The Lord’s Prayer. Jesus and the prince of demons. The return of an unclean spirit. True blessedness. The sign of Jonah. Let your light shine.
VERSE 1. When he finished praying in a certain place, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John also taught his disciples.”
Lord, teach us to pray. The prayer life of Jesus must have been magnetic. They wanted to pray like he did. They ask to be taught.
VERSE 2. He said to them, “When you pray, say, ‘Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
our daily bread. This probably means “food to eat for today.” In other words, do not let us starve today. However, there are other interpretations:
Many contemporary Christians interpret it to mean “fresh spiritual inspiration for today.”
Some Catholics say it means “let me go to the Mass every day to receive Holy Communion.” However, from an historical perspective, only a tiny percent of people have had access to that on a daily basis.
VERSE 4. Forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. Bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ ”
VERSE 5. He said to them, “Which of you, if you go to a friend at midnight, and tell him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread,
VERSE 6. for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him,’
VERSE 7. and he from within will answer and say, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give it to you’?
VERSE 8. I tell you, although he will not rise and give it to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence, he will get up and give him as many as he needs.
because of his persistence. Does this mean God rewards persistence in prayer?
VERSE 9. “I tell you, keep asking, and it will be given you. Keep seeking, and you will find. Keep knocking, and it will be opened to you.
keep asking. God does not withhold his blessings. They are available to us. However, God does not force them upon us. He usually awaits our request.
it will be given you. If we ask, we will receive. By asking God for blessings, we signal to God that we consent to receiving his blessings.
Keep seeking, and you will find. If we seek, we will find. By seeking, we signal to God that we are looking for his blessings.
Keep knocking, and it will be opened to you. If we knock, the door will be opened. By knocking, we send a signal to God that we wish the door to his blessings to be opened.
VERSE 10. For everyone who asks receives. He who seeks finds. To him who knocks it will be opened.
VERSE 11. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he won’t give him a snake instead of a fish, will he?
VERSE 12. Or if he asks for an egg, he won’t give him a scorpion, will he?
VERSE 13. If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”
you then, being evil. Parents love their child. They want to provide their child with good gifts, gifts at least as good or even better than what are asked for.
how much more will your heavenly Father. Similarly, God the heavenly Father loves you his child. He wants to give you good gifts, at least as good or even better than what you ask for.
give the Holy Spirit. Our Father in heaven delights in giving good gifts to those who persist in prayer. The greatest gift of all is the Holy Spirit. Read more »
VERSE 14. He was casting out a demon, and it was mute. When the demon had gone out, the mute man spoke; and the multitudes marveled.
VERSE 15. But some of them said, “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of the demons.”
VERSE 16. Others, testing him, sought from him a sign from heaven.
VERSE 17. But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation. A house divided against itself falls.
knowing their thoughts. The Lord Jesus knows what they are trying to do.
VERSE 18. If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul.
VERSE 19. But if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges.
VERSE 20. But if I by God’s finger cast out demons, then God’s Kingdom has come to you.
the strong man. Some Christians say there is a principal demon who has control of their neighborhood. That demon, they say, is “the strong man.” They say their first duty in spiritual warfare is to “bind the strong man.” They say something like this: “Demon, I bind you in the name of Jesus.”
Matthew 12:29. Or how can one enter into the house of the strong man, and plunder his goods, unless he first bind the strong man? Then he will plunder his house.
Mark 3:27. But no one can enter into the house of the strong man to plunder unless he first binds the strong man; then he will plunder his house.
Luke 11:21. When the strong man, fully armed, guards his own dwelling, his goods are safe.
VERSE 22. But when someone stronger attacks him and overcomes him, he takes from him his whole armor in which he trusted, and divides his plunder.
someone stronger. That is, Jesus Christ. He attacks and overcomes the kingdom of the devil.
The mighty John the Baptist said Jesus Christ is the mighty one:
Luke 3:16. John answered them all, “I indeed baptize you with water, but he comes who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to loosen. He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and fire,
VERSE 23. “He that is not with me is against me. He who doesn’t gather with me scatters.
VERSE 24. The unclean spirit, when he has gone out of the man, passes through dry places, seeking rest, and finding none, he says, ‘I will turn back to my house from which I came out.’
VERSE 25. When he returns, he finds it swept and put in order.
VERSE 26. Then he goes, and takes seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and dwell there. The last state of that man becomes worse than the first.”
VERSE 27. It came to pass, as he said these things, a certain woman out of the multitude lifted up her voice, and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts which nursed you!”
the womb that bore you, and the breasts which nursed you! Some Christians imagine that to have been the mother of Jesus Christ would have been the most wondrous of blessings.
However, a far greater blessing is available to us, as we see in the next verse:
blessed are those who hear the word of God, and keep it. Simply by hearing the word of God and obeying it, we can be more blessed than Mary of Nazareth.
Do you immerse yourself into the Bible? Do you obey what you discover?
VERSE 29. When the multitudes were gathering together to him, he began to say, “This is an evil generation. It seeks after a sign. No sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah, the prophet.
the sign of Jonah. Here are two things this could mean:
1. Preaching by a prophet from afar. Jonah traveled to Nineveh and preached that people should repent. And the Lord Jesus Christ traveled from eternity to our world to preach eternal salvation.
2. Jonah spend three days in the belly of a whale. And the Lord Jesus Christ spent three days in the tomb.
VERSE 30. For even as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so the Son of Man will also be to this generation.
VERSE 31. The Queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and will condemn them: for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, one greater than Solomon is here.
VERSE 32. The men of Nineveh will stand up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, one greater than Jonah is here.
Matthew 12:41. The men of Nineveh will stand up in the judgment with this generation, and will condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, someone greater than Jonah is here.
VERSE 33. “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, that those who come in may see the light.
VERSE 34. The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore when your eye is good, your whole body is also full of light; but when it is evil, your body also is full of darkness.
the light that is in you. In ancient days, a candle burned in the Tent of Meeting. But in our day, the light is to shine from within us. How can you let your light shine? Read more »
VERSE 36. If therefore your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly full of light, as when the lamp with its bright shining gives you light.”
VERSE 37. Now as he spoke, a certain Pharisee asked him to dine with him. He went in, and sat at the table.
VERSE 38. When the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that he had not first washed himself before dinner.
VERSE 39. The Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the platter, but your inward part is full of extortion and wickedness.
VERSE 40. You foolish ones, didn’t he who made the outside make the inside also?
VERSE 41. But give for gifts to the needy those things which are within, and behold, all things will be clean to you.
give for gifts to the needy. That is, give alms. When we give money to the poor, the poor person is not the only one who benefits. We ourselves are transformed.
In our day, we Christians need to open our hearts to poor people. We are to give to poor people and to anyone who asks. That is the spirituality of giving.
VERSE 42. But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, but you bypass justice and God’s love. You ought to have done these, and not to have left the other undone.
VERSE 43. Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the best seats in the synagogues, and the greetings in the marketplaces.
you love the best seats. Many Christian leaders insist that they be given the most prominent seat in the house.
greetings in the marketplaces. Many Christian leaders want to be greeted in the marketplace with honorific terms. “Hello Pastor Smith!” “Good morning Father Joe!”
VERSE 44. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like hidden graves, and the men who walk over them don’t know it.”
hidden graves. In those days, contact with the dead or their graves caused ritual impurity:
Numbers 19:16. Whoever in the open field touches one who is slain with a sword, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.
VERSE 45. One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, in saying this you insult us also.”
VERSE 46. He said, “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load men with burdens that are difficult to carry, and you yourselves won’t even lift one finger to help carry those burdens.
VERSE 47. Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.
VERSE 48. So you testify and consent to the works of your fathers. For they killed them, and you build their tombs.
VERSE 49. Therefore also the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send to them prophets and apostles; and some of them they will kill and persecute,
prophets. That is, the Old Testament prophets.
apostles. That is, the New Testament apostles.
VERSE 50. that the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;
VERSE 51. from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zachariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary.’ Yes, I tell you, it will be required of this generation.
the blood of Abel. Cain’s murder of his brother Abel is the first murder in the Bible.
VERSE 52. Woe to you lawyers! For you took away the key of knowledge. You didn’t enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in, you hindered.”
took away the key of knowledge. This is the essence of a religious leader. They keep their people ignorant and dependent upon them.
VERSE 53. As he said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be terribly angry, and to draw many things out of him;
VERSE 54. lying in wait for him, and seeking to catch him in something he might say, that they might accuse him.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.