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Luke  ◦   Chapter 11

1One day, when Jesus finished talking with his Father, one of his interns said to him, "Master, please teach us to talk to God like John taught his disciples."

2Jesus said to them, "When you talk to God, say this: 'Father, your character is beautiful and holy; let your kingdom of love come.3Provide us with what we need each day.4Forgive us our wrongs, as we also forgive all those who wrong us. And lead us away from temptation.' "

5Then he told them: "Consider going to one of your friends in the middle of the night and saying, 'My friend, please lend me some food;6another friend arrived at my place unexpectedly and I don't have anything to feed them.'

7"But the one inside answers, 'I'm asleep! The door is locked, alarm is on, and the kids are in bed–I can't get up right now. Come back tomorrow.'8The truth is, although a human friend may not get up just for friendship’s sake, they will get up because you keep banging at the door; and they will give you what you need.

9"But I tell you, God is not like this! Just ask, and what you need will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will open to you.10For everyone who asks, receives; those who seek, find; and to the one who knocks–doors open.

11"Parents, which of you, if your child asks for a fish, will give them a snake?12Or if they ask for an egg, will give them a scorpion?13If you then, even though you are infected with selfishness, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

14Jesus healed a man who had been unable to speak because of a demon. When the demon was gone, the man who had been mute spoke, and the crowd was astonished.15But some critics said, "This is sorcery! It is by the evil powers of Beelzebub — the god of flies and demons — that he is driving out demons."16Others asked him to give a sign from heaven to prove himself.

17Jesus knew their selfish motives, so he said to them: "Every kingdom that wars against itself destroys itself, and will collapse.18If Satan fights against himself, how can his kingdom survive? I ask you this because you claim I drive out demons by the power of Beelzebub.19But if I free minds from the domination of demons by the power of Beelzebub, then by whose power do your people drive out demons? Your own practices reveal that you know better than to accuse me of using evil powers.20I drive off demons by the power of God, and this is evidence that God's kingdom of love has arrived.

21"Or think about it like this: When a strong, well-armed thief guards their hideout, their loot is secure.22But when a stronger person with better weapons overpowers them, they can only do so by neutralizing the weapons and armor in which the thief trusted, and then recover what was taken.

23"We are at war. Those not on my team — not working with me to unite humanity in love — are against me, inciting division and discord.

24"When the mind of a person is freed from the control of an evil angel, the evil angel seeks someone else to harass. But if the angel finds no other, it says, 'I will return to the one I left.'25If, when it arrives, it finds the mind not filled with God's Spirit, but instead empty and uncommitted,26then it gets seven other angels more wicked than itself and infiltrates the mind with lies, temptation, and distorted thinking. And the condition of the person is worse than before, because truth no longer has any impact on their mind."

27As Jesus said this, a woman in the crowd shouted, "Blessed is the mother who bore you and nursed you!"

28But Jesus replied, "More blessed are those who hear of God's Remedy, partake of it, and follow God's treatment plan."

29As the crowds increased in size, Jesus said to them: "It is a rebellious generation — one that has given their hearts to false gods — that asks for miraculous signs! But none will be given except the sign of God's spokesman, Jonah.30Just as Jonah — delivered to them after spending three days in the belly of a fish — was a sign to the Ninevites, the Son of Man will be a sign to this generation.31The Queen of the South will stand up on the day your diagnosis is revealed and hold you to blame for not accepting the Remedy and being healed, for she came from far away to listen to Solomon's wisdom; but One far greater than Solomon is here speaking to you.32The people of Nineveh will hold you to blame, for your terminal state on the day your true condition is made public; for they turned away from their destructive ways and accepted the Remedy at the preaching of Jonah; and One far greater than Jonah is here speaking to you.

33"No one turns on a lamp and then puts it under a cover — where it will be hidden — or under a bucket. No! They put it on a stand so its light illuminates all who come in.34Your mind's eye is the lamp of your being. When your mind's eye is discerning and open to learning truth, your entire being is invigorated by the light. But when your mind's eye is clouded and no longer advances in truth, then your entire being is full of darkness.35So be certain to advance in truth, so that the light in you doesn't turn to darkness.36Understand then that if your entire being is full of light — and no darkness remains — it will radiate that light fully, as when the light of a lamp shines upon you."

37When Jesus had finished speaking, a legal theologian of the Pharisee sect invited him home to eat; so Jesus went and reclined at the table.38But because Jesus didn't first do a ceremonial washing of his hands before the meal, the Pharisee was shocked.

39So the Master tried to enlighten him and said, "You, legal and behaviorally focused Pharisees, work so hard to make yourselves look good on the outside, but the inside — the heart — is full of selfishness, arrogance, and greed.40You really don't understand God's kingdom of love! Did not God, who crafted your outside in his image, also design your inside — your heart and character — to be like him?41So give from your inside — from your heart — to help the less fortunate, and then everything about you will be clean.

42"Misery is yours, you who teach a legal religion, you Pharisees! You proudly pay a pre-tax tithe and even give a tenth of the herbs in your garden, but you fail to do what actually matters: to do what is right, because it is right and to live in harmony with God's law of love–his design for life. Rather, you should have lived lives of love for others, without neglecting the simple instructions of God.

43"Misery is yours, you legal theologians, you Pharisees, because you love to put yourselves at the center: you seek the most important places, and–whether at church or the marketplace–crave admiration.

44"Misery is yours, you legal theologians, Pharisees! You're like unmarked graves: appearing inviting like a lawn but beneath the surface are full of death and decay."

45One of the Supreme Court lawyers challenged him: "But Doctor, don't you realize that what you're saying is rude and offensive? You insult us."

46Jesus answered him, "And misery is yours, you lawyers, because you create a false legal religious system with so many imposed rules that burden people needlessly with guilt and fear, and you won't even make any effort to help them.

47"Misery is yours, you who teach a legal religion! You build tombs and memorials to God's spokespersons, but it was your ancestors who killed them.48Thus the memorials you build are a witness against you, for your hearts are no different than the hearts of those who killed them.49Because of your false remedy and penal legal trickery, God in his wisdom said, 'I will send them my spokespersons, instructors and Bible scholars: some they will execute, others they will persecute.'50Understand then that this generation is responsible for rejecting the witness of every one of God’s spokespersons who have been killed since the creation of the world,51from the murder of Abel to that of Zechariah, who was killed in church right at the altar. I tell you truly, this generation is responsible for rejecting all the evidence those righteous witnesses gave.

52"Misery is yours, you lawyers and legal theologians! You have the Scriptures — the keys to the knowledge of God's kingdom of love — but you have refused to understand them, and have created a false legal interpretation that prevents others from understanding them."

53When Jesus left that place, the legal theologians of the Pharisee sect, and the lawyers, aggressively opposed him and followed him berating him with questions,54and trying to trick him into saying something they could use against him.