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Luke 11:27-36

Sunday Morning Bible Study

March 13, 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 travelling 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.

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.

11:27-28 Best Blessings

:27 And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!”

blessedmakarios – blessed, happy

wombkoilia – the whole belly, the entire cavity; the womb, the place where the fetus is conceived and nourished until birth

that borebastazo – to take up with the hands; to take up in order to carry or bear, to put upon one’s self (something) to be carried; to bear, to carry

breastsmastos – the breasts

nursedthelazo – to give the breast, give suck, to suckle

:27 Blessed is the womb that bore You

This woman in the crowd is blown away with who Jesus is, and is beginning to think that His mother must have been someone special.

It’s possible that this is an early attempt by someone to worship Mary, Jesus’ mother.

Yet pay attention to how Jesus responds.


One Mediator

Some of you understand the concept of a mediator from your experiences with the court system.
A mediator is someone who brings two opposing parties together in order to work out an agreement.
Mediators are used in divorce settlements, custody battles, and union contracts.
When it comes to man’s relationship with God, we definitely need a mediator.
Our problem is that God is holy and pure, and we are not.
Pure holiness has trouble coexisting with sinful impurity.
The Israelites had a taste of this when they were delivered out of Egypt.

In one instance, two priests went rushing into God’s presence with incense that God didn’t ask for, and they were instantly burnt to a crisp.

When a man named Korah led a rebellion against Moses’ leadership, the earth opened up and swallowed he and his fellow rebels, and then closed over them.

The people were obviously freaked out about God’s holiness, and so God set up “mediators”, the priests, the descendants of Aaron.

(Numbers 18:1 NKJV) Then the Lord said to Aaron: “You and your sons and your father’s house with you shall bear the iniquity related to the sanctuary, and you and your sons with you shall bear the iniquity associated with your priesthood.

The priests would be the go-between between the people and God.

Though there are some in the Catholic church who actually advocate the worship of Mary, there are some within the older church traditions that teach that we ought to at least pray to Mary and the other saints because after all, aren’t they closer to Jesus than we are?
Their reasoning goes like this, “You ask the pastor to pray for you because you value his prayers and you think he’s close to Jesus, why not ask some of the saints in heaven to pray for you as well?”
There is nothing in the Scriptures that talk about asking dead people or people in heaven to pray for you.
If anything, the Bible discourages trying to “talk to the dead”.
(Isaiah 8:19 NKJV) And when they say to you, “Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter,” should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?

This Scripture is speaking specifically to the practice of conducting séances and asking the dead for advice, but I think the principle seems to apply to people who are asking the dead to pray for them.

Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?  No.

The Bible says that you actually have just as much access to God as the saints in heaven.
Some religions teach that you still need a priest in order to confess your sins.
The Bible teaches that since Jesus died to pay for our sins, all believers are “priests”.

(Revelation 1:5–6 NKJV) —5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, 6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

The only go-between you need to connect to God is Jesus.

(1 Timothy 2:5–6 NKJV) —5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time,

:28 But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

:28 More than thatmenounge (“surely” + “therefore” + “indeed”) – nay surely, nay rather

NAS – “on the contrary”

ESV, NIV – “rather”

Jesus isn’t saying bad things about His mother, but He’s pointing out that there are more important things in God’s eyes than being Jesus’ mother, not exactly a Roman Catholic kind of viewpoint.

:28 blessed … who hear the word of God and keep it

Jesus isn’t going to say bad things about His mom, but He takes this opportunity to point out that there are things more blessed than His mom.

blessedmakarios – blessed, happy

hearakouo – to be endowed with the faculty of hearing, not deaf; to hear

keepphulasso – to guard; to watch, keep watch; to guard i.e. care for, take care not to violate; to observe


Hear and Do

Don’t get me wrong.  Mary was indeed a very special woman.
But she was simply a sinner saved by grace just like the rest of us.
When you read Mary’s reaction to finding out that she had been chosen to give birth to God’s Son, you see nothing but humility…

(Luke 1:48 NKJV) For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.

Yet pay attention to what Jesus is saying.
You have the ability to be even more blessed than even Mary.
It starts with hearing the word of God.
Paul talked about the advantage that his countrymen the Jews had over others…

(Romans 9:4 NKJV) who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises;

They had the Word of God.

Whether it’s reading your Bible, listening to a teacher on the radio, or coming to church, there is a measure of blessing that you are receiving by just being there exposing yourself to the Word of God.

It’s a blessing that you don’t receive when you don’t read your Bible on your own or you take a month off from church.

As great as it is to be exposed to the Word of God, the greatest blessing comes when you do it, when you put it into practice in your life.
Some of that blessing includes the good things that God brings as a result of your obedience.

(Leviticus 26:4 NKJV) then I will give you rain in its season, the land shall yield its produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit.

Some of that blessing comes from the help that God gives you when the same difficult times come on you that come to everyone else.

(Matthew 7:24–27 NKJV) —24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

The person who only “heard” wasn’t protected during the storm.  It was the one who was “doing” that found protection.

Doing what God asks you to do is not always easy.

Sometimes there’s a price we pay in obedience.

But it’s always best.

11:29-36 Obstacles

:29 And while the crowds were thickly gathered together, He began to say, “This is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.

the crowds ochlos – a crowd; a multitude of men who have flocked together in some place; a throng; a multitude

were thickly gathered together epathroizo (“upon” + “to assemble) – to gather together (to others already present)

evilponeros – bad, of a bad nature or condition; evil wicked, bad

generationgenea – fathered, birth, nativity; that which has been begotten, men of the same stock, a family

seeksepizeteo – to enquire for, seek for, search for, seek diligently; to wish for, crave; to demand, clamour for

signsemeion – a sign, mark, token; that by which a person or a thing is distinguished from others and is known; a sign, prodigy, portent, i.e. an unusual occurrence, transcending the common course of nature

:29 This is an evil generation

Just last week we read about some of the people coming to Jesus.  Some were claiming that He was casting out demons using Satan’s power.  While…

(Luke 11:16 NKJV) Others, testing Him, sought from Him a sign from heaven.

It’s the people that were evil, not their request for signs.

They weren’t looking for a reason to believe, they were looking for a reason NOT to believe.

:30 For as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so also the Son of Man will be to this generation.

generationgenea – fathered, birth, nativity; that which has been begotten, men of the same stock, a family

:30 Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites

Nineveh – today this is the modern city of Mosul in modern Iraq, now under ISIS control.

Jonah was that fellow who was told by God to preach in Nineveh, but instead of going to Nineveh, Jonah boarded a ship heading in the opposite direction, and tried to run away from God.

God responded to Jonah’s disobedience by sending a storm on the ship, Jonah was tossed overboard, and he was swallowed by a giant fish.
Jonah was in the belly of that fish for three days before he repented and the fish vomited him out on the beach.
Jonah then went to preach to the people of Nineveh.

The sign of Jonah to the people of Nineveh was him having come out of the belly of the fish to preach to them.

Jesus would be a sign to the people by coming from the belly of the earth.
His resurrection would be the greatest of “signs”.

:31 The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here.

:31 The queen …will rise up in the judgment

Queen of the south – the Queen of Sheba

shall rise upegeiro – to arouse, cause to rise; to arouse from the sleep of death, to recall the dead to life

endsperas – extremity, bound, end

Jesus is referring to the Queen of Sheba’s visit to King Solomon (1Kings 10)

She was a powerful and wealth woman who had heard of King Solomon and had travelled a great distance just to see if the things she heard were true.
When she met Solomon, she was blown away with his great wisdom.  It was worth the trip to find out about Solomon.
(1 Kings 10:6–8 NKJV) —6 Then she said to the king: “It was a true report which I heard in my own land about your words and your wisdom. 7 However I did not believe the words until I came and saw with my own eyes; and indeed the half was not told me. Your wisdom and prosperity exceed the fame of which I heard. 8 Happy are your men and happy are these your servants, who stand continually before you and hear your wisdom!
This woman had heard great things about King Solomon, so she made a point of going to see him.  She found out how wonderful he really was.
Jesus is saying that if this woman went to such great lengths to see Solomon, how much more should the people of His generation be coming to listen to Him, since He is Solomon’s Creator?


Beware of excuses

Jesus gives us an interesting picture of the judgment, as if witnesses will be called in to testify against us. 
The witnesses will be people who have been through things similar to us, but who responded properly to what they faced.
When the people of Jesus’ generation are being judged, the Queen of Sheba will be called to the stand to testify concerning how she visited Solomon, and how these people should have followed Jesus.

Note:  The Queen of Sheba won’t be reincarnated as some other person, or a worm, she will be raised from the dead as the Queen of Sheba.

Some of us give interesting excuses as to why we can’t do what Jesus is asking us to do.
Some of us will blame our upbringing.

I think Greg Laurie might be called to the witness stand and tell of how he responded to God even though his mom was an alcoholic and married seven times.

Some of us will blame the difficulties we’ve been through.

I wonder if Joni Eareckson Tada will be called to the witness stand.  She has been paralyzed since she was sixteen from a diving accident.

I wonder if God will call Corrie Ten Boom to the stand as she describes life in a Nazi concentration camp, all because she was a Christian trying to help the persecuted Jews.

The real issue is, do you believe Jesus?  Do you believe who He is?  Do you think He’s big enough to help you do what He’s asking you to do?

In the movie “Star Wars” (Episode VI), Yoda has been training Luke Skywalker, but there comes a point when Luke thinks he can’t do what Yoda has asked him to do…
Video:  Star Wars – Dagobah – That is why you fail.
Watch out for those excuses. Jesus is big enough.  You need to believe Him and start following Him.

:32 The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.

:32 for they repented at the preaching of Jonah

shall rise upanistemi – to cause to rise up, raise up; to raise up from the dead; to rise, stand up; of persons lying down, of persons lying on the ground; of the dead

they repentedmetanoeo – to change one’s mind, i.e. to repent; to change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins

preachingkerugma – that which is proclaimed by a herald or public crier, a proclamation by herald

When Jonah finally arrived in Nineveh, he didn’t have a very polished message.

(Jonah 3:4 NKJV) Then he cried out and said, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”


Religion vs. Jesus

The people that Jesus is speaking to are religious people, religious Jews.
Yet they have their own Promised Messiah standing right in front of them, and they are rejecting Him.
Jonah didn’t even care for the people of Niniveh, while Jesus has done nothing but show love and grace for the people coming to Him.

He’s cleansed the leper.

He’s healed the sick.

He’s raised the dead.

But because of their immersion in religion, these people are rejecting the very Son of God.
Religion is about man trying to reach God.
Religion demands that you have to do this, don’t do that, perform the rituals, always come to our church, stand up, sit down, do, do, do.
Jesus is about God reaching down to man.
God saw that man had a problem and that man’s sin separated us from God.
God sent Jesus to take on human flesh, and to die as a sacrifice to pay for us.
Jesus offers forgiveness and eternal life to us who will choose to simply believe in Him.
Religion and Jesus don’t really mix.
Video:  Why I hate religion

:33 “No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.

:33 a lamp … under a basket

lamp luchnos – a lamp, candle, that is placed on a stand or candlestick

has lithapto – to fasten to, adhere to; to fasten fire to a thing, kindle, set of fire

secret placekruptos – hidden, concealed, secret

basketmodios – a dry measure holding 16 sextarii (or 1/6 of the Attic medimnus), about a peck (9 litres)

lampstandluchnia – a (candlestick) lamp stand, candelabrum

the lightpheggos – light; of a candle or lamp; the bright sunshine, the beam of light

The purpose of lighting a lamp is to make light.  The whole purpose of light is so that you can see things.

Don’t confuse this teaching with an earlier teaching of Jesus where we are the lights and we shouldn’t hide our little lights. (Mat. 5:14-16)

(Matthew 5:14–16 NKJV) —14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Here the idea is going to be that the truth about Jesus is the light, but these people haven’t been letting the Light do its work.  Instead, they have been trying to cover up the light by ignoring the truth about Jesus.

:34 The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.

:34 when your eye is good

lamp of the body luchnos – a lamp, candle, that is placed on a stand or candlestick.  KJV is a little off in the translation, this isn’t the word for “light”, but the word for “lamp”.

The eye is a way for light to come into your life, into your “body”.

the eyeophthalmos – the eye; metaph. the eyes of the mind, the faculty of knowing

full of lightphoteinos – light; composed of light; of a bright character; full of light; well lit

darknessskoteinos – full of darkness, covered with darkness

Jesus is addressing the issue of why these people are not paying attention to Him like they should, like the people of Nineveh paid attention to Jonah.

good haplous – simple, single; whole; good fulfilling its office

Remember this idea of “simple” or “single”.  It will help tie in some things together at the end.
When you have eye problems like cataracts, you don’t see much light.
I remember when my dad had eye surgery to remove his cataracts how blown away he was with what he had been missing.
These people have “eye” problems, and its keeping them from seeing the truth about Jesus.

:35 Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.

:35 Therefore take heed

take heedskopeo – to look at; to fix one’s eyes upon, direct one’s attention to

Jesus is giving a little play on words here.

He’s talking about eyesight, and He tells them to be sure to “look” at what He’s saying.

They need to be careful because they think they see everything around them and are okay and in a safe place, but really they are in darkness.

lightphos – light; metaph. of truth and its knowledge, together with the spiritual purity associated with it

darknessskotos – darkness; metaph. of ignorance respecting divine things and human duties, and the accompanying ungodliness and immorality, together with their consequent misery in hell

:36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.”

full of lightphoteinos – light; composed of light; of a bright character; full of light; well lit

partmeros – a part; one of the constituent parts of a whole

There is no part of the body in darkness

lampluchnos – a lamp, candle, that is placed on a stand or candlestick

bright shiningastrape – lightning; of the gleam of a lamp

gives lightphotizo – to give light, to shine; to enlighten, light up, illumine; to bring to light, render evident

:36 your whole body is full of light

Jesus wants His listeners to have lives that are completely full of light.

And the key to this as He’s just taught, goes back to your “eye”.

:34 when your eye is bad

badponeros – bad, of a bad nature or condition; evil, wicked

This is the same word that Jesus used in describing the people as an “evil generation” (vs. 29)

You could say that they have an “evil eye”


Obstacles to Jesus

Some people think that the “evil eye” is a way that you can curse others, or get them to do what you want them to.
Video:  Scrubs Evil Eye
Watch out now, I’m going to show you an “evil eye”, the person on the video might make you do something…
Video:  Baby gives the evil eye
In the Bible, the focus on the evil eye isn’t what others do to you, but the warnings are concerning you having an “evil eye”.
Moses mentions an “evil eye”.  In this passage, the warning is about when the time approaches when debts are forgiven.

(Deuteronomy 15:9 NKJV) Beware lest there be a wicked thought in your heart, saying, ‘The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,’ and your eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing, and he cry out to the Lord against you, and it become sin among you.

When your eye is evil, you want what belongs to your neighbor.

Solomon also mentions the evil eye:

(Proverbs 28:22 NKJV) A man with an evil eye hastens after riches, And does not consider that poverty will come upon him.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus also mentioned the “evil” eye using our same words for “evil” and “good”.  Notice what the section is sandwiched between.
(Matthew 6:19–24 NKJV) —19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

The word for “bad” is the same word here which could be translated “evil”.

24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

The “evil eye” is all about the person who wants more, who wants stuff, who wants more money.

Remember the “good eye” or “single” eye? (vs. 34)

Jesus said you can’t serve two masters.

You can’t serve God and money.

The “good eye” is only looking at one thing, at God.

The “evil eye” wants the wrong things.

It wants the things that keep you from Jesus.

Our passage is all about Jesus warning the people about what is going to cloud their judgment so they won’t see the “light” of the truth of Jesus.
Is there something that’s keeping you from following Jesus?
Is it really worth it?  Is it worth keeping you from heaven?