What does Luke 11:4 mean?
ESV: and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”
NIV: Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.''
NASB: And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation.’?'
CSB: And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone in debt to us. And do not bring us into temptation."
NLT: and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation. '
KJV: 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.
NKJV: 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.”
Verse Commentary:
The end of the Lord's prayer contrasts the disciples with those who reject their message. As the disciples spread the news that the kingdom of God has come, many will reject their words, refusing to repent and ask forgiveness for their sins. The disciples are to quietly judge the people by shaking the dust from their feet and leaving (Luke 9:1–6; 10:1–11). They are to forgive these enemies who sin against them (Luke 6:27–36), not call down fire from heaven to destroy them (Luke 9:51–56).

The term "indebted" here refers to what someone owes because of a sin. By requesting that God forgive our sins, we acknowledge that we don't deserve His mercy. If we don't deserve His mercy and yet boldly request it, we must be willing to offer that same mercy to others. This is the message of the parable of the unmerciful servant: a man forgiven a debt no human could ever possibly pay off in one lifetime who would not forgive another's debt to him (Matthew 18:23–35).

It's important to know that while this is a part of the Christian life that God expects, it does not have anything to do with salvation. Jesus is not saying that if we do not forgive others, we either aren't saved or could lose our salvation. This forgiveness is related to the spiritual closeness we have with God. We repent of our own actions and ask God's forgiveness for cleansing or for restored intimate fellowship with God (1 John 1:9). Once we are made His child, we remain His child (1 John 3:1–3; Ephesians 1:3–14; Romans 8:1–17). We cannot lose our salvation by sinning, but we may grieve the Holy Spirit and damage our relationship with Him (Ephesians 4:30). The person who cannot—or will not—extend forgiveness to others demonstrates a lack of appreciation for their own sin debt to God.

The last part of the verse seems to contradict James 1:13: "Let no one say when he is tempted, 'I am being tempted by God,' for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one." The Greek word for "temptation" is the same for "testing:" to subject something to stress to determine its strength. Testing is good; it gives God glory and us confidence when we triumph over trials. It is not good if the testing is so difficult that we fail. Considering the two meanings of the word, we do not want God to test us to the point that we would fail and sin against Him, thus requiring more forgiveness. As a group, a church, or a family we do not want to experience so much stress that we dishonor God and hurt each other.
Verse Context:
Luke 11:1–4 is the last in a series of stories about the blessings people receive when they follow Jesus. In three sub-sections, Jesus teaches the disciples about prayer (Luke 11:1–13). First, He provides "The Lord's Prayer" which illustrates how completely dependent we are on God (Luke 11:1–4). Next, Jesus will challenge the disciples to trust that God works for their good, better than a friend or even a father. The Lord's prayer is also recorded in Matthew 6:9–13, although possibly at a different time and 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.
Accessed 5/26/2024 10:45:28 AM
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