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Luke Chapter 11:29-54 

Memory verses for this week:  Acts 10:28  And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean. 

Introduction: We continue our study of the book of Luke this week as we continue in chapter 11.  Last week, we studied the first half of Chapter 11 where Jesus taught the disciples how to pray as he gave them the model prayer.   He expanded the teaching showing how much love our Heavenly Father has for us as he gives us the best gifts using the Parable of the Father and Son.   We closed with a study on the futility of self reformation.   If we want to have success, we must be born again, and that takes turning our lives over to Jesus Christ.

I.   The Sign of Jonas 

Luke 11:29  And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.

Luke 11:30  For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation. 

People gathered around to hear Jesus, and he calls their group an ‘evil generation.’    Instead of taking things on God’s Word, they wanted to see a sign.   Jesus tells them that the only sign they would receive would be Jonas the prophet.   As Jonas was in the belly of the whale for 3 days and 3 nights so would the Lord Jesus be in the heart of the earth for 3 days and 3 nights.  There are so many that teach that Jesus was crucified on Friday because they look at the comment about taking the bodies off of the cross before the beginning of the sabbath at six pm.    Many never notice that this was a ‘High Sabbath Day’ which was observed on Thursday.   No matter how you count the days from Friday, you can’t get 3 days and 3 nights if he rose on the first day of the week.  Jesus was buried on Wednesday night, and he was in the grave all that night, all day Thursday, all night Thursday, all day Friday, all night Friday, and then all day Saturday.   As you can see… a full 3 days and 3 nights.   The beginning of the Jewish day came at sundown, and on Saturday night, at the dawning of the new week, that is when the women came to the grave and found it empty. 

John 19:31  The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.

Mat 28:1  In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.

Mat 28:2  And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

Mat 28:3  His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

Mat 28:4  And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

Mat 28:5  And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. 

Luke 11:31  The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here. 

The queen of the sought mentioned here is the Queen of Sheba.  She dwelt many miles away from Jerusalem, but she was anxious to hear Solomon.  She traveled a great distance at her own cost to meet him.

1 Ki 10:1  And when the queen of Sheba heard of the fame of Solomon concerning the name of the LORD, she came to prove him with hard questions.

1 Ki 10:2  And she came to Jerusalem with a very great train, with camels that bare spices, and very much gold, and precious stones: and when she was come to Solomon, she communed with him of all that was in her heart.

1 Ki 10:3  And Solomon told her all her questions: there was not any thing hid from the king, which he told her not.

1 Ki 10:4  And when the queen of Sheba had seen all Solomon's wisdom, and the house that he had built,

1 Ki 10:5  And the meat of his table, and the sitting of his servants, and the attendance of his ministers, and their apparel, and his cupbearers, and his ascent by which he went up unto the house of the LORD; there was no more spirit in her.

1 Ki 10:6  And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom.

1 Ki 10:7  Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard.

1 Ki 10:8  Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom.

1 Ki 10:9  Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice.

1 Ki 10:10  And she gave the king an hundred and twenty talents of gold, and of spices very great store, and precious stones: there came no more such abundance of spices as these which the queen of Sheba gave to king Solomon. 

After the queen visited, she said that the half about Solomon had not been told her. Jesus said the Queen of Sheba would stand in the judgment and condemn the generation living in Christ’s days.  She came to hear Solomon, and  a greater than Solomon had appeared.  His wisdom, meat, table, servants, and everything else was greater than Solomon’s. 

Luke 11:32  The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here. 

Many to those present were self-righteous Jews.   Christ says the men of Nineveh would rise up in judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they did not repent.    When Jonah preached, those people repented in sackcloth and ashes.   Jesus came with the whole gospel, and he was so much greater than Jonas.   Yet these would not hear the truth.


II.  Parable of the Lighted Candle 

Luke 11:33  No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.

Luke 11:34  The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. 

When we are saved, the Holy Spirit comes inside of us and dwells within us.  We become a light shining forth of Jesus Christ.  We have a responsibility to let that light shine before men.   We are commanded to not hide our light under a bushel and keep it a secret.  But rather, our lives should shine out and reach others.  Jesus says that when our eye is sound and healthy, the whole body is full of light.  If our eye is evil, then we are full of darkness. 

We are told that men love darkness rather than light.  This is due to our fallen nature which we inherited from Adam. 

John 3:20  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.


Luke 11:35  Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.

Luke 11:36  If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light. 

We are warned to take heed lest the light which is in us be darkness.   We should ever strive to be Christ-like in our lives and be of the light as God is of the light. 

1 Cor 10:12  Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 

We are warned to not have confidence in our flesh.  Without God’s grace, there is no telling where we might be.   But when we fix our eyes on Jesus, things will be well with us.


III.  Jesus is Invited to a Pharisee’s House 

Luke 11:37  And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine with him: and he went in, and sat down to meat.

Luke 11:38  And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had not first washed before dinner.

Luke 11:39  And the Lord said unto him, Now do ye Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and the platter; but your inward part is full of ravening and wickedness.

Luke 11:40  Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also? 

Jesus goes to eat with this Pharisee.  It surprises the man that Jesus does not go through a customary ceremony that they believed was very important.  Before the Pharisees would eat, they would always wash before dining.   These Pharisees cleansed the body with water, but the heart was unclean.   Unless we know Jesus as Lord and Savior, we are still in our sins.   Jesus was not ignoring the importance of cleansing the body, but he used this as an opportunity to witness that the heart must be purified.   He calls these fools for not washing the important parts.   Having a clean and pure heart is so much more important than clean hands.

Luke 11:41  But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you.

Luke 11:42  But woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Luke 11:43  Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.

Luke 11:44  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them. 

Our Lord pronounces three woes upon the Pharisees. 

1.  They emphasized the tithing of minor things while neglecting the more important things of life.   They were guilty of passing over the judgment and love of God.   Outward observance will never make up for the lack of inner life. 

2.  In verse 43, the second woe pronounced was because of the devotion of the Pharisees to the uppermost seats in the synagogue.   They wanted to be seen in the markets with their greetings.  They favored an outward show and having people look up to them in they synagogue. 

3.  The third woe was dealt with hidden uncleanness.  To get the full impact of this last woe, we need to understand something about the law.  According to the Law of Moses, an Israelite was defiled if he walked over a grave or came in contact with the bones of a dead body.  If this happened, he had to go through a process of cleaning before he could again take his place with the worshippers in the house of God. 

These Pharisees should have been examples of holiness and been the ones to whom others come for help and guidance.    Rather, they had corrupted themselves and were misleading people due to their unholy influence and hypocritical lives.  To associate with the Pharisees was like coming in contact with dead men’s bones and becoming defiled.


IV.  Jesus Pronounces Woes Upon the Lawyers 

Luke 11:45  Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him, Master, thus saying thou reproachest us also.

Luke 11:46  And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.

Luke 11:47  Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.

Luke 11:48  Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers: for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres. 

Like the Pharisees, Jesus pronounces three woes on these lawyers.   In these days, a lawyer was one who expounded the Law of Moses.   These men had spent years studying the sacred scriptures.  When questions came up about the interpretation of the scriptures, these were the ones people turned to get the final word.  One of them was stirred to the depths of his soul when Jesus spoke of the condition of the Pharisees.   He tells Jesus that in condemning the Pharisees, he also reproached them.   If the shoe fits, wear it is the old saying.   If it was wrong for the Pharisees, it was wrong for the lawyers. 

Luke 11:49  Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:

Luke 11:50  That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;

Luke 11:51  From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.

Luke 11:52  Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

Luke 11:53  And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things:

Luke 11:54  Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.


Note the three woes upon the lawyers. 

1.  In verse 46, Jesus points out that these teachers laded men with burdens grievous to be borne.   While doing this, they were not touched by the burdens with even one of their fingers.   They added to the law with their traditions rather than teaching accurately. 

2.  In verses 47-51, he condemns them for hypocrisy.   

3.  Their third woe is for taking away the key of knowledge.  They should have been going in to the truth and being saved, rather than hindering others.    

It says that they all sought to speak of many things so that they could catch something for which to accuse him. 


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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