Bible Commentary

Luke 6

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Luke 6)

Verse 2

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

Why do ye — St. Matthew and Mark represent the Pharisees as proposing the question to our Lord himself. It was afterward, probably, they proposed it to his disciples.

Verse 4

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

1 Samuel 21:6.

Verse 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.

Matthew 12:9; Mark 3:1.

Verse 9

[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?

To save life or to kill — He just then probably saw the design to kill him rising in their hearts.

Verse 12

[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.

In the prayer of God — The phrase is singular and emphatical, to imply an extraordinary and sublime devotion. Mark 3:13.

Verse 13

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

Matthew 10:2; Mark 3:14; Acts 1:13.

Verse 15

[15] Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,

Simon called Zelotes — Full of zeal; otherwise called Simon the Canaanite.

Verse 17

[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;

On a plain — At the foot of the mountain.

Verse 20

[20] And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

In the following verses our Lord, in the audience of his newly-chosen disciples, and of the multitude, repeats, standing on the plain, many remarkable passages of the sermon he had before delivered, sitting on the mount. He here again pronounces the poor and the hungry, the mourners, and the persecuted, happy; and represents as miserable those who are rich, and full, and joyous, and applauded: because generally prosperity is a sweet poison, and affliction a healing, though bitter medicine. Let the thought reconcile us to adversity, and awaken our caution when the world smiles upon us; when a plentiful table is spread before us, and our cup is running over; when our spirits are gay; and we hear (what nature loves) our own praise from men.

Happy are ye poor — The word seems here to be taken literally: ye who have left al] for me. Matthew 5:3.

Verse 24

[24] But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.

Miserable are ye rich - If ye have received or sought your consolation or happiness therein.

Verse 25

[25] Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.

Full — Of meat and drink, and worldly goods.

That laugh — That are of a light trifling spirit.

Verse 26

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

Wo to you when all men shall speak well of you — But who will believe this?

Verse 27

[27] But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

But I say to you that hear — Hitherto our Lord had spoken only to particular sorts of persons: now he begins speaking to all in general. Matthew 5:44.

Verse 29

[29] And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.

To him that smiteth thee on the cheek — Taketh away thy cloak - These seem to be proverbial expressions, to signify an invasion of the tenderest points of honour and property.

Offer the other — Forbid not thy coat - That is, rather yield to his repeating the affront or injury, than gratify resentment in righting your self; in any method not becoming Christian love. Matthew 5:39.

Verse 30

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

Give to every one — Friend or enemy, what thou canst spare, and he really wants: and of him that taketh away thy goods - By borrowing, if he be insolvent, ask them not again. Matthew 5:42.

Verse 31

[31] And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

Matthew 7:12.

Verse 32

[32] For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.

It is greatly observable, our Lord has so little regard for one of the highest instances of natural virtue, namely, the returning love for love, that he does not account it even to deserve thanks. For even sinners, saith he, do the same: men who do not regard God at all. Therefore he may do this, who has not taken one step in Christianity.

Verse 37

[37] Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

Matthew 7:1.

Verse 38

[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.

Into your bosom — Alluding to the mantles the Jews wore, into which a large quantity of corn might be received.

With the same measure that ye mete with, it shall be measured to you again — Amazing goodness! So we are permitted even to carve for ourselves! We ourselves are, as it were, to tell God how much mercy he shall show us! And can we be content with less than the very largest measure? Give then to man, what thou designest to receive of God.

Verse 39

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

He spake a parable — Our Lord sometimes used parables when he knew plain and open declarations would too much inflame the passions of his hearers. It is for this reason he uses this parable, Can the blind lead the blind? - Can the scribes teach this way, which they know not themselves? Will not they and their scholars perish together? Can they make their disciples any better than themselves? But as for those who will be my disciples, they shall be all taught of God; who will enable them to come to the measure of the stature of the fulness of their Master. Be not ye like their disciples, censuring others, and not amending yourselves. Matthew 15:14.

Verse 40

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

Matthew 10:24; John 15:20.

Verse 41

[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?

Matthew 7:3.

Verse 46

[46] And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

And why call ye me Lord, Lord — What will fair professions avail, without a life answerable thereto? Matthew 7:21.

Verse 47

[47] Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:

Matthew 7:24.

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