The Lord’s Prayer
11 Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say:
“Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.”
And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 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!”
Jesus and Beelzebul
Now he was casting out a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke, and the people marveled. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons,” while others, to test him, kept seeking from him a sign from heaven. But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls. And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe; but when one stronger than he attacks him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted and divides his spoil. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
Return of an Unclean Spirit
“When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and finding none it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house swept and put in order. Then it goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there. And the last state of that person is worse than the first.”
As he said these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!” But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”
The Sign of Jonah
When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation. It seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. For as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
The Light in You
“No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”
Woes to the Pharisees and Lawyers
While Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him, so he went in and reclined at table. The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner. And the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also? But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you.
“But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seat in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces. Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without knowing it.”
One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, in saying these things you insult us also.” And he said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers. Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed. So you are witnesses and you consent to the deeds of your fathers, for they killed them, and you build their tombs. Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation. Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.”
As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard and to provoke him to speak about many things, lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.
Luke 11 Commentary
by Hank Workman
The man was desperate. An unexpected friend had stopped on his journey for a place to sleep. In ancient times hospitality was a given. Being after midnight shops were not open and food and drink were needed to refresh the weary traveler. Beside himself, the man went to a friend’s house to ask for some bread. His knocks on the friend’s door began with small raps hoping to wake him then quickly moved to full-blown pounding. The friend inside had a family and all were in bed.
Homes in Jesus’ day usually consisted of one room where everyone ate and slept. For a family, making sure everyone was asleep and stayed that way was of great importance. As no answer came to the man looking for something to feed his friend, he knocked harder. The man was persistent and bold as he needed something. It was an unashamed persistence until the owner of the house got up and gave him what he wanted.
Jesus likened this story to our prayers. His instruction to His disciples was they needed to be bold and persistent when they brought their requests to God. Such prayers express an intensity of need.
There are those who believe we should only pray once for something and let it go, trusting God to answer. Yet Jesus here tells us to keep on knocking. Keep on seeking. Unlike the man in the house who was hesitant to get up and give what his friend wanted, God is not like that.
But what it does show is God often is waiting for our prayers to become passionate and persistent. For what these types of prayers do is not change God but changes us. They bring us to that point of recognizing how desperate we are and the need to see God work in the situation. Desperation changes our heart and develops a deeper passion for His will.
How desperate are you for an answer? How much do you need God to intervene in a situation? Keep knocking. Keep asking. He is doing a greater work in you through this situation and developing your faith in ways only unashamed persistence can bring.
Luke 11 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
Packed into three verses here in the middle of the chapter is an unbelievable amount of depth and theology. Many of us have heard or read these verses.
“When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25 “And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. 26 “Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.”Luke 11:24-26 NASB
Breaking it down into simple terms, Jesus is using an allegory to explain a deep and longstanding truth. That truth is this; Jesus must rule your house. Let’s investigate how we come to this conclusion.
It was a common belief in Jewish culture that demons much preferred to take up residence within humans. A demon that was wandering “in waterless places” was said to be miserable. A picture of a demon wandering in the desert is what comes to mind. Therefore, the people would have understood exactly what Jesus was saying here.
When a demon is swept out of a house, or a person, there are two question we must ask. They really are two sides of the same coin. 1 )Was the exorcism real or counterfeit, and 2) will the house be filled with Jesus or left empty? I would point out that a real experience with Christ is a real exorcism and leads to a real relationship in which Christ comes in and rules that house, or person, with all authority. A fake, or counterfeit “experience” leads to verse 26 – a state of that person becoming worse than before.
The seven other spirits found in verse 26 indicates a completeness. A person who had not experienced and cooperated with the manifestation of receiving the Holy Spirit (only coming through an authentic profession of faith), cannot both receive a clean house and fill it with the power of God. Rejection of the Holy Spirit naturally leaves the home empty.
“When you are blessed by a cleansing of evil that allows you to receive fresh spiritual input, do not leave your inner “house” empty. The risk is that the void will be refilled with something even worse than what had been banished. Neutrality is emptiness, a void that eventually is filled by something—often something like what was there before. When we do not respond to God, opportunity becomes tragedy, and the chance for permanent reversal is lost.”IVP New Testament Commentary
Many people have decided they like Jesus but have not truly professed in faith that He is Lord of their house. In not doing that, their mind, body, and soul become vulnerable to “completeness” of demonic persuasion which will seek to permanently reside in that person. This is exactly why we have so much false teaching and phony doctrine within the church!
A great example of this, and maybe an intentional explanation on Jesus’ part, is the history of Israel. They had never truly repented and received what the Lord desired for their nation, and in doing so, what was established by the Pharisees was a culture of exclusiveness, self-righteousness, hate, pride, hypocrisy, selfishness, and greed.
Over the years of their history, their rooms were swept clean by God, but when Jesus showed up, they never let Him come in and rule their hearts. For many of the Pharisees and religious leaders, when they saw the One before them in the flesh who could save them from themselves, their houses were already filled.
The writer in Hebrews has some thoughts that really highlight what Jesus is speaking of here.
For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.Hebrews 6:4-6 NASB