HIS SERVANTS' MINISTRY
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Gospel of Luke Chapter 11
Theme: Jesus teaches disciples to pray by using parables of the persistent friend and a good father; Jesus accused of casting out demons by Beelzebub; parable of unclean spirit leaving a man; the sign of Jonah; parable of the lighted candle; Jesus denounces the Pharisees.
Jesus Teaches His Disciples to Pray
Parables: The Persistent Friend; A Good Father (Luke 11:1-13)
Luke 11:1 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. (KJV)
And it came to pass that as he was praying . . . the following teaching concerning prayer, even though they agree with those in (Mat.6:9), yet this was delivered at another time, and in another place, and on another occasion. Jesus was then in Galilee, now He is in Judea. He gave the former directions unasked for, while these were at the request of one of His disciples. The other was given as He was preaching the Sermon on the Mount, this was immediately after He had been praying; as soon as He had done a work He was often employed in, as Man and Mediator, because of Himself, His disciples, His cause and His interest: and this was done
In a certain place . . . maybe on the Mount of Olives, which was not far from Bethany, where we hear of Him last, since this was a place where he used to abide in the night, and pray (Lk.21:37). One version reads: "in a desert place", and after He had been at Bethany, it seems that He did go to a country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim (Jn.11:54).
When he ceased . . . from praying; after He had ended His prayer, and finished all his petitions, and was off of His knees.
One of his disciples . . . maybe one of the seventy disciples who had not heard the summary of prayer, and the directions about it before, given on the mount (Mat.6:9).
And said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples . . . it seems that John the Baptist brought in a new order and method of praying, giving his disciples some instructions and directions concerning it, so much better than what the Jews in common had. This disciple looked upon his Lord and Master, as much better qualified to give directions in this important subject than even John was, so he requests of Jesus the correct way to pray.
Luke 11:2 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. (KJV)
And he said unto them . . . Jesus directed His speech to all the disciples; for although it was just one that had addressed Him, it was in the name of all the rest; and besides, the instructions Christ was about to give concerned them all, even those that heard them before, and those that had not.
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. . . the last petition is left out of some versions. (Mat.6:9-10).
Luke 11:3 Give us day by day our daily bread. (KJV)
Give us day by day our daily bread . . . "for the day"; or "every day". (Mat.6:11).
Luke 11:4 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. (KJV)
And forgive us our sins . . . Matthew reads "debts" (Mat.6:12), and which best agrees with the phrase "indebted", after mentioned:
For we also forgive every one that is indebted to us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil . . . (Mat.6:13). The doxology there used, and the word "Amen" are here omitted. Some of the petitions in this prayer are not delivered in the very same words as they are in Matthew. The three first petitions are word for word the same; although the third petition is different in our translation, it is the same in the original. The fourth and fifth vary: in Matthew the fourth is, "give us this day our daily bread"; here in Luke, "give us day by day our daily bread." The fifth in Matthew is, "and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors"; and here, "and forgive us our sins, for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us". And these spoken variations, though the sense is the same, together with the omission of the doxology, and the word "Amen", show, that this prayer was not intended to be an exact form, and to be so used, but as a reference to prayer. This instructs us as to how and what we should say.
Luke 11:5 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; (KJV)
And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend . . . a neighbor, or friend,
And shall go unto him at midnight . . . an unusual time, which nothing but genuine distress, not knowing what else to do, would cause a man to do.
And say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves . . . it was usual of the Jews to borrow bread from one another, and certain rules applied, when, and on what condition, this is to be done; as for instance, on a Sabbath day. For what was lent, could not be demanded again under thirty days.
Luke 11:6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? (KJV)
For a friend of mine in his journey . . . a friend of mine is come to me out of his way, which makes the case more urgent.
Is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him . . . for lodging and entertainment, to refresh him with, after such a fatigue, before he goes to bed, which was very requisite and proper.
Luke 11:7 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. (KJV)
And he from within shall answer and say . . . the friend inside, shall answer to him that is outside his door.
Trouble me not . . . stop knocking at the door, and pestering me.
The door is now shut . . . for it is very late at night, and which would not be opened without noise and inconvenience.
And my children are with me in bed . . . all those in the house were sleeping,
I cannot rise . . . without disturbing them.
And give thee . . . the loaves desired.
Luke 11:8 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. (KJV)
I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is a friend . . . the meaning of the parable is "if he continue knocking", although mere friendship will not influence him to rise from his bed, at such an unseasonable time, and fulfil the request of his friend,
Yet because of his importunity, he will rise and give him as many as he needeth . . . as he asks for, or more, if necessary. The intention of this parable, is the same with that of the widow and the unjust judge, in Luke 18:1-6, which is to show the force of insistence, where friendship, as here, and the fear of God, and regard of men, which were wanting there, have no influence; and so to encourage to faithfulness and perseverance in prayer, with earnestness; taking no denial at the Hand of God, but still continuing to make pressing instances.
Luke 11:9 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. (KJV)
And I say unto you, ask, and it shall be given you . . . this is said by Christ Jesus, to encourage us to prayer, and persistence in it; that if anyone asks of God, in the Name of Jesus, and in faith, whether it be bread for the body, or food for the soul; or ANY blessing whatsoever, whether temporal or spiritual, it shall be given; not because they deserve it, but because of the riches of the grace of God; who is rich unto all that call upon him, in sincerity and truth.
Seek, and ye shall find . . . whether it be Christ Jesus, the Pearl of great price, or God in Christ; or especially the pardoning grace and mercy through Christ, or the knowledge of divine things; and both grace here, and glory hereafter, for if men seek for the hidden treasure of Christ, these shall NOT lose their labor, but shall enjoy all the eternal valuable things of God.
Knock, and it shall be opened to you . . . God’s door of mercy is NEVER closed to those who continue knocking! God’s door includes: the door of fellowship with Christ; the door of the Gospel, the door of all the mysteries of the Gospel dispensation and church state, into which we are admitted, and the door of Heaven, into which there is entrance ONLY by the precious Blood of Jesus (1 Pet.1:18-19). Ask, seek and knock means prayer, the continuance of it and persistence in it. (Mat.7:7).
We ASK for what we want; we SEEK for something that seems missing; we KNOCK because we feel ourselves shut out. "Ask" is asking for a conscious need. Always be humble when asking, for we are asking of One Who is far superior than we are! "Seek," is asking, but adds action. We do not merely express our need, but we get up and look around for help. It involves effort. "Knock" includes asking plus acting plus persevering . . . these are the steps to our victory in prayer! When we keep pounding on God’s door, He will open to us! This threefold instruction is like a triple guarantee of success to our prayer efforts.
Luke 11:10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. (KJV)
For every one that asketh receiveth . . . many ask and do NOT receive, because they ask amiss (Jam.4:3). WHY? They either apply to a wrong person, or ask in a wrong manner, or from wrong principles, or with wrong ends in view. BUT . . . any time a person is right in the object of prayer, and in the matter and manner of prayer, and in the end of his ultimate propose is for God to have the glory, he may rest assured he shall have them in God's due time! My friend, IF it is not God’s will, you do NOT want it!
And he that seeketh findeth . . . whoever not only prays, but makes use of resources, such as obedience to other rules, and is diligent in the use of them, sooner or later finds what his soul is seeking for.
And to him that knocketh it shall be opened. . . not only praying heartily, seeking diligently, but also being persistent, these shall have no denial or rejection. We are to continue knocking, even though there may be a seeming delay, the door will not always be shut to you. After much knocking it will be opened. (Mat.7:8). God’s time clock and ours is totally different! (2 Pet.3:8).
Be assured of this: God will give us ANYTHING that is good for us spiritually, IF we keep asking Him for it! If you do not yet have eternal life through Jesus Christ, you can be sure He will give it to you if you ask for it with all your heart. If you are a believer but fall short on Christian graces and faith, keep praying. If you are not loving and compassionate, pray for these things, and He will give you a loving and merciful spirit. If you are not kind but persistently seek God for a kind spirit, He will give it to you. IF we want the character of the Kingdom in our lives through the fullness of the Holy Spirit, we must ask persistently. Jesus says we are to ask, keep on asking, seek, keep on seeking, knock, keep on knocking. We are to plead with God passionately for spiritual blessings. Do any of us really pray like that?
Luke 11:11 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? (KJV)
If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father . . . the relationship between a father and a son is natural, and it is usual for a son, when hungry, and at meal time, to ask bread (food) from his father: and when he does,
Will he give him a stone . . . would the father give his son a stone? NO! That would show that his heart was harder than the stone he offers. Would any parent give their son a stone when he asks for bread? Neither will God do that!
Or if he ask a fish, will he, for a fish, give him a serpent? . . . Just as ridiculous as above! God wants only the best for His children, always! (Mat.7:9-10).
Luke 11:12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? (KJV)
Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion. . . is there any likeness between a scorpion and an egg, that the one might be given and taken in place of the other? We know there is the greatest resemblance between some fish, especially the eel and serpents: and that there are stones exactly similar to bread in their appearance; from which we may guess that our Lord intended to convey the same idea of similitude between an egg and a scorpion. Maybe the word scorpion here may be used for any kind of serpent that proceeds from an egg, or the word egg may be understood. If the son asks for an egg, will the father give him a scorpion? The body of a scorpion is like an egg, especially if it is a white scorpion. Nor do scorpions differ much in size from an egg in Judea. There may be such a likeness, between a white scorpion and an egg, if the legs and tail of the former be taken away; but there cannot be a resemblance any other way. If the child asked an egg, he would not, instead of a proper one, give him a scorpion. Neither will God do that!
Luke 11:13 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? (KJV)
If ye then being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children . . . as bad as our fallen nature is, the father in us is not turned off. God, the Father of all fathers must have an especially soft, loving, merciful heart towards His pleading children! (Mat.7:11).
How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? . . . here, instead of "good gifts," our Lord asks whether He will not much more give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him. The Father has already given us the Best that He had . . . His only begotten Son as a Sacrifice for our sins! WHY would He withhold ANY other good (spiritual) thing from us if we ask of Him?
Jesus Accused of Casting Out Demons by Beelzebub (Luke 11:14-22)
It is from this story that has come the idea of the so-called unpardonable sin.
Luke 11:14 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. (KJV)
And he was casting out a devil . . . at a certain time, either the same that is recorded in Matthew 9:32 or Matthew 12:22, for both of them were attended with the same effect upon the people, and with the same slander of the Pharisees, mentioned here.
And it was dumb . . . one version reads, "deaf and dumb"; meaning the devil, which possessed the man, made him both deaf and dumb; and if the same as in (Mat.12:22), he was also blind, as well as dumb.
And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out . . . of the man possessed by him, by the command of Christ,
The dumb spake; and the people wondered . . . as other men did, and as he had done before; the cause being removed, the effect stopped, at the power of Christ, and concluded that He must be the Messiah, the son of David.
Luke 11:15 But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils. (KJV)
But some of them said . . . the Pharisees (Mat.9:34; 12:24), who could not bear that He could be thought to be the Messiah, and therefore put a cruel appearance on the miracle.
He casteth out devils through Beelzebub, the chief of devils . . . Beelzebub is a corruption of Baalzebub, the god of the fly, a god of the Ekronites (2 Ki.1:2). There are only two possible methods of evading the reasonable force of a miracle: #1. deny the reality of the miracle; and #2. to refer the result to some other cause than the power of God.
The Pharisees, could NOT deny the reality of the miracle, and knowing that demons are under the command of Satan, took their only alternative, by insisting that the power was from Satan. The Pharisees had already accused Jesus of being empowered by the prince of demons (Mat.9:34). They were trying to discredit Him by using such an alarming argument. Refusing to believe that Jesus came from God, they said He was in league with Satan. Jesus easily exposed the foolishness of their argument.
Luke 11:16 And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven. (KJV)
And others tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven . . . the others were other scribes and Pharisees, or Sadducees. (Mat.12:38; 17:1).
Pharisees: (Mat.5:20; 9:11; 12:14; 15:1; 22:34; 23:2; 27:62).
Sadducees: (Mat.3:7-8; 16:6,11; 22:23; Mk. 12:18; Lk. 20:27: Acts 4:1; 5:17; 23:6-8).
Tempting Him: (Mat.19:3; 22:18,35; Mk.10:2; 12:15; Lk.10:25; 11:16,53-54; 20:23; Jn.8:6).
Luke 11:17 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. (KJV)
But he knowing their thoughts, said unto them . . . since He was God omniscient, He brought the following parables, as they are called in (Mk.3:23), which are very relevant to the purpose, and sufficient to set aside the base slanders of the Pharisees.
Every kingdom divided against itself, is brought to desolation . . . in process of time, division will end in destruction; as it does in the kingdoms of the world, of which there have been fatal instances, so it would in the kingdom of Satan.
And an house divided against an house, falleth . . . the sense is, a family, in which one part is opposed to the other, ends in the ruin of both. (Mat.12:25; Mk.3:24-25).
Luke 11:18 If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. (KJV)
And if Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? . . . this is meant in the above parables, suggesting, that Satan had to be against himself, IF what the Pharisees said was true; and so, his kingdom and government, could not last long.
Because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub . . . the explanation given by the Pharisees represented Satan as divided against himself; for he never achieved such a triumph over living men when he took possession by evil spirits. To rob himself of so great a victory would be to fight against his own kingdom. Jesus argues that not only that Satan could not do this, but that he would not do it. Therefore their explanation which supposes Jesus to do it is absurd, meaning that if Satan, the same with Beelzebub, casts out the rest of the other devils, of which Satan is the prince and head. (Mat.12:26; Mk.3:26).
Luke 11:19 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges. (KJV)
And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils . . . which is what the Pharisees charged Him with. (Mat.10:25).
By whom do your sons cast them out? . . . by whose help? or in whose name? The Jews pretended to cast out devils, and to heal those that were possessed with them; which they did sometimes, by making use of the names of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and sometimes of the name of Solomon: Josephus speaks of many in his time, who had this power of healing; and he himself saw one Eleazar, in the presence of Vespasian, his children, officers, and soldiers, cure many that were possessed of devils.
Therefore shall they be your judges . . . or "judges against you", or "shall reprove you", convict and condemn you. (Mat.12:27).
Luke 11:20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. (KJV)
But if I with the, finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you . . . the power of God, referring to (Ex.8:19), it is the same with the Spirit of God. (Mat.12:28). The finger of God (Ex.8:19; 31:18; Deut.9:10), is often called the hand of the Lord. (Eze.1:3; 3:22; 8:1; 33:22; 37:1; 40:1; 1 Ki.18:46; 2 Ki.3:15).
Luke 11:21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: (KJV)
When a strong man armed keepeth his palace . . . the strong man means the devil. See: (Mat.12:29). He may be said to be "armed", both with his temptations, which are as fiery darts (Eph.6:16), and which are thrown by him fast and furious, suddenly and swiftly, and with great skill and cunning, and with great strength, and are very injurious; and also armed with the sins and lusts of men, which is the armor of unrighteousness. These Satan can turn upon them, and makes use of against them, to their great damage and disadvantage.
His goods are in peace . . . there is no concern in an unrighteous heart about sin, no uneasiness there, no sense of danger, no questions about salvation; no dread on the mind at the curses of the law (Deut.27), nor fears of Hell (Mat.25:41,46; Rev.19:20; 20:15), and no fear of condemnation (Mat.12:37; Jn.3:18-20,36). These people really do think they are totally secure. They are wrong!
Luke 11:22 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. (KJV)
But when a stronger than he . . . meaning Christ Jesus, Who is the mighty God, the Almighty; and appears to be so in the Creation of all things, in upholding them by the word of His power, in the government of the world, and the works of providence, in redeeming His people from sin, Satan and the law, and in the transforming them by the effectiveness of His grace, and in preserving them by His power; and who is clearly much stronger than Satan; not only by these things, but also by what follows,
Shall come upon him, and overcome him . . . just as He did in Person, when He dispossessed Satan from the bodies of men; and also does so by His Spirit in conversion, when He enters into His palace (the heart of man), binds him, and looses men from him, turning them from the power of Satan, to God, and sets up a throne of grace in that new heart, where Christ Himself dwells and reigns. Christ Jesus comes upon Satan as an adversary, and often unawares; and always with great power and strength, and always succeeds. Satan came upon Christ in the wilderness, in the garden and on the cross. Satan attacked Jesus unmercifully, but WITHOUT success; making it very clear, that JESUS is stronger than Satan! No matter how great Satan's power is, Jesus’ power is stronger! He shall overpower Satan and dispose of him for eternity! (Rev.20:2,10).
He taketh from him all his armour, wherein he trusted . . . as his temptations, which Jesus Himself resisted in the wilderness, and wrenched out of his hands, and made them useless, and just as He gives power to His people to resist them (Jam.4:7). He helps us with our temptations, and and delivers them out of them. Consider what Jesus did on the cross for us! He bore OUR sins on the cross, and paid the penalty for those sins! He bore the punishment of them there. Jesus helps us in our conversion, weakening the power of sin, taking away the power of it; so Satan cannot destroy those who are truly called by the grace of God.
And divideth his spoils . . . Jesus spoils Satan’s house (the heart of unrighteous men), from being any longer a palace for him and his goods. . . . . . . . . . Consider what Matthew says: Matthew 12:29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. (KJV)
Or else, how can anyone enter into a strong man's house . . . at Jesus' birth, Satan's power and control were interrupted. In the wilderness Jesus crushed Satan's temptations, and at the Resurrection He defeated Satan's crucial and ultimate weapon, death. One day, Satan will be constrained forever (Rev.20:10), and evil will no longer flood the Earth as it does today. Jesus has complete power and authority over Satan and ALL his forces. Here we have a great argument. Satan is the strong man, his house (palace, Lk.11:21) is the body of the demoniac (Mat.12:22; Mk.11:14), and his goods is the evil spirit within the man. Jesus had entered Satan’s house and robbed him of his goods; and this proves that, instead of being in league with Satan, He had overpowered him.
And spoil his goods . . . exactly as Jesus did, by casting devils out of the bodies or souls of men. It would be the same as if a man should enter into another man's house, who is very strong, with a plan to take or ruin his goods . . . this could NEVER happen unless he has a power superior to his, and uses it.
Except he first bind the strong man, and then he will spoil his house . . . the "strong man" is the devil (Isa.49:24-25), who is powerful and mighty, as appears from his nature, being an angel, but a fallen one. Satan far surpasses in strength, above any human, and from his names, such as the roaring lion (1 Pet.5:8), the great red dragon (Rev.12:3), and leviathan (Isa.27:1). From the magnitude of Satan’s dominion, here called "his house"; which reaches to the whole band of devils and world of men; where he is called the prince of the power of the air (Eph.2:2), and the prince of this world (Jn.12:31; 14:30; 16:11), and the god of this world (2 Cor.4:4). And from his works and actions in and over the bodies and estates of men, by divine permission; which might be illustrated in the case of Job, and the demoniacs in the time of Christ; and in and over the souls of men . . . not only wicked men, but men under a pretense of religion, as the Antichrist and his followers, and sad but true, the saints themselves (Rom.7:13-25), and even over Adam in a state of innocence. But my friend, Christ Jesus, the Lord, is MUCH stronger than Satan is.
Parable of Unclean Spirit Leaving A Man (Luke 11:24-26)
Luke 11:23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. (KJV)
He that is not with me, is against me . . . the Lord does not mean someone that was not personally with Him; for there doubtless were many who were not with Him personally, and yet they were not against Him, but were friends to Him and to His Gospel. There were some who did not attend on Christ, and yet were not against Him, but cast out devils in His name; such a one is made mention of in (Mk.9:38-40).
And he that gathereth not with me, scattereth . . . whoever did not encourage persons to believe on the ministry of Christ, which was confirmed by divine miracles done by Him, which the Pharisees spoke of disapprovingly and scornfully, were counted by Jesus as such who hindered persons from gathering unto Him. Christ Jesus is the Good Shepherd (Jn.10). He gathers His sheep to Himself, and into His fold, by the external ministry of the Gospel, and the internal effectiveness of His grace. Satan is the wolf, that catches and scatters the sheep, and seeks to kill and destroy them. There is a wide open war proclaimed and carried on between Christ and Satan. NO one can be neutral, that is impossible. IF a person is not with Jesus, not on His side, they are considered the enemy; and whosoever is not concerned by prayer or preaching the Gospel, or other means to gather souls to His fold (church), and to Himself, is considered by Jesus as one who scatters them. (Mat.12:30).
Luke 11:24 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. (KJV)
When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man . . . meaning the evil spirit, the devil, who is in and works in the children of disobedience (Eph.2:2; 5:6; Col.3:6; 1 Jn.3:10), whose hearts are unclean like Satan, so it is there the devil is happy to dwell.
He walketh through dry places . . . or "a desert", to which the Gentile world is sometimes compared in the Old Testament (Isa.35:1; 41:18-19; 42:11-12). The wilderness is where Satan might go, after being disturbed in Judea, through the many dispossessions by Jesus.
Seeking rest, and finding none . . . being made uneasy, through the preaching of the Gospel, which was sent unto them after Christ's resurrection; and not being able to keep his place in the hearts of men, nor do the mischief he wanted.
He saith, I will return unto my house, whence I came out . . . to the Jews again, who were blinded and filled with rage and enmity to the Gospel by Him, and whom he instigated to persecute the apostles of Christ, and preachers of the word, wherever they came. (Mat.12:43-44).
Luke 11:25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. (KJV)
And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished . . . Matthew says: Matthew 12:44 Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished . . . the house is the man's body which he had left; it is called a house because it allowed the evil spirit some relief from the misery of his wanderings. That the house was empty, swept and garnished, means that the man's body was well prepared for the demon's return. The devil leaves NO one, except that he will try to come into them again . . . and he nearly always succeeds where Jesus has not taken over the heart and mind of the soul of the sinner. And UNLESS a sinner is sincere when he turns to Christ Jesus, the Holy Spirit will NOT make His home there. The Father will NOT send His Spirit to anyone who is NOT completely honest and truthful about their repentance and acceptance of Jesus. The souls of ALL people are possessed by either Satan OR God! 1 John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother. (KJV) 1 John 4:4 Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (KJV) Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (KJV) . . . IF a person does not have the Spirit of Christ abiding within them, they are a child of the devil and have the devil abiding within them. IF the soul is EMPTY of Christ . . . it is FULL of Satan.
From whence I came out . . . Satan was disturbed by the Gospel sent among them, and so leaves “his house.’ If the devil leaves a person, (his house), he will try to “go into” that house again when he finds no rest in “dry places.” Among whom Satan might go, seeking rest and satisfaction would be those who had gone back to their idolatries and other wickedness.
And when he is come, he findeth it empty . . . when a person professes faith in Christ, they attempt outward restoration by sweeping and a garnishing, but all the while the soul is empty of Christ. It may be swept from the filth of flagrant and wicked sins, and garnished with the paint of some ridiculous religion, and habits of moral virtue; but this will NOT keep the devil out. Again, IF the soul is EMPTY of Christ . . . it is FULL of Satan. BEWARE!!!
Swept . . . not with the Spirit of Grace reproving the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (Jn.16:8), but with the sweeping of outward improvement.
And garnished . . . not with internal grace, which makes saints glorious within; but with secret lusts and corruptions (2 Ki.17:9; Job 24:16; Ps.19:12; 90:8). Proverbs 9:17 Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. (KJV) . . . You may think no one is watching and no one knows, but you are wrong! You can hide NOTHING from God! (Job 21:27; Eze.11:5). And garnished means it is an agreeable habitation for the unclean spirit, with some show of morality, a little negative holiness, or abstinence from outward acts of sin, and observance of some external rites and rituals, and a some hypocritical performances of fasting and prayer . . . these Satan can tolerate, as long as the heart is empty of spiritual grace. (Mat.12:43-45).
Luke 11:26 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. (KJV)
Then goeth he and taketh to him seven other spirits . . . evil spirits, devils, demons, whom he gathered to him as his partners and companions.
More wicked than himself . . . it seems there are degrees of wickedness among the devils, just as there is among men.
And they enter and dwell there . . . the unclean spirit, and the other seven; for there were seven devils in Mary Magdalene, and a legion in another man; for indeed the wicked heart of man is the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit. Here it may mainly mean the place and power which the devil had among the Jews before their destruction.
And the last state of that man is worse than the first . . . and more miserable, as was the case of the Jews, to which this parable refers.
Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation . . . (Mat.12:45).
Jesus was proving an unfortunate human tendency: Our desire to reform often does not last very long. In Israel's history, almost as soon as a good king would pull down idols, a bad king would set them up again. It is NEVER enough to be emptied of evil; we must afterwards be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish God's new purpose in our life. (Mat.12:43-45).
The Sign of Jonah (Luke 11:29-32)
Luke 11:27 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. (KJV)
And it came to pass as he spake these things . . . as Jesus spoke, in vindication of Himself and His miracles, from the blasphemy of the Scribes and Pharisees to their entire confusion, and had delivered the above parable concerning the unclean spirit, which had a particular regard to them,
A certain woman of the company . . . observing the miracle He had done, in casting out a devil, and being greatly affected with his speech, in which He fully cleared Himself, and strongly overturned His enemies,
Lift up her voice, and said unto him . . . aloud, in the hearing of all the people, and with great earnestness and fervor,
Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked . . . whether this woman personally knew Mary, the mother of Jesus, is not certain; it may be that she was now present, or at least not far off; and this woman hearing that she, with the brethren of Christ, were without, and desired to speak with Him, might be the reason for her uttering these words (Mat.12:46), even though her words are said not so much in praise and honor of Mary, as in approval and praise of Jesus, from whom, and for the sake of bearing and suckling so great a person, she was blessed as before, both by the angel and Elisabeth (Lk.1:28,42). This was a form of blessing among the Jews: "blessed is she that bore him": and they had also a form of cursing among them, with much the same manner: "cursed be the paps that suckled him".
Jesus was speaking to people who put extremely high value on family ties. Their genealogies were important guarantees that they were part of God's chosen people. A man's value came from his ancestors, and a woman's value came from the sons she bore.
Luke 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. (KJV)
But he said . . . Jesus said to the woman, as correcting her, though not denying it, nor reproving her for it, but improving upon it,
Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it . . . indicating that although His mother was happy in bearing and suckling such a Son, yet it was a far greater happiness to hear the Word of God; meaning either Himself, so as to embrace Him, believe on Him, and hold Him dear to their heart, or the Gospel preached by Him, so as to understand it, receive it as the engrafted word, and bring forth fruit from it, act in obedience to it, observe it, abide by it, and NEVER abandon it. THIS is a much greater happiness than to be related to Christ in the flesh, even though so closely. We must hear the Word of God, believe it and keep it! For faith comes by hearing (Rom.10:17), and shows itself in doing. Just hearing the Word, and even being in agreement to it, will be of little avail, unless what is heard and believed is put in practice. Jesus' response to the woman meant that a person's obedience to God is much more important than his or her place on the family tree. Consistent obedience is more important than the honor of bearing a respected son.
Luke 11:29 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. (KJV)
And when the people were gathered thick together . . . because of what this woman's saying the things she did; or maybe, to see what sign He would give, which some desired (Lk.11:16.
He began to say, This is an evil generation . . . this generation is an evil generation and it also was an "adulterous one", as is added in (Mat.12:39).
They seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet . . . for they had asked one of Him. (Lk.11:16).
Luke 11:30 For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation. (KJV)
For as Jonas was a sign to the Ninevites . . . as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly, and then cast on shore alive; which sign, or miracle was wrought to confirm his mission and message, and to force the Ninevites to give credit to him, and repent, or they might assure themselves they would be utterly destroyed.
So shall also the son of man be to this generation . . . by lying three days and three nights in the heart of the Earth, and then rising again from the dead the third day; and which was done to Confirm the truth of His being the Messiah, and to declare Him to be the Son of God with power, and to involve persons to believe in Him; and to assure that wicked generation, that in case they remained, after such a sign, impenitent and unbelieving, the wrath of God would come upon them to the uttermost. (Mat.12:40).
Luke 11:31 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. (KJV)
The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them . . . (1 Ki.10:1) meaning the queen of Sheba, which was a country in Arabia, which was south of Judea.
For she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold a greater than Solomon is here . . . the difference between them, and what worsens the case is, that she was a Gentile that did not know God, and they were Jews, God’s professing people. She came from afar, they were near, right on the spot where Christ was. He was preaching in their streets, temple and synagogues; she came to hear only natural or moral wisdom, but they could have heard spiritual and heavenly wisdom, with which eternal happiness is connected. She came to hear only the mere man, Solomon, but they could have heard Him, Jesus, Who is the wisdom of God (1 Cor.1:24), and the only wise God (1 Tim.1:17; Jude 1:25) and our Saviour. (Mat.12:42).
Luke 11:32 The men of Nineveh 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. (KJV)
The men of Nineveh shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it . . . Luke changes the order of these occurrences; Matthew mentions this before the instance of the queen of Sheba; but Luke puts it last, this is not important, for the strategy of it is the same.
For they repented at the preaching of Jonas, and behold a greater than Jonas is here . . . what in this case will worsen the condemnation of the Jews on Judgment Day is, that these men of Nineveh were Heathens, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, complete strangers to the covenants of promise, and were not used to having prophets sent to them. BUT . . . as soon as Jonas, a mere sinful man, came to them, and preached just ONE sermon among them, they repented of their sins, and turned away from them; whereas the Jews, who had a better idea of religion, and who, even though they had the Son of God Himself among them, and preached to them many sermons, and whose ministry was confirmed by miracles, and afterwards His apostles had done the same for a course of years, had yet these Jews remained impenitent and unbelieving. (Mat.12:41).
The "sign" (verse 29) would be His own resurrection. He leads them back to two incidents in the Old Testament. The first is the account of the prophet Jonah, who was seemingly raised from the dead when he was inside the fish. God brought him out of darkness and death into light and life. Jonah's experience was typical of the coming death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Ninevites received Jonah and his preaching after his miraculous deliverance, and they repented. The acts of Israel, as a nation, place her in a much worse position because she did NOT receive her Messiah and did NOT repent.
Parable of the Lighted Candle (Luke 11:33-36)
(Mat.5:14-16; Mk. 4:21-25; Lk.8:16-18)
Luke 11:33 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. (KJV)
No man when he hath lighted a candle . . . these words are often repeated by Jesus on different occasions (Mat.5:15; Lu.8:16). Here the words seem to mean the clear, free wide open ministry of Jesus, who FAR excelled Solomon in wisdom, and FAR exceeded Jonah in powerful preaching. The TRUTH is as a candle, which, when lighted, no man . . .
Putteth in a secret place . . . as under a bed, (Mk.4:21), were it cannot be seen, and its light was of no use.
Neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come may see the light . . . indicating, that Christ and His apostles did not preach in corners, or in private houses, and secret places, but in the streets of the city, and in the temples and synagogues, the public places of worship . . . and therefore the Jews were NOT excusable, that they did not attend the ministry of the Word; and this would be their condemnation, that LIGHT was come among them, but they preferred darkness to it. (Jn.3:18-19,36).
Luke 11:34 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. (KJV)
The light of the body is the eye . . . the sense is, that as the eye gives light to the body, by which it is guided and directed; so the understanding is, it is the light of the soul, and the guide to all the powers and abilities of it.
Therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light . . . as when the eye is free from malicious absurdities, and its sight is clear, the whole body reaps the benefit of it, and is perfectly illuminated by it. So too when the eye of the understanding is opened and enlightened by the Spirit of God, into the Truths of the Gospel, and a single affection is had by them, and to the glory of Christ in them, the whole soul is filled with light, joy, and comfort.
But when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness . . . as when the eye of the body is attended by any bad comedies that hinder the sight, all the members of it are in darkness; so too, when the understanding is darkened through the blindness and ignorance there is in men, with respect to Gospel Truths, all the powers and faculties of the soul are in a very miserable and uncomfortable condition. The 35th and 36th verses are not in ancient copies.
Luke 11:35 Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. (KJV)
Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness . . . it our responsibility to make the body full of light by meeting the terms of the Gospel (2 Pet.1:4-10; 1 Jn.2:15-17; Gal.516-26). We are to be able to reach to the light of the Gospel, shining in the ministration of it, and we are not to neglect and despise it. We are not to be given up to blindness and hardness of heart, which the Jews had in common with the Gentiles.
Luke 11:36 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. (KJV)
If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark . . . meaning if the whole soul is full of Gospel light, through the illuminating influences of the Holy Spirit which accompanies the Word, every power and ability of the soul will be affected with it, and influenced by it,
The whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light . . . the whole soul shall be full of light and joy, which the Gospel always brings with it, just as is a room full of light, when a candle is lighted, and shines brightly, and burns clearly in it.
To see any object, two things are necessary: light to make the object visible, and eyes to see the object. A light is of no use to the blind. A man who can see but has no light and a blind man with a light are in the same predicament. A light and an eye are needed for sight.
Even in the Presence of Christ, men were clearly not seeing Him; they were stumbling over Him. That did not mean that He was not the Light of the World; it meant that men were blind.
It is the same with people today! We do not have the literal Presence of Jesus with us, but we do have The Bible, His Words to us! Jesus is in there! People just do not want to SEE Him! They are just as blind (spiritually) today as they were all those years ago. BEWARE!!!
Denounces the Pharisees (Luke 11:37-54)
Luke 11:37 And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat. (KJV)
And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him . . . a Pharisee, possibly as one of the same sect as before, in (Lk.7:36). This is the second time we see the Saviour at a Pharisee's house. He said of Himself, that He came eating and drinking (Lk.7:34), meaning that He might gain some. The Pharisees were the most bitter, stubborn and merciless enemies Christ had, yet He did not refuse to go and sit at meat with a Pharisee.
And he went in and sat down to meat . . . whatever the intentions of the Pharisee were, Jesus, who was always pleasant and free with all sorts of men, readily accepted of the invitation, and at once went along with him to his house; and dinner being ready, and on the table, he immediately sat down without any ceremony.
Luke 11:38 And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner. (KJV)
And when the Pharisee saw it, he marveled . . . that Jesus laid down on one of the couches and began to eat; that so great a Prophet as He was, and a Man of such religion and holiness, should show no regard to a common custom with them, and which was one of the traditions of their elders, and which they put upon a level with the commands of God.
That he had not first washed before dinner . . . especially since He had been in such a crowd of people, (verse 29), for the Pharisees not only washed their hands, by immersing them up to the elbow before eating; but when they had been at market, or among any large number of people, or had reason to think they had, or feared they had touched any unclean person or thing, they immersed themselves all over in water. (Mk.7:2-4).
Luke 11:39 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. (KJV)
And the Lord said unto him . . . we have much the same, although delivered in another form, with a denunciation of a woe (Mat.23:25).
Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup, and the platter . . . we must not think that the Lord Jesus here means the cleansing of vessels in which we put our meat and drink, for without a doubt, the Pharisees washed both the inside and the outside. (Mk.7:4).
But your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness . . . the conceit of them is incorrect who think that by the inward part, He means the meat in their dishes, which was gotten by greed, wickedness and extortion. The Saviour does NOT say, the inward part of the dish, He says: your inward part, by which He clearly means the soul. The Saviour therefore definitely compares the Pharisees to dishes or platters washed or scoured ONLY on the outside, blaming their hypocrisy, that they were very concerned about an outside purity and cleanness, while as for the inward purity of the heart and soul, they took NO care at all about that! They were very fussy about undefiled hands, but cared nothing at all about having their hearts and souls and affections undefiled. This He tells them was a most blatant folly, because God, Who made the body, also made the soul, and therefore would demand a purity in the inward as well as the outward man.
Luke 11:40 Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also? (KJV)
Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without, make that which is within also? . . . ye fools . . . your conduct is so unwise and wicked! Fools means not only lack of wisdom, but also are full of wickedness. (Ps.14:1; Pro.13:19; 14:9). Their conduct was not just foolish, but was a cloak for sin and deliberate wickedness. That which is without . . . means, He to whom belongs the outer life, has the right to demand its subjection to Himself . . . is the inner man any less His?
Luke 11:41 But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you. (KJV)
But rather give alms of such things as ye have . . . a principle of great value. Since the greed of these hypocrites was one of the worst features of their character (Lk.16:14; Mat.23:14), the Lord tells them to demonstrate the opposite character, and then their outside, ruled by this, would be beautiful in God’s Eye, and their meals could be eaten with clean hands, because they would not be so dirtied with the business of this wicked world (Ecc.9:7).
And behold all things are clean unto you . . . according to their own opinion, they imagined that alms deeds justified them in the sight of God, cleansed them from their sins, delivered them from Hell, and gave them a key to eternal life (Mat.6:1). BUT . . . it can never be thought to be the Lord's meaning, that either their persons, or what they had, would be pure and clean to them, by giving a part of their ill-gotten goods to the poor! Jesus speaks of their logic, in an mocking way.
Maybe this shows the duty of those who have by unjust gains become wealthy, and who are then converted to God, should make restitution to those whom they have injured, by giving to others. Since their gains were now acquired honestly, and that they truly repent, they may devote their property to God; distribute it to the poor; or give it to send the Gospel to the heathen world. This they may show that they disapprove of their former conduct; and thus may be seen one great principle of God's government . . . that good finally comes out of evil.
Luke 11:42 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. (KJV)
But woe unto you Pharisees . . . although these words, with several other passages in this chapter, are much like with those in Matthew 23, yet it is clear that they were spoken at different times, these were in the house of a Pharisee, and the other in the temple at Jerusalem.
For ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs . . . for ye tithe mint and rue, here, mint and anise in (Mat.23:23).
And pass over judgment, and the love of God . . . judgment may be meant justice, or doing that which is right between man and man, both publicly and privately, which was greatly neglected by these extortioners and unjust men. The love of God may be intended for both love to God, which shows itself in the observance of the first table of the law, and love to the neighbor, which God requires, and regards the second table. (Ex.20). I think judgment is justice to others, giving to all their just dues. Mercy is compassion and kindness to the poor and miserable. Faith is being faithfully devoted to God, having confidence and trust in Him. I think that faith in God, here too means that we are to give to Him what is His rightful due.
These ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone . . . paying attention to even the smallest points of the Law of God is proper and right, BUT it should not obstruct the higher and more important parts of that law (1 Sam.15:22; Hos.6:6; Mic.6:8). Christ returns to the former labels He had very rightly given to these men, and very rightly repeats them here; and which are confirmed by the instances of their conduct and practice, which abundantly show their hypocrisy and deceit. They are SO strict in observing some smaller outward things, which gave them credit with the people, and especially the priests and Levites, some little trifling ceremonies and traditions of their elders, while they neglected internal (heart) religion, and those things which were of the greatest moment and importance. The tithing of herbs is from the Rabbis, not of Moses. Should Christians tithe? . . . http://hisservants.org/tithing_h_s.htm
Luke 11:43 Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets. (KJV)
Woe unto you Pharisees, for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets . . . the elders sit with their faces towards the people, and their backs are to the temple, or holy place. The common people sit in rows, and the faces of one row are to the backs of the row that is before them; so that the faces of all the people are to the holy place, and to the elders, and to the ark. The seats usually occupied by the elders of the synagogue, were near the pulpit. They loved a place of distinctive honor. And greetings in the markets . . . means they demanded respect be shown to them in public places. Markets were places where multitudes of people were assembled together. The Pharisees expected, and were pleased with the special attention among the multitude, and wanted that all should show them particular respect. These "higher-ups" loved superiority. (Mat.23:6-7).
Luke 11:44 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. (KJV)
Woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites . . . the scribes and Pharisees are all along called hypocrites by Matthew; although only here by Luke.
For ye are as graves which appear not . . . being covered with grass, or which were not marked, or were not whited or covered with lime, as some were, that they might be seen at a distance. (Mat.23:27).
And the men that walk over them are not aware of them . . . and so are defiled by them. Christ compares the Pharisees, because of their hypocrisy, and secret iniquity, both to whited sepulchers. Like unto whited sepulchres (Mat.23:27). Jewish tombs were each year white-washed, to prevent the people from accidentally coming in contact with them as they went up to Jerusalem. The law considered those people unclean who had touched anything belonging to the dead (Num.19:16). Sepulchers were often whitewashed, so that they might be clearly seen. So, being compared to a "whited" sepulchers, they appeared beautiful on the outside . . . but within they contained the bones and corrupting bodies of the dead, worms and rottenness, which arise from the putrefied carcasses, and are very nauseous and defiling. So were the Pharisees, according to Jesus. Their outward conduct appeared fine; but their hearts were full of hypocrisy, envy, pride, lust and malice . . . rightly represented by the corruption within a whited tomb. We do have Pharisees with us today . . . hypocrites!
Luke 11:45 Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also. (KJV)
Then answered one of the lawyers . . . or scribes, the Scribes and lawyers were persons who were interpreters of the Law, and equally stubborn on the traditions of the elders Christ had referred to, as the Pharisees, in general they were Pharisees; although some of them might be of the Sadducees. This man observing that Christ, in His last words, joined the Scribes and Pharisees together, and charged them both with hypocrisy, and pronounced a woe upon them, was very uneasy with it.
And saith unto him, Master, thus saying, thou reproachest us also . . .lawyers, or Scribes also, both by mentioning their names, and accusing the Pharisees of the same things, which they must be conscious to themselves they were equally guilty of, so that if the one were wrong, the others were also.
Luke 11:46 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.(KJV)
And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers. . . Jesus was not about to take back what He had said, that He repeats and confirms it, and going even further, expanding on their evil practices,
For ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers . . . Matthew 23:4 says: For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne . . . bind heavy burdens comes from the custom of loading animals. The load is bound up and laid on the beast. So too the Pharisees assign heavy burdens, or grievous and heavy teachings and rules, and insist that the people obey them, although they give no assistance. The heavy burdens do NOT refer to the ceremonies and rites appointed by Moses, which Peter says "neither our fathers nor we were able to bear," (Acts 16:10). The Pharisees were rigid in requiring that all the people should pay the taxes, give of their property, comply with every part of the Law with the utmost rigor, yet pampered themselves, and bore as little of the expense and trouble as possible. Sounds like our government today, with Congress giving themselves pay raises, and taking advantage of all their freedoms. They have NO compassion on the common people!
Touch not the burdens with one of your fingers . . . such deceitful and wicked men were the scribes and Pharisees. With one of your fingers . . . not even in the tiniest degree, will they render the least aid. They made things "light" for themselves, and "heavy" for others. (Mat.23:4)
Luke 11:47 Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. (KJV)
Woe unto you . . . Luke uses these words 6 times in this chapter. Matthew uses these words 8 times in the 23rd chapter, meaning particularly the lawyers or scribes, along with the Pharisees, and even the whole body of the people, who in general thought the same. (Mat.23:29).
For ye build the sepulchres of the prophets . . . this can only mean, that there is no need of monuments for them; since their sayings are sufficient to keep up the memory of them. This could mean that the Lord reproves them out of their own mouths, for despising the words of the prophets; imagining they achieve enough piety, by bestowing cost in adorning the sepulchers of the prophets; when their sayings are the best remembrances of them, and therefore ought to be regarded more than their tombs.
And your fathers killed them . . . they also probably, publicly expressed their disapproval and condemnation of the conduct of their fathers. All this, in building and ornamenting tombs, was a profession of surprising outward piety. The Lord showed them it was a mere presence. They are saying that if they had lived in the times they did, or had been in the same office with them, they would have opposed, or at least not consented to their actions. Matthew 23:30 says: We would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets . . . they would not have joined them in persecuting the prophets, and in shedding their blood, and putting them to death; but would have received them as the prophets of the Lord, would have listened to their advice, and have honored and obeyed them, and this they thought they amply stated, by building and adorning their tombs.
Luke 11:48 Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres. (KJV)
Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres . . . it was NOT by their building the tombs that they were witnesses that they were the children of those who slew the prophets; but in spite of all this presence to godliness; they knew in their consciences, and were witnesses to themselves, that it was plain hypocrisy, and that they really approved the conduct of those who slew the prophets. Killed the prophets: Acts 7:52; 1 Thes.2:15. They plainly owned the fact that their fathers killed the prophets, and that they descended from them. They did not want so much to rebuke their ancestors, but to give themselves a better character. It did not work. NO one can fool the Lord Jesus! Their own words testified against them, that they were a seed of evildoers, and their practices revealed that they were of the same spirit and morality as their ancestors. (Mat.23:29-36).
Luke 11:49 Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute: (KJV)
Therefore also said the wisdom of God . . . by the wisdom of God, undoubtedly means the Saviour Himself. Jesus is called the word of God (John 1:1), because He is the Go-between by which God speaks or makes His will known. He is called the wisdom of God, because by Him God makes His wisdom known in creation (Col.1:13-18) and in redemption (1 Cor.1:30). Some have thought that the Messiah was referred to in the 8th chapter of Proverbs, under the name of Wisdom. (Mat.23:34).
I will send them prophets and apostles . . . which, in Matthew, are called prophets, wise men, and Scribes; and by whom are meant the apostles of Christ, and the ministers of the Gospel.
And some of them they shall slay and persecute . . . some of them they shall put to death, and others they shall persecute from one place to another. (Mat.23:34).
Luke 11:50 That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; (KJV)
That the blood of all the prophets . . . the same as "all the righteous blood", or the blood of all the righteous men, in (Mat.23:35).
Which was shed from the foundation of the world . . . for there were prophets from the beginning, which prophesied of Christ, (Lk.1:70), and whose blood was shed very early; for Abel, the son of the first man, and who was the first whose blood was shed, was not only a righteous man, but a prophet; for by the sacrifice which he offered up, he gave a prophetical hint of the sacrifice of Christ, in that he spoke beforehand of it, and as being dead he yet speaks: and now the Lord was about to send His apostolical prophets, whom the Jews would slay, and he would allow them to slay, so that the blood of all the former ones,
May be required of this generation . . . He makes it very clear that God will judge Israel for destroying the righteous.
Luke 11:51 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. (KJV)
From the blood of Abel . . . righteous Abel, as in (Mat.23:35), he is mentioned because he was the first man that was slain, and he was slain because of his righteousness.
Unto the blood of Zacharias . . . Zacharias, it is not known for certain who this was. It seems that the slaying of Zacharias was an incident which had recently taken place. I think that the Lord starts at the beginning with the murder of Abel and brings them down to the present hour. He makes it very clear that God will judge Israel for destroying the righteous. He is certainly contradicting the damnable heresy that everyone will ultimately be saved. Jesus says that they will NOT be saved. (Mat.23:35). They be punished for it: just as in Babylon will be found guilty, when God makes enquiry for blood, as he sooner or later always does. (Rev.18:24).
Which perished between the altar and the temple . . . Zacharias was slain by the Jews between the altar and the Temple.
Verily I say unto you, it shall be required of this generation . . . just as it was at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem.
Luke 11:52 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. (KJV)
Woe unto you lawyers . . . who are particularly addressed again apart from the Pharisees, although much the same things are said to them both in (Mat.23:13).
For ye have taken away the key of knowledge . . . these did NOT believe in the Messiah themselves, nor did they embrace the doctrines relating to His person and office. Have any of the Pharisees believed on Him? The answer seems to be NO! They did not receive Him, they rejected Him and also the counsel of God, against themselves, not being baptized with the baptism of John, the forerunner of Christ; nor would they allow others, that were inclined to profess their faith in Him, and be baptized, but discouraged them all they could, by their reproachful treatment of the person, miracles, and ministry of Christ, and by their threatenings and menaces, and by their excommunications of such as made a confession of Him. He accuses them of blocking the way to Heaven by their false leadership.
Ye entered not in yourselves . . . into the Kingdom of Heaven, the Gospel dispensation, neither receiving doctrines, nor submitting to its ordinances.
And them that were entering in ye hindered . . . by criticizing the miracles and ministry of Christ; by threatenings and excommunications. (Mat.23:13).
Luke 11:53 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: (KJV)
And as he said these things unto them . . . denounced the above woes upon them, charging them with the above crimes, and threatening them with divine vengeance.
The Scribes and Pharisees began to urge him vehemently . . . to speak viciously at Him with their hate-filled tongues, and expressing great hatred, rage and wrath against Him.
And to provoke him to speak of many things . . . hurling questions at Him, and demanding Him to answer; doing all they could to annoy and irritate Him, hoping that He would say things that they could hold against Him, trying to put words into His mouth, and then twist and pervert them.
Luke 11:54 Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him. (KJV)
Laying wait for him . . . to ensnare and entangle Him, watching His words, observing everything that He said,
And seeking to catch something out of his mouth . . . like beasts of prey, or desperate hunters, that were watching for their prey; laying in ambush, persistently looking for something to convict Him with, greedily gathering anything they thought could be used for their purpose,
That they might accuse him . . . either of heresy or sedition, to the Jewish Sanhedrim, or the Roman governor. Consider what Jesus went through with these hateful and nasty people!
We, as God’s children must beware of similar circumstances today. People watch us constantly. Never do they say anything when we do good! But the moment we mess up . . . look out! They lie in wait to catch something out of our mouths, or something we have done, that they may ensnare us! O Lord, give us love and patience, to frustrate their evil purposes. Furnish us with meekness and perseverance that we may glory in reproaches, for Christ's sake, and that the Holy Spirit may rest upon us.
Gospel of Luke
ch.1 . . ch.2 . . ch.3 . . ch.4 . . ch.5 . . ch.6 . . ch.7 . . ch.8 . . ch.9 . . ch.10 . . ch.11 . . ch.12 . . ch.13 . . ch.15 . . ch.16 . . ch.17 . . ch.18 . .ch.19. . ch.20 . . ch.21 . . ch.22 . . ch.23 . . ch.24