Luke 6:1-5 . PLUCKING CORN-EARS ON THE SABBATH.Mark 2:23-28 .)
1. second sabbath after the first--an obscure expression, occurring here only, generally understood to mean, the first sabbath after the second day of unleavened bread. The reasons cannot be stated here, nor is the opinion itself quite free from difficulty.
5. Lord also--rather "even" (as in Matthew 12:8 ).
of the sabbath--as naked a claim to all the authority of Him who gave the law at Mount Sinai as could possibly be made; that is, "I have said enough to vindicate the men ye carp at on My account: but in this place is the Lord of the law, and they have His sanction." (See Mark 2:28 .)
Luke 6:6-11 . WITHERED HAND HEALED.Mark 3:1-7 .)
7. watched whether, &c.--In Matthew ( Matthew 12:9 ) this is put as an ensnaring question of theirs to our Lord, who accordingly speaks to the state of their hearts ( Luke 6:9 ), just as if they had spoken it out.
9. good, or . . . evil, save . . . or destroy--By this novel way of putting His case, our Lord teaches the great ethical principle, that to neglect any opportunity of doing good is to incur the guilt of doing evil; and by this law He bound His own spirit. (See Mark 3:4 .)
11. filled with madness--The word denotes senseless rage at the confusion to which our Lord had put them, both by word and deed.
what . . . do to Jesus--not so much whether to get rid of Him, but how to compass it.
Luke 6:12-49 . THE TWELVE APOSTLES CHOSEN--GATHERING MULTITUDES--GLORIOUS HEALING.
12, 13. went out--probably from Capernaum.
all night in prayer . . . and when . . . day, he called, &c.--The work with which the next day began shows what had been the burden of this night's devotions. As He directed His disciples to pray for "laborers" just before sending themselves forth we find the Lord Himself in prolonged communion with His Father in preparation for the solemn appointment of those men who were to give birth to His Church, and from whom the world in all time was to take a new mould. How instructive is this!
17. in the plain--by some rendered "on a level place," that is, a piece of high tableland, by which they understand the same thing, as "on the mountain," where our Lord delivered the sermon recorded by Matthew ( Matthew 5:1 ), of which they take this following discourse of Luke to be but an abridged form. But as the sense given in our version is the more accurate, so there are weighty reasons for considering the discourses different. This one contains little more than a fourth of the other; it has woes of its own, as well as the beatitudes common to both; but above all, that of Matthew was plainly delivered a good while before, while this was spoken after the choice of the twelve; and as we know that our Lord delivered some of His weightiest sayings more than once, there is no difficulty in supposing this to be one of His more extended repetitions; nor could anything be more worthy of it.
19. healed--kept healing, denoting successive acts of mercy till it went over "all" that needed. There is something unusually grand and pictorial in this touch of description.
20, 21. In the Sermon on the Mount the benediction is pronounced upon the "poor in spirit" and those who "hunger and thirst after righteousness" ( Matthew 5:3 Matthew 5:6 ). Here it is simply on the "poor" and the "hungry now." In this form of the discourse, then, our Lord seems to have had in view "the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which God hath promised to them that love Him," as these very beatitudes are paraphrased by James ( James 2:5 ).
21. laugh--How charming is the liveliness of this word, to express what in Matthew is called being "comforted!"
22. separate you--whether from their Church, by excommunication, or from their society; both hard to flesh and blood.
for the Son of man's sake--Compare Matthew 5:11 , "for MY SAKE"; and immediately before, "for righteousness' sake" ( Luke 6:10 ). Christ thus binds up the cause of righteousness in the world with the reception of Himself.
23. leap for joy--a livelier word than "be exceeding glad" of "exult" ( Matthew 5:12 ).
24, 25. rich . . . full . . . laugh--who have all their good things and joyous feelings here and now, in perishable objects.
shall hunger--their inward craving strong as ever, but the materials of satisfaction forever gone.
39. Can the blind, &c.--not in the Sermon on the Mount, but recorded by Matthew in another and very striking connection ( Matthew 15:14 ).
40. The disciple, &c.--that is, "The disciple aims to come up to his master, and he thinks himself complete when he does so: if you then be blind leaders of the blind, the perfection of one's training under you will only land him the more certainly in one common ruin with yourselves."