Jesus passing through the Corn Fields on the Sabbath, and his Disciples eating the Ears of Corn, called forth the Anger of the Pharisees. Jesus's Answer. He healeth the withered Hand: calleth the Disciples: performeth Miracles, and preacheth.
(1) And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands. (2) And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days? (3) And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him; (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? (5) And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.
In the two former Evangelists, Matthew and Mark, we have the circumstance here mentioned by Luke also related. See Matthew 12:1; Mark 2:23. It is always profitable to attend to what the Lord Jesus hath said, on every occasion of discourse. These Pharisees, however undesignedly, have been very useful in calling forth the Lord's observations in answer to their cavils.
(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. (7) And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him, (8) But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. (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? (10) And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so; and his hand was restored whole as the other. (11) And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.
This miracle is recorded by both the preceding Evangelists; and observations were offered on both, to which I now refer. See Matthew 12:9 and Mark 3:1.
(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.
I would beg to notice this verse by itself. There is somewhat very striking in those scriptures which relate to our Lord's retiring for the purpose of prayer. The sample he hath caused to be left upon record, Joh 17 throughout, may in some measure lead our minds into an apprehension of our Lord's employment, upon those solemn occasions. The Evangelist in this place gives two striking features of it. He was alone. And he was all night in communion. Oh! for grace to be like him. And may he give his people songs in the night!
(13) And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles; (14) Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, (15) Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alpheus, and Simon called Zelotes; (16) And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.
Christ's call of his Apostles we have noticed, Matthew 10:1. and again Mark 3:14. See Matthew 10:1, etc. and my Poor Man's Concordance, on the subject.
(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 Judea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases; (18) And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. (19) And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.
Here is a beautiful view of Jesus, and his College of Apostles, coming down from the mount where He had ordained them. Can we suppose the ordination service to have been less solemn than that of the Prophet Jeremiah? see chap. 1 throughout. True, Judas was among them; but this became no bar to the Lord's special sanctification of the rest; while Jesus well knew, when he called the traitor, that he was a devil, and consequently unsanctified. John 6:70-71. Solemn consideration!
(20) And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor; for your's is the kingdom of God. (21) Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. (22) Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. (23) Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets. (24) But woe unto you that are rich? for ye have received your consolation. (25) Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. (26) Woe unto you when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets. (27) But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, (28) Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. (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. (30) Give to every man that asketh of thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. (31) And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. (32) For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye: for sinners also love those that love them. (33) And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. (34) And if ye lend to them of whom y e hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. (35) But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest; for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil (36) Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. (37) Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned; forgive, and ye shall be forgiven; (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. (39) And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? (40) The disciple is not above his master: but everyone that is perfect shall be as his master. (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? (42) Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye. (43) For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. (44) For every tree is known by his own fruit: for of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. (45) A good man, out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man, out of the evil treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. (46) And why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (47) Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: (48) He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. (49) But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth, against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.
This is the same sermon as Christ preached, and which is recorded in Matthew's Gospel, (Mt 5; 6; 7. And having very largely dwelt upon the principal parts of it in that place, I do not think it necessary to enlarge upon it here. I would beg the Reader just to remark, how Christ in this sermon specially and peculiarly addressed his disciples, when he pronounced those blessings with which he opened his discourse.
Perhaps in the 39th verse, here are certain proverbial expressions of Christ, which, as they were not in the sermon recorded by Matthew, were not spoken by our Lord at that time, but at another occasion, but introduced in this place by Luke. See Matthew 15:14, But our Lord's discourse in this Chapter, being in itself very plain, and for the most part having been explained in the Commentary on Mt 5. (Poor: Matthew 5:1) I think it needless to enlarge.
Blessed Lord! as oft as I pass through the corn fields, whether on the Sabbath day or any other, may the recollection of thine unequalled tenderness and condescension, in those seasons here represented, lead me to the contemplation of thy grace and love to thy disciples. And while I behold thy followers rubbing the ears of corn and eating them, I would call to mind how Jesus was broken and bruised for our sins, and his body given as the bread of life for all his redeemed. Oh! for grace to feed on thee by faith, until I come to see thee as thou art, and dwell with thee forever! And do thou, Lord, to all my withered and dying circumstances, do by me as this poor man in the synagogue; let Jesus speak but the word, and sure I am of being healed. And let thine effectual calling on my poor heart, cause me to follow thee, as did thy faithful disciples: surely, Lord, if virtue went out of thee, when upon earth, and healed them all, the efficacy is not lessened in the day of thy power! Oh! for that distinguishing grace which Jesus pronounceth to be blessed, which though found by them that are poor in themselves, and among the hungry and the mourners, are found rich in faith before God, and heirs of the kingdom. Standing firm on the rock Christ Jesus, they shall ride out every storm, and find Christ a sure sanctuary in the day of wrath.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Luke 6". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany