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Luke 11 Expanded Bible (EXB)

Jesus Teaches About Prayer

11 One time Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his ·followers [disciples] said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray as John taught his ·followers [disciples].”

Jesus said to them, “When you pray, say:

‘Father, ·may your name always be kept holy [T hallowed be your name].
May your kingdom come [C soon or fully].
Give us ·the food we need for each day [T our daily bread].
Forgive us for our sins,
    ·because [as] we forgive everyone who ·has done wrong to us [sins against us; L is indebted to us; C sin is pictured as a debt owed].
And ·do not cause us to be tempted [or do not subject us to testing; T lead us not into temptation].’”[a]

Continue to Ask

Then 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 [L from the road] to visit me, but I have nothing ·for him to eat [to offer him; L to set before him].’ Your friend inside the house answers, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already ·locked [shut], and my children ·and I are [L are with me] in bed [C a small Palestinian home where everyone slept in one room]. I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, [L even] if friendship is not enough to make him get up to give you the bread, ·your boldness will make him [your shameless persistence will make him; or in order not to be shamed before the community he will] get up and give you whatever you need. So I tell you, ·ask [keep on asking], and God will give to you. ·Search [Keep on searching/seeking], and you will find. ·Knock [Keep on knocking], and the door will open for you. 10 ·Yes, [L For; Because] everyone who asks will receive. The one who ·searches [seeks] will find. And everyone who knocks will have the door opened. 11 If your ·children ask [or son asks] for[b] a fish, which of you fathers would give them a snake instead? 12 Or, if ·your children ask [or he asks] for an egg, would you give them a scorpion? 13 Even though you are ·bad [sinful; evil], you know how to give good ·things [L gifts] to your children. How much more your heavenly Father will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Jesus’ Power Is from God

14 One time Jesus was ·sending [driving; casting] out a demon ·who could not talk [or who was making a man mute]. When the demon came out, the man who had been unable to speak, then spoke. The ·people were [crowd was] amazed. 15 But some of them said, “Jesus uses the power of Beelzebul [C another name for Satan], the ruler of demons, to ·force [drive; cast] demons out of people.”

16 Other people, wanting to test Jesus, asked him to give them a sign from heaven. 17 But knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom that is ·divided against [at war with] itself ·will be destroyed [is doomed/heading for ruin]. And a ·family [L house] that is ·divided against [at war with] itself will ·not continue [L fall]. 18 So if Satan is divided against himself, ·his kingdom will not continue [L how will his kingdom stand?]. [L For] You say that I use the power of Beelzebul [v. 15] to ·force [drive; cast] out demons. 19 But if I use the power of Beelzebul to ·force [drive; cast] out demons, what power do your ·people [own exorcists; followers; L sons] use to ·force [drive; cast] demons out? So they will ·be your judges. 20 But if I use the ·power [L finger] of God to ·force [drive; cast] out demons, then the kingdom of God has ·come to [arrived among] you.

21 “When a strong person ·with many weapons [fully armed] guards his own ·house [villa; or palace; C a large building with a courtyard], his possessions are safe. 22 But when someone stronger comes and ·defeats [overpowers; conquers] him, the stronger one will take away the ·weapons [armor] ·the first man trusted [on which he relied] and will ·give away the possessions [L divide his plunder].

23 “Anyone who is not with me is against me, and anyone who does not ·work [L gather] with me ·is working against me [scatters; C the metaphor is probably to gathering or scattering a flock; John 10:12].

The Empty Person

24 “When an ·evil [defiling; L unclean; 4:33] spirit comes out of a person, it ·travels [wanders] through ·dry [waterless; arid] places, looking for a place to rest. But when it finds no place, it says, ‘I will go back to the house [C meaning the person] I left.’ 25 And when it comes back, it finds that house swept clean and ·made neat [in order; fixed up]. 26 Then ·the evil spirit [L it] goes out and brings seven other spirits more evil than it is, and they go in and live there. So ·the person has even more trouble than before [L the last state of that person is worse than the first].”

People Who Are Truly Blessed

27 As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out to Jesus, “Blessed is the ·mother who gave birth to you [L the womb that bore you] and [L the breasts that] nursed you.”

28 But Jesus said, “·No [L Rather; On the contrary], blessed are those who hear the ·teaching [word] of God and ·obey [practice; keep] it.”

The People Want a Miracle

29 As the crowd grew larger, Jesus ·said [began to say], “·The people who live today are evil [L This generation is an evil/wicked generation]. They ·want to see [seek] a ·miracle for a sign [L sign], but no sign will be given them, except the sign of Jonah [Matt. 12:39–40]. 30 As Jonah was a sign for those people who lived in Nineveh, the Son of Man will be a sign for ·the people of this time [this generation]. 31 ·On the judgment day [At the judgment] the Queen of the South [C the Queen of Sheba] will stand up with the people ·who live now [of this generation]. She will ·show they are guilty [condemn them], because she came from ·far away [L the ends of the earth] to listen to Solomon’s wise teaching [1 Kin. 10:1–13]. And ·I tell you that [L look; T behold] ·someone [or something; C either Jesus or his message of the Kingdom of God] greater than Solomon is here. 32 ·On the judgment day [At the judgment] the ·people [or men; C the Greek term usually refers to males] of Nineveh will stand up with ·the people who live now [this generation], and they will ·show that you are guilty [condemn it]. [L Because] When Jonah preached to them, they ·were sorry and changed their lives [repented]. And I tell you that ·someone [or something; v. 31] greater than Jonah is here.

Be a Light for the World

33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a ·secret place [cellar] or under a ·bowl [or basket], but on a lampstand so the people who come in can see [L the light; Matt. 5:15; Mark 4:21]. 34 Your eye is ·a light [L the lamp] for the body. When your eyes are ·good [healthy; clear], your whole body will be full of light. But when your eyes are ·evil [unhealthy; bad], your whole body will be full of darkness. 35 So be careful ·not to let the light in you become [or that the light in you is not actually] darkness. 36 If your whole body is full of light, and none of it is dark, then you will ·shine bright [be radiant; be filled with light], as when a lamp shines [brightly; L with its rays] on you.”

Jesus Accuses the Pharisees

37 After Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee asked Jesus to ·eat [dine] with him. So Jesus went in and ·sat at the table [reclined; C  the posture for a banquet or dinner party; see 7:36]. 38 But the Pharisee was surprised when he saw that Jesus did not wash his hands before the meal [C a Jewish ritual for ceremonial purity]. 39 The Lord said to him, “You Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are full of ·greed [extortion; robbery] and ·evil [wickedness]. 40 You foolish people! The same one who made what is outside also made what is inside. 41 So ·give what is in your dishes [or give from your hearts; L give the inside things] ·to the poor [as alms], and then ·you [everything] will be fully clean. 42 ·How terrible for [L Woe to] you Pharisees! You ·give God one-tenth of [pay tithe on] even your mint, your rue, and every other ·plant [herb] in your garden. But you ·fail to be fair to others [neglect to show justice] and to love God. These are the things you should do ·while continuing [without neglecting] to do those other things. 43 ·How terrible for [L Woe to] you Pharisees, because you love to have the most ·important [honorable] seats in the synagogues, and you love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces. 44 ·How terrible for [L Woe to] you, because you are like ·hidden [unmarked] graves, which people walk on without knowing.”

Jesus Talks to Experts on the Law

45 One of the experts on the law said to Jesus, “Teacher, when you say these things, you are insulting us, too.”

46 Jesus answered, “·How terrible for [L Woe to] you, you experts on the law! You ·make strict rules that are very hard for people to obey [L burden people with burdens hard to carry], but you yourselves don’t even ·try to follow those rules [or lift a finger to ease the burden]. 47 ·How terrible for [L Woe to] you, because you build ·tombs [monuments; memorials] for the prophets whom your ancestors killed! 48 And now you ·show [are witnesses; testify] that you approve of what your ancestors did. They killed the prophets, and you build ·tombs [monuments; memorials] for them! 49 This is why ·in his wisdom God said [L God’s Wisdom said; C a personification of wisdom; Prov. 8], ‘I will send prophets and apostles to them. ·They will kill some, and they will treat others cruelly [or Some they will persecute and kill].’ 50 So ·you who live now [this generation] will be ·punished for [charged with; held responsible for] the ·deaths of all the prophets who were killed [L blood of all the prophets shed] since the ·beginning [foundation; creation] of the world— 51 from the ·killing [blood] of Abel to the ·killing [blood] of Zechariah, who died between the altar and the ·Temple [sanctuary; L house (of God); C in the arrangement of the Hebrew OT, Abel and Zechariah were the first and last people to be murdered; Gen. 4:4–8; 2 Chr. 24:20–21]. Yes, I tell you that ·you who are alive now [this generation] will be ·punished [charged; held responsible] for them all.

52 “·How terrible for [L Woe to] you, you experts on the law. You have taken away the key to ·learning about God [L knowledge]. You yourselves ·would not learn [L did not enter], and you ·stopped [hindered; prevented] others from ·learning [L entering], too.”

53 When Jesus left, the ·teachers of the law [scribes] and the Pharisees began to ·give him trouble [fiercely oppose him; act with hostility], ·asking him [provoking/attacking/besieging him with] questions about many things, 54 ·trying [lying in wait; plotting an ambush; C metaphorically] to catch him saying something wrong.


  1. Luke 11:4 ‘Father … tempted.’ Some Greek copies include phrases from Matthew’s version of this prayer (Matthew 6:9–13).
  2. Luke 11:11 for Some Greek copies include the phrase “for bread, which of you would give them a stone, or if they ask for … ”
Expanded Bible (EXB)

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