Journal Luke 11 (all references are from the ESV unless noted otherwise; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “And (Jesus) said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend o mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’?
I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs.
And I tell 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 the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, it will be opened.” Luke 11:5-10
Observation: What is the primary message here? Is it about being a friend? Is it about not making excuses? Or is it about being impudent and persistent?
Analysis: The story is simple enough: A friend (the Asker) is asking another friend (the Sleeper) for bread to serve to a 3rd friend (the Traveler). It is late, after midnight, and all the good folk are in bed all snuggled together, except for the traveler and his friend who is asking for bread.
Waking the guy up probably wasn’t the 1st choice; the guy and his family most likely have been in bed for 5-6 hours already, deep in sleep. So, what does the Asker have to do? He pounds on the door. And maybe pound and pound again, being apologetic, but persistent—this may be the only choice he has, after exhausting all other options, to obtain bread.
Grumpy, groggy, and maybe not full of good favor toward his friend, the Asker, the Sleeper got up, gathered some loaves of bread in his arms, opened the door, and thrust them at the Asker and went back to bed, shoving the children around to find a place to sleep…again. (Note: probably did not go back to sleep quickly because of the bad attitude he was now trying to deal with)
Hopefully, the Sleeper will wake up with the dawn in a forgiving attitude; the Asker will be profusely apologetic acknowledging the sacrifice made, and the Traveler will be humbled at the mercy and kindness of them both.
So, what is the point of the story? Is it a story of faith (asking in faith equals receipt of the ask)? Is it a story of getting what I need? Is it knocking on the door and eventually someone will answer?
Is it about fulfilling my requests for physical gain?
I don’t think so. I think it is about being impudent and persistent towards God and the treasure He wants to give–remember the story of the persistent widow and the judge (c. Luke 18:1-8)
And what is that treasure? Himself…in increasing measure throughout my life.
It is why the Gospel isn’t a one and done experience; the “salvation moment” in a person’s life isn’t the prize to be obtained, it is the beginning, the starting line. When I say, “thank you, Lord, for redeeming me”, the door that opens has a hand stretched out to say, “Come, we have a journey ahead of us. Let us go to the Mount of God.”
And thus starts the Gospel journey.
My impudence is about Seeking Him, looking to Receive all that He has, and to keep Knocking until I cannot lift my arm anymore, until my last breath.
Prayer: Father, help me to constantly remember that Your Life given in mercy and grace to me, isn’t just for a young man—it is for all the ages from Birth to Death. I forget that when I see the focus on the youth. The Old, if not encouraged, will start to coast, and forget their First Love.
Stir me up, O Holy Spirit.
Ricky Two Shoes