11:1 And it came to pass, as he was praying in a certain place, that when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray1, even as John also taught his disciples2. PRAYER TAUGHT AND ENCOURAGED. (Probably Judea.) Luke 11:1-13
One of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray. Jesus
had already taught his disciples how to pray in the Sermon on the Mount.
This disciple probably thought that the prayer already taught was too brief
to be sufficient, especially as Jesus often prayed so long.
Even as John also taught his disciples. It was customary for the
rabbis to give their disciples forms of prayer, and the Baptist seems to
have followed this practice, though the prayer taught by him appears to have
11:2 And he said unto them, When
ye pray, say, Father, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come1.
When ye pray, say, Father, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come.
The form given by Matthew is fuller than this. See Matthew
6:9-13. The variation of the two prayers is an evidence of the
independence of the two Gospels.
11:5 And he said unto them, Which
of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight1,
and say to him, Friend, lend me three loaves2;
Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight.
A most unseasonable hour.
And say to him, Friend, lend me three loaves. The occasion here
described would call for three loaves, that the host and the guest might
each have one, and that there might be one in reserve as an evidence of
11:6 for a friend
of mine is come to me from a journey1, and
I have nothing to set before him2;
For a friend of mine is come to me from a journey. In the summer
Orientals often travel by night to avoid the heat of the day.
And I have nothing to set before him. The customs of the land then
made hospitality so obligatory that the greatest inconvenience and deepest
poverty did not excuse one from practicing it.
11:7 and he from within shall answer and
say, Trouble me not1: the
door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give
Trouble me not. The man within does not use the word
"friend". His answer is blunt and discouraging.
The door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise
and give thee? In the house of a laboring man, the family all sleep in
one room. The pallets, or thin mattresses. are spread upon the divan, or
raise platform, which passes around the room next to the wall. Where there
was no divan and grope about in the dark that he might unbolt the door and
find the required bread was indeed no slight trouble. He would be apt to
step upon, or otherwise disturb, the sleeping children.
11:8 I say unto you, Though
he will not rise and give him because he is his friend1, yet
because of his importunity he will arise and give him as many as he needeth2.
Though he will not rise and give him because he is his friend.
Friendship should have prompted the man to supply his friend. It failed,
Yet because of his importunity he will arise and give him as many as he
needeth. Yet the bread was given to get rid of a noisy beggar, to be rid
of whom all the bread in the house would be willingly sacrificed if
necessary. If a selfish man can be thus won by importunity, much more can a
generous God, whose reluctance is never without reason, and whose
ever-present desire is to bless. Idle repetition of prayers is forbidden;
but persistence and importunity are encouraged. See Isaiah
11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall
be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
Ask . . . seek . . . knock. See Matthew
7:7. The substance of this passage is recorded by Matthew as a portion
of the Sermon on the Mount. See Matthew
11:10 For every
one that asketh receiveth1; and he that seeketh findeth;
and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
For every one that asketh receiveth. See Matthew
11:11 And of
which of you that is a father shall his son ask a loaf, and he give him a stone1?
or a fish, and he for a fish give him a serpent2?
And of which of you that is a father shall his son ask a loaf, and he
give him a stone? See Matthew
Or a fish, and he for a fish give him a serpent? See Matthew
11:12 Or [if] he
shall ask an egg, will he give him a scorpion1?
Or [if] he shall ask an egg, will he give him a scorpion? This
verse is peculiar to Luke. The scorpion is an insect somewhat similar to a
small lobster. It is two or three inches long, and has a sting at the end of
its tail which is about as severe as that of a wasp. The old commentators
tell us that the white scorpion, when rolled up, closely resembled an egg.
11:13 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 him1?
How much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them
that ask him? Matthew has "good things" (Matthew
7:11) where Luke has "Holy Spirit". The Holy Spirit is the
best of all gifts, being as necessary to the soul as food to the body.
11:14 And he was
casting out a demon [that was] dumb1. And it came to pass,
when the demon was gone out, the dumb man spake; and
the multitudes marvelled2.
BLASPHEMOUS ACCUSATIONS OF THE JEWS. (Galilee.) Matthew
He was casting out a demon [that was] dumb. See Matthew
And the multitudes marvelled. See Matthew
11:15 But some of
them said1, By Beelzebub the
prince of the demons casteth he out demons2.
But some of them said. That is, some of the multitude. Who these
"some" were is revealed by Matthew and Mark (Matthew
By Beelzebub the prince of the demons casteth he out demons. See Mark
11:16 And others,
trying [him], sought of him a sign from heaven1.
And others, trying [him], sought of him a sign from heaven. These
probably felt that the criticisms of the Pharisees were unjust, and wished
that Jesus might put them to silence by showing some great sign, such as the
pillar of cloud which sanctioned the guidance of Moses, or the descending
fire which vindicated Elijah.
11:17 But he,
knowing their thoughts, said unto them1, Every kingdom
divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house [divided] against a
But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, etc. See Mark
11:18 And if
Satan also is divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand1?
because ye say that I cast out demons by Beelzebub.
And if Satan also is divided against himself, how shall his kingdom
stand? See Mark
11:19 And if I by Beelzebub cast out
demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges.
And if I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them
out? therefore shall they be your judges. See Matthew
11:20 But if I by
the finger of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of God come upon you1.
But if I by the finger of God cast out demons, then is the kingdom of
God come upon you. See Matthew
12:28. The finger of God signifies the power of God (Exodus
11:21 When the
strong [man] fully armed guardeth his own court, his goods are in peace1:
When the strong [man] fully armed guardeth his own court, his goods are
in peace. See Mark
11:22 but when a
stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him1,
he taketh from him his whole armor wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.
But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him,
etc. See Mark
11:23 He that is
not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth1.
He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me
scattereth. See Matthew
11:24 The unclean spirit when he is gone
out of the man, passeth through waterless places, seeking rest, and finding
none, he saith, I will turn back unto my house whence I
SIGN SEEKERS, AND THE ENTHUSIAST REPROVED. (Galilee on the same day as the
last section.) Matthew
The unclean spirit . . . passeth through waterless places, etc. See
I will turn back unto my house whence I came out. See Matthew
11:25 And when he
is come, he findeth it swept and garnished1.
And when he is come, he findeth it swept and garnished. See Matthew
11:26 Then goeth
he, and taketh1 [to him] seven other spirits more evil
than himself; and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man
becometh worse than the first.
Then goeth he, and taketh, etc. See Matthew
11:27 And it came to pass, as he said
these things, a certain woman out of the multitude
lifted up her voice1, and said unto him, Blessed
is the womb that bare thee, and the breasts which thou didst suck2.
A certain woman out of the multitude lifted up her voice. This
woman is the first on record to fulfill Mary's prediction (Luke
Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the breasts which thou didst
suck. It is the only passage in the New Testament which even suggests
the idolatry of Mariolatry, but it was far enough from it, being merely a
womanly way of expressing admiration for the son by pronouncing blessings
upon the mother who was so fortunate as to bear him.
11:28 But he said, Yea
rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it1.
Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
Jesus does not deny the fact that Mary was blessed, but corrects any false
idea with regard to her by pointing to the higher honor of being a disciple
was greater than her blessing as a mother; her moral and spiritual relation
to Jesus was more precious than her maternal. Mary's blessings came through
believing God's word (Luke
1:45). To know Christ after the Spirit is more blessed than to know him
after the flesh (2 Corinthians
11:29 And when the multitudes were
gathering together unto him, he began to say, This
generation is an evil generation: it seeketh after a sign; and there shall no
sign be given to it but the sign of Jonah1.
This generation is an evil generation: it seeketh after a sign; and
there shall no sign be given to it but the sign of Jonah. See Matthew
11:30 For even as
Jonah became a sign unto the Ninevites1, so
shall also the Son of man be to this generation2.
For even as Jonah became a sign unto the Ninevites. Nineveh was the
capital of the Assyrian Empire, situated on the Tigris River, and in its day
the greatest city of the world. Jonah's preservation was a sign from heaven,
because wrought without human instrumentality.
So shall also the Son of man be to this generation. The
resurrection of Christ was such a sign to the Jews, but rejecting it, they
continued to seek other signs. Also see Matthew
11:31 The queen
of the south1 shall rise up in the judgment with the men
of this generation, and shall condemn them: for she came from the ends of the
earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here.
The queen of the south, etc. See Matthew
11:32 The men of
Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn
it1: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and
behold, a greater than Jonah is here.
The men of Nineveh shall stand up in the judgment with this generation,
and shall condemn it, etc. See Matthew
11:33 No man,
when he hath lighted a lamp, putteth it in a cellar1,
neither under the bushel, but on the stand, that they which enter in may see the
No man, when he hath lighted a lamp, putteth it in a cellar, etc.
This passage is given in a slightly varying form found in the Sermon on the
Mount. See Matthew
5:15. It is here addressed to the Pharisees and reproves them for not
using the light (his miracles) which was given to them. If they had had an
eye single to goodness, Christ's light would have enlightened their souls.
But their eye was double; they desired wonders and spectacular signs.
11:34 The lamp of
thy body is thine eye: when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of
light1; but when it is evil, thy
body also is full of darkness2.
The lamp of thy body is thine eye: when thine eye is single, thy whole
body also is full of light. See Matthew
But when it is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. See Matthew
therefore whether the light that is in thee be not darkness1.
Look therefore whether the light that is in thee be not darkness.
therefore thy whole body be full of light1, having no part
dark, it shall be wholly full of light, as when the lamp with its bright shining
doth give thee light.
If therefore thy whole body be full of light, etc. See Matthew
11:37 Now as he
spake, a Pharisee asketh him to dine with him1: and
he went in, and sat down to meat2.
50. DINING WITH A PHARISEE, JESUS DENOUNCES THAT SECT. Luke
Now as he spake, a Pharisee asketh him to dine with him. The repast
to which Jesus was invited was a morning meal, usually eaten between ten and
eleven o'clock. The principal meal of the day was eaten in the evening.
And he went in, and sat down to meat. Jesus dined with all classes,
with publicans and Pharisees, with friends and enemies.
11:38 And when
the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first bathed himself before
And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first bathed
himself before dinner. The Pharisee marveled at this because the
tradition of the elders required them to wash their hands before eating,
and, if they had been in a crowd where their bodies might have been touched
by some unclean person, they washed their whole bodies. It was a custom
which ministered to pride and self-righteousness.
11:39 And the Lord said unto him, Now ye
the Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter; but your inward
part is full of extortion and wickedness.
The Lord said to him. Our Lord's speech is unsparingly
denunciatory. To some it seems strange that Jesus spoke thus in a house
where he was an invited guest. But our Lord never suspended the solemn work
of reproof out of mere compliment. He was governed by higher laws than those
of conventional politeness.
11:40 Ye foolish ones, did
not he that made the outside make the inside also1?
Did not he that made the outside make the inside also? Since God
made both the inner and the outer, a true reverence for him requires that
both parts be alike kept clean.
11:41 But give
for alms those things which are within; and behold, all things are clean unto
But give for alms those things which are within; and behold, all things
are clean unto you. That is, give your inner life, your love, mercy,
compassion, etc., to the blessing of mankind, and then your inner purity
will make you proof against outward defilement (Matthew
11:42 But woe unto you Pharisees! for
ye tithe mint and rue2 and every herb, and
pass over justice and the love of God: but these ought ye to have done, and not
to leave the other undone4.
But woe unto you, Pharisees! Jesus pronounces three woes upon the
Pharisees for three sins, viz.: (1) Hypocrisy, shown in pretending to be be
very careful when they were really extremely careless; (2) Vainglory (Luke
11:43); (3) Corruption of public morals (Luke
For ye tithe mint and rue. Rue was a small shrub about two feet
high, and is said to have been used to flavor wine, and for medicinal
And all manner of herbs. See Matthew
And pass over justice and the love of God: but these ought ye to have
done, and not to leave the other undone. The Pharisees in paying the
tenth part, or tithe, to God, were so exact that they offered the tenth part
of the seed even of the spearmint, rue, and other small garden herbs, and
many contended that the very stalks of these plants should also be tithed.
Jesus commends this care about little things, but nevertheless rebukes the
Pharisees because they were as careless about big things, such as justice,
and the love of God, as they were careful about herb seed.
11:43 Woe unto you Pharisees! for
ye love the chief seats in the synagogues, and the salutations in the
For ye love the chief seats in the synagogues, and the salutations in
the marketplaces. They were vainglorious, loving the honors and
attentions given by men (John
5:44). They loved on week days to be saluted in the marketplace, and on
the Sabbath to sit in the semi-circular row of seats which were back of the
lectern, or desk of the reader, and which faced the congregation. On the
synagogue, see Mark
11:44 Woe unto you! for
ye are as the tombs which appear not1, and
the men that walk over [them] know it not2.
For ye are as the tombs which appear not. According to the Mosaic
law, any one who touched a grave was rendered unclean (Numbers
19:16). That they might not touch graves and be made unclean without
knowing it, the Jews white-washed their graves and tombs once a year.
Matthew records Jesus as having taught this lesson by an exactly opposite
figure. See Matthew
And the men that walk over [them] know it not. But Jesus likens a
Pharisee to graves which defiled men unawares. Their hypocrisy concealed
their true nature, so that men were injured and corrupted by their influence
without being aware of it.
11:45 And one of
the lawyers answering saith unto him1, Teacher,
in saying this thou reproachest us also2.
And one of the lawyers answering saith unto him. Lightfoot supposes
that a scribe was one who copied the law of Moses, while a lawyer expounded
the oral law or traditions of the elders. But it is more likely that the
terms were used interchangeably. They leaned to the Pharisee party, and
hence this one felt the rebuke which Jesus addressed to that party.
Teacher, in saying this thou reproachest us also. The scribe
intimated that Jesus had spoken hastily, and his speech is a suggestion to
Jesus to correct or modify his unguarded words. But Jesus made no mistakes
and spoke no hasty words.
11:46 And he said, Woe unto you lawyers
also! for ye load men with burdens grievous to be borne1,
and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of
For ye load men with burdens grievous to be borne. We have seen in
the traditions with regard to the Sabbath how these Jewish lawyers
multiplied the burdens which Moses had placed upon the people.
And ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.
They were careful to lay these burdens upon others, but equally careful not
to bear them themselves--no, not even to keep the law of Moses itself (Matthew
11:47 Woe unto you! for
ye build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them1.
For ye build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.
Tombs were usually dug in the rock in the sides of hills or cliffs. To build
them therefore was to decorate or ornament the entrance. Though their act in
building the sepulchers was a seeming honor to the prophets, God did not
accept it as such. A prophet is only truly honored when his message is
received and obeyed.
11:48 So ye are
witnesses and consent unto the works of your fathers: for they killed them, and
ye build [their tombs]1.
So ye are witnesses and consent unto the works of your fathers: for
they killed them, and ye build [their tombs]. The lawyers were not in
fellowship with the prophets, but with those who murdered the prophets.
Hence the Savior pictures the whole transaction from the killing of the
prophets to the building of their sepulchers as "one act" in which
all concurred, and all of which were guilty. Abbott gives the words a
figurative meaning, thus: your fathers slew the prophets by violence, and
you bury them by false teaching.
also said the wisdom of God1, I will send unto them
prophets and apostles; and [some] of them they shall kill and persecute;
Therefore also said the wisdom of God. The phrase "wisdom of
God" has been very puzzling, for the words spoken by Jesus are not
found in any Old Testament book. Among the explanations, the best is that
which represents Jesus as quoting the trend or tenor of several prophecies
such as 2 Chronicles
24:19-22; 2 Chronicles
1:20-33. It may, however, be possible that Jesus is here publishing a
new decree or conclusion of God, for the words specifically concerned the
present generation. If so, Jesus assents to the decree of the Father by
calling it "the wisdom of God", and the language is kindred to
that at Matthew
11:51 from the blood of Abel unto the
blood of Zachariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary: yea, I say
unto you, it shall be required of this generation2.
From the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah. Abel is accounted
a prophet because his form of sacrifice prefigured that of Christ. His
murder is described in the first historical book (Genesis
4:1-8), while that of Zechariah is described in the last historical book
of the Old Testament (2 Chronicles
24:20-22). From the record of one, therefore, to the record of the other
embraces the entire catalogue of the Old Testament martyrs. Tradition
assigns one of the four great sepulchral monuments at the foot of Olive to
It shall be required of this generation. That generation sanctioned
all the sins of the past and went beyond them to the crucifixion of the Son
of God. The best comment on this passage is the parable at Luke
20:9-16. God made that generation the focus of the world's light and
privilege, but the men of that time made it the focus of the world's
wickedness and punishment. The punishment began about thirty-seven years
later in the war with Rome, which lasted five years and culminated in the
destruction of Jerusalem.
11:52 Woe unto you lawyers! for
ye took away the key of knowledge1: ye
entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered2.
For ye took away the key of knowledge. A true knowledge of the
Scripture was a key which opened the door to the glories of Christ and his
kingdom. This the lawyer had given away by teaching not the contents of the
book, but the rubbish and trifles of tradition.
Ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye
hindered. They did not open the door for themselves, and by their
pretentious interference they confused others in their efforts to open it.
11:53 And when he was come out from
thence, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press upon [him] vehemently, and
to provoke him to speak of many things1;
And to provoke him to speak of many things. They plied him with
many questions, hoping that they could irritate him into making a hot or
11:54 laying wait
for him1, to catch something out of his mouth.
Laying wait for him. For methods used to entrap Jesus, see Matthew