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Learning the Lord’s Secrets
Luke 10:38-42.10.42 ; Luke 11:1-42.11.4
This Bethany idyl follows the story of the Good Samaritan naturally. The village lay at the end of the long pass from Jericho. Love must have its nest and the special objects of its tender care. We cannot live in the inn always; we must come at last to our home, either in this world or the next. He who had welcomed the crowds was now welcomed for His own dear sake. Martha and Mary each gave of her best. Each had her own sphere; one ministered to His physical need, the other to His heart. The mystical and practical are both required in Christ’s service, and blend at His feet. Don’t live for many things; but for Him.
The way to teach people to pray is to pray yourself. It was the habitual prayerfulness of Jesus that made the Apostles long to be taught to pray. What an example is here of the power of unconscious influence! If you desire that your children or scholars should pray, pray yourself. The model prayer is full of suggestion as to the order and topics of prayer. Fill in these outlines!
Encouragement to Persevering Prayer
The parable of the three friends is very encouraging. We, so to speak, are to act as mediators or intercessors between those who are in sore need and our great Heavenly Friend. They are always coming to us on their journey, and we feel that we have nothing to set before them. Whether their need is for body, mind or spirit, they find us poor and bankrupt. But, at such times, let us turn to God with earnest prayer. If persistence in prayer prevails over the churlish and self-indulgent, what will it not achieve with the One who is “rich unto all that call upon Him!” He will give us just as much as we need.
Notice that how much more! Count the stars scattered on the vault of night, or the daisies in the fields, or the myriads of living creatures, sustained as the pensioners of His bounty, and ask yourself if He cannot give enough good gifts, and His Spirit withal, to supply all your need. What would you not do for your helpless little child? “How much more…” See Philippians 4:19 .
for or Against?
The strong man of this parable is evidently Satan, who guards the palace of man’s nature, to which he has no right. It is the palace of the King, which has been captured by His direst foe. The demon-possession of the body is a parable and illustration of the terrible results of the possession of the soul by the demons of jealousy, passion, etc . Satan is strong-stronger than Adam in his innocence or David in his palace. He is armed with the lie; is always on the watch to lull us into false security; but the peace which He gives is of death.
Thank God, Christ is stronger! In the wilderness and on the Cross He proved Himself so. He took away His foe’s armor and bruised his head. When Christ takes up His residence in the heart Satan may rage outside and fling in horrid suggestions, but the door is kept closed against his return. They are to be pitied who make a reform in their own strength-Satan will return. Only Christ can work permanent deliverance.
“The Sign of Jonah”
What a tribute this woman paid our Lord! He was full of grace as well as truth; and those who, with unbiased and unprejudiced minds, saw Him moving among men, were constrained to confess His inimitable beauty. Notice that the simplest soul that hears and obeys God’s Word is equally beatified with His mother, Luke 11:28 .
Men will be judged by the opportunities they have had. Every age and every race and every individual on which the sun has ever shone has had a chance. Not our chance, but a chance suited to the spiritual vision of each, John 1:9 ; Romans 1:20 ; Romans 2:5 , etc . So God will be able to judge all men. But in how many cases will they who have not had our advantages be found in a higher class in the great University of Heaven than some of us who have lived amid the light of Christ!
Dark and Foul within
“The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord,” Proverbs 20:27 . How many unlit candles there are! Will you not ask whether Christ has ever kindled you with His divine light and life? You have the capacity for God, but this is not enough: Christ must give you light, Ephesians 5:14 . Seek the clear shining of the inner light, and remember that it will grow clearer and brighter just in proportion as it is obeyed and followed. What a glorious conception this is, that the Lord Jesus shall so fill us with the radiance and warmth of His love that there shall be no part dark!
Our Lord’s denunciations of the religious leaders of His time reveal the wrath of infinite truth and purity against all that is inconsistent with either. Because He loved His sheep, the Good Shepherd must warn them against wolves. Notice Luke 11:41 , r.v., which means that our faith, love and joy are to be shared with others. Let us be munificent and generous in self-giving. There is no law of the tithe here! Give all !
Searching Words for Hypocrites
The minute oral and written rules promulgated by the Hebrew religious leaders overlaid and almost buried under their weight the simple Mosaic code. They were the subject of incessant disputing and discussion. A vast crowd of copyists, lecturers, teachers and casuists were always debating them. The lawyer who here addressed Christ was one of this class. He could hardly believe that this revered rabbi could include him and his fellows in these terrible woes.
Our Lord speaks of Himself as the Wisdom of God. Compare Luke 11:49 with Matthew 23:34 . For a moment He rises above the low levels of His Incarnation and identifies Himself with the Eternal God. But what profound sorrow filled His heart, as these stern words were wrung from His lips by the stubborn obduracy of His people! In the Hebrew Scriptures, where the order of the books differs from that of our Old Testament, the death of Abel is related in the first book and that of Zacharias in the last, 2 Chronicles 24:20-14.24.22 . The legend said that the blood of the latter was bubbling up when Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem. No sacrifices availed to stop it.
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Meyer, Frederick Brotherton. "Commentary on Luke 11". "F. B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
Second Sunday after Epiphany