Luke 11.1-54 tells us about Yeshua teaching his talmidim to pray; answers a question about demons and sings; and his warning to hypocrites.
v 1…And it came about that while he was praying in a certain place (perhaps the Mount of Olives or a desert place), after he had finished, one of his talmidim said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his talmidim (rabbis would teach their students prayers; this is a model prayer based on what is called the “Amidah” or “standing prayer”, also known as the Shemoneh Esrai, also known as the Eighteen Benedictions; it is a typical Jewish prayer).
v 2…And he said to them, “When you pray say: Our Father, who is in heaven, may your name be sanctified (it has a kedusha and is set apart by certain limitations and restrictions) and your kingdom be blessed (and established), your will shall be done in heaven and on earth.
v 3…Give us our bread continually,
v 4…and forgive us our debts (caused by sin), as we forgive the debts of those who have sinned against us. And do not bring us into the hands of a test, but deliver us from all evil.”
v 5…And he said to them, “Suppose one of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves;
v 6…For a friend of mine (he is interceding for him) has come to me (unexpectedly) from a journey (needing a place to stay), and I have nothing to set before (before he goes to bed, which was good hospitality)’;
v 7…and from inside he shall hear and say, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are already in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’
v 8…I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything (for reasons of privacy and the late hour), because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence (the main point of this story) he will get up and give him as much as he needs (so don’t give up when praying.
v 9…And I say to you, ask (and keep on asking), and it shall be given to you; seek (and keep on seeking), and you shall find; knock (and keep on knocking) and it shall be opened to you (all the while our focus should be on Yehovah).
v 10…For everyone who asks (and keeps on asking) receives (as long as we have the right motives-Jam 4.3); and he who seeks (and keeps on seeking), finds (what he is seeking); and to him who knocks (and keeps on knocking), it shall be opened (though there may be some delay-unless we have the wrong motives).
v 11…Now suppose (if) one of you fathers is asked by his son for bread, will he give him a stone (showing he had a hard heart)? And if he asks for a fish, will he give him a snake (serpent that resembles a fish)?
v 12…Or if he asked for an egg, will he give him a scorpion?
v 13…If you then, being evil (by nature), know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit (power for understanding, hope, insight, knowledge, comfort, guidance, wisdom, discernment to help in prayer-Rom 8.26-27) to those who ask him?”
v 14…And he was casting out a demon, and it was dumb (could not speak), and it came about that when the demon had gone out, the dumb man spoke; and the multitudes marveled (wondered if he was the Messiah).
v 15…But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul (“Baal Zebub” or Lord of the fly- a Philistine deity-2 Kings 1.2; inferring Ha Satan), ruler of the demons.
v 16…And others, to test him, were demanding of him a sign from heaven (proof that he was the Messiah).
v 17…But he knew their thoughts, and said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste (desolated); and a house divided against itself falls (not cemented together).
v 18…And if Satan (adversary) also is divided against himself, how then shall his kingdom stand (exist)? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul.
v 19…And if I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out (where do they get their help; if these sons cast out demons, which they would say was not done with the help of Satan, why would they say the expulsion of demons by Yeshua was done with Satan’s help)? Consequently they (demons) they shall be your judges.
v 20…But if I cast out demons by the finger of God-power-Exo 8.19; Ezek 1.3), then the kingdom of God (his rule and movement in power and action) has come upon you (confronted them-We see God’s kingdom when we see him in action; Yehovah is now ruling when Yeshua casts out demons, and Satan is defeated).
v 21…When a strong man fully armed guards his own homestead, his possessions are undisturbed (alluding to Ha Satan).
v 22…But when someone stronger than he (Yeshua) attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he relied, and distributes his plunder (Eph 4.8).
v 23…He who is not with me is against me (no middle ground); and he who does not gather with me (the sheep, the wheat, etc) scatters.
v 24…When the unclean spirit goes out of a man (or a nation, in appearance, a moral convert by outward reformation, it passes through waterless places (the wilderness was seen as the abode of demons; this alludes to waterless, spiritual desolation of a carnal man in unbelief) seeking rest and not finding any (uneasy), it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came (there was no real reformation.’
v 25…And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order (whitewashed, a case of moral reformation without real regeneration-John 3.3).
v 26…Then it goes and takes along seven (completion) other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man (or nation) becomes worse than the first (this also alludes to what happened in Israel in the first century and Israel today; this is what is happening in the United States currently; the USA had an outward appearance and profession at the beginning of its history, but not a real regeneration. As a result, our laws and people have turned away from God and his Torah and we have allowed these ancient spirits to take over).”
v 27…And it came about while he said these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice, and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed.”
v 28…But he said, “On the contrary, blessed (empowered to succeed) are those who hear the word of God (in the Torah-it was the only word of God he could have been referring to at the time), and observe it (Matt 7.24, 13.16, 19.17, 28.20; Luke 6.46-47, 10.25-28; Jam 1.25).”
v 29…And as the crowds were increasing (pressing toward him), he began to say, “This generation (that exists now) is a wicked generation; it seeks for a sign (Luke 11.16), and no sign shall be given to it but the sign of Jonah (three days buried).
v 30…For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, (three days buried in the fish, then cast ashore to confirm his message), so shall the son of Man (Bar Enosh and an eschatological title from Dan 7.13) be to this generation (Yeshua was the sign to his generation just as Jonah was to his-decisions will need to be made-Luke 12.49-53).
v 31…The queen of the south (1 Kings 10.1-13-Sheba meaning “oath” or “seven”, south of Judea in Arabia; south is the direction of faith and she is a picture of the Torah observant non-Jew in the Kahal) shall rise up with the men of this generation at the judgment (Yom Ha Din) and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom (she was a non-Jew who came a long way and didn’t know God, but these Jews did) of Solomon (peace, a type of Messiah), and behold (see for yourself), something greater than Solomon is here (Messiah himself).
v 32…The men of Ninevah (non-Jews) shall stand up with this generation at the judgment and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah (but this generation rejected the preaching of Yeshua); and behold (see), something greater than Jonah is here (Messiah is confronting you).
v 33…No one, after lighting a lamp (having some light), puts it away in a cellar or under a peck measure, but on the lampstand in order that those who enter may see the light (who Yeshua was and what he came to do was not a secret, so there is no excuse for them; they preferred the darkness of ignorance because they did not want to change-John 3.19).
v 34…The lamp of your body is your eye (the only source needed for light); when your eye is clear (called the “ein tov or good eye; single, uncrossed, good vision) your whole body also is full of light, but when it is bad (called the “ein ra” or evil eye) your whole body also is full of darkness (blind).
v 35…Then watch out that the light in you may not be darkness.
v 36…If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it shall be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays (have a full understanding).”
v 37…Now when he had spoken, a Pharisee (from Beit Shammai who opposed Yeshua) asked him to have lunch with him; and he went in and reclined at table (accepted his hospitality).
v 38…And when the Pharisee saw it, he was surprised that he had not first ceremonially washed before the meal (according to the rabbinic traditions of Beit Shammai).
v 39…But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees (from Beit Shammai) clean the outside of the cup and of the platter (the imagery of a ceremonial purification externally on dishes, something the Torah never commanded), but inside of you (heart, soul, mind, spirit, thoughts, intentions, desires) are full of robbery and wickedness (the food they get was obtained by fraud, extortion, robbery, oppression of widows, etc).
v 40…You foolish ones, did not he (Yehovah) who made the outside make the inside also (both the outer and inner man needs cleansing; to have an outward, ceremonial washing without a new nature is hypocrisy).
v 41…But rather give alms of such things that you have (by oppression and defrauding widows, etc), and then all things are clean to you (you consider yourselves clean inside because of your ceremonial deeds).
v 42…But woe to you (lamentations await you- a very common phrase in Jewish literature, especially against Beit Shammai) Pharisees (of Shammai)! For you pay tithe on mint and rue and every kind of garden herb, and yet disregard justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others (justice and love).
v 43…Woe to you (lamentations await you) Pharisees (of Shammai)! For you love the front seats in the synagogues, and the respectful greetings in the market places (before the public where everyone can see them).
v 44…Woe to you (lamentations await you)!. For you are like concealed tombs (unmarked), and the people who walk above are unaware of them (and are defiled).”
v 45…And one of the lawyers said to him in reply, “Teacher, when you say this, you insult us too (Yeshua was perceived by some to be insulting and cruel)!
v 46…But he said, “Woe to you (lamentations await you) lawyers as well! For you weigh men down with burdens hard to bear (Beit Shammai was more strict than Beit Hillel with all their man-made traditions like the 18 Edicts and oral laws), while you yourselves will not even touch (to relieve anyone or show compassion) the burdens (of your oral laws) with your fingers.
v 47…Woe to you (lamentations await you)! For you build the tombs of the prophets and it was your fathers who killed them (members of Beit Shammai are with Yeshua here, and fifty years earlier members of Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel met at the house of Hananiah Ben Hezekiah to discuss the 18 Edicts, which would separate Jew and Non-Jew. Beit Hillel was against this. So, members of Beit Hillel were killed, probably by the Zealots who were aligned with Shammai, and the edicts were passed. Jewish literature called those killed “prophets” in the Talmud, Sukkah 28a and Bava Batra 134a. Beit Shammai in Yeshua’s day descended from these fathers-for more information on this and the issues between Beit Shammai and Beit Hillel, see the book called “Jesus the Pharisee” by Harvey Falk, WIPF and Stock Pub.).
v 48…Consequently, you are witnesses and approve the deeds of your fathers; because it was they who killed them, and you build their tombs (this statement is also found in the Talmud Sukkah 28a and Bava Batra 134a and Sanhedrin 11a, “We would never have joined in shedding the blood of the prophets had we lived in our father’s day”).
v 49…For this reason also the wisdom of God said (because of this attitude), ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and some they will persecute (drive out),
v 50…in order that the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world may be charged against this generation (referring to the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple),
v 51…from the blood of Abel (first one murdered in relation to the altar in the Tanak-Gen 4.3-8 to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the house (the last one killed in relation to the altar in the Tanak-2 Chr 24.20-21); yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation (in 70 AD).
v 52…Woe to you (lamentations await you) lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge (to understand the Torah, perverting and distorting it); you did not enter in yourselves (the kingdom of God), and those who were entering in you hindered (stood in their way-Mark 7.13-they even prevented non-Jews from entering unless they converted to Judaism through ritual circumcision, something the Torah never commanded).”
v 53…And when he left there, the scribes and the Pharisees (who were aligned with Beit Shammai) began to be very hostile and to question him closely on many subjects (to irritate him into saying something they could use against him; they were just like their fathers as Yeshua said),
v 54…plotting against him to catch him in something he might say (no word from Yeshua could pierce their seared conscience-Matt 26.1-4).
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