Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 6:17-49

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Jesus's Sermon on the Plain - Luke 6:17-49

Having called his disciples to himself and set apart twelve as apostles, he taught them about his kingdom. Specifically, he presented the essentials of the lifestyle that would mark his disciples. This is not about how to enter the kingdom, but how the church ought to live in the world now that the kingdom of God has dawned. In this way, Jesus redefined life for his followers. There are many similarities and differences between these verses and Matt. 5:1–7:29. Some believe these are two separate events that included similar teaching material. It is possible that Jesus taught similar material at different times given the itinerate nature of his ministry, especially since this sermon is said to be on a "plain" and the one in Matthew is on a "mount." It is also possible, though less likely, that this is same sermon as the one in Matthew but edited differently for their respective audiences (Gentiles vs. Jews). This section begins with a summary introduction (6:17-19), followed by three sections of teaching (6:20-26; 6:27-38; and 6:39-49).

Luke 6:17

mountain . . . level place. Matthew only focused on the mountain as a location (Matt. 5:1). However, Luke further detailed that Jesus gathered people on a plain somewhere on the mountainside. disciples. The primary audience for this teaching (v. 20). Judea and Jerusalem . . . Tyre and Sidon. The old covenant people who were largely made up of the physical descendants of Abraham. Jesus was calling spiritual Israel to himself, made up of Jews and Gentiles (see Rom. 9:6-8; Gal. 3:7-9, 27-29). The inclusion of the Gentiles would begin in earnest much later, after Jesus death and resurrection (see Matt. 28:19; Acts 1:8; 10:1–11:26; 13:1-2). But there were already hints of it here (see 10:13-14).

Luke 6:18

A summary of Jesus's ministry. He taught with authority and revealed God's saving power through healing and casting out demons. Luke emphasized his teaching ministry as primary (5:15).

Luke 6:20-26

In this context, blessedness is about a state of well-being and approval when it comes to our relationship to God. It's about receiving the gift of grace when one follows Jesus. In contrast to the statements of blessings (beatitudes) that preceded, Jesus also offered woes (see 16:19-31). These were pronounces of God's wrath and judgment. Jesus reverses the ideas and values of the world when it comes to present and future circumstances. The statements Jesus makes are not absolute, but relative to those who put their faith in him (vv. 20a, 22b).

Luke 6:20

disciples. See note on 6:17-49. Blessed. See note on 6:20-26. poor. This likely includes both spiritual poverty and economic poverty (see 4:18-19; Pss. 40:17; 86:1; 109:22; Is. 61:1-2; Matt. 5:3). Those who are without resources and depend on God's grace by faith will see the kingdom (see (12:31-32; 18:16-17).

Luke 6:21

Poverty may bring hunger and cause one to weep. Nevertheless, it is those who hunger for God (Matt. 5:6) and weep over sin (Matt. 5:4) that are part of God's kingdom. Even the physically poor and hungry look forward to the banquet and salvation of the kingdom (Isa. 25:6; 61:1-3). God alone can satisfy one's deepest longings, forgive sin, and make the heart glad (see Ps. 126:1-3; Isa. 60:20; 61:3; Jer. 31:13).

Luke 6:22-23

These final verses emphasize the hopeful nature of the beatitude (blessed) statements to those who are politically and spiritually oppressed. Just as Jesus himself was opposed, so people would hate, exclude, and insult his disciples (10:16; John 15:8; Acts 3–4; 7; 21–28). Such rejection because of Jesus brings blessing from God; he has not forgotten his people in such times (Jam. 2:7; 1 Pet. 4:14-15). Knowing this allows one to rejoice now for a great reward awaits them in heaven (Acts 5:41; 16:25; 21:13). Moreover, it is sadly normal for God's righteous people to suffer abuse at the hands of the wicked. Even the prophets of Israel were treated that way (see 1 Kgs. 18:4, 13; 22:27; 2 Chron. 16:10; 24:20-21; Neh. 9:26; Jer. 2:30; 11:18-22; 37:15-16).

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