James Gray - Concise Bible Commentary
And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,
And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.Luke 5:17-6:49
FORGIVENESS OF SIN (Luke 5:17-26)
Comparing this with Mark 2:1, we find it took place in Capernaum, and possibly in the house in which our Lord dwelt (Matthew 9:1). What proof it contains of the deity of Christ.
JESUS’ EARTHLY MISSION (Luke 5:27-32)
Levi, as we saw in Mark 2, is Matthew whose faith in following Jesus is more remarkable than that of Peter, for he had more to relinquish. He soon showed his faith further by his works (Luke 5:29). But though he made “a great feast” for his Lord, yet the latter made a greater one for him and for others like him in Luke 5:32.
FASTING (Luke 5:33-39)
To impose fasting on disciples who were enjoying His presence, would be like patching an old garment with a piece out of a new, and so both would be spoiled. A new era had begun and everything must be in harmony with it. The joy of the disciples could not accommodate itself to old forms and practices. Nevertheless, till others had proved what that joy was, they would naturally be satisfied with practices to which they had been accustomed (Luke 5:39).
THE SABBATH DAY (Luke 6:1-11)
The events of these verses are recorded by Matthew and Mark also, and we need dwell on them but briefly. The Pharisees were not zealous of God’s law but of their traditions super-added to the law, which practically made it of no effect. There was no law of God against doing what Jesus’
disciples did, nor would God command His people to starve because it was the Sabbath. Works of necessity might be done on that day as the Pharisees themselves taught. The disciples were hungry and in want because they were suffering rejection with their Lord. This is the significance of His reference to David, who also was suffering rejection as God’s anointed when he partook of the shewbread and was sinless in so doing.
HAPPINESS AND WOE (Luke 6:12-26)
We do not dwell again on the choice of the twelve (Luke 6:12-16), having spoken of it in Matthew only to observe that Luke records that the night previously our Lord spent in prayer. But at Luke 6:20 he begins to speak of the heavenly calling of those who are rejected on earth. This is not that the earthly kingdom will never be set up or Israel blessed in it, but only that for the time being the called out ones for heaven are addressed (Hebrews 3:1). Four beatitudes are named, poverty, hunger, sorrow, excommunication might be their lot on earth, but great their reward in heaven (Luke 6:20-21). As another puts it, “the antidote is given before the trial comes.”
TREATMENT OF ENEMIES (Luke 6:27-36)
It is natural to think that Luke is here giving a synopsis of the “Sermon on the Mount” recorded more fully in Matthew (chaps. 5-8), but we face the difficulty that these words were spoken “in the plain” (Luke 6:17). Shall we say that the same instruction was given more than once? There is nothing in the verses different from Matthew, and we only note that the whole teaching is not that of righteousness under the law but of grace, which was entirely new to the hearers. Luke 6:30 is not to be taken unqualifiedly but in connection with our treatment of enemies if any of them should even ask aught of us it is to be given.
TREATMENT OF FELLOW-DISCIPLES (Luke 6:37-45)
SUMMING UP (Luke 6:46-49)
1. Name the seven subjects of teaching in this lesson.
2. How does the incident first-named prove Christ’s deity?
3. Explain “the new wine in old bottles” in your own language.
4. Where is the parallel between Christ’s disciples and David in the incident of Luke 6:1-11?
5. What experience of our Lord preceded the choice of the Twelve?
6. What is the comparative character of this whole teaching of Christ?
7. Can you quote Luke 6:46?