Lu 11:1-13. The Disciples
Taught to Pray.
1. one, &c.—struck with either the
matter or the manner of our Lord's prayers.
as John, &c.—From this reference
to John, it is possible that disciple had not heard the Sermon on the
Mount. Nothing of John's inner teaching (to his own disciples)
has been preserved to us, but we may be sure he never taught his
disciples to say, "Our Father."
2-4. (See on Mt
3. day by day, &c.—an extension of
the petition in Matthew for "this day's" supply, to every
successive day's necessities. The closing doxology, wanting here, is
wanting also in all the best and most ancient copies of Matthew's
Gospel. Perhaps our Lord purposely left that part open: and as
the grand Jewish doxologies were ever resounding, and passed
immediately and naturally, in all their hallowed familiarity into the
Christian Church, probably this prayer was never used in the Christian
assemblies but in its present form, as we find it in Matthew, while in
Luke it has been allowed to stand as originally uttered.
5-8. at midnight … for a friend is
come—The heat in warm countries makes evening preferable
to-day for travelling; but "midnight" is everywhere a most
unseasonable hour of call, and for that very reason it is here
7. Trouble me not—the trouble
making him insensible both to the urgency of the case and the claims of
I cannot—without exertion which he
would not make.
8. importunity—The word is a strong
one—"shamelessness"; persisting in the face of all that seemed
reasonable, and refusing to take a denial.
as many, &c.—His reluctance once
overcome, all the claims of friendship and necessity are felt to the
full. The sense is obvious: If the churlish and
self-indulgent—deaf both to friendship and necessity—can
after a positive refusal, be won over, by sheer persistency, to do all
that is needed, how much more may the same determined
perseverance in prayer be expected to prevail with Him whose very
nature is "rich unto all that call upon Him" (Ro 10:12).
9-13. (See on Mt
13. the Holy Spirit—in Matthew (Mt 7:11), "good gifts"; the former, the
Gift of gifts descending on the Church through Christ, and
comprehending the latter.
Lu 11:14-36. Blind and Dumb
Demoniac Healed—Charge of Being in
League with Hell, and Reply—Demand
of a Sign, and Reply.
(See on Mt 12:22-45.)
14. dumb—blind also (Mt 12:22).
20. the finger of God—"the Spirit of
12:28); the former
figuratively denoting the power of God, the latter the living
Personal Agent in every exercise of it.
21, 22. strong man—meaning
armed—pointing to all the subtle and
varied methods by which he wields his dark power over men.
his palace—man whether viewed
more largely or in individual souls—how significant of what men
are to Satan!
in peace—undisturbed, secure in his
22. a stronger than he—Christ:
Glorious title, in relation to Satan!
come upon him and overcome
him—sublimely expressing the Redeemer's approach, as the Seed
of the woman, to bruise the Serpent's head.
taketh from him all his armour—"his
panoply," "his complete armor." Vain would be the victory, were not the
means of regaining his lost power wrested from him. It is this
that completes the triumph and ensures the final overthrow of his
kingdom. The parable that immediately follows (Lu 11:24-26) is just the reverse of
this. (See on Mt 12:43-45.) In the one case,
Satan is dislodged by Christ, and so finds, in all future
assaults, the house preoccupied; in the other, he merely goes
out and comes in again, finding the house "EMPTY" (Mt 12:44) of
any rival, and all ready to welcome him back. This explains the
important saying that comes in between the two parables (Lu 11:23). Neutrality in religion there
is none. The absence of positive attachment to Christ involves
hostility to Him.
23. gathereth …
scattereth—referring probably to gleaners. The meaning seems
to be, Whatever in religion is disconnected from Christ comes to
27, 28. as he spake these things, a … woman
of the company—of the multitude, the crowd. A charming little
incident and profoundly instructive. With true womanly feeling, she
envies the mother of such a wonderful Teacher. Well, and higher and
better than she had said as much before her (Lu 1:28, 42); and our Lord is far from
condemning it. He only holds up—as "blessed
rather"—the hearers and keepers of God's word; in other
words, the humblest real saint of God. (See on Mt 12:49, 50.) How utterly alien is this sentiment from
the teaching of the Church of Rome, which would excommunicate any one
of its members who dared to talk in the spirit of this glorious saying!
(Also see on Mt 12:43.)
29-32. (See on Mt
33-36. (See on Mt
5:14-16; Mt 6:22, 23.) But Lu 11:36 here is peculiarly vivid, expressing
what pure, beautiful, broad perceptions the clarity of the inward
Lu 11:37-54. Denunciation of
38. marvelled, &c.—(See Mr 7:2-4).
39-41. cup and platter—remarkable
example of our Lord's way of drawing the most striking illustrations of
great truths from the most familiar objects and incidents of life.
40. that which is without, &c.—that
is, He to whom belongs the outer life, and right to demand its
subjection to Himself—is the inner man less His?
41. give alms … and … all …
clean—a principle of immense value. As the greed of these
hypocrites was one of the most prominent features of their character
(Lu 16:14; Mt 23:14), our Lord bids them exemplify the
opposite character, and then their outside, ruled by this, would
be beautiful in the eye of God, and their meals would be eaten with
clean hands, though never so fouled with the business of this worky
world. (See Ec 9:7).
42. mint … rue, &c.—rounding
27:30, which they interpreted
rigidly. Our Lord purposely names the most trifling products of the
earth, as examples of what they punctiliously exacted the tenth of.
judgment and the love of God—in Mt 23:25, "judgment, mercy, and
faith." The reference is to Mic 6:6-8, whose third element of all acceptable
religion, "walking humbly with God," comprehends both "love" and
"faith." (See on Mr 12:29; Mr
12:32, 33). The same tendency to merge greater duties in less
besets us still, but it is the characteristic of hypocrites.
these ought ye, &c.—There is no
need for one set of duties to jostle out another; but of the
greater, our Lord says, "Ye ought to have done" them; of
the lesser, only "ye ought not to leave them undone."
43. uppermost seats—(See on Lu 14:7-11).
greetings—(See on Mt
44. appear not, &c.—As one might
unconsciously walk over a grave concealed from view, and thus contract
ceremonial defilement, so the plausible exterior of the Pharisees kept
people from perceiving the pollution they contracted from coming in
contact with such corrupt characters. (See Ps 5:9; Ro
3:13; a different
illustration from Mt 23:27).
46. burdens grievous, &c.—referring
not so much to the irksomeness of the legal rites (though they were
15:10), as to the heartless
rigor with which they were enforced, and by men of shameless
47, 48. ye build, &c.—Out of
pretended respect and honor, they repaired and beautified the
sepulchres of the prophets, and with whining hypocrisy said, "If we had
been in the days of our fathers, we should not have been partakers with
them in the blood of the prophets," while all the time they "were
witnesses to themselves that they were the children of them that killed
the prophets" (Mt 23:29, 30); convicting themselves daily of as
exact a resemblance in spirit and character to the very classes over
whose deeds they pretended to mourn, as child to parent.
49-51. said the wisdom, &c.—a
remarkable variation of the words in Mt 23:34, "Behold I SEND." As there seems plainly an allusion to ancient
warnings of what God would do with so incorrigible a people, so here
Christ, stepping majestically into the place of God, so to speak, says,
"Now I am going to carry all that out." Could this be other than the
Lord of Israel in the flesh?
50. all … required of this
generation—As it was only in the last generation of them that
"the iniquity of the Amorites was full" (Ge 15:16), and then the abominations of ages were
at once completely and awfully avenged, so the iniquity of Israel was
allowed to accumulate from age to age till in that generation it came
to the full, and the whole collected vengeance of Heaven broke at once
over its devoted head. In the first French Revolution the same awful
principle was exemplified, and Christendom has not done with it
prophets—in the New Testament sense
23:34; see 1Co 12:28).
51. blood of Zacharias—Probably the
allusion is not to any recent murder, but to 2Ch 24:20-22, as the last recorded and
most suitable case for illustration. And as Zacharias' last words were,
"The Lord require it," so they are warned that "of that
generation it should be required."
52. key of knowledge—not the key to open
knowledge, but knowledge, the only key to open heaven. In Mt 23:13, they are accused of shutting
heaven; here of taking away the key, which was worse. A
right knowledge of God's Word is eternal life (Joh 17:3); but this they took away from the
people, substituting for it their wretched traditions.
53, 54. Exceedingly vivid and affecting. They
were stung to the quick—and can we wonder?—yet had not
materials for the charge they were preparing against Him.
provoke him, &c.—"to harass Him