Vol. 19, No. 12 – March 29, 2020
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.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
a. Jonah a sign of Jesus as the Messiah, vs. 29-30.
“Jonah,” whose name in Hebrew is spelled YONAH, יוֹנָה, and means “dove.” In the Greek, it is 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.
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.
b. 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.
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 Himself, 3in 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.
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.
c. 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.
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).
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.
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.”
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.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#20-031, 20-032, 20-033
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.
So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!