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The Lord’s Prayer

11

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.” 2He 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.”

Perseverance in Prayer

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; 6for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ 7And 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.’ 8I 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. 10For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 11Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13If 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!”

Jesus and Beelzebul

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. 15But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” 16Others, to test him, kept demanding from him a sign from heaven. 17But he knew what they were thinking and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls on house. 18If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? —for you say that I cast out the demons by Beelzebul. 19Now if I cast out the demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your exorcists cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 20But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you. 21When a strong man, fully armed, guards his castle, his property is safe. 22But when one stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his plunder. 23Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.

The Return of the Unclean Spirit

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.’ 25When it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. 26Then 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.”

True Blessedness

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!” 28But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!”

The Sign of Jonah

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. 30For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be to this generation. 31The 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! 32The 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!

The Light of the Body

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. 34Your 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. 35Therefore consider whether the light in you is not darkness. 36If 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.”

Jesus Denounces Pharisees and Lawyers

37 While he was speaking, a Pharisee invited him to dine with him; so he went in and took his place at the table. 38The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not first wash before dinner. 39Then 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. 40You fools! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41So 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. 43Woe to you Pharisees! For you love to have the seat of honor in the synagogues and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces. 44Woe 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.” 46And 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. 47Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your ancestors killed. 48So you are witnesses and approve of the deeds of your ancestors; for they killed them, and you build their tombs. 49Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ 50so that this generation may be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, 51from 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. 52Woe 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, 54lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.


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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 6:9-13).

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 selected.

7. Trouble me not—the trouble making him insensible both to the urgency of the case and the claims of friendship.

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 7:7-11.)

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 HealedCharge of Being in League with Hell, and ReplyDemand 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 God" (Mt 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 Satan.

armed—pointing to all the subtle and varied methods by which he wields his dark power over men.

keepeth—"guardeth."

his palaceman whether viewed more largely or in individual souls—how significant of what men are to Satan!

in peace—undisturbed, secure in his possession.

22. a stronger than heChrist: 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 nothing.

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 12:39-42.)

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 eye imparts.

Lu 11:37-54. Denunciation of the Pharisees.

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.

ravening—rapacity.

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 on Le 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 23:7-10).

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 irksome, Ac 15:10), as to the heartless rigor with which they were enforced, and by men of shameless inconsistency.

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 yet.

prophets—in the New Testament sense (Mt 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 with questions."




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