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Christmas Reflections: Walk Through Luke - Chapter 11



The Gospel of Luke tells of the origins, birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.


December 11

Day 11

Luke chapter 11

There are 24 chapters in this book

They bring us through the story of Jesus - the reason for this season.


I also include in the bottom or comments some “extras” like short videos and songs that you may have never heard (or artists you may not know) that resonate with me during this holiday time.


Each post will start with who is who so that you can get a solid understanding of what this chapter is about. I encourage you to read the chapter in your own Bible after you read this. If you don’t have a Bible there are lots of free apps. I use several versions in my studying to ensure I have a full understanding of what I’ve read.


This is my commentary.


Who was Luke?

A physician, a researcher, a traveling friend of Paul (mentioned in Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 1:24), perhaps someone researching facts to help the legal case for Paul while in prison in Rome, a non-Jew, the only Gentile author of a book in the New Testament. He penned not only Luke, but also Acts.


New characters continue to be introduced - new in this chapter:

1. A disciple

2. A man possessed

3. A woman in the crowd

4. A Pharisee dinner host

5. Unnamed teachers of the law


HOW TO PRAY

One of Jesus’ disciples asked him to teach them how to pray to God like John (the Baptist) taught his disciples.


Jesus told them what to say when speaking to God.

Maybe you memorized the "our Father who art in heaven" prayer and just recite it. Not really thinking about what that prayer truly says.


Here's one way to think about it.

I’ve broken each section down below.


  1. We are speaking to the creator of the heavens and earth and everything in it. Including ourselves. We are coming straight to the King Almighty. The one who was, is and will always be. That is an amazing opportunity and should be considered reverent. May His name always be kept holy. ("Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name...").

  2. We are asking Him to reveal Himself to us, to make His presence known, to make this world right again the way it was when He first created it. We are asking for Him to come and bring heaven down to earth or to bring us home to Him and that whatever His will is - for it to be manifest here on earth in a better way ("...thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven...")

  3. Please provide nourishment for us daily in our bellies, our minds, and our souls. Help us to forgive people who wrong us even when it's hard - because You forgave us and continue to every time we ask You to. Keep forgiving us ("...give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us...”)

  4. Keep us safe. Keep the Devil away from us and our eyes fixed on You. ("...lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil...")

  5. You will always be victorious, control the heavens and the earth and everything in it, have the power to do whatever You want, and will be in control for all of eternity. Amen. (..."for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen")


A NEW STORY

After - Jesus also taught them this, he shared a story that went like this (paraphrased but very close to his so read Luke for the comparison) - “imagine you go to a friend’s house at midnight and ask for 3 loaves of bread because a traveling Visitor (friend) showed up at your house with no food. What if your friend wouldn’t open the door and says to you “go away and don’t bother me with your problems . My kids and I are going to bed and you can deal with your problems on your own.”

Here’s what could happen

  • Your friend could decide to truly not help you

  • But if you keep knocking he will eventually open the door and give you what you need

What I’m telling you is this - keep asking God for what you NEED. He will give it to you. Continue to look for what you need and you will find it. Continue to knock and he will open the door.”

Need is not always the same as Want. Sometimes we want something(s) that are not good for us. Sometimes we don’t know what we want. All times God knows what we want AND what we need.


Some of you reading this are fathers or mothers. Jesus said - If your kid asked for a fish you wouldn’t give him a snake. If he asks for an egg you wouldn’t give him something dangerous. True.


We are all sinners - but I can speak for myself that I would give my kids anything and go above and beyond for them. Our Father in Heaven knows even better than we do about giving good things to his children. He just wants us to ask and to spend time with him.

CLOUDY VISION

Another day Jesus was getting a demon out of a person as it was causing him to not be able to speak. As soon as it left the man, he could speak again and the people around him were surprised. Not everyone was excited though. Some said they thought the reason He could send demons out was because he was also a demon because that is what describes someone who rules all bad spirits. Some others really wanted to see if God sent Jesus so they asked him to do something they could see and THEN they would believe.


Then Jesus said to them “if armies in a Country start to fight each other, they’ll destroy the country. If people in a family fight each other they’ll destroy the family.

Satan won’t fight against himself because that would end his kingdom. Why would he then help me destroy bad spirits. I use the power of God which should be proof enough that God is among you.”


Read that again. I don’t know where you live on this spinning globe but read again what happens when there becomes a house divided. This is heavy on my heart.


He went on to say “When a strong man has enough weapons to fight with, that is all he needs to protect his house. Nobody can rob him. But what if someone comes who is stronger than he is? He will attack and beat him and no weapons the man has will be any good. The stronger man will take away the weapons.”


Again - wisdom from 2000 years ago.

No weapon formed against you will prosper but God doesn’t provide steel and shells. The armor and swords are of the heart and mind.


Jesus further said “if someone doesn’t help me. He is really against me. Work WITH ME to bring people to me that need help. Otherwise you’re just helping people run away from me.“ man - 3 for 3.


Read it again.


If you are not helping Him by bringing people closer to Him - you’re hurting Him. Wow. This is so good.


There are a lot of “card carrying, name tags wearing” people who may just be doing the opposite of what Jesus was teaching here. Even religious people become the reason Jesus was convicted and brutally killed.


IMPORTANT TO REALLY READ

Jesus describes this scenario - careful since this is how He describes what really happens to something we can’t see with the naked eye but doesn’t mean it isn’t real (sort of like germs, viruses, or the wind or the thoughts in your mind):

  • When a demon leaves a body it looks for a dry place to live

  • Maybe it doesn’t find anywhere new and wants to go back to the old place (inside that person)

  • It finds the person empty and clean SO it brings 7 more spirits even stronger and worse than itself to go into the person to live

  • NOW that man’s life is way worse than before


A woman in the crowd was impressed and said something about how happy and proud His mother must be of Him. He said “happier are the people that hear the message of God and obey it.”

How many people walked away and just didn’t GET what he was saying?

The crowd was getting bigger and Jesus told them they just wanted to see God do something powerful but He wouldn’t do it.


Then he told this story:

  • Jonah showed the power of God to the people of Nineveh

  • They knew God sent him

  • In the same way the Son of Man will show God’s power to the people living today

  • Then they will know that God sent me

  • The Queen of Sheba traveled a long way to see King Solomon

  • She wanted to hear his wise words

  • When God judges everyone she will stand up and speak against bad people

  • There’s someone here now that is greater than Solomon (He was talking about himself)

  • The people in Nineveh listened to Jonah and stopped doing bad things

  • There is someone here now more powerful than Jonah” (He wasn’t trying to be cryptic - but they just weren’t getting it. That the someone was him)


LIGHT

Jesus went on to say something very applicable to light. For any Jewish friends celebrating Hanukkah- it is so beautiful to enjoy and understand the meaning of the festival of the lights. For my Christian friends - Jesus came to fulfill the law. He is the light. The light goes into us and shines out from us. This is what he said:


  • if you have a lamp you don’t hide it,

  • you put it on a stand so when other people come into a room they can see the light and see the room illuminated.

  • Your eyes are like the lamp and your body is like the room.

  • Make sure your eyes are like a clean lamp so the body will be filled with clean light.

  • If your eyes are dirty your body will be in the dark.

  • your whole body needs lots of light

  • Nothing dark should be there

  • It will be as if a lamp is shining a bright light on you


DINNERTIME

After speaking - a Pharisee invited him to his house for dinner. Jesus didn’t wash his hands which surprised the Pharisee. Guess what - it was because there was another lesson coming.


Jesus said to him “you’re like someone who only cleans the outside of your plate and cup, the part that people can see. But inside - your mind is full of bad thoughts.

  • You like to take things from other people

  • You’re foolish

  • God made the inside of you as well as the outside.

  • He knows all about you

  • Be ready to give things to poor people

  • Then You’ll be clean on the inside as well as the outside

He reminded them that 1/10 of what they grow belongs to God. These people followed the law but didn’t do important things like helping poor people and that they didn’t really love God.


These people wanted

  • the best seats,

  • to be praised, and

  • to feel important.


They wanted to seem good to other people but were actually bad on the inside.

Jesus said “you are like someone who walks where they bury dead people. People walk on the ground unaware there is a dead person in the ground."

A teacher of the law got upset and said that when Jesus says these things he is talking badly about them. Uhhh yep. He sure was. There are even “religious people” today that he was talking about.


Keep reading.


Jesus told them they are all about rules and making people obey. But rules are heavy to carry and they (the people He was speaking to) don’t help people carry them or even lift a finger for them.


He told them that long ago prophets were buried and monuments were constructed.

  • They were murdered, not martyrs.

  • They study the scriptures but don’t really accept it. They also keep people away from it that really wanted to know more.


Jesus was fed up and left.

These teachers were intent on finding a way to counterattack. They asked difficult questions wanting him to say something wrong so they could have him arrested.


You can read more about Jesus' ministry and the rest of Luke on your own. There are many free and good Bible apps if you don't have one. I like the apps because they have different bible versions to help you understand the best. Today I read from the ERV, Easy, Message, NLT, NIV and Amplified versions


HEY YOU

If your heart has been mixing and moving and you have questions - maybe you've heard of Jesus - but just not sure how you can believe He was always and always will be, or maybe you follow some other "religion" but want to know a personal relationship with God and to know that you don't have to try to be "good" and rack up "good" points to get to heaven - we daily get grace and forgiveness. There's no love like the love of a man who would lay his life down for those He loves. Jesus did that for all of us. All. Of. Us. Regardless if you love him or not, believe in Him or not.


More tomorrow with chapter 12



—-


Tomorrow chapter 12


PRAYER

Lord thank you for your word and these stories that we can apply to our own lives. Thank you that when I ask you answer, when I knock you open, when I need you you’re there. May your light shine out of me and may my insides be cleaner than my outsides. Help me to not just follow rules - but rather to follow YOU. May I not just be a heeder, but a doer. Amen

Amen.


MUSIC - the universal language

Here’s a song to welcome us to this day:

This is a version of a song about this chapter https://youtu.be/nCxqjEz5hJ4


EXTRAS:

Here’s a clip on this chapter from one of my favorite movies https://youtu.be/MDCbJ4vnMNg

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