The Gospel of Luke ~ Chapter 11 ~ Part 2: Luke 11:14-36

Luke 11 Part 2 vs 14-36

Outline of Luke Chapter 11:

F. Instruction on Prayer, Luke 11:1-13.

1. The Lord’s Prayer Template, vs. 1-4.
2. Instruction for Persistence in your Requests to God, vs. 4-13.

G. Rejection by the Nation, Luke 11:14-36.

1. The Divided Kingdomvs 14-26.
2. Observers of the Word are the Blessed Ones, 
vs. 27-28.
3. Prophecy of Judgment against the Nation,
 vs. 29-36.

a. Jonah a sign of Jesus as the Messiah, vs. 29-30.
b. Various Judges against that Generation in the Judgment, 
vs. 31-32.
c. The Lamp Analogy; Encouragement to Believe,
 vs. 33-36.

H. Rejection by Pharisees and Lawyers, Luke 11:37-54.

1.. Rebuke of the Pharisees Unbelief, vs. 37-44.
2. Rebuke of the Lawyers Unbelief, vs. 45-52.
3. The Plotted Revenge of the Pharisees and Lawyers, vs. 53-54.

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Luke 11 Part 2 vs 14-22 pic 2nd in pageVs. 14

Luke 11:14, “And He was casting out a demon, and it was mute; when the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed.”

This scene in vs. 14-23, is paralleled in Mat 12:22-30, but another similar incident is recorded in Mat 9:32-34; 10:24-25Mark 3:22-27, records this incident as being very early in Jesus’ ministry.

Mat 9:32-34, “As they were going out, a mute, demon-possessed man was brought to Him. 33After the demon was cast out, the mute man spoke; and the crowds were amazed, and were saying, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.” 34But the Pharisees were saying, “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons”.”

Mat 10:24-25, “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!”

In vs. 14, there was a “dumb or mute,” KOPHOS, individual who also could have been “deaf,” as the word use includes that too, “deaf, dumb, and speechless.” In our passage, this agent of evil was no match for the power and authority of Jesus, and immediately, the man began to “speak,” LALEO. This was the result of Jesus “casting out,” EXERCHOMAI, the “demon,” DAIMONION, that was causing this condition and thereby healing the man.

This caused the people who witnessed this miracle, “the crowd,” OCHLOS, to “marvel,” THAUMAZO, at what Jesus did. This has an indication that many came to believe in Jesus as a result, especially in contrast to vs. 15.

Vs. 15

Luke 11:15, “But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.”

In vs. 15, those who did not believe that Jesus was from God or the Savior/ Messiah / King, accused Him of being in league with Satan because of the exorcisms He performed, cf. Luke 7:33, (John the Baptist). In Mark 3:22, the reference is to scribes from Jerusalem.

Beelzebul,” in the Greek is Βεελζεβούλ, Beelzeboul. It has variant English spellings; either Beelzebul, as in the NASB, or Beelzebub, as in the KJV. This is the first time Luke uses this term. It identifies with Satan, as the ruler of the fallen angles, like Abaddon, or Apollyon of Rev 9:11.

As we noted in Luke 9, Beelzebul was a Philistine deity. The name is a combination of Baal, “lord” or “master,” and Zebul, “of the height or of the house.” This Philistine deity was primarily worshiped in the town of Ekron. And, as we have noted in 2 Kings 1, one of Israel’s kings, Ahaziah, fell ill and sent messengers to that city to “inquire of Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I will recover from this sickness,” 2 Kings 1:2. They were turned back by Elijah, and because the king did not acknowledge the God of Israel, he died of his illness rather than receive the healing that could have been his by faith, 2 Kings 1:16-17.

As Jewish history progressed, Beelzeboul was the name Jews gave to “the prince of devils,” Mat 12:24; Mark 3:22, which is, Satan. The first half of the word comes from the Canaanite deity Baal, spelled “Beel” in Aramaic, the language that largely replaced Hebrew among the Jews after the Babylonian Captivity. Consequently, the full designation appears both as Beelzeboul and Baalzeboul. Baal means “lord,” or “master.”  In addition, in contrast to Zebul, as noted above, Zebub is the Hebrew word for “fly,” therefore, combined it means, “lord of the flies.” This is equivalent to the Greek god Zeus Apomyios, “fly averting Zeus,” and the Roman god Myagros.

This name could also mean “Lord of the habitation” or “Lord of manure,” two other derogatory terms applied to Satan by the Jews. The former may have some merit when comparing Mat 10:25, “It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!”

The term does not appear outside the Synoptic Gospels except in later writings based on them. To show contempt for Jesus the Pharisees called Him this name along with others like, “gluttonous, winebibber, Mat 11:19; Luke 7:34, and “Samaritan,” John 8:48. But this one was especially piercing, as it was the leader of the fallen angels. Therefore, it had a double sting, calling Him the devil and doing so with a derogatory term. According to them not only did Jesus have a demon, Mark 3:30; John 8:48, 49, 52; 10:20, 21; cf. Mat 11:17; Luke 7:33, that made Him crazy, John 10:20, but here He exorcised demons by the power of the prince of demons. The religious leaders were trying to denigrate Jesus’ miracles by associating them with the power of Satan.

Prince of the Demons,” is ARCHON HO DAIMONION. ARCHON, ἄρχων means, “ruler, prince, or leader.” Its cognate ARCHE is used in Eph 6:12, for “rulers,” that speaks to Satan’s hierarchy of fallen angels, which constitute our true struggle or warfare.

Eph 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Yet, ARCHON, speaks of the leader of these rulers. That being Satan himself. Therefore, first they rejected Jesus’ healing ministry through exorcism, and then call Him names, and next they wanted Him to prove Himself to them with a sign. This is “tempting the Lord your God.” They were so concerned with legalistic details of religious life they were blind and insensitive to the truth of the Word of God. The Gospels of Matthew and Mark record that Jesus called this unbelieving blasphemy unforgivable.

Vs. 16

Luke 11:16, “Others, to test Him, were demanding of Him a sign from heaven.”

In vs. 16, this “testing,” is the Verb PEIRAZO, πειράζω a cognate of the Noun PEIRASMOS, “temptation or testing,” that we noted in Luke 11:4; Mat 6:13, that also means “try, attempt, put to the test, tempt, or entice to sin,” James 1:13-14; Luke 4:2.

This crowd wanted to get Him to do or say something that could be used against Him. They either believed He was a charlatan who played tricks and wanted to expose Him as such or, more probably, believed He was a false teacher going against the Law and teachings of the scribes and Pharisees. They wanted another “sign,” SEMEION, “sign, token, signal, miracle,” a demonstration of power. Luke’s writing suggests that the exorcisms performed by Jesus made a sign from heaven unnecessary.

Nevertheless, they were “seeking,” ZETEO, ζητέω for a “sign” SEMEION, σημεῖον, “from heaven,” EK HOURANOS. This was not the kind of “seeking,” Jesus instructed them to do, and was looking for them to perform regarding their prayer life in vs. 9-10. This was a “prove to us that you are the Messiah,” type of seeking, which in fact was tempting the Lord God to prove to them who He was.

By requesting a sign the people were demonstrating a trait Paul alluded to in 1 Corinthians 1:22: “The Jews require a sign.” Their history may have predisposed them to such an attitude. They remembered the escape from Egypt and the miracles performed there. The journey through the wilderness on the way to Canaan was a 40-year-long parade of miracles. Elijah, considered one of their greatest prophets, had brought fire from heaven. It is doubtful, however, if any demonstration would have changed their minds.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary).

Vs. 17

Luke 11:17, “But He knew their thoughts and said to them, “Any kingdom divided against itself is laid waste; and a house divided against itself falls.”

In vs. 17, Jesus “knew their thoughts,” OIDA DIANOEMA, which here means He knew their unbelief in Him as the Messiah / King / Savior. The Son of God knew what they were thinking as if they were expressing their views in words. This is what is meant by the term “omniscience,” which is a characteristic that God alone possesses. Jesus, being God, knew their thoughts; even their evil ones. It is funny that this is a sign all by itself as to who He was, which they totally missed.

As such, He gave them six arguments, (the number of man), that begins with an object lesson, rather than a sign. Later, in vs. 29, He will give them the sign of Jonah, to prove who He is.

First, He replied to the charge that His miracles had a demonic source, in vs. 17-20. Here He demonstrates that even Satan’s kingdom is not divided against itself. Otherwise, it would fall and fail. The Lord said that if a kingdom is divided, it destroys itself with the same effect as a conquering army totally levels an enemy city, complete anarchy reigns and the city is destroyed from within where no population is left.

Vs. 18

Luke 11:18, “If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul.”

In vs. 18, Jesus speaks to the absurdity of “Satan,” SATANOS, σατανᾶς, casting out his own demons. He states that for Satan to act against himself would be self-destructive. The argument here is, “why would Satan perform a miracle that would result in his losing his power over his victims? Why would he want to bring this man back to sanity and restore his powers of speech?”

Some people try to deny the existence of a personal devil. Throughout this entire discussion Jesus assumed the presence of an evil kingdom which was opposed to God’s rule that was led by Satan, Luke 4:3; 10:18. Here, Jesus rejected the accusation that He was in league with Satan.

Therefore, Jesus answered both the accusation and the challenge with logic:

  1. Satan desires to control people, as evidenced by demonic possession.
  2. The mute man has been relieved from possession.
  3. The power to remove demonic possession must be against Satan’s desires.
  4. If this act was Satan’s idea, then his entire plan will fail.

If any organization hopes to remain intact and achieve its goals, everyone involved must rally together in unity. If, on the other hand, some work for the objectives while others work against them, failure is inevitable.

Vs. 19

Luke 11:19, “And if I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? So they will be your judges.”

In vs. 19, the implication is that there were others who cast out demons and that too must be from demonic sources, if His source was. Jesus knew they would not put their own in this category. As stated earlier, others were claiming to cast out demons, and some did, as we noted in Luke 9:49-50. The exorcisms performed by others Jesus notes here, were ritualistic and used magical formulas. Jesus and His followers did not use incantations, but trusted in the power of God to overcome the power of darkness.

Notice what Jesus said about the man casting out demons in Luke 9:50, “Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you.” This reminds us of vs. 23, below and speaks to the unity they had, which is the counter argument Jesus is using here against His accusers. If His power comes from God, then His authority over demons proves that He is the Messiah / King / Savior, and that He has brought the kingdom of God to earth.

So they will be your judges,” uses the Noun KRITES, κριτής that means, “a judge, umpire, or decider.” It is where we get our word “critic,” from. In other words, Jesus is saying, “There is your answer. If they are not working in league with Beelzebub, then neither am I.”

Vs. 20

Luke 11:20, “But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.”

In vs. 20, Jesus tells them where His true power to exorcise and heal comes from, “the Kingdom of God.” In this third proposition, He noted that if the miracle was not performed by dark powers, it must have its source in the power of God, i.e., “By the finger, DAKTULOS, of God.” This is a way of referring to the direct power and action of God in the situation.

This phrase occurs throughout Scripture and refers to the power of God at work, cf. Ex 8:19, and what Pharaoh’s magicians said to him about Moses’ miracle of the gnats; they were from The God. See also Ex 31:18, (the writing of the 10 Commandments); Dan 5:5; Psa 8:3.

Psa 8:3, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained.”

In Matthew’s account, Jesus equates the “finger of God” to the power of the Holy Spirit. He shows the Holy Spirit is the source of His power, Mat 12:28, and is the source of our power too!

Mat 12:28, “But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.”

Then the kingdom of God has come upon you.” This statement emphasizes the result; that the kingdom of God is among them. If Jesus’ exorcisms have been carried out by the power of God, then they constitute evidence that the kingdom of God has arrived. The point is that the Kingly and saving power of God has drawn near to the hearers and is there for them to grasp; and the proof that it is near to them is that its power has been evidenced in the lives of other people, namely in those who received exorcisms.

This is the alternative to vs. 19“If Jesus does not cast out demons by Beelzebul, then the alternative is that he does so by the finger of God, and, if so, then the (correct) consequence which should be drawn is that the kingdom of God has appeared.” (The New International Greek Testament Commentary)

This reflects on the theme in the opening of Chapter 10, the proclamation of the Seventy Two that the kingdom of God was near. In other words, if you believe that I am casting out these demons by the power of God, then salvation has come to you. Likewise, if you do not believe this, then salvation has come near, but you have not received it.

Vs. 21

Luke 11:21, “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed.”

In our Lord’s 4th argument, He gives a brief parable about a strong man protecting his home that is overpowered by a stronger man, in vs. 21-22.

Fully armed,” is the Middle, Perfect, Participle of the Verb KATHOPLIZO, καθοπλίζω, “arm fully, equip, or array.” It is only used here in the NT, a hapax legomenon. It is a compound verb with the intensifying prepositional prefix KATA, “according to”, and HOPLON, which means “tool or weapon.” The emphasis of the word is on outfitting or the full provision of necessary tools or weapons. It stresses having the armor and weapons necessary for victory. But in this case, it is not the “full armor of God,” Eph 6:13-17, for the believer. Here, it is used literally, but gives us the idea of trusting and relying upon our human resources and assets, thinking we are ok in this world and in this life with what we have.

This “strong man,” is the Adjective ISCHUROS, “strong, powerful, mighty, able, forcible, vehement,” is confident because he is “fully armed,” with the materialism and/or intelligence of this world. This is the “cosmic man.” And, really is Satan.

This fully equipped cosmic strong man or Satan, “guards his own house.” This phrase uses PHULASSO, “guard, defend, protect, keep safe, etc.,” and AULE, “courtyard, palace, corral, an open space.” Notice, it is not the word OIKOS, that means, “house,” which is typically used for God’s house, temple, people, etc. In classical and Koine Greek, it is an “enclosed space without covering,” in close proximity to a house, or temple. So, we see this being an unbeliever or Satan, without the protection of God in his life, yet protecting his own with his own power and resources.

Even more poignant to the people Jesus was speaking to, this word is used in the NT for the courtyard of the high priest where the trial of Jesus was conducted, Mat 26:58, 69; Mark 14:54, 66; Luke 22:55; John 18:15. Once it refers to the palace of the high priest, Mat 26:3, and once it refers to the courtyard of the Praetorium, Mark 15:16, the official residence of the governor. This was a direct point to Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees who were denying and attacking Him.

It is also used in John 10:1, 16, for the sheep that Jesus is seeking, which means He reaches out to the unbeliever, including the gentiles.

John 10:1, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber.”

John 10:16, “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.”

Getting back to the cosmic strong man, it says that “his possessions are undisturbed,” which is a bad translation. In the Greek it reads, EN EIRENE EIMI HO HUPARCO AUTOS. Literally it reads, “In peace are his possessions,” cf. Mat 19:21; 25:14. We could read this as “because of his efforts his possessions are at peace,” meaning they are protected. Or we could say, “his peace comes from the possessions he owns, guards or protects.”

In either case, this is the cosmic man who trusts in himself and the materialism of this world. He has a false sense of security. Yet, when this condition is changed because he is overpowered by another, he then is defeated, as noted in vs. 22. The implication is this: Peace can suddenly come to an end, so do not become overly confident that you are fighting for the right side just because things are going well in your life.

The ease with which Jesus disposed of the demon should have served notice to all witnesses that the “strong man’s” days of peace were about to end.

Vs. 22

Luke 11:22, “But when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied and distributes his plunder.”

Here, we have the “stronger” man with the Adjective ISCHUROS once again. Because it is used again, it is a comparative and means, “stronger than the first man.” Our Lord is the stronger man here. Jesus, as the stronger man, has supremacy over Satan, demonstrated in the casting out of the evil spirit in exorcism.

He attacks him and overpowers him,” uses the Verbs EPERCHOMAI, “come upon, approach, or overtake,” and NIKAO, “be victorious, prevail, conquer, overcome, or win.” This is figurative for Jesus’ victory, overpowering Satan’s house, and taking away the spoils.

Then we have, “He takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied.”

Armor,” is the Noun PANOPLIA, πανοπλία that means, “full armor or complete armor,” which is only used here and Eph 6:11-13. So, we see the contrast between the “armor” the unbeliever carries, (his cosmic human resources and assets), and the “armor of God” in Eph 6:11-13, that the believer carries.

The cosmic armor of the unbeliever is “taken away,” AIRO, “carried off;” that “in which he had trusted,” PEITHO, “convinced, persuaded, conciliated, appeased, satisfied, or depended on.” It is a word that also means, “faith,” that which he trusted in. Therefore, Jesus defeats the cosmic man and removes his worldly possessions, that which he so trusted in.

Given the context of the following verses, we also understand this as the demons who are possessing a man that Jesus overpowers with the power of God the Holy Spirit to exorcise the demon.

“And distributes his plunder,” uses the Verb DIADIDOMI for “distribute, give out, hand over,” and the Noun SKULON that means, “spoils, loot, or booty,” which is only used here in the NT, an hapax legomenon. In early classical Greek it referred to armor and weapons stripped from the slain enemy after a battle. By the time of the NT, it was generalized to refer to anything taken from its owner after a violent struggle for it. Hence, in the warfare against demonic powers, Satan’s “palace” is invaded by “a stronger than he,” (i.e., Jesus Christ). He takes the “armor wherein he trusted” and completely disarms him and “divides his spoils,” (i.e., the people under Satan’s control in demonic possession, and sickness). Cf. Psa 69:8; Eph 4.

In this parable, the Lord could have been looking forward to the ultimate defeat of the evil one, when Satan will be bound and his possessions stripped from him and redistributed. The immediate application is that as Jesus cast out demons, Satan was defeated and bound. Therefore, He could not have been working for Beelzebul, but instead was working against Him.

Remember that when the power of God scatters the power of darkness, the kingdom of God increases and the kingdom of darkness decreases; in your soul, in the souls of others, and in the world. Jesus’ victory when tempted by the devil illustrates this. Using the Sword of the Spirit each time Satan presented an evil suggestion, Jesus defeated him. The devil learned that though he is mighty, the Son of God is almighty, and he fled.

Therefore, we believers should be glad that we have the “stronger man,” Jesus Christ, on our side. He is stronger than Satan, as the apostle John assures us in 1 John 4:4, “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

Vs. 23

Luke 11:23, “He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters.”

This is the 5th argument by Jesus. As noted above, this verse reminds us of Luke 9:50, “Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you.” There, Jesus was referring to a man exorcising demons in Jesus’ name. He was working for and with the Kingdom of God.

Here, it is railing against the unbelievers at this scene, mostly Scribes and Pharisees, who were rejecting and taunting Jesus. Jesus told the crowd that there can be no neutrality in matters of the Spirit. The kingdom of God is totally opposite to the kingdom of darkness. We each volitionally take a stance as to which kingdom we belong to. Everyone is in one kingdom or the other.

Therefore, we can “gather” with Jesus, which is the verb SUNAGO, συνάγω “to gather together or meet together,” This is where we get the word synagogue from; the gathering together of God’s people to worship Him. Here, it has the connotation of working for and with the Kingdom of God in conjunction with Jesus by His power and authority, and that of the Holy Spirit to lead people to Christ and walk in God’s plan for their life.

Otherwise, if we are walking in the kingdom of darkness, we “scatter” people away from Jesus and God’s plan for their life, which uses the verb SKORPIZO σκορπίζω that means, “scatter, disperse, scatter abroad, or dissipate.” It plays off of the “dividing of the plunder / spoils” above. But here, this is what Satan and his cosmic system do to people, John 10:12.

John 10:12, “He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.”

They remove people from entrance into salvation through Jesus Christ. This is another way of saying, Luke 8:12, “Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved.”

Yet, the believer should be working with Jesus to gather the sheep into the fold rather than working with Satan and his cosmic system to bar entrance into the Kingdom of God. As such, the Lord’s, and His followers’, word is constructive as seen in His calling it “gathering.” It also has the connotation of gathering in, such as netting fish. The Christian is called to become a part of this mission. As Peter and Andrew were called to be “fishers of men,” Mat 4:19; Mark 1:17, so are the followers of Jesus in every generation. In contrast, the work of those not with Jesus is “scattering;” no gain is made, destruction occurs instead.

Therefore, everyone must choose a side: either the Kingdom of God led by Christ, or the kingdom of darkness led by Satan. Each person must decide well, for the consequences of that choice are eternal.

Vs. 24-26

Jesus’ sixth and final reply to the scoffers in the crowd was a short explanation of the actions of evil spirits.

Luke 11:24-26, “When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ 25And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. 26Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.”

The “unclean spirit,” is the Adjective AKATHARTOS, “impure or unclean,” with the Noun PNEUMA “spirit.” Our Lord has used this term many times regarding the possessing demons including, Luke 4:33, 36; 6:18; 8:29; 9:42. In fact, in Luke 8:29, “For it had seized him many times,” we saw how the demon(s) came and went; possessing the man in Gadara over and over again, as is the warning here. Our verse is the last time Luke records Jesus using this term.

Jesus then described the nature of evil spirits. They are restless, wandering beings seeking a body in which to live. They revealed this trait in the case of the demoniac of Gadara, pleading with Jesus that He would not send them off with no fixed place to live. It was then the Lord allowed them to enter the pigs which were feeding nearby.

Unclean,” is used to contrast the “clean” or holy angels, the elect angels who did not rebel or stay in rebellion against God. They received forgiveness of their sin and are now elect and holy angels unto God. But those that remained in rebellion against God have sided with their leader Satan, a.k.a. Beelzebul, and have sin upon their souls and are therefore “unclean” and unholy.

Remember, a demon cannot possess the soul of a believer during the Church Age, particularly because he or she is indwelt by all three members of the Trinity. But this was prior to the Church Age, so we see that the Old Testament believer who received the regeneration of their human spirit along with the imputation of Divine righteousness could not be possessed either. Therefore, for someone to be possessed over and over again, it means they never came to faith in Christ for salvation. As such, even though someone receives exorcism of a possessing demon, it does not mean that they are saved. Exorcism does not mean salvation. It only means the possessing demon(s) have been removed. Salvation is the result of faith in Christ, which must follow exorcism, if that person is not to be possessed again. But, if there is no faith in Christ after exorcism, even when Christ exorcised the demon(s), that person leaves themselves open to future attacks.

Waterless places,” is the Adjective ANUDROS, “dry or without water,” and the Noun TOPOS, where we get our word “topography” from means, “place, location, area, region, etc.” It means a dry place, desert, or arid country. ANUDROS is made up of the Greek negative AN, and the word for “water,” HUDOR. It is used in this narrative only in Mat 12:43, and here, and in 2 Peter 2:17; Jude 1:12.

Interestingly, Peter and Jude use ANUDROS in a metaphor which describes false teachers; “they are wells,” (Peter) or “clouds” (Jude) “without water.

The “arid / waterless places” spoke of the wilderness or desert areas that were considered to be the place where evil spirits lived. So, this was a poetic way of our Lord relating to the people, (using Hellenistic Jewish thought), of the abode of the demons. In other words, it was their home or dwelling place that was not very appealing. Who wants to live in a desert?

Because this was not a very good habitat, the demon(s) could find no rest there. The word for “rest” is the Noun ANAPAUSIS, ἀνάπαυσις that means, “rest, stopping, cessation from labor, or refreshment.” As such, they desired to find rest by possessing a person once again; “I will return to my house from which I came.”

In vs. 25, when the demon returns to possess the individual, they find it “swept and put in order,” that uses the Verb SAROO, “sweep,” and KOSMEO, “put in order, prepare, or adorn.” In classical literature, it was used as a technical military term for the placement of combatants. It is used metaphorically by Jesus to describe a house cleaned and decorated, but empty, which is the soul of this unbeliever. It means that there are no other demons possessing at this time, nor the indwelling of the Trinity, nor the regenerated human spirit and imputation of Divine Righteousness, so it was fit for possession by the demon.

In addition, the Greek word KOSMEO is a cognate of KOSMOS, which indicates this soul was adorned with the cosmic system as an unbeliever. Being inside of Satan’ cosmic system, i.e., walking in darkness, makes one ripe for demonic possession; providing the demon with a suitable dwelling place.

In vs. 26, we see the compounding effect of an unrepentant heart.

Luke 11:26, “Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.”

Here, the first possessing demon throws a party. He “invites other demons, more evil than himself,” which means they will do worse things with this person’s body and mind than the first demon did. This was most likely the case of the demoniac in Luke 8:29. As a result, “­the last state of that man becomes worse than the first.”

“Worse than,” uses the Adjective χείρων, CHEIRON that means, “a worse evil, or more severe.” It is used to compare degrees of evil, like a worsening spiritual or physical condition. This description is also noted in 2 Peter 2:20, for the person who consistently rejects the gospel of Jesus Christ. Cf. 2 Tim 3:13.

2 Peter 2:20, “For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.”

2 Tim 3:13, “But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.”

This brief story is a warning that if they continued to reject God’s efforts to restore relationship through the ministry of Christ, they were placing themselves in a perilous situation. In addition, this was a warning to those in the crowd, to not take lightly the strength and determination of evil spirits. The people should take protection from evil through faith in Christ, not just in cosmic adornment. Protection comes by being a part of the kingdom of God, and living a life in the Spirit.

Luke 11 Part 2 vs. 27-282. Observers of the Word are the Blessed Ones, vs. 27-28.

Vs. 27-28

Luke 11:27-28, “While Jesus was saying these things, one of the women in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed.” 28But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it”.”

Interestingly, this incident does not appear in Matthew or Mark, but both have at the end of the Beelzebul controversy, the story of the visit of Jesus’ mother and brothers in the same position as this narrative, with a similar teaching, Mark 3:31-35; Mat 12:46-50. Luke has already used the incident of His mother and brothers in Luke 8:19-21, so it seems that he substituted this similar story for it here.

“Raised her voice,” uses the Verb EPAIRO ἐπαίρω that literally means, “to lift something up,” like an object, but figuratively it means, “to exalt oneself with pride or arrogance.” Cf. 2 Cor 10:5; 11:20.

Therefore, when we see this woman shouting these things, she is not exalting Jesus, but herself, for being a woman, even though she uses words regarding Jesus’ mother, “the womb that bore You and the breasts at which You nursed.”

The word for “nursed,” is the Verb THELAZO, θηλάζω that is predominantly used regarding end times prophecy as a warning, Mat 24:19; Mark 13:17; Luke 21:23; 23:29. Jesus prophesied about these times with similar language, but in the negative.

Luke 23:29, “For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed’.”

Mat 24:19, “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!”

In Mat 21:16, it was used in the fulfillment of prophecy when the children praised Jesus.

Mat 21:16, “And (the Pharisees) said to Him, “Do You hear what these children are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘OUT OF THE MOUTH OF INFANTS AND NURSING BABIES YOU HAVE PREPARED PRAISE FOR YOURSELF’?” Cf. the Greek translation of Psa 8:2.

Vs. 28  
Luke 11:28, “But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it”.”

Jesus used this expression of praise as a way to emphasize what true blessedness is. He corrects the woman to say, this is better, this is the true basis of blessing in your life. It is similar to Luke 10:20, when He encouraged the disciples.

Luke 10:20, “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.”

True blessedness comes to the followers of God who keep His commands, thus accepting His rule over their lives. When we learn and apply Bible Doctrine to our lives consistently, we will be blessed with a fantastic relationship with God, with power, protection, and authority. This is a familiar exhortation from our Lord as we noted back in Luke 8:21.

Luke 8:21, “But He answered and said to them, “My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.” Cf. Mark 3:31-35.

True relationship with the Lord is found through the intake and application of His Word. In Rev 1:3; 22:7, we see this exhortation in John’s writing regarding the end times.

Rev 1:3, “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed/keep the things which are written in it; for the time is near.”

Rev 22:7, “And behold, I am coming quickly. Blessed is he who heeds the words of the prophecy of this book.”

Our Lord instructed Israel to be sure that they learn and apply His word in Lev 22:31, “So you shall keep My commandments, and do them; I am the LORD.”

James 1:22-25, gives instruction to the Church Age believer to be diligent in the intake and application of God’s Word.

James 1:22-25, “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.”

“Hear the word of God and observe it,” uses the Verb AKOUO for learning through the ear gate, and the Verb PHULASSO, φυλάσσω that means, “guard, defend, watch over, protect, keep safe; obey, follow, etc.” Therefore, the Word of God that we learn, we are to guard within our soul so that we do not lose it. Not losing it, means we are able to apply it in our lives.

To guard the Word means we commit it to memory and we do not override it with cosmic or sinful view point. We diligently keep the Word at the forefront of our minds so we use it and rely upon it in all situations.

In addition, Jesus made clear in this statement the proper view of Mary in relation to Himself. “There is no hint of the Roman Catholic idea of the veneration of Mary. If ever there were a place for our Lord to teach such a thing it would be here in this context. He would only need to “amen” her blessing. Instead, the Lord turns the woman’s attention and our attention away from Mary to God’s word.” (Christ-Centered Exposition.)

So, we see that though she was justly called blessed, Luke 1:42, 48, also blessed are those who learn the Word of God and do the will of God. This does not downgrade Mary; obviously she did the will of God and thus also qualified for the greater blessing. But, this exhorts every believer to learn God’s Word and apply it to their lives, as such they will have a wonderful relationship with the Lord, with power, strength, and authority to be an overcome in this life and receive their escrow blessings in the eternal state, 1 Cor 3:10-15; 2 Cor 5:10; Rom 14:10, 12; Eph 6:8. Therefore, the thing that counts is obeying the Word of God. That is the “blessed” or “happy” way of life. Those who hear God’s message and then heed it are the ones most deserving of honor. That is the promise.

John 13:17, “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.” 

John 15:14, “You are My friends if you do what I command you.”

3. Prophecy of Judgment against the Nation, vs. 29-36.

a. Jonah a sign of Jesus as the Messiah, vs. 29-30.

b. Various Judges against that Generation in the Judgment, vs. 31-32.

c. The Lamp Analogy: Encouragement to Believe, vs. 33-36.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

3 22 20-Luke 11 vs 23-30-Rejection of Jesus Leads to Last State Being Worse than First-We are Blessed When We Learn and Apply Word of God-Sign of Jonah Speaks to Our Lord's Death, Burial, Resura. Jonah a sign of Jesus as the Messiah, vs. 29-30.

This passage, along with vs. 31-32, are paralleled in Mat 12:39-42. Mat 16:4 and Mark 8:12, give similar rebukes to the Pharisees when they persisted that He show them a sign.

Mat 16:4, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and a sign will not be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” And He left them and went away.”

Mark 8:12, “Sighing deeply in His spirit, He said, “Why does this generation seek for a sign? Truly I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation”.”

G. Rejection by the Nations Luke 11:14-36

3. Prophecy of Judgment against the Nation, vs. 29-36.

a. Jonah a sign of Jesus as the Messiah, vs. 29-30. (cont.)

b. Various Judges against that Generation in the Judgment, vs. 31-32.

c. The Lamp Analogy; Encouragement to Believers, vs. 33-36.

Luke 11:29-30

Luke 11:29-30, “As the crowds were increasing, He began to say, “This generation is a wicked generation; it seeks for a sign, and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah. 30For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation”.”

Jesus has just said, “You have to obey the Word of God,” now He is referring to it.

“Were increasing” uses the Present, Middle, Participle of the Verb EPATHROIZO, ἐπαθροίζω that is only used here in the NT. In the voice and means “were gathering together unto him.” The idea is that many people were gathering together unto Jesus in increasing numbers so that they were crowding Him. This most assuredly caused the Pharisees, Scribes, and Lawyers much aggravation, which prompted them to demand a sign from Him.

“Wicked generation,” PONEROS GENEA, means an unbelieving people in that time. As such, Jesus rebuked them calling them out and condemning their demands for a “sign,” SEMEION. He pointed out that the people had turned from God. This is the nature of fallen man. Men still reject God and His ways even in the face of Divine demonstrations. Unbelieving people need a sign to be assured of things, yet the faithful need no signs, and believe without seeing, John 20:29; 1 Peter 1:8-9.

John 20:29, “Jesus said to him, “Because you have seen Me, have you believed? Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed”.”

1 Peter 1:8, “And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, 9obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls.”

In fact, even when the unbelieving see a sign, it typically does not convince them to believe. That is why Jesus says no sign will be given except the sign of Jonah, even though He has already shown them hundreds of signs.

“While many took no time in rejecting the Messiah, many others hesitated, perhaps wondering which way the political winds would blow. Most people choosing sides in a revolution don’t make their decisions based on principle, but by aligning themselves with the one most likely to win. There can be severe consequences to being on the losing side of a revolution, whether in politics, a boardroom, a church, a school, or a residential association. Consequently, the people Jesus encountered wanted a sign, a token of heavenly assurance that He would indeed win. That way, they could enjoy all the benefits of the kingdom without having to risk life, limb, or even their own comfort.” (Swindoll’s Living Insights New Testament Commentary.)

Jonah,” IONAS, Ἰωνᾶς is used 13 times in the NT and only in the Gospels. In the context of this Jonah, who was the prophet God sent to evangelize the Ninevites, which the OT book of Jonah entails, he is mentioned in this narrative only in Mat 12:39-41; Mark 16:4; Luke 11:29-32. The other 4 uses are in John’s gospel for the father of Simon-Peter which is translated as “John,” John 1:42; 21:15-17. Our Jonah is also mentioned one other time in the OT, in 2 Kings 14:25.

Both the deliverance of Jonah and the resurrection were miraculous. Therefore, this is a prophetic sign that He is giving them. Let us read the story of Jonah, in the Book of Jonah, to see the significance of this sign.

The sign of Jonah was being swallowed by a great fish and remaining in the stomach of the fish for three days and three nights and then being spat up upon the shore signifying new life. This correlates to our Lord as the “Son of Man,” being in the tomb for three days and three nights after His crucifixion and death upon the Cross. After that time period, He rose from the grave to eternal victory. As Mat 12:40 points out, the sign of Jonah is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

Mat 12:40, “For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

In our passage, Jesus contrasted the repentant people of Nineveh and the “evil generation” of vs. 29, that had heard His preaching, seen His miracles, and knew the OT Scriptures. They had every opportunity to believe and yet did not. Jesus contrasted them with Nineveh and the “Queen of the South,” vs. 31, who did not in the least have the advantages of the “present generation.”

Therefore, there are three parts to this sign: 1) Being in the belly of the great fish for 3 days and nights that speaks to the resurrection, as we have noted above and in Matthew; 2) The preaching of Jonah for three days for the people’s repentance; and 3) The victory won where grace overcame sin in the repentant heart. Because of the success of Jonah’s mission, in spite of his personal feelings, in turning Nineveh to repentance, it was a sign of the victory of grace over sin in a repentant heart. This was also true of Jesus. He never turned away a repentant sinner, and in Him grace has reached its apex.

Even as Jonah was a sign, so also was the title “Son of Man” a sign. “Son of Man,” is a Christological title used extensively by Jesus to describe His ministry. He often used it to refer to His suffering and death, and also to His glorious return.

Nevertheless, the resurrection is the main sign, as both Jonah and our Lord were rescued by God and brought to victory. In Luke’s Gospel, we see that not only are Jesus’ works a sign, but He Himself is a sign of the power of life over death, because of His victory upon the Cross. Therefore, this sign was prophetic too about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If they saw that, they should know and believe that He is the Messiah! Those who would reject such a testimony could not expect to escape the judgments of God.

In the story of Jonah and the Ninevites, we see a people who have turned away from God and rejected Him, being caught up in Satan’s cosmic system of false gods, idol worship, sin, and materialism. We see that God brings judgment against such people, as He is currently bringing a judgment to our world and country with this Coronavirus. For too long we have been living passively with God, yet actively steeped in Satan’s world and lifestyle. We have rejected the Creator and are worshiping the creation. Yet, just like the people of Nineveh, we too can repent and turn to, or turn back to, God. If we do, just like with Nineveh, God can halt and remove any judgment that otherwise would have come to us. But it takes faith in Him, first individually and then collectively, as a people and nation. Whether that happens remains to be seen.

Yet, during this time of crisis, we have an opportunity to increase our love and faith for God through our prayers, worship, and study of His Word. That should also be followed up by serving others in this time of need. I do not know if you have noticed, but for the past 2+ years, the Holy Spirit has been emphasizing through this ministry the need to be servants of God like never before. You have all the information you need; now we need to just go out and do it, through His leading and guiding. That means witnessing the gospel of Jesus Christ, giving a helping hand to those in need, (i.e., the widow and orphan analogy of James 1:22-27), and encouraging people with your own personal faith and the Word of God.

That reminds us that in this time of crisis, though the rest of the world may be falling apart with fear, worry and anxiety, you and I are to stand firm in our trust, faith, and love of God our Heavenly Father. We have a long list given to us in the Scriptures, of faithful men and women who have gone before us to fall back on. One such list is given in Hebrews 11:1-12:3.

Heb 11:1-2, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2For by it the men of old gained approval.”

In addition to these, remember Daniel’s friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who refused to bow down and worship a false god built by Nebuchadnezzar and were thrown into the fiery furnace, Daniel 3, and how the fire did not hurt them. Or Daniel himself, who was thrown into the lions’ den, Daniel 6:16-24, yet the lions did not harm him. They all had faith in God, and God protected them as a result. So too, should we have that kind of faith in God during this time of crisis and peril, so that He will see us through it victoriously.

And what was the result of their faith?

Daniel 6:20, “When he had come near the den to Daniel, he (Darius the King) cried out with a troubled voice. The king spoke and said to Daniel, ‘Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you constantly serve, been able to deliver you from the lions?’”

Daniel 6:25-26, “Then Darius the king wrote to all the peoples, nations and men of every language who were living in all the land: “May your peace abound! 26I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel; For He is the living God and enduring forever, and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed, and His dominion will be forever.”

It is interesting to see people who cannot wait for the Rapture to come, so that they can escape from this life here on earth, are some of the ones who are most fearful for their life because of this virus. If God can save people from a fiery furnace and ferocious starving loins, He can protect us from a disease. And even if it were to take our life, isn’t that what they wanted to achieve through the Rapture!

Therefore, let us not be fearful of earthly things, when we have so great a heavenly Father who loves us. And instead practice and demonstrate our faith more than we have before.

In Jonah’s example, he had so much faith in God that when God asked him to do something that he did not want to do, he ran away, because he knew God would do it, despite his desire. He learned this from the example of Balaam in Numbers 22-24.

Now, the sign of Jonah was being swallowed by a great fish and remaining in the stomach of the fish for three days and three nights and then being spat up upon the shore signifying new life. This correlates to our Lord as the “Son of Man,” being in the tomb for three days and three nights after His crucifixion and death upon the Cross. After that time period, He rose from the grave to eternal victory. As Mat 12:40 points out, the sign of Jonah is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus.

Mat 12:40, “For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”

In our passage, Jesus contrasted the repentant people of Nineveh and the “evil generation” of vs. 29, that had heard His preaching, seen His miracles, and knew the OT Scriptures. They had every opportunity to believe and yet did not. Jesus contrasted them with Nineveh and the “Queen of the South,” vs. 31, who did not in the least have the advantages of the “present generation.”

Therefore, there are three parts to this sign: 1) Being in the belly of the great fish for 3 days and nights that speaks to the resurrection, as we have noted above and in Matthew; 2) The preaching of Jonah for three days for the people’s repentance; and 3) The victory won where grace overcame sin in the repentant heart. Because of the success of Jonah’s mission, in spite of his personal feelings, in turning Nineveh to repentance, it was a sign of the victory of grace over sin in a repentant heart. This was also true of Jesus. He never turned away a repentant sinner, and in Him grace has reached its apex.

Even as Jonah was a sign, so also was the title “Son of Man” a sign. “Son of Man,” is a Christological title used extensively by Jesus to describe His ministry. He often used it to refer to His suffering and death, and also to His glorious return.

Nevertheless, the resurrection is the main sign, as both Jonah and our Lord were rescued by God and brought to victory. In Luke’s Gospel, we see that not only are Jesus’ works a sign, but He Himself is a sign of the power of life over death, because of His victory upon the Cross. Therefore, this sign was prophetic too about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If they saw that, they should know and believe that He is the Messiah! Those who would reject such a testimony could not expect to escape the judgments of God.

Part 2 Luke 11 vs 31b. Various Judges against that Generation in the Judgment, vs. 31-32.

The following two passages are reversed in Matthew’s account in Mat 12:41-42. Ironically, our Lord uses two examples from Israel’s history in which Gentile people of questionable character responded correctly to the Word of God without any visible assurances, especially the Ninevites. They expressed great faith!

As we turn to vs. 31, we see another woman who had tremendous and wonderful faith in God. So much so, she will be a key witness for our God at the Great White Throne Judgment Seat of Jesus Christ, along with the Ninevites.

Vs. 31

Luke 11:31, “The Queen of the South will rise up with the men of this generation at the judgment and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.”

Mat 12:42, “The Queen of the South will rise up with this generation at the judgment and will condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.”

The 1st witness in the judgment of these unbelieving Israelite religious leaders on the Day of Judgment will be the Queen of Sheba.

The Queen of the South,” uses BASILISSA, βασίλισσα, “Queen,” (it is only used here and in the parallel in Mat 12:42, and in Acts 8:27; and negatively in Rev 18:7), with NOTOS, νότος that means, “South or land of the South.”

Mat 12:42 and Luke 11:31, are parallel passages that use this phrase to refer to the land of the South from which the Queen of Sheba came. This is most probably Yemen in southwest Arabia, others say Ethiopia. Her story is recorded in 1 Kings 10:1-10; 2 Chron 9:1-12.

 The Queen of Sheba came to see and hear if the fame and wisdom of Solomon was correct. After hearing his wisdom and viewing all that the Lord had given him, her final response was a blessing to the Lord God of Israel who raised up such a wise person to sit upon such a magnificent throne.

1 Kings 10:9, “Blessed be the LORD your God who delighted in you to set you on the throne of Israel; because the LORD loved Israel forever, therefore He made you king, to do justice and righteousness.”

2 Chron 9:8, “Blessed be the LORD your God who delighted in you, setting you on His throne as king for the LORD your God; because your God loved Israel establishing them forever, therefore He made you king over them, to do justice and righteousness.”

If from Ethiopia, this queen most likely brought the gospel back to her country where many were evangelized as possibly noted in Acts 8:27.

Acts 8:27, “So he got up and went; and there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure; and he had come to Jerusalem to worship.”

Our passage says that the Queen of Sheba will “rise up,” using the Future, Passive, Indicative of the Verb EGEIRO, “at the judgment,” the Noun KRISIS, κρίσις, “judgment, damnation, decision, verdict, justice, or court (tribunal),” “with the men of this generation and shall condemn them.” “Condemn,” is the Verb KATAKRINO, “condemn, pass sentence on, or judge against,” from the Preposition KATA, “according to,” and the root KRINO that means, “decide, judge, give judgment, condemn, etc.”

This verse states “at the judgment,” yet we understand this to be “the great Day of Judgment,” that is also called the Great White Throne Judgment, Rev 20:11-12. This is the judgment for unbelievers only following the resurrection of the dead. At that time the Queen of Sheba will stand up and be a witness against the unbelieving people of Jesus’ day. She probably will not literally speak at that judgment, but her faith will be used by Jesus to show the only way of salvation, compared to the “good works” of these unbelievers. This is a similar phrase compared to what our Lord had previous taught in Luke 10:13-14; 11:19; Mat 10:15; 11:22, 24.

Jesus Christ will be the Judge and do the judging at the Great White Judgment Seat, and the Queen of Sheba will be the evidence or witness presented that condemns their unbelief. The reason she will be a witness or evidence against them is that “she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon.” Why is this damming? Because she had faith in God’s Word that proceeded from Solomon’s mouth. “Wisdom,” is the Noun SOPHIA, σοφία that represents applied knowledge of Bible Doctrine to a situation. She heard of it, and then came to witness it, and then believed in it and God for salvation.

What will be the basis for her condemnation of that Generation?

1) She came from a great distance to learn about God. In contrast, the people of Jesus’ time found Him readily accessible. Except for His brief stay as an infant in Egypt, and one short trip a few miles north of Palestine to the region of Tyre, He spent His entire lifetime in a country which is only about 150 miles long and less than 100 miles wide. They did not take advantage of their opportunity.

2) The Queen of Sheba was a Gentile with little knowledge of God on which to base her faith. In contrast, the Jewish people had access to the Law, the promises, the prophets, and multiple prophecies concerning the coming Messiah.

3) They had been asking for a sign to satisfy their curiosity. The queen came to Solomon with her questions to satisfy her mind and her soul.

4) In response to what she had received from Solomon, the Queen gave him many precious gifts; the people of Jesus’ day gave Him very little to express their love; rather, they gave Him a crown of thorns and a Cross.

For these reasons, the Queen of the South will condemn “this generation.”

Solomon,” Σολομών, was the son of David and his successor as the king of Israel. He built the first permanent temple in Jerusalem from the architectural design drawn up by his father. He was renowned for his great wisdom, riches, wealth, and dynasty given to him by God. He is said to be the greatest and riches king of all time.

In comparison to Solomon, our Lord then states, “and behold, something greater than Solomon is here,” as He was referring to Himself.  “Greater than,” is the comparative Adjective PLEION that means, “more or greater.”

In this comparison, they were hearing from someone who was greater than Solomon. He was great, but the Son of God was greater. In addition, Solomon had been wise concerning natural matters, as evidenced by the Book of Proverbs, but Jesus was wisdom personified. He could say, “I am the Truth.”

Isa 11:2, “The Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.”

Solomon began his career in brilliance, but ended it in the shadows of failure. Jesus began in lowliness and obscurity but will end surrounded by all the glories of the Celestial City, King of all kings. That is why Jesus could lay claim to the distinction of being “greater than Solomon.”

As such, the Lord declares that anyone who knows the Scriptures would know that He is Wisdom personified. The wisdom of Solomon was simply a foretaste of the Wisdom of God, 1 Cor 1:30; Col 2:2-3. He explains that one greater than Solomon is standing before them. Jesus is greater than Solomon.

1 Cor 1:30, “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.”

Col 2:2-3, “That their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God’s mystery, that is, Christ Himself3in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”

Therefore, if the Queen of Sheba traveled all that way to hear Solomon’s wisdom, these Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees, should be willing to travel a short distance to hear Jesus’ wisdom in teaching. The word “hear,” AKOUO, carries the connotation of faith or believing the Word that they heard, and as such, believing in Jesus Christ as their King / Savior / Messiah.

Vs. 32
The 2nd witness or piece of evidence in judgment against unbelieving Israelites in the Day of Judgment, will be from the Ninevites.

Luke 11:32, “The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.”

Mat 12:41, “The men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation at the judgment, and will condemn it because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.”

Nineveh,” NINEUITES, Νινευίτης was the capital city of powerful Assyria.

 In this second piece of evidence / witnesses, following the Law that requires two or more pieces of evidence or witnesses to convict and condemn someone, Deut 19:5; Mat 18:16; John 8:17; Heb 10:28, our Lord presents the Ninevites that He previously spoke about in vs. 29-30.

Deut 19:15, “A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed.”

Here, the Ninevites will “stand up,” (in comparison to the Queen of Sheba “rising up,” EGEIRO), which is the other Greek word used for resurrection, the Future, Middle, Indicative of the Verb ANISTEMI, ἀνίστημι that means, “raise, raise up, bring to life, stand up, appear, to rise again.”

Though in both passages, it figuratively means they will be presented as evidence / witnesses in the Judgement of this generation. In using the two Greek words for “resurrection,” which indicates they are believers, it means they will be raised up to eternal glory, while the unbelieving generation of Jesus’ day, will be condemned to the Eternal Lake of Fire.

The purpose for their witness, just like the Queen of Sheba’s, will be to “condemn this generation,” the Future, Active, Indicative of the Verb KATAKRINO, κατακρίνω that means, “condemn, pass sentence on, or judge against.”

The reason the men of Nineveh are qualified to be condemning witnesses is “because they repented.”

“Repent” is the Verb METANOEO, μετανοέω that means, “to repent, change one’s mind, or be converted.” It is a compound word from META, “change,” and NOEO, “to exercise the mind.” It is predominately used by Luke in his gospel and Acts, and in the book of Revelation.

This repentance is stronger than remorse or emotional regret. METANOEO portrays a change of mind so effective that Luke 15:7, 10, assumes salvation for a sinner who has “repented.”

Luke 15:7, “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”

And this is the “repentance” that is required for entrance into the kingdom of heaven, which was the subject of the apostolic preaching in Acts.

These Ninevites repented “at the preaching of Jonah,” which uses the noun KERUGMA, κήρυγμα that means, “proclamation or preaching.” It is also used in Mat 12:41; Rom 16:25; 1 Cor 1:21; 2:4; 15:14; 2 Tim 4:17; Titus 1:3. It carries the idea of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Rom 16:25, “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past.”

1 Cor 1:21, “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.”

And, just like vs. 31, with Solomon, our Lord states regarding Himself in comparison to Jonah, “and behold, something greater than (PLEION) Jonah is here.” In Matthew 12:6, our Lord also stated this regarding the Temple.

The people of Nineveh, despite their Gentile blood, their idolatry, their worldliness, and their vicious treatment of enemies, proved to be morally superior to “this generation” of Abraham’s sons. Not because of their good works or deeds, but because of their faith in God, His Word, and His plan for salvation.

Therefore, Jesus had used Jonah as a sign of His own resurrection; now He used the people of Nineveh, to whom Jonah had preached, to warn His audience of judgment that could come to them, if they do not repent and believe in Jesus as their Savior. The people of that wicked city had repented at the preaching of Jonah and by so doing had averted judgment for a time. Therefore, they would be witnesses against those who heard the message of the Master and did not repent. Why? Because a greater than Jonah stood before them. Jesus was:

1) A greater preacher. No one ever spoke like Him.

2) Greater in obedience to the will of God. Jesus never ran from God’s will for His life, Luke 22:42.

3) His message dealt with eternal rather than temporal matters; therefore, rejecting His message would result in worse judgment than the men of Nineveh could expect.

In conclusion, this double saying about the Queen of the South and the men of Nineveh is a statement to contrast the success of two OT preachers, (Solomon and Jonah), to the Gentiles of their generation with the way in which the Jews failed to appreciate the message of The One who is superior to both the wise man and prophet. They had heard His preaching, seen His miracles, and knew the OT Scriptures. They had every opportunity to believe and yet did not. One greater than Solomon and more trustworthy than Jonah stood in their midst, yet “this generation” wanted more signs, more proof, and more assurances. These two painful examples of righteousness on the part of Gentile pagans must have sent the Pharisees into a rage. Nevertheless, because of their rejection of the “Greater One,” (Jesus Christ), they will receive judgment and condemnation to the eternal Lake of Fire at the Great White Throne Judgment of Jesus Christ.

Luke 11 vs. 29 - 36 - Ninevites Faith During Corona Crisis - Faithfulness of God condems Unbelief of others - The Lamp Analogy-Jesus Encouragement to Believers Guard Truth in Their Soul be Beacons for Christc. The Lamp Analogy: Encouragement to Believers, vs. 33-36.

The point of this parable is that some of the people in Jesus’ day missed the sign. They did not see Him, who was the light come into the world, as their Messiah / King / Savior, because of the darkness within their soul. Their eyes are bad, which means they focus on evil rather than light. Their sight is darkened, and so their entire bodies are darkened.

Vs. 33

Luke 11:33, “No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.”

Though with slight variations, this first passage was also used by our Lord after giving the beatitudes in Mat 5:14-15, and after speaking of the seed sown in various soils in Mark 4:21; Luke 8:16. Now our Lord is using it to encourage true believers, after speaking of the judges / witnesses against the unbelieving generation of His day on the Day of Judgment, as noted above.

In this analogy of our spiritual life, our Lord is stating that no one after lighting a lamp hides it away, (KRUPTEN, only used here in the NT meaning, “secret place, hidden area, crypt, cellar, vault”), or covers it up under a basket, (MODIOS, “ a dry measure,” a Roman measuring basket of various sizes to measure dry things sometimes equal to 8 quarts, 1 peck, or 2-7 gallons. It is only used in this narrative in Mat 5:15; Mark 4:21; Luke11:33.), so that others cannot see it or use it. Using common logic of everyday life, our Lord is encouraging believers to demonstrate the Word of God in their soul and faith in their life to others boldly and brightly.

Instead, when someone lights a lamp, they put it on a “lampstand,” LUCHNIA, λυχνία. Such a lampstand was elevated and thus helped to extend the light of the lamp. In the ancient days, the vital function of lamps and lampstands was taken for granted. It was in this context that our Lord illustrated the role of His disciples in the world. As such, you and I are to have an illuminating effect upon our environment and the people around us, especially as the lamp set on its stand lights up the darkness surrounding it. In addition, this word is used in Rev 1:12-13, 20; 2:1, 5, for the Seven Churches as seven golden LUCHNIA, that are to be illuminating lights to the world by witnessing the Word of God to those who are lost. They are to be a beacon of knowledge and hope to a lost world. This is also the intent of Phil 2:15-16a, “So that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16holding fast the word of life, …”

The hopeful result of us shedding the light of Jesus onto the world is “so that those who enter may see the light,” (i.e., they come to salvation).

Vs. 34

Luke 11:34, “The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness.”

Vs. 34-35, are paralleled in Mat 6:22-23 after the instruction on the Lord’s template prayer and immediately following instructions against worldliness in vs. 19-21. This is an encouragement to the believer to maintain Bible Doctrine in their souls, and not be side tracked by false doctrines, sin, human good, or evil.

Mat 6:19-21, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

“The eye is the lamp of your body,” is an interesting phrase, because we do not project things from our eyes like superman shoots laser beams from his eyes. No. Instead the eyes, OPHTHALMOS, are used to receive things. Therefore, this means to learn things through the eye gate. As such, as we learn things through our sight, our eyes, it illuminates like a lamp does to a room, our inward being that has an overall impact on our body, SOMA. This word can have the connotation of the entire person, (body, soul, and spirit). So, our Lord is saying, what you learn affects your behaviors and your body.

Then He said, “when your eye is clear,” using the Adjective HAPLOUS that is only used here and in Mat 6:22 that means, “single, sincere, generous, sound, or simply.” This Adjective comes from the Verb HAPLOO that means “to unfold or spread out.” From that the metaphorical idea of “to make simple or plain” comes to be. But it was also used as the opposite of DIPLOUS, “double,” and meant “single.” In addition, it also carried positive moral nuances meaning, “to be open, frank, or without ulterior motive.” All of these have analogy to Jesus’ use here, especially since He is contrasting it with “bad,” PONEROS which means, “evil.”  Therefore, to be “clear eyed,” means you are taking in the Word of God and applying it in your life consistently. It means you not only have straightforward vision that is centered upon God, but also peripheral vision that sees God’s work and will.

When you do, “your whole body also is full of light,” which means all that you think, say, and do is holy and righteous, because it is based on and being led by God and His Word, through the filling of the Holy Spirit.

Then, we see the other side of the coin, “but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness.” You see, (pun intended), our eyes can be used to learn good as noted above, or bad things, evil things, sinful things, cosmic viewpoint things, etc. When we learn the “bad,” PONEROS, “evil, wicked, depraved, painful, or grievous things” of this world, then it will have a negative effect on our souls that has a negative effect on our body in the things that we think, say, and do.

That is why our Lord said, “your body also is full of darkness,” using the Adjective SKOTEINOS, σκοτεινός. This Adjective is only used here, vs. 36, and Mat 6:23, in the NT. It describes the state of things that are difficult to see and the results of such a state, (e.g., perilous movement, a kind of paralysis, danger, and fear). It also was used to signify ignorance, obscurity, deception, or even the inability to “see,” that is, to learn anything new. In this case, they cannot learn Bible Doctrine.

As such, in the Greek translation of the OT, the Septuagint, (LXX), darkness referred to all that is dangerous or evil, Psa 69:23, including captivity, Psa 107:10, sin, Psa 74:20, and sorrow, Lam 5:17. The evil person is “darkened” (i.e., spiritually blinded), but the godly man can have faith even in a condition of “darkness” (i.e., suffering, lack of understanding the situation), Psa 97:11; 112:4.

Psa 97:11, “Light is sown like seed for the righteous And gladness for the upright in heart.”

Psa 112:4, “Light arises in the darkness for the upright; He is gracious and compassionate and righteous.”

Finally, darkness is also the condition of death and the underworld, Job 10:20-22; Psa 88:6; Ezek 32:17-32, which speaks to the unbeliever in Hades and then the eternal Lake of Fire.

Therefore, our Lord is placing this teaching on the “darkness” with that of greed and materialism. We should not be “laying up treasures on earth,” because our “heart” identifies with our “treasure,” Mat 6:19-21. That passage is followed by the inability to “serve God and mammon (money),” in vs. 24. If we are not generous with our wealth and ignore the needs of others, even though we think we are a good or religious person, we are deceived: our “whole body (self) shall be full of darkness” (i.e., greed, deception, danger, death, cf. James 1:27-2:16.

James 1:27, “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

So, this all speaks to the principle of self-deception that the Pharisees had, who were “religious” but self-deceived, “full of greed and wickedness,” vs. 39.

Vs. 35

Luke 11:35, “Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness.”

Jesus is saying in essence, “do not lose what you have gained,” by guarding your souls with truth.

It begins with “then watch out,” which uses the Present, Active, Imperative of the Verb SKOPEO that means, “look at, examine carefully, or hold something as a goal or model.”  It describes an inspection of evidence for determining the right time or circumstances for action to accomplish a purpose. This is a command to not lose the light that is in you, or do not fall into reversionism. Jesus exhorted His hearers to be sure that what they accept as “light” (truth) was really true “light” and not “darkness” (deception), because only those who are full of true “light” will be able to “illuminate” (help) others. SKOPEO is also used in 2 Cor 4:18, that teaches us the proper motivation for being “others-centered,” which means believers should “look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Notice we are to “look at” the things that are “unseen,” which means we learn God’s Word and have faith in what it says.

In our verse, we are to make sure, be diligent about, the “light, PHOS, that is in us,” here it refers to the information or knowledge within our soul, that it is not “darkness,” SKOTOS. This is an interesting phrase, as light usually means God’s Word, holiness, or righteousness, but here, this light refers to darkness that we are warned to not have. This play on words, is used because the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes had a type of light in their souls. They had “false doctrine” in their souls. They had the wrong teaching of Scriptures, twisting them in their application. This is what we see in 2 Cor 11:13-15, that tells us Satan has false doctrine in his soul. His light is actually darkness.

2 Cor 4:4, “In whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

2 Cor 11:14, “No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.”

2 Cor 11:15, “Therefore it is not surprising if his servants (human false teachers), also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.”

2 Cor 11:13, “For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.”

Eph 6:12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

This means that certain preachers, like the Pharisees, appear as preachers of righteousness, yet they are full of darkness, i.e., false doctrines, especially to the unbeliever and uneducated believer.

Therefore, we are to be diligent to guard our souls and bodies, by not falling for the trap or snare that these false teachers lay with their false teachings, and allow their false doctrines to enter our souls. This is what our Lord was saying back in vs. 28, “But He said, “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe/keep it.”

1 Tim 6:20, “O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”.”

2 Tim 1:14, “Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.”

2 Peter 3:17, “You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness.”

Vs. 36

Luke 11:36, “If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays.”

This verse intensifies the meaning of the previous discussion. Note the focus on “whole body,” “full of light,” “no dark part,” and “illumines you.” Jesus was calling for a complete commitment to His lordship in every area of life. Only in this fashion can there be a “fully illuminated” witness of Him.

So, we see that if we guard our souls from receiving the false doctrines from religion and the world, our whole body, our entire being, (body, soul, and spirit), will be “full of light,” HOLOS PHOTEINOS that means, “all brilliance, radiance, luminous, or completely light.” In this usage, it means, full of Bible Doctrine / God’s Word that results in operating in His holiness and righteousness in all that you think, say, and do. In addition, “wholly illumined,” HOLOS PHOTEINOS once again, where there is “no darkness,” ME SKOTEINOS, which means no sin, human good, or evil in our thoughts, words, or deeds. At that point, we will have unhindered cycling of Bible Doctrine within our souls.

“As when the lamp illumines you with its rays,” LUCHNOS PHOTIZO, “give light to, light up, bring to light, reveal, make evident, or enlighten,” SU OH ASTRAPE, “lightning, light, or ray of light.”  Our Lord completes the analogy of a lampstand in a dark place in a house that light’s it up, so that the darkness scatters, and people can see what is in the house or room, i.e., Christ Himself.

This means when you have the truth of God Word resident within your soul, and as you continue to learn it, it will reveal to you what is truly within your soul, and it will scatter the darkness, (sin, human good, or evil), so that only truth and righteousness are retained. This is the encouragement to the believer: when you take in and apply God’s Word in faith, it will have the result of false doctrines and sin not being within your soul. As such, you can walk in the holiness and righteousness of God for your life.

And remember, Jesus is the light that truly illuminates our soul.

John 1:9, “There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man.”

John 9:5, “While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”

John 8:12, “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life”.”

Jesus is the Light that came to enlighten every person in the world of the truth of salvation; yet, His own not only refused to accept His light, they sought to put it out.

 Click here for (Part 3 of 3) – The Gospel of Luke Chapter 11:  LUKE 11:37-54

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