Jesus Teaches About Prayer
Comments for Study 22
Memory Verse: 2
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE JESUS' LATER MINISTRY TRAVELS.
I. The Lord's Prayer (1-4)
>1. What does it mean that Jesus prayed?
* Luke 11:1a "One day Jesus was praying in a certain place."
* "One day" -Luke may not be following chronological order.
* Matthew 6:9-13 places the Lord's Prayer in the Sermon on the Mount. It's possible that Jesus taught this more then once, then to many, then later specifically to his disciples when they asked him how to pray.
* "Jesus was praying" -Jesus often went to his Father for direction, strength, comfort, and help.
* "in a certain place" -By saying Jesus was praying in a certain place Luke indicates that he prayed there often and before. Jesus was often on the move so how might this be possible? If this is in chronological order, then Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. Jesus had taken many trips to Jerusalem. This was probably a regular stopping place for him.
* As God Jesus is prayed to. As man he prayed to God his Father. Though he was a Son he learned and was obedience in prayer.
* "praying" -Communication with God.
>What request did his disciples make of him?
* Luke 11:1b "When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.'"
* Jesus' disciples were uneducated. They had not learned under a great Jewish spiritual leader before Jesus called them, though some had known of John the Baptist. This is the same as saying they had not gone to seminary school.
* "When he finished" -The disciples waited for Jesus to finish out of respect.
* "one of his disciples said to him" -Perhaps at the consent of other disciples.
* "teach us to pray" -Asking Jesus to teach us things is good even though we know he teaches us things. We can even ask how to pray while we are praying.
* The disciple asked Jesus HOW to pray, not WHAT to pray.
>Why? (When had they seen Jesus pray before? [9:18, 29, etc.])
* Luke 9:18 "Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, 'Who do the crowds say I am?'"
* Luke 9:29 "As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightening."
* They had seen John and his disciples pray as well as Jesus praying. They too wanted to learn how to pray. They obviously had not or at least not prayed much outside of a synagogue.
* Jesus often prayed. He was an example to them. We can be an example to others.
* Psalm 109:4, "I am a man of prayer."
>Why did they mention John's disciples?
* Some of them had been with John the Baptist. (John 1)
* They had seen John preach and raise up disciples.
* They had seen John teach his disciples to pray and how to pray.
* Perhaps they were envious of John's disciples.
* We should teach others to pray.
* "When you pray" -Here Jesus is referring to a time and place set aside to commune with God whether corporately and/or privately one-to-one.
>2. What are the prayer topics Jesus gave? (2-4)
* Luke 11:2-4 "'Father, hallowed by your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.''"
* Five prayer topics
1) God's name to be holy
2) God's kingdom to come
3) daily bread to come
4) sins to be forgiven
5) lead not into temptation
* All are asking for something to be done in the here and now and in the future. All are active.
>Which ones are about God's concerns, and which are about our personal needs and problems?
* The model of prayer that Jesus gives is a petition prayer more than anything else. It is asking God for something.
* The first two concern God, the last three are about personal needs and problems.
* God is first for prayer is communicating with him as he is, not as we believe he is. His identity and interest should be first.
* God already knows everything. So why pray asking for things? Prayer is communicating with God, part of a normal healthy relationship. God wants and we need to ask him in our conversations with him. Do we have a loving relationship with someone and then not want to talk with them?
* The sinful nature asks for needs first and often without addressing God as he is and deserves.
* Without proper perspective our sinful nature controls us and leads us to be stuck in our needs. By first focusing on God we will be more inclined to size up our needs, concerns, and interest properly without getting carried away by them.
* The Lord's prayer was written in Greek as is most of the New Testament. However, the thought pattern and expression are Jewish. Yet, Jesus' teaching here went against some long established pre-first century Jewish thoughts and beliefs about prayer. It is true that at this time some Jewish prayers began resembling Jesus' teaching here. Whether or not these Jewish prayers came into existence because the first century Christians were repeating Jesus' teaching here or (as some have claimed) Jesus was borrowing on these prayers is hard to tell. Still, the Jewish religious leaders were so offended by Jesus referring to God as his father that they tried to kill him (John 5:18); thus establishing that they would have never thought of God as their individual own personal father and would not have addressed the Lord God as such in prayer before Jesus taught this to this disciples. They did consider God the father of the nation Israel, but not as their individual personal father. This tends to point to the fact that Jesus' teaching here was mostly unique and shortly after his teaching it was adapted in non-Christian Jewish prayers.
* Some assumptions are made in this prayer; God is true, God is good, God is passionate, God is all powerful, God is able to answer, God wants to answer, and God will answer.
* This prayer is a corporate prayer. "Our", "us" and "we" are constantly used throughout the prayer.
This image to the right is of Jesus teaching his disciples to pray appears in "Brevis institutio" (1549), or "Brief Instruction in Catholic Piety," based on Michael Helding's sermons in the Mainz cathedral from 1542-1544.
>3. How does Jesus teach us to address God?
* "When you pray, say: 'Father.'"
* "say" -The original Greek word is "lego" referring to verbal conversations. We can pray in our head and our spirit, but here Jesus refers to speaking out loud when we pray in private and publicly.
* "Father" -The original Greek word is "Pater" referring to one's personal male parent. Calling God Father in this concept was a new teaching, considered heretical to the Jewish teachers of the Law (scribes) and Pharisees. (John 5:18) The Greeks and Romans would have laughed at anyone who stated that God was their father because their belief systems taught that Uranus (the Roman Caelus) the supreme first god had children who were called Titans, lesser gods and then was castrated. So to them if anyone called God father, he either considered himself a Titan (laughable) or was ill-informed about god's castration.
* Some early Greek manuscripts have "Hemon Pater" meaning "Our Father". Matthew's version is "Our Father".
* When we don't recognize that God is our Father we are lonely and anchor-less. We wonder here, there and everywhere trying to find something or someone to be our daddy.
>What does it mean to call God "Father"?
* It means that we can have a personal 1-to-1 relationship with God as one would have with a perfect human father.
* God is not an abstract force or power or the all of nature. He is not inanimate or unemotional.
* God desires a close relationship with us. He is our true Father even though we don't love and respect him as such. He wants us to act like his children.
* Through Jesus we are children of God. Through Jesus we have a personal relationship with God. Through Jesus we enter the very throne room of God. Through Jesus we inherit all that is our Heavenly Father's.
* The Father is the head of the family. A good father is love, power, protection, authority, and provider.
* The parable of the two sons (aka the prodigal son) shows us God as our Father.
>What does this teach about our basic relationship with him?
* It means that I look to God as my Father. It means he looks at me as his son.
* God is loving, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, long suffering, and forgiving in his dealing with me.
* God disciplines, trains, and raises me up to be like his one and only true Son, Jesus.
* It means I can look up to him with respect, pride and awe.
* It means I can completely trust him and have absolute faith in him.
* Romans 8:15-17 "For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."
* Galatians 4:6-7 "Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir."
* Mark 14:36 "Abba, Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."
* Ephesians 3:14-15 "For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
* Hebrews 2:11-12 "Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. He says, "I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises."
>What does it mean that we all call him Father? (Matthew 6:9, "our")
* Matthew 6:9 "This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven...''"
* It means that physically all people in the world are my brothers and sister.
* It means that spiritually all true Christians are my brothers and sister. We are all seen as the same in God's eyes. He treats us in the same way.
* It means we should love one another as a brother or sister.
* It means we should respect one another as a brother or a sister.
* It means we should help one another as a brother or a sister.
* 1 Corinthians 1:10-11 "I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you."
* James 2:1 "My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don't show favoritism."
* Galatians 6:10 "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."
This image to the right is of Jesus teaching his disciples to pray as a woman kneels before him.
>4. What does "Hallowed be you name" mean?
* "Hallowed be your name" according the the NIV. Other English translations have "Holy be your name".
* "Hallowed" -The original Greek "hagiazo" means "to make or regard with awe and fear, to be perfect and purity, to sanctify and consecrate."
* Asking for God to be holy is from a personal, congregational, and world point of origin. It looks forward to the day that all will call God holy.
* God's holiness is a deep and complicated subject. Often we consider holy as a pure, yet is much more than pure. Holy is perfection in love, power, wisdom, knowledge, presence, thought, action, joy, pleasure, time, faith, hope, and being.
* Restore creation's original order, by giving God respect and awe.
* God's name would be "hallowed," or "sanctified," "shown holy," in the time of the end, when his kingdom would come. This idea was biblical (Isaiah 5:16; Isaiah 29:23; Ezekiel 36:23; Ezekiel 38:23; Ezekiel 39:7, 27; cf. Zech. 14:9).
>What does it mean practically to honor or glorify God's name? (John 17:4; and 1 Peter 4:13)
* John 17:4 "'I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.'"
* 1 Peter 4:13 "But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed."
* On the personal level to bring honor to God with our life, words, actions, hearts, and all of us.
* At many times this means that we not bring honor to ourself.
* Jesus glorified God by sacrificing himself in obedience. Jesus' suffering brings God glory. Jesus did not suffer because he sinned. He suffered because we sinned and he wanted that sin to be removed.
* John 12:27-28 "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!" Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again."
* John 17:1 "After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: "Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you."
>What does it mean to dishonor his name? (Romans 2:24)
* Romans 2:24 "You who brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? As it is written: God's name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.'"
* In the present God's people could hallow his name by living rightly; if they lived wrongly, Jewish teachers observed, they would "profane" his name, or bring it into disrepute among the nations. (Bible Background Commentary - The IVP Bible Background Commentary - New Testament.)
>5. What does it mean to pray "Your kingdom come"? (Matthew 6:10)
* God's kingdom coming is from a personal, congregational, and world (historical) point of origin.
* God's kingdom in this age is a spiritual kingdom. It is wherever God rules. God rules with justice, righteousness, gentleness, mercy, holiness, and love.
* God's kingdom is not fully established yet. Many have not accepted Jesus as Saviour and Lord, and so are not in God's kingdom. So we should pray for them.
* When a person enters the kingdom of God they begin to resist Satan's and the world's influence in their life. They turn away from sin and rebellion enticed by the sinful nature, and turn towards God's will powered by the Holy Spirit.
* God's kingdom is wherever God rules absolutely and completely in love, peace and security.
* Previous commentaries on Luke concern more about the kingdom of God. See Section III, question 6 in Luke 14 study. and See Section II in Luke 15 study. The kingdom of God is one of the subjects of the manuscript "The Believers Future - Hope that Inspires" also found on this web site.
>What does it mean personally?
* In the personal life it means that Jesus comes into the heart, that he may rule there.
* God's kingdom in our heart is when we accept Jesus as our personal King and Lord of our life.
* God's kingdom in this age is not a geological location, its his people.
* Jesus frees us from the kingdom and power of sin and Satan.
* Evidence is given in Romans 1:5, "peace and apostleship".
* Have you turned over absolute control of your life to Jesus? Do you fear his and his control? Have you trust in yourself or someone else to be the king of your life. John 14:1 records Jesus tell us, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me." See also Romans 15:13.
>For the world and history?
* God's kingdom coming in this age is the church. God's kingdom is spreading to all people around the world when they accept and enter a 1-to-1 personal relation with him. God's kingdom is now in a believer's heart.
* God's kingdom coming from the world (historical) point of view is when Jesus comes again as he promised to establish his rule over the world. His coming will remove Satan's rule.
* Satan is currently the prince of this world. John 12:30-32 records Jesus saying, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." And in John 16:8-11 he is recorded as saying, "When he (the Holy Spirit) comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned."
* Jesus is the kingdom of God. Luke 11:20 records him saying, "But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you."
* God's will is not followed on earth as it is in heaven in this age.
The image to the right is a seventeenth century Dutch scene of a family prayer at mealtime. It illustrates Jesus' instruction on prayer. The monogram of the artist, Christoffel van Sichem (1546-1624), appears at the upper right.
>6. What is the first petition about our personal needs?
* Luke 11:3 "Give us each day our daily bread."
* Daily bread is whatever is needed to maintain our existence; spiritual bread and physical bread.
* John 6:35 "Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty."
John 6:49-51 "Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
* On the physical level it may be food, water, ect.
* On the spiritual level it is Jesus. Jesus said, "'Now this is eternal life; that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.'" (John 17:3) And "In him was life, and that life was the light of men." (Jn. 1:4) Jesus is the word of God. (Jn. 1:1,14) So the Bible his words are our spiritual food. "'The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.'" (Jn 6:63b)
* When Abraham didn't pray during a famine he went into Egypt and got in trouble. (Genesis 12:10-20)
>Why "daily"? (Proverbs 30:8b-9a; Ex 16:14-21)
* Proverbs 30:8b-9 "...give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, 'Who is the LORD?' Or I may becaome poor and steal and so dishonor the name of my God."
* Exodus 16:14-21 "'This is what the LORD has commanded: 'Each one is to gather as much as he needs. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.' The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it by the omer, he who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little. Each one gathered as much as he needed.''"
* Deuteronomy 8:2-3 "Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD."
* God trains us through "daily" bread in faith to rely on him.
* The Israelites manna was also daily; to much and we forget God, to little and we fall into depression and may dishonor and curse God. Deuteronomy 8:3 records Moses tell the Israelites, "He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD." And in Deuteronomy 8:16, "He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you."
* Each person's needs may be different.
* Each day we need to come to God for life for our entire existence.
>What does it mean to pray for "our" daily bread?
* "our" -We should recognize and pray for others needs not just our own.
* Love is required to pray for other's needs.
* God wants us to pray for each other's needs. Often he provides for his people through his people's prayer and action.
* This is the same meaning as when above it states "our father". We are to pray for and recognize others in our prayer. An example of praying for and helping others in need was taught by Jesus is Luke 16:19-20 which states,"'There was a rich man who was dress in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and liked his sores.'"
>7. What is the second petition about our personal need?
* Luke 11:4a "Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us."
* Matthew records sins here as debts.
* Continually we need to ask for forgiveness, for even the best of us sin sometimes after we come into a personal relationship with Jesus. So we need to continually ask for forgiveness.
* Jesus is not saying that human forgiveness can merit forgiving of another's sin against God. Nor is Jesus saying we can induce God to forgive another for sins they had committed towards God. Rather, he is saying we should forgive someone who has sinned against us.
* Jesus is not saying we forgive in general. Rather, he is saying we should forgive exact and particular to one sin or a series of sins that are connected.
>Why is it important to ask for forgiveness?
* Without forgiveness of sin we remain in a state of having a broken relationship with God. At the end of this worldly life we will go to hell.
* If we sin once a day by twenty-four we will have committed 3,760 sins.
* Our sins are taken away, but our sinful nature is still with us until we physically die.
* God forgives us whether we ask for it or not. He forgives knowing we still possess the ability to sin in the exact way again. He does not forget our sinful nature. Rather, he is fully aware of it and forgives us anyway. Similar, when we forgive someone we should accept that they have in them the sinful nature which could compel them to commit the exact same sin against us again.
* When we ask God to forgive us we must have a desire to not want to sin in that way again. So, if someone asks for our forgiveness they should sincerely want to stop doing what they are doing against us.
* We need to be generous towards others as God is generous towards us.
>How can we receive the grace of forgiveness? (John 3:16; Matthew 1:21; John 1:29)
* John 3:16 "'For God so loved that world that he sent his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.'"
* Matthew 1:21 "'She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.'"
* John 1:29 "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, 'Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!'"
* Through Jesus' blood our sins are removed once and for all. However, God's work in our concerning sin is a life long process. Jesus told Peter in John 13:7-10 "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." "No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me." "Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!" Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you."
* Jesus on the cross prayed, "Father forgive them." (Luke 23:34)
* Romans 12:17-21 "Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
>Why must we forgive others? (Matthew 18:21-35)
* Matthew 18:21 "Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?""
* Matthew 18:35 "This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."
* Because God forgave us many sins.
* Forgiving others is seldom easy, especially those who are close to us. Since we recognize that we sin every day, we should understand that others do to. Those who are close to us may hurt us when they sin. Since God is willing and does forgive his children we should too.
* Forgiving others should be from the heart.
* We need to have faith in God's work in ourselves and others.
>8. What is the third personal petition?
* Luke 11:4b "And lead us not into temptation."
* "temptation" -To be incised to go against God and God's desire and will.
* We need to acknowledge our need for God to protect and lead us. If he does not we will be tempted and fail. We need to ask for his help.
* "lead" -God leads and we must follow his lead. (Mark 1:12)
* We need to trust God's lead.
>Why should we pray not to be led into temptation? (1 Peter 5:8; and 1 Corinthians 10:12)
* 1 Peter 5:8 "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."
* 1 Corinthians 10:12 "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!"
* God does not tempt us. (James 1:13-15)
* If we fail during tempting, we fall from grace, but not so far that God is unable to forgive us.
* Pride can lead us not to pray for God's leading away from temptation. Self righteousness makes us fail to acknowledge we fell to temptation.
* Jesus was lead by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil at the beginning of his ministry.
II. The Spirit of Prayer (5-13)
>9. What does the parable in verses 5-8 teach about the effectiveness of bold and persistent prayer?
* Luke 11:5-8 "Then he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.' "Then the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
* This parable is unique to Luke's gospel.
* "'yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.'" -The key work here is "boldness" meaning boldness got the desired results of the request.
* "a friend of mine on a journey has come to me" -Hospitality was very important in Jesus' day."
* "The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed" -An entire family slept in the same room in Jesus' day. The only bed was covers and cushions lying on the floor. If one were to get up all would wake up. Putting children in bed and keeping them in bed is often hard work.
* Jesus truly wants us to pray by faith.
* "boldness" -persistent is another translation possibility.
* Jesus is not saying that God is slow to answer because he is selfish as the man in the parable, but that God who is kind will act much better than the man in the parable. We cannot be troublesome to God who loves us.
* "as much as he needs" -Not more, not less.
>What are the instructions and promises in verses 9 and 10?
* Luke 11:9-10 "'So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.'"
* Be bold when asking things from God.
* Pray until we receive and answer; be bold, confident, and earnest.
* Why does God want this? So we remember he did it, not us. The more we come to him and acknowledge our need of him, the more we will remember it was his work as an answer to continual prayer. This also builds a stronger relationship between us and God. Through this kind of prayer we learn faith and grow in faith.
* Jacob would not let go of God until he got what he wanted. This is when God changed his name to Israel. (Genesis 32:23-30)
>What do verses 11-13 teach about God and prayer?
* Luke 11:11-13 "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 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!"
* He gives us what is good for us. He knows what we need.
* He loves us. He is affectionate.
* Pray for specific things is acceptable.
* God gives good things when we ask for them.
* He gives as a loving father does in spite of ourselves.
* "son" -young lad.
>About the best gift God wants to give us if we ask?
* "how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!'"
* See verses 2-4, the Lord's example of prayer.
* The Holy Spirit gives us life and knowledge of Jesus, our Saviour and Lord. The Holy Spirit empowers us to stay in God's will, resist temptation, and live according to God's design.
* This is a promise.
* If a child asked for a snake or scorpion the father out of love would not give it.
III. Jesus and Beelzebub (14-28)
The image to the right is by Melanchthon, Philipp, 1497-1560. Jesus casts out a demon, enabling a mute man to speak.
>10. Why were some amazed at Jesus' and others condescending? (14-16) Who is Beelzebub? How is asking for a sign like this wrong?
* Luke 11:14-16 "Jesus was driving out a demon that was mute. When the demon left, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was amazed. But some of them said, "By Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons." Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven."
* Matthew 12:24-37 record a similar if not the same event.
* "driving out a demon that was mute" -When we were in Satan's kingdom we were like this man. We had multiple problems. We were susceptible to demon control, to blind to see God and his work, and dumb to speak of God and worship God.
* "When the demon left" -Just as Jesus healed this blind man, so when we became a part of his kingdom, Jesus healed us.
Jesus cast out other demons from people and healed others that are not recorded in the Bible. Why then this event? Perhaps because it is the foreground the vary important events that follows. After this Jesus teaches about himself and the way his work is done, through the Holy Spirit. Jesus also teaches about different reactions one can have to the Holy Spirit and result of rejecting the Holy Spirit.
* "Beelzebub, the prince of demons" -In Greek "Beelzeboul". It is of Chaldee origin meaning; "dung-god; Beelzebul, a name of Satan." Thus, it means "Lord of the manure pile" or "Lord of the Flies" because flies always buzz around waist piles.
* Matthew 12:38 records who was asking for a sign. "Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, 'Teacher, we want to see a miraculous sign from you.'"
* Faith is not made by seeing and then believing. Faith is believing what is not seen. God wants us to have faith, trust him and his love. When we have faith we will see God's work in and around us.
The image to the right is by Luther, Martin, 1483-1546. Jesus Answers the Pharisees in the Temple.
>How did Jesus show that the Pharisees' thinking was nonsense? (17-20) What should have Jesus' work signify to them? (20)
* Luke 11:17-20 "Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: "Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall. If Satan is divided against himself, how can his kingdom stand? I say this because you claim that I drive out demons by Beelzebub. Now if I drive out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your followers drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you."
* "Jesus knew their thoughts" -When Jesus was on this earth he was man. But he was more than a man. Jesus was and is and always will be God. I do not understand the full meaning of this. I can understand how he could be man and God simultaneous. But I do not understand how he could have all the attributes of God, probably because I don't understand all the attributes of God. I can't even understand all the attributes of this universe. I don't even understand myself that well. Yet, my lack of understanding does not take away from the fact of the truth.
Knowing their thoughts Jesus knew what to say to help them accept the truth. Some did, but most stubbornly refused to accept the truth. Whether we accept the truth, or reject it (choosing to ignore it) is what Jesus lets us do. Jesus knows my thoughts today. He knows what will help me and what won't. He leads me into paths to accept the truth. But as in those days, so it is today. Jesus lets me chose and I will pay the consequences of my decisions, or be given a blessing for them.
* "Any kingdom" -Jesus referred to Satan and the fallen angles as a kingdom. Just as God his people and his angles is like a kingdom, so Satan and his demons have a kingdom.
* "Any kingdom divided against itself" -When a kingdom is divided it is easy prey of another kingdom because it is weakened.
* "If Satan is divided against himself" -Jesus is addressing the Pharisees accusations made in their thoughts. They believed that Satan was allowing Jesus to cast out demons so that people would be deceived in believing that he is the Messiah. But Jesus is pointing out that Satan allowing demons to be cast out is counter acting against his wills. It is like an attacking army giving up a concurred state full of riches so that it can gain a village in another state. Such an army would soon fall. Thus, if Satan came under a contract with Jesus it would lead to Satan's ruin.
* "by whom do you followers drive them out" -The Pharisees also drove out demons. Jesus did not denied that. This points out that not all the Pharisees were like those before Jesus now. Some of the Pharisees were of God's kingdom. Nicodemus and Joseph mentioned in John's gospel were two such men. (John 3:1-2; John 19:38-39)
* "So then, they will be your judges" -Here, "they" refer to the Pharisees who were doing the work of God by driving out demons.
* "But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you." -Here Jesus lead them to a conclusion. Jesus finished the logic for them. Sometimes, I suppose when it was more obvious, Jesus did not finish the logic with a conclusion. However, probably because it was obvious, Jesus did not draw his conclusions out even more. He did not say, "And if the kingdom of God has come upon you through me, I am of God. And since I do the miracles that only the Messiah is said to have done, then I must be the Messiah. And since I am the Messiah, it would be a sin to reject me as such." Rather, Jesus gives them another parable and then gives them a conclusion.
>Who is the strongman who is stronger than the devil?
* Luke 11:21-22 "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up the spoils."
* Rather than leading them through a logical conclusion right away, Jesus used another analogy to explain his point.
* "a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house" -Satan's rule is strong. No man from Adam up until Jesus had overcome Satan.
* "someone stronger attacks and overpowers him" -Jesus is stronger than Satan. He attacks Satan with truth. Jesus overpowers Satan.
* "But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted" -Before Jesus could carry people out of Satan's rule (house) he first must tie up Satan. In order for Jesus to do this he must be stronger than Satan, which he is. If Jesus could not tie up Satan, than Satan would beat and defeat Jesus.
* "he takes away the armor in which the man trusted" -Satan uses lies to deceive. Jesus proclaimed the truth, thus taking away Satan's armor. Ephesians 6:10-18 records Paul's instruction about the spiritual battle. "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."
* "divides up the spoils" -Demon possessed people are Satan's possessions that he uses. Jesus enters Satan's rule and carries off those who are under his rule away from his rule. Thus Jesus is describing his saving work. The man in this chapter who was demon possessed was rescued by Jesus. Jesus demanded the evil spirit to leave him alone and leave his body. Jesus freed the man from Satan's kingdom and he spoke for the first time in a long time, perhaps his whole life.
>11. What does verse 23 mean?
* Luke 11:23 "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters."
* "He who is not with me is against me" -Now that Jesus made his point he goes on to describe where the Pharisees are at, and where they will be if they do not change. Jesus urged the Pharisees to take a stand to be with him or not. If not they needed to know their outcome.
* "he who does not gather with me scatters" -Jesus is gathering people into his kingdom. Those in his kingdom do the same. The Pharisees where scattering people so that they would not be gather in Jesus' kingdom easily. They disrupted his teachings, demanded signs, and called in league with the demonic.
* The religious leaders and well educated were the greatest opponents to Jesus. Today similar people are no different, saying and doing as the Pharisees did.
>In the parable what does the evil spirit do to a man? (24-26) What is the result of an unrepentant heart?
* Luke 11:24-26 "When an evil spirit comes out of a man, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that man is worse than the first."
* Jesus' teaching about an evil spirit that leaves and goes back into a man is also recorded in Matthew 12:43-45. Between Luke 11:23 and 24 Matthew records Jesus' teaching about the sign of Jonah which Luke puts after verse 28.
* "When an evil spirit comes out of a man" -The "educated" in my day do not believe in evil spirits and therefore evil spirits dwelling in people. However, most of the "average" people believe in angles. Yet not all of them believe in evil spirits. This does not take away from the truth of them. Evil spirits can come in and out of a man. They come out only when God drives them out by the power of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christ.
* "it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it" -Evil spirits can roam the earth.
* "Then it says...when it arrives" -Evil spirits can go back to those whom the Holy Spirit cleaned out. However, the evil spirits can only go into those who did not grow in Christ.
* "it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order" -This explains how someone who is freed from drug or alcohol abuse often returns to the vice.
* "the final condition of that man is worse than the first" -Often true of those who return to vices they were once freed of. Seven demons (evil spirits) and more can dwell in a person. Such a person is clean, but they have not heart change.
>How does this parable illustrate the root problem of the self-righteous and legalistic Pharisees?
* Matthew ends this teaching with "That is how it will be with this wicked generation" When Jesus came in the flesh to this earth, he did a lot of house cleaning of his people, Judah. Judah was the remnant of Israel that kept God's promises of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses. However, the religious leaders and many of the people in Jerusalem did not accept Jesus as the Messiah. Some may have accepted him for a while, superficially. After all it was a crowd of people that shouted "Hosanna" when Jesus entered Jerusalem. Yet, only a few days later they all cried, "Crucify him." So they rejected him. Jesus warned them of the fate of such fickleness.
* We should take a spiritual assessment. Do we truly believe in Jesus, or have we just changed outward habits?
>12. How did a woman have the wrong concept of being blessed?
* Luke 11:27-28 "As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you." He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."
* Luke is the only one to record this exchange between Jesus and this woman.
* It was customary to praise the child by blessing the mother; this figure of speech occurs in Greco-Roman literature (e.g., the first-century Roman satirist Petronius), rabbinic texts (e.g., sayings attributed to Johanan ben Zakkai) and elsewhere (e.g., 2 Baruch 54:10). (Bible Background Commentary - The IVP Bible Background Commentary - New Testament.)
* "Blessed rather are..." -Jesus did not acknowledge that Mary was blessed because she was his mother. There is a difference between outward position and inward faith, hope and love. Hearing the word of God and obeying it is required of God. Mary did do this when the angel was sent to her. Jesus' birth did not make her blessed as her position as Jesus' mother does not make her eligible for honor and praise. Her acceptance of God's word to her and her obedience to allow the pregnancy was required by God.
Click the house to go to the Bible Study HOME Page