An Interpretation of Luke 11:1-4 Introduction In the passage of Luke 11:1-4, the passages that come before this particular passage are unrelated - the exact passage that came before this passage was a passage regarding Martha and Mary. The preceding chapter, Chapter 10, was focused upon the 72 disciples, who are going to different towns, two by two, to spread the word of Christ, before Christ himself can come to these towns and spread his word…
In other words, since Mary had chosen to receive Christ's words and to listen to Him, as opposed to Martha, who did not listen to him, preferring to focus on service of, presumably food and drink, Mary was the one who was receiving the best part of his visit. This was the passage before the passage of Luke 11:1-4. While it is, in the strictest sense, unrelated to the previous passage, the previous passage gives context to this passage. Christ, in this passage, is teaching his disciples how to pray. It is then that he recites to them what is commonly known now as “The Lord's Prayer” - “Father, hallowed be thy name. They kingdom come!....” As noted above, this particular passage took place during the the time when the 72 disciples were spreading Christ's word throughout the land. The passage that comes after this goes on to state that if the disciples ask for something, they shall receive it. This would be true even if the disciples came upon a home that would refuse them entrance. Jesus is telling the disciples that, if they pray, they will receive what they are asking for. The placement in the book suggests that, perhaps, the disciples were having issues with getting people to open their doors up to them. The previous passage regarding Mary and Martha was put into this part of the Bible because it illustrates the attitude that some of the townspeople had towards Jesus and his 72 disciples, as Martha was not interested in the word that they were spreading, and complained bitterly that her sister was too interested in the word and not in service. Perhaps some of the other disciples were having the same issues with this sort of treatment, so they were asking Jesus about what they could do to get the townspeople to allow this, and Jesus told them how to pray, so that the people would be more open to what they are saying to them. This is shown by this passage and the previous passage, and this passage, the “Lessons on Prayer” passage includes the admonition that if “you, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Good Spirit to those who ask him!” In other words, if the townspeople can entertain the 72 disciples graciously, they can learn to pray and learn to ask for what they want, and the Lord will grant it to them. Analysis of the Literary Style and Characteristics of the Passage According to Marshall (1998), literary style is the way that the story is told, and it is comprised of different elements, such as narrator, point of view, allegory, symbolism, tone, imagery, punctuation, word choice, grammar, and voice. The passage begins in the narrative voice of one of the disciples, as the disciple implored the Lord to teach them how to pray. Voice is one of the elements of literary style (Card, 1988). The narrative voice then shifts to that of the Lord himself. However, Luke is the one who is relating these events to the audience, because Luke is the author of this part of the text. So, in the strictest sense, Luke himself is the omniscient narrator, who is considered to be unobtrusive, as he is not a part of the story itself. However, at the same time, the reader ...
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