Friday, March 23, 2012

Luke 11

The Lord's Prayer

One of the disciples asks Jesus to teach him to pray as John the Baptist did. He gives him a prayer to say which basically says "honor God, ask for daily bread, forgive sins, help us to forgive those indebted to us, lead us not into temptation"

Seems like good advice. It's funny reading this translation, I had memorized this as a kid and it is strange for it to not match quite right. Although seeing the translation forces me to think about the words rather than mindlessly repeat them.

Who has a friend who if you asked him for bread in the middle of the night to entertain a guest he will turn you away. If you are persistent he will help you. Ask and you shall receive.

It seems like he is saying bother people until they give you what you want so you will go away. Is this really the intended message? That's all I see here. I guess the character in the story is doing it for a good reason (to entertain a guest) but he is also bothering a friend when he is trying to sleep.

What father would give a snake to his son when he asks for a fish, or a scorpion when he asked for an egg. If the evil can give good gifts to children then God must give even better gifts.

I guess here he is saying that even bad people can give good gifts, so logically God who is a really good guy must give amazing gifts. Guess I can't really argue with that.

Jesus and Beelzebul

Jesus is accused of casting out demons with the power of Beelzebul. He gives a few different answers. He says that he can't be using Satan's power because a kingdom divided against itself is laid waste.

This leaves out the possibility that Satan is pretending to cast out the demons to gain favor. A truly evil God would pretend to be good to get people's favor first, then when he is trusted he could do whatever he wants.

Jesus asks if he casts out demons with Beelzebul then by whom do their sons do the same thing.

I'm assuming he is talking about his disciples? At any rate, the question is irrelevant. He is saying that either they both use the power of God or they both use the power of Beelzebul, he is wanting them to not accept that their children can be evil and force them to believe he is also not evil. I'm sure they don't want to believe their children can do such a thing, but this is hardly an argument.

Then Jesus says "Whoever is not with me is against me"

This matches what was said in matthew, but clashes with what was said in mark.

Return of an Unclean Spirit

When an unclean spirit leaves a person it roams for a while then decides to return to where it started. When it finds the "house swept and put in order" it brings seven other spirits to dwell there and the final state of the person is worse than the first.

One way to look at this is you have to be on guard for "your demons" to return. I imagine anyone who has ever kicked a habit knows it is very easy to slip back into it. I'm not sure if this is the kind of demons Jesus is talking about though, but it kinda makes sense.

True Blessedness

A woman in a crowd shouted out "blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts at which you nursed!". Jesus replied "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"

I really don't understand this exchange. The exclamation points and the "rather" indicate this was an argument or a confrontation. Why would Jesus say no to what she said? It seems like he is being petty. Please someone tell me what this is really about, what am I supposed to get out of this verse? I'm assuming I am just interpreting it wrong.

The Sign of Jonah

Jesus says that this generation is evil. They wait for a sign but none will come except the sign of Jonah.

There are clearly some references here that I don't understand. *shrug*

The Light in You

When you light a lamp you don't put it in a cellar or under a basket. Put it on a stand. In the same way your eye is the lamp of your body, if it is good the body is full of light, if it is bad then darkness.

I'm not sure I understand the analogy, be careful what you see?

Woes to the Pharisees and Lawyers

Jesus sits down to eat with a Pharisee and doesn't wash up first. The Pharisee points this out and Jesus says they wash the outside but their inside is filthy.

I see that he is making a point here, but you need to wash up before you eat.

He says a bunch of mean things to both the lawyers and the Pharisees. He doesn't like that they get good seats in the synagogues and marketplaces. He doesn't like that the lawyers load burdens on the poor.

That last one is a valid criticism.

1 comment:

  1. The Lord's Prayer. I don't remember this at all, the analogy of asking someone until they give. My first impression was that it was someone who really needed help. I thought maybe if someone wouldn't help you in times of need, that they probably aren't a real friend. Verse 8 does bother me. It seems to be saying “keep asking.”

    Also, you should take a look at other places in the bible of using the “knock and you shall be answered.” You might want to try to read the passages in context, but they don't seem to really be in agreement.;luke+13:24;psalm+18:41;proverbs+1:28;lamentations+3:8;lamentations+3:44

    Return of an Unclean Spirit. I like your analogy with the seven spirits as being a return of deamons. I used to do case management and some of my clients had substance abuse problems. If there was one thing that would turn their progress around quickly, it was relapsing.

    True Blessedness. It sounds like he is insulting his mother.. but I could be reading that wrong as well.

    The Sign of Jonah. I don't really know what the reference is here myself, but he does say that “it seeks for a sign and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah” in verse 29. I feel like this conflicts with some other verses about signs.;mark+16:20;john+3:2;john+20:30;acts+2:22

    The Light in You. When I grew up, the church I was in taught us that the light was like your inner spirit or your belief in Jesus and the Bible. If you hide it, it will probably get snuffed out. However, you need to “shine” and share it. Though, I don't really understand the part about the “Evil Eye.”

    Woes to the Pharisees and Lawyers. I think you have good points here. Jesus does make a good point about loading the burdens on the poor. :) It is weird how he calls people fools, but then himself in Matthew 5:22 says “But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire.“

    I do think its kind of messed up how he blames all of those people that were currently alive for the deaths of the prophets in verses 47 on.


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