PLACE: In OT, "place" = holy place, sanctuary. Was
Jesus praying in the Temple? Cp usage of sw in Mat 27:33; 28:6; Joh 4:20; 11:48;
14:2,3; 18:2; Act 6:14; 7:35,49; 21:28.
"He might well have been in the garden of Gethsemane at the
time... it was a favourite resort of the Lord, and near Bethany"
V 2: Three requests that God be glorified.
Vv 3,4: Three personal requests.
"If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me"
Cp Mat 6:13: "For thine is... kingdom, power, and
LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION: Cp 1Co 10:13.
DELIVER US FROM... EVIL...: "Although all natural
evolutions are not of God, some may be so that apparently present no features to
distinguish them from natural occurrences in general. This double fact has the
double effect of restraining presumption and encouraging faith towards God. We
may not as a matter of natural discrimination be able with certainty to
distinguish between what is providential (or truly of God) and what is not: but
this we know, that the hand of God is at work, and that all who know and fear
and truly love and obey Him, are the subjects of that guidance which constitutes
the answer to the prayer: 'Deliver us from evil' " (WP 174).
"The friend who came on his journey with 'nothing' refs to the
disciples whom Jesus had sent out on their journey with nothing (Luk 9:3). When
He told them to 'eat such things as are set before you' (Luk 10:8), he did not
just mean they should not be picky about their food. He used the same word in
Luk 11:6 to describe how the faithful friend 'set [food] before' his visitor. As
they travelled around, the disciples were to be received in the way he was
describing. Those in that early brotherhood of believers who received and
supported them were to do so knowing that these brethren were in their turn
responding to human need, and they could be fellow-helpers in the gospel's work
by showing hospitality. John says just the same: 'Because that for his name's
sake they went forth [alluding to the great commission to go into all the
world], taking nothing of the Gentiles [ie the unbelievers]. We therefore ought
to help receive such, that we might be fellow-helpers to the truth" (3Jo 1:7,8)"
WITH ME IN BED: Prob a one-room house.
"The Lord will one day come to us at midnight, and the
unworthy will not open to Him (Song 5:2, etc). And right now he stands at the
door and knocks (Rev 3:20). The rejected will know what it is like to stand
knocking at the Lord's shut door and be unanswered (Mat 25:10; Luk 13:25). He
surely intended us to make such links within His teachings. The message is quite
clear -- those who can't be bothered to respond to the knocking of others, who
refuse to feel for others in their desperation, are the ones who will then come
to know just how that feels, as in ultimate spiritual desperation they hammer at
the Lord's door. From this it surely follows that in our response to the
desperation of others, we are working out our own eternal destiny"
BOLDNESS: Lit "without shame": cp ideas: Luk 18:1...
Gen 18:23-33; 32:24-29; Isa 62:6,7.
FOR EVERYONE WHO ASKS RECEIVES; HE WHO SEEKS FINDS; AND TO
HIM WHO KNOCKS, THE DOOR WILL BE OPENED: "The
briefest way to cover all that God does for His children", ie without exceptions
cluttering up the statement.
BREAD... FISH: Jesus exemplified God's love in giving
bread and fish to his "children": Luk 5:6,10; Mat 14:19; 15:36; Joh
Scorpions, at rest and curled up, resemble eggs (PM 40).
"Scorpion", in Gr, may sig a biting retort (Isa 59:5; Eze 2:6; Luk
GIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT: If future, may sig "Holy
Spirit-empowered nature", or immortality.
He that had been dumb now spoke. And they that had spoken were
BY BEELZEBUB, THE PRINCE OF DEMONS, THAT HE IS DRIVING OUT
DEMONS": Perhaps they took their lead from Christ's own family (Mar 3:21).
This campaign continued (Mat 10:25; 12:24; Mar 3:22; Luke 11:15; Joh 7:20;
BEELZEBUB: Lit, Beelzebul = "Lord of the dwelling".
Corrupted by the Jews to Beelzebub: "Lord of the flies", and (by implication)
"Lord of the dunghill". Irony: it was in fact by the TRUE "LORD" of the TRUE
"dwelling" that Jesus did his work!
A SIGN FROM HEAVEN: Cp 2Ki 1:2,3,6; Luk 23:8.
Christ is speaking by parable (Mar 3:23), thus precluding a
lit interpretation (cp v 18: 'I am only arguing this way because...').
Vv 17-20: 'If by my works I show my opposition to demons, and
since you oppose me, then you must be on the side of Beelzebub!'
// Rom 6:16, where "Sin" // demons, etc.
'And if I -- who am yet sinless! -- you be the judge -- do
See Exo 8:19: context of Moses and the magicians of Egypt:
rival "magicians". See lessons there: even the conjurers of Egypt admitted that
they were facing an obviously greater power.
"Satan" possessing a man: cit Isa 49:24,25.
By Jesus' "logical" reasoning, only a stronger can overcome
"Satan". And who is stronger than "Satan" except God?! Therefore Jesus must be
TAKES AWAY THE ARMOR: That is, cast him out, with all
his "goods" or works. Cp David with Goliath in 1Sa 17:54.
DIVIDES UP THE SPOILS: See Isa 53:12; Col
Ct Mar 9:40.
In Luk 9:50 those not against the disciples and their work
will not lightly speak evil of Christ. It isn't ours to forbid any work done,
however imperfectly, in Christ's name. But in Luk 11:23 neutrality now becomes
AN EVIL SPIRIT: Sig a wicked thought or teaching, or an
evil practice (Eph 2:2,3).
SEEKING REST AND DOES NOT FIND IT: Because the only
true rest is to be found in Christ (Mat 11:28-30).
IT: The "evil spirit", not the man!
Vv 25,26: Much of the nation had "repented" at the preaching
of John the Baptist, but it was not enough! It is not enough to cast out the
"demon" of wicked thoughts and actions; the void must be filled with good and
positive things. Since "nature abhors a void", then other wicked thoughts and
actions will rush in to fill the mind and life of the one who casts out the
negative, but does not put the positive in its place.
AND THE FINAL CONDITION OF THAT MAN IS WORSE THAN THE
FIRST: Cp case of Saul: 1Sa 16:14; 18:10.
BLESSED IS THE MOTHER: No ref to a human
Same lesson as Luk 10:37. Jesus does not condemn this woman,
but he doesn't support her either. He makes the point that whilst Mary was to be
called blessed (Luke 1:42-48), the real blessing was on those that turned to him
and believed: Luke 6:47,48; 8:21; Psa 1:1-3; 112:1; 119:1-6.
THE MEN OF NINEVEH WILL STAND UP AT THE JUDGMENT:
Gentile repentance is a witness to faithless Israel.
"Is it possible to understand a reference like this on the
nonhistoric theory of the book of Jonah? The future Judge is speaking words of
solemn warning to those who shall hereafter stand convicted at his bar.
Intensely real he would make the scene in anticipation to them, as it was real,
as if then present, to himself. And yet we are to suppose him to say that
imaginary persons who at the imaginary preaching of an imaginary prophet
repented in imagination, shall rise up in that day and condemn the actual
impenitence of those his actual hearers" (TT Perowne).
THE JUDGMENT: Definite article: the Judgment Seat of
BOWL: Or "bushel" (RSV; AV). Gr word only in this
instance, ie Mat 5:15; Mar 4:21; Luk 11:33: an instrument of commerce!
BUT WHEN THEY [YOUR EYES] ARE BAD: View distorted by
wealth: Deu 15:9; Pro 23:6,7; 28:22.
What you put in the cup or dish (ie food to cook) was obtained
by greed and wickedness!
Surely there's a lesson in there somewhere. The "outside" of
our "cups" and "dishes" can never be made clean (Luk 11:37-41), by anything we
can do... until the whole is cleansed by Christ, with the "redemption of the
body" (Rom 8:23).
And Christ himself, in offering the one
perfect-and-final-and-for-all sacrifice, was of necessity befouled by the
process itself -- just like the priests under the Law, and more so! He was
"cursed" by hanging on a tree, sure... but more than that -- he was treated in
all outward appearance as the worst of criminals, left beaten, bloody, spat
upon, and probably abused and insulted with other unmentioned horrors. Blood,
sweat, and tears... and then driven down into the dust under the burden of a
heavy cross. Dragged back to his feet, pushed and bullied along to the place of
crucifixion, stripped possibly of even the last bit of clothes, and the last
vestige of modesty, and lifted up high -- where nothing could be hidden -- and
all the "beasts" that surrounded him could look, and laugh, and mock.
But it was all the "outside" of the "cup". The "inside" was
pure and clean and white. It could not be tainted by anything cruel men might do
to the "outside".
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you
hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cummin. But you have
neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and
faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the
former" (Mat 23:23).
Tractate Maaseroth opens with a ruling on what is liable to
the tithe, "all that which is food", and then defines when that food is liable
-- not in its early stage but in its later stage (1:1). The determinations
become more detailed in the eight mishnot that follow: "figs" (1:2); "carabs"
(1:3); "greens -- cucumbers, gourds, melons..." (1:4); etc. The attention given
every plant reflects the rabbinic concern to legislate on every detail of life,
to leave nothing unaddressed. The Lord condemns the scribes and Pharisees as
"hypocrites" because they tithed "mint, dill, and cummin" but neglected the
"more important requirements of the law."
Maaseroth 4:5 gives instruction on dill and seed. In the Law
of Moses none of these are listed for tithing, but evidently because these were
herbs and seed used as seasoning in food they were considered tithable. It may
be that the rabbis went beyond the intent of the law with such concern for
detail, but it was not their meticulous observance of tithing that Jesus
condemned but their lack of equal or greater attention to "justice and mercy and
faithfulness." In Maaseroth 5:7 the exact rulings reach the absurd with
legislation regarding ant-holes alongside a heap of corn. "The corn inside of
them is also liable" to be tithed.
BUT YOU NEGLECT JUSTICE AND THE LOVE OF GOD: "After all
that the prophets had said, Christ needed to explain the law of justice again.
His contemporaries were zealous for their traditions but they neglected the
weightier matters of the law of God, justice, faith and love. They were eager to
lade men with heavy and unnecessary burdens but they could not apply the just
balance and just measure to the affairs of spiritual life. So has it been in
later days. There has often been a passionate zeal for rectitude in little
matters of form and expression, resulting in bitter criticism and often
injustice to fellow labourers. We have a strong conviction that when the Just
One passes final judgment, some well-meaning but self-centred men will be
reproved because they have rigorously enforced so many rules of their own and
have been neglectful of justice, mercy, faith and the love of God" (PrPr 186).
See Lesson, Weightier matters.
"They love the place of honor at banquets and the most
important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted in the marketplaces
and to have men call them 'Rabbi' " (Mat 23:6,7).
UNMARKED GRAVES: Not whited graves, as ct Mat 23:27.
Here, hypocrisy. Cp Psa 5: inwardly, like a grave!
Vv 47,48: Cp Mat 23:29-31. "How? Why? Might not the Pharisees
have replied that, by honoring their remains and their memory, they condemned
their murderers? The greatest sin of Israel and of the world was and is,
apostasy from the true God and His worship by idolatry; and the most prevalent
mode of this apostasy is sacrilegious reverence for dead men's tombs and
bones... Now, it was for rebuking this and other kinds of idolatry, that 'the
fathers killed the prophets'; and those who built their tombs would, in like
manner, kill anyone who condemned their idolatrous reverence for these very
sepulchers. Thus the Pharisees, by the very act of building those tombs of the
prophets, and 'honoring' them as they did, showed plainly that they were
activated by the same spirit that led their fathers to kill them; and, to make
this matter self-evident, they very soon proceeded to crucify the Lord of the
prophets because of his faithful rebukes. Nor has this spirit changed in the
least during the subsequent eighteen hundred years. Now, here, in Jerusalem,
should the Savior reappear, and condemn with the same severity our modern
Pharisees, they would kill him upon his own reputed tomb. I say this not with a
faltering perhaps, but with a painful certainty. Alas! how many thousands of
God's people have been slaughtered because of their earnest and steadfast
protest against pilgrimages, idolatrous worship of saints, tombs, bones, images,
and pictures! And whenever I see people particularly zealous in building,
repairing, or serving those shrines, I know them to be the ones who allow the
deeds of those who killed the prophets, and who would do the same under like
circumstances" (LB 639,640).
Do we "build up" the "tombs" of our Christadelphian
"prophets"? If so, is there any danger in doing so?
Are dead "prophets" less threatening than living ones? Seems
to me that dead "prophets" (and I use the term loosely here -- whether referring
to Isaiah and Jeremiah, or John Thomas and Robert Roberts) can be shut up in
books, closed between the covers, and "controlled"... whereas living "prophets"
go walking around sticking their noses into our business when we least like it,
encouraging us more directly by word or deed to DO something when we would
rather do nothing, and generally kicking us out of our "comfort zones". They
can't be as easily "shut up" or "put on a shelf". Maybe that's why we don't care
for the living "prophets". Maybe that's why we sometimes hasten their demise!
Jesus also said, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house
is a prophet without honor" (Mar 6:4).
Vv 49-51: "Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men
and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in
your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the
righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to
the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and
the altar" (Mat 23:34,35).
ABEL... ZECHARIAH: For Zechariah, see 2Ch 24:20,21.
Thus the first and last martyrdoms in OT. (By Jewish reckoning, Chronicles is
the last book of the Scriptures.)