Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 11:32-44

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Luke 11:32

men of Nineveh. See note on v. 30. Like the Queen of Sheba (v. 31), these Gentiles will be witnesses against ancient Israel at the judgment. They repented with sackcloth and ashes at Jonah's preaching (Jon. 3:6-9). The Jews should have repented at the preaching of Jesus who is greater than Jonah.

Luke 11:33

God's word is like a lamp which gives light (Ps. 119:105; 2 Pet. 1:19). Jesus preached it everywhere, all the time. God's word is meant to be proclaimed, giving light to the whole world.

Luke 11:34-35

eye. One can have healthy eyes that are open wide and clear. However, one might also have bad eyes, which are weak or sick, and be unable to see well. Jesus used the eye as a picture for how one responds to the lamp of God's word (v. 33). light . . . darkness. Those who see and respond will be filled with spiritual light. Those who refuse to respond will be filled with wickedness. careful. The Jews were hearing Jesus' preaching, but refused to believe. Everyone must take care that they listen to God's word with faith and obedience (see 8:21; Matt. 7:21, 24-27; Rom. 2:13; Jas. 1:22-25).

Luke 11:36

Those that respond to God's word, which will be filled with spiritual light. This will change their whole life in ways visible to others (see Matt. 5:16; Rom. 12:1-2; 2 Cor. 4:16-18).

Luke 11:37

Pharisee. See note on 5:17.

Luke 11:38

did not wash. This was not for the purpose of hygiene, but for ritual purity. Before the Pharisees touched their food, they had water poured over their hands so that the defilements of the world might be washed away. However, this was not commanded by the Old Testament law. It was a tradition meant to keep one from breaking the law.

Luke 11:39

outside . . . inside. Jesus taught that most Pharisees worried about an external obedience and an appearance of righteousness. But their hearts were not right with God (Mark 7:6; Rom. 2:23).

Luke 11:40

senseless men. A fool. Such people are blind to God and his ways (Prov. 1:22; 10:8; 12:15; 14:9; 15:2). made. God created humanity, inside and outside. It is foolish to only worry about cleaning the outside and not the inside. Jesus called them to examine and clean their hearts with repentance and faith.

Luke 11:41

clean. Acceptable to God, when offered with pure hearts (see 19:8).

Luke 11:42

woe. See notes on 6:20-26. tithe. The Old Testament law commanded all people to give a tenth of what they owned to God in a tithe (Num. 18:21-24). The Pharisees went beyond what was required. neglect. The Pharisees were very careful to obey some particulars of the law but missed the main point. They failed to act justly toward their neighbor (Isa. 1:17; Mark 7:9-13) and love God with all their heart (Deut. 6:4-5).

Luke 11:43

Woe. See notes on 6:20-26. front seats . . . greetings. The Pharisees enjoyed having reputations of godliness. But they failed to seek God and cultivate true godliness.

Luke 11:44

Woe. See notes on 6:20-26. unmarked graves. Contact with death made a person ritually unclean under the Old Testament law (Num. 19:16). If a grave was unmarked, someone might walk over it without knowing it. Jesus said the Pharisees were such graves — unknowingly spiritually dead inside and unclean before God.

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