Luke 11

One great design of Christianity is to enforce upon us the duty of prayer, instruct us in it and encourage us to expect advantage by it. Prayer changes things. Our prayers are God’s opportunities to do for us what He otherwise could not do. Let us therefore lay hold of God’s willingness with confidence and cling to Him with persistency. Obstinate infidelity will never be at loss for something to say in its own excuse, though ever so absurd. They will yet be compelled to face Him in judgment to answer for all their absurdities and will see the emptiness of all external ceremonies.

1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

3 Give us day by day our daily bread.

4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;

6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?

7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.

8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.

9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?

12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

14 ¶ And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered.

15 But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.

16 And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven.

17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.

18 If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.

19 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.

20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:

22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.

23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.

24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.

25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.

26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

27 ¶ And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.

28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

29 ¶ And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.

30 For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation.

31 The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

32 The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

33 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.

34 The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.

35 Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.

36 If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.

37 ¶ And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat.

38 And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner.

39 And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.

40 Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?

41 But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.

42 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

43 Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.

44 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.

45 ¶ Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also.

46 And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.

47 Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.

48 Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres.

49 Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:

50 That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;

51 From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.

52 Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

53 And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things:

54 Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.

​Luke 11:1-4 – Learning the Lord’s Secrets

   The way to teach people to pray is to pray yourself. It was the habitual prayerfulness of Jesus that made the Apostles long to be taught to pray. What an example is here of the power of unconscious influence! If you desire that your children or scholars should pray, pray yourself. The model prayer is full of suggestion as to the order and topics of prayer. Fill in these outlines! —Through the Bible Day by Day

Luke 11:1—Lord, teach us to pray.

   It was a wise and good request, prompted by the Savior’s own practice. He did not, in the first instance, command his disciples to pray; but He gave himself to the blessed practice of prayer, and this made them eager to learn and practice the holy art. This is the best way of inculcating new and holy habits on those who surround us. Do not begin by exhorting them; but by living before them a life so holy, so unselfish, so consecrated and devout, that they shall spontaneously approach you, saying, “Give us your secret; tell us how we may do and become as you.” It is a holy life which constitutes our best pulpit.
   We should daily ask the Master to teach us to pray. Each time we kneel in prayer we may well preface our petitions with the sentence: “We know not what we should pray for as we ought: but by thy Holy Spirit, Lord, teach us to pray.” And probably the Lord’s answer will fall into suggestions, borrowed from the form and model of prayer which He gave his disciples. It has been called the Lord’s Prayer; it should be called the Disciples’.
   Address prayer to the Father, through the Son. Do not be selfish in prayer; but look out on the needs of others, incorporating them in every petition–us, we, our. Remember, you are speaking to your Father, and that his honor and glory should have a paramount and foremost place. If you desire first the hallowing of his name, and the coming of his kingdom, all your personal needs and desires will fall easily and naturally into their place, which will be a comparatively subordinate one. You will need forgiveness as often and as regularly as your daily bread. Be, also, direct and definite in prayer. —Our Daily Homily

​Luke 11:2 – What to others are disappointments, are to believers, intimations of the way and will of God. (John Newton)

Luke 11:5-13 – ​Encouragement to Persevering Prayer

   The parable of the three friends is very encouraging. We, so to speak, are to act as mediators or intercessors between those who are in sore need and our great Heavenly Friend. They are always coming to us on their journey, and we feel that we have nothing to set before them. Whether their need is for body, mind or spirit, they find us poor and bankrupt. But, at such times, let us turn to God with earnest prayer. If persistence in prayer prevails over the churlish and self-indulgent, what will it not achieve with the One who is “rich unto all that call upon him” (Romans 10:12). He will give us just as much as we need.
   Notice that how much more! Count the stars scattered on the vault of night, or the daisies in the fields, or the myriads of living creatures, sustained as the pensioners of His bounty, and ask yourself if He cannot give enough good gifts, and His Spirit withal, to supply all your need. What would you not do for your helpless little child? “How much more…” See Philippians 4:19. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Luke 11:14-26 – ​For or Against?

   The strong man of this parable is evidently Satan, who guards the palace of man’s nature, to which he has no right. It is the palace of the King, which has been captured by His direst foe. The demon-possession of the body is a parable and illustration of the terrible results of the possession of the soul by the demons of jealousy, passion, etc. Satan is strong—stronger than Adam in his innocence or David in his palace. He is armed with the lie; is always on the watch to lull us into false security; but the peace which He gives is of death.
   Thank God, Christ is stronger! In the wilderness and on the Cross He proved Himself so. He took away His foe’s armor and bruised his head. When Christ takes up His residence in the heart Satan may rage outside and fling in horrid suggestions, but the door is kept closed against his return. They are to be pitied who make a reform in their own strength—Satan will return. Only Christ can work permanent deliverance. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Luke 11:27-32 – ​“The Sign of Jonah”

   What a tribute this woman paid our Lord! He was full of grace as well as truth; and those who, with unbiased and unprejudiced minds, saw Him moving among men, were constrained to confess His inimitable beauty. Notice that the simplest soul that hears and obeys God’s Word is equally beatified with His mother, Luke 11:28.
   Men will be judged by the opportunities they have had. Every age and every race and every individual on which the sun has ever shone has had a chance. Not our chance, but a chance suited to the spiritual vision of each, John 1:9; Romans 1:20; 2:5, etc. So God will be able to judge all men. But in how many cases will they who have not had our advantages be found in a higher class in the great University of Heaven than some of us who have lived amid the light of Christ! —Through the Bible Day by Day

Luke 11:33-44 – ​Dark and Foul within

   “The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD,” Proverbs 20:27. How many unlit candles there are! Will you not ask whether Christ has ever kindled you with His divine light and life? You have the capacity for God, but this is not enough: Christ must give you light, Ephesians 5:14. Seek the clear shining of the inner light, and remember that it will grow clearer and brighter just in proportion as it is obeyed and followed. What a glorious conception this is, that the Lord Jesus shall so fill us with the radiance and warmth of His love that there shall be no part dark!
   Our Lord’s denunciations of the religious leaders of His time reveal the wrath of infinite truth and purity against all that is inconsistent with either. Because He loved His sheep, the Good Shepherd must warn them against wolves. Notice Luke 11:41, which means that our faith, love and joy are to be shared with others. Let us be munificent and generous in self-giving. There is no law of the tithe here! Give all! —Through the Bible Day by Day

Luke 11:45-54 – ​Searching Words for Hypocrites

   The minute oral and written rules promulgated by the Hebrew religious leaders overlaid and almost buried under their weight the simple Mosaic code. They were the subject of incessant disputing and discussion. A vast crowd of copyists, lecturers, teachers and casuists were always debating them. The lawyer who here addressed Christ was one of this class. He could hardly believe that this revered rabbi could include him and his fellows in these terrible woes.
   Our Lord speaks of Himself as the Wisdom of God. Compare Luke 11:49 with Matthew 23:34. For a moment He rises above the low levels of His Incarnation and identifies Himself with the Eternal God. But what profound sorrow filled His heart, as these stern words were wrung from His lips by the stubborn obduracy of His people! In the Hebrew Scriptures, where the order of the books differs from that of our Old Testament, the death of Abel is related in the first book and that of Zacharias in the last, II Chronicles 24:20-22. The legend said that the blood of the latter was bubbling up when Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem. No sacrifices availed to stop it. —Through the Bible Day by Day