"Somehow of all the Gospel writers, one would have liked to meet Luke best of all." - William Barclay

(1907 - 1978)
Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow, Barclay dedicated
his life to "making the best biblical scholarship available to the average reader."

The result was the Daily Study Bible, a set of commentaries on the New Testament, exploring verse by verse through Barclay's own translation of the New Testament, listing and examining every possible interpretation known to Barclay and providing all the background information he considered possibly relevant.

The 17 volumes of the set were all instant best-sellers and continue to be so to this day.

Barclay wrote many other popular books, mostly in the same accessible but scholarly style. In The Mind of Jesus (1960) he states that his aim was "to make the figure of Jesus more vividly alive, so that we may know him better and love him more."


The Words of Jesus Christ
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Lacey, WA 98503




Chapters Eleven and Twelve

"...rather, happy are those who hear the word of God and keep it."

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he stopped, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples." He said to them, "When you pray, say,

O Father, let your name be held in reverence.
Let your kingdom come.
Give to us each day our bread for the day.
And forgive us our sins as we too forgive everyone who is in debt to us.
And lead us not into temptation."

Jesus said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him towards midnight and says to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves because a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to set before him'; and suppose his friend answers from within, 'Don't bother me; the door has already been shut and my children are in bed with me; I can't get up and supply you' - I tell you, if he will not rise and supply him because he is his friend, he will rise and give him as much as he needs because of his shameless persistence. For I say to you, 'Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; and he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks any father among you for bread, will he give him a stone? Or, if he asks a fish, will he, instead of a fish, give him a serpent? Or if he asks an egg, will he give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?'"

Jesus was casting out a dumb demon. When the demon came out the dumb man spoke and the crowds were amazed. Some of them said, "He casts out demons by the help of Beelzebul, who is the prince of demons." Others, trying to put him to the test, sought a sign from heaven from him. He knew what they were thinking. "Every kingdom," he said, "that is divided against itself is devastated; and every house that is divided against itself falls; so if Satan is divided against himself how will his kingdom stand? You must answer that question because you say that I cast out demons by the help of Beelzebul. If I cast out demons by the power of Beelzebul, by whose power do your sons cast them out? You have become your own judges. But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out the demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. When a strong man in full panoply guards his own homestead, his goods are in peace. But when a stronger man than he comes and conquers him, he will take away the armor in which he trusted, and will divide his spoil. He who is not with me is against me; and he who does not gather with me scatters."

When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it goes through waterless places seeking for rest. And when it does not find it, it says, "I will go back to my house from which I came out." So it comes and finds the house swept and in order. Then it goes and gets in addition seven spirits worse than itself, and they enter in and settle there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

When he was speaking a woman lifted up her voice from the crowd and said, "Happy is the womb that bore you and the breasts at which you sucked." "But," he said, "rather, happy are those who hear the word of God and keep it."

When the crowds were thronging upon him, he began to say, "This generation is a wicked generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah; for just as Jonah was a sign to the people of Nineveh so the Son of Man will be to this generation. The queen of the south will rise up in judgment with the men of this generation and will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and - look you - something greater than Solomon is here. The men of Nineveh will rise up in judgment with this generation and will condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and - look you - something greater than Jonah is here."

No one lights a lamp and puts it in a cellar or under a bushel, but upon a lamp-stand, so that those who come in may see the light. The lamp of the body is your eye. When your eye is sound your whole body is full of light; but if the eye is diseased the whole body is full of darkness. Take care, then, lest the light that is in you is darkness. If, then, your whole body is full of light, without any part of darkness, it will be altogether bright as when the lamp with its ray gives you light.


After Jesus had spoken a Pharisee asked him to dine with him. He came in and reclined at the table. The Pharisee was surprised when he saw that he did not dip his hands in water before he ate. The Lord said to him, "You Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are full of grasping and wickedness. Fools! Did he who made the outside not make the inside also? But cleanse the things that are within - and look you - all things will be pure for you.

But woe to you Pharisees! Because you give tithes of mint and rue and every herb and pass by justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done without omitting the others. Woe to you Pharisees! Because you love the chief seats in the synagogues and greetings in the market places. Woe to you! Because you are like tombs which are not seen, and the men who walk over them do not know that they are doing it."

A scribe answered, "Teacher, when you talk like that you are insulting us." Jesus said, "Woe to you scribes too! because you bind burdens upon men that are hard to bear and you yourselves do not lay a finger on the burdens. Woe to you! Because you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed! So you are witnesses that you agree with the deeds of your fathers, because they killed them and you build them tombs. Because of this God in his wisdom said, 'I will send prophets and apostles to them, some of whom they will slay and persecute, so that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, will be required from this generation, from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zacharias who perished between the altar and the Temple.' Yes, I tell you, it will be required from this generation. Woe to you scribes! You did not enter in yourselves and you hindered those who were trying to enter."

As Jesus went away from them, the scribes and Pharisees began to watch him intensely, and to try to provoke him to discuss on many subjects, for they were laying traps for him, to hunt for something out of his mouth which they could use as a charge against him.

In the meantime, when the people had been gathered together in their thousands, so that they trampled on each other, Jesus began to say first of all to his disciples, "Be on your guard against the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. There is nothing covered up which will not be unveiled, and there is nothing secret which shall not be known. All, therefore, that you have spoken in the dark shall be heard in the light; and what you have spoken into someone's ear in the inner room will be proclaimed on the housetops. I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and who after that are not able to do anything further. I will warn you whom you are to fear - fear him who after he has killed you has authority to cast you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for 1/2p? And yet not one of them is forgotten before God. But as for you - even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not be afraid. You are of more value than many sparrows. I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, him will the Son of Man acknowledge before the angels of God; but he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. If anyone speaks a word against the Son of Man it will be forgiven him; but he who speaks irreverently of the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. When they bring you before synagogues and rulers and those set in authority, do not worry how you will defend yourself or about what defense you will make, or about what you will say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that same hour what you ought to say."

One of the crowd said to Jesus, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me." He said to him, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbitrator over you?" He said to them, "Watch and guard yourself against the spirit which is always wanting more; for even if a man has an abundance his life does not come from his possessions." He spoke a parable to them. "The land," he said, "of a rich man bore good crops. He kept thinking what he would do. 'What will I do,' he said, 'because I have no room to gather in my crops?' So he said, 'This is what I will do. I will pull down my barns and I will build bigger ones, and I will gather there all my corn and all my good things; and I will say to my soul, Soul, you have many good things laid up for many years. Take your rest, eat, drink and enjoy yourself.' But God said to him, 'Fool! This night your soul is demanded from you; and, the things you prepared - who will get them all?' So is he who heaps up treasure for himself and is not rich towards God."

Jesus said to his disciples, "I therefore tell you, do not worry about your life - about what you are to eat; nor about your body - about what you are to wear. For your life is something more than food, and your body than clothing. Look at the ravens. See how they do not sow or reap; they have no storehouse or barn; but God feeds them. How much more valuable are you than the birds? Which of you, by worrying about it, can add a few days to his span of life? If, then, you cannot do the littlest thing why worry about the other things? Look at the lilies. See how they grow. They do not work; they do not spin; but, I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these. If God so clothed the grass in the field, which is there today and which tomorrow is cast into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith? Do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink; do not be tossed about in a storm of anxiety. The peoples of the world seek for all these things. Your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom and all these things will be added to you. Do not fear, little flock, because it is your Father's will to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give alms. Make yourselves purses which never grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where a thief does not come near and a moth does not destroy. For where your treasure is there your heart will also be."

"Let your loins be girt and your lamps burning. Be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that, when he comes and knocks, they will open to him immediately. Happy are those servants whom the master will come and find awake. This is the truth that I tell you - he will gird himself; he will make them recline at table; and he will come and serve them. Happy are they if he finds them so, even if he comes in the second or third watch. Know this - that if the householder knew at what time the thief would come he would have been awake and he would not have allowed his home to be broken into. So you must show yourselves ready, for the Son of Man comes at an hour you do not expect."

Peter said, "Lord are you speaking this parable to us or to everyone?" The Lord said, "Who, then, is the faithful and wise steward, whom the master will set over the administration of his house to give them their ration of food at the right time? Happy is that servant whom the master will come and find acting like this. I tell you truly that he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But if that servant says in his heart, 'My master is delayed in coming,' and if he begins to beat the men servants and the maid servants, and to eat and drink and get drunk, the master of that servant will arrive on a day on which he is not expecting him and at an hour which he does not know, and he will cut him in pieces and he will place his part with the unfaithful. That servant who knew the will of his master, and who failed to have things ready, and to act in accordance with that will, will be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, even if he did things that deserved stripes, will be beaten with few stripes. To whom much is given, from him much will be required; and men will demand much from him to whom much was entrusted."

Jesus said, "I came to cast fire upon the earth. And what do I wish? Would that it were already kindled! There is an experience through which I must pass; and now I am under tension until it is accomplished! Do you think I came to give peace in the earth? Not that, I tell you, but division! From now on in one house there will be five people divided - three against two, and two against three. They will be divided, father against son, and son against father, mother against daughter, and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law, and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law."

Jesus said to the crowds, "When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, 'Rain is coming.' And so it happens. When you feel the south wind blowing, you say, 'There will be scorching heat.' And so it happens. Hypocrites! You can read the signs of the face of the earth and the sky. How can you not read the signs of this time? Why do you not for yourselves judge what is right? When you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, make an effort to come to an agreement with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the officer, and the officer will throw you into prison. I tell you, you will not come out from there until you have paid the last farthing."

turn to chapters thirteen and fourteen

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