Luke Chapter Eleven
The prayer which He taught His disciples (chap. 11) has respect also to the position into which they came before the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Jesus Himself prayed, as the dependent man on earth. He had not yet received the promise of the Father, in order to pour it out on His disciples, and could not till His ascension into heaven. These, however, are in relationship with God as their Father. The glory of His name, the coming of His kingdom, were to occupy their first thoughts. They depended on Him for their daily bread. They needed pardon, and to be kept from temptation. The prayer comprised the desire of a heart true to God; the need of the body committed to their Father's care; the grace required for their walk when they had sinned, and in order that their flesh should not manifest itself, that they might be saved from the power of the enemy.
The Lord then dwells on perseverance, that petitions should not be those of a heart indifferent to the result. He assures them that their prayers should not be in vain; also, that their heavenly Father would give the Holy Spirit to those that asked Him. He puts them into His own relationship on earth with God. Hearkening to God, applying to Him as a Father-it is the whole of practical christian life.
Afterwards the two great weapons of His testimony are shewn forth, namely, casting out demons, and the authority of His word. He had manifested the power that cast out demons; they attributed it to the prince of the demons. Nevertheless He had bound the strong man; He had spoiled his goods; and this proved that the kingdom of God was indeed come. In such a case as this, God being come to deliver man, everything took its true place; everything was either of the devil, or of the Lord. Moreover, if the unclean spirit had gone out and God was not there, the wicked spirit would come back with others more wicked than himself; and the last state is worse than the first.
These things were taking place at that time. But miracles were not all. He had proclaimed the word. A woman, sensible to the joy of having a son like Jesus, declares aloud the value of such a relationship to Him after the flesh; the Lord puts this blessing, as He did in the case of Mary, on those who heard and kept His word. The Ninevites had hearkened to Jonah, the queen of Sheba to Solomon, without even one miracle being wrought; and a greater than Jonah was now among them. There were two things there-the testimony plainly set forth (v. 33), and the motives which governed those that heard it. If the true light shone fully into the heart, there remained no darkness in it. If the perfect truth was presented according to God's own wisdom, it was the heart that rejected it. The eye was evil. The notions and motives of a heart at a distance from God only darkened it: a heart that had but one object, God and His glory, would be full of light. Moreover light does not merely display itself, it enlightens all around it. If God's light were in the soul, it would be full of it and no part dark.
Verses 37-52. Invited to the Pharisee's house, He judges the condition of the nation, and the hypocrisy of its pretended righteousness, putting His finger on the whited show and inward covetousness and self-seeking, the making God's law burdensome to others, while neglecting the fulfilment of it themselves, announcing the mission of the apostles and prophets of the New Testament, the rejection of whom would fill up the measure of Israel's iniquity, and bring to a final test those who hypocritically built the tombs of the prophets their fathers had killed. And then all the blood, with respect to which God had exercised His long-suffering, sending testimonies to enlighten the people, and which had been shed on account of those testimonies, should at length be required at the hand of the rebels. The Lord's words did but stir up the malice of the Pharisees, who sought to entangle Him in His talk. In a word we have, on one side, the word of the testimony set in full relief, in place of the Messiah fulfilling the promises; and, on the other, the judgment of a nation that had rejected both, and would also reject even that which should afterwards be sent to bring them back.
 The desire to have a form of prayer given by the Lord has led to a corruption of the text here, recognised by all who have seriously inquired into it (the object being to conform the prayer here to that given in Matthew). It runs thus: "Father, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, give us each day our needed bread, and forgive us our sins, for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us, and lead us not into temptation."
── John Darby《Synopsis of Luke》
The disciples taught to pray. (1-4) Christ encourages being earnest in prayer. (5-13) Christ casts out a devil, The blasphemy of the Pharisees. (14-26) True happiness. (27,28) Christ reproves the Jews. (29-36) He reproves the Pharisees. (37-54)
Commentary on Luke 11:1-4
(Read Luke 11:1-4)
"Lord, teach us to pray," is a good prayer, and a very needful one, for Jesus Christ only can teach us, by his word and Spirit, how to pray. Lord, teach me what it is to pray; Lord, stir up and quicken me to the duty; Lord, direct me what to pray for; teach me what I should say. Christ taught them a prayer, much the same that he had given before in his sermon upon the mount. There are some differences in the words of the Lord's prayer in Matthew and in Luke, but they are of no moment. Let us in our requests, both for others and for ourselves, come to our heavenly Father, confiding in his power and goodness.
Commentary on Luke 11:5-13
(Read Luke 11:5-13)
Christ encourages fervency and constancy in prayer. We must come for what we need, as a man does to his neighbour 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, yet he will in due time, if we continue to pray. Observe what to pray for; we must ask for the Holy Spirit, not only as necessary in order to our praying well, but as all spiritual blessings are included in that one. For by the influences of the Holy Spirit we are brought to know God and ourselves, to repent, believe in, and love Christ, and so are made comfortable in this world, and meet for happiness in the next. 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.
Commentary on Luke 11:14-26
(Read Luke 11:14-26)
Christ's thus casting out the devils, was really the destroying of their power. The heart of every unconverted sinner is the devil's palace, where he dwells, and where he rules. There is a kind of peace in the heart of an unconverted soul, while the devil, as a strong man armed, keeps it. The sinner is secure, has no doubt concerning the goodness of his state, nor any dread of the judgment to come. But observe the wonderful change made in conversion. The conversion of a soul to God, is Christ's victory over the devil and his power in that soul, restoring the soul to its liberty, and recovering his own interest in it and power over it. All the endowments of mind of body are now employed for Christ. Here is the condition of a hypocrite. The house is swept from common sins, by a forced confession, as Pharaoh's; by a feigned contrition, as Ahab's; or by a partial reformation, as Herod's. The house is swept, but it is not washed; the heart is not made holy. Sweeping takes off only the loose dirt, while the sin that besets the sinner, the beloved sin, is untouched. The house is garnished with common gifts and graces. It is not furnished with any true grace; it is all paint and varnish, not real nor lasting. It was never given up to Christ, nor dwelt in by the Spirit. Let us take heed of resting in that which a man may have, and yet come short of heaven. The wicked spirits enter in without any difficulty; they are welcomed, and they dwell there; there they work, there they rule. From such an awful state let all earnestly pray to be delivered.
Commentary on Luke 11:27,28
(Read Luke 11:27,28)
While the scribes and Pharisees despised and blasphemed the discourses of our Lord Jesus, this good woman admired them, and the wisdom and power with which he spake. Christ led the woman to a higher consideration. Though it is a great privilege to hear the word of God, yet those only are truly blessed, that is, blessed of the Lord, that hear it, keep it in memory, and keep to it as their way and rule.
Commentary on Luke 11:29-36
(Read Luke 11:29-36)
Christ promised that there should be one sign more given, even the sign of Jonah the prophet; which in Matthew is explained, as meaning the resurrection of Christ; and he warned them to improve this sign. But though Christ himself were the constant preacher in any congregation, and worked miracles daily among them, yet unless his grace humbled their hearts, they would not profit by his word. Let us not desire more evidence and fuller teaching than the Lord is pleased to afford us. We should pray without ceasing that our hearts and understandings may be opened, that we may profit by the light we enjoy. And especially take heed that the light which is in us be not darkness; for if our leading principles be wrong, our judgment and practice must become more so.
Commentary on Luke 11:37-54
(Read Luke 11:37-54)
We should all look to our hearts, that they may be cleansed and new-created; and while we attend to the great things of the law and of the gospel, we must not neglect the smallest matter God has appointed. When any wait to catch something out of our mouths, that they may insnare us, O Lord, give us thy prudence and thy patience, and disappoint their evil purposes. Furnish us with such meekness and patience that we may glory in reproaches, for Christ's sake, and that thy Holy Spirit may rest upon us.
── Matthew Henry《Concise Commentary on Luke》
 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.
When ye pray, say — And what he said to them is undoubtedly said to us also. We are therefore here directed, not only to imitate this in all our prayers, but to use this very form of prayer. Matthew 6:9.
 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.
Forgive us; for we forgive them — Not once, but continually. This does not denote the meritorious cause of our pardon; but the removal of that hinderance which otherwise would render it impossible.
 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;
At midnight — The most unseasonable time: but no time is unseasonable with God, either for hearing or answering prayer.
 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.
 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?
How much more shall your heavenly Father — How beautiful is the gradation! A friend: a father: God! Give the Holy Spirit - The best of gifts, and that which includes every good gift.
 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 — That is, it made the man so. Matthew 12:22.
 But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.
But some said, He casteth out devils by Beelzebub — These he answers, Luke 11:17. Others, to try whether it were so or no, sought a sign from heaven. These he reproves in Luke 11:29 and following verses. Beelzebub signifies the lord of flies, a title which the heathens gave to Jupiter, whom they accounted the chief of their gods, and yet supposed him to be employed in driving away flies from their temple and sacrifices. The Philistines worshipped a deity under this name, as the god of Ekron: from hence the Jews took the name, and applied it to the chief of the devils. Mark 3:22.
 And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven.
 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.
A house — That is, a family.
 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.
If I cast out devils by the finger of God — That is, by a power manifestly Divine. Perhaps the expression intimates farther, that it was done without any labour: then the kingdom of God is come upon you - Unawares, unexpected: so the Greek word implies.
 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:
The strong one armed — The devil, strong in himself, and armed with the pride, obstinacy, and security of him in whom he dwells.
 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.
The last state of that man becometh worse than the first — Whoever reads the sad account Josephus gives of the temple and conduct of the Jews, after the ascension of Christ and before their final destruction by the Romans, must acknowledge that no emblem could have been more proper to describe them. Their characters were the vilest that can be conceived, and they pressed on to their own ruin, as if they had been possessed by legions of devils, and wrought up to the last degree of madness. But this also is fulfilled in all who totally and finally apostatize from true faith.
 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.
Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked! — How natural was the thought for a woman! And how gently does our Lord reprove her!
 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
Yea, rather blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it — For if even she that bare him had not done this, she would have forfeited all her blessedness.
 And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.
It seeketh — The original word implies seeking more, or over and above what one has already.
 The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.
They repented at the preaching of Jonah — But it was only for a season. Afterward they relapsed into wickedness, till (after about forty years) they were destroyed. It is remarkable, that in this also the comparison held. God reprieved the Jews for about forty years; but they still advanced in wickedness, till having filled up their measure, they were destroyed with an utter destruction.
 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.
The meaning is, God gives you this Gospel light, that you may repent. Let your eye be singly fixed on him, aim only at pleasing God; and while you do this, your whole soul will be full of wisdom, holiness, and happiness. Matthew 5:15; Mark 4:21; Luke 8:16.
 The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.
But when thine eye is evil — When thou aimest at any thing else, thou wilt be full of folly, sin, and misery. On the contrary, Matthew 6:22.
 If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.
If thy whole body be full of light — If thou art filled with holy wisdom, having no part dark, giving way to no sin or folly, then that heavenly principle will, like the clear flame of a lamp in a room that was dark before, shed its light into all thy powers and faculties.
 And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.
Now ye Pharisees — Probably many of them were present at the Pharisee's house. Matthew 23:25.
 But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.
Give what is in them — The vessels which ye clean, in alms, and all things are clean to you. As if he had said, By acts directly contrary to rapine and wickedness, show that your hearts are cleansed, and these outward washings are needless.
 But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Wo to you — That is, miserable are you. In the same manner is the phrase to be understood throughout the chapter.
 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.
For ye are as graves which appear not — Probably in speaking this our Lord fixed his eyes on the scribes. As graves which appear not, being overgrown with grass, so that men are not aware, till they stumble upon them, and either hurt themselves, or at least are defiled by touching them. On another occasion Christ compared them to whited sepulchres, fair without, but foul within; Matthew 23:27.
 Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also.
One of the lawyers — That is scribes; expounders of the law.
 Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres.
Whom they killed, ye build their sepulchres — Just like them pretending great reverence for the ancient prophets, while ye destroy those whom God sends to yourselves. Ye therefore bear witness by this deep hypocrisy that ye are of the very same spirit with them.
 Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:
The wisdom of God, agreeably to this, hath said - In many places of Scripture, though not in these very words, I will send them prophets - Chiefly under the Old Testament: and apostles - Under the New. Matthew 23:34.
 That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;
The blood of all shall be required of this generation — That is, shall be visibly and terribly punished upon it.
 From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.
And so it was within forty years, in a most astonishing manner, by the dreadful destruction of the temple, the city, and the whole nation.
Between the temple and the altar — In the court of the temple.
 Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.
Ye have taken away the key of knowledge — Ye have obscured and destroyed the knowledge of the Messiah, which is the key of both the present and the future kingdom of heaven; the kingdom of grace and glory.
Ye have not entered in — Into the present kingdom of heaven.
── John ‘Wesley《Explanatory Notes on Luke》
hapter 11. The Pursuit of a Worker
Call on God Directly
I. Jesus Teaches How to Pray
II. Jesus Talks about Casting out Demons
III. Jesus Judges the Evil Generation
── Chih-Hsin Chang《An Outline of The New Testament》
The Friend At Midnight (Lk 11:1-13)
1. In studying the parables of Jesus, we have seen how He used the
parabolic method of teaching on different subjects....
a. Mostly on the theme of the kingdom of heaven
b. But also in response to questions by His disciples and even His
2. One such parable was told in response to a question related to
a. Jesus had been praying in a certain place - Lk 11:1
b. When He ceased praying, one of His disciples asked: "Lord, teach
us to pray, as John also taught his disciples"
3. In answering that request, Jesus did three things...
a. He first told them "how" and "what" to pray for
b. He then told a parable to stress a crucial element in "how" to
c. He followed up by elaborating on what the parable was designed to
4. The parable is known as "The Friend At Midnight"
a. It is recorded in Lk 11:5-8
b. In it we find Jesus illustrating the importance of "persistence
[Let's begin our study by noticing that...]
I. JESUS' PRAYING PROMPTS A REQUEST
A. HE HAD BEEN PRAYING IN A CERTAIN PLACE - Lk 11:
1. In the gospels we see glimpses into the prayer habits of Jesus
a. Rising early to pray in a solitary place - Mk 1:35
b. Often withdrawing into the wilderness to pray - Lk 5:16
c. Praying all night in preparation to selecting His apostles
- Lk 6:12-13
d. His beautiful prayer recorded in Jn 17
e. His agony in the
- Mt 26:36-44 Gardenof Gethsemane
f. His prayers on the cross - Mt 27:46; Lk 23:34,46
2. Undoubtedly His example had an impact on those who saw Him
B. A DISCIPLE WANTS JESUS TO TEACH THEM TO PRAY - Lk 11:1b
1. Even as John had taught his disciples
2. Certainly this Jewish disciple knew how to pray in some sense,
but understood that Jesus had so much more to teach him
[So it is we may know how to pray, but we can always learn more from
the Master of prayer...]
II. JESUS ANSWERS BY TEACHING A MODEL PRAYER
A. COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS "THE LORD'S PRAYER"...
1. Recorded here in Lk 11:2-4
2. Also in His sermon on the mount - Mt 6:9-13
B. THIS PRAYER SERVES AS AN EXAMPLE...
1. The words "in this manner" (Mt 6:9) suggest that "The Lord's
Prayer" is a PATTERN and not a liturgy that must be recited
every time we pray
2. Here we begin to learn the "how" and "what" of prayer
a. "How" to pray would include "simplicity" in prayer
1) The word "therefore" in Mt 6:9 connects what follows
with what was said before - cf. Mt 6:7-8
2) Jesus' pattern for prayer is an "illustration" in
contrast to the "many words" used by the heathen
3) In the prayer itself, note the brevity of words - Lk
b. We learn the "what" of prayer should include such things
1) Reverence for God and His "Name" (i.e., His Being and
Character) - Lk 11:2
2) Praying for the progress of God's Kingdom and Will on
the earth - Lk 11:2
3) Asking for physical necessities - Lk 11:3
4) Also, our spiritual needs...
a) Forgiveness of sins as we forgive others- Lk 11:4
b) Protection and deliverance from evil - Lk 11:4
[In His sermon on the mount, Jesus chose to follow His pattern prayer
with an emphasis on forgiving others (Mt 6:14-15). But on this
occasion, He has a different concern in mind. So He follows with a
III. THE PARABLE OF THE FRIEND AT MIDNIGHT
A. THE PARABLE SUMMARIZED...
1. You find yourself with company and inadequate provisions
2. Yet you know that you can go to your friend's house and borrow
3. Even if it late at night, and...
a. He and his family are already in bed
b. He would normally not help you, even though you are a
...yet you know that if you "persist", he will help you! - Lk
B. THE POINT OF THE PARABLE IS SIMPLE, BUT IMPORTANT...
1. Jesus is illustrating the importance of "persistence in
2. One does not know "how" to pray, then, unless they learn to be
persistent in prayer!
[The importance of persistence is stressed even further as we
IV. JESUS' APPLICATION OF THE PARABLE
A. THE IMPORTANCE OF PERSISTENCE - Lk 11:9-10
1. It is those who ask, seek, and knock, who will receive, find,
and have doors opened
2. The element of persistence is implied even in...
a. The present tense of the verbs for "ask", "seek", and
"knock" (literally, "keep on asking", "keep on seeking",
and "keep on knocking"
b. The progressive relation between the words:
1) One normally starts out by "asking"
2) As they learn more, they begin "seeking"
3) As they arrive close to their destination, they start
3. Failure to persist in prayer, then, may be one reason some
prayers go unanswered!
B. REMEMBERING WHO IT IS YOU ARE ASKING - Lk 11:11-13
1. To encourage persistence in prayer, Jesus speaks of earthly
fathers and their sons
a. If a son asks his father for bread, while he give him a
b. If he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead?
c. If he asks for an egg, will the father offer him a
-- Each of these rhetorical questions imply a definite "No!"
2. Then how much more will our heavenly Father gives us that
which is good?
a. If earthly fathers, though evil, know how to give good
gifts to their children
b. How much more will our heavenly Father give the Spirit to
those who ask Him?
c. This reference to the Holy Spirit may relate to promise of
1) A promise made by Jesus on another occasion - Jn 7:37-39
2) A promise offered by Peter on the day of Pentecost - Ac
3. Jesus' point seems to be this:
a. If persistence with a friend will prove fruitful (cf. the
b. If earthly fathers know how to give good gifts to their
...how much more will persistence prove fruitful with our
1. We may know "how" to pray when it comes to saying the right things,
but from this parable we learn that we do not know "how" to pray
until we have learned to pray with "persistence"
2. So important is this quality of prayer that Jesus taught another
parable on the very same theme! (cf. "The Parable Of The Persistent
Widow" - Lk 18:1-8)
3. But for now, let's remember what we have learned from Jesus at "the
school of prayer"...
a. That we have a heavenly Father who knows how to give good gifts
to His children
b. That this should motivate us to ask, and to ask persistently!
Have you received the gift spoken of in our text? The Father gives His
Spirit to those who obey Him in faith, repentance and baptism... - cf.
Jn 7:37-39; Ac 2:38; 5:32