Luke Chapter 6 Continued
From verses 17-49: The Sermon on the Plateau. The similarity to the Sermon on the Mount is remarkable. It is possible, of course, that Jesus simply preached the same sermon on more than one occasion. It is evident that He often used the same material more than once, e.g., (12:58-59; Matt. 5:25-26). It appears more likely however, that these are variant accounts of the same event.
Luke’s version is abbreviated somewhat, because he omitted sections from the sermon that are uniquely Jewish (particularly Christ’s exposition of the law). Aside from that, the two sermons follow the same flow of thought, beginning with the Beatitudes and ending with the parable about building on the rock.
Differences in wording between the two accounts are undoubtedly owing to the fact that the sermon was originally delivered in Aramaic. Luke and Matthew translate into Greek with slight variances. Of course, both translations are equally inspired and authoritative.
We will begin this lesson just after Jesus had chosen 12 disciples and came down the mountain to find a large group of people from all over the area waiting for Him. These people had come to hear Him preach and to receive healing from Him. We will pick up this lesson now (in Luke 6:18).
Luke 6:18 “And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.”
“Unclean spirits”: Another name for demons, used 10 times in the gospels.
This is a continuation of (verse 17), in the last lesson which said they came to be healed of their diseases. Jesus healed everyone whether the healing was physical or mental. He also delivered those possessed of devils.
Luke 6:19 “And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed [them] all.”
“There went virtue out of Him”: Christ’s power, His inherent ability to minister and work supernaturally, proceeded from Him under the conscious control of His sovereign will. In (Mark 5:30), Jesus asked “who touched My garments” when the woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years touched Him?
Jesus’ power was unlimited. Virtue in this particular sentence means miraculous power. The woman who touched the hem of His garment was healed by this virtue. This power was overwhelming.
Verses 20-25: Luke’s account of the Beatitudes is abbreviated (Matt. 5:3-12). He lists only 4, and balances them with 4 parallel woes.
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.”
“Ye poor”: Christ’s concern for the poor and outcasts is one of Luke’s favorite themes. Luke used a personal pronoun “you”, where (Matthew 5:3), employed a definite article (“the). Luke was underscoring the tender, personal sense of Christ’s words.
A comparison of the two passages reveals that Christ was dealing with something more significant than mere material poverty and wealth however. The poverty spoken of here refers primarily to a sense of one’s own spiritual impoverishment.
We see in this first statement of the Sermon on the Mount that most of those who followed Jesus would have been classed as the poor, because they were the working class of people. He was also speaking to his disciples who had been fishermen and other working men.
This really is saying to them; don’t worry about not being wealthy now, because you will inherit the kingdom of God. Then and now it is more difficult for the wealthy and highly educated to humble themselves and admit they need the Savior. Extreme wealth and great educations do not bring about humbleness, ordinarily.
Luke 6:21 “Blessed [are ye] that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed [are ye] that weep now: for ye shall laugh.”
“Ye that hunger”: No mere craving for food, but a hunger and thirst for righteousness.
These future possessors of the earth are it’s presently installed rightful heirs, and even now they “hunger and thirst after righteousness.” This is the opposite of the self-righteousness of the Pharisees. It speaks of those who seek God’s righteousness rather than attempting to establish a righteousness of their own (Rom 10:3; Phil. 3:9).
What they seek will fill them. I.e., it will satisfy their hunger and thirst for a right relationship with God. They experience a deep desire for personal righteousness, which in itself is a proof of their spiritual rebirth.
In Matthew, it says hunger after righteousness. If we seek for the things of God diligently, He will give them to us. So much is said about weeping, but I believe this is a weeping for the lost souls. We shall laugh with joy when they come to the Lord and His fullness.
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.”
“For the Son of man’s sake”: Persecution per se is not something to be sought. But when evil is spoken against a Christian falsely and for Christ’s sake (Matt. 5:11), such persecution carries with it the blessing of God.
If you take a stand for the Lord, and do not waver, even to the point of death, then you will be called blessed in heaven. The interesting thing is that many of these disciples He was speaking to here, did stand up for Jesus, and they were killed because they would not renounce Him.
Even now, to take a stand to live for Jesus may cost you your so-called friends and many times your family as well. They do not want to be around you, because you talk about Jesus. They label you as a fanatic, and they speak evil of you.
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.”
Persecutions were very prominent in the days just after Jesus’ resurrection, and many like Peter were martyred rejoicing that they could suffer for Jesus’ name. Many, burned at the stake, died praising God. Even in the Old Testament, prophets suffered.
History tells us that Isaiah was sawed in half for the Lord. There are many, even today, who are suffering ridicule and persecution for the name of the Lord. Those who suffer with Jesus or for Jesus will reign with Him.
2 Timothy 2:12 “If we suffer, we shall also reign with [him]: if we deny [him], he also will deny us:”
You see, the Lord knows when you suffer upholding His name, and He will reward you greatly. We, like these early martyrs, should be thrilled when we suffer for His name, knowing that Jesus will have a great reward for us in heaven.
Luke 6:24 “But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.”
This has to do with those who have put their faith in their riches. Such as the rich young man who came to Jesus to be saved and went away sorrowful, because he chose his riches over eternal life. There is nothing wrong with being rich if you are not putting those riches ahead of your love for the Lord and His people; the misuse of wealth is spoken of as sin.
Wealth can be used to further the kingdom of God and to help the poor and suffering of the world. The Lord would have a rich man to be quick to distribute to those less fortunate, as we read (in 1 Timothy 6:17-19; especially verse 18).
1 Timothy 6:18 “That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;”
Riches in this life used selfishly on earthly goods bring no rewards in heaven.
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.”
This is speaking of people who are only interested in their own welfare; who fill their bellies to overflowing knowing that their neighbor is hungry and not doing anything about it.
“Laughing” here, is an indication that this person is caught up in the things this world calls fun with no thought for tomorrow. The mourning and weeping would be because they had missed heaven.
Luke 6:26 “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! For so did their fathers to the false prophets.”
If you are a friend to the world, you are not Jesus’ friend.
We read (in John 15:19). “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”
Read (John 15:17-21).
Luke 6:27 “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,”
If we are followers of Jesus, we must pattern our lives after His. His enemies, who nailed Him to the cross, He prayed for and said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”.
Jesus loved us while we were yet in sin enough to give His life on the cross for us. If we are to be Christ-like, we must love those, even if they are unlovable.
Luke 6:28 “Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.”
We read (in Romans 12:20-21): “Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.” “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Luke 6:29 “And unto him that smiteth thee on the [one] cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not [to take thy] coat also.”
This deals only with matters of personal retaliation, not criminal offenses or acts of military aggression. Jesus applied this principle of non-retaliation to affronts against one’s dignity (Matthew 5:39), lawsuits to gain one’s personal assets (Matthew 5:40), infringements on one’s liberty (Matthew 5:41), and violations of property rights (Matthew 5:42). He was calling for a full surrender of all personal rights.
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord” (Romans 12:l9).
This lesson is not to be taken literally, but is teaching a very important lesson on unselfishness and on charity toward others.
Luke 6:30 “Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask [them] not again.”
We all know that Jesus taught as long as it was in our power to help the needy, we should. This Scripture does not say give them everything you have, and it does not say keep on giving over and over. We should help people to help themselves.
Luke 6:31 “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”
We should always do as much and more for others as we want them to do for us. We are to set an example for our neighbors. We are to help them in every way possible.
Luke 6:32 “For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.”
Even the evil people love those that love them. If you love to be loved in return, you are no better than the rest of the world. We Christians are taught to love the unlovable; to love those who hate us. This unselfish love is what sets us aside from those of the world.
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.”
There really are 3 ways mankind can live. Worldly people dealing with each other do good to those who do good to them, those really caught up in terrible evil return evil when someone does good for them.
A Christian tries to do good all the time, even when the other person is doing evil to them. We choose to be a Christian and do good, or to belong to the devil and do bad. Or to ride the fence and be worldly and just do for those who do something for you.
Luke Chapter 6 Continued Questions
1. When Jesus came down the mountain after choosing the 12 disciples, who was waiting for Him?
2. What 2 things had they come for?
3. What happened to those vexed with unclean spirits?
4. Why did they want to touch Jesus?
5. In this particular Scripture, what does virtue mean?
6. In verse 20, who did Jesus call blessed?
8. Why would those who followed Jesus be classed as poor?
9. What was Jesus really saying to them about being poor?
10. What did He promise those who hunger?
11. What should we hunger after?
12. We are blessed when men hate us for what cause?
13. If you make a strong stand for Jesus today, what is apt to happen?
14. Who suffered persecution for the faith even before the disciples?
15. When Peter was crucified, how did He take it?
16. How does history tell us Isaiah died?
17. We find in 2 Timothy 2:12 that if we suffer with Him, we shall ________ With Him.
18. The woe, spoken on the rich, is for what reason in verse 24?
19. Who is a good example in the New Testament of putting wealth before God?
20. In 1 Timothy 6:17-18, we are told that the rich should be quick to do what?
21. In verse 25, what is the mourning and weeping probably indicating?
22. When everyone speaks well of you, who does this indicate you are a friend of?
23. In the 15th chapter of John, we learn that the world will love you if you are what?
24. Jesus tells the Christians to love whom?
25. What are we to do to those who curse us?
26. What are we to do to those who despitefully use us?
27. In Romans, what does it tell us to do for our enemy if he hungers?
28. How are we to overcome evil?
29. Who are we to give to, if we choose to be like Jesus?
30. How must we love, if we are to be separate from the world?
31. What are the three ways we can live?