THE LIFE OF CHRIST
last lesson on the Life of Christ, we finished examining the last part of Luke
10. We will continue our study by looking at Luke 11. I like how Coffman
outlines this chapter. He wrote:
This chapter gives Jesus' instruction
on prayer (Luke 11:1-13), recounts his refutation of the Pharisees' insinuation
that Christ was in league with Satan (Luke 11:14-26), records his reaction to a
compliment (Luke 11:27-28), details another instance of his reference to Jonah
(Luke 11:29-32), stresses his warning against spiritual blindness (Luke
11:33-36), tells of his lunch with a Pharisee (Luke 11:42-44), includes an
additional three "woes" against the lawyers, and concludes with
Luke's summary of the intensified evil cabal (kuh-b-owl) against Jesus by the
scribes and Pharisees (Luke 11:53-54). (Coffman’s commentary on Luke).
Luke 11:1 Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a
certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him,
"Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples."
prayed a lot because He understood the importance of prayer. It is only natural
that His disciples would ask how they should pray. Apparently, John had taught
his disciples how to pray, so they wanted Jesus to teach them. This tells us
that prayer is something that you learn how to do and that can be done in the
wrong way. For example, James taught:
James 4:3 You ask and
do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your
James 1:5 If any of
you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without
reproach, and it will be given to him. 6
But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of
the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7
For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded
man, unstable in all his ways.
there is a right way and a wrong way to pray.
Next, Jesus says:
Luke 11:2 So He said
to them, "When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 3 Give us day by day our daily
bread. 4 And forgive us our
sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us
into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one."
Though this is similar to what Jesus taught in the Sermon
on the Mount, this is at another place and a different time. Many times people
will memorize the prayer found Mt. 6 and simply repeat it or chant it, but this
is not what Jesus had in mind. No, He was giving an example of how to pray. In
fact, back in Mt. 6, he made it clear that we are not use vain repetitions. If
we simply memorized a prayer and said it over and over, it could certainly
become just that because the words could easily lose meaning and be something
we say without even thinking about it.
Now, don’t misunderstand, we can certainly pray about the
same things Jesus’ has mentioned here with the exception of one, which I will
explain in a minute, but if we turn these words into some mindless repetition
instead of coming from the heart, then they become empty words.
Jesus tells us to direct our prayers to our Father in
heaven. We are not told to pray to Jesus, the Holy Spirit or to some supposed
saint, we pray to our Father.
Think about this for a minute, Jesus has made it possible
for us to be sons and daughters of God. When we become Christians, we have been
given the right to call God our Father.
“Hallowed be Your name” shows the respect we are to offer
to our holy Father in heaven. When Jesus gave this example prayer, the kingdom
was still at hand, which is why He mentions praying about the kingdom coming.
Since the kingdom came as can be seen in Acts 2, we no longer can pray for the
kingdom to come today. Instead, we could pray that the kingdom may expand and flourish. Part of this
idea of expanding the kingdom is certainly covered by Him saying to pray that
God’s will be done on earth as it is heaven. The more God’s will is done on
earth, the more His kingdom will expand, which is beneficial to all because
God’s way is always the best way.
When He says gives us our daily bread, He is talking
about praying for those things we need to sustain us. He also mentions praying
for forgiveness of our sins just as we forgive others for their sins.
Forgiveness is such a wonderful thing. When God forgives us of our sins, they
are gone and He will never bring them up again. We are to do the same with
those that we forgive. We are not supposed to keep a record of their sins by
storing them away somewhere so we can bring them up anytime we feel like it. We
certainly would not like God doing that to us, so don’t do it to those you have
Certainly, we should pray that God will give us the
strength to deal with the temptations that are before us and help us resist the
evil one. I like what Paul says about this in:
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is
faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able,
but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able
to bear it.
I also like what James says:
James 1:13 Let no one
say when he is tempted, "I am tempted by God"; for God cannot be
tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he
is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.
15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin;
and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
not tempt us to sin, but He does provide an escape route for our temptations,
but we must make sure we keep our eyes open for that door, so that we do not sin.
Luke 11:5 And He said
to them, "Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and
say to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves;
6 'for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I
have nothing to set before him'; 7
"and he will answer from within and say, 'Do not trouble me; the door is
now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to
you'? 8 "I say to you,
though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because
of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.
Have you ever experienced anything like this in your
life. Probably very few have experienced this exact situation, but I am sure
many have experienced a similar situation. Maybe you were asleep and your
friend came knocking at the door. Maybe you heard him knocking, but you did not
want to get up because you were so tired, so you ignored it. But maybe your
friend was so persistent knowing that you were a heavy sleeper, that he
continued to knock, until you finally give up and get up and answer the door.
This is what we have happening in this illustration. As I
have pointed out before, showing hospitality was a big deal in the first
century, but this poor man did not have any food to give him. So, he goes to
his friend who he knows has plenty of food even though it is the middle of the
night. At first the friend, says no, but this man is very persistence and
causes his friend to get up and give him whatever he needs.
The point is this. If a man who is already settled in for
the night will get up and give what his friend is in need of, then how much
more will our heavenly Father give us when we petition Him for the things that
we truly need? Unlike this man who was sleeping and had his door closed, God
does not sleep nor is His door ever closed. However, this little parable does
show that there is nothing wrong with being persistent in our prayer life for
those things that we think we truly need, but also must realize that God’s
will, will be done. To emphasize the illustration Jesus gave, He goes on to
9 " So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to
you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 "For everyone who asks
receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 "If a son asks for bread
from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a
fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 "Or if he asks for an egg,
will he offer him a scorpion? 13
"If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those
who ask Him!"
are three points made here, ask, seek, and knock.
Ask, seek, and knock represent
three ways of striving to have our wants supplied.
on to say:
These emphasize the deep
earnestness and persistency that must be exercised in prayer (Boles).
like what Matthew Henery wrote:
We have it from Chrst’s own
mouth. We must not only ask, but we must seek and must second our prayers with
our endeavors; and, in asking and seeking, we must continue pressing, still
knocking at the same door, and we shall at length prevail. (Matthew Henery)
idea, I want you to consider is that when it comes to praying do not expect
something to drop in your lap with no effort on your part. For example, if you
are praying for a better job, you better be seeking one out because God is not
going to cause the phone to ring from some company that has no idea who are and
just happen to offer you a better job. So, those things that we pray for that
we can actively seek out, we need to make sure that we are doing our part. Of
course, there are some things that we pray for that we have no control over
like praying for the success of a surgery or the safety of another. Certainly,
we should learn from Jesus that God does hear our prayers and He will answer
our prayers in accordance to His will.
realize that sometimes the answer to our prayers is no. We have an example of
this with Paul as we read in:
2 Corinthians 12:7 And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the
revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to
buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.
8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times
that it might depart from me. 9
And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is
made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my
infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in
infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for
Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Paul, there are many situations we can find ourselves in that we would love for
God to take those burdens away. However, they may not be removed because they
keep us humble and cause us to have a greater faith in God. When the answer is
no, we should allow these words to sink into our heads, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is
made perfect in weakness."
Sometimes an answer to prayer does not happen right away.
A good example of this comes from:
Jeremiah 42:4 Then Jeremiah the prophet said to them, "I have heard. Indeed, I will
pray to the LORD your God according to your words, and it shall be, that whatever
the LORD answers you, I will declare it to you. I will keep nothing back
from you." 5 So they
said to Jeremiah, "Let the LORD be a true and faithful witness between us,
if we do not do according to everything which the LORD your God sends us by
you. 6 "Whether it is
pleasing or displeasing, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God to whom
we send you, that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of the LORD our
God." 7 And it
happened after ten days that the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah.
Even under the O.T. when Jeremiah, a prophet of the Lord
prayed to God, he did not receive an answer right away. No, in this case, it
was 10 days later. Of course, it was years before God answered the prayers of
His people who were in Egyptians bondage, and we know that their answered
prayer came through Moses.
While we eagerly wait for results for what we pray for,
the answer could be yes, but not right now.
Of course, there will be those times where we will get a
yes right away from God. When it comes to prayer, we must learn to trust in
God’s timing and not our own, and we should never forget what Paul wrote in:
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God,
to those who are the called according to His purpose.
part of our text again:
11 "If a son asks for bread from any father among you,
will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a
serpent instead of a fish? 12
"Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 "If you then, being evil,
know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly
Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"
relate to this as parents. We give our children what they need, but we do not
always give them everything they want. If we did, we would be in debt up to our
eyeballs because most children want all the latest gadgets and clothes. So, the
idea is that God knows what we need, and He will take care of us.
thing I want to look is the last part of verse 13. What do you suppose it means
that the Father will give the Holy Spirit those who ask Him? Does it mean what
some denominations teach that you can pray for the Holy Spirit and receive Him
and start speaking in tongues? The answer is no. I like how Wayne Jacks
explains this. He writes:
The Scriptures do not teach, here
nor elsewhere, that the Lord, in answer to prayer, supernaturally infuses His
children with the Holy Spirit. In fact, numerous biblical texts conflict
sharply with such a view. What, then, does this passage mean?
The answer is found in the
parallel reference in Matthew’s account. There, the apostle records these
words: “… how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to
them that ask him” (7:11).
A comparison of these passages
reveals that Matthew’s emphasis is upon the blessings received, while Luke is
stressing the divine source of Heaven’s benevolence. The Holy Spirit
providentially operates in the lives of Christians to enhance their spiritual
service. Hence, underline “Holy Spirit” in Luke 11:13, and in the margin write:
The Source; see Matthew 7:11 for the result.
Preachers might wish to note that
T.H. Home has shown that “Holy Spirit” in Luke 11:13 is an example of metonymy
— the cause being put for the effect, i.e., the Spirit named in place of the
blessings He bestows (Critical Introduction, Vol. I, p. 359). (https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/919-luke-11-13-asking-for-the-holy-spirit)
Luke 11:14 And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute. So it was, when the demon
had gone out, that the mute spoke; and the multitudes marveled. 15 But some of them said, "He
casts out demons by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons." 16 Others, testing Him, sought
from Him a sign from heaven. 17
But He, knowing their thoughts, said to them: "Every kingdom divided
against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a
house falls. 18 "If
Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? Because you
say I cast out demons by Beelzebub. 19
"And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out?
Therefore they will be your judges. 20
"But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of
God has come upon you.
There was no way for them to deny that Jesus had cast
this demon out of this man. So, their strategy is one we see in politics all
the time. They were trying attack Jesus’ character by saying that the only way
He was casting out demons was by the power of Beelzebub, which the Jews
associated with Satan. Notice how Easton Bible dictionary defines Beelzebub:
Beelzebub the name given to Satan, and found only in the New Testament Mt 10:25
It is probably the same as Baalzebub (q.v.), the god of Ekron, meaning
"the lord of flies," or, as others think, "the lord of
dung," or "the dung-god."
If they could get the people
thinking that Jesus was nothing more than a pawn of Satan, the people would
stop listening to Him and even hate Him.
One of the great advantages that Jesus had was His
ability to read the very thoughts of man. So, He focuses on proving their false
Jesus makes the logical argument that a kingdom divided against itself cannot
stand. So, why in the world would Satan allow His own demons to be cast out?
How could His kingdom stand or gain ground if he is opposing himself? Of
course, the Pharisees had no answer for this because I think they knew there
was no way Jesus was casting out demons by the power of Satan because it does
not make any sense.
He uses their own sons as an example by asking what power they use to cast out
demons. The Jews understood that there are two forces in the world. There is
Satan, and there is God. Jesus makes the argument that by whatever power their
sons cast demons out with has to be the same power that He is using. However, I
do not think these sons actually had the ability to cast out demons, but Jesus
uses their alleged power to cast them out to make His point, because the only
way demons are going to be cast out is by the finger of God.
I love the
following example that proves this in:
Acts 19:13 Then some
of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of
the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, "We exorcise you
by the Jesus whom Paul preaches." 14
Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. 15 And the evil spirit answered
and said, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?" 16 Then the man in whom the evil
spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so
that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
Luke 11:21"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own
palace, his goods are in peace. 22
"But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes
from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils. 23 "He who is not with Me is
against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
Jesus calls Satan a strong man who is fully armed and his goods are at peace.
But when one stronger comes, referring to God or more specifically Jesus, He
will overcome Him, which is exactly what Jesus did. Jesus showed His authority
and power over Satan as He commanded these demons to leave people, and they had
said in verse 23, we need to make a choice in this life. We either need to
stand with Jesus or not. God has given us a free will to make that decision,
but it is the biggest decision you can make because it makes the difference
between being lost or saved.
Luke 11:24 " When
an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest;
and finding none, he says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' 25 "And when he comes, he
finds it swept and put in order. 26
"Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked
than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that
man is worse than the first."
There is a lot we do not know
about the spirit world, but Jesus is describing someone in which a demon has
left, but if cannot find any rest, it will return to man it came out of. Now
what I am about to say is not specifically stated in the text, but I and many
of the commentators I looked at believe what I am about to say is implied by
the text. Though the man, may have put his life in order to a degree, if he has
not committed himself to living for God, then this evil spirit will take 7 more
that more wicked than himself and enter them man, which will make his state
worse than before.
Some believe this is a reference
to how some in Israel had accepted Jesus as the Messiah, but then they turn
right back to the Law of Moses. Whether you agree with what I believe is
implied in our text or not, I think we can agree that if you do not dedicate
yourself to God and keep His commandments, then you are going to have a big
void in your life that will get filled up with all kinds of things that are not
of God. I believe this point is emphasized by the what we read next.
Luke 11:27 And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain
woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, "Blessed is the
womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!" 28 But He said, "More than
that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"
was great that Mary gave birth to Jesus and took care of Him like any good
mother would, but Jesus states what is more important, which is hearing the
Word of God and keeping it.
conclusion, we can sum up this lesson by saying that we have a loving God who
has given us the privilege of prayer and who hears our prayers and answers our
prayers in accordance to His will. We know that God is more powerful the Satan
and, if we want to stand firm and keep sin out of our lives, then we must
continue to fill ourselves up with the Word of God and be doers of it.