Donít Be a Hypocrite Luke 11 SCC 5/1/16
The message of this chapter is expressed through a series of groups and individuals who sort of pop up throughout the narrative to introduce the various themes presented (v 1, 14, 29, 37, 45, 53).
REQUESTS OF GOD CAN BE BOLDLY MADE BECAUSE GOD CAN SUPPLY ANSWERS
Verse 1: When Jesus finishes praying the disciples request Jesus to instruct them to pray similar to the way John the Baptist taught his disciples.
Verse 2-4: It is to a caring, kind Father that Jesusí disciples can make their requests. First, declare that God manifest himself. Second, that God visibly manifest himself by culminating his rule. Third, each day the disciple asks for provision from God v 3. Fourth, seek forgiveness for sin because one is willing to be a forgiver of everyone v 4. Fifth, implore Godís aid to prevent sins power to overwhelm oneís life. God is approachable and should be approached often and with confidence.
Verse 5-7: Host late night visitor creates real problem since there is no food v 5. So he seeks help from a neighbor v 6. Jesus is asking, which of you has the nerve to wake up his neighbor and family at midnight to ask for bread? The neighbor annoyed by the request excuses himself from being bothered since the family has already retired for the night with the children in bed v 7.
Verse 8-10: The stress in prayer is upon the boldness or nerve of the request v 8. It takes nerve to wake up a neighbor in the middle of the night. In asking is an invitation to pray. In seeking is an invitation to pursue Godís agenda. In Knocking is picture of being attentive to Godís ability v 9. He can open doors, that is, supply an answer with the assurance of such a response v 10.
Verse 11-13: Human parents are willing to give essential things to their children v 11. What father would serve his son a snake or scorpion? Not on of us would do that v 12. If evil ones can give good gifts to their children, how much more the heavenly Father makes provision for his own. So ask boldly knowing your father can supply what is best for you to have.
NB: The point is that just as the host at midnight responds to the request, so God will grant the appropriate requests of his children speedily. If an irritated person responds to boldness, so one can be bold with the God. Thus, continually pray. Disciples are to make their requests boldly to God
Here is a possible formula for prayer to consider from v 2-4:
1. Father, hallowed be Your name. Begin prayer with worth ship. 2. Your kingdom come. Pray for God to bring about His kingdom. There is nothing in the Bible which says we should bring about Godís kingdom. 3. Give us each day our daily bread. But most of us want meat, lettuce, pickles and mayo too. 4 And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. Many are hesitant to forgive people who have offended them, relatives or business associates etc. when those people have not asked for forgiveness. The question is, do you want God to forgive you of the things you have done to offend Him.† 5. And lead us not into temptation. The word is the same for temptation and testing. Never ask God for either.
The principle: ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you destroys the view that we do not have real free will. Our persistence and boldness is in the plan of God but it is still the free will decision to persist boldly in prayer that moves God to action.
LIVE CONSISTENT WITH JESUS KINGDOM BECAUSE HE CAN DEFEAT SATANíS
Verse 14-16: The crowd is amazed at the reality of this unusual work of exorcism v 14. Skeptical, some charge that the power behind Jesus is not divine but demonic v 15. Beelzebub refers to Satan. Along with the accusation some still want him to show more proof of who he was v 16.
Verse 17-23: This accusation gets a lengthy answer. First, Jesus pointed out the absurdity of suggesting that Satan is casting out his own demonís v 17-18. If Satan is in the business of casting out his own demons, then the demonic world is divided against itself (GOPe)óa sure formula for defeat. Second, He pointed out that their leaders cast out demons without that accusation v 19. If Jesus exercises by satanic power what about Jewish exorcistsí? They too must exorcise this way. Third, He said, if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you v 20. Fourth, He pointed out that the stronger man will prevail in a struggle, indicating that His casting out demons proves that He represents a stronger kingdom than Satanís v 21-22. Then Jesus gave His conclusion: He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters v 23. When it comes to deciding about Jesus there is no neutral ground.
Verse 24-26: The phony exorcists, like those mentioned in verse 19, can cast out some demons. But the exorcised demon wants to possess a body v 24. Finding none it returns and finds the one it possessed still unsaved but having cleaned up his life, so the demon invites seven others to join him v 25. Therefore, the last state of that man becomes worse than the first v 26. Like Mormonism where you have cleaned up people practicing pagan idolatry, they worship a god from the planet Kolob. Cleaning up your life will not in itself put you on Godís side. It could just make you more available to Satan.
OBEY JESUS TEACHING IN THE ENTIRE NT BECAUSE ITíS GODíS REVELATION
Verse 27-28: A woman offers her blessing v 27. Jesus responds with On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it v 28. That is, itís not the woman that bore Me but the Father that sent Me, who should be the focus of your blessing. Notice Jesus did not say something like, ďYes my mother is blessed but also observe the word of God.Ē This should eliminate any attempt to equate His mother Mary with the word of God.
Verse 29-32: Godís revelation came through Jonah and Solomon, but now with Jesus, greater revelation was here. The common thing Jesus and Jonahís audience shared was Godís message the signs authenticated v 29. Both messages to both generations require responding in faith to them v 30. The queen responded to Solomonís wisdom v 31 but Jesus is the bearer of the wisdom of God which is greater. Even the Ninevites, representing another gentile response contrasted with a Jewish one, is a shameful example of Jewish rejection of him v 32.
NB: Christlikeness follows the Word of Godónot those who deliver it. Jesus focused the attitude of the crowd and the woman on hearing and observing the Word of God.
AVOID HYPOCRISY BECAUSE GOD CONDEMNS MERE OUTWARD RELIGIOUS SHOW
Verse 33-36: Jesus began this long section with two short parables. The light on the lampstand was Christís message v 33. Jesus revelation from God is a source of guidance. But the eyes of the Pharisees were dark so they canít take in the light v 34. They reject Godís revelation from Christ and have replaced it with hypocritical rituals of their own they believe from God. They are in competition with Jesusí revelation. Christlikeness means constantly examining our world view to conform it more and more to that of Jesus Christís. v 35-36.
Verse 37-44: Next Jesus had lunch with a Pharisee, without washing His hands v 37-38. Then He pointed out the hypocrisy of the Pharisees with 3 comments: (1) They clean themselves outside but not inside v 39-41. (2) They tithe yet disregard justice and the love of God v 42. (3) They love honor and respect v 43-44. One cannot divide life into inner and outer selves, appearance and substance, public and private. We should condemn externalism.
Verse 45-54: Then He offended the lawyers who interpreted the Pharisees teaching that promoted the hypocrisy with 3 more comments: (1) They weigh men down with burdens that they are unwilling to bear v 46. The scribes manufacture spiritual burdens people cannot bear up under so they were spiritually crushed. (2) They are just as bad as their forefathers who killed the prophets, while pretending to honor the prophetís v 47-51. They are in collusion with their forefathers. Godís plan is revealed by the unbelieving Jewish response over generations. (3) They have taken away the key of knowledge v 52. The scribes placed obstacles to others knowing God hindering that knowledge. From then on the Pharisees were plotting against Him to catch Him in something He might say v 53-54. They wanted a piece of him now and plotted a pending attack of him.
NB: We should not be afraid to insult the traditionalists because they keep knowledge from people,
weighing them down with legalistic burdens.
Organize your life, itís priorities, trajectory, purpose, passion, and focus around the rule of the kingdom of God expressed in the Word of God. That includes, prayer, obedience, scripture, and sanctification.