Luke Chapter Six
v.1 “1And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.”
In the opening of chapter six, it is
a Sabbath day and Jesus and his disciples are walking from one place to another
and apparently walking on a footpath through a field of grain. Not maize which we call corn today, as it is
v.2 “2And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days?”
The Pharisees find another way to criticize. What was the problem? As some of our brethren today want to bind where God has not, they had an overly restrictive view of what was permitted on the Sabbath. Under the Mosaic Covenant they were restricted from working but the Pharisees carried this restriction to an extreme and called this casual activity “work.” They held David in very high regard as a man of God so in his rebuttal Jesus uses him as an example:
v.3-4 “3And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungered, and they which were with him; 4How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the showbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone?”
As is common in his answers to the Pharisees and men of the Mosaic Law, and as we should today, Jesus gives them a scriptural example. David and his men are on the run from Saul and hungry:
I Samuel 21:6 “6So the priest gave him hallowed bread: for there was no bread there but the showbread, that was taken from before the LORD, to put hot bread in the day when it was taken away.”
This was hallowed bread; sacred bread, bread set aside for a purpose and to feed to priests. We find God’s commandment concerning it in Leviticus 24 beginning about verse 5 through verse 9:
“9And it shall be Aaron’s and his sons’; and they shall eat it in the
David did this and they did not condemn David; but then they weren’t looking for a reason to condemn David, but they condemn Jesus. Then Jesus makes a statement that is obvious to us and should have been obvious to them.
v.5 “5And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.”
Jesus is the Son of Man and the Son of God, and God is Lord over all things including the Law that they followed at that time. Jesus, as God’s son then, is also the Lord over all things and the Law that they followed. It wasn’t perhaps so much that it was His right to adjust this Law as He saw fit but that He understood perfectly every purpose and intent of that Law and could make much more accurate applications of it than they could.
v.6 “6And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.”
At another time, in another place the Pharisees again prepare to challenge Jesus regarding their overly restrictive traditions and practices that they had implemented over and above the Mosaic Law about the Sabbath. Why did Luke specifically say that it was his right hand? First of all, Luke was a physician, a doctor and is very precise in his descriptions, especially those concerning the human body. Secondly the right hand was the hand that was most commonly used, the hand that was allowed to be dipped into the community dinner pot, they didn’t use utensils like those that we use and commonly used bread for the same purpose, using it to dip their food. To not have the use of a right hand was to be an outcast. This is one of the reasons that some cultures, even to this day, cut off the right hand of a thief and why some cultures still place a stigma on someone who is naturally left-handed.
“7And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on
the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. 8But
he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand
We would say that the scribes and Pharisees were “laying” for Jesus, wouldn’t we? They were looking for some reason to accuse him, they were just waiting for him to slip. But he knows their thoughts and challenges them directly. He has the man with the withered hand to stand up in midst of the congregation of the synagogue. And he asks them a question:
v.9 “9Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?”
Is it lawful; is it within the framework of the Mosaic Law to do good or to do evil on the Sabbath day? Is it lawful, or within the framework of the Mosaic Law to save life or to destroy it? Now they are in a dilemma. Of course the answer is that it is lawful to do good rather than evil and in order for us to be obedient to the Laws of God we must do good when we have the opportunity.
v.10 “10And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.”
How do you think Jesus looked about himself? Have you ever done this? It works. In a meeting just before giving very explicit instructions that are to be followed precisely you stop everything and go around the table or around the room and make eye contact with each person. It need only take a few seconds.
Then he addresses the man that needs to be healed and tells him to stretch forth his hand. Jesus does no work, he merely speaks, the man does nothing that could be considered work (this is what Jesus enemies are looking for) he simply reaches forth his hand. It’s healed, completely and instantly.
v.11 “11And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.”
What does this mean, “they were filled with madness?” Have you ever told someone a truth that they were denying but yet was so obvious that they absolutely couldn’t miss it? What was their reaction? If they were denying something so obvious it was something that they did not want to see, something that they did not want to admit. Making them admit it only made them angry or angrier than they were before, an anger that is now directed at you. This is the situation here. These people hadn’t even voiced their thoughts; he read them and answered them so plainly that it could not be denied. Now they are really angry with Jesus, so angry that they commune or plot amongst themselves about how they can get even.
v.12 “12And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.”
Jesus goes out to mountain, a place where he could have some peace and prayed to God all night. Jesus always prayed to God before each of the major events in his life on earth. This time is no different because we have recorded next his choosing of the twelve that were to be his apostles.
v.13 “13And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;”
Luke here distinguishes between Jesus disciples and this chosen twelve that are called apostles. These were to be the leaders of his kingdom. These were the ones through whom the Holy Spirit would guide us to all truth. These were the ones that were to carry on his work after he leaves this earth to return again to his rightful place with God. Their choosing was an extremely important event in the history of the Lord’s church. So let’s look at these men for a few moments.
v.14 “14Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,”
Simon Peter, Andrew,
James and John we already know. They
were the fishermen that Jesus called to follow him that we mentioned in Luke
chapter 5. James was the one that Herod had
killed very early in the history of the church; (Acts 12:2), shortly after the conversion of Saul and
Cornelius. Philip was from
v.15 “15Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,”
Next we have Matthew, also discussed in chapter 5, called Levi by Luke in that record and a publican or employee of the Roman government. Thomas, also called “Didymus” which means “twin” and called Doubting Thomas by some, then James the son of Alphaeus, sometimes called James the less and Simon called a Zelotes, or a Zealot and called a Canaanite by Luke.
v.16 “16And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.”
Finally we have two named Judas, first the brother of James and probably the author of the book of Jude and Judas Iscariot who is named here by Luke as a, or the, traitor; the one who betrayed Jesus.
v.17 “17And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;”
Jesus has been on the
mountain praying. His geographic
location was probably somewhere north of
v.18-19 “18And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. 19And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.”
Even those that were troubled or vexed with unclean spirits were healed. The description here would indicate that they had numbers of evil or unclean spirits that had control of their minds and bodies, causing them to be a problem to themselves and anyone near them.
The power of healing that Jesus had literally flowed from him; it was like and aura or halo around him so much so that people struggled just to touch him and that’s all they needed to do in order to be healed.
v.20 “20And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.”
Luke now gives us a synopsis of the sermon on the mount recorded in more detail by Matthew in Matthew 5:1 – 7:28. Jesus may have even repeated this sermon several times to different groups of people. After all these truths are simple and compared to what men would concoct for the same purpose brief. We only have to look toward our civil law that has grown from a brief few books at the beginning of our national history to something that requires a huge building to contain.
Blessed are the poor, why?
James 2:5 “5Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?”
v.21 “21Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.”
Blessed are ye that hunger now; is Jesus talking about physical hunger? No, that is already covered when he talks about the poor in the prior verse. He’s talking about a hunger for righteousness. Those that hunger for righteousness will find it in Jesus and be filled; in this life to an extent and definitely in the next:
II Peter “13Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”
Likewise those that weep now will be comforted. Luke uses the stronger word here to describe our tears than Matthew does in Matthew 5. There are two kinds of sorrow; that which causes us to leave our worldly ways and find joy in Jesus Christ and that sorrow with which most people around us are afflicted, the sorrow of the world:
II Corinthians “10For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.”
v.22 “22Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.”
Have you ever been criticized or ostracized because of your faith and faithfulness to God’ Word and the principles of true Christianity? If you are in business today you probably will be. If you haven’t, you either are very fortunate or you need to worry just a little bit about how I’m doing in living my life by God’s pattern.
In the apostles time it would be worse and even in this nation is looking like it will become that way again very soon. Jesus warned them:
John 16:2 “2They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.”
Peter says be thankful if you are mistreated because of your conscience and attitude toward God.
I Peter “9For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.”
v.23 “23Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.”
Rejoice? How can men rejoice when they are set upon from every side by those that are enemies of God? The apostles did.
-42 “41And they departed from the presence of the
council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. 42And
daily in the
It cost Stephen his life because he told the Scribes and Pharisees, among other things:
“51Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Acts
And the one who held the clothes of those who killed Stephen wrote later in his life:
Colossians 1:24 “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church:”
v.24 “24But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.
Woe unto those who are rich,
why? Just because they
are rich? No, that would be a
contradiction. Joseph, who buried Jesus,
was a wealthy man. Barnabas, who
traveled with Paul, and did much good for the church in
v.25 “25Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.
Proverbs 14:12-13 “THERE IS A WAY
WHICH SEEMETH RIGHT UNTO A MAN, BUT THE END THEREOF are THE WAYS OF
DEATH. EVEN IN LAUGHTER THE HEART IS
SORROWFUL, AND THE END OF THAT MIRTH is HEAVINESS.
v.26 “26Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.”
What does the words “all men” mean here? Does that mean woe unto us when good people speak well of us? Of course not, that would be inconsistent with the rest of scripture. To have men speak well of us is the mark of a true Christian; and it’s a requirement for an elder:
“7Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” I Timothy 3:7
He’s talking about those that the world loves because they are of the world:
John “19If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”
v.27 “27But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,”
Ouch; this one is hard isn’t it? Is this something new with God; did God give the Israelites anything to indicate how they were to be toward their enemies?
Exodus 23:4 “4If thou meet thine enemy’s ox or his ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.”
You treat him just as you would anyone else.
Matthew 5:44 “44But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”
v.28 “28Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.”
Pray for them how; that God would give them what they, in our minds, so justly deserve? Two examples for your consideration, first Jesus hanging on a wooden cross, dying:
Luke “34Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”
And Stephen as the stones crushed his life from him:
Acts 7:60 “60And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”
Pray for those who abuse you. Pray for those who make your life miserable. Pray for those who mistreat you. Pray especially for those who belittle you because you try to live your life as a child of God.
v.29 “29And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.”
Jesus gives us two examples of how we should conduct ourselves. The first is to turn the other cheek. Where is another place that this admonition is given? Isn’t this what Paul was talking about to the Corinthians?
I Corinthians 6:7 “7Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?”
Even allow yourself to be defrauded, especially among brethren, not an easy thing to do. If he takes your cloak or wrap, don’t deny him your coat as well.
v.30 “30Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.”
What is Jesus talking about here? First of all give to those who have need or ask of you; we have an obligation to help those in need.
Galatians “10As we have therefore
All, not just those to whom we might choose, but all. Does that mean that we must never deny those who would make their living off the generosity of other people? Does that mean if someone steals from us we should just forgive and not report them to those responsible for enforcing the law of the land? No. We’re talking about a mindset, an attitude of generosity, a forgiving nature but it doesn’t mean that we should be doormats for the world. Then Jesus gives us one of the most cherished verses in the Bible and probably one of the most mis-quoted:
v.31 “31And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”
We normally think of it as “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”; what we call the “Golden Rule”.
v.32-33 “32For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. 33And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.”
If you love that love you, if you do good to them that do good unto you then you are no better than the rest of the world around you. Jesus gives us a higher code of conduct to follow. We are to do good to others, we are to love others even if and when they do not do good to us or love us. We do good to others and love others because it is part of being a child of God and living the Christian life. We are not to do these things looking for some reward or praise here on earth, if so we have our reward, but rather because we are children of God.
v.34 “34And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.”
If we only lend to those from whom we expect to receive something. If we do good only to those from whom we expect something good in return then we’re no better than all the world around us. That’s not God’s way, is it?
v.35 “35But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.”
In all things Jesus is our example. He even gave his life to save every soul on the face of this earth, even the vilest sinner we can imagine. He exists in the image of God because he is the Son of God. How does God treat mankind? He gives us everything we need doesn’t he, the opportunity for salvation, the ability to earn a living, the earth that flowers and brings forth fruit that we might live, he gives us life itself, completely, unselfishly and without reservation. We are to follow His example.
Psalms 37:26 “He is EVER MERCIFUL, AND LENDETH; AND HIS SEED is BLESSED.”
v.36 “36Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.”
v.37 “37Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:”
What does Jesus mean when he tells us to judge not? We study a parallel scripture in Matthew 7:1. It means that we are not to judge harshly, we are not to judge unfairly, we are not to judge unjustly or be hasty. We are not to form judgments based upon jealousy, suspicion, hate or envy. Jesus tells us through the pen of the apostle John:
John “24Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
We are to make right or righteous judgments. We are not forbidden to judge. People are to generate opinions, positions, be able to discern good from evil, to be able to recognize and refuse fellowship to false teachers. But we are to do it rightly, or righteously. We find the phrase “righteous judgment” only three times in the KJV; the only time it is applied to man is in the verse just read. The other two times it is used to describe the judgment of God; in other words; we are to judge as God would judge. False teaching brethren would use this admonition to prevent us from marking, avoiding and refusing fellowship to them as God has commanded. They abuse and misuse God’s Word when they do this.
v.38 “38Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
Can we out give God? Of course not; God is ruler and creator of this universe; he has given us everything that we have and that we are. We are to be generous as well. The wise man of God wrote:
Proverbs “HE THAT HATH PITY UPON THE POOR LENDETH UNTO THE LORD; AND THAT WHICH HE HATH GIVEN WILL HE PAY HIM AGAIN.”
He that gives to the poor loans that gift to God. This is a beautiful thought isn’t it? And what will God do? Pay back that loan in full measure or as the scripture says we will be repaid “good measure, pressed down”, “shaken down”, running over. This reminds me of bagging wheat or other grain. After the sack appeared to be full, we would pick it up by the top, bounce it off the ground a couple of times and find room for another shovel full. That is how God gives to us and that is how we should give to others. Does our giving to God of our time, talent and substance reflect this kind of an attitude?
v.39 “39And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?”
you were blind and could not see would you allow another blind person to lead
you about in your daily activities? Oh,
I see a young lady walking on
Matthew “14Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”
v.40 “40The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.”
The ASV renders this verse as “WHEN HE IS PERFECTED SHALL BE AS HIS MASTER.” When he is complete, when his instruction is finished he will be as the one doing the teaching. A disciple or learner is not above the one who is teaching him. We understand the logic in this proverb of Jesus. We will be like the one or like those who we follow and imitate. If we are following one who is blind spiritually then we are in danger of being misled.
v.41 “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”
What is God’s special admonition to those who would teach others?
James 3:1 “BE NOT MANY OF YOU TEACHERS, MY BRETHREN, KNOWING THAT YE SHALL RECEIVE HEAVIER JUDGMENT.” (ASV)
Usually when we study this verse we apply it only to finding fault in other people but the application is much broader than that. When we take upon ourselves the responsibility to instruct others, whether it be to teach God’s word, or some secular skill, or to correct someone who is living contrary to God’s word; we place ourselves in a superior position. We place ourselves in the position of Master and stand in judgment of that person (back to verse 37). It may be judgment of their knowledge or skill level in some task, in God’s word or in righteous living. We should always do that in humility and without a superior air or attitude toward that person. We are looking closely and can see their smallest fault, we are to remember that we have faults of our own. Now when we see that fault in our brother, that failing or shortcoming in the one we may be teaching, what should we do? Jesus says do a self-examination:
v.42 “42Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother’s eye.”
Make sure that you don’t have a worse fault than the one you are trying to correct in someone else. If you do, correct it first. What does he call those who don’t? Hypocrites. Their fruit is corrupt, it’s not “FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT” (Galatians ). Jesus then compares men to something that anyone that has had experience growing crops or with a vineyard or orchard knows without question.
v.43-44 “43For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 44For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.”
We all know that we don’t gather figs from thorn trees or grapes from bramble bushes or as the old expression we’ve heard many times “you can’t get blood out of a turnip”. If men are corrupt in their thinking their judgment will be corrupt. We see more examples around us that we would care to count. As a people we chose some of the most spiritually corrupt people in our country, put them in our government, place them on our judicial benches and what do we get? Should we ever wonder why this country is the moral mess that it’s in?
v.45 “45A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.”
What does the wise man of God tell us in his proverb? “FOR AS HE THINKETH IN HIS HEART, SO is HE:…” Proverbs 23:7 This is given in conjunction with a warning not to eat the bread of one who has an evil eye. Don’t associate yourself with those who are evil or corrupt. Because out an evil man comes evil, out of a good man comes good. If we desire to be children of God, we must be men from which only good comes.
v.46 “46And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”
Why do you claim to follow me as Lord, why do you call me Lord, why do you claim to recognize me as your Master and refuse to do what I say? The prophet wrote to the Israelite people:
Malachi 1:6 “6A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name, And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?”
makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? If we
really are children of God, if we really do recognize Jesus Christ as Lord of
our lives, we will do what he commanded.
Yet, by far, most of the people who claim to be children of God, who
claim that Jesus Christ is Lord of their lives teach false doctrines, worship
God as they please, if they please, when they please, obey Him when it’s
convenient and ignore Him when it isn’t.
How many millions of people will stand before God in the day of judgment like the priests of
“23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” Matthew 7:23
v.47-48 “47Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: 48He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.”
we apply God’s word to our practical experience it becomes so plain. Jesus draws an analogy. When we build a house, we build on a solid
foundation. A man who hears what Jesus
says is like a man that builds his house on a rock, solid rock. The house I grew up in, back in
v.49 “49But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.”
Those that do not hear God, or do not obey God’s word are like a man building a house on an earthen foundation, or as Matthew records in Matthew upon sand. They are in trouble aren’t they? Their houses are like the beach houses that we saw pictures of during the recent hurricanes. When the winds blow and the waves wash against them they fall, they’re destroyed. When the winds and waves of the storms of life descend upon those that build their spiritual house upon something other than obedience to God; their spiritual house is destroyed as well. Is Jesus just talking about those that do not hear? No, he’s talking about those who hear but do not do. Those who know better but don’t obey. Is it any wonder then that God by inspiration tells us:
“17Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James 4:17