Chapter 11 opens with “Now Jesus was praying in a certain place…” It marks the ninth time Luke has noted Jesus praying. He often does this alone, withdrawn from the crowds. But at times He takes others, like Peter, James, and John, where on a mountain they heard the voice of God. Sometimes Luke presents it as a simple observation, and others it seems like Jesus’ prayer was a launch point for an event, such as the calling of His disciples. Today, Jesus’ praying influences the disciples to ask Him to teach them how to pray, “as John taught his disciples.”
Jesus does so, and instructs them even more deeply about the character of God. This conversation is a backdrop, as is typical in this gospel, for the events that come next. For the rest of the reading, opponents from among the Pharisees and lawyers sought Jesus out, to press Him, Luke says, and to provoke Him…lying in wait for Him, to catch Him in something He might say. Jesus, meanwhile, begins speaking critically and publicly against their teaching and hypocrisy, about their public shows of faithfulness but rejection of justice and love of God.
Chapter 12 is devoted to teaching about worrying about the proper things. “Do not be anxious about this life,” Jesus tells His disciples, “for all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them.” Rather, “Seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” Furthermore, He connects Himself to this kingdom, warning: “You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” And as if anticipating their incredulity, He drives further: “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.”
Our verse for this week is Psalm 27:1: The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Luke chapters 11 and 12. Now let’s read it!
27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?