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Bible Commentaries

Brown's Commentary on the New Testament

Luke 11

Introduction

  1. Introduction
    READ: Luke 19:29-44
    1. Perilous times were coming in the age that Jesus walked this earth…and He spoke prophetically of the Romans destroying Jerusalem. We have perilous times coming to us in this day and age as well.
    2. Today, we must see that a greater dependency upon the Lord and His protection and His leading and His love are the keys to overcoming this world on a personal level.
    3. Our prayer life – essentially, our time of intimacy with the Lord both pouring out our hearts and hearing His heart must be our first priority. Knowing God’s heart and His will for our lives – seeking to follow His leading and serving Him as a slave who serves out of love is the way to success in the Kingdom of God.
    4. Today’s culture overwhelms us and tells us that evil is good and good is evil. Our societal norms lead us to indulge our flesh yet God provides a way out – and shows us the way up (to heaven).
    5. We become an “over-comer” by walking under the leading and empowerment of the Holy Spirit and choosing to do the Father’s will over our own…which leads us into today’s study:

Verses 1-4

  1. The Lord’s Prayer
    Luke 11:1-4 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.
    1. Jesus was praying…presumably in an isolated or private place…probably early in the morning as that was His custom.
    2. Apparently, the disciples were a distance away – maybe close but we don’t know…what we do know is that the disciples must have been watching because one of the disciples asked Him, when He was done, to teach them to pray.
    3. This might rightly be called the disciples prayer and not the “Lord’s Prayer” as we don’t know what the Lord was praying but we DO know what He taught them…the Lord’s prayer is more correctly found in John 17.
    4. Jesus begins with, “Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be they name”. He begins by showing us that we should believe, profess and extol the greatness of God before anything else.
    5. Hallowed means to sanctify consecrate or make Holy. God is Holy but in our profession of faith to our Father, need to acknowledge to Him that He and His name is set apart, Holy and consecrated.
    6. There is somewhat of a correlation between this teaching on prayer and the 10 commandments. In this statement, we are telling God that we believe He is the one True God and that we have no other gods in our lives; we are also saying that we will not take His name in vain.
    7. “Thy Kingdom come” expresses to God that we desire His Lordship, His sovereignty, and His power to rule over the earth.
    8. “Thy will be done” is us telling God that we are submitting our will to Him, that we are placing ourselves in submission to Him and that we desire His will over ours…this is also a statement that we will seek to follow His desires – that we are desiring to not break the 10 commandments or the royal law of love…
    9. “Give us day by day our daily bread” speaks to our telling Him we are relying on Him and trusting Him for our provision and not trusting ourselves, either in our own strength or abilities. We will choose to rely on Him instead of stealing.
    10. “And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive those indebted to us”. – We ask forgiveness, not because our sins weren’t forgiven on the cross – they were! Rather, we ask to restore relationship because ultimately, our sin is against God!
    11. And…there’s also the phrase “as we forgive others”. This implies we will continually “choose” to forgive those who wrong us…why? This prevents bitterness which takes us to murder in our hearts! à Thou shalt not kill.
    12. One of the verses that should help us is Phil 2:3 where we are told to not take thought for ourselves…if we are NOT looking at what treatment we do or don’t deserve – forgiveness comes much easier!
    13. “And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil” does not imply that God leads us into temptation, rather we are seeking His help and deliverance from the temptation that our flesh will lead us to, or that which the world will place before us…or even the fiery darts of pride that Satan likes to send – Lord, protect us from these things including ourselves!
    14. …not commit adultery, not bear false witness, and not covet

Verses 5-13

  1. Ask, Seek & Knock
    Continuing on the idea of prayer…Jesus teaches us some additional principles:
    1. Persistence
      Luke 11:5-8 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.
      1. Here we find Jesus giving us an example of how we should seek Him for the things we need in our lives – we should be persistent! We should come with the confidence that the Father doesn’t mind giving those things we need to us, and yet, we must come with the understanding that sometimes the best answer from God is “NO”.
    2. Seek the Lord
      Luke 11:9-10 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.
      1. The tense in the Greek is: “Ask, and keep asking; knock, and keep knocking; seek, and keep seeking”
      2. Why? If you ask the Father, it is His good pleasure to answer. He is the God who, when He opens a door, no man can shut it!
      3. In Luke 12, we will read it is the Father’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom, In Hebrews, it tells us that a part of our faith is believing that God rewards them that diligently seek Him. Jer 29 and Isa 55 tell us that if we seek the Lord humbly with our whole hearts we will find Him.
      4. He is our Heavenly Father -- the One who loves us so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die for us so that we might have eternal life. We have the opportunity to embrace the truth of who God is and then receive of what God has for each of us!
    3. ​​​​​​​Receiving the Holy Spirit
      Luke 11:11-13 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?
      1. Following the thought process that our Father in Heaven is good to us…we hear of a couple of examples that prove to us that even earthly fathers don’t normally seek to harm us. Therefore, following this analogy…
      2. How much more will our Heavenly Father give us the greatest gift – the Holy Spirit’s empowerment for victory, service & success in the Kingdom (I’m not talking about the world as the way up in the kingdom, is down!).
      3. We need this anointing of the Spirit for the victory over our flesh, our choices of words, our direction in life and ministry, and to serve as a bond-slave joyfully without attitude or expectation.
      4. We need this continual filling to walk without fear, and walk in the confidence of the Lord with a sound mind to discern the spirits and live wisely, and we most of all need the Spirit’s anointing to be able to love others and allow God to love others through us.
      5. The meaning of Eph 5:18 tells us that we are to “be being filled continuously” with the Holy Spirit…why? We continuously need HIS empowerment for victory in this life!
      6. This same exhortation was give to the Apostles in Acts…
        1. ​​​​​​​Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
      7. We need to understand that the Holy Spirit is with the unbeliever wooing them to Christ; He comes into the believer upon salvation and we become the Temple of the Holy Spirit, yet we find a 3rd position of the Spirit in scripture. This third is the “coming upon” (epi in the Greek).
      8. The “Coming Upon” is also known as the “Annointing” or the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”.
      9. It is a secondary encounter that is available continuously to the believer if they ask. The goal is for the empowering of the individual for ministry…being a witness, to make disciples and preach the gospel as well as finding the victory over our flesh…all that we might glorify God!
      10. It is this anointing that imparts the Spiritual gifts we find in Rom 12, Eph 4 and 1Cor 12. It is this anointing that bears the fruit of the Spirit in our lives in Gal 5.
      11. It is this anointing that gives us the liberty and abundant life that Jesus spoke of…
      12. Joh 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
  2. Conclusiontie is back to perilous times…

Verses 14-26

  1. Introduction
    Luke 11:14-16 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.
    1. This section begins with criticism about Jesus casting out a demon…the Jews cast demons out of people also, but believed that you must hear the name of the demon before it could be cast out.
    2. Here, the demon had made the person unable to speak, therefore they would assume that it was not possible to cast it out.
    3. Jesus casting the dumb demon out would mean either of two things…Jesus was of Satan or Jesus was of God!
    4. The 2nd point of discussion here is those who weren’t directly accusing Him of being of Satan were asking for proof that He’s of God, thus, this morning, we will look at these two issues and have a brief interlude of exhortation in the middle brought out by someone in the crowd!
  2. Lord of the Flies
    1. ​​​​​​​Logic
      Luke 11:17-20 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.
      1. I love this…Jesus knew their thoughts and answered logically according to what they were thinking!
      2. He begins by speaking of unity…Paul expounds the unity concept for the church in Eph 4…
      3. Eph 4:1-6 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
      4. Dis-unity – the lack of unity will cause contention and thus…division. Contention is caused by pride. Pride comes from allowing the world, the flesh and the Devil to reign in our lives rather than the Holy Spirit of God!
      5. Dis-unity will cause the house to fall, the company to fail, the friendship to falter and the direction of the leader to not accomplish its task.
      6. Pro 6:16-19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
      7. As a side note, we should be very careful, personally, to not sow discord through gossip, false testimony or witness or simple a negative attitude towards someone.
      8. ​​​​​​​Discord and division kill a unit, a church and even the plans of Satan!
      9. Hence, Jesus, using this logic, says that He couldn’t be of Satan.
      10. But, then He throws in a couple of zingers…He says, “if I cast out demons by Satan, how are your kids casting out demons?” à pointing to them being of Satan as well.
      11. Secondly, and more vital for us…in verse 20: “But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.”
      12. The phrase “finger of God” was known to the Jews from Exo 8:19 where we read, “Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh, This is the finger of God:”
      13. In context…seeing that Jesus is the 2nd person in the trinity and that He was just speaking of the Holy Spirit in v. 13, and has been baptized by the Holy Spirit Himself, we know this means He is doing it by the power of the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit that we have access to as well!
    2. Example​​​​​​​
      Jesus, not to keep us wondering, Jesus continues with an example:
      Luke 11:21-26 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.
      1. This example, in our terms, would be like if you’re guarding your stuff with a knife but someone with a gun comes and takes it…
      2. Or…in this case, the strong man is Satan and he has a pea-shooter, but Jesus comes in and takes over using an M1 Abrams tank >> my attempt to show the power difference between Jesus and Satan…
      3. But then Jesus makes a bold statement: “He that is not with me is against me”. There is NO FENCE SITTING in His economy!
      4. John 3:18 says essentially the same thing: “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
      5. And the idea of the demons coming back…they find the house empty and waiting but without the “Stronger man” in the house. And, because there is no fence sitting, you need to fill your life with Jesus or Satan will fill it with his junk.
      6. And, following this line of thinking – every time you try to “clean up your act” on your own…it works for a while but ultimately, Satan comes back even stronger. Think of an addict or alcoholic when they try to stop on their own.
      7. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and no man comes to the Father but by Him (Jn 14:6)
      8. Rom 8:11 tells us that we have the same Spirit living in us that raised Jesus from the dead!

Verses 27-28

  1. Keeping the Word of God (Interlude)
    Luke 11:27-28 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.
    1. This interlude is certainly not planned from the human perspective, but in the eternal perspective it fits right in with what we’re studying…
    2. How do we fill our house with Jesus? First we ask Him into our lives to be our Lord and to save us from the results of our sin – which is eternal damnation.
    3. Then, as we continue to fill our lives with Him through His Word by reading it, meditating upon it, obeying it an lastly teaching it by making disciples, we are blessed by God.
    4. Psa 119:1-2 Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. 2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
    5. Psa 119:9-12 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. 10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. 11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. 12 Blessed art thou, O LORD: teach me thy statutes.
    6. Joh 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
    7. Eph 5:25-26 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
    8. Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
    9. 2Ti 4:1-4 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Verses 29-32

  1. The Sign of Jonah
    Luke 11:29-32 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.
    1. Finally, we come to the sign of Jonah…do you remember the account of this great prophet who was sent to Nineveh to preach repentance but ran from God because He hated the Assyrians?
    2. He was cast into the sea, swallowed by a great fish, and resided there for 3 days…until he prayed and was spit out on the shore near where he was to go.
    3. The picture: into the water: he was as good as dead- Jesus dying; into the fish for 3 days: Jesus into the tomb; spit out on shore: Jesus rising up from the dead to live eternally in Heaven.
    4. That was their sign and is our sign…the death, burial, & resurrection brings us an eternal living hope and a salvation undefiled and incorruptible (watch last week’s message).

Verses 33-36

  1. Introduction
    Read: Psalm 101
    1. Last week we spoke of a demon possessed person and how when the demons are gone, or the addiction, habitual sin, power of the flesh defeated, we must fill our lives with Jesus lest the thing or things that controlled our lives come back with a vengeance.
    2. We begin in Luke 11:33 today and find it to be a transitional passage between the old man, the old man’s flesh and struggles and a man who simply doesn’t struggle, rather walks at times with an actor’s mask on. à This speaking of hypocrisy!
    3. Before we get started…we must honesty look at ourselves and recognize that all of us are hypocrites at times…the goal is for us to hold fast onto Jesus in the integrity of our hearts and not choose to put on an act just because we are with certain people or groups.
    4. Humility, transparency and submission to the Holy Spirit are key to receiving what the Lord may have for us this morning…
  2. Single Eye
    Luk 11:33-36 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.
    1. Mat 5:14-16 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
    2. This passage in Luke is the heart of Jesus’ teaching regarding being a light in the world…
    3. Is our eye single – do we have a singular focus on Jesus as not just our Savior, but as our Lord?
    4. Do we live with one foot in the world or do we honestly live seeking to please Jesus in every area of our lives?
    5. And, because this is speaking to our eyes – it is metaphorically speaking of our hearts…where are our hearts?
    6. Or, as we’ve been speaking of in Jeremiah, do we have idols displacing Jesus as the Lord of our lives?

Verses 37-41

  1. Hypocrisy
    Luk 11:37-41 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.
    1. The Pharisee – he was focused on outward performance and not the inward heart issues…
    2. Culturally, the religious leaders had a process to ceremonially clean their hands before washing – and here this “Rabbi” just sat down and started eating!
    3. Jesus went right to the heart issue, though…you make the outside clean but your heart is wicked!
    4. Then Jesus asks, “didn’t He that made the outside make the inside, too?" >>> The inference is that they were focused on the checkboxes of their religiosity, and not the more important issue of their heart towards God.
    5. If they had been as concerned about cleansing their hearts as they were about their hands, they would be more godly men!
    6. But we always want to think there is something we can “DO” to cleanse ourselves.
    7. Rather, Jesus tells them to give of that which they had…meaning, for us, that we should recognize all that God has given us and give out of those riches.
    8. Rom 12:1-3 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
    9. Think about this…the ability of your heart to give to God is a reflection of your heart’s attitude toward God.

Verses 42-54

  1. Woe Unto You
    1. We now find Jesus pronounce 6 “Woes” upon the hypocrites – those who put on the mask to pretend and receive the recognition for what they are not!
      Luk 11:52-54 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.
    2. 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.
      1. Woe because you’re more interested in the minutia of actions than loving God and man
    3. Luk 11:43 Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.
      1. Woe because you’re more interested in being seen and notoriety than humility.
    4. Luk 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.
      1. Woe because you make the outside of your life look great when the truth is that the inside is rotten, sinful, full of selfishness and pride and you worship stuff and yourself over God.
    5. Luk 11:45-46 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.
      1. Woe to you because your interpretations and applications of scripture put huge burdens on the common people yet you don’t hold yourself to the same standard.
    6. Luk 11:47-51 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.
      1. Woe to you because your heart is no different than your forefathers and you think it was just fine to treat the prophets that spoke against their traditions like your forefathers did.
    7. Luk 11:52-54 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.
      1. Some seminary professors and other quote “Smart guys” cast doubt on the word of God as to whether it is correct, accurate or real. They have taken away the key of knowledge from those who listen to them.
      2. These guys may not even enter into the kingdom themselves as professing themselves to be wise – they become fools.
      3. But the problem is, they would hinder people who would enter the kingdom of God, and they try to stand in the way of people who would enter into the kingdom.
Copyright Statement
Brown's Commentary on the New Testament is reproduced by permission of author. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Brown, Jim. "Commentary on Luke 11". "Brown's Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnc/luke-11.html. 2017.