Ok, so there’s a whole heap in this passage- way too much to get to for the purposes of this blog. In fact, there are actually six or seven passages here, but the way this series timed out we needed a few “catch up” days. So here it is. But here’s what:
While this is many passages that I’ve crammed into one, it goes somewhere. A professor of mine once described Jesus’ life in Luke as like a rubber band being stretched from Jerusalem as far out to the outer regions it could go. At some point the rubber band snaps back in a violent trajectory towards Jerusalem. You can really feel that here. Jesus is tense. If ever there was a Jesus that stands in opposition to the kind, meek and mild Jesus of flannel board Christianity, this seems to be it.
You can feel the tension as Jesus begins that trajectory back to Jerusalem. Remember in 9:51&53 “his face was set toward Jerusalem”. Jesus is on his way there, and he knows what awaits them here. Here in Luke 11, he’s not holding back any cards. Much of what he says refers to Old Testament stories with which we may or may not be familiar, but suffice it to say that his hearers did, and they didn’t like Jesus’ application. Nor did Jesus intend them to. Jesus is getting deeply prophetic here, that is he is speaking truth to power, and he’s not doing it gently; but he is doing it honestly and clearly. The key to all of this in terms of Luke’s over arching narrative is where it leads. We read this long passage that is actually six or seven passages, we feel the tension in Jesus, we get lost in the obscure Old Testament references, we do not get lost at all in the clear condemnations, and then it ends with the Pharisees “lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.”
They are like prowling lions waiting to pounce. They have had enough. The stage is being set for a great show down. The only question is when, where and how?