The teachings of Messiah, 9:51-19:44

2. The kingdom and power, 11:1-12:34

i] The meaning of prayer


A rabbi would normally teach his disciples how to pray, and prompted by a question, Jesus sets out to examine this subject with his disciples. In arranging Jesus' teaching on prayer, Luke first records Jesus' personal topic list, then the parable of the midnight friend, and finally a set of sayings on prayer.


The kingdom of God is bursting in on Jesus' disciples and so their prayer-life should reflect this reality. They need to pray for the coming reign of God, forgiveness in his sight and protection in the time of testing. Kingdom blessings are here for the asking - forgiveness, acceptance and resurrection-life through the indwelling Spirit of Christ.


i] Context: See 9:51-56. The meaning of prayer serves as the first episode in a series of six covering the topic The Kingdom and Power, 11:1-12:34. Jesus' teaching on prayer introduces this set of six episodes in Luke's gospel. This first episode consists of the Lord's prayer, made up of five points (seven in Matthew), a teaching parable and a set of sayings. Here the kingdom is presented as an impending reality. This is confirmed in both the signs of the new age, v14-28, and in its word, v29-36, a reality denied, even opposed, by many, v37-54. To this end, let a disciple beware of the twin dangers of apostasy, 12:1-12 and materialism, v13-34. This final episode, the parable of the rich fool, examines the goals of life and makes the point that authentic life consists of a great deal more than what we own. This subject is further explored in a set of sayings, v22-34.


ii] Structure: This passage, The meaning of prayer, presents as follows:

The disciples' request, v1:

"teach us to pray ..."

Jesus' sample prayer, v2-4:

Address, 2a;

Requests, 2b-4;

Parable - the midnight friend, v5-8;

Sayings on prayer, v9-13:

"ask and it will be given ......", 9-10;

"if you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children ....", v11-13.


iii] Interpretation:

The elements in the Lord's Prayer: The invocation, "Father"; two petitions concerning God's majesty and his kingdom, v2; three petitions for our "bread", v3, forgiveness and "temptation", v4. The form is liturgical, that is, a form of words to be repeated [from memory] in corporate and private worship (adoration). This fact should serve to check those believers who argue that liturgy is less than spiritual, since it is a form authorized by Christ. It is more than probable that the petitions consist of the "good things" God intends to give his children, and since they are of His will, they may be requested in the sure knowledge that they will be given.

Address: An affectionate term, so "Daddy", although an adult would not use the word in this childish sense. Such an intimate address to Yahweh is a revolutionary revelation, although some argue that such an address was known in Second Temple Palestinian Judaism. There is also some Old Testament precedents, Ps.89:26, Jer. 3:4, 19. Although Jesus taught his disciples to address God as "our Father", he never included himself in the "our", since his relationship to the Father is unique. For Jesus it is "my Father."

Request #1: "Sanctified / hallowed be your name." Bock argues that this is not a request, but a declaration. The aorist indicates an eschatological honouring of God when every knee will bow before him, rather than a daily ongoing recognition of his person (a process which would require a present tense). The passive voice leaves some doubt as to the agent, either of humans / heavenly host having declared, treated, acknowledged God as holy, "venerated", Plummer, or of God himself, cf Ez.36:23, "I will sanctify my great name", in which case the sense of the petition is "reveal your glory", Nolland.

Request #2: "Your kingdom come." Most commentators understand the kingdom of God in the sense of "God's rule of righteousness and love", Caird, ie. the term is used dynamically of the act of ruling. Possibly the eschatological reign/rule of God through Christ, "the coming reign of God", Tannehill, "the actual consummation of the Messianic kingdom", Leaney, although the kingdom is a now / not yet reality. The term "kingdom of God" is used by Luke 31 times, with "kingdom" 6 times. Given Old Testament usage, the domain over which God reigns is probably included, thus including membership, obligations, blessings ...., all the trappings of a kingdom. Plummer suggests "dominion", in the sense of authority and territory. "Begin your eschatological rule", Nolland, "may it be inaugurated / realized / consummated."

Request #3: "Give us this day our daily bread." As already noted, the petitions in the Lord's prayer most likely rest on God's promised blessings to his children. Francis certainly believed that our daily provision is promised by God, a promise realized by faith, but surely this view does not properly address the intent of Jesus' words in 12:22-34. It does seem likely that survival provisions are not promised to believers, who, with all humanity, must face the vagaries of life in a world affected by sin. In fact, there is abundant evidence that the necessities of life have been denied many believers over the years. What then is the promised "bread"? The sample sermon on this site suggests that the petition is for the daily provision of resources necessary for a faithful ministry to Christ; "bread" and "daily" imaging the provision of Manna for the people of Israel in their journey to the promised land. So, for the NT saint the provision is not physical "bread", but spiritual "bread", eg. the gifts of the Spirit, a "bead" which is promised. Other possible interpretations have been suggested and they tend to be based on the etymology of "daily", a word which remains somewhat of a mystery:

a) "Necessary" bread. Here the argument rests on the sense of the prefix epi with ousia = super-substantial, so "essential" for survival. Favored by Fitzmyer.

b) "Basic" bread. Here the argument rests on the word being the feminine participle of einai, the verb to-be. So, it is bread for the present day.

c) "Tomorrow's" bread. Here the argument rests on the word being the participle of the verb ienai, "to come, draw near." This view is favored by Jeremias who argued that the bread is the eschatological bread of the coming messianic banquet. This option is certainly far superior to the first two, although why would we ask for tomorrow's bread to be given us "each day"?

Request #4: "Forgive us our sins ......." Again, the aorist imperative encapsulates the whole of the action and therefore leans toward an eschatological forgiveness at the final judgment, so Grundmann, etc. For the daily forgiveness of sins an imperfective tense (present, imperfect) would have been used, none-the-less, many commentators argue for a "regular cleansing from sin", Stein. This position my find support in the fact that there is no evidence for the use of the present imperative of this verb, so Nolland. As for the causal clause, gar, "for"; "for we also forgive ......." Although commonly argued, it is unlikely that God's forgiveness is dependent on a person's willingness to forgive others. Note Bock, "the petitioner is to ask for forgiveness, not because it is deserved, but because the petitioner is forgiving to others" .... Ouch! How many of us have just been ruled out of the kingdom by Bock's interpretation? Our request for God's forgiveness is based on his promise to forgive, not on our ability to forgive. Our confidence in asking is gar, "because", even sinful humanity has the capacity to forgive. "Forgive us our sins, for even we too forgive."

Request #5: "lead us not into temptation." Possibly the word peirasmon means the eschatological tribulation / test / trial when even the faithful will fall away, although the word is missing the article. For this reason Moule argues for any damning test / trial. Luce suggests Gethsemane was such a test for Jesus and this type of test could easily overwhelm us, so "pray that you not enter into testing", 22:40. The promise behind the request is that for those in Christ no test / trial which has the power to drive us into apostasy. The request is not that we be spared such tests, since such tests are promised, but rather that we not succumb to them. Such protection is promised and thus we may ask in the sure knowledge that the Shepherd will keep his sheep safe. Although the wording "do not bring us to the time of trial" is in favor today, there is still support for the meaning "temptation", see Creed. Most people, faced with this new "test / trial" line in the Lord's Prayer are left floundering as to its meaning, whereas the notion of "temptation", of being led into a situation of evil where we end up being abandoned by God, is easily understood. Of course, God would not do such a thing, which fact is drawn out by the strong adversative alla, "but", found in Matthew's version of the prayer - "don't do that [and we know you wouldn't do that], but do this." In English this idea my be better expressed "rather than that, this"; "rather than being caught up in temptation, loss and ultimate destruction, mh eisenegkhV hJmaV eiV peirasmon (Matt.6:13), keep us safe from the evil one's snare." The retention of "temptation" brings us closer to the truth than the new innovation of "testing", although we need to remember that there is no promise in the scriptures of freedom from temptation as such.


The teaching parable of the midnight friend, v5-8: This parable is often treated as if teaching persistence in prayer. This seems unlikely. Given the thrust of the teaching sayings following the parable, it seems more likely that the parable teaches a "how much more" lesson. If a midnight guest can get what he wants from a reluctant friend, imagine what we can get from a gracious God. Some argue that although the parable does not teach perseverance in prayer, as though persistence in asking bends God's will, it may teach a willingness to ask, irrespective of the circumstances. See thn anaideian (a), "boldness / shameless audacity", in v8.


The first saying on prayer, v9-10: These two stitched sayings of Jesus serve to apply the parable. If a friend will give you what you ask, even when it is inconvenient to do so, imagine what God will do for you when you ask something of him, so ask ... The general nature of the saying has led to the view that a believer can ask anything of God and it will be given. Sometimes this view is moderated by qualifications such as "asking in faith / believing", even of being in a state of grace, forgiven, living a righteous life, etc. The context, especially v13, indicates that this is not a general promise for "anything", but specifically of a saving right relationship with God through Christ. Ask for his friendship and it is ours for eternity, seek him and we will find him, knock on his door and we will be welcomed into his presence. It is though possible that the saying has a wider application in that the good gift of the Spirit, cf. v13, encompasses all the promised blessings of the kingdom.


The second saying on prayer, v11-13: In a lesser to greater argument Jesus supports his call to prayer. If an earthly father willingly gives good things to his children, "how much more" will our heavenly Father give his promised good gifts to us. Unlike Matthew, Luke defines the good things as "the Holy Spirit."


iv] Synoptics:

The Lord's Prayer parallels Matthew 6:9-13. The following passage, v5-8 is unique to Luke, with v9-13 paralleled in Matthew's Sermon on the Mount, 7:7-11.


v] Exposition: A simple exposition of this passage may be found in the linked pew-level Sermon Notes.

Text - 11:1

Jesus' teaching on prayer: i] Introduction - the setting. "Teach us to pray." The disciples ask Jesus for a form of prayer that might be uniquely theirs.

kai egeneto (ginomai) aor. "one day" - and it came about, happened. Referring to an indefinite event; "Now it happened", NJB.

en tw/ + inf. "[Jesus] was" - while [he] was. This preposition with the articular infinitive of the verb to-be, forms a temporal clause of indefinite time; "once, while he was praying."

proseucomenon (proseucomai) pres. part. "praying" - The participle, with the infinitive of the verb to-be, forms a present periphrastic construction, possibly underlining durative aspect.

en topw/ tini "in a certain place" - Indefinite location.

wJV "when [he had finished]" - while. The conjunction here is obviously temporal. "After he had finished", Fitzmyer.

twn maqhtwn (hV ou) gen. "[one] of his disciples" - The genitive is adjectival, partitive.

didazon (didaskw) aor. imp. "teach [us]" - Imperative, aorist possibly indicating urgency, "teach us now to pray", Bock.

prosercesqai (prosercomai) pres. inf. "to pray" - The infinitive forms an object clause / dependent statement of indirect speech expressing what Jesus should "teach", namely, "how to pray", Phillips, Knox, "what to pray" = "a prayer", Barclay The request is obviously prompted by the disciples again finding Jesus at prayer.

kaqwV "just as" - as, in like manner. Comparative. Of course, we don't know how or what John taught his disciples when it came to prayer. The disciples are probably asking for a distinctive prayer for disciples of Jesus, in the same way John's disciples had a distinctive prayer. Certainly, the early church treated the prayer as belonging exclusively to believers.


ii] The Lord's Prayer, v2-4. The prayer, taught by Jesus, is liturgical in form and typically commences with an invocation, ie. an address to God. In the Lord's prayer, God is addressed as "Father"; this is a very intimate address, a sign of the disciples' status before God. Then follows a list of requests that comply with the will of God:

• "May your name be honored", Phillips. May God be recognized for whom he is.

• "May your reign begin", Moffatt. Referring to the glorious coming of the kingdom in the last day, but also its present realization in the life of believers in the present day.

• "May we receive each day (day by day) all that is necessary to realize the reign of God." Here, Jesus is referring to the promised work of the Spirit in the life of a believer - gifts and fruit. The word "bread" is used to image the manna once supplied for the wilderness wanderings of the people of Israel. God gives his people what they need for service on the way.

• "Forgive us our failings, past, present and future." "Forgive us when we fail to serve you faithfully, for even we can forgive, albeit imperfectly." We must always remember that our forgiving is not the ground of God's forgiving, rather, the fact that we can forgive a little reminds us that God can forgive much.

• "Let us not be overwhelmed by Satan's destructive evil, both now and at the great tribulation (Armageddon)." We will always be tempted and will often fall, but Jesus promises that no temptation, test, or trial has the power to destroy our faith.

autoiV dat. pro. "[He said] to them" - Dative of indirect object. In answer to the disciples' question.

oJtan + subj. "when [you pray]" - Forming an indefinite temporal clause, probably better, "whenever you pray", Williams. The person is plural indicating that the prayer is corporate rather than personal.

Pater (pathr) voc. "Father" - Variant "Our Father in heaven" is obviously taken from Matthew's version, which form of words is usually regarded as original, although debates over the original words of Jesus are fruitless.

aJgiasqhtw (aJiazw) aor. pas. imp. "hallowed be" - may [your name] be hallowed, let be held in reverence, glorified, sanctified.

to onoma (a atoV) "[your] name" - The "name" being the person of, the whole self, being of; "you as you have revealed yourself", TH.

hJ basileia (a) "[you] kingdom" - Note variant, "thy holy Spirit come on us and purify us", rejected by most, but very Lukan.

elqetw (ercomai) aor. imp. "come" - let come [the kingdom of you]. Possibly "let they kingdom be inaugurated", Schonfield, although the kingdom, in the sense of God's eschatological reign, is already inaugurated and therefore the sense is more likely "be realized", even "consummated."


In the Gk., note the interesting position of the object, "bread", ie. it is in front of the imperative, "give".

didou (didwmi) pres. imp. "give" - The present tense is durative, urging activity as an ongoing process, so "continually give us."

hJmin dat. pro. "us" - to us. Dative of indirect object.

to kaq hJmeran "each day" - Adverbial phrase = "day by day."

ton epiousion adj. "daily [bread]" - for the day. Adjective used as a substantive.


afeV (afihmi) aor. imp. "forgive" - forgive, remit.

hJmin dat. pro. "us" - Dative of interest, advantage.

hJmwn gen. pro. "our [sins]" - The genitive is adjectival, possessive, although may be classified as verbal, subjective.

gar "for" - for / even / indeed. Expressing cause / reason; introducing a causal clause explaining why God would answer the prayer, namely, "because" even sinful humanity has the capacity to forgive. Note how Matthew's wJV kai, "even as", promotes the idea that God's forgiveness is conditional.

autoi "we" - ourselves. "We ourselves", TH.

kai "also" - and. The NIV opts for adjunctive, "also", but ascensive is better; "for even we forgive."

afiomen (afihmi) pres. "forgive" - The present tense is durative, so "practice forgiveness", Nolland.

panti dat. adj. "everyone" - Dative of direct object after the verb "forgive" which takes a dative of persons / dative of interest, advantage.

ofeilonti (ofeilw) pres. part. "who sins against" - being indebted. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting "everyone". Not literal debts, but rather, the word "debt" and "sin" were interchangeable for Second Temple Jews, although this was not so in classical Greek. This is why Luke probably replaces Matthew's "debts" with "sins" in "forgive us our sins", so Fitzmyer, although "other forms of indebtedness" may be intended as well, so Nolland.

hJmin dat. pro. "against us" - to us. Dative of indirect object after the verb "forgive", the direct object being "everyone who sins."

mh eisenegkhV (eisferw) aor. subj. "lead us not" - do not lead, drive, bring. A prohibitive subjunctive. As above, the aorist, here with the subjunctive, forming a prohibition that covers, not the commencement of the action, "do not begin to", but rather the whole of the action. Rather than "do not cause", possibly "do not permit, allow", in the sense of "do not let us be overcome by ...."

peirasmon (oV) "temptation" - temptation, test.


iii] Parable - The Midnight Friend, v5-8. The Parable of the Midnight Friend draws out a lesson from a neighborly request. "Can you imagine the situation where an old acquaintance arrives on your doorstep at midnight after a long journey, and you have no food in the house to give him a meal, so you go off to a friend's home and ask for some food, but all he does is tells you to get lost and you end up going home empty handed? Of course not; a friend will give you what you need, even if reluctantly."

exei (ecw) fut. "has" - [who among you] will have [a friend]. A deliberative future setting up a rhetorical question which takes the form of the protasis of a conditional clause with v8 serving as the apodosis. A negative answer is implied, see v8. "Can anyone one of you imagine that you have a friend ....", Marshall.

tiV "one [of you]" - who. Interrogative pronoun referring to the certain person who approaches a friend for a loan of bread, so NIV etc. although the opposite is possible, "suppose one of you has a friend who comes to him in the middle of the night", REB.

mesonukiou (on) gen. "at midnight" - Genitive of time.

eiph/ (eipon) aor. subj. "says" - Deliberative subjunctive setting up a question where an answer is expected. The answer coming in v7.

crhson (kicrhmi) aor. imp. "lend" - As in lend something, not lend for the payment of interest, so "allow me to have the use of."

moi dat. pro. "me" - to me. Dative of indirect object.


epeidh "because" - since, because. Causal.

mou gen. pro. "[a friend] of mine" - The genitive is adjectival, relational.

ex + gen. "on [a journey]" - [arrived] from [a way to me]. Expressing separation.

o} rel. pro. "[I have] nothing [to set before]" - [what] I will set before. Introducing a relative clause where the future "I will set before" expects "a sort of result", Marshall; "A friend of mine has dropped in and I don't have a thing for him to eat", CEV.


eiph/ (legw) aor. subj. "then / suppose" - [and the one within having answered] may say. Deliberative subjunctive.

kakeinoV "the one [inside]" - and that one. Derogatory, or at least sarcastic.

apokriqeiV (apokrinomai) aor. pas. part. "answers" - [may say] having answered. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the main verb "may say", pleonastic (redundant).

mh ... parece (parecw) pres. imp. "don't bother" - do not cause [trouble]. The present tense is durative expressing ongoing trouble. Probably the image is of a small house where getting up to open the door will wake the whole household. "Don't bother me with your troubles", Phillips.

moi dat. pro. "me" - to/for me. Dative of indirect object / interest, disadvantage.

met (meta) + gen. "-" - [the children of me are] with [me in the bed]. Expressing association / accompaniment.

ou dunamai pres. "I can't" - I am not able. Possibly stronger; "I won't get up", Manson.

anastaV (anisthmi) aor. part. "get up" - having arisen. The participle is complementary, completing the thought of the main verb "I am [not] able" = "I am not able to get up". Obviously "not willing", or better, as above, "won't".


We finally come to the answer of the rhetorical question asked in v5. Of course, in verse five the question was formed in the second person plural, but this seems to have been lost in the journey and is further disturbed by the addition of "I tell you" (this phrase is often used to indicate an application of, or conclusion to, an argument and so can be left untranslated). Nolland suggests we can pick up on the origin of the rhetorical question in v5 with "you are quite right to think ....."

ei kai + ind. "though" - if. Introducing a concessive conditional clause, 1st class, where the condition stated in the protasis is viewed as true, "if / although, as is the case, ..... then ....." The conditional clause is best translated as "even if .... certainly", rather than "although ...... at least", so Nolland. Even if / although a situation did / may develop where a friend was unwilling to be inconvenienced, which is unlikely, he certainly would inevitably act on the request so as not to be shamed in the sight of his neighbors.

anastaV (anisthmi) aor. part. "[he will not] get up and [give]" - having arisen. Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the main verb "will not give", so "get up and give", as NIV.

dia to + inf. "because [he is his friend] / [because of] friendship" - Articular infinitive of the verb to-be governed by the preposition "because", forming a causal clause expressing the reason for the action of the main verb "will not give." "Even though he will indeed refuse to bestir himself for friendship sake", Cassirer.

ge "yet" - Emphatic introduction for the apodosis of the conditional clause.

dia + acc. "Because" - Causal; "on account of, because."

thn anaideian (a) "boldness / shameless audacity" - The meaning of this word, a hapax legomenon (once only use in the NT), is disputed and so numerous translations are proposed: "persistence", namely the persistence of the friend who beats upon door; "boldness", Stein; "shamelessness", in the sense of making such a demand at midnight, Johnson = "impudence"; "shameless boldness", Bock; "unblushing persistence", Leaney; "his importunity in begging and begging at this late hour of the night", Fitzmyer. The word may take a positive sense, so "honor", "self-respect", and therefore expresses the motivation of the friend in bed. The friend may not act as a friend, but out of "honor" he will act, or at least "so as not to lose face", Marshall. See Nolland, 626. There is a problem with grammar in that autoV "his", of "his shame", seems to align with "his friend", which refers to the man knocking on the door, not the man asleep, although not necessarily so. The illustration does not teach that the man in bed is supposed to represent God; the parable is not an allegory, just a teaching illustration. The point is simple: if a friend will comply with a difficult request, although sometimes belatedly, imagine how much more God will do.

egerqeiV (egeirw) aor. pas. part. "he will surely get up" - Attendant circumstance participle expressing action accompanying the verb "he will give"; "he will arise and give him what he wants."

autw/ dat. pro. "[and give] him" - Dative of indirect object.

w{swn gen. pro. "as much as [he needs]" - [he has need of] whatever. Genitive of direct object after the verb crhzei, "has need of."


iv] Sayings on prayer, v9-13: a) The reliability of God - He keeps his promises, v9-10. The first saying draws out the implication of the parable. If a friend, at an inconvenient moment, will reluctantly given you what you ask for, imagine what God will do for you when you ask of him. God unhesitatingly meets his obligations when asked; he is always found by those who seek him and will immediately open himself up to those who approach him.

kagw uJmin legw "so I say to you" - Again, serving to introduce a conclusion or application. "Here's what I'm saying", Peterson.

aiteite (aitew) pres. imp. "ask" - The present imperative urging activity as an ongoing process, so "make it your habit", Rogers.

doqhsetai (didwmi) fut. pas. "it will be given" - Probably a theological passive expressing God as the agent (although a dubious grammatical category).

uJmin dat. pro. "to you" - Dative of indirect object.

uJmin dat. pro. "[will be opened] to you" - Dative of interest, advantage.


gar "for" - A causal sense is possible, although better taken here as a stitching device for two independent sayings. Possibly restating the wisdom of v9 (parallelism), "so then doesn't this proverb say ......", even as a prophetic confirmation of v9, "so therefore you should ask and you will receive", Nolland.

aJ aitwn (aitew) pres. part. "[everyone] who asks" - the one asking. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting paV, adj. serving as the noun "everyone", as NIV.

lambanei (lambanw) pres. "receives" - The present tense is probably iterative, expressing repeated action. As for v9, the codicil "ask anything according to his will", 1Jn.5:14, always serves to reminds us that God freely gives of his promised blessings, rather than our perceived needs. It is often argued that long-life, health and happiness are included in these promised blessings, although Jesus does seem to teach that the way of a disciple is anything but a bed of roses - more a bed of thorns, as it was for the Master. For the people of Israel, the blessings of the kingdom were often described in tangible terms - many children to defend the home, rich harvests, etc. .... a land of milk and honey. These blessings develop into spiritual blessings in the writings of the prophets, which reality is fulfilled (realized / inaugurated) in the New Testament.

tw/ krouonti (krouw) dat. pres. part. "to the one who knocks" - The participle serves as a substantive, dative of interest, advantage; "for the one who knocks."

anoighsetai (anoigw) fut. pas. "will be opened" - will be opened, unlocked, disclosed. Variant in the present tense exists and has strong support. Again, may be treated as a theological passive.


b) God's good gifts, v11-13. The second saying supports the first in that it is a "how much more" lesson. If we know how to give "good gifts" to our children, "how much more" will God give good gifts to his children. The problem lies in understanding the nature of the "good gifts." Luke tells us that the good gift is the "Holy Spirit." Matthew just leaves it as "good things." The gift of the Holy Spirit to the believer does not just entail the gift of the personal presence of the Spirit of Christ in the life of a believer, but all the promised blessings that flow from our union with God through the Spirit. The "good gifts" are the promised blessings of the kingdom, not the presumed needs of believers.

tina "which" - who, what, why. Interrogative pronoun.

aithsei (aitew) fut. "if [your son] asks for" - Deliberative future, deliberating over a possibility. Here the possibility is made unlikely by the negative connective mh, although it is more than likely that the variant kai, "and instead of a fish will give him a snake", is original, Metzger. In fact, the kai probably reflects the original construction which was possibly a Semitic conditional sentence with the apodosis in the form of a question, "if any father among you is asked by his son for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish"? Marshall. The syntax of the sentence is difficult, ie. an anacoluthon (Luke has lost his way with the grammar). Note the double accusative construction ("fathers" and "fish") with "asks", "which" and "fathers" in apposition. The articular form of "fathers" and "son" serve to express the possessive.

icqun (uV uoV) "a fish" - Is the fish actually an eel?


kai "[or] if" - It is likely that kai again serves to introduce a Semitic conditional clause, 3rd. class, where the condition is assumed a possibility. Variants exist where the syntax is repaired; h] kai ean + subj. / fut. - the future tense will sometimes serve as a subjunctive. An eel looks a bit like a snake and this could be the intended fish, but a scorpion doesn't look much like an egg, although it can roll up into an egg-like shape. "Or if he asks for an egg, is he likely to give him a scorpion"? Barclay.


ei + ind. "if" - Introducing a conditional sentence, 1st class, where the condition is assumed to be true, "if, as is the case, .... then [how much more ....]"

oun "then" - therefore, thus. Drawing an inference from v11, 12.

uJparconteV (uJparcw) pres. part. "though you are [evil]" - being, possessing [evil, wickedness]. The participle is adjectival, attributive, limiting/modifying "you", "you who are evil", although possibly adverbial, concessive, as NIV. Simply stating a general fact about humanity; we are all sinners. "Bad as you are", TH.; "although you are naturally evil and ungenerous", Barclay.

didonai (didwmi) pres. inf. "[know] how to give" - The infinitive introduces an object clause / dependent statement of perception expressing what "you know."

posw/ mallon "how much more" - The key to understanding the passage as a whole. "How much more likely is it that", Phillips.

oJ ex ouranou "[your Father] in heaven" - from heaven. The article may not be original, but if it is it turns the prepositional phrase formed by ex, "from" + gen. (source / origin) into an adjectival clause limiting "Father"; "the/your Father which is in heaven." Possible assimilation with Matthew for both "your" and "in heaven." The sense may be "the Father gives from heaven [the Holy Spirit]."

pneuma aJgion "the Holy Spirit" - holy spirit. Variant, "good Spirit", as opposed to Matthew's "good gifts." Variant, "good gifts", also exists for Luke, but it is more than likely that "Holy Spirit" is original (Nolland, Stein, etc. disagree). Luke's propensity to affirm the role of the Spirit is an unlikely motivation for changing an original "good gifts" since the gift of the Spirit, for Luke, awaits Pentecost. So, Luke reminds us that an open slather of good gifts is not in mind here, but rather gifts that are promised, in particular, the gift of the Holy Spirit.

toiV aitousin (aitew) pres. part. "those who ask" - the ones asking. The participle serves as a substantive. Should we underline the durative sense of the present tense? "Those who continue to ask him", Williams. Probably not!


Luke Introduction



[Pumpkin Cottage]