Morning Bible Study
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’;
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
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?
:5 midnight … journey
midnight – mesonuktion (“middle”
+ “night”) – midnight
Don’t get hung up at this being exactly 12:00 am. It’s simply sometime in the middle of the
In the Middle East, it is not uncommon to travel at night because of the heat
during the day.
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
The “sleeper” is meant to be a picture of God, the one we are bringing our
: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
When we arrived, we had dinner with a fellow named Abraham.
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
Culture also demanded that you provide a complete unbroken loaf for each
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
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 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:
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’?
: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 …
: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
: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”?
persistence– anaideia – 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 doesn’t answer our prayers just to meet our needs or because we’re
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
His intent is to meet our needs in such a way that it brings glory to His
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
Our whole lives should be aimed at bringing attention, honor, or “glory” to
(Matthew 5:16 NKJV)
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.
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.
: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
There are three verbs here that are all in the present tense, indicating
Keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking.
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 …
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
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
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
Don’t be quick to give up praying for something.
: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
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
(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.
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
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.
(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
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
: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 …
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!”
: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
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)
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
(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.
(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
The best gift is the Holy Spirit.
The Best Gift
The greatest “good” is the Holy Spirit being in your life.
The Holy Spirit will lead us and teach us.
(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
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.