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Lu 11:1-13. THE DISCIPLES TAUGHT TO PRAY.
1. one, &c.--struck with either the matter or the manner of our Lord's
2-4. (See on Mt 6:9-13).
3. day by day, &c.--an extension of the petition in Matthew for "this day's" supply, to every successive day's necessities. The closing doxology, wanting here, is wanting also in all the best and most ancient copies of Matthew's Gospel. Perhaps our Lord purposely left that part open: and as the grand Jewish doxologies were ever resounding, and passed immediately and naturally, in all their hallowed familiarity into the Christian Church, probably this prayer was never used in the Christian assemblies but in its present form, as we find it in Matthew, while in Luke it has been allowed to stand as originally uttered.
5-8. at midnight . . . for a friend is come--The heat in warm countries makes evening preferable to-day for travelling; but "midnight" is everywhere a most unseasonable hour of call, and for that very reason it is here selected.
7. Trouble me not--the trouble making him insensible both to the
urgency of the case and the claims of friendship.
8. importunity--The word is a strong one--"shamelessness"; persisting
in the face of all that seemed reasonable, and refusing to take a
9-13. (See on Mt 7:7-11.)
Lu 11:14-36. BLIND AND DUMB DEMONIAC HEALED--CHARGE OF BEING IN LEAGUE WITH HELL, AND REPLY--DEMAND OF A SIGN, AND REPLY.
(See on Mt 12:22-45.)
14. dumb--blind also (Mt 12:22).
21, 22. strong man--meaning Satan.
22. a stronger than he--Christ: Glorious title, in relation to
23. gathereth . . . scattereth--referring probably to gleaners. The meaning seems to be, Whatever in religion is disconnected from Christ comes to nothing.
27, 28. as he spake these things, a . . . woman of the company--of the multitude, the crowd. A charming little incident and profoundly instructive. With true womanly feeling, she envies the mother of such a wonderful Teacher. Well, and higher and better than she had said as much before her (Lu 1:28, 42); and our Lord is far from condemning it. He only holds up--as "blessed rather"--the hearers and keepers of God's word; in other words, the humblest real saint of God. (See on Mt 12:49, 50.) How utterly alien is this sentiment from the teaching of the Church of Rome, which would excommunicate any one of its members who dared to talk in the spirit of this glorious saying! (Also see on Mt 12:43.)
29-32. (See on Mt 12:39-42.)
Lu 11:37-54. DENUNCIATION OF THE PHARISEES.
38. marvelled, &c.--(See Mr 7:2-4).
41. give alms . . . and . . . all . . . clean--a principle of immense value. As the greed of these hypocrites was one of the most prominent features of their character (Lu 16:14; Mt 23:14), our Lord bids them exemplify the opposite character, and then their outside, ruled by this, would be beautiful in the eye of God, and their meals would be eaten with clean hands, though never so fouled with the business of this worky world. (See Ec 9:7).
42. mint . . . rue, &c.--rounding on
which they interpreted rigidly. Our Lord purposely names the most
trifling products of the earth, as examples of what they punctiliously
exacted the tenth of.
44. appear not, &c.--As one might unconsciously walk over a grave concealed from view, and thus contract ceremonial defilement, so the plausible exterior of the Pharisees kept people from perceiving the pollution they contracted from coming in contact with such corrupt characters. (See Ps 5:9; Ro 3:13; a different illustration from Mt 23:27).
46. burdens grievous, &c.--referring not so much to the irksomeness of the legal rites (though they were irksome, Ac 15:10), as to the heartless rigor with which they were enforced, and by men of shameless inconsistency.
47, 48. ye build, &c.--Out of pretended respect and honor, they repaired and beautified the sepulchres of the prophets, and with whining hypocrisy said, "If we had been in the days of our fathers, we should not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets," while all the time they "were witnesses to themselves that they were the children of them that killed the prophets" (Mt 23:29, 30); convicting themselves daily of as exact a resemblance in spirit and character to the very classes over whose deeds they pretended to mourn, as child to parent.
49-51. said the wisdom, &c.--a remarkable variation of the words in Mt 23:34, "Behold I SEND." As there seems plainly an allusion to ancient warnings of what God would do with so incorrigible a people, so here Christ, stepping majestically into the place of God, so to speak, says, "Now I am going to carry all that out." Could this be other than the Lord of Israel in the flesh?
50. all . . . required of this generation--As it was
only in the last generation of them that "the iniquity of the Amorites
and then the abominations of ages were at once completely and awfully
avenged, so the iniquity of Israel was allowed to accumulate from age
to age till in that generation it came to the full, and the whole
collected vengeance of Heaven broke at once over its devoted head. In
the first French Revolution the same awful principle was exemplified,
and Christendom has not done with it yet.
51. blood of Zacharias--Probably the allusion is not to any recent murder, but to 2Ch 24:20-22, as the last recorded and most suitable case for illustration. And as Zacharias' last words were, "The Lord require it," so they are warned that "of that generation it should be required."
52. key of knowledge--not the key to open knowledge, but knowledge, the only key to open heaven. In Mt 23:13, they are accused of shutting heaven; here of taking away the key, which was worse. A right knowledge of God's Word is eternal life (Joh 17:3); but this they took away from the people, substituting for it their wretched traditions.
53, 54. Exceedingly vivid and affecting. They were stung to the
quick--and can we wonder?--yet had not materials for the charge they
were preparing against Him.