March 21st Luke 11 Jesus teaches – Prayer
1: And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. 2: And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. 3: Give us day by day our daily bread. 4: And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. 5: And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; 6: For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? 7: And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. 8: I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. 9: And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 11: If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12: Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13: If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
Jesus and Beelzebub
14: And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered. 15: But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils. 16: And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven. 17: But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. 18: If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. 19: And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges. 20: But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you. 21: When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: 22: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. 23: He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. 24: When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. 25: And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. 26: Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.
After Christ had been praying the disciples asked him to teach then how to pray. Some people think that Christ then taught them a new prayer but in fact Christ took them back to the last prayer prayed in a Jewish man's life. It was in fact a funeral prayer called 'The Kaddish'. But Christ did something remarkable, he extended the prayer. The history and focus of the Prayer is Messianic, Prophetic and Jewish. Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. The first phrase is a prayer, that a time might come, when the name of the Father will be revered among men. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. This part of the prayer is focused on the Messianic Kingdom and it is a prayer that the Kingdom might come. This Messianic Kingdom is described by John in Rev 20. Clearly it is future and it will be a time when the will of God will be done on earth in the same universal manner that Gods will is done in heaven. Then Christ adds a number of phrases that will be very practical and essential during the coming days of the Great Tribulation. In that time the righteous will not be able to buy or sell and so they will pray, Give us day by day our daily bread. At that time God will supernaturally provide bread for his people. The next phrase is important too and is in contrast to the teachings of Grace. Christ says pray, forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. This is a relationship the righteous have under law. Under Law the Jew finds that forgiveness is given by God to those who forgive. In contrast under Grace God gives forgiveness to the unforgiving and then expects them to learn to forgive. We love him because he first loves us. Lastly the Lord says, lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from (the) evil. This last phrase describes the testing and temptation of the righteous in the Great Tribulation. They will be tempted to forsake the Lord and take the mark of the beast and then they will be overcome by evil. Christ goes on to say that this prayer will be answered by those who persist in prayer. How different to us in the church who have prayers answered according to the Grace of God. At this time the Religious leaders blaspheme the Holy Spirits work in the life of Christ by attributing Christ’s Messianic signs to Satanic power. This sin will never be forgiven. All other sin can be forgiven. Christ in response speaks of the foolishness and wickedness of their blaspheme and of the danger to their immortal souls of their blaspheme.