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The Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6)

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Luke 6

Sabbath controversies
Now it came to pass on a Sabbath that he was going through the grain fields; and his disciples plucked the ears and ate, rubbing them in their hands. 2 But certain of the Pharisees said: Why do you do what is unlawful on the Sabbath day? 3 And Jesus answered them, saying: Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and they that were with him? 4 How he entered the house of God, and took and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those with him? 5 And he said to them: The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.
   6 And it came to pass on another Sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught; and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. 7 And the scribes and Pharisees watched him closely, whether he would heal on the Sabbath, that they might find an accusation against him. 8 But he knew their thoughts, and he said to the man that had his hand withered: Rise up and stand in the midst. And he arose and stood. 9 And Jesus said to them: I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good, or to do harm? To save a life, or to destroy it? 10 And he looked round about on them all, and then said to him: Stretch out your hand. And he did so, and his hand was restored. 11 But they were filled with rage, and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.

Jesus calls and teaches His disciples
   12 And it came to pass in these days that he went out into the mountain to pray; and he continued all night in prayer to God. 13 And when it was day, he called his disciples, and he chose from them twelve, whom also he named apostles. 14 Simon, whom he also named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, 15 and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became the betrayer.
   17 And he came down with them and stood on a level place; and a great crowd of his disciples, and a great number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. 18 And they that were disturbed with unclean spirits were healed. 19 And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power went out from him and healed them all.
20 Then he lifted up his eyes toward his disciples, and said: Blessed are you poor; for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 Blessed are you that hunger now; for you shall be filled. Blessed are you that weep now; for you shall laugh. 22 Blessed are you, when men shall hate you, and when they shall reject you, and reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man's sake. 23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy; for your reward is great in heaven. For in the same manner did their fathers treat the prophets. 24 But woe to you that are rich! For you have received your consolation. 25 Woe to you, you that are full now! For you shall hunger. Woe to you that laugh now! For you shall mourn and weep. 26 Woe to you, when all men shall speak well of you! For in the same manner did their fathers do to the false prophets.
   27 But I say to you that hear: Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you,
   28 bless those that curse you, pray for those that mistreat you. 29 To him that hits you on the cheek offer also the other, and from him that takes away your cloak- withhold not your coat also. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you, from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back; 31 and as you would that men should do to you, do you also to them likewise.
   32 For if you love those that love you, what praise do you have? For even sinners love those that love them. 33 And if you do good to those that do good to you, what praise do you have? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those of whom you hope to receive, what praise do you have? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive again as much. 35 But love your enemies, and do good and lend, never despairing, and your reward shall be great, and you shall be sons of the Most High. For He is kind toward the unthankful and evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
   37 Judge not, and you shall not be judged; condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you shall be forgiven. 38 Give; and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, shall they pour into your lap. For with what measure you use, it shall be measured to you again.
   39 And he spoke also a parable to them: Can the blind guide the blind? Shall they not both fall into a pit? 40 The disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is perfected, shall be as his teacher.
   41 And why do you see the splinter that is in your brother's eye, but do not consider the beam that is in your own eye? 42 Or how can you say to your brother: Brother, let me cast out the splinter that is in your eye- when you yourself do not perceive the beam that is in your own eye? You hypocrite! Cast out first the beam out of your own eye, and then shall you see clearly to cast out the splinter that is in your brother's eye.
   43 For there is no good tree that brings forth corrupt fruit, nor a corrupt tree that brings forth good fruit. 44 For each tree is known by its own fruit. For from thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush do they gather grapes. 45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth that which is good, and the evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth that which is evil. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
   46 And why do you call me 'Lord, Lord' and not do the things which I say? 47 Everyone that comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you to whom he is like. 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug and went deep, and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when the flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it; because it had been founded upon a rock. 49 But he that hears and does not do is like a man that built a house upon the earth without a foundation, against which the stream broke- and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.



6:4 Jesus compared those who follow Him to the priests. We are all priests within the new community Jesus has established (1 Pet. 2:9). We all have responsibility for the spiritual welfare of each other; we are not to leave it to a class of specialists to care for them.

6:7 Do you feel in some contexts that everything you do is being watched critically by someone? Jesus knows how you feel.

6:9 Jesus speaks of omitting to do good (in this case, healing the man) as doing harm and destroying life. Sins of commission aren’t the only sins; sins of omission are as bad as proactively murdering or harming someone.

6:11 Rage- Often acts of goodness provoke anger in others; they look at us with an evil eye because we have done good. This often happened to Jesus (Mt. 20:15). This kind of spiritual jealousy led to His death, and we will face it too.

6:19 Healing people was so demanding upon Jesus; He felt the power going out of Him (as in 8:46). If we feel exhausted by serving others- Jesus has ‘been there’.

6:20-22 It’s paradoxical that Christians want to be happy, wealthy, popular and well fed. We may take a second job or a very demanding one which leaves us no time or energy for Divine things- just because we want to ‘buy’ those very things which we are blessed if we don’t have. This is a huge inversion of values.

6:23 Is great- God is watching our lives closely, and sacrificing things for His sake means we accrue some ‘reward’ immediately with Him. Salvation is a gift, by grace. But the nature of who we will eternally be is a function of the degree of sacrifice and service we have achieved in this life.

6:29 When Jesus was struck on the cheek He asked “Why do you smite me?” (Jn. 18:23). He didn’t literally offer His other cheek. So we must interpret this in principle rather than literally.

6:32 Let’s think what acts of love we can do today to those who do not love us and will not recompense us.

6:38 They- The Angels at the day of judgment. For this doesn’t come true in this life.

6:40 We will be “perfected” when Jesus returns and we are given God’s nature (Heb. 11:40). Then, we will be like Jesus. ‘We shall be like Him’ (1 Jn. 3:2). The wonder of the Kingdom will not simply be that we won’t die- but that we will be like Jesus, with His love, sensitivity, authority, ability to talk with God with no barriers between… Oh how rich the promise.

6:41 If Jesus was a carpenter, He may have thought up this idea one day whilst working, with His mind always on the things of God.

6:45 We may think that we’re clever enough to think evil of a person but say nice things to their face. The culture of nicespeak is no more than hypocrisy, and God will judge it. Our thoughts will eventually be reflected in our words. We must change our hearts and not our outward appearances.