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Gospel of Luke Chapter 6
Theme: Jesus defends His disciples for plucking grain on Sabbath; Jesus chooses the Twelve; Jesus gives Sermon on the Plain.
Jesus Defends Disciples for Plucking Grain on Sabbath (Luke 6:1-11)
The first part of chapter 6 is more or less a repetition of the other synoptic Gospels, beginning with the action of Jesus on the Sabbath day. The first incident is in the fields on the Sabbath day.
Luke 6:1 And 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. (KJV)
And it came to pass on the second sabbath day after the first . . . the first Sabbath is the first Sabbath after the Passover, the second Sabbath day after the first is the second Sabbath after the Passover. (Mat.12:1). This phrase is found nowhere else.
That he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn . . . this was most likely barley, for it would have to be rubbed or rolled in the hands to remove the grain from the husk before they could eat it. They were content with this unprepared food, while the Jews on that day, ate the best of dainties.
And did eat, rubbing them in their hands . . . the word corn here means wheat or barley, and not maize, as in America. They rubbed it in their hands to separate the grain from the chaff. This was common and allowable. The Pharisees complaint was about the disciples violating the Sabbath, not any rights of property. (Mat.12:1; Mk.2:23).
Luke 6:2 And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days? (KJV)
And certain of the Pharisees said unto them . . . Luke says unto the disciples; Matthew and Mark say, that they said this to Jesus.
Why do ye that which is not lawful on the sabbath day? . . . I do not think this is contradictory, for it was no doubt said both to His disciples and Jesus, who gave an answer. (Mat.12:2).
Luke 6:3 And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him; 4 How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone? (KJV)
And Jesus answering them said . . . they brought the charge against Jesus and His disciples, that they might have something to accuse Him of.
Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him; How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone? . . . do you remember what David did when he and his men were hungry, how that he went into the tabernacle, and took the showbread, and ate of it, and gave it to his men, who also ate of it; which, according to the law, was only allowed to priests?
Each week 12 consecrated loaves of bread, representing the 12 tribes of Israel, would be placed on a table in the Temple. This bread was called the Bread of the Presence. After its use in the Temple, it was to be eaten only by priests. Jesus was accused of Sabbath breaking, and He referred to a well-known story about David (1 Sam.21:1-6). On this occasion, when David was fleeing from Saul, David and his men had eaten this sacred bread. Their need had been more important than ceremonial regulations. Jesus was appealing to the same principle: Human need is more important than human regulations and rules. Jesus compared Himself and His disciples with David and his men. (Mat12:3-5).
Luke 6:5 And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. (KJV)
And he said unto them . . . Jesus adds this at the end of His acquittal of His disciples, and discourse with the Pharisees, as a full answer to their complaints.
That the son of man is Lord also of the sabbath . . . and He may do what He will, and allow His disciples to do whatever He pleased on that day. (Mat.12:8).
In verses 6:1-5, Jesus justifies His disciples in a work of necessity for themselves on the Sabbath day, that plucking the ears of corn when they were hungry. We must be careful that we do not mistake this liberty a chance to commit sin. Jesus wants us to know and remember that the Sabbath (for Jews) and the Lord’s Day, Sunday (for Christians) is His day, and should be spent in His service, and to His glory and honor.
Luke 6:6 And 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. (KJV)
And it came to pass also on another sabbath . . . we do not know when this Sabbath was; the following Sabbath, or some time later.
That he entered into the synagogue . . . Matthew says: into their synagogue (Mat.12:9), the synagogue of the Jews, whether in Capernaum or some other city of Galilee, is not so clear.
And taught . . . explained the Scriptures to the people, and taught them the doctrines of the Gospel.
And there was a man whose right hand was withered . . . who was in the synagogue, and one of those who came to hear Him. (Mat.12:10).
Luke 6:7 And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. (KJV)
And the Scribes and Pharisees watched him . . . the Scribes and Pharisees watched Him wherever He went (Lk.14:1).
Whether he would heal him on the sabbath day . . . they knew His willingness to do good, and expected that He would.
That they might find an accusation against him . . . as they had accused Him and His disciples before (Lk.6:1-2), of the violation of the Sabbath. According to Matthew, they put a question to Him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?” (Mat.12:10). They wanted to have something to accuse Him of, either to the people, or to the Sanhedrim. (Mk.3:2).
Luke 6:8 But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. (KJV)
But he knew their thoughts . . . being God, He was omniscient (knows all); although they had said nothing of their intentions, He knew what they planned.
And said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst . . . both Mark and Luke state that before answering their question, Jesus said to the man, "Stand forth," causing him to stand up in front of all the people. This would make much more striking what He then proceeded to say and do. He told the man to stand up, to get the attention of the people, so that it might be clear to all there, that the man's hand really was withered; and that there was no deception in the cure that would take place. (Mk.3:3).
Luke 6:9 Then 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? (KJV)
Then said Jesus unto them . . . the Scribes and Pharisees, who were watching Him, and whose thoughts and plans, He knew full well.
I will ask you one thing . . . or question, as they had asked Him one before (Mat.12:10).
Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? . . . to save life on the Sabbath day agreed with their rules. There were many things which were permitted could be done on the Sabbath day, when life was in danger, which otherwise were not lawful. To heal this man would be to do good; it would be to save life. To pass him by, when Jesus had the power to heal him . . . would be to do evil; it would be to kill . . . where Jesus might make him alive. Jesus must do one or the other, and He asks them to say which one. They refused to answer, because the only answer they could give would condemn themselves. Matthew adds an additional argument which comes in at this time. Matthew 12:11-12 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? 12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? (KJV) . . . Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.
The scribes and Pharisees kept their mouths shut, for they were not able to give an answer. This was in Jesus’ favor, and added to their confusion. (Mat.12:8; Mk.3:4-5).
Luke 6:10 And 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. (KJV)
And looking round about upon them all . . . at the Scribes and Pharisees, and the rest of the people in the synagogue. (Mk.3:5).
He said to the man . . . who had the withered hand,
Stretch forth thy hand, and he did so . . . he stretched it out, which he was not able to do before.
And his hand was restored well as the other . . . when the man did as told, his hand was completely restored, because great power went along with Jesus’ Words, and immediately brought about a cure. (Mat.12:13).
The Lord Jesus broke through all of this red tape of their traditions, and got to the heart of God's purpose in giving the Sabbath Day to Israel originally. They would not answer Him because they knew they would incriminate themselves. My friend, Jesus could get angry . . . then and now! Please do not anger Him. He always has that awful grief deep in His Heart, because of the hardness of their hearts . . . and ours! BEWARE!!
Jesus heals the man. It was the Sabbath; but because the Sabbath is made for man and because He is the Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath.
Luke 6:11 And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus. (KJV)
And they were filled with madness . . .both at the cure, and because they could not answer Him, nor bring a charge against Him, or accuse Him before the people. (Mk.3:6).
And communed one with another what they might do with Jesus . . . several political groups existed at this time, of which one of these was the Herodians. This group supported the Roman leader, King Herod Antipas, who reigned from 4 BC to AD 39. The Herodians were known for their desire to submit to Herod and his rule in return for political favor and peace. They were not like the Pharisees and others who wanted Israel to follow the teachings of the Torah, apart from the influence of the Romans. The Herodians were willing to work with this outside government in more realistic ways. The Herodians were the opposite extreme of the Zealots, who believed God alone should lead Israel and resorted to activism and military opposition to end Roman control.
Here the Herodians and the Pharisees unite, on their common hatred of Jesus. It seems this took place immediately after Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath, that the Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians, to destroy Jesus. Other mentions of the Herodians (Mk.8:15; 12:13; Mat.22:16).
In today’s world, there still exists the temptation to choose what is socially acceptable or personally beneficial over God's ways. And there are those who will even try to harm others who might cause problems to their personal achievements . . . just as the Herodians did with Jesus. My dear friend, I think it is God's desire for ALL to be saved through faith in Christ (Jn.3:16), and for His followers to serve others as an example of His love (Mk.10:45).
All works of mercy are permitted on the Sabbath Day (Lk.6:6-11). Jesus was neither ashamed nor afraid to own up to the firmness of His grace. He healed the poor man, although He knew that His enemies would take advantage against Him for it. Let us never be pulled away from our stand for Jesus by any opposition or temptation, for there are many unbelievers around us who are extremely wicked, and they are just watching and waiting for us to slip up.
For verses 1-11, see Passage in: Mat.12:1-13.
Jesus Chooses the Twelve (Luke 6:12-16)
Out of an unspecified number of disciples, Jesus chose twelve men to be His apostles.
Luke 6:12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. (KJV)
And it came to pass in those days . . . when Jesus was teaching by the Lake of Gennesaret, or in one or another of the cities of Galilee near there.
That he went out . . . of the synagogue and city where He had been.
Into a mountain to pray . . . (Mat.14:23; Mk.6:46; Lk.9:28; Jn.6:3), for prayer and solitude.
And continued all night in prayer to God . . . where the mountain was, He chose as a proper place for prayer, where He could withdraw and be alone, to have His thoughts free, and as Man, pour out His soul to His Father, on His own account, and on the behalf of others.
Luke 6:13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; (KJV)
And when it was day . . . or morning; having spent the whole night in prayer to God, no doubt for His disciples, whom He was about to send forth as His apostles, to preach His Gospel, and work miracles, and for their success therein:
He called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles . . . the whole company of them, as in verse 17, all that were His followers, and declared to believe in Him. It seems that others were called to Jesus besides the twelve; and out of them, He chose the twelve . . . the phrase "whom He would" (Mk.3:13), that the choice and call of the apostles to office, were NOT according to their will, works and merits, but according to the sovereign will and grace of Christ, Who chose them, and not they choosing Him.
Luke 6:14 Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, (KJV)
Simon, whom he also named Peter . . . out of this group, Jesus called Peter, which signifies a rock, or stone, as Cephas also does (Jn.1:42), from his constancy, steadfastness, and solidity.
And Andrew his brother . . . who was called at the same time with Peter, and were brothers, both in nature and grace.
James and John . . . the two sons of Zebedee, who were called next, and
Philip and Bartholomew . . . the latter of these is by some thought to be Nathanael. Nathanael: (Jn.1:45-49; 21:2).
Luke 6:15 Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, (KJV)
Matthew and Thomas . . . Matthew (Levi), was a tax collector, and Thomas was also called Didymus, and he was the one who was so unbelieving of Christ's resurrection. Thomas: (Mat.10:3; Mk.3:18; Lk.6:15; Jn.11:16; 14:5; 20:24-29; 21:2; Acts 1:13).
James the son of Alphaeus . . . whose surname was Thaddaeus; sometimes called James the less,
Simon called Zelotes . . . or the Canaanite. (Mat.10:1-4).
Luke 6:16 And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor. (KJV)
And Judas the brother of James . . . Judas the son of James is also called Thaddaeus. This Judas was also called Thaddaeus and Lebbaeus, and is the writer of the epistle that bears his name.
And Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor . . . both his surname and his character are mentioned, to distinguish him from the other Judas. That these twelve are mentioned by pairs, and so they were sent out, two by two (Mk.6:7), as were also the seventy disciples afterwards (Lk.10:1).
In verses 12-16, the apostles were chosen by Jesus. People often think that half an hour a long time to spend in meditation and secret prayer, but the Lord Jesus often spent entire nights in prayer (verse 12). In our service to God, great care should be taken to not forget our prayer time. Our prayer can make the end of one good service to the Lord, the beginning of another.
The twelve apostles are here named, and never were men so privileged as this. Yet two of them eventually brought grief to Jesus’ heart; one of them had a devil, and proved a traitor, and the other denied his Master.
Jesus Heals Many of Diseases of Body and Soul (Luke 6:17-19)
Luke 6:17 And 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; (KJV)
And he came down with them . . . with the twelve apostles, from the top of the mountain, where He had been praying all night, and where He had been that morning, ordaining, and giving instructions to the twelve He had chosen.
And stood in the plain . . . at a place on the mountain, where it was level, and which was large enough to hold a great number of people; for it was still up on the mount, where Christ brought this sermon (Mat.5:1).
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 . . . not only the twelve, but the large number out of which He had chosen the twelve. These were hearers of Him, and had a great esteem for Him.
To be healed of their diseases . . . their bodily diseases, and some came perhaps for both hearing Him and healing.
Luke 6:18 And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. (KJV)
And they that were vexed with unclean spirits . . . were possessed with devils, and miserably tormented and afflicted by them. I believe there are still those today, who are possessed by evil spirits (devils), and I believe that alcohol and drugs play a huge part. If a person is a devil’s child (1 Jn.3:10), they are under the control of Satan and his demons! BUT, if they are a child of God, they under the control of GOD, and greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world (1 Jn.4:4). Without Jesus, you are vulnerable, in danger of, demon possession.
And they were healed . . . both those that had bodily diseases, and those who were under Satanic possessions.
Luke 6:19 And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all. (KJV)
And the whole multitude sought to touch him . . . meaning those that were sick and possessed; for they were convinced, that if they could just touch any part of His body, or His clothing, they would be cured.
For there went virtue out of him . . . healing power, in great abundance, as water from a fountain, went out of Him, even without Him even speaking a word, or touching them.
And they were healed . . . in this secret and private way, of whatever disease that afflicted them.
Please consider: People think the diseases of the body as being worse evils than those of diseased souls. BEWARE! That is NOT true! The Holy Word of God tells us differently. Diseases of the body are temporary . . . whereas the disease of the soul is ETERNAL, and only Jesus can cure that disease!
The Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6:20-49)
Luke 6:20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. (KJV)
And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said . . . either the whole company of them, or maybe just the twelve apostles.
Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God . . . This speaks of being poor in spirit, but it does not tell us HOW to become poor in spirit. SO, what is poverty of spirit? It is the exact opposite being haughty, proud, self-assertive and self-sufficient. It is opposite of someone always looking for those around them to admire and praise them. It is the opposite of someone who refuses to bow before God, someone like Pharaoh who said “Who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice?” (Ex.5:2). To be poor in spirit is to admit you are absolutely helpless before God. It is being humble and meek, like Jesus.
The supreme lesson of the first Beatitude is that without poverty of spirit, NO one will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This Beatitude holds an important position. It is the opening sentence of the Sermon on the Mount (Mat.5:1-3), and it clearly states that NO one is saved IF they believe there is something within him/her that will make God prefer or accept them. Self-righteousness, moral pride and vain thoughts will condemn the soul to Hell! Blessed are the poor in spirit. Jesus did NOT have to leave the glory and safety of Heaven, but He DID, for us. He became “poor” for us that we might become rich (2 Cor.8:9). The poverty in which He entered, was very great. His earthly parents were humble peasants. His first bed was a manger in a barn. He worked hard as a carpenter. After He began His ministry, He did not even have a place of His own to lay His Head (Luke 9:58). He was poor and sorrowful (Ps.69:29) He was poor and needy (Ps.86:1). His Heart was wounded within Him (Ps.109:22).
Please do NOT believe these false teachers who say that Jesus was rich! They LIE!
Luke 6:21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. (KJV)
Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled . . . Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. (KJV) . . . We ALL are sinners. We have NO righteousness of our own. Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. (KJV) Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: (KJV) Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (KJV)
SO. . . if we have NO righteousness of our own, we must receive righteousness from Jesus IF we are to be blessed/approved by God. 1 Cor. 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (KJV) Our righteousness must come from Jesus!
To hunger and thirst after righteousness is actually to have a burning desire to be right with God. Again, we must go back to the first Beatitude. We must be poor in spirit to have any desire whatsoever to please God! This desire is a continual, constant desire, and when we hunger and thirst for righteousness, Jesus promises that we shall be filled.
Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh . . . Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. (KJV) . . . Mourn for their sin, for they shall be filled with spiritual joy and pleasure, and be comforted with the consolations of the Spirit.
Luke 6:22 Blessed 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. (KJV)
Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company . . . because of Christ Jesus and His Gospel. Separation is not only persons being excluded from the congregation, but from all civil society and business. The Lord Jesus certainly did bring division with His Gospel! Division, separation: (Lk.12:49-53; Mat.10:34-36; 24:7-10).
There are many that think that what Luke says in these verses, and the rest to the end of this chapter, is just a shorter version of what Matthew has in his 5th, 6th and 7th chapters, and that both Matthew and Luke are speaking about the same sermon preached at the same time. I cannot go along with that. Many of Jesus’ large discourses are not touched by Luke, whereas Jesus’ whole discourse in giving a true interpretation of the law, and His discourses about alms, prayer, fasting (Mat. 6:1-34), and Luke here puts in three verses (24-26), where there are woes condemned, of which Matthew says nothing. Jesus’ ministry was about three years long. In that time I am sure that He repeated sermons on certain subjects.
And shall reproach you and cast out your name as evil . . . those standing firm with Jesus would be criticized as heretics, apostates and enemies to the Law of Moses, as the Jews reprimanded the Christians. I think the Lord's meaning is, that they should be scorned and treated as the worst of men, and denounced in the vilest manner.
For the son of man's sake . . . not for any immoral sin they committed, but only for professing and preaching that the Messiah (Christ) was come in the flesh, and that Jesus of Nazareth was He; and that He Who was the Son of Man, according to his human nature, was indeed, the Son of God according to His divine nature.
Luke 6:23 Rejoice 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. (KJV)
Compare with: Matthew 5:10-12 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. (KJV) . . . Jesus said "for righteousness' sake" in verse 10, He says “for My sake” in verse 11, which categorizes Him and His cause with that of righteousness, coupling the cause of righteousness in the world with the reception of Himself. Would Moses, David, Isaiah or Paul have so said this? NO, even though they certainly suffered for righteousness' sake. But they would NOT have called this "their sake." When Jesus speaks here, being Righteousness incarnate (Mark 1:24; Acts 3:14), He speaks only like Himself, who is Himself God.
(1) People will hate us. John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. (KJV) Are we better than Jesus?
(2) People will separate you from their company, whether from their church, by excommunication, or from their society. Matthew 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. (KJV)
(3) People will reproach you. Luke 18:32 For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: (KJV)
(4) People will cast out your name as evil. Mark 6:3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. (KJV) . . . Luke uses a word that is even stronger than in Matthew: "leap for joy." The Beatitudes describe what it means to be Christ’s follower; they are standards of conduct; they contrast Kingdom values with worldly values, showing what Christ’s followers can expect from the world and what God will give them; they contrast false devotion (piety) with true humility and reverence, and they show how Old Testament expectations are fulfilled in God’s Kingdom. We are TRULY blessed when Christ blesses us, but those people will be extremely miserable who fall under His woe and curse! What a great advantage the saint will have over the sinner in the other world! Please consider this if you have not yet asked Jesus to come into your heart and life. Open your heart’s door to Him now. (Rev.3:20).
Those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake are blessed (have God’s approval). This saying is characteristic to Christianity. But, there is nothing in ANY of our own sufferings that can merit the approval of God. But IF we are persecuted for Christ’s sake, we should be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven! God will provide that those who lose for Him, shall not lose by Him in the end.
How different are the things of God from the things of this world! People call the proud happy, they admire the famous, the rich, the powerful and the victorious. May we find mercy from the Lord; may we strive be His children, and inherit His Kingdom. Even though we may suffer for Christ in this life, it will be different in Heaven! With these enjoyments and hopes in mind, may we cheerfully welcome disgraceful or painful circumstances when they come, when we suffer from them for Christ. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake. NO ONE was ever persecuted like Jesus the Righteous One, was persecuted! (Rev.12:4). He was afflicted and ready to die from His youth up: (Ps.88:15). At the start of His ministry in Nazareth, people rose up, and thrust Him out of the city, and led Him unto the brow of the hill that they might cast Him down headlong (Luke 4:29). The Jews took up stones to cast at Him (John 8:59). The religious leaders said He had a demon (John 8:48). He was the song of drunkards (Ps.69:12). At His trial, people plucked off His hair (Isa.50:6). They spit on Him, buffeted Him, smote Him with their hands (Mat.26:67). Scourged by soldiers and crowned with thorns (Mat.27:29) before they crucified Him (Mat.27:35). NO one was persecuted for righteousness sake more than our precious Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Blessed = approved by God. When God approves of us, we are blessed abundantly! And when we are blessed by God, we certainly shall be happy!
Meditations of the Beatitudes cannot be complete unless our thoughts and hearts are on our Lord Jesus. Since TRUE Christian character is formed in us by the Spirit of Christ (Rom.8:9; 1 Pet.1:11), it means that our character must mimic the character of Christ! He is the believer’s Perfect Pattern! In Jesus we find ALL the spiritual graces found in the Beatitudes. ALL the perfections were and are displayed in Christ! Let us seriously strive to mature and be more like our precious Lord Jesus with each passing day!
Rejoice ye in that day . . . when they would be hated, discarded, criticized, denounced and/or cursed.
And leap for joy . . . for Jesus says it will be a great honor and gladness that will come to them.
For behold, your reward is great in heaven, for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets . . . rewards are promised in both the Old Testament and the New Testament: Ps.19:11; 58:11; 91:8; Pro.11:18; Isa.40:10; 62:11; Mat.5:12; 6:1-18; 10:41-42; 16:27; Mk.9:41; Lk.6:23,35; 1 Cor.3:8-15; 9:17-18; Col.2:18; 3:24; 2 Tim.4:14; Heb.10:35; Rev.11:18; 22:12).
Luke 6:24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. (KJV)
But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation . . . first woe! The content of verses 24-26 (4 woes), are not in Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount. The Pharisees were laden with the spoils of the people which they received in gifts, etc. These verses seem to be spoken mainly to the scribes and Pharisees, who, in order to please all, spoke to people by diplomacy, flattery and lies, finding out the best way of gaining and keeping the good opinion of the multitude. I think this means those who trust in their riches, and place their happiness in them. For these have received your consolation . . . the only comfort the rich will receive is the temporal comfort that money can give them.
See comment on the woe of riches at end of this chapter.
Luke 6:25 Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. (KJV)
Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger . . . second woe! Not so much with the plenty and affluence of the things of this life, and their own righteousness, and with conceit, vanity and pride . . . but having NO appetite for spiritual things, they do NOT hunger and thirst after Christ, and the grace that is in Him. Isaiah 65:13-14 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, my servants shall eat, but ye shall be hungry: behold, my servants shall drink, but ye shall be thirsty: behold, my servants shall rejoice, but ye shall be ashamed: 14 Behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but ye shall cry for sorrow of heart, and shall howl for vexation of spirit. (KJV)
The rich shall be in starving situation; while the saints (believers) are feeding on the joys and glories of the other world, compared to a banquet. They shall be without, and have no share in these things of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Woe unto you that laugh now . . . third woe! Those who laugh at sin, rejoice in iniquity and make a mockery of it, instead of mourning (having sorrow) for it. This is those who glory in themselves, and their righteousness, and rejoice in their boasting of what they have.
For ye shall mourn and weep . . . they shall be cast into outer darkness, where there is weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth (Mat.13:42,50; Rev.20:15). These shall have this eternal horror at the Hand of God, they shall be in sorrow, and continue in it forever!
Luke 6:26 Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. (KJV)
Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets . . . forth woe! There were many false prophets during Old Testament times. They were praised by kings and crowds because their predictions such as prosperity and victory in war, which was exactly what the people wanted to hear. But popularity is no assurance of truth, and flattery does not bring God's approval. Sadness lies ahead for those who chase after the crowd's praise rather than God's Truth. False prophets spoke well of them, and heaped favors, riches, and honors upon them, that they might prophesy unto them good things. False prophets abound today, bringing damnable heresies (2 Pet.2:1), that cannot possibly save souls. This is also true of todays so called fortune tellers. (1 Ki.22:6,12,27; Isa.30:10). Smooth things and deceit. Lies that people want to hear! BEWARE!!!
In verses 20-26, blessings and woes declared by Jesus. This begins a discourse of Christ, most of which is also found in Matthew chapters 5 & 7. Some think that this same discourse as in Matthew, but I think the Sermon on the Plain was preached at another time and another place. All believers who accept the teachings of the Gospel, and live by them, know that the Promises of the Gospel (blessings), shall be attributed to them. Woes are brought against rich sinners as miserable people, although the world greatly envies them.
Those who are blessed, whom Christ blesses, are blessed indeed! BUT, those shall be extremely miserable who fall under Jesus’ woe and curse! What a massive advantage saints have over unrepentant sinners (unbelievers) in the other world! What a huge difference there shall be in their rewards, even though the sinner may prosper in this life, he/she will NOT prosper in the Day of Judgment, that being Hell; and even though the saint is afflicted here, their blessed reward they shall receive, that being Heaven!
Luke 6:27 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, (KJV)
But I say unto you which hear . . . But I say unto you . . . anytime Jesus says these words, an extremely difficult lesson follows. Notice the authoritative tone in which Jesus, the Lawgiver and Judge (GOD), now speaks, as He explains the deep meaning of this commandment! A hard lesson follows! Precise and unholy feelings toward our brothers are indicated by the words "Raca" (worthless) and "fool” (stupid, blockhead). Every age and every country has its own ways of expressing such things. What Jesus is saying is that such language of unholy disrespect and contempt for our brothers and sisters in Christ simply is bringing out the true feelings in our heart. We must be very careful!
The “law of love” is sometimes called the “law of Christ.” It summarizes the moral principle of the Sermon on the Mount. Love thy neighbor summarizes the entire second table of the law (Lev. 19:18-34). Hate thine enemy was a totally unscriptural addition that false teachers had added, but was a very popular concept (notion, idea) in Jesus’ time, and in today’s world as well. The warning “love your enemies” is one of the most profound statements that our Lord Jesus ever uttered. The “love” commanded in these words is that which can originate only from Almighty God Himself! There is NO way any of us can accomplish this on our own! Love based on our human affection could never love our enemy! This kind of love Jesus speaks of (agape, godly love) can be produced only by the Holy Spirit who abides in all TRUE believers (Gal.5:22-23; Rom.8:9; John 14:16). We, on our own, can produce NONE of the “fruits of the Spirit.” He must do it, or it will NOT happen!!! Love for our enemies holds a very unique place in Scripture and in our lives. Love for enemies is not known in the vast majority of the world’s population today. They love only self, not God, not their neighbor and they certainly do NOT love their enemies (2 Tim.3:1-7). (Mat.5:43-44).
Love here means moral love, not personal affection. It means friendly, gentle compassion for another's good. What is one great way that we can love our enemy? Tell them about Jesus!
Luke 6:28 Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. (KJV)
Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you . . . The best description on this matchless advice is the wonderful example of Jesus! (1 Pet. 2:21-24; 3:9; Rom.12:20-21; 1 Cor. 4:12). Before the Sermon on the Mount, staunch rules or doctrines that Jesus taught had never before been spoken. But Jesus, the Great Interpreter, speaks with such authoritative precision and accuracy of the law, that we who love and follow Him must make every attempt to obey Him. Difficult? Hard? Yes! Impossible without Him! Contrary to the world’s view on how to live? Absolutely! But God’s way and the world’s way are never the same! Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (KJV) . . . If we want to be God’s friend, we must obey Him!
Loving our enemy means doing good toward that enemy so we can win them over to the cause that we represent . . . JESUS!!! Love your enemy! Bless them who curse you! Do good to them that hate you! Pray for them who insult, slander and persecute you! All this is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE on our own strength! We need help! We must have help! We desperately need the Holy Spirit! (Mat.5:44).
Luke 6:29 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. (KJV)
And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other . . . Christ teaches patience in bearing injuries and insults, and not to seek private revenge.
And him that taketh away thy cloak, forbid not to take thy coat also . . . the phrase is inverted in Matthew (Mat.5:40).
Luke 6:30 Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. (KJV)
Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again . . . it is unreasonable asking that is here implied (Mat.5:42)6:30), NOT simple borrowing. Proverbs warns against borrowing, lending, surety (Pro.6:1; 11:15; 22:7; 27:13). We are warned of the dangers of borrowing and lending for there are some people who are extremely lazy and expect the people to support them (2 Thes. 3:10). But, we are to help those who really are in need, turn not thou away. Big difference!
Luke 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. (KJV)
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise . . . The “Golden Rule.” This is the actually Scripture in a nutshell. It is an unequaled summary of HOW we should live! It is wisely called "the royal law!" (James 2:8; also see Rom.13:9; Gal.5:14; Mat.22:36-40). IF we meet somebody new, how should we treat him? We are NOT to incorrectly judge anyone. But IF he is a two-legged dog or pig, we need to know. So what do we do? Make it a matter of prayer. “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” This is the principle on which you should operate. “Therefore” is a very important word in the Golden Rule. It connects the Golden Rule to the Scripture which came before it. What were the previous verses talking about? PRAYER! So, the Golden Rule joins hand in hand with prayer! They both are tied together in one package. Don’t lift out the Golden Rule and say that you live by it. Understand what the Lord is talking about. Only as we “ask, seek, and knock” are we able to live in the light of the Golden Rule, and then, ONLY because of the Lord! The treasures Christ gives are eternally ours and eternally satisfying. Perseverance is the key to receiving them. Persistent prayer assures us for those treasures. We can NEVER ask for too much spiritually. Ask and receive. (Mat.7:12).
Luke 6:32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. (KJV)
For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those who love them . . . if you love those who love you, no big deal; for the worst of people love those who love them. It is just our nature to love those who love us. But Jesus tells us that we are to go much further! Jesus says to love our enemies. The publicans were tax collectors and hated by the Jews. They were ranked with "harlots." This would have been hard for the Jews to swallow! But, what about us? Don't we also categorize sinners? Don't we say: this one isn't as bad as that one? Don't we put them off in a place set aside for dislike, hatred? BEWARE!!!
Luke 6:33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. (KJV)
And if ye do good to them which do good to you . . . one good turn deserves another.
What thank have ye? . . . what goodness is there in such an action? What credit or merit is there in it for you?
For sinners also do even the same . . . no one should think himself to be righteous on this account. Matthew 5:46-48 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (KJV)
How is it possible for you and me to be perfect? As we learn from thes Sermon on the Mount, we are weak, frail, lack faith and have a great tendency to sin. We will never be 100% “perfect” in this lifetime, but we CAN keep growing in Christ, day by day!
Perfect = complete in willingness to serve God, in growth, in mental and moral character. Perfect is completeness, maturity. Are any of us perfect? I certainly am not! I join with the apostle Paul. Eph. 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; (KJV) Less than least of all saints! That's ME!
SO . . . HOW is it possible for you and me to be perfect? We are accepted by God, the Father, when we are in Christ, in the beloved. There is NO condemnation to them which are in Christ (Rom.8:1). We get in Christ (saved) by FAITH in Him. The only way we can become perfect (mature, complete) is through our faith in Christ! God the Father imputes (credits our account) to us, the righteousness of Christ. 1 Cor.1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (KJV) NONE of us have ANY righteousnesses of our own (Isa.64:6).
When we are saved, being in Christ, then begins the slow process of sanctification, which is separation to the service of God. It is where God attempts to conform us to the image of His Son, which should be the goal of every TRUE believer. Seeking to attain perfection by our own efforts is absolutely useless. No one will ever be able to go to God and say, “Look what I have done; look how great I am!” My friend, you are going to do nothing of the kind because you and I are not perfect on our own. NONE of us are good by God’s standards. We need, we must have a Saviour. And the Bible says there is only ONE who can save us! John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (KJV)
JESUS is the Only One who can make you perfect in God’s eyes! Also see Acts 4:12.
Luke 6:34 And 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. (KJV)
And 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 . . . to make our neighbor purchase, in any way, the assistance which we would give him, is to profit by his misery, and by placing him under obligations which we expect of him in some way or another to repay, we increase his misery under the pretense of relieving it. (Mat.5:42).
Luke 6:35 But 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. (KJV)
But love ye your enemies . . . see verse 27.
And do good and lend . . . not to your friends only, but to your enemies. I think we might consider lend here to be give.
Hoping for nothing again . . . lending (giving) to such persons, from whom, in all appearance, it is never to be expected again.
And your reward shall be great . . . God will bless you in your worldly substance here, and will not forget your kindness on Judgment Day.
And ye shall be the children of the Highest . . . the children of God, "the Most High" (Ps.82:6). Those who from beliefs of grace, and with right views do such acts of kindness and generosity to their fellow creatures and Christians, shall be, made manifest, and declared to be the children of God. They will appear to be born of Him, and made partakers of the divine nature, and bear a resemblance to Him, by their imitating Him. A great lesson here!
For he is kind to the unthankful and to the evil . . . God causes His sun to rise, and His rain to fall on the unthankful and evil ones, just as He does to the righteous and good ones. God is gracious to ALL people! He does good, and feeds the righteous and the ungodly.
In these words of our blessed Lord we see the tenderness, genuineness, degree, impartiality and plan of the love of God dwelling in the Man, Jesus. It has for its foundation the union of God and Man in the same Person (Jesus), and the death of this majestic Being for His enemies; which lives on Earth in a reconciliation of the Creator with His creatures, and which shall exist in Heaven only in the union of the members with the Head. Could such a religion as this ever tolerate hatred in the soul of man, even to his most hardened foe? The answer is NO! God is love and reaches out in love, and we too must reach out in love! We are allowed to hate, but only the deeds, NOT the person.
Luke 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. (KJV)
Be ye therefore merciful . . . tenderhearted, kind, loving and generous to all men, friends and foes. A very hard lesson indeed!
As your Father also is merciful . . . the Father which is in Heaven; is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works. Be ye therefore merciful or compassionate. As God is always willing to give necessary help and support to those who are miserable, so too, His followers, being influenced by the same Spirit, should be ready to give of their power to relieve or remove the miseries of the distressed around us. A merciful or compassionate man easily forgets injuries; pardons them without being asked; and does NOT permit repeated returns of ingratitude to deter him from doing good, even to the unthankful and the unholy. (Mat.5:7).
In verses 27-36, Christ encourages mercy. These are extremely difficult lessons to mankind. But if we are thoroughly grounded in the faith of Christ's love, this will make His commands easier to us. Every one that comes to Jesus to be washed in His Blood (Rev.1:5), and knows the greatness of the mercy and the love there is in Him, can say, in truth and sincerity, Lord, what will thou have me to do? Let us always aim to be merciful, according to the mercy of our heavenly Father to us.
Luke 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, (KJV)
Judge not, and ye shall not be judged . . . (Mat.7:1). So many times I have heard this verse quoted, sometimes to/at me. To "judge" here does NOT mean to pronounce damning judgment on people. The context makes it quite clear that what is condemned here is to look unfavorably on the character and actions of someone, which ends up expressing harsh and unjust judgments on them. I think what our Lord is aiming at is the spirit out of which these judgments spring. We must always shun this evil, ugly spirit, for we as Christians are justified to sit in judgment of a brother or sister’s character and actions (1 Cor.5). We ARE to judge those who claim they are “Christians” but leave the judging of unbelievers to God (1 Cor.5:12-13).
Condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned . . . God will judge us in the same way that we judge others. He will apply to us the same standard of judgment we apply to others. Mark 4:24 And he said unto them, Take heed what ye hear: with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. (KJV) . . . We should pay close attention to what Jesus says, and listen to Him! The same rules by we use to judge others will be used by God to judge us . . . but with greater severity. Sort of scary! Should make us think twice before doing something stupid!
Unkind judgment of others will be returned to us, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ (Rom.2:16). But many times, harsh judgment on others often gets self-punished even here. People back away from contact with anyone who makes a habit of dealing out harsh judgment on others . . . thinking that they may be the next victim. Any person who judges unkindly and/or unfairly, has few, if any friends!
Forgive . . . IF you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in Heaven will also forgive you. We should quietly bear insults, offences and trespasses committed against us. If we forgive, God will forgive us. (Mat.7:12).
Luke 6:38 Give, 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. (KJV)
Give, and it shall be given unto you good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over . . . if we treat others generously, graciously, and compassionately, these qualities will come back to us in full measure. We are to love others, not judge them.
Shall men give into your bosom . . . for with the same measure that ye mete withal, it shall be measured to you again; a common proverb with the Jews. (Mat.7:12).
Luke 6:39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? (KJV)
And he spake a parable unto them . . . this seems to have been a general proverb, and to signify that a man cannot teach what he does not understand. This is especially true in spiritual matters. A person who is not illuminated from above is utterly incapable of judging concerning spiritual things, and totally unfit to be a guide to others. Is it impossible for a person who is enclosed in thick darkness to judge of the souls of others, or try to lead them in the path of light of which he is totally unskilled! If he does, his judgment will be rash, and his teaching folly. He not only endangers his own soul, and runs the risk of falling into the ditch of perdition himself, along with the unhappy subjects of his religious instruction.
Can the blind lead the blind? . . . many attempt it. The spiritually blind Scribes and Pharisees led the spiritually blind people Jews, which is what our Lord meant . . . BUT if they do,
Shall they not both fall into the ditch? . . . YES! What else could be expected? (Mat.15:14).
These blind teachers lead people AWAY from Christ, teaching a dependence on their own righteousness to justify them in God’s eyes; teaching health, wealth and prosperity. Sound familiar? It is extremely rampant today!
And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch . . . again, the Lord Jesus uses common sense! If both the teachers or leaders are blind, and the people are blind, they all will fall into a ditch. Makes sense to me. In direct opposition to the doctrines of the Pharisees, the Lord took the occasion to show the people and the apostles, that the greatest source of pollution was the heart. They thought that external things was the chief cause that defiled a man, because on this all of their doctrines about purification were founded. This false opinion of the Jews really needed to be corrected. He took the occasion, therefore, to direct the people to the true source of defilement . . . their very own hearts. He directed them to its importance . . . Hear and understand! (Mat.15:10).
Luke 6:40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. (KJV)
The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master . . . every one that is perfect . . . or thoroughly instructed, to adjust, adapt, knit together or restore. It means complete instruction and information. Everyone who is thoroughly instructed in Divine things, who has his heart united to God, whose chaotic tempers and passions are purified and restored to harmony and order; everyone who has in him the mind that was in Christ (Phil.2:5), although he cannot be above, yet will be as His teacher; holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners.
Luke 6:41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? (KJV)
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye . . . a mote is a lesser sin in comparison of others; because all sins are not alike. Though NONE are to be tolerated and indulged, yet some are not to be so severely criticized upon as others. NO one is perfect, NO one totally free from sin.
But perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? . . . a beam is a much greater sin, such are they guilty of, who are nosy searchers into the faults of others, and severe criticizers on them; and yet are blind to their own iniquities, and take no notice of them. These proverbial expressions were delivered by Christ on the Plain, and are the same as those in the Sermon on the Mount. (Mat.7:3-5).
Luke 6:42 Either 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. (KJV)
Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye . . . a person cannot remove a mote from someone’s eye, if they have a beam in their own eye. A person of a greater sin cannot criticize someone with a lesser sin.
When thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye?. . . the person with the beam in his eye, does not even notice his own sin.
Thou hypocrite . . . that person truly is a hypocrite, bearing down hard on his brother and severely censuring him for a small sin, when he himself indulges a far more abominable sin.
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 . . . only when a person first reforms himself, can he attempt to reform others.
Luke 6:43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. (KJV)
For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit . . . a good tree can be compared to what are called trees of righteousness (Isa.61:3), which being planted by the river of the love of God (Ps.1:3; Jer.17:8), and rooted in Christ (Eph.3:17) and filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by him (Phil.1:11). These trees do NOT bring forth the evil fruit of sin (Mat.7:17-18). To say that they never commit sin, or are entirely without it, cannot be said, but it is NOT the continuous course of their lives and conversations.
Neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit . . . corrupt fruit is really rotten fruit: unfit for use. (Mat.7:17-20). These words, and what follow in the next verse, and the symbols in them, are used by the Lord in Matthew, because of false prophets or false teachers; where He states that good and faithful ministers of the Gospel CANNOT, and do NOT bring and publish corrupt ideas and false doctrines. He clearly states that a good tree CANNOT bring forth corrupt fruit. A corrupt tree is a symbol of men with immoral and evil minds. These people do NOT deliver good and sound doctrine, nor do they bring forth the wholesome Words of the Lord Jesus Christ. This could also apply to other persons, even those who profess to be believers, and hypocrites.
Luke 6:44 For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. (KJV)
For every tree is known by its own fruit . . . good and bad preachers are known by the doctrines they bring, the one being, agrees with the Holy Word of God . . . the other disagrees with the Holy Word of God! Good and bad men are known by their lives and conversation. The grace of God revealed to good men, and wrought in them, teaches them to live soberly, righteously, and godly; a holy life is the fruit of grace, and an evidence of it; and the wickedness that is in the heart of unregenerate men, and even the hypocrisy of formal professors, will show themselves in the common and ordinary course of their conversations:
For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes . . .
nor can they be expected from them: and no more can an unregenerate man perform good works, or bring forth fruits of righteousness acceptable unto God; for these require a knowledge of His will, obedience to it, a principle of grace, love to God, faith in Christ, and a view to the glory of God; all which are wanting in such a person. (Mat.7:17-20; 12:33-35).
Luke 6:45 A 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. (KJV)
For every tree is known by its own fruit . . . preachers in today’s churches who want to be popular dare NOT mention sin. Some try to explain away the exceeding sinfulness of sin. Many of these modern day preachers say that sin is NOT a crime against God. I do NOT know WHERE they get this! It is NOT in the Bible! Quite the opposite! The wrath of God is clearly mentioned over and over again! Wrath of God: (Jn.3:36; Rom.1:18; 2:5; Eph.5:6; Jam.1:20; Rev.14:10,19; 15:1,7; 16:1,19; 19:15). WHAT brings on this wrath? SIN!
For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes . . . nor can they be expected from them: and no more can an unregenerate man perform good works, or bring forth: fruits of righteousness acceptable unto God; for these require a knowledge of his will, obedience to it, a principle of grace, love to God, faith in Christ, and a view to the glory of God; all which are wanting in such a person. (Mat.7:17-20; 12:33-35).
Consider: Matthew 12:35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. (KJV) . . . A regenerated person (TRUE Christian, TRUE preacher), tells what has happened to him, speaks of what God has done for his soul; speaks many things about the glory of the grace of God; of the Person, offices, Blood, righteousness and fullness of Christ; and of the actions and influences of the Holy Spirit, which are pleasant, profitable, useful and edifying to the saints. A TRUE Christian MUST speak of Jesus! They have no other choice!
And an evil man, out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things . . . the "evil man" is a man as he was born, destitute of the Holy Spirit, and having no grace of God within him. The evil “treasure" is the corruption of his nature, the wickedness of his heart, producing swarms of lusts, and all kinds of sin that dwell there. Out of his heart proceeds evil and corrupt communications which not only defile himself but others as well. Not only vain words (Eph.5:6) and unprofitable talk, but blasphemies against God, Christ, the Holy Spirit and God’s people (Rev.13:5-6). All of which men shall be accountable for one day (Rev.20:11-15).
Preachers today are afraid to say that God hates sin and that Almighty God is a Man of War. To be right in God's eyes, a preacher CANNOT compliment people’s ego, caress their pride, nor not say anything about their abominable sin. There is only one place you can go, and that is to the foot of the cross, to remove sin, and the majority of preachers are NOT saying this to their congregations. It is ONLY at the foot of the cross where Jesus can perform major surgery, and make a person a new creature in Christ Jesus (2 Cor.5:17; Gal.6:15). That is the message Luke brings in the Sermon on the Plain, and it perfectly complements the Sermon on the Mount of Matthew. It is a message the Lord gave many times to many different groups of people.
Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (KJV)
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? . . . Lord, Lord, God judges of the heart, not by our words, but by our works. A good servant of Jesus never argues, and always faithfully follows his work. Such a servant is a TRUE Christian, and such is a faithful preacher, who is always committed to the work of his own salvation, and to that of his neighbor. A TRUE servant of the Lord spends much time in prayer, and his heart is like a never-ending fountain, flowing with the love of God, to all those around him. If a person sincerely calls Jesus Lord, they obey Him, and they do as He says.
Luke 6:47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: (KJV)
Whosoever cometh to me . . . to be a disciple and follower of Jesus,
And heareth my sayings, and doth them . . . see: Wise and Foolish Builders . . . Mat.7:24-29
I will show you to whom he is like . . . some say "to what thing he is like" although what follows seems better to be person than thing.
Luke 6:48 He 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. (KJV)
He is like a man which built an house . . . intends to build one, having drawn the scheme of it in his mind, and provided materials, and decided upon the spot of ground.
And digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock . . . he dug deep in the Earth, until he came to a rock, and there, and there, he laid the foundation of his house.
And when the flood arose . . . an inundation, a multitude of waters, the swelling of the sea, the tide,
The stream beat vehemently upon the house . . . the flood, the tide came, dashed against it . . . by which may mean the temptations of Satan, the persecutions of the world, the corruptions of men's hearts, and the errors and heresies of false teachers.
And could not shake it . . . as none of the above things can shake your house as to move your soul, because it is built on Christ. Nothing can shake it off the foundation! IF you build your house on the Rock (Jesus), NO flood shall destroy it!
For it was founded upon a rock . . . (Mat.7:25-26). Also see: Pro.10:25; Isa.28:16; Eph.2:20; 2 Tim.2:19).
Luke 6:49 But 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. (KJV)
But he that heareth, and doth not, is like a man that without a foundation built upon the earth . . . anyone who hears Christ's sayings externally, but does NOT obey His commands, they are like building their house upon the surface of the earth, with NO foundation, or "upon the sand" (Mat.7:26).
Against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great . . . as Matthew says: "against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great" (Mat.7:26-27).
1 Cor. 3:10-12 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; (KJV)
Why do people build their house (eternal soul) without a foundation? Quite possibly because they want to join their friends who have already settled in sandy areas. Maybe because they have not heard about the violent storms that shall come, or if they had heard, they refuse to believe God. Maybe because they simply discount any Truth they hear, or because they think disaster cannot happen to them, or “a loving God would not send me to Hell.” http://www.godcannotlie.org/booklet_a_loving_god_wouldn't_send_me_to_hell.htm
Whatever their foolish and ridiculous reason, those with no foundation are not thinking properly, and they will regret it. When we obey God, we are building a house on a strong, solid foundation (Jesus the ROCK) that shall stand firm when any storms come. When life is calm and peaceful, our foundations do not seem to matter. But my friend, when crises comes, and it shall come, our foundations are tested. Is your life is built on the solid foundation of believing God (1 Jn.5:10-12), and knowing and trusting Christ Jesus as your Saviour and Lord (Jn.3:15-18). John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (KJV) . . . NO other way to Heaven. Deny and reject this at your own risk!
Woe to the Rich?
James 5:1 Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. (KJV)
Can you picture a person walking into an exclusive restaurant near Wall Street where the corporate elite dine, and that person crying out, "Hear me, you rich folk, weep and wail because of your misery!" This is the strangeness that appears in James 5:1. That verse simply begins a six-verse condemnation of the rich. From such a condemnation immediately raises the question: "WHY are these rich people condemned?" Doesn’t God love the wealthy people, just as He does the poor ones? Aren’t many wealthy people just as good Christians as their poorer brothers and sisters? My answer to this is, NO. There are NOT many, there are just a FEW! (Mat.7:13-14).
James already has mentioned the rich, referring to them specifically in (Jam1:10-11; 2:5-7) and in common terms without using the word "rich" in (Jam.2:2-3; 4:13). In none of the references does he have anything good to say about them. In Passages the (Jam.2:2-3; 4:13), the people are members of the Christian community; in the passages where he uses the term "rich," the people are not Christians. WHY doesn’t James not connect the term "rich" to Christians? He certainly calls Christians "the poor" (Jam.1:9; 2:2-3,5-6). Maybe the reason is, that James follows the teaching of Jesus, who said, "Blessed are you who are poor," and also, "But woe to you who are rich" (Lk.6:20,24). The point is, Jesus indicated that wealth was a stumbling block to entering the Kingdom of God . . . it is only God's ability to do the impossible that gets wealthy people in (Mat.19:23-26; Mk.10:23-26; Lk.18:24-27).
It is incorrect, and wrong, to try to soften this by saying, "It is impossible for anyone to enter, poor as well as rich. All enter through a miracle of God," for Jesus does not say this. He states that He came especially to preach the Gospel to the poor (Lk.4:18), and He tells the poor whom He blesses, "Yours is the kingdom of God" (Lk.6:20). He NEVER says anything like this to the rich.
The key to this difference is found at the end of his major discourse on wealth in Luke 12:34, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." To have a heart set on Heaven will mean placing your "treasure" or investments there as well, which normally means giving earthly time and wealth in assistance to others. Therefore, when we see God's miracle in the saving of a rich man, Zacchaeus announces his new-found freedom from wealth before Jesus announces his salvation (Lk.19:1-10). And too, when the Holy Spirit comes in Acts 2, the Christians begin to share their possessions with the poor. James is very aware of this Gospel tradition and bases his teaching on that of Jesus.
So consider that the people James is referring to as "the rich" are not believers. That alone would be enough to condemn them to Hell (Jn.3:18,36; 8:21,24). But there is still another good reason that he singles out these rich people for such strong condemnation, and that is their treatment of the poor.
There is a progress in the argument in James 5:1-6.
#1. It notes the uselessness of wealth, described in terms of garments and money. Stored goods deteriorate, as Jesus pointed out (Mat.6:19-20). Since James's church knows the words of Jesus, James is implying that these people could have had lasting investments had they shared their goods with the poor instead of stock-piling them, and as a result would obtain wealth in Heaven. BUT . . . rich people do not do this, for they are not followers of Jesus and so do share His values . . . even though the wealthy in James's day would have included the political and religious leaders of the Jewish people, who should have had spiritual values similar to those of Jesus.
#2. Their failure to obey the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus, will witness against them in on Judgment Day. This can be found in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk.16:19-31), condensed into two parts. The rich man probably had observed the Jew law, but he failed to submit to God in that he had an overabundance, and yet did not help the poor beggar lying at his very gate. So too today, rich people store up goods, but it is in the "last days," or end of the age, and the final judgment that IS coming, that they shall suffer. Their failure to use their goods for God's purposes will eat their flesh like fire, the horrid fires of Hell.
#3. They have practiced injustice. The other charges were quite bad, but now we find that these absentee landlords (a typical rich person in first-century Palestine) have withheld the pay of the reapers. Lev.19:13 states, "Do not hold back the wages of a hired man overnight" (Deut.24:14-15). The reason for this law was that the poor man would immediately spend his wages for food for himself and his family. No pay meant no food. But even though they were reaping and therefore had a harvest to sell, these wealthy people found some reason not to pay their workers, maybe arguing that they could not afford to sell the crop and pay them until the price was right. I am sure that they had a "legal" reason, justified by the "rabbinic" interpretations of their day. BUT . . . God condemned such people in Isaiah chapter 5, especially in: Isaiah 5:9-10 In mine ears said the LORD of hosts, Of a truth many houses shall be desolate, even great and fair, without inhabitant. 10 Yea, ten acres of vineyard shall yield one bath, and the seed of an homer shall yield an ephah. (KJV) . . . Also see: (Job 7:1-2; 24:10; 31:38-40).
#4. The rich have been self-indulgent, then and now. Feasting is fine if there is enough to go around, but self-indulgence when there are those with nothing is a horrible crime to God. Again the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, comes to mind. We should also consider that in the laws for the feasts of the Lord (Deut.16), no one was to appear empty-handed; the typical poor (Levite, widow, orphan or foreigner) were to feast with those who had means. The Western world has behaved as if goods or wealth were limitless and all could be rich if they worked hard enough or were smart enough.
#5. These rich people have oppressed the righteous. In the phrase "condemned and killed," James probably does not mean that they carried out an illegal activity, but rather that they used the courts to kill. Probably even this killing was not done directly, but through taking away the means of support of the poor through fines or giving judgments in favor of the rich (like today). A peasant who loses his farm or is thrown out of work will soon starve if no one intervenes. It is all the same to God whether the death is direct or indirect, whether the proceeding is legal or illegal in human terms. In God's book it is all murder. That these people were poor Christians (the most likely ones being referred to) makes his judgment that much more certain.
Therefore, James is hardly unfair in his condemnation of the rich. Not only are they not Christian, but he has a number of charges against them. Furthermore, prophetic warnings call people to repentance (although the repentance of wealthy people is far less likely than that of the poor, according to Scripture), so these people, like those of Nineveh whom Jonah warned, are NOT outside of God's love. But, before we shake our heads sadly about the rich, we must remember that any one of the five charges is serious enough to bring God's condemnation. It is NOT enough to avoid judicial murder and legal oppression IF we are living in self-indulgence and storing up what might have been shared. The Christian response to such a condemnation should not be to continue to point the finger, but to "stand firm" in obedience to Christ. James 5:8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. (KJV)
Let us pray to be so filled with the Holy Spirit so that we will make right decisions in our lives, and that all we do is for the glory and honor of our precious Saviour and Lord.
(Mat.6:24; Mk.10:21,25; Jam.4:4).
Please consider: People think the diseases of the body as greater evils than those of diseased souls. BEWARE! That is NOT true! The Holy Word of God tells us differently. Diseases of the body are temporary . . . whereas the disease of the soul is ETERNAL, and only Jesus can cure that disease!
The first 4 Beatitudes in Matthew have a definite progression of spiritual awakening. #1 Poor in spirit = I am nothing, have nothing and can do nothing without Jesus. #2 Mourning for sin = a conviction of sin, a consciousness of guilt that produces Godly sorrow and mourning. #3 Being meek = renouncing any self-dependence in spiritual matters. We were dust and we shall go back to dust. #4 Hungering and thirsting for righteousness = an intense longing for Christ and the salvation that only He can give us.
Natural man (unsaved, unbelievers) does NOT hunger and thirst for righteousness (1 Cor. 2:14). The “natural man” is in complete contrast to those who have found that Christ is their righteousness (1 Cor. 1:30).
In the Beatitudes, Jesus’ sayings contradict the world’s way of thinking. But God’s way of living usually does contradict the world’s way. If you want to live for God, you must be ready to say and do what is most often totally opposite to the world. You must give when others take, love when others hate, help when others abuse. By giving up your rights to serve others, one day you shall receive the wonders that God has in store for you.
There are different ways to consider the Beatitudes: (1) They are a code of conduct for Jesus’ disciples. (2) They contrast Kingdom values (what is eternal) with worldly values (what is temporary). (3) They identify the superficial “faith” of the Pharisees (then and now) with the real faith Christ wants. (4) They show how the Old Testament expectations will be fulfilled in the new Kingdom. The Beatitudes are NOT multiple choice, pick what you like and forget the rest. You must take them all, for they reveal what we should be like as Christ’s followers. The Sermon on the Mount is a very difficult lesson for us all.
Gospel of Luke
ch.1 . . ch.2 . . ch.3 . . ch.4 . . ch.5 . . ch.6 . . ch.7 . . ch.8 . . ch.9 . . ch.10 . . ch.11 . . ch.12 . . ch.13 . . ch.14 . . ch.15 . . ch.16 . . ch.17 . . ch.18 . .ch.19. . ch.20 . . ch.21 . . ch.22 . . ch.23 . . ch.24