Luke 11:13
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) How much more shall your heavenly Father . . .?—We note a change here also, the one highest gift of the “Holy Spirit” taking the place of the wider and less definite “good things” in Matthew 7:11. The variation is significant, as belonging to a later stage of our Lord’s teaching, and especially as spoken probably to some of the Seventy, who were thus taught to ask boldly for the Spirit which was to make them in very deed a company of prophets. (See Note on Luke 10:1.)

Luke 11:13. If ye then, being evil — If ye, who are, at least, comparatively evil, and perhaps inclined to a penurious and morose temper, yet know how to give good gifts to your children — And find your hearts disposed to relieve their returning necessities, by a variety of daily provisions; — if earthly parents, though evil, be yet so kind; if they, though weak, be yet so knowing, that they give with discretion, give what is best, in the best manner and time; much more shall your heavenly Father — Who has wrought these dispositions in you, and who infinitely excels the fathers of our flesh, as in power, so also in wisdom and goodness, be ready to bestow every necessary good, and even to give the best and most excellent gift of all, his Holy Spirit, to them that sincerely and earnestly ask him; a gift, inclusive of, or followed by, all the good things we ought to pray for; more than which, with its effects and consequences, we do not need, to make us wise, holy, happy, and useful; the Holy Spirit being the source of spiritual life to and in us here, and the earnest of eternal life hereafter; a gift which, therefore, it concerns us all earnestly, constantly, and perseveringly to pray for. Observe well, then, reader, both that it is our indispensable duty to ask this gift, and that we have all possible encouragement to believe that, if we ask aright, we shall not ask in vain. For as certainly as God’s power enables him, so certainly does his goodness incline him, and his promise bind him, to give it, and that to all those that ask as they are here directed.

11:5-13 Christ encourages fervency and constancy in prayer. We must come for what we need, as a man does to his neighbour or friend, who is kind to him. We must come for bread; for that which is needful. If God does not answer our prayers speedily, yet he will in due time, if we continue to pray. Observe what to pray for; we must ask for the Holy Spirit, not only as necessary in order to our praying well, but as all spiritual blessings are included in that one. For by the influences of the Holy Spirit we are brought to know God and ourselves, to repent, believe in, and love Christ, and so are made comfortable in this world, and meet for happiness in the next. All these blessings our heavenly Father is more ready to bestow on every one that asks for them, than an indulgent parent is to give food to a hungry child. And this is the advantage of the prayer of faith, that it quiets and establishes the heart in God."A scorpion" See the notes at Luke 10:19. Dr. Thomson (The Land and the Book, vol. i. p. 379) says: "There is no imaginable likeness between an egg and the ordinary black scorpion of this country, neither in color nor size, nor, when the tail is extended, in shape; but old writers speak of a "white" scorpion, and such a one, with the tail folded up, as in specimens of fossil trilobites, would not look unlike a small egg. Perhaps the contrast, however, refers only to the different properties of the egg and the scorpion, which is sufficiently emphatic."

Pliny ("N. H.," xi. 25) says that in Judea the scorpions are about the size of an egg, and not unlike one in shape.

13. the Holy Spirit—in Matthew (Mt 7:11), "good gifts"; the former, the Gift of gifts descending on the Church through Christ, and comprehending the latter. See Poole on "Luke 11:11"

If ye then being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children,.... See Gill on Matthew 7:11.

How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? instead of the Holy Spirit here, the Vulgate Latin version reads, "good Spirit", and so two copies of Beza's; and the Ethiopic version, "the good gift of the Holy Spirit"; and doubtless intends the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit, in distinction from, and as preferable to the good things given by earthly parents, to their children.

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 11:13. ὁ π. ὁ ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, this epithet is attached to πατὴρ here though not in the Lord’s Prayer.—Πνεῦμα Ἅγιον instead of Mt.’s ἀγαθὰ. The Holy Spirit is mentioned here as the summum donum, and the supreme object of desire for all true disciples. In some forms of the Lord’s Prayer (Marcion, Greg. Nys.) a petition for the gift of the Holy Spirit took the place of the first or second petition.

13. give the Holy Spirit] St Matthew has the much more general expression “good things” (Luke 7:11). The Good Father will give to His children neither what is deadly, nor what is unfit for food.

Luke 11:13. [Πόσῳ μᾶλλον, how much more) Since the readiness in freely giving is so great on the part of GOD: how great, I ask, must be thought to be the torpor which lurks beneath on the part of men, even though offering prayer, seeing that so few things are obtained by prayer!—V. g.]—ὁ Πατὴρ ὁ ἐξ οὐρανοῦ, the Father who is of heaven) who is supremely good.—Πνεῦμα Ἅγιον,[107] the Holy Spirit) the best of all good gifts, and with it all things: ch. Luke 24:49. The Holy Spirit is a spirit good and joyous: τὸ Πνεῦμά σου τὸ ἀγαθόν, Psalm 143:10, in LXX. It is the Holy Spirit Himself that works in man the first beginning of the desire for Himself. He is moreover more necessary to the soul than food is to the body.

[107] The Germ. Vers. prefers the reading ἀγαθὸν, which is considered an inferior reading in the margin of both Editions.—E. B. AB and Rec. Text read πνεῦμα ἅγιον. Dbcd (datum), Orig. 1,213c; 3,650d. read ἀγαθὸν δόμα. L and Vulg. read πνεῦμα ἀγαθόν. The ἀλαθὸν and δόμα have both probably crept in here, through the harmonies, from Matthew 7:11.—ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 13. - How much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? In St. Matthew we find the last portion of this teaching related as having taken place at a much earlier period of the Lord's ministry. It is more than probable that much of Jesus Christ's general instruction was repeated on more than one occasion. There is an important difference between the words reported by the two evangelists. St. Matthew, instead of the "Holy Spirit," has the more general expression, "good things." In both accounts, however, is the Master's assurance that prayer, if persisted in, would ever be heard and granted, and there is the all-important limitation that the thing prayed for must be something" good" in the eyes of the heavenly Father. How many requests are made by us, poor, shortsighted, often selfish men, which, if granted, would be harmful rather than a blessing to the asker! Here the Lord, the Reader of hearts, having taken notice of some of the deep earnest longings, perhaps scarcely crystallized into prayer, of his own disciples, of a John or a James, pictures the case of one who deserves a special deepening of the spiritual life, and prays some prayer for the presence of the Holy Spirit. Such a prayer, says Christ, must be granted. Luke 11:13Being (ὑπάρχοντες)

See on James 2:15.

Heavenly Father

Lit., the Father, he who is from Heaven,

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