Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Misquoting the Bible: Luke 11:9

"It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples." And He said to them, "When you pray, say: 'Father, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, For we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.'" Then He said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him'; and from inside he answers and says, 'Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.' I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence 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 it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. Now suppose one of you fathers is asked by his son for a fish; he will not give him a snake instead of a fish, will he? Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?"" Luke 11:1-13
This verse is just one of dozens that are ripped completely from their context and willfully misinterpreted and misapplied by those lying false teachers, the prosperity preachers. They try to claim that if you ask God for a Ferarri, that God is going to give it to you; or that if you ask God for a brand new house, that God is going to give it to you; or that if you ask God to win the Lottery, that God is going to give it to you; or that if you have some disease, such as cancer, that God is going to give you your request. Despite these false interpretations and misapplications, these false teachers fail to pay attention to the various passages in Scripture that contradict their lies and false teachings, as well as failing to pay attention to biblical characters whose lives and predicaments contradict their lies and false teachings.

The worst part is the blind ignorance of those who follow these lying false teachers and hang on their every word. These people know nothing of the Bible, and yet when you speak truth concerning these prosperity preachers, these ignorant individuals will attempt to come to their rescue and defend them. The only person making any money in that congregation is the lying preacher who is duping the congregation. He/she promises the congregation that if they tithe $100, God will return it ten-fold and they will receive $1000. Yet, despite never receiving anything, these blind, ignorant followers continually find themselves becoming poorer and poorer because they refuse to wise up to the scam.

This verse is not, "Ask for anything you want." It is, "Ask for my kingdom, and you will have it." Jesus' disciples ask Him how to pray, and so He sets forth an example of how we ought to pray. He continues by telling them the sort of things they ought to be praying for, such as their daily bread, the advent of His kingdom, forgiveness of sins, etc. Luke 11:9 is in the context of God's kingdom. Read also the parallel in Matthew 7:7-11 (and surrounding context).

What does verse 8 say? "Yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs." Verse 9 is conveying that persistence. It should read, "Keep asking, and it will be given to you; keep seeking, and you will find; keep knocking, and it will be opened to you." This verse has nothing to do with the covetous desires of your heart, such as promotions, wealth, or the spouse of your dreams. The context of Luke 11:5-13 follows the disciples asking Jesus to teach them how to pray, and then Jesus doing so.

In Matthew, between Jesus teaching them how to pray and telling them to ask, seek, and knock, Jesus makes a bunch of statements that affect the meaning of what He is clearly telling them. "Ask, and it will be given to you" cannot refer to the covetous desires of your heart because Jesus said, "for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matt. 6:21); "You cannot serve God and possessions" (v. 24); and "seek first His kingdom and His righteousness" (v. 33). The last verse comes after a discussion about the everyday necessities of life, which does not include promotions, wealth, a new car or house, the spouse of your dreams, etc. Earlier context in Luke demonstrates the same thing. Jesus defends Mary over her sister, Martha, for choosing what matters most—being a disciple, a citizen of His kingdom.