Luke chapter 11

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1And 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. 2And 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. 3Give us day by day our daily bread. 4And 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. 5And 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; 6For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? 7And 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. 8I 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. 9And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 11If 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? 12Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13If 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?
37And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat. 38And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner. 39And 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. 40Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also? 41But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you. 42But 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. 43Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets. 44Woe 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. 45Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also. 46And 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. 47Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. 48Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres. 49Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute: 50That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation; 51From 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. 52Woe 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. 53And 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: 54Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.

What does Luke chapter 11 mean?

Luke 11 finishes the first section of what some biblical scholars call "The Travelogue to Jerusalem" and encompasses the second. In Luke 11:1–13, Jesus teaches the disciples about prayer, rounding out a series of stories on how those who follow Him are blessed (Luke 9:51—11:13). Luke 11:14–54 describes how the Jewish religious leaders willfully reject Jesus, ending with an intense description of their sins.

The section on prayer can be divided into three short teachings. In Luke 11:1–4, Jesus acquiesces to the disciples' request to teach them how to pray by presenting what is often called call "The Lord's Prayer." The words reveal that we are dependent on God for the smallest things, both physical and spiritual. Luke 11:5–8 is the parable of the persistent neighbor which sets the stage for a description of God's love. In Luke 11:9–13, Jesus shows us that if human fathers will give us what is good, we can be sure God will even more so.

The larger section begins with the Jewish religious leaders' rejection of Jesus (Luke 11:14–23). Experts in the Mosaic law from Jerusalem watch Jesus heal a demon-possessed mute man (Matthew 12:22–30; Mark 3:22–27). They declare He does so through the power of a demon. Others demand more signs. Jesus responds to the leaders' illogical conclusion by pointing out that if He casts out demons, He is working against Satan, so how could Satan empower Him? Jesus then illustrates that if He can defeat Satan's minions, He can destroy Satan's kingdom, an explanation that includes a veiled warning for these lawyers.

In Luke 11:24–26, Jesus gives a puzzling explanation of the workings of demons. Readers on this side of Pentecost (Acts 2:1–4) can apply it to mean that freedom from demons is precarious if we do not fill the void of our hearts with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Luke 11:27–28 seems to be an aside. It builds Jesus' argument about true spiritual understanding as opposed to cultural honor. A woman blesses Mary for bearing Jesus; Jesus responds that the blessed are those who know God's Word and obey it.

In Luke 11:29–32, Luke returns to the crowd members who wanted to see more signs (Luke 11:16). Jesus explains they will see a sign: the people of Nineveh and the queen of the South standing in judgment in the end times. The Ninevites heard a short warning from Jonah and immediately fell into mourning for their sin (Jonah 3). The Queen of Sheba heard Solomon and knew he spoke God's wisdom (1 Kings 10:1–13). If the Jewish spiritual leaders do not open their eyes, former pagans will shame them.

Jesus warns them to interpret what they experience carefully in Luke 11:33–36. If someone's "eye," or way of interpreting what they see, is bad, they will be filled with darkness: they will misunderstand what Jesus is doing. If someone is faithful to God, however, the light in them will reveal the truth.

Finishing out the chapter, Luke records Jesus' pronouncement of "woes" on the religious leaders. In Luke 11:37–44, a Pharisee challenges Jesus because He does not ceremonially wash His hands before eating. Jesus replies that no exterior washing will cleanse a person of the greed and wickedness the Pharisees are known for. He lists ways Pharisees refuse to act out of love for God. Instead, they follow manmade rules that make them look good but lead others astray.

In Luke 11:45–52, a lawyer recognizes Jesus' words apply to them, as well, and Jesus presses harder. Pharisees did not exist in the Old Testament, but scribes did; they had a hand in killing God's prophets when the prophets came with convicting messages. Lawyers were supposed to be teachers, wise in the Law, using that wisdom to validate God's prophets. Instead, the lawyers killed the prophets who proclaimed what they didn't want to hear.

Luke 11:53–54 provides a summary of the fallout of Jesus' altercation with the Pharisees and lawyers. They doubled down on their attempts to provoke Jesus into saying something that would blaspheme God or disrespect Moses. Their attack continued right up through His arrest.

Luke begins the account of Jesus' intentional travel to Jerusalem by describing what it looks like to follow (Luke 9:51—11:13) and reject (Luke 11:14–54) Him. Having set the stage, Luke will continue with two sets of teachings comprised of three sections each. Each contains a teaching about the kingdom of God (Luke 12:1—13:9; 16:1—17:10), followed by two repetitions of a pattern of a miracle, a teaching on the kingdom, and a teaching on salvation (Luke 13:10–35; 14:1—15:32; 17:11—18:34; 18:35—19:27). Luke then records Jesus entering Jerusalem and preparing for the crucifixion.
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