Luke 11 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Luke 11)
11:2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, 1 Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

(1) A form of true prayer.

11:3 Give us a day by day our daily bread.

(a) That is, as much as is needed for us this day, by which we are not prevented from having an honest care for the maintenance of our lives; but that complaining care, which kills a number of men, is cut off and restrained.

11:5 2 And 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;

(2) We must pray with faith.

11:8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his b importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.

(b) Literally, "impudence": but that impudency which is spoken of here is not to be found fault with, but is very commendable before God, for he is well pleased by such importunity.

11:15 3 But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.

(3) An example of horrible blindness, and such as cannot be healed, when the power of God is blasphemed by an evil conscience and pretended malice.

11:17 4 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house [divided] against a house falleth.

(4) The true way to know the true Christ from the false is this, that the true Christ has no harmony or agreement with Satan: and once we know him it is left for us to acknowledge him.

11:18 If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils c through Beelzebub.

(c) By the name and power of Beelzebub.

11:20 But if I with the d finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

(d) That is, by the power of God.

11:21 When a strong man armed keepeth his e palace, his goods are in peace:

(e) The word properly signifies an open and empty room in front of a house, and so in translation is taken for noblemen's houses.

11:23 5 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.

(5) Against indifferent men, and such as love to have a compromise, who seek means to reconcile Christ and Satan together.

11:24 6 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out.

(6) He that does not continue, but is in a worse case, than he that never began.

11:27 7 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed [is] the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.

(7) Christ does not seek praise for himself, but in our salvation.

11:33 9 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth [it] in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.

(9) Our minds are therefore lightened with the knowledge of God, that we should give light unto others, and therefore our main labour ought to be to pray for that light.

11:37 10 And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat.

(10) The service of God consists not in outward cleanliness and planned rites or ceremonies, but in the spiritual righteousness of the heart and charity.

11:41 But rather give alms f of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.

(f) That is, according to your ability: as one would say, instead of your extortion which hindered you so that you could not eat cleanly, use charity, and in accordance with your ability be good to the poor, and in this way will that which is within the platter be sanctified even though the platter is unwashed.

11:42 11 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye g tithe mint and rue and h all manner of herbs, and pass over i judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

(11) It is the characteristic of hypocrites to stand firmly for little trifles and to let greater matters pass.
(g) You decide by God's law that the tenth part is due to be paid.
(h) Of all types of herbs, some as Augustine expounds it in his Enchiridion to Laurence, chap. 99, where he shows in like manner how that place of Paul, (God "will have all men to be saved"), (1 Timothy 2:4), is to be expounded after the same manner.
(i) That is to say, that which is right and reasonable to do, for this word "judgment" contains the commandments of the second table, and the other words, "the love of God", contain the commandments of the first.

11:43 12 Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.

(12) Hypocrisy and ambition are commonly joined together.

11:44 13 Woe 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].

(13) Hypocrites deceive men with an outward show.

11:45 14 Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also.

(14) Hypocrites are very severe against other men, but think that all things are lawful for themselves.

11:47 15 Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.

(15) Hypocrites honour those saints when they are dead whom they persecute most cruelly when they are alive.

11:48 Truly k ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres.

(k) When you persecute God's servants like mad men, even as your fathers did, though you try and cover it with a pretence of godliness, yet nonetheless, by beautifying the sepulchres of the prophets, what else are you doing but glorying in your father's cruelty, and setting up monuments (as it were) in glory and triumph of it?

11:49 Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and [some] of them they shall slay and l persecute:

(l) They will so vex them and trouble them, that at length they will banish them.

11:50 That the blood of all the prophets, which was m shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;

(m) That you may be called to give an account for it, yea, and be punished for the shedding of that blood of the prophets.

11:52 16 Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have n taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

(16) Those who ought to be the door keepers of the Church have for a long time mainly hindered the people from entering into the knowledge of God.
(n) You have hidden and taken away, so that it cannot be found anywhere.

11:53 17 And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge [him] vehemently, and to o provoke him to speak of many things:

(17) The more the world is reprehended, the worse it is, and yet we must not betray the truth.
(o) They proposed many questions to him, to draw something out of his mouth which they might traitorously find fault with.