilege to hear the word of God, yet those only are truly blessed, that is, blessed of the Lord, that hear it, keep it in memory, and keep to it as their way and rule.

Verses 29-36 Christ promised that there should be one sign more given, even the sign of Jonah the prophet; which in Matthew is explained, as meaning the resurrection of Christ; and he warned them to improve this sign. But though Christ himself were the constant preacher in any congregation, and worked miracles daily among them, yet unless his grace humbled their hearts, they would not profit by his word. Let us not desire more evidence and fuller teaching than the Lord is pleased to afford us. We should pray without ceasing that our hearts and understandings may be opened, that we may profit by the light we enjoy. And especially take heed that the light which is in us be not darkness; for if our leading principles be wrong, our judgment and practice must become more so.

Verses 37-54 We should all look to our hearts, that they may be cleansed and new-created; and while we attend to the great things of the law and of the gospel, we must not neglect the smallest matter God has appointed. When any wait to catch something out of our mouths, that they may insnare us, O Lord, give us thy prudence and thy patience, and disappoint their evil purposes. Furnish us with such meekness and patience that we may glory in reproaches, for Christ's sake, and that thy Holy Spirit may rest upon us.

Footnotes 36

  • [a]. Other mss read Our Father in heaven
  • [b]. Other mss add Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven
  • [c]. Or our bread for tomorrow
  • [d]. Or everyone who wrongs us
  • [e]. Other mss add But deliver us from the evil one
  • [f]. Lit Who of you
  • [g]. Lit I have nothing to set before him
  • [h]. Or annoying persistence, or shamelessness
  • [i]. Or you, ask
  • [j]. Or Search
  • [k]. Or Knock
  • [l]. Other mss read son asks for bread, would give him a stone? Or if he
  • [m]. Lit the Father from heaven will give
  • [n]. A demon that caused the man to be mute
  • [o]. Your exorcists
  • [p]. Lit his possessions are in peace
  • [q]. Gk panoplia
  • [r]. Other mss omit then
  • [s]. Other mss add the prophet
  • [t]. Other mss omit or under a basket
  • [u]. Or shines on you with its rays
  • [v]. Lit He did not first wash
  • [w]. Or But donate from the heart as charity
  • [x]. Or a tithe
  • [y]. Or neglect
  • [z]. Lit the justice and the love of God
  • [aa]. Other mss read you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!
  • [ab]. Or graves
  • [ac]. Lit witnesses and approve
  • [ad]. Other mss omit their monuments
  • [ae]. Lit so that the blood of all . . . world may be required of this generation,
  • [af]. Gn 4:9-10; Heb 12:24
  • [ag]. 2 Ch 24:20-22
  • [ah]. Lit you, it will be required of this generation
  • [ai]. Other mss read And as He was saying these things to them
  • [aj]. Other mss add so that they might bring charges against Him

Luke 11 Commentaries