Luke 11

Luke 11: Jesus is Angry

                As Jesus prayed, one of the Apostles came to Him and asked Him to teach them to pray. So Jesus tells them; “…When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” (Luke 11:2-4)

                A few things to remember… Jesus showed them HOW to pray, and NOT how to REPEAT and MEMORIZE.  Let’s recall Matthew 6, where Jesus also spoke about prayer. He said; “…when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men… But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” (Matthew 6:5, 7) I think it is clear that Jesus has taught us that we are NOT to use VAIN REPETITIONS, which literally means:

VAIN: ‘excessively proud, empty of substance, devoid of meaning.’

REPETITION: ‘repeating of something, something the same as before.’

So, when WE PRAY, we need to follow the OUTLINE Jesus has given us, but we are not to repeat what He said, word for word. So what is the outline Jesus gave us? Let’s break up what Jesus said…

  1. Address our Heavenly Father; “…When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven…” (Luke 11:2)
  2. Show respect by using the formal in whatever language you are speaking. For example, in English, we should us “thou, thee, thine… etc.” instead of “you and your” Jesus shows this respect; “…Hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come….” (Luke 11:2)
  3. We need to remember that when addressing our Heavenly Father that were are to THANK HIM for what we have, and accept HIS WILL in all things.  “…Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth…” (Luke 11:2)
  4. After having addressed our Heavenly Father with respect, thanking Him for what we have been blessed with, we can then ask for the desires of our heart; “…Give us day by day our daily bread…” (Luke 11:3)
  5. Finally we can ask for forgiveness and ask that we might not be lead into temptation; “…And forgive our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” (Luke 11:2-4) Finally to end the prayer, we close “In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” Jesus did not include this part, because he would have no need to close in His own name.

Jesus explains that our prayers should not be limited to simple, or any sort of memorized repetition, but rather a heart-felt conversation with God, our Father in Heaven. He explains; “…Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. For every  one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10)

A man comes to Jesus that is possessed of a devil, and Jesus casts the devil out. However, some that witnessed this event say; “…He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils.” (Luke 11:15) Jesus of course heard these comments and explains that a “…house dived against a house falleth.” (Luke 11:17) He asks; “If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand?” (Luke 11:18) Essentially Jesus is saying that it makes no sense for Satan to be casting out devils, which he had placed there in the first place. If Satan were to allow this, he would be going against himself, and a house divided against itself cannot stand. Some still argued against him, but one woman suggests that the mother of Jesus was a blessed woman (Luke 11:27), while I think Jesus believes that, and agrees with the woman, Jesus tells her and the crowd; “…Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it.” (Luke 11:28) Jesus explains to them that He is greater than both Jonas and Solomon, and that He is the only sign the evil generation would receive.

Jesus explains that “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.” (Luke 11:34) This can easily be applied to not only the time Jesus was on the earth, but also in our own day. We see that the internet has brought the evils of Sodom and Gomorrah to our own home. This tidal wave of evil comes in many forms, but Pornography is one of the most rampant. If our eye beholds this evil, we WILL lose LIGHT, and our body will be filled with filth and darkness.

Jesus goes on to scold the Scribes, Pharisees and Lawyers, saying “Woe unto you…” (Luke 11:44,46, 47, and 52) Because of this evil generation, the blood of the righteous will be required.  Jesus reminds them that God sent Prophets and Apostles to the earth to lead and guide His children, however He sent them with the knowledge, that “…some of them they shall slay and persecute.” (Luke 11:49)

Matthew 6

Matthew 6:

The Sermon on the Mount: Part 2 

                Jesus opens this chapter by addressing his disciples on the importance of keeping your alms [righteous acts] out of the viewpoints of others. Jesus tells them to not do as “…the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have the glory of men…” (Matthew 6:2) Jesus explains that they righteous acts should be done in private or secret, so as to not desire praise of men, but rather of God.

Jesus continues by stating that prayer should be done in secret as well, you should not draw attention to yourself when you are praying; “…thou shalt not be as the hypocrite are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets… when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” (Matthew 6:5-6)

Jesus expounds on prayer and tells us that we should not use “…vain repetitions, as the heathen do; for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking…” (Matthew 6:7)

In the end, Jesus reminds us that “…your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” (Matthew 6:8) So with prayer, we should not make it a public thing, at least not to gain praise of man. We need to keep prayer as sacred as possible, avoiding repetitions. Why do we do this? Because prayer is not about reciting, and it is not about memorization. Prayer is about COMMUNICATION! We pray to our Heavenly Father to have a CONVERSATION with him. Therefore we need to speak to Him just as we would with an earthly parent. Tell Him how your day went, tell Him about your struggles, and tell Him about your desires and wishes. Then listen, ponder, and study the scriptures to receive your answer.

Jesus speaks much about prayer in this chapter of Matthew, but HOW SHOULD WE PRAY?

Jesus gives us some instruction on how to pray, here are the steps that He has given us:

1.       Start your prayer by addressing our Heavenly Father. “…Our Father which art in haven, Hallowed by thy name.” (Matthew 6:9)

*Remember God does not like vain repetitions, therefore do not memorize the prayer Jesus gave, but use it as a guide for a prayer in your own words.

2.       Thank Him for everything; “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

3.        Ask Him for the things that you need; “Give us this day our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11)

4.       Ask Him for the ability to forgive others that they might forgive you also; “…forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12)

5.       Ask Him for help to avoid temptation and sin; “…lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil…” (Matthew 6:13)

6.        End your prayer in the name of His Son, Jesus Christ “…Amen.” (Matthew 6:13)

                         *Note that because Jesus was saying the prayer, to His Father, Jesus did not end in His own name. However, because Jesus died for our sins we need to end the prayer in Jesus’s name.

Besides prayer, Jesus also gives us some commandments when it comes to Fasting. Fasting is a period where your body abstains from water and food for a period of time. This helps your soul to have control over your earthly tabernacle, your body. This helps to control spirit over mind, and giving the spirit control over earthy desires of the flesh. Jesus warns us to not be “…as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast…” (Matthew 6:16) Again, fasting and prayer should not be done to gain recognition from men.

Jesus speaks out about earthly and heavenly treasures. We should not focus on material things, but rather the things that we can take back with us into heaven. Greed and the desire for fame can change people and cause them to lose focus on what matters most. Jesus exclaims; “No man can serve to masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or else he will hold to the one and despise the other….” (Matthew 6:24), essentially if we love money and material things, then we cannot serve God or love His gospel.

                “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21)

Jesus ends this chapter by yet again reminding us to first seek “…the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)