Luke 6

6:1 One Sabbath Jesus was going through [roads/paths often went through fields] the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick [technically considered harvesting by religious leaders] some heads of grain [permitted by Deut. 23:25], rub them in their hands [this was regarded as threshing and forbidden on the Sabbath as per laws as set up by religious leaders] and eat the kernels [in an attempt to satisfy their hunger].

6:2 Some of the Pharisees asked, “Why are you doing what is unlawful [reaping grain; not a violation of God’s law, but a violation of a man-made rule by Pharisees] on the Sabbath?”

6:3 Jesus answered them, “Have you never read [Jesus knew that the Pharisees were very familiar with this story recorded in 1 Sam. 21:1-6] what David did when he and his companions were hungry?

6:4 He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread [also called the bread of the Presence or showbread; 12 consecrated loaves (represented 12 tribes) placed in the tabernacle; replaced with fresh loaves at end of week; old loaves eaten by priests (Lev. 24:9)], he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat [the needs of people are more important than priestly regulations/technicalities]. And he also gave some to his companions [therefore if Pharisees condemned Jesus they also should condemn David].”

6:5 Then Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man [messianic reference Jesus used to refer to Himself (cf. Dan. 7:13-14); Jesus’ most commonly used title for Himself] is Lord [He created the Sabbath; He had authority to interpret meaning of Sabbath and corresponding laws] of the Sabbath.”

6:6 On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right [Luke paid close attention to physical details] hand was shriveled [text does not specify if this was a birth defect or result of disease or an accident; not a life-threatening condition].

6:7 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal [considered practicing medicine; a violation of the Sabbath according to the Pharisees] on the Sabbath.

6:8 But Jesus knew what they were thinking [cf. Lk. 5:22] and said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Get up and stand in front of everyone [publicly; everyone present would have an opportunity to witness Jesus’ act of kindness and healing].” So he got up and stood there.

6:9 Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good [cf. Matt. 12:11-12 (a farmer could rescue animal from pit on Sabbath even though this act considered “work”] or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it? [religious leaders did not answer Jesus’ question]

6:10 He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was completely restored [to its former condition].

6:11 But they were furious [indication of how their own legalism had caused their hearts to grow cold and insensitive to human needs] and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus [their hatred drove them to consider how they might actually kill Jesus (cf. Matt. 12:14; Mk. 3:6), a clear violation of God’s law].

6:12 One of those days [no exact time reference provided] Jesus went out to a mountainside [a place without distractions] to pray, and spent the night praying to God [Jesus prayed before choosing twelve disciples].

6:13 When morning came, he called [Jesus took the initiative] his disciples to him and chose twelve [reminiscent of Israel’s twelve tribes] of them, whom he also designated apostles [refers to one sent on a mission]:

6:14 Simon (whom he named Peter [an Aramaic word meaning “stone” or “rock”]), his brother Andrew [Peter’s brother; had the gift of introducing others to Jesus as per John 1:40-42; 6:8-9; 12:20-22], James, John [James, John, and Peter formed Jesus’ inner circle (see Mk. 5:37; 9:2); Mk. 3:16 adds: “to them (James and John) He gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder,” perhaps because of their fiery temperaments (Lk. 9:54)], Philip [see Jn. 1:43-45], Bartholomew [or Nathanael; recruited by Philip; see John 1:43-51],

6:15 Matthew [the tax collector], Thomas [means twin; see John 20:24-29], James son of Alphaeus [possibly Matthew’s brother; see Mk. 2:14], Simon who was called the Zealot [either a man of religious zeal or a member of the revolutionary (terrorist) party known as the Zealots],

6:16 Judas son of James [most likely Thaddaeus (cf. Lk. 6:16; Acts 1:13)], and Judas Iscariot [from the village of Kerioth], who became a traitor.

Note: Although the twelve were different, Jesus expected them to work together in His cause. Jesus calls all kinds of people to follow Him and to join with others in working together to serve Him. He still desires unity in diversity among His followers.

6:17 He went down [from “mountainside” (Lk. 6:12)] with them and stood on a level place [a place from which He could teach those present]. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea [southernmost region of Israel], from Jerusalem [key city in Judea], and from the coast of Tyre and Sidon [Gentile cities located on coast of Mediterranean Sea],

6:18 who had come [indicates word about Jesus teaching and healing had spread] to hear him and to be healed of their diseases [physical illnesses]. Those troubled by evil spirits were cured,

6:19 and the people all tried to touch him , because power was coming from him and healing them all [no one returned home disappointed].

6:20 Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed [Gr. makarioi means more than happiness; word refers to inner peace and security regardless of external circumstances] are you who are poor [Gr. ptochoi means absolute or abject poverty as opposed to Gr. word penes which refers to someone who works to provide for his needs but has nothing left over], for yours is the kingdom of God.

6:21 Blessed are you who hunger [a hunger that is the result of poverty; to have an intense longing that needs to be satisfied] now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep [those who mourn for their own sins (what their sins have done to them and to God); those who mourn as a result of suffering] now, for you will laugh.

6:22 Blessed [means one who is approved by God or one whose actions meet with God’s approval] are you when men hate [attitude of those who oppose God’s people; active resistance and persecution] you, when they exclude [by-product of hatred; means to mark off from by boundary, to separate, excommunication from the congregation as well as from social intercourse] you and insult [by-product of hatred; means to reproach, to heap insults on (either directly or behind your back)] you and reject [to cast out; to throw out; to not allow anyone to talk about you in a positive way; sometimes used of hissing an actor off the stage] your name [character, reputation; also refers to the name we bear: “Christian”] as evil, because [reason or cause; cf. 1 Peter 4:15-16] of the Son of Man.

6:23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy [or exult], because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets [e.g., Elijah (1 Kings 19:2,13-14); Micaiah (1 Kings 22:26-27); Jeremiah (Jer. 37:17; 38:6)].

6:24 “But woe [this word expresses regret and sorrow] to you who are rich [riches can cause people to feel self-sufficient and blind them to their need for God], for you have already received your comfort [the comfort that money can buy].

6:25 Woe to you who are well fed [those who have what the world has to offer (material possessions, financial security, etc)] now, for you will go hungry [cf. Lk. 16:19-31]. Woe to you who laugh [those who mock God and the things of God] now, for you will mourn and weep.

6:26 Woe to you when all [trying to please all people usually requires spiritual compromise at some point] men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets [they told rulers and people what they wanted to hear and thus were popular].

6:27 “But I tell you who hear me [phrase refers to those paying attention to or trying to follow Jesus’ practical teachings about everyday life]: Love [Gr. agape: this kind of love is an act of the will; goes against our natural tendency to hate our enemies; continuous action] your enemies [those who do the four things in v. 22], do good [act in the best interests of another; we must make a decision to do so] to those who hate you,

6:28 bless [show kindness; to desire the best for another; ask God’s favor on that person; cf. Rom. 12:14] those who curse [the attempt to bring evil upon someone; to desire the worst for someone] you, pray for those who mistreat [to abuse; to display a despiteful spirit] you.

6:29 [examples of mistreatment in Jesus’ day] [1] If someone strikes [to hit; a violent blow to the jaw with the fist or a contemptuous backhanded slap on the cheek] you on one cheek [jawbone], turn [offer] to him the other also. [2] If someone takes [to rob] your cloak [outward garment], do not stop [hinder, prevent] him from taking your tunic [undergarment].

6:30 Give to everyone who asks you, and [3] if anyone takes [to rob, to confiscate, to loot] what belongs to you, do not demand it back.

6:31 [the Golden Rule] Do [emphatic; take the initiative] to others as you would have them do to you.

6:32 [situation 1] “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ [term in quotes because it was the term the religiously strict Jews used to refer to people such as prostitutes, tax collectors, and thieves] love those who love them.

6:33 [situation 2] And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that [thus there is nothing distinctive or noteworthy].

6:34 [situation 3] And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full [behavior of believers must be distinctively different than that of sinners].

6:35 But [introduces contrast] love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting [to hope to have something in return] to get anything back. [two incentives to encourage us to return good for evil] [1] Then your reward [cf. Matt. 19:28-30; 25:31-40,46; Lk. 6:20-21] will be great, [2] and you will [“will show yourselves to be”] be [demonstrate sonship by emulating Heavenly Father] sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

6:36 Be [we should do for others (even our enemies) what the Father does for us] merciful [involves compassion, understanding, desire to alleviate pain and difficulties], just as your Father is merciful [cf. Rom. 5:8].

6:37 “Do not judge [judgmental attitude and condemning spirit based on personal rules and laws; prejudice, hasty and critical judgment; this is not a prohibition against critical thinking], and you will not be judged. Do not condemn [to pass sentence against], and you will not be condemned. Forgive [release], and [forgiveness is a two-way street] you will be forgiven.

6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over [The picture is of grain poured into a container, pressed down and shaken so that every little corner is filled and the grain is poured in until it runs over. (Arndt)], will be poured into your lap [the fold formed by a loose garment overhanging a girdle]. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

6:39 He also told them this parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man [obvious answer is no]? Will they not both fall into a pit [obvious answer is yes]?

6:40 A student is not above his teacher [one who leads others], but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.

6:41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust [splinter] in your brother’s eye [it is easy to spot sin in the lives of others] and pay no attention to the plank [beam] in your own eye [it is easy to overlook sins in ourselves]?

6:42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck [represents sin or some fault] out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

6:43 “No good [healthy] tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad [unhealthy] tree bear good fruit.

6:44 Each tree [person] is recognized by its own fruit [metaphor for character and conduct; what they produce]. People do not pick figs [important agricultural product in Jesus’ day] from thornbushes, or grapes [important agricultural product in Jesus’ day] from briers.

6:45 The good man brings good things [deeds and speech] out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things [deeds and speech] out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks [Spurgeon said that what lies in the well of the heart comes up in the bucket of speech].

6:46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say [those who call Jesus Lord must obey Him; the words “No, Lord” are an oxymoron]?

6:47 I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice [cf. Lk. 11:28; Jas. 1:22-25].

6:48 He is like a man [a wise man (Matt. 7:24)] building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock [legitimate commitment]. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.

6:49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man [a foolish, stupid, unreflecting person; cf. Matt. 7:26] who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent [not a matter of if but when the rain will come] struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete [often a crisis makes evident the difference in how something is built; cf. Matt. 7:27].”

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