Luke 6:4-16 on Papyrus 4, written about AD 150-175.
|Book||Gospel of Luke|
|Bible part||New Testament|
|Order in the Bible part||3|
Luke 6 is the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Luke in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. Jesus's teaching about the Sabbath enrages the religious authorities and deepens their conflict. The recruitment of Jesus' first disciples is completed and followed by a sermon where key aspects of Jesus's teaching is presented.
- 1 The Sabbath conflict
- 2 The choosing of the twelve apostles
- 3 The Sermon on the Plain
- 4 See also
- 5 References
The Sabbath conflict
Luke relates two events that show the differences in the teaching about the Sabbath and lead to a widening conflict between Jesus and the religious authorities.
Lord of the Sabbath
This story is told in the synaptic gospels (Mark 2:23-28, Matt 12:1-8, Luke 6:1-5). Jesus' disciples are accused of breaking the Law (Exodus 20:8-11) by the Jewish authorities who see them pluck wheat, rub it and eat it during the Sabbath. Jesus replies that their action is allowed as the Sabbath is made for people and not the other way around. He recalls the action of David and his men who when hungry received the showbread (1Samuel 21:1-6). Jesus indicates that he - the Son of Man - is the Lord of the Sabbath.
Luke places the event at a specific date: "sabbatō deuteroprōtō" (translated in the King James Version as "the second Sabbath after the first"), a phrase not found elsewhere in the Gospel. Myers suggests this to be the day of Shavuot (Festival of Weeks) which would give the action of Jesus an added significance. Only the priests were allowed to collect wheat and process it on the Sabbath to bake the showbread (which they could eat). Jesus gives this privilidge to his disciples, - in essence, in his teaching, priesthood is open to all. This action represents a radical departure from traditional ways and structures and undermines the special status of the priests. 
The healing on the Sabbath
The story is told in the synaptic gospels (Mark 3:1-6, Matt 12:9-13, Luke 6:6-11). In the synagogue Jesus calls forward a man with a withered hand on a Sabbath. Healing him by the verbal command: "Stretch forth thy hand" he challenges the priestly authorities. They do not argue with him directly, but are "in anger" (New Life Version, NLV). On the Sabbath they begin to plot against Jesus ignoring his question "I will ask you one thing. Does the Law say to do good on the Day of Rest or to do bad? To save life or to kill?" (NLV).
The choosing of the twelve apostles
After retreating in prayer on a mountain, Jesus chooses twelve apostles, according to Luke (Luke 6:12-16): "Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor".
The Sermon on the Plain
The commissioning of the apostles is followed immediately by a sermon that lays down key aspects of Jesus' teachings.
The four beatitudes and the four woes
The sermon starts with a set of teachings about the four beatitudes and the four woes. The sermon may be compared with the more extensive Sermon on the Mount as recounted by the Gospel of Matthew. Both seem to occur shortly after the commissioning of the twelve apostles featuring Jesus on a mountain. In Luke he delivers the sermon on the way down at a level spot. Some scholars believe that they are the same sermon, while others hold that Jesus frequently preached similar themes in different places. Luke will later relate the six woes of the Pharisees.
Love thy enemies
As a key teaching of Jesus it follows immediately after the four beatitudes and woes. Jesus expands on the theme indicating that loving people who love you is nothing special, instead he challenges his listeners to love those who hate them, and asks his followers to be merciful like the Father. The section also contains what is considered the Golden Rule.
Jesus delivers a warning not to judge others.
The blind leading the blind
This metaphor issues a warning that teaching needs to be done by leaders who are properly trained. It is also reported in Matthew 15:13-14.
A speck of sawdust
Jesus rebukes those who see faults in others and fail to examine themselves. Matthew relates the teaching as well (Matthew 7:3).
The tree and its fruit
Jesus offers a parable about testing a person. It is also related by Matthew 7:15–20.
The wise and foolish builders
This represents a teaching about placing one's life on the solid foundation provided by Jesus. It is also noted in Matthew 7:24–27.
Luke 6 NIV Accessed 22 May 2013
- Jeremy Myers. "Grace Commentary: Luke 6:1-5". Grace Commentary. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
- Ehrman 2004, p. 101
|Chapters of the Bible
Gospel of Luke