12 Feb. Luke 11:5-13

12 Feb. Jesus continues to teach about prayer

"Jesus said to them, 'Suppose one of you went to your friend's house at midnight and said to him, "Friend, loan me three loaves of bread. A friend of mine has come into town to visit me, but I have nothing for him to eat." Your friend inside the house answers, "Don't bother me! The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything."'"

"'So I tell you, ask, and God will give to you. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will open for you. Yes, everyone who asks will receive. The one who searches will find. And everyone who knocks will have the door opened.'"

"'If your children ask for a fish, which of you would give them a snake instead? Or if your children ask for an egg, would you give them a scorpion? Even though you are bad, you know how to give good things to your children.'"

"'How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.'

          (Luke 11:5-13)

 

 

These words of Jesus are all part of his answer to the request, "Lord, teach us how to pray" that we read yesterday in Luke 11:1. But while most people know the first part of the advice - now known as 'The Lord's Prayer' (Luke 11:2-4) - few people are aware that today's passage is part of Jesus's same teaching on how to pray.

This is partly because the 1st century Jewish context and nature of Jesus's illustration sounds very unfamiliar to 21st century readers in Europe or America.

When modern travellers go on a journey which involves an overnight stay, they generally book a hotel or travel lodge in advance by phone or on the internet. If they're planning to stay overnight with someone they know, they arrange this with their friend well in advance.

But in Jesus's day, it was quite different. Jews NEVER stayed in inns or 'hotels'. These were only for Gentiles and other foreigners. Jews ALWAYS stayed overnight in the homes of fellow Jews. And whether they knew them personally or not, they would automatically be welcomed to stay overnight in the guest room.

So it wasn't unusual for a traveller (and especially a friend) to turn up in the evening and request a meal and a bed for the night. And it was regarded as a great privilege to offer a fellow Jew such hospitality.

Similarly, it would have been regarded as an equal privilege for a Jew to lend his Jewish neighbour some food to give to a traveller who arrived unexpectedly in the evening. This was part of a Jew's commitment to his fellow Jew. It was unthinkable that he would refuse a request for something his neighbour needed - even late at night.

Jesus says God is like this when we ask him for what we NEED (not, necessarily for what we WANT).

And Jesus concludes his advice on prayer, "How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him." (Luke 11:13)

The photo shows the words of the Lord's Prayer on the wall of the Pater Noster Church on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, at the place where it's believed that Jesus offered his advice on how to pray.

You can read more @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/jesus-teaches-how-to-rec…/


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