What does Luke 11:13 mean?
ESV: If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
NIV: If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!'
NASB: So if you, despite 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?'
CSB: If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him? "
NLT: So if you sinful people 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.'
KJV: 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?
NKJV: 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!”
Verse Commentary:
This is the climax of Jesus' teaching on prayer. Jesus has promised that those who ask, seek, and knock will find their requests fulfilled. He then says that if a child asks for a good thing, his father will not give him something harmful (Luke 11:11–12). But Jesus doesn't say if there are any limitations on God's grace until now. God is not necessarily going to give us healing or riches or even bread (Luke 11:6). He will give us something far greater: the Holy Spirit.

Jesus' teaching on prayer is in the service of His followers' mission to spread the news that the kingdom of God has come (Luke 10:1–11). To aid in this mission, He promised the disciples He would send the Holy Spirit to "convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment" (John 16:8). Ten days after He ascended into heaven, He did just that. The larger group of Jesus-followers were together when the Holy Spirit came upon them all (Acts 2:1–4). From that day until they died, the disciples dedicated their lives to spreading the news of God's kingdom offer of salvation. Although they faced many hardships, the disciples always received what they needed to serve God.

"How much more" is common in Jewish teaching as part of a "smaller-to-larger" argument. If a friend will fill a need for a neighbor, surely a father will for a son. And if a father will fill a need for a son, surely God will for His children.

This ends the first section of what some call "The Travelogue to Jerusalem," which begins in Luke 9:51. In the travelogue, Jesus prepares His disciples for His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension and trains them to build the church. This first section focuses on how the disciples can further the kingdom of God. The next reveals how the scribes and Pharisees reject Jesus (Luke 11:14–54).
Verse Context:
Luke 11:9–13 is the last bit of the last story (Luke 11:1–13) of the first section (Luke 9:51—11:13) of what some refer to as "The Travelogue to Jerusalem." The larger section is on the blessings and responsibilities of following Jesus. This last story is on prayer: here, on how God is good and will answer our prayers because He loves us. This is also found in Matthew 7:7–11, although Luke's account may be a later event.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus teaches the disciples how to pray and explains God's intent to give "good" to those who ask. He then exorcizes a demon and refutes the claim that His power is satanic. Jesus explains that unreasonable skeptics will only see the "sign of Jonah." He then criticizes the superficial legalism of the Pharisees. In response, they plot against Him.
Chapter Context:
In what some scholars refer to as "The Travelogue to Jerusalem" (Luke 9:51—19:27), Jesus prepares His disciples for His crucifixion and resurrection and the establishment of the church. The description begins with Christ teaching the disciples how to spread the news of the kingdom of God and reaffirming how they will be blessed, culminating in the Lord's Prayer (Luke 9:51—11:13). Luke 11 finishes with accounts of leaders who reject Jesus. The remainder of the travelogue gives a pattern of teaching on the kingdom of God, miracles, and explanations of salvation. Then Jesus enters Jerusalem to face the cross.
Book Summary:
Luke was a traveling companion of Paul (Acts 16:10) and a physician (Colossians 4:14). Unlike Matthew, Mark, and John, Luke writes his gospel as an historian, rather than as a first-hand eyewitness. His extensive writings also include the book of Acts (Acts 1:1–3). These are deliberately organized, carefully researched accounts of those events. The gospel of Luke focuses on the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. Luke's Gentile perspective presents Christ as a Savior for all people, offering both forgiveness and direction to those who follow Him.
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