Luke 6 Jesus' Early Teaching
Summary

This chapter contains some of Jesus early teaching to the multitude in Galilee. It begins with His correcting some of their criticisms about His activities on the Sabbath day. It was not sinful to eat on the Sabbath day or to do good on that day. In this chapter, Jesus also chooses his twelve apostles. He proceeds then to preach to the multitudes. He tells who is blessed in God’s kingdom and upon whom God’s disfavor will come. He stresses that His disciples are to love everyone, even their enemies. And His disciples are to refrain from condemning others. Instead, disciples of Christ are to forgive. All of this is involved in bearing good fruit in one’s life and building our lives on a solid foundation.

Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

6On a Sabbath,[1] while he was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked and ate some heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands. 2But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?” 3And Jesus answered them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: 4how he entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those with him?” 5And he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

Question 1

What things did Jesus do on the Sabbath day that Pharisees thought were unlawful?

A Man with a Withered Hand

6On another Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. 7And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath, so that they might find a reason to accuse him. 8But he knew their thoughts, and he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come and stand here.” And he rose and stood there. 9And Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?” 10And after looking around at them all he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” And he did so, and his hand was restored. 11But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.

The Twelve Apostles

12In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. 13And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: 14Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, 15and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, 16and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

Question 2

Who were the twelve apostles of Jesus?

Jesus Ministers to a Great Multitude

17And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, 18who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. And those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.

The Beatitudes

20And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said:

“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

Question 3

Who are “blessed” and what will happen to them?

21“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

22“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! 23Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

Jesus Pronounces Woes

24“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.

25“Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry.

“Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.

26“Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

Love Your Enemies

27“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic[2] either. 30Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

Question 4

How does Jesus indicate we can show our love for our enemies?

32“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

Judging Others

37“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

39He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. 41Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye.

Question 5

What parable does Jesus present that emphasizes the folly of our judging others?

A Tree and Its Fruit

43“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Build Your House on the Rock

46“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.[3] 49But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

People
  • Jesus
  • Teaching the people

  • Scribes and Pharisees
  • Seeking to find an accusationagainst Jesus

  • The twelve newly selected apostles of Jesus
  • A multitude of people from Judea, Jerusalem, and teh seacoast of Tyre and Sidon.
Places
  • In the grainfields on a Sabbath
  • In a synagogue on a Sabbath
  • On a mountain where Jesus prayed
  • On a level place where He taught the crowd

Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

6On a Sabbath,[1] while he was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked and ate some heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands. 2But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?” 3And Jesus answered them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: 4how he entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those with him?” 5And he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

Luke 6:2

Jewish Law forbade working on the Sabbath (7th day of the week). Keeping the Sabbath as a holy day was a “sign” that Israel was God’s special people in that time. See:

Exodus 31:12-17; Deuteronomy 5:15

Christians are not instructed to keep the Sabbath as a holy day. See:Galatians 4:10-11; Colossians 2:13-16

Rabbis had developed 39 categories of labor including some of the things Jesus was doing here.


Luke 6:3

The story of David’s eating the bread in the tabernacle is found in1 Samuel 20:1-6


Luke 6:4

What David did was unlawful. What they were doing was not unlawful. Yet the Pharisees condemn-ed them but not David. Jesus’ authority was greater than their traditions and faulty applications.

A Man with a Withered Hand

6On another Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. 7And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath, so that they might find a reason to accuse him. 8But he knew their thoughts, and he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come and stand here.” And he rose and stood there. 9And Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?” 10And after looking around at them all he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” And he did so, and his hand was restored. 11But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.

The Twelve Apostles

12In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. 13And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: 14Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, 15and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, 16and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

Luke 6:13

“Apostle” refers to one who is sent out on a mission. These would go preach to the whole world.

Jesus Ministers to a Great Multitude

17And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, 18who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. And those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all.

The Beatitudes

20And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said:

“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.

Luke 6:20

In Matthew 5:3, the poor are “poor in spirit.” Jesus concentrates on the spiritual needs of man.

21“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied.

“Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.

22“Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! 23Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

Jesus Pronounces Woes

24“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.

Luke 6:24

Notice Jesus pronounces four negative judgments that correspond to the four positive blessings.

25“Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry.

“Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep.

26“Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets.

Love Your Enemies

27“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic[2] either. 30Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

Luke 6:31

This is often called the “Golden Rule.”

32“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

Judging Others

37“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

Luke 6:37

There are four commands here: judge not, condemn not, forgive, and give.

“Judge not” is not intended to set aside other Scriptures which call for discrimination regarding good and evil.

John 7:24; 1 Corinthians 5:3,121 John 4:1; etc.

The judgment condemned is unjust, harsh, unsympathetic and unfair. Remember we will be judged.

Matthew 7:1-2; Romans 7:1-6; Romans 14:10,13

39He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher. 41Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 42How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye.

Luke 6:41

A “mote” or “speck” was like sawdust or a sliver compared to a “beam” or plank.

A Tree and Its Fruit

43“For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Luke 6:45

The “heart” is the innermost part of man. It here stands for his thoughts, convictions, emotions, motives, intents, values, and sympathies.

Build Your House on the Rock

46“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? 47Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: 48he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.[3] 49But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

Luke 6:49

Once having learned God’s will, we must do what God says. See:

Matthew 7:21

Perspectives

Jesus is “Lord of the Sabbath;” i.e., He has all divine authority. His rulership extends beyond all traditions and prescriptions of man.

The qualities of character required by Jesus bring great reward in heaven though not appreciated by many in this life. If we build on a solid foundation, our lives will be secure with God.

Our attitudes toward others should be loving and forgiving, just as Jesus was loving and forgiving.