Presentation on theme: "(Luke 11:5-10) Contemporary Analysis Liz Smith October 9, 2007 BL 425 Parables of Jesus Dr. George Lyons."— Presentation transcript:
(Luke 11:5-10) Contemporary Analysis Liz Smith October 9, 2007 BL 425 Parables of Jesus Dr. George Lyons
“Then he said to them, ‘Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’ ‘Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs. ‘So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened (NIV).”
Takes place in a small town with no shops. Households bake their bread each morning. An unexpected friend arrives. He arrives at midnight, most likely meaning he traveled late to avoid the heat. Hospitality is a sacred duty! This particular household has used their supply of bread for the day.
So the man with the visitor goes to another friend asking for three loaves; small loaves sufficient enough for one person. This man was poor living in a one room house and his kids and wife had gone to bed. The whole family slept on a raised platform on one side of the room, animals on ground level on the other. If he moved to get the bread his whole family would wake up! He doesn’t mind giving the bread but he wants to stay where he is at. Persistency and importunity (shamelessness) prevail and the man gives his friend the loaves he asks for. (Morris 213)
Some may wonder why, if God is a metaphor for the householder, he didn’t just give to the neighbor in need out of friendship but only out of his persistence. This would indicate that God only gives to those who bother him enough; those who keep praying until they get an answer. We don’t want to bother God, do we? The householder also replies, “Don’t bother me. The door is locked, and my children are with me in bed. I cant get up and give you anything.” This shows that either God is more courteous and patient than the householder, or that God cannot be used as a metaphor for the householder at all. The message of the parable could then imply that God responds graciously to his children’s needs, not out of our boldness or persistence. Verses 9 and 10 follow up the parable by encouraging the reader to continue to pray because they will assuredly be answered. The first phrase concerns “asking”, typically referring to prayer. It is an invitation to pray, not necessarily demanding persistent prayer. The second phrase refers to “seeking” for God. To seek God’s face is another way of saying “pray” (2 Samuel 21:1). This includes calling to God by some who may not know if he will answer. There is a promise made by God in Deut. 4:29 stating that God is waiting to be found by those who will seek after him. The third is of a man “knocking” at a door hoping to enter. In Rabbinic usage the metaphor was used as prayer (Marshall).
The parable of The Friend at Midnight follows Jesus teaching his disciples a shorter version of what we know as the “Lord’s Prayer”. The entire passage is based on teachings about prayer and how God responds to our requests. This parable can be looked at in two different ways: 1. Despite immediate answer, continue to pray because God responds graciously to the needs of his children (as interpreted in the Old Latin MS). This can be argued in two ways; this parable could be saying to be persistent in prayer because God is ready to give, or it does not take persistency with God for him to hear our prayers for he will answer as soon as we “knock” (Morris 213). 2. OR, God is the opposite of the householder in that God would immediately get up and give his friend as many loaves as he wanted without complaint. Even if someone has no motives to help another person he will still most likely respond to a person in need (Marshall 462).
When we pray to God he wants us to be brief and real. Just as the friend in need was upfront and real with his sleeping neighbor. Effectiveness of prayer is not due to our lengthy prayers or how spiritual we are. Simplicity of requests, just as our lives are simple in God’s eyes. Simple as the request made to the neighbor. God wants us to persevere and seek him full force for all of our needs and requests. The householder finally gave in due to his friend’s persistent behavior. Pray as if we are expecting an answer. Do not pray in doubt. God wants to give us what we ask for! The man in need of bread for his traveling friend knew not to give up because of the faith he had in his neighbor’s friendship.
Larson, Bruce. The Communicator’s Commentary. Word Books; Waco, Texas Marshall, Howard I. New International Greek Testament Commentary: Commentary on Luke. William B. Eardmans Publishing Company; Grand Rapids, Michigan Morris, Leon. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries: Luke. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1974, 1988.