GOSPEL of LUKE
Eleven and Twelve
"...rather, happy are those who hear the word of
God and keep it."
US TO PRAY
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
And lead us not into temptation."
AND YOU WILL RECEIVE
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?'"
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."
PERIL OF THE EMPTY SOUL
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."
RESPONSIBILITY OF PRIVILEGE
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."
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.
WORSHIP OF DETAILS AND THE NEGLECT
OF THE THINGS THAT MATTER
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
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
SINS OF THE LEGALISTS
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.
THE CREED OF COURAGE AND OF TRUST
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."
PLACE OF MATERIAL POSSESSIONS IN LIFE
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."
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."
"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."
COMING OF THE SWORD
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."
YET THERE IS TIME
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