Luke 11:54
Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(54) Laying wait for him.—The better MSS. give the verse in a somewhat simpler form, laying wait to catch something out of His mouth. The words throw light on the subsequent question about paying tribute to Cæsar (Matthew 22:15-22; Mark 12:13-17), and show it to have been the acting out of a pre-concerted policy.

11:37-54 We should all look to our hearts, that they may be cleansed and new-created; and while we attend to the great things of the law and of the gospel, we must not neglect the smallest matter God has appointed. When any wait to catch something out of our mouths, that they may insnare us, O Lord, give us thy prudence and thy patience, and disappoint their evil purposes. Furnish us with such meekness and patience that we may glory in reproaches, for Christ's sake, and that thy Holy Spirit may rest upon us.Laying wait for him - Or, rather, laying "snares" for him It means that they endeavored to entangle him in his talk; that they did as men do who catch birds - who lay snares, and deceive them, and take them unawares.

That they might accuse him - Before the Sanhedrin, or great council of the nation, and thus secure his being put to death.

From this we may learn:

1. That faithful reproofs must be expected to excite opposition and hatred. Though the "conscience" may be roused, and may testify against the man that is reproved, yet that does not prevent his hating the reproof and the reprover.

2. We see here the manner in which wicked people endeavor to escape the reproofs of conscience. Instead of repenting, they seek vengeance, and resolve to put the reprover to shame or to death.

3. We see the exceeding malignity which people have against the Lord Jesus. Well was it said that he was set for the fall of many in Israel, that thereby the thoughts of many hearts might be revealed! Luke 2:34-35. Men, now, are not by nature less opposed to Jesus than they were then.

4. We see the wisdom, purity, and firmness of the Saviour. To their souls he had been faithful. He had boldly reproved them for their sins. They sought his life. Multitudes of the artful and learned gathered around him, to endeavor to draw out something of which they might accuse him, yet in vain. Not a word fell from his lips of which they could accuse him. Everything that he said was calm, mild, peaceful, wise, and lovely. Even his cunning and bitter adversaries were always confounded, and retired in shame and confusion. Here, surely, must have been something more than man. None but "God manifest in the flesh" could have known all their designs, seen all their wickedness and their wiles, and escaped the cunning stratagems that were laid to confound and entangle him in his conversation.

5. The same infinitely wise Saviour can still meet and confound all his own enemies and those of his people, and deliver all his followers, as he did himself, from all the snares laid by a wicked world to lead them to sin and death.

53, 54. Exceedingly vivid and affecting. They were stung to the quick—and can we wonder?—yet had not materials for the charge they were preparing against Him.

provoke him, &c.—"to harass Him with questions."

See Poole on "Luke 11:53" Laying wait for him,.... To ensnare and entangle him, watching his words, observing what he said, and laying hold thereon:

and seeking to catch something out of his mouth; like beasts of prey, or hunters, that were watching for their prey; or lay ambush, diligently looking out, and greedily catching at every thing they thought for their purpose:

that they might accuse him; either of heresy or sedition, to the Jewish sanhedrim, or the Roman governor.

Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 11:54 really gives the key to the meaning of ἀποστοματίζειν (here only in N.T.).54. to catch] Literally, “to hunt.” They were members of a body of a sort of ‘commission of enquiry’ which had been sent from Jerusalem for this express purpose, Mark 12:13.Lying in wait - to catch (ἐνεδρεύοντες - θηρεῦσαι)

Metaphors from hunting.

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