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Luke Chapter 6:1-49 

Memory verses for this week:  2 Tim 3:14  But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; 

Introduction: We continue our study of the book of Luke as we cover chapter 6.  In chapter five, we saw the calling of Simon Peter and the sons of Zebedee,  James and John.   Jesus called them from their occupation as fishermen, and told them they would henceforth be fishers of men.   They left all and followed Jesus.   We later saw the leper being healed.   Then the man with the palsy was forgiven of his sins and also healed of his illness as the Pharisees stood by condemning the Lord.   We also saw the call of Levi as he stood by taking the taxes as a publican.   Whatever our position in this life, whatever our condition, God can use us to reach others with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I.   Jesus and the Sabbath 

Luke 6:1  And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.

Luke 6:2  And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days? 

Many misunderstand the purpose of the Sabbath Day.   While God did rest after making the world and all things that were made, he was not tired.   The Sabbath was setup for the benefit of man.   God knew we needed a day to set aside to refuel and replenish ourselves, so we are to work only six days and set aside the other day to rest.   While they were not to work according to the commandment, some things were allowed to be done on the Sabbath.   You could alleviate human suffering of those that were sick.   You could water your animals on the Sabbath and you could pull an animal out of the ditch if he fell in on the Sabbath day. 

Luke 13:15  The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?


Luke 14:5  And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day?


As the disciples passed through the fields, it says they plucked the ears of corn (wheat) and did eat.   While this may seem wrong to us, it was lawful for a person to take what they could eat as they went through a field.   However, a person could not take more than he or she could eat.    

Luke 6:3  And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungered, and they which were with him;

Luke 6:4  How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the showbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone?

Luke 6:5  And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. 

The Pharisees (as always) seek to find fault and condemn the disciples and Jesus of breaking the law of the Sabbath when they gathered the corn.   Jesus points out how that when David went into the temple, he ate the showbread which was set aside for the priests only.  The Lord was emphasizing that man is more important in the eyes of God than any ritual observance.   Their argument was based upon a tradition of the elders.   They were very big on traditions, more than following the commandments of God.  Jesus was the Lord of the Sabbath.  He was with God (and was God) when it was instituted to help man. 

Mat 15:2  Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.

Mat 15:3  But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?


II.  Healing of the Withered Hand 

Luke 6:6  And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.

Luke 6:7  And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him.

Luke 6:8  But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. 

This incident happened in the synagogue which was of course the place of worship by the Jews.   Jesus was always about doing God’s work, and he was always seeking those in need to help.  He never overlooks one in distress or in trouble.   Psalms 46:1 says he is an ever present help in the time of trouble. 

Psa 46:1  To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 

The scribes and Pharisees saw the man also, and Jesus knew their thoughts.  Jesus know what we are thinking, both good and bad.  These legalists of the law would have left this man in his wretched condition than to have him healed on the Sabbath.   Jesus commands the man to rise up and to stand forth.  The man does as he was instructed. 

Luke 6:9  Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?

Luke 6:10  And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

Luke 6:11  And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus. 

Jesus asks them an important question.  “Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil?  To save life, or to destroy it?” 

Jesus then heals the man, and it says he was totally restored.   Note that is the way all things were done by the Lord, totally and wholly, not like those faith healers of our day.   Instead of them rejoicing with what Christ had accomplished, it says they were filled with madness and wanted to get rid of Jesus.  Just because Jesus had broke their traditions, they want to have nothing to do with him.  Many churches today are like the Pharisees.    They will hold onto a tradition rather than change, when it has nothing to do with fulfilling the Lord’s commands.


III.  The Twelve Apostles Chosen 

Luke 6:12  And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

Luke 6:13  And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

Luke 6:14  Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,

Luke 6:15  Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,

Luke 6:16  And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor. 

We see Jesus going out and praying all night before choosing the apostles.  When we have an important decision, we should always consult the Lord about it.     Jesus goes out among the disciples and names the 12 of them as apostles.  These were the first officers set in the church.   These twelve were actually young men, but most pictures we see of them show them as much older.  Several of the apostles served the Lord for many years after Christ’s death.   Of course, some died early death’s for the cause of Christ.    We should learn from this that when we are young is the right time to start serving the Lord.   We never know if we will live a few years or a long life. 

1 Cor 12:28  And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 

J. Vernon McGee said this about the twelve disciples chosen as apostles. 

As I mentioned previously, some of the disciples were introduced to our Lord when He went to Jerusalem. Later, walking by the Sea of Galilee, He called those men to follow Him. Then they went back to fishing. And He went by and called them again, at which time, the record tells us, “they forsook all, and followed him” (Luke 5:11). Now we have come to the third stage. Out of an unspecified number of disciples, He chose twelve men to be His apostles.  [i]

 Let’s look at the twelve chosen.  First we have Simon the fisherman, whom Jesus named Peter.  He was a rock-like man, one that was built upon Christ.   Of course Christ is the great foundation Rock on whom the church was built.  Andrew, who was Peter’s brother, excelled as a personal worker.  It was he who led Peter to Christ.   The sons of Zebedee, James and John, were also fishermen.  They were called the sons of thunder, suggesting that they may have been energetic young men.  James was the first to be put to death for the gospel’s sake by Herod.   John lived to be over 90 years of age, and suffered much for Christ in his life.  He died a natural death at Ephesus.  Philip and Bartholomew were linked together.   Matthew was a tax collector under the Roman Government with his office in Capernaum.   Thomas is remembered as the one who doubted.   He had to see the nail prints in Christ’s hands to believe the resurrection.  James, the son of Alphaeus, is one that little is mentioned.  He and his brother Judas (not Iscariot) were cousins of Christ after the flesh.  Simon Zelotes, the Canaanite, was formerly a member of a secret order that had its object to overthrow the Roman Government with the intention of delivering the Jews from the Romans.   He turned from that mission to follow Jesus Christ.  The last mentioned is Judas Iscariot who was the traitor.   He had his purpose, but it was a bad one.  Jesus said that it had been better if this man was never born.

Luke 6:17  And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;

Luke 6:18  And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.

Luke 6:19  And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all. 

Jesus and the apostles come down and many people came from Judaea and Jerusalem to be healed.   Whatever their problem, be it sickness or being vexed of unclean spirits, Jesus healed them.  If they could but touch Christ, the virtue would go out of him and heal them.   What power Jesus possessed. 


IV.  The Beatitudes 

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.

Luke 6:21  Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

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.

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. 

This is sometimes called the sermon on the mount.  This sermon has given us some of the highest ethical teaching in the world.  This was a message to the disciples of Jesus Christ and to all of us who are saved.  This is how we should live and behave.   He gives the blessings to various classes of people.  If you read the record of the beatitudes in Matthew chapter 5, you will see the deep spiritual side of this sermon.   Jesus tells us that if evil men turn us away from their company due to our service for Christ, we should rejoice.   For GREAT is our reward in heaven.    Remember when the disciples were jailed.  Rather than feeling sorry for themselves, they were praising God’s name in song.  And the Philippian jailer was saved due to their witness. 

Acts 16:25  And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

Acts 16:26  And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.

Acts 16:27  And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.

Acts 16:28  But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

Acts 16:29  Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,

Acts 16:30  And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

Acts 16:31  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thy house.


Luke 6:24  But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.

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.

Luke 6:26  Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. 

After hearing all the blessings awaiting those who do good, we have the record of the woes that await those that are not serving the Lord.  We had better be careful when we start trusting in our money or if everyone speaks well of you.  You aren’t taking much of a stand when no one finds fault with you.   It is a given… the Godly will suffer persecution. 

2 Tim 3:12  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 

 Luke 6:27  But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

Luke 6:28  Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.

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.

Luke 6:30  Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

Luke 6:31  And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. 

We are never to be like the world.   The world says to get even and make people pay for things that they do to you.  Get revenge.   The Lord says to love your enemies and to do good to those who hate and despitefully use you.    Boy, this is hard to do.   Few are so mature in their Christian walk that they can do what verse 29 says.  When someone smites you, your natural instinct is to lash out against that person.   But Jesus said to offer the other cheek… if they take way your cloak, give them your coat too.    Verse 31 is the golden rule.  If we treat others as we want to be treated, we will prosper. 

Luke 6:32  For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.

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.

Luke 6:34  And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.

Luke 6:35  But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

Luke 6:36  Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. 

We are to be God-like, and that means we are to love our enemies and constantly do good, hoping for nothing in return.    Many today demand justice, but what we all need is mercy.   And Jesus said to be merciful to others as He has been merciful to us. 

Luke 6:37  Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

Luke 6:38  Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Luke 6:39  And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?

Luke 6:40  The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

Luke 6:41  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Luke 6:42  Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.

Luke 6:43  For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

Luke 6:44  For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.

Luke 6:45  A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Verse 37 has been used to justify doing anything and telling others to not judge that sin.  But that is not what this is about.   We are all to use discretion and look to the scriptures for direction in our lives.   Never should we fail to judge right from wrong in our own lives.  And that is what this is all about… judging ourselves versus judging someone else.  It is so much easier to see the errors in our brothers and sisters lives than to see our own.   We need to judge our own lives and we won’t have time to be judging others.

Luke 6:46  And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Luke 6:47  Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like:

Luke 6:48  He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.

Luke 6:49  But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

If we want the blessing of God on our lives, we must obey his commandments.  The bible says the commandments are not grievous, meaning they are all for our won good.   He says if we will do this, we will have a secure foundation like the house that the man built on the rock.  When the storms came, the house stood.  God will liken us to that house when we stand on Jesus, our solid rock.  However, if we build on sand, the ways of the world, we will face great destruction.


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Prov 4:18  But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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[i]J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.