Luke 11

Listen to Luke 11

The Lord's Prayer

1 Now Jesus[a] was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, 1as John taught his disciples."
2 And he said to them, 2"When you pray, say: 3"Father, 4hallowed be 5your name. 6Your kingdom come.
3 7Give us 8each day our daily bread,[b]
4 and 9forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And 10lead us not into temptation."
5 And he said to them, "Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves,
6 for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him';
7 and he will answer from within, 'Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything'?
8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything 11because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence[c] he will rise and give him whatever he needs.
9 And I tell you, 12ask, and 13it will be given to you; 14seek, and you will find; 15knock, and it will be opened to you.
10 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
11 What father among you, if his son asks for[d] a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent;
12 or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
13 If you then, 16who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father 17give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

Jesus and Beelzebul

14 18Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled.
15 But some of them said, "He casts out demons 19by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,"
16 while others, 20to test him, kept seeking from him a sign from heaven.
17 21But he, 22knowing their thoughts, said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls.
18 And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul.
19 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, 23by whom do 24your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.
20 But if it is by 25the finger of God that I cast out demons, then 26the kingdom of God has come upon you.
21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe;
22 27but when one stronger than he attacks him and 28overcomes him, he takes away his 29armor in which he trusted and 30divides his spoil.
23 31Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

Return of an Unclean Spirit

24 32"When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through 33waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.'
25 And when it comes, 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 dwell there. And 34the last state of that person is worse than the first."

True Blessedness

27 As he said these things, 35a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, 36"Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!"
28 But he said, 37"Blessed rather are those 38who hear the word of God and 39keep it!"

The Sign of Jonah

29 40When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, 41"This generation is an evil generation. 42It seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.
30 For as 43Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
31 44The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and 45condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, 46something greater than Solomon is here.
32 47The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and 48condemn it, for 49they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, 50something greater than Jonah is here.

The Light in You

33 51"No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.
34 Your eye is 52the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is 53bad, your body is full of darkness.
35 54Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness.
36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, 55as when a lamp with its rays gives you light."

Woes to the Pharisees and Lawyers

37 While Jesus[e] was speaking, 56a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at table.
38 The Pharisee was astonished to see 57that he did not first wash before dinner.
39 And the Lord said to him, 58"Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of 59greed and wickedness.
40 60You fools! 61Did not he who made the outside make the inside also?
41 But 62give as alms those things that are within, and behold, 63everything is clean for you.
42 64"But woe to you Pharisees! For 65you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect 66justice and 67the love of God. 68These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
43 Woe to you Pharisees! For 69you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces.
44 Woe to you! 70For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it."
45 One of 71the lawyers answered him, "Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also."
46 And he said, "Woe to you 72lawyers also! For 73you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.
47 74Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed.
48 75So you are witnesses and you 76consent to the deeds of 77your fathers, for they killed them, and you build their tombs.
49 Therefore also 78the Wisdom of God said, 79'I will send them 80prophets and apostles, 81some of whom they will 82kill and persecute,'
50 so that 83the blood of all the prophets, shed 84from the foundation of the world, may be 85charged against this generation,
51 from the blood of 86Abel to the blood of 87Zechariah, who perished between 88the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be 89required of this generation.
52 Woe to you 90lawyers! 91For you have taken away the key of 92knowledge. You 93did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering."
53 As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard and to provoke him to speak about many things,
54 94lying in wait for him, 95to catch him in something he might say.

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.

Cross References 95

  • 1. See Luke 5:33
  • 2. For ver. 2-4, [Matthew 6:9-13]
  • 3. John 20:17; 1 Peter 1:17
  • 4. Isaiah 29:23; [Luke 1:49; 1 Peter 3:15]
  • 5. John 17:6
  • 6. [Matthew 3:2; Matthew 4:17]
  • 7. Proverbs 30:8
  • 8. [Matthew 6:34]
  • 9. See Luke 7:48
  • 10. Luke 22:40, 46; Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38; [1 Corinthians 10:13]
  • 11. [Luke 18:1-6]
  • 12. For ver. 9-13, see Matthew 7:7-11
  • 13. Matthew 18:19; Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24; John 14:13; John 15:7, 16; John 16:23, 24; James 1:5, 6, 17; 1 John 3:22; 1 John 5:14, 15
  • 14. 1 Chronicles 28:9; 2 Chronicles 15:2; Proverbs 8:17; Jeremiah 29:13; [Isaiah 55:6]
  • 15. [Revelation 3:20]
  • 16. Genesis 6:5; Genesis 8:21; Matthew 12:34
  • 17. [John 4:10; Acts 2:38]
  • 18. For ver. 14, 15, see Matthew 12:22-24; [Matthew 9:32-34]
  • 19. See Matthew 10:25
  • 20. See John 8:6
  • 21. For ver. 17-22, see Matthew 12:25-29; Mark 3:23-27
  • 22. See Matthew 9:4
  • 23. [Acts 19:13]
  • 24. [2 Kings 2:7]
  • 25. Exodus 8:19; Exodus 31:18; Deuteronomy 9:10; Psalms 8:3
  • 26. Luke 17:21; Matthew 19:24; Matthew 21:31, 43
  • 27. Isaiah 49:24-26
  • 28. [John 16:33]
  • 29. Ephesians 6:11
  • 30. [Isaiah 53:12]
  • 31. Matthew 12:30; [Luke 9:50; Mark 9:40]
  • 32. For ver. 24-26, see Matthew 12:43-45
  • 33. [Psalms 63:1; Jeremiah 2:6]
  • 34. 2 Peter 2:20-22; [John 5:14]
  • 35. Luke 12:13
  • 36. [2 Chronicles 9:7]; See Luke 1:48
  • 37. [Revelation 1:3; Revelation 22:7]
  • 38. Luke 8:21; See James 1:22
  • 39. Leviticus 22:31
  • 40. Luke 12:1
  • 41. For ver. 29-32, see Matthew 12:39-42; [Mark 8:11, 12]
  • 42. ver. 16; See Matthew 12:38
  • 43. Jonah 1:17
  • 44. 1 Kings 10:1; 2 Chronicles 9:1
  • 45. Hebrews 11:7; [Jeremiah 3:11; Ezekiel 16:51, 52; Romans 2:27]
  • 46. [Matthew 12:6]
  • 47. Jonah 1:2
  • 48. [See ver. 31 above]
  • 49. Jonah 3:5
  • 50. [See ver. 31 above]
  • 51. Luke 8:16; Matthew 5:15; Mark 4:21
  • 52. Matthew 6:22, 23
  • 53. Deuteronomy 15:9
  • 54. [See ver. 34 above]
  • 55. [Matthew 5:16]
  • 56. Luke 7:36; Luke 14:1
  • 57. Matthew 15:2; Mark 7:3, 4
  • 58. Matthew 23:25, 26; [Luke 20:47]
  • 59. [Luke 16:14]
  • 60. Luke 12:20
  • 61. [See ver. 39 above]
  • 62. Luke 12:33; [Luke 16:9; Daniel 4:27]
  • 63. [Titus 1:15]
  • 64. Matthew 23:23
  • 65. Luke 18:12; Deuteronomy 14:22
  • 66. Psalms 33:5; Jeremiah 5:1; Micah 6:8; Zechariah 7:9
  • 67. [1 John 3:17]
  • 68. [1 Samuel 15:22]
  • 69. Luke 20:46; Matthew 23:6, 7; Mark 12:38, 39; [Luke 14:7]
  • 70. Matthew 23:27
  • 71. ver. 46, 52; See Luke 7:30
  • 72. ver. 45, 52
  • 73. Matthew 23:4; [Matthew 11:28-30; Acts 15:10]
  • 74. Matthew 23:29, 30
  • 75. Matthew 23:31
  • 76. See Romans 1:32
  • 77. Acts 7:51, 52
  • 78. [Luke 7:35; Prov. 8:12, 22, 23, 30; Matthew 11:19; 1 Corinthians 1:24, 30; Colossians 2:3]
  • 79. For ver. 49-51, [Matthew 23:34-36]
  • 80. See Acts 13:1; 1 Corinthians 12:28
  • 81. See Matthew 21:35
  • 82. 1 Thessalonians 2:15(Gk.)
  • 83. Revelation 18:24
  • 84. See Matthew 13:35
  • 85. Genesis 42:22; 2 Chronicles 24:22; Ezekiel 3:18
  • 86. Genesis 4:4, 8; Hebrews 11:4; 1 John 3:12
  • 87. 2 Chronicles 24:20, 21
  • 88. Exodus 40:6; 2 Kings 16:14; Ezekiel 40:47
  • 89. [See ver. 50 above]
  • 90. ver. 45, 46
  • 91. Matthew 23:13; [Malachi 2:7, 8]
  • 92. Romans 2:20
  • 93. [Luke 7:30; Matthew 5:20; Matthew 21:31]
  • 94. Luke 20:20; Mark 3:2; John 8:6; [Isaiah 29:21]
  • 95. Matthew 22:15; Mark 12:13

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. Greek he
  • [b]. Or our bread for tomorrow
  • [c]. Or persistence
  • [d]. Some manuscripts insert bread, will give him a stone; or if he asks for
  • [e]. Greek he

Luke 11 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.