(Concerning the Privileges and Requirements of the Messianic Reign.A Mountain Plateau not far from Capernaum.)Subdivision A.
a MATT. 5:1-2; c LUKE 6:17-20.
c 17 and he came down with them [the twelve apostles whom he had just chosen], and stood on a level place [Harmonists who wish to make this sermon in Luke identical with the sermon on the mount recorded by Matthew, say that Jesus stood during the healing of the multitude, and that he afterwards went a little way up the mountain-side and sat down when he taught ( Matthew 5:1 ). The "level place" is meant by our translators to indicate a plateau on the side of the mountain, and not the plain at its base. In this translation they were influenced somewhat by a desire to make the two sermons one. It is more likely that the sermons were not identical, yet they were probably delivered about the same time, for in each Evangelist the sermon is followed by an account of the healing of the centurion's servant. As it is a matter of no great importance whether there was one sermon or two, and as they contain many things in common, we have taken the liberty of combining them to save time and space. The sermon is an announcement of certain distinctive features of the kingdom of heaven, which was said to be at hand], and a great multitude of his disciples, and a great number of people from all Judæa and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;
19 And all the multitude sought to touch him; for power came forth from him, and healed them all. [By comparing this with the foregoing section, we shall find that Mark had described this same crowd; the only difference between him and Luke being that he tells about it the day before Jesus chose the twelve apostles, while Luke describes its presence on the day after the event. Thus one substantiates the other.]
a 1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into the mountain: and when he had sat down, his disciples came unto him [In sitting he followed the custom of Jewish teachers. The instruction of Jesus was at no time embellished with oratorical action. He relied upon the truth contained in his words, not upon the manner in which he uttered it.]:
c 20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples [Luke notes the eloquent look of Jesus here and elsewhere ( Luke 22:61 ). While spoken to all, the sermon was addressed to the disciples, revealing to them the nature of the kingdom, and contrasting with it: 1. Popular expectation; 2. The Mosaic system; 3. Pharisaic hypocrisy],