Luke Jewish New Testament and comment David H. Stern

chapter 11
1. One time Yeshua was in a certain place praying. As he finished, one of the talmidim said to him, “Sir, teach us to pray, just as Yochanan taught his talmidim.”
2. He said to them, “When you pray, say: ‘Father, May your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come.
3. Give us each day the food we need.
4. Forgive us our sins, for we too forgive everyone who has wronged us. And do not lead us to hard testing.’”
This version of the Lord's Prayer is briefer than Mattityahu's, but it contains the same topics for prayer. See Mt 6:9-13&N.

5. He also said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend; and you go to him in the middle of the night and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
6. because a friend of mine who has been travelling has just arrived at my house, and I have nothing for him to eat.’
7. Now the one inside may answer, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already shut, my children are with me in bed — I can’t get up to give you anything!’
8. But I tell you, even if he won’t get up because the man is his friend, yet because of the man’s hutzpah he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
Chutzpah. A colorful Hebrew and Yiddish word that means "boldness, audacity, effrontery, insolence, gall, brazen nerve, presumption, arrogance, persistence and just plain 'guts,'" in varying combinations, proportions and intensities. To me it seems the ideal rendering of Greek anaideia, which Arndt & Gingrich's Л Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament translates as "impudence, shamelessness."

9. “Moreover, I myself say to you: keep asking, and it will be given to you; keep seeking, and you will find; keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
10. For everyone who goes on asking receives; and he who goes on seeking finds; and to him who continues knocking, the door will be opened.
11. “Is there any father here who, if his son asked him for a fish, would instead of a fish give him a snake?
12. or if he asked for an egg would give him a scorpion?
13. So if you, even though you are bad, know how to give your children gifts that are good, how much more will the Father keep giving the Ruach HaKodesh from heaven to those who keep asking him!”
Ephesians 5:18 commands Yeshua's followers to "keep on being filled with the Spirit." The Ruach HaKodesh first came upon believers after they had been praying persistently (Ac 1:4, 2:4) in response to Yeshua's own promise (this verse, 24:49, Ac 1:8). Those filled with the Holy Spirit may expect to receive gifts (Ro 12:6-8, 1С 12:28-30, Ep 4:11-12), display fruits of righteousness (Ga 5:22-23), and have the desire, love and power to communicate effectively the Good News of Yeshua by word and deed to those who have not yet believed it (the entire book of Acts centers on this theme). Moreover, "anyone who doesn't have the Spirit of the Messiah doesn't belong to him" (Ro 8:9).

Teach us to pray. In today's secular society people often feel unable to pray and assume that the ability to pray is natural to some and lacking in others. But Yeshua's talmidim, even though they too felt inadequate in prayer, were on the right track in supposing that Yeshua could teach them how to pray. His teaching consisted of four parts:
(1) What to pray for (vv. 2-4),
(2) The importance of persistence (vv. 5-10),
(3) The certainty of a positive answer because of God's love and goodness (vv. 9-13), and
(4) The ultimate gift, the Holy Spirit, who is the source and power for all right prayer (v. 13b; see Ro 8:26-27).

14. He was expelling a demon that was mute. When the demon had gone out, the man who had been mute spoke; and the people were astounded.
15. But some of them said, “It is by Ba‘al-Zibbul” — the ruler of the demons — “that he expels the demons.”
Ba'al-Zibbul. See Mt 10:25N.

16. And others, trying to trap him, demanded from him a sign from Heaven.
17. But he, knowing what they were thinking, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, with one house collapsing on another.
18. So if the Adversary too is divided against himself, how can his kingdom survive? I’m asking because you claim it is by Ba‘al-Zibbul that I drive out the demons.
19. If I drive out demons by Ba‘al-Zibbul, by whom do your people drive them out? So, they will be your judges!
20. But if I drive out demons by the finger of God (Exodus 31:18) then the Kingdom of God has come upon you!
21. “When a strong man who is fully equipped for battle guards his own house, his possessions are secure.
22. But when someone stronger attacks and defeats him, he carries off all the armor and weaponry on which the man was depending, and divides up the spoils.
23. Those who are not with me are against me, and those who do not gather with me are scattering.
See Mt 12:30N.

24. “When an unclean spirit comes out of a person, it travels through dry country seeking rest. On finding none, it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’
25. When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order.
26. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they come and live there — so that in the end the person is worse off than he was before.”
27. As Yeshua was saying these things, a woman in the crowd raised her voice to call out, “How blessed is the mother that gave birth to you and nursed you from her breast!”
28. But he said, “Far more blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it!”
29. As the people crowded around him, Yeshua went on to say, “This generation is a wicked generation! It asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it — except the sign of Yonah.
30. For just as Yonah became a sign to the people of Ninveh, so will the Son of Man be for this generation.
Yonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh. This is understood in rabbinic writings as follows: the news that Yonah had spent three days and three nights in the belly of the fish(Mt 12:40, Yonah 1:17) preceded Yonah's arrival at Nineveh, which is why Yonah's reluctant and lackluster preaching ("Nineveh will be destroyed in forty days") was sufficient to awaken in its inhabitants fear and a need to repent before the God capable of performing such a miracle for the preacher.

31. The Queen of the South will appear at the Judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Shlomo, and what is here now is greater than Shlomo.
Queen of the South, i.e., the Queen of Sheba. See Mt 12:42N.

32. The people of Ninveh will stand up at the Judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they turned to God from their sins when Yonah preached, and what is here now is greater than Yonah.
33. “No one who has kindled a lamp hides it or places it under a bowl; rather, he puts it on a stand, so that those coming in may see its light.
34. The lamp of your body is the eye. When you have a ‘good eye,’ [that is, when you are generous,] your whole body is full of light; but when you have an ‘evil eye,’ [when you are stingy,] your body is full of darkness.
When your eye is good or bad. See Mt 6:22-23N.

35. So take care that the light in you is not darkness!
36. If, then, your whole body is filled with light, with no part dark, it will be wholly lighted, as when a brightly lit lamp shines on you.”
37. As Yeshua spoke, a Parush asked him to eat dinner with him; so he went in and took his place at the table;
38. and the Parush was surprised that he didn’t begin by doing n’tilat yadayim before the meal.
Doing n'tilat-yadayim before the meal. See Mt 15:2-3N.

39. However, the Lord said to him, “Now then, you P’rushim, you clean the outside of the cup and plate; but inside, you are full of robbery and wickedness.
40. Fools! Didn’t the One who made the outside make the inside too?
41. Rather, give as alms what is inside, and then everything will be clean for you!
Give as alms what is inside. A difficult text in the original Greek. One possibility:
"Give to the poor what is inside your cups and dishes," here understood no longer as robbery and wickedness (v. 39) but food, good things in general. Another: "Give truly, from your heart," i.e., from what is inside. A third: Luke, working from an Aramaic source, misread "zakki" ("give alms") for "daldci" ("clean," as in the parallel passage, Mt 23:26).

42. “But woe to you P’rushim! You pay your tithes of mint and rue and every garden herb, but you ignore justice and the love of God. You have an obligation to do these things — but without disregarding the others!
See Mt 23:23N.

43. “Woe to you P’rushim, because you love the best seat in the synagogues and being greeted deferentially in the marketplaces!
44. “Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it.”
45. One of the experts in Torah answered him, “Rabbi, by saying these things you are insulting us also.”
46. Yeshua said, “Woe to you Torah experts too! You load people down with burdens they can hardly bear, and you won’t lift a finger to help them!
47. “Woe to you! You build tombs in memory of the prophets, but your fathers murdered them!
48. Thus you testify that you completely approve of what your fathers did — they did the killing, you do the building!
49. Therefore the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and emissaries; they will kill some and persecute others’;
50. so that on this generation will fall the responsibility for all the prophets’ blood that has been shed since the world was established,
51. from the blood of Hevel to the blood of Z’kharyah, who was killed between the altar and the Holy Place. Yes, I tell you, the responsibility for it will fall on this generation!
Hevel... Z'kharyah. See Mt 23:35N.

52. “Woe to you Torah experts! For you have taken away the key of knowledge! Not only did you yourselves not go in, you also have stopped those who were trying to enter!”
In general see the notes to Mt 23:13-36.

53. As Yeshua left that place, the Torah-teachers and the P’rushim began to oppose him bitterly and to provoke him to express his views on all sorts of subjects,
54. laying traps to catch him in something he might say.

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