Luke Chapter 11
Luke 11:1 “And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”
“Lord, teach us to pray”: Rabbis often composed prayers for their disciples to recite. Having seen Jesus pray many times, they knew of His love for prayer and they knew prayer was not just the reciting of words.
The request in Matthew 6), seems to have happened much earlier in Jesus’ ministry than this request here. This is possibly one of the disciples who was not present when Jesus taught the 12. There is no formal record of the prayer John the Baptist taught his disciples.
In Matthew, Jesus says after this manner pray ye (Matthew 6:9). He did not mean for them to pray the exact prayer, but rather that it was the type of prayer they should pray.
Luke 11:2 “And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.”
“Father”: Virtually the same prayer was given as a model on two separate occasions by Christ, first in the Sermon on the Mount, and then here, in response to a direct question. That accounts for minor variations between the two versions.
Luke 11:3-4 “Give us day by day our daily bread.” “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.”
“Sins”: Forgive us our debts” refers to sins, which are our moral and spiritual debts to God’s righteousness. The request for forgiveness of sin is made here by the believer. In order to be saved one need not necessarily name all of his sins, but he must confess that he is a sinner.
The parallel passage (in Luke 11:4), uses a word that means “sins,” so that in context, spiritual debts are intended. Sinners are debtors to God for their violation of His laws. This request is the heart of the prayer; it is what Jesus stressed in the words that immediately follow the prayer (Matt. 14:15; Mark 11:25).
You see, Jesus here is showing them a pattern of prayer. The first thing is to pray to the Father. Second, praise Him before going on. Third, desire His kingdom to come. Fourth, line our will up with his will. Fifth, we are taught to live one day at a time. Sixth, take no thought for tomorrow. Seventh, we are told if we are to be forgiven, we must forgive.
Then keep us from the desire to sin, Keep us away from evil. Then, we must ask this in the name of Jesus Christ. In John chapter 14, Jesus tells us to ask in His name.
John 14:13-14 “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do [it].”
You see, Jesus was not saying to say this prayer. He was saying pray in this manner. The three most important things in prayer is pray to the Father, in the name of Jesus, then have faith that it will happen.
Luke 11:5 “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;”
Jesus proceeds to show that, in order to obtain the blessing, it was necessary to “persevere” in asking for it. For this purpose he introduces the case of a friend’s asking bread of another for one who had come to him unexpectedly. His design is solely to show the necessity of being “importunate” or persevering in prayer to God.
Luke 11:6 “For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?”
Christ encourages fervency and constancy in prayer. We must come for what we need, as a man does to his neighbor or friend, who is kind to him. We must come for bread; for that which is needful.
If God does not answer our prayers speedily, continue to pray as He may in due time if it is in His will. All these blessings our heavenly Father is more ready to bestow on every one that asks for them, than an indulgent parent is to give food to a hungry child. And this is the advantage of the prayer of faith, that it quiets and establishes the heart in God.
Luke 11:7 “And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.”
“My children are with me in bed”: The one-room houses that were common in Israel had a common sleeping area shared by the whole family. If one person arouse and lit a lamp to get bread all would be awakened.
Say we have a important need, so we pray to God and tell Him all about it. Maybe someone you love is sick and you ask God to heal them. Maybe a friend’s family is having a hard time because their dad lost his job, so you pray that God will help him find a new job soon. You pray really hard.
What do you do when it seems like there is no answer to your prayer? When this happens, you might be tempted to give up and stop praying. But what did we learn from the Parable of the Persistent Friend? Never give up. Don’t stop praying.
Luke 11:8 “I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.”
That’s right. Jesus says, even if it seems to be taking a while, don’t give up. Keep asking God for what you need. God ALWAYS answers our prayers at the perfect time. Sometimes we are not quite ready for the answer; sometimes God is waiting for all the circumstances to be just right to answer our prayer. But while we wait, Jesus wants us to keep our focus on God.
Luke 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.”
There is no question at all in this. You have not, because you ask not. Jesus, in this one verse, tells these disciples and us how to get our prayers answered. The first step is to ask. If we seek God, He is not in hiding. God will answer our prayer when we ask. Jesus Himself, has opened the door to heaven for us.
Luke 11:10 “For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”
You see, there is no question about it. God answers prayers. He will open the door to you, if you just keep on knocking.
Luke 11:11-12 “If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if [he ask] a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?” “Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?”
All these blessings our heavenly Father is more ready to bestow on every one that asks for them, than an indulgent parent is to give food to a hungry child. And this is the advantage of the prayer of faith, that it quiets and establishes the heart in God.
A father is concerned with his children and wants only the best for them, just as the Father God wants the best for all believers. When we pray to Him, He gives us good things.
James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
Luke 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 him?”
“Being evil”: Jesus presupposes the doctrine of human depravity.
“How much more”: If earthly fathers give what their sons need, will not God give to His sons what they ask?
Parents love their children and will give them freely all the things that they have to give. Human love is not even closely compared to the great love that God has for mankind. Man’s love is conditional. God’s love is unconditional, expecting nothing in return.
In Matthew, it promises good things. Here, the Holy Spirit is promised to those who ask and seek. The best gift, aside from salvation, that a Christian can receive is the Holy Spirit. It gives us power to live this life victoriously.
Evil people do give good gifts to their children. They are not always careful to make sure these gifts are for the best interest of the receiver. Here, God gives the things that will help in our Christian walk, the greatest gift being Himself. The next verse is a total change of scene.
Luke 11:14 “And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered.”
“It was dumb”: I.e., the demon.
In this crowd of those who wondered were those from the synagogue who were trying to trap Him. They knew that evil spirits existed. They undoubtedly knew that this dumb person had not been delivered by any of their Holy men. This “man” had such power over evil spirits, that they could not explain it. Not only did the people wonder, but these men from the synagogue, as well.
Luke 11:15 “But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.”
“Beelzebub”: Originally this referred to Baal-zebul (“Baal, the prince”), chief god of the Philistine city of Ekron; the Israelites disdainfully referred to him as Baal-zebub (“Lord of Flies”).
Since they could not explain this, they assume that this is demonic. They could not deliver this dumb person, so they automatically assume that this is not of God.
Luke 11:16 “And others, tempting [him], sought of him a sign from heaven.”
“A sign from heaven”: I.e., a miraculous work of cosmological proportions, like the rearranging of the constellations, or something far greater than the casting out of a demon, which they had just witnessed.
Here again, they have already had a sign from heaven in the dumb speaking, but they are too blind to see. No more sign will be given.
Luke 11:17 “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.”
“He, knowing their thoughts”: Jesus was God with full omniscience if He used it (Mark 13:32; John 2:23-25).
“Kingdom divided against itself”: This may have been a subtle jab at the Jewish nation, a kingdom divided in the time of Jeroboam, and still marked by various kinds of bitter internal strife and factionalism, right up to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.
Jesus is saying Satan would not come against Satan. He would not be against himself. Satan would not want the man delivered. Satan is a destroyer, not a deliverer.
Luke 11:18-19 “If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub.” “And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast [them] out? therefore shall they be your judges.”
“By whom do your sons cast them out”: There were Jewish exorcists who claimed power to cast out demons (Acts 19:13-15). Jesus’ point was that if such exorcisms could be done via satanic power, the Pharisaical exorcists must be suspect as well. And in fact, the evidence (in Acts 19), suggests that the sons of Sceva were charlatans who employed fraud and trickery to fabricate phony exorcisms.
Let your own sons be judged with the same measure you are judging Me, Jesus says. Jesus tells them here, “Your own religious people practice deliverance. Are they also working with Satan as you accuse me?” You see, Jesus proves to them where there is no chance of argument that He is not working with Satan, but against him.
Luke 11:20 “But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.”
“With the finger of God”: (In Exodus 8:19), the phony magicians of Egypt were forced to confess that Moses’ miracles were genuine works of God, not mere trickery such as they had performed. Here Jesus made a similar comparison between His exorcisms and the work of the Jewish exorcists.
“The Kingdom of God is come”: That was precisely true. The King was in their midst, displaying His sovereign power. He showed it by demonstrating His ability to bind Satan and his demons.
The very finger of God has cast out this demon of dumbness from this person. There is one among you, mightier that your holy men. In other words, He is telling them He is Messiah.
Luke 11:21 “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:”
“A strong man”: This first strong man here is Satan.
Luke 11:22 “But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.”
“When a stronger that he”: I.e. Christ.
But when one greater than Satan comes (Christ), He destroys Satan and tears his armor down and casts him out. Then Jesus takes over this man for His own. The stronger man (Jesus), is now ruler.
“Divideth his spoils”: Probably a reference to Isaiah.
Isaiah 53:12 “Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he has poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”
When a demon is defeated by the power of Christ, the soul vacated by the power of darkness is taken over by Christ (verses 24-26).
Luke 11:23 “He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.”
This is an affront to these supposedly religious men who have opposed Jesus. He says not only is Satan’s crowd against Me, but you who proclaim to know God but are opposed to me every way I turn. There are only two sides, Satan’s side and God’s side. Those who are not with Jesus (whoever they are), are on Satan’s side.
Luke Chapter 11 Questions
1. What did Jesus’ disciples ask Jesus to teach them?
2. Who should the prayer be addressed to?
3. What is Jesus showing them in this prayer He gave them?
4. What is the second step in praying?
5. What are we to line up our will with?
6. Where does Jesus tell us to pray in His name?
7. What are the 3 most important things to remember about prayer?
8. Who is the greatest friend we can ever have?
9. What does the midnight hour mean?
10. Who is symbolically the loaf of bread?
11. What is meant by the door is shut?
12. What is meant by the children being in bed with Him?
13. Ask and it shall _____ ______ _________.
14. Seek and ye shall _________.
15. Knock and it shall _______ ________ ____ _______.
16. If a son should ask bread, his father will not give him a _______.
17. What are the bread, fish, and egg symbolic of?
18. Who are the serpent and scorpion symbolic of?
19. All good gifts come from where?
20. In verse 13, what is the good thing God will give His children if they ask Him?
21. What was the devil spirit Jesus was casting out in verse 14?
22. These Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out devils in whose power?
23. A house divided against itself ________ __________ ______.
24. By whom do your ________ cast them out?
25. If Jesus cast them out with the finger of God, what has come upon them?
26. In verse 2l, who is the strong man and who is the stronger man?
27. He that is not with me ___ ______________ _____.