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Luke 11:5-13

Sunday Morning Bible Study

February 28, 2016


Do people see Jesus?  Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words  Video=75wpm

Luke was a doctor and a traveling companion of the apostle Paul.

He wrote this book while Paul was in prison.

In writing this book about Jesus, Luke made use of other older documents like the Gospel of Mark, as well as extensive eyewitness accounts.

Church Financial Update – 5 slides

Jesus’ ministry is well under way, and the people have been amazed not just at the things He’s been teaching, but the things He’s been doing.

Last week one of Jesus’ disciples had been watching Jesus praying, and afterwards asked Jesus, “Teach us to pray”.

We’re still in the same section, with Jesus teaching about prayer, and not just “how to pray”, but “to pray”.

11:5-8 The Midnight Friend

:5 And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves;

:6 for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’;

a friendphilos – friend, to be friendly to one, wish him well

lendchrao – to lend (not as a business transaction with interest, but as a friend)

Before we go too far, I need to set the stage…

:5 Which of you …

Another way of translating it could be, “Can you imagine …”

This is a phrase that Jesus uses several times when He teaches.

He’s going to tell you a story that demands a negative response like, “Of course not!”

He used the phrase in:
Can you imagine having a donkey fall into a pit and not immediately pulling it out, even on a Sabbath day? (Luke 14:5)
Can you imagine having a hundred sheep and having lost one of them, not leaving the ninety-nine in the wilderness and going after the one that is lost? (Luke 15:4)

:5 midnight … journey

midnightmesonuktion (“middle” + “night”) – midnight

Don’t get hung up at this being exactly 12:00 am.  It’s simply sometime in the middle of the night.

In the Middle East, it is not uncommon to travel at night because of the heat during the day. 

Though it’s less common in the land of Israel due to its climate, it’s very common in the areas of Jordan and Syria, and the people of Israel knew this to be the case.

It actually wouldn’t be that strange of a thing to have a visitor show up at your doorstep late at night.

:5 Which of you shall have a friend

Though there is an unnamed traveler in the story whom we might call “guest”, we are going to focus primarily on the two other individuals. 

To keep them straight we are going to call one the “host” (that’s the guy that’s knocking), and the other the “sleeper” (the guy that the “host” is trying to wake up).

In the parable, the “host” represents those of us who come to God in prayer.
The “sleeper” is meant to be a picture of God, the one we are bringing our requests to.

:5 Friend, lend me three loaves


In the culture of the Middle East, hospitality is EVERYTHING.
When we were on our way to Israel last year, I sat next to a Jewish fellow on the last leg of our journey, and as we got to talking, he made a point of inviting me and our entire group over to his house.

I wanted to, but our schedule wouldn’t allow it.

At another point in our trip, we journeyed back in time to a place called “Genesis Land”
Video:  Camels in Genesis Land
When we arrived, we had dinner with a fellow named Abraham.
Video: Abraham at Genesis Land

All through dinner, Abraham and his servants made a point of making us welcome, treating us like kings and queens.

You must eat

When you had a visitor to your house, culture demanded that you must serve your guest, and that your guest must eat, even if they weren’t hungry.

Enough bread

Culture also demanded that you provide a complete unbroken loaf for each person.
You might have some leftover pieces of bread from your meals earlier in the day, but it was shameful to offer scraps to a guest.
The “host” obviously did not have any whole loaves of bread to offer to his visiting guest(s).

Community Ovens

In Jesus’ day, bread was usually baked in a community oven.
The women might grind their grain at home and make up the dough at home, but then take the dough to the community oven to bake.
The women would be aware of who had baked the most bread that day, and the wife of the “host” would probably have known that the “sleeper” had enough bread to borrow for the guest.

It takes a village

Hospitality was not just the obligation of the “host”, but of the entire village.
A host would say to their guest, “You have honored our village with your visit” and never, “You have honored me”.
In going to his neighbor, the host is asking the sleeper to fulfil his duty to the guest of the village.
As long as he isn’t asking for too much, it would be unthinkable to refuse a request like this.

Bread’s role

Bread is not the entire meal.
Bread at middle eastern meals is the fork and spoon (spork) with which the meal is eaten.
There are different items placed in common bowls in the center of the table, and you would break off a piece of bread and use it to scoop up whatever item you were wanting to eat – like a piece of chicken, some hummus, or some sort of dip.
You never “double-dip” with your piece of bread.  It’s like the chips on the table at Don Jose’s.  You don’t sip off the salsa and redip your chip.  You use a new chip.
Though it is unspoken, the host is also going to need more for the meal than just the bread.

He’s going to need salsa, queso, beans, etc.

You see these extra things at the end of verse 8:

(Luke 11:8 NKJV) …he will rise and give him as many as he needs.

Now the stage is set …

:7 and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’?

troublekopos – a beating; a beating of the breast with grief, sorrow; labour; trouble; to cause one trouble, make work for him; intense labour united with trouble and toil

childrenpaidion – a young child, a little boy, a little girl; infants; children, little ones

I cannotdunamai – to be able, have power whether by virtue of one’s own ability and resources, or of a state of mind, or through favourable circumstances, or by permission of law or custom; to be able to do something; to be capable, strong and powerful

shutkleio – to shut, shut up

Perfect tense

Givedidomi – to give

Aorist infinitive

:7 Do not trouble me

You might be thinking that the sleeper makes a good point.

Perhaps he’s had a long day, and the kids are finally sleeping and he’s not about to wake them up.

But the point of the parable is just the opposite.

Jesus is saying, “Can you imagine this scenario where a sleeper would actually turn the host away and blame it on the sleeping kids???”

The obvious answer to Jesus’ listeners is, “Of course not!”
In fact, the people listening to Jesus’ story would probably respond to this story like this baby …
Video: Baby Laughing

:8 I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.

:8 not … because he is his friend

The reason the sleeper will get up is not because of friendship, but because of …

:8 yet because of his persistence

The whole understanding of this parable comes down this phrase.

What is “persistence”?
Who is this talking about?
Is it the “persistence” of the “host”?
Or could it refer to the “sleeper”?

persistenceanaideia – shamelessness, impudence

The is the only place in the New Testament that this word is used.
There has been a lot of work put into the study of this word and its usage in various Greek sources, and it would actually go against the weight of historical usage to translate this as “persistence”.
The word is based on the opposite of aidos which means “shame”. 
This would be a “lack of shame” or even an “avoidance of shame”.
While the word might be describing the “host”, when you apply the word to the “sleeper”, the phrase comes out like this:
“yet because of the sleeper’s avoidance of shame he will rise…”
Or even better, “because of the sleeper’s sense of honor he will rise”

The sleeping man doesn’t respond to the host simply because of his friendship with the host, but because the sleeper is a man of honor, honors the village’s needs, and so he will rise and take care of his friend’s needs.

It’s simple mid-eastern hospitality.


God’s honor

God doesn’t answer our prayers just to meet our needs or because we’re friends.
He doesn’t answer our prayers just because He loves us (which He does).

His honor is at stake.  He will hear you.  He will answer you.

His intent is to meet our needs in such a way that it brings glory to His name.
God intends that the world know who He truly is.
When God’s people pray, God’s own reputation is at stake.
Who got honor when Moses prayed and the Red Sea was parted?  God.
Who got honor when Elijah prayed and fire came down from heaven? God.
Who got honor when Hezekiah prayed and a single angel wiped out 185,000 Assyrians?  God.
Our whole lives should be aimed at bringing attention, honor, or “glory” to God.
(Matthew 5:16 NKJV) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
We bring our prayers to God so that when He answers them He gets the honor and the glory.
Paul even saw honor going to God when God didn’t answer his prayer the way Paul wanted God to.
(2 Corinthians 12:8–10 NKJV) —8 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Paul knew that even in his own weakness, Jesus would become stronger in his life.

God’s honor would be magnified.

11:9-10 Asking

:9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

:9 ask … seek … knock

askaiteo – to ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require. 

The verb is a present active imperative – the idea is to ask continually, keep asking.

it shall be givendidomi – to give. 

Future passive indicative.  It will happen.

seekzeteo – to seek in order to find; to seek i.e. require, demand; to crave, demand something from someone. 

The verb is also present active imperative – seek continually, keep seeking.

findheurisko – to come upon, hit upon, to meet with; to find out for one’s self, to acquire, get, obtain. 

Verb is future indicative, it will happen.

knockkrouo – to knock: at the door. 

Verb is present active indicative, keep knocking.
I think the idea of the parable is still going here, the idea of the friend knocking on the door.

it shall be openedanoigo – to open. 

Future indicative.  It will happen.

There are three verbs here that are all in the present tense, indicating continuous action.

Keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking.

They are all followed by three words in the future tense, something that will indeed happen.

If you keep asking, it will be given to you.
If you keep seeking, you will find.
If you keep knocking, it will be opened to you.

I think you could even make a case that the words seem to grow in intensity.

Asking might be at an intensity level of “5”.

Seeking might be at “7”.

Knocking might be at “9”.

Perhaps if asking isn’t enough, turn it up to seeking.


Persistent prayer

There are going to be times when we are tempted to quit praying for something because we are afraid we’re just wasting our time, or worse yet, we’re wasting God’s time.
These are the times we need to keep asking.
A non-Jewish, Canaanite woman did this.  Her daughter was being tormented by a demon.  She needed Jesus’ help …
(Matthew 15:22–28 NKJV) —22 And behold, a woman of Canaan came from that region and cried out to Him, saying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! My daughter is severely demon-possessed.” 23 But He answered her not a word. And His disciples came and urged Him, saying, “Send her away, for she cries out after us.” 24 But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” 26 But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” 27 And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Even though she was told by Jesus’ followers to go away, she kept at it. 

Even when Jesus Himself gave her a reason why He might not help, she kept asking. 

In the end, Jesus rewarded her for her faith.  Her faith was demonstrated because she kept asking.

Don’t be quick to give up praying for something.
Blind Bartimaeus did.
(Mark 10:46–52 NKJV) —46 Now they came to Jericho. As He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great multitude, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the road begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” 48 Then many warned him to be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” 49 So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be called. Then they called the blind man, saying to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.” 50 And throwing aside his garment, he rose and came to Jesus. 51 So Jesus answered and said to him, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.” 52 Then Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus on the road.

People were telling Bart to be quiet, but he just made more noise.

And Jesus responded by healing him.

:10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

:10 everyone who asks receives

everyonepas – individually; each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything


God’s will

This is all still under the context of learning to pray for God’s will to be done.  This is part of the Lord’s Prayer:
(Luke 11:2 NKJV) …Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
J. Vernon McGee writes,
As a young preacher I prayed for God to open up the door to a certain church where I wanted to serve as pastor. I was asked to candidate, which I did. The machinery of the church and the political bigwigs met behind closed doors to decide if I would be pastor. They decided not to accept me because I was not a church politician, and theirs was a strategic church in that day. I went to the Lord and cried about it and told Him how He had let me down. Today I am ashamed of myself, and I have asked Him to forgive me for my attitude. He did not let me down. He knew what was best for me. He had something much better in store for me. Many times since then I have thanked Him for that no.[1]
I’ve had many episodes in my life where I’ve experienced this.
When I was a young man, I had a girlfriend that I knew I would one day marry.  I was convinced.  And then one day she broke up with me.  I was devastated.  I prayed.  I begged God.  And the answer was no.

As a result of that breakup, I realized that God Himself was wanting me to serve Him.  It was at that time that I realized that God had been calling me to be a pastor.  For a couple of years I spent serving God without a girlfriend.  Those were amazing years.  And then one day my eyes were opened and there was my Debby, right in front of my eyes.

John wrote,
(1 John 5:14–15 NKJV) —14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
If I am persistent in asking for the things that God wants, I will see them happen.


The importance of asking

Pay attention to what Jesus is saying.
What should you do if you want God to give you something?  Ask.
What should you do if you want to find something?  Seek.
What should you do if you want something opened for you?  Knock.
If you aren’t receiving, finding, or having something opened, could it be that you’re not asking, seeking, or knocking?
I think it is also very possible that we may not be receiving all that God wants for us because we have stopped asking.
James wrote,
(James 4:1–3 NKJV) —1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

While James is pointing out our tendency to ask for the wrong reasons, for the wrong motives, don’t miss that one phrase.

“You do not have because you do not ask”.

Make sure that if there’s something you are lacking, that it’s not because you have simply given up asking God.

11:11-13 The Good Father

:11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?

:12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

:12 …an egg … a scorpion

To be honest, some people will pull pranks on their kids, at least when Jimmy Kimmel asks them to …

Video:  Jimmy Kimmel – Parents eating kids’ Halloween candy

And even though some parents are really, really bad and might think it funny to pull something evil like giving a kid a scorpion, for most of us, this is the most ridiculous thing we’ve ever heard.

: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!”

evilponeros – full of labors, annoyances, hardships; bad, of a bad nature or condition; in an ethical sense: evil wicked, bad

All of us human fathers are “evil”.  We are sinful.

goodagathos – of good constitution or nature; useful, salutary; good, pleasant, agreeable, joyful, happy; excellent, distinguished; upright, honorable

giftsdoma – a gift

how muchposos – how great; how much; how many

moremallon – more, to a greater degree, rather

shall give – future active indicative

that askaiteo – to ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require. 

Present participle – continuous action.

:13 If you then, being evil

All of us fail at some point in our parenting.

While some of you may want to argue with God over this, the truth is that all of us are sinners.

The Bible says,

(Romans 3:23 NKJV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

By the way, this is why Jesus Christ came to this earth and died.

He died to pay for our sins.  With His death, He makes is possible for us to be forgiven and to receive eternal life.
What is important is that you turn your life over to Him and trust Him.
(John 3:16 NKJV) For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

:13 how much more will your heavenly Father

Jesus is arguing from the lesser to the greater.

If I as a sinful dad know how to give decent gifts to my kids, HOW MUCH MORE would God know how to give!


Trust God’s goodness

When Jesus was teaching on prayer in the Sermon on the Mount, He ended this teaching a little differently…
(Matthew 7:11 NKJV) If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
James wrote,
(James 1:17 NLT) Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.
Paul wrote,
(Romans 8:28 NKJV) And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
He is good.  He knows what He’s doing when He answers your prayers.
What He thinks is good might not match what you think is good, but His good is better than your good.
Phillips Brooks said that prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance; it is laying hold of His highest willingness.
Persistence in prayer is not about trying to change God’s mind on a matter.  It’s about changing us and conforming us to the place where He can trust us with the correct answer.

:13 give the Holy Spirit

Here, Luke records Jesus telling us what “good things” God wants to give us.

The best gift is the Holy Spirit.


The Best Gift

The greatest “good” is the Holy Spirit being in your life.
When the Holy Spirit is in your life, you are not alone.  God is in you.  Jesus said,
(John 14:16–18 NKJV) —16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
The Holy Spirit will lead us and teach us.  Jesus said,
(John 16:13 NKJV) However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
The Holy Spirit gives us power to walk with God and obey God.  Jesus said,
(Acts 1:8 NKJV) But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
It is God’s will for you to have the Holy Spirit’s power.
So ask.  You only have to ask.
You shouldn’t be afraid of what God is going to do for you when you ask for the Holy Spirit.  You don’t need to be afraid of opening up your heart to the Spirit of God.

[1] McGee, J. V. (1991). Thru the Bible commentary: The Gospels (Luke) (electronic ed., Vol. 37, p. 146). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.