1. One time Jesus was praying in a place. When He finished, one of His followers said to Him, “John taught his followers how to pray. Lord, please teach us how to pray, too.”
Ask the Lord to teach you how to pray. Some teachers say that this is not the first time that this was asked. Jesus is very patient and tells them again. This does show us that when children and others see us pray and the see what happens because of it, then they will want to learn how to pray. Try to put the ideas of this prayer in your own words instead of just repeating it as a religious chant.
2. Jesus said to them, When you pray, say: Father, we pray that Your name will always be kept holy. We pray that Your kingdom will come.
Here are the basics of a kingdom: There can only be one king. A king needs people who have made a decision to stay under his protection. There need to be laws so that everyone knows what they should do. There need to be borders that the people agree not to cross. This is how a kingdom works. Are you ready to live in God’s kingdom? This prayer has words like: “we” and “us” so we need to pray it together!
We pray that what God wants will be done even if it is not what we would want. All prayers that teach you to claim what you want would be saying that you want your will to be done. Be careful of these teachings!
3. Give us the food we need for each day.
We have to come back to God every day for what we need. When God fed the people in the desert the manna would become rotten if they tried to save it for the next day. Do not live off of only memories of what God has done but do not go our of your house until you have been fed with something new from God’s Word!
4. Forgive us the sins we have done, in the same way that we forgive every person who has done wrong to us. And do not cause us to be tested.
There are people in mental hospitals today because they do not want to forgive the ones who have hurt them.
Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt. That is what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart. Matthew 18:34–35
5 – 8
Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose one of you went to your friend’s house at midnight and said to him, ‘A friend of mine has come into town to visit me. But I have nothing for him to eat. Please loan me three loaves of bread.’
Your friend inside the house answers, ‘Do not bother me! The door is already locked. My children and I are in bed. I cannot get up and give you the bread now.’
I tell you, maybe friendship is not enough to make him get up to give you the bread. But he will surely get up to give his friend what he needs if he keeps on knocking.
It is embarrassing to have guests come and you have nothing to give them. The Lord is showing us that even a small thing like this is important to Him. We see that Jesus speaks of us as His friends! The friend in the story is not embarrassed to keep on knocking.
God will not hear us because we make long prayers or because we keep repeating words but because we are friends and He cares about everything that we need, even the little things!
9 – 10
So I tell you, continue to ask, and God will give to you. Continue to search, and you will find. Continue to knock, and the door will open for you. Yes, if a person keeps on asking, he will receive. If he keeps on looking, he will find. And if he keeps on knocking, the door will open for him.
First we are to ask. If there is no answer then we need to keep on knocking and reminding God of our prayer. There is also a place in prayer of looking for answers in the Word. Build your prayers on the Word and tell the Lord that you want His will in this thing. Praying a Scripture such as a Psalm has great power!
11 – 12
What would you fathers do if your son asks you for a fish? Would any of you give him a snake? 12 Or, if your son asks for an egg, would you give him a scorpion?
If one of us would help a child because he needs help then how much more will God help us when we ask? Do not forget to stop and ask! God will not give us things that are not good for us.
13. Even though you are bad, you know how to give good things to your children. So surely your heavenly Father knows how to give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.”
Men can ask God to save them and fill them with the Holy Spirit. We can ask God to re-fill us also! Keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit! Ephesians 5:18
14 – 15
One time Jesus was sending a demon out of a man who could not talk. When the demon came out, the man was able to speak. The people were amazed. But some of them said, “Jesus uses the power of Beelzebul to send demons out of people. Beelzebul is the ruler of demons.”
Miracles show God’s power but people can still try to explain away a miracle. There are evil spirits who try to keep men from talking.
16 – 18
Other people wanted to test Jesus. They asked him to give them a sign from heaven. But Jesus knew what they were thinking. So he said to them, “Every kingdom that is divided and fights against itself will be destroyed.
And a family that fights against itself will break apart. So if Satan is fighting against himself, then how will his kingdom last? You say that I use the power of Beelzebul to force out demons.
The devil will not fight against himself. It is sad when families fight and destroy themselves. Why would anyone want to destroy what they have and then have nothing?
19 – 20
But if I use the power of Beelzebul to force out demons, then by what power do your people force out demons? So your own people prove that you are wrong. But if I use the power of God to force out demons, the kingdom of God has come to you!
Matthew shows us that Jesus asked them how this would make sense because they do not accuse their sons this way when they send demons out of people. Matthew 12:27
21 – 22
When a strong man with many weapons guards his own house, then the things in his house are safe. But what if a stronger man comes and defeats him. The stronger man will take away the weapons that the first man trusted to keep his house safe. Then the stronger man will do what he wants with the first man’s things.
Jesus is showing them that the demons have places that they call their own because men have given these places to them. There is a group of demons who rule over the area where you live. We see that there was such a place in Persia. Daniel 10:13
Jesus is saying that we make steal or take back the things that have been given to the devil. We can only do this if we first ask God to chain the demons so that we can take back what they have.
Here is how demons build a strong house: first they bring thoughts to your mind, then they suggest that you stay away from other Christians, they then suggest that they will tell people some stupid things you have done.
If you allow this thoughts to stay in your mind you are giving the demons a place to build a house. They can only be made to leave if you take back what you gave them -your thoughts and permission to work in your life!
23. “If anyone is not with Me, he is against Me. He who does not work with Me is working against Me.
You are either someone who builds up or tears down. You either build people up or tear them down. You have to decide if you are living God’s way completely or your own way. There is no such thing as staying safe in the middle and doing nothing.
24 – 26
“When an evil spirit comes out of a person, it travels through dry places, looking for a place to rest. But that spirit finds no place to rest. So it says, ‘I will go back to the home I left.’ When the spirit comes back to that person, it finds that home swept clean and made neat.
Then the evil spirit goes out and brings seven other spirits more evil than itself. Then all the evil spirits go into that person and live there. And he has even more trouble than he had before.”
Much of what we see is demons staying near people and putting evil thoughts in their minds. The only way that a demon can enter into a person is if they are invited in some way. If somebody invites them then that person becomes a slave to them. If this were not true then demons could just go into people any time they wanted to.
Jesus is showing that an empty life is a target for demons to come back. They are looking for a way to come back. You cannot leave a person empty after sending a demon out of them or else you are making their life worse than it was before.
People who have been set free need a strong relationship with Jesus and other Christians which is built on the Word. Even drug addicts know that they need a friend to walk with them or they go backwards.
27 – 28
When Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd spoke out. She said to Jesus, “Your mother is blessed because she gave birth to you and nursed you.” But Jesus said, “Those who hear the teaching of God and keep it—they are the ones who are truly blessed.”
We do not worship Mary. Pay attention to the Word of God and put it into practice.
29. The crowd grew larger. Jesus said, “The people who live today are evil. They ask for a miracle as a sign from God. But they will have no sign—only the sign of Jonah.
If you need a miracle before you will believe God then you are not living by faith or trust. People say, “How can you believe in Jesus without any proof of who He is?” We say, “How can you not believe in Jesus when you have not found any proof that He is not who He says He is?”
30. Jonah was a sign for those people who lived in Nineveh. In the same way the Son of Man will be a sign for the people of this time.
They will understand later that Jonah was in the whale for three days and nights and Jesus was three days and nights in the tomb but came back to life.
31. On the Judgment Day the Queen of the South will stand up with the men who live now. She will show that they are guilty because she came from far away to listen to Solomon’s wise teaching. And I tell you that someone greater than Solomon is here!
The Jews honor Solomon for his wisdom but Jesus is the One who gave him this wisdom! This Gentile queen traveled a long way because she knew that she needed wisdom but the Jews were even willing to listen when it was right in front of them.
32. On the Judgment Day the men of Nineveh will stand up with the people who live now. And they will show that you are guilty, because when Jonah preached to those people, they changed their hearts and lives. And I tell you that someone greater than Jonah is here!
There was no mercy in the message of Jonah but the city of Nineveh turned to God anyway. Someday the men of Nineveh will say, “God sent Jesus to offer you mercy that we did not hear about and you did not listen!
33 – 36
No one takes a light and puts it under a bowl or hides it. Instead, he puts the light on a lampstand so that the people who come in can see. Your eye is a light for the body. If your eyes are good, then your whole body will be full of light.
But if your eyes are evil, then your whole body will be full of darkness. So be careful! Do not let the light in you become darkness. If your whole body is full of light, and none of it is dark, then you will shine bright, as when a lamp shines on you.”
Be careful what you let come into the gate of your eyes. Look away from evil, you do not need it in your mind. The world says that it will not hurt you but evil things stay and keep coming back to you if you invite them!
37. After Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee asked Jesus to eat with him. So Jesus went in and sat at the table.
We can build a bridge to people who do not know the Lord by spending time with them. If we only spend time with Christians then we are missing the ways of Jesus.
38 – 42
But the Pharisee was surprised when he saw that Jesus did not wash his hands before the meal. The Lord said to him, “You Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and the dish. But inside you are full of greed and evil. You are foolish. The same One who made what is outside also made what is inside.
So give what is in your cups and dishes to the poor. Then you will be fully clean. But how terrible for you Pharisees! You give God one-tenth of even your mint, your rue, and every other plant in your garden.
But you forget to be fair to other people and to love God. These are the things you should do. And you should also continue to do those other things.
The Old Testament never said to give God part of your spice garden. The problem with this is when men try to do these kinds of things to show how they are closer to God than the rest of us while they hold onto evil things in their hearts at the same time.
43 – 44
How terrible for you Pharisees, because you love to get the most important seats in the synagogues. And you love people to show respect to you in the marketplaces. How terrible for you, because you are like hidden graves. People walk on them without knowing it.”
The Jews thought that walking on a grave would make them unclean. They would putting markings on graves so that they would not walk on them. Jesus is showing them that some graves do not have markings and so they did not even know that they are unclean and spreading this to others.
How bad for us if we have evil in our lives that we think nobody knows about but it is spreading to others!
45 – 46
One of the teachers of the law said to Jesus, “Teacher, when you say these things, you are insulting us, too.” Jesus answered, “How terrible for you, you teachers of the law! You make strict rules that are very hard for people to obey. But you yourselves do not even try to follow those rules.
The Jews made crazy rules that are not found anywhere in the Bible and then they thought of ways to get around these rules. They were lying to themselves about being very good people.
People who killing babies by the thousands today lie to themselves so that they do not have to feel guilty about what they are doing. Some workers in these places have given their lives to Jesus and told the world of the demonic things that are done and how they could not live with it anymore.
Rescue those who are being sent to die; save them as they go to their death. Proverbs 24:11
47 – 51
How terrible for you, because you build tombs for the prophets. But these are the prophets that your fathers killed! And now you show that you approve of what your fathers did. They killed the prophets, and you build tombs for the prophets!
This is why in his wisdom God said, ‘I will send prophets and apostles to them. Some of my prophets and apostles will be killed, and others will be treated cruelly.’
So you who live now will be punished for the deaths of all the prophets who were killed since the beginning of the world.
You will be punished for the killing of Abel and for the killing of Zechariah. Zechariah was killed between the altar and the Temple. Yes, I tell you that you people who live now will be punished for them all.
The Jewish leaders pretended that they honor the prophets but it was their own fathers who killed the prophets! When Jesus talks about Abel and Zechariah He is saying that the Jews have been doing these things ever since the first book of the Jewish Bible to the last page.
52. “How terrible for you, you teachers of the law. You have hidden the key to learning about God. You yourselves would not learn, and you stopped others from learning, too.”
There are Bible schools today who teach that Jesus was not the Son of God. They teach that the Bible is filled with mistakes. Some ministries are built on a system of men who are the top dogs who expect people to follow them and whatever things they say.
Anybody who does not agree is told to leave these ministries. These men will not come to Jesus as servants who teach His Word and they also want to stop others from following Jesus and only follow them.
53 – 54
When Jesus was leaving, the teachers of the law and the Pharisees began to give him trouble, asking him questions about many things. They were trying to catch Jesus saying something wrong.
People have twisted the words of Jesus and they will twist our words to make us look stupid. We bow our heads and say, “Thank you Lord for letting me experience what You are feeling.”