Luke 11

1 He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples."
2 He said to them, "When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.
3 Give us each day our daily bread.
4 And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial."
5 And he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, "Friend, lend me three loaves of bread;
6 for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.'
7 And he answers from within, "Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.'
8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.
9 "So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you.
10 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
11 Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish?
12 Or if the child asks for an egg, will give 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 the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
14 Now he was casting out a demon that was mute; when the demon had gone out, the one who had been mute spoke, and the crowds were amazed.
15 But some of them said, "He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons."
16 Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign from heaven.
17 But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house.
18 If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? —for you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul.
19 Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.
20 But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you.
21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe.
22 But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his plunder.
23 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
24 "When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it wanders through waterless regions looking for a resting place, but not finding any, it says, "I will return to my house from which I came.'
25 When it comes, it finds it swept and put in order.
26 Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and live there; and the last state of that person is worse than the first."
27 While he was saying this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, "Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!"
28 But he said, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!"
29 When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, "This generation is an evil generation; it asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.
30 For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be to this generation.
31 The queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here!
32 The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here!
33 "No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar, but on the lampstand so that those who enter may see the light.
34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light; but if it is not healthy, your body is full of darkness.
35 Therefore consider whether the light in you is not darkness.
36 If then your whole body is full of light, with no part of it in darkness, it will be as full of light as when a lamp gives you light with its rays."
37 While he was speaking, a Pharisee invited him to dine with him; so he went in and took his place at the table.
38 The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not first wash before dinner.
39 Then the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.
40 You fools! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also?
41 So give for alms those things that are within; and see, everything will be clean for you.
42 "But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of God; it is these you ought to have practiced, without neglecting the others.
43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love to have the seat of honor in the synagogues and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces.
44 Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without realizing it."
45 One of the lawyers answered him, "Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us too."
46 And he said, "Woe also to you lawyers! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not lift a finger to ease them.
47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your ancestors killed.
48 So you are witnesses and approve of the deeds of your ancestors; for they killed them, and you build their tombs.
49 Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, "I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,'
50 so that this generation may be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world,
51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be charged against this generation.
52 Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering."
53 When he went outside, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be very hostile toward him and to cross-examine him about many things,
54 lying in wait for him, to 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.

Footnotes 8

  • [a]. Other ancient authorities read [Our Father in heaven]
  • [b]. A few ancient authorities read [Your Holy Spirit come upon us and cleanse us.] Other ancient authorities add [Your will be done, on earth as in heaven]
  • [c]. Or [our bread for tomorrow]
  • [d]. Or [us into temptation]. Other ancient authorities add [but rescue us from the evil one] (or [from evil])
  • [e]. Other ancient authorities add [bread, will give a stone; or if your child asks for]
  • [f]. Other ancient authorities read [the Father give the Holy Spirit from heaven]
  • [g]. Gk [sons]
  • [h]. Other ancient authorities add [or under the bushel basket]

Luke 11 Commentaries