A Study in the Gospel of Luke
14 - Chapter 11 33 - 12 12
Notes to aid personal Bible Study
11. 33-36 Verse 33 echoes thoughts in Matthew 5 15; Mark 4.21 and Luke 8.16. Light is love in action and reflects God's glory. Verses 14 and 15 is paralleled by Matthew 6. 22,23. Light enters the physical body through the eyes and their correct functioning permits the rest of the body to function normally ‑ so in spiritual life(1). Does our spiritual sight allow God's light into our hearts or are we in darkness because our spiritual eyes are unsound or unclear. The word 'unsound' may be translated 'evil'(2) so darkness. Jewish religious leaders were blind to the real issues of life. Barclay(3) suggests 'hardening of heart'. Their fathers had paid lip service but really rejected the prophets who were God's messengers, because they looked only on outward appearance and ignored the condition of the heart. Is Abel included in the prophets? The true faith opens the heart to God. Religion is about outward appearances that people see.
11.38-41 Why was Jesus invited to a meal by a Pharisee? Was he following up what he had heard Jesus say? 'Aristao' suggests taking lunch not dining(4). Washing was ceremonial with prescribed amounts of water, obligatory and omission was sinful. The phrase "those things which are within" has led to different interpretations. Does it refer to 'giving' from our own private store or giving from the heart or something else? The answer concerns real cleanliness (or purity). Morris(4) believes that Jesus was speaking about the inward condition of the heart.
11.42-54 'Woe' is deep regret referring to dead tradition, greed and hypocrisy. Tithing was to be a joyful offering but how does it affect a Christian? Walking over graves made a Jew ceremonially unclean but following the Pharisees made one morally unclean.
v.45 'reproach' would be better translated 'insult'.
v.49 the derivation of the expression 'wisdom of God' appears to be unknown.
v.52 what does 'key of knowledge' refer to?
vv.53,54 Catch (Gr. thereusai) refers to hunting wild animals.
12. 1-12. As elsewhere, Luke has arranged his material in a different order and in a different context from the other evangelists. Chronological order is not the intent of the Gospel writers. It is most likely that Jesus said the same things in different places and at different times. Only Luke writes of 'ten thousands' being present. Jesus criticised hypocrisy more than most faults. It's acting out a part. Morris(5) says "The practice of saying one thing and doing another eats at the moral life like a canker". Leaven or yeast work insidiously. The art of hypocrisy is concealment. Jesus words here are very searching and make us guard our thoughts and words; one day they will be exposed. Judgment is God's prerogative alone. How are these sins paralleled in the v.21. The religious leaders' denial of God's work through Jesus was blasphemy; the only way they could deny it was to say that Satan did it ‑ do we ever say that? What is sin against the Holy Spirit? Is it disbelief that refuses to repent? Barclay(6) suggests that it is calling the grace of God devilish; what a warning! Jesus was saying that by condemning me you condemn yourselves; do we fall for that one too? Shutting our eyes to God at work in people. What comfort that God forgets nothing not even sparrows; do we? Barclay(7) points out that although perfect love casts out one kind of fear (1 John 4.18) there is another kind that is compatible with love and is a necessary ingredient in right living. It is recognition of the greatness and rightness of God over against our readiness to sin. The word for Hell here is Gehenna. Only God has power over eternal issues.
Let us wait upon God for He will fill our minds with positive good things then our tongues and pens (printers and e-mails) can only be right in His sight.
(1) (2) (4) (5) Morris - Commentary on Luke
(3) (6) (7) Barclay Daily Study Bible ‑ Luke