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' teaching about the Sabbath enrages the religious authorities and deepens their conflict. The selection of twelve apostles is recounted and this is followed by the "Sermon on the Plain", where key aspects of Jesus' teaching are presented.
- 1 Text
- 2 Structure
- 3 The Sabbath conflict
- 4 The choosing of the twelve apostles
- 5 The Sermon on the Plain
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The New King James Version organises this chapter as follows:
- Luke 6:1-5 = Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath
- Luke 6:6-11 = Healing on the Sabbath
- Luke 6:12-16 = The Twelve Apostles
- Luke 6:17-19 = Jesus Heals a Great Multitude
- Luke 6:20-23 = The Beatitudes
- Luke 6:24-26 = Jesus Pronounces Woes
- Luke 6:27-36 = Love Your Enemies
- Luke 6:37-42 = Do Not Judge
- Luke 6:43-45 = A Tree Is Known by Its Fruit
- Luke 6:46-49 = Build on the Rock
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 synoptic 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: Greek: εν σαββατω δευτεροπρωτω (en sabbatō deuteroprōtō), translated in the King James Version as "on the second Sabbath after the first". This phrase is not found elsewhere in the Gospel, and it is omitted in some ancient manuscripts, the New International Version and some other modern versions. Evangelical writer Jeremy Myers suggests this could have been 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 extends this privilege 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 synoptic gospels (Mark 3:1-6, Matthew 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 by a description of the multitude gathered from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, and then by a sermon that lays down key aspects of Jesus' teachings. In the parallel section of Matthew's gospel, the crowds are said to have come from Galilee, and from the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan. Mark's description is the most extensive of the three synoptic gospels: "a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and beyond the Jordan; and those from Tyre and Sidon". The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges concludes "thus there were Jews, Greeks, Phoenicians, and Arabs among our Lord’s hearers".
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 below the mountain at a level spot: Lutheran theologian Johann Bengel suggests perhaps half-way down the mountain: "a more suitable locality for addressing a large audience than a completely level plain". Some scholars believe that the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon on the Plain 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.
And he [Jesus Christ] lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said,
-  Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
-  Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled.
-  Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
-  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.
Love thy enemies
As a key teaching of Jesus, this saying 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
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 in 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 6:1- Textus Receptus
- Luke 6:1
- Jeremy Myers. "Grace Commentary: Luke 6:1-5". Grace Commentary. Retrieved 2013-05-27.
- Luke 6:17
- Matthew 4:25
- Mark 3:7-8
- Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges on Luke 6, accessed 4 June 2018
- Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament on Luke 6, accessed 4 June 2018
- Ehrman 2004, p. 101
- Luke 6:20
- Luke 6:21
- Luke 6:22
| Chapters of the Bible
Gospel of Luke