Bible Commentaries

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Luke 6

Verse 1

On a sabbath (εν σαββατωιen sabbatōi). This is the second sabbath on which Jesus is noted by Luke. The first was Luke 4:31-41. There was another in John 5:1-47. There is Western and Syrian (Byzantine) evidence for a very curious reading here which calls this sabbath “secondfirst” (δευτεροπρωτωιdeuteroprōtōi). It is undoubtedly spurious, though Westcott and Hort print it in the margin. A possible explanation is that a scribe wrote “first” (πρωτωιprōtōi) on the margin because of the sabbath miracle in Luke 6:6-11. Then another scribe recalled Luke 4:31 where a sabbath is mentioned and wrote “second” (δευτερωιdeuterōi) also on the margin. Finally a third scribe combined the two in the word δευτεροπρωτωιdeuteroprōtōi that is not found elsewhere. If it were genuine, we should not know what it means.

Plucked (ετιλλονetillon). Imperfect active. They were plucking as they went on through (διαπορευεσταιdiaporeuesthai). Whether wheat or barley, we do not know, not our “corn” (maize).

Did eat (ηστιονēsthion). Imperfect again. See Matthew 12:1. and notes on Mark 2:23. for the separate acts in supposed violence of the sabbath laws.

Rubbing them in their hands (psōchontes tais chersin). Only in Luke and only here in the N.T. This was one of the chief offences. “According to Rabbinical notions, it was reaping, threshing, winnowing, and preparing food all at once” (Plummer). These Pharisees were straining out gnats and swallowing camels! This verb psōchō is a late one for πσωχοντες ταις χερσινpsaō to rub.

Verse 3

Not even this (ουδε τουτοoude touto). This small point only in Luke.

What (οho). Literally, which. Mark 2:25; Matthew 12:3 have τιti (what).

Verse 4

Did take (λαβωνlabōn). Second aorist active participle of λαμβανωlambanō Not in Mark and Matthew. See notes on Matthew 12:1-8 and notes on Mark 2:23-28 for discussion of details about the shewbread and the five arguments in defence of his conduct on the sabbath (example of David, work of the priests on the sabbath, prophecy of Hosea 6:6, purpose of the sabbath for man, the Son of Man lord of the sabbath). It was an overwhelming and crushing reply to these pettifogging ceremonialists to which they could not reply, but which increased their anger. Codex D transfers Luke 6:5 to after Luke 6:10 and puts here the following: “On the same day beholding one working on the sabbath he said to him: Man, if you know what you are doing, happy are you; but if you do not know, cursed are you and a transgressor of the law.”

Verse 6

On another sabbath (εν ετερωι σαββατωιen heterōi sabbatōi). This was a second (ετερονheteron as it often means), but not necessarily the next, sabbath. This incident is given by all three synoptics (Mark 3:1-6; Matthew 12:9-14; Luke 6:6-11). See Matt. and Mark for details. Only Luke notes that it was on a sabbath. Was this because Luke as a physician had to meet this problem in his own practise?

Right hand (η δεχιαhē dexia). This alone in Luke, the physician‘s eye for particulars.

Verse 7

The scribes and the Pharisees (οι γραμματεις και οι Παρισαιοιhoi grammateis kai hoi Pharisaioi). Only Luke here though Pharisees named in Matthew 12:14 and Pharisees and Herodians in Mark 3:6.

Watched him (παρετηρουντο αυτονparetērounto auton). Imperfect middle, were watching for themselves on the side (παραpara). Mark 3:2 has the imperfect active παρετηρουνparetēroun Common verb, but the proposition παραpara gave an extra touch, watching either assiduously like the physician at the bedside or insidiously with evil intent as here.

Would heal (τεραπευσειtherapeusei). But the present active indicative (τεραπευειtherapeuei) may be the correct text here. So Westcott and Hort.

That they might find out how to accuse him (ινα ευρωσιν κατηγορειν αυτουhina heurōsin katēgorein autou). Second aorist active subjunctive of ευρισκωheuriskō and the infinitive with it means to find out how to do a thing. They were determined to make a case against Jesus. They felt sure that their presence would prevent any spurious work on the part of Jesus.

Verse 8

But he knew their thoughts (αυτος δε ηιδει τους διαλογισμους αυτωνautos de ēidei tous dialogismous autōn). In Luke alone. Imperfect in sense, second past perfect in form ηιδειēidei from οιδαoida Jesus, in contrast to these spies (Plummer), read their intellectual processes like an open book.

His hand withered (χηραν την χειραxēran tēn cheira). Predicate position of the adjective. So in Mark 3:3.

Stand forth (στητιstēthi). Luke alone has this verb, second aorist active imperative. Mark 3:3 has Arise into the midst (εγειρε εις το μεσονegeire eis to meson). Luke has Arise and step forth into the midst (εγειρε και στητι εις το μεσονegeire kai stēthi eis to meson). Christ worked right out in the open where all could see. It was a moment of excitement when the man stepped forth (εστηestē) there before them all.

Verse 9

I ask you (επερωτω υμαςeperōtō humās). They had questions in their hearts about Jesus. He now asks in addition (επep') an open question that brings the whole issue into the open.

A life (πσυχηνpsuchēn). So the Revised Version. The rabbis had a rule: Periculum vitae pellit sabbatum. But it had to be a Jew whose life was in peril on the sabbath. The words of Jesus cut to the quick.

Or to destroy it (η απολεσαιē apolesai). On this very day these Pharisees were plotting to destroy Jesus (Luke 6:7).

Verse 10

He looked round about on them all (περιβλεπσαμενοςperiblepsamenos). First aorist middle participle as in Mark 3:5, the middle voice giving a personal touch to it all. Mark adds “with anger” which Luke here does not put in.

All three Gospels have the identical command: Stretch forth thy hand (εχτεινον την χειρα σουexteinon tēn cheira sou). First aorist active imperative.

Stretch out, clean out, full length. All three Gospels also have the first aorist passive indicative απεκατεστατηapekatestathē with the double augment of the double compound verb αποκατιστημιapokathistēmi As in Greek writers, so here the double compound means complete restoration to the former state.

Verse 11

They were filled with madness (επληστησαν ανοιαςeplēsthēsan anoias) First aorist passive (effective) with genitive: In Luke 5:26 we saw the people filled with fear. Here is rage that is kin to insanity, for ανοιαςanoias is lack of sense (αa privative and νουςnous mind). An old word, but only here and 2 Timothy 3:9 in the N.T.

Communed (διελαλουνdielaloun), imperfect active, picturing their excited counsellings with one another. Mark 3:6 notes that they bolted out of the synagogue and outside plotted even with the Herodians how to destroy Jesus, strange co-conspirators these against the common enemy.

What they might do to Jesus (τι αν ποιησαιεν Ιησουti an poiēsaien Iēsou). Luke puts it in a less damaging way than Mark 3:6; Matthew 12:14. This aorist optative with ανan is the deliberative question like that in Acts 17:18 retained in the indirect form here. Perhaps Luke means, not that they were undecided about killing Jesus, but only as to the best way of doing it. Already nearly two years before the end we see the set determination to destroy Jesus. We see it here in Galilee. We have already seen it at the feast in Jerusalem (John 5:18) where “the Jews sought the more to kill him.” John and the Synoptics are in perfect agreement as to the Pharisaic attitude toward Jesus.

Verse 12

He went out into the mountains to pray (εχελτειν αυτον εις το ορος προσευχασταιexelthein auton eis to oros proseuxasthai). Note εχex - where Mark 3:13 has goeth up (αναβαινειanabainei). Luke alone has “to pray” as he so often notes the habit of prayer in Jesus.

He continued all night (ην διανυκτερευωνēn dianuktereuōn). Periphrastic imperfect active. Here alone in the N.T., but common in the lxx and in late Greek writers. Medical writers used it of whole night vigils.

In prayer to God (εν τηι προσευχηι του τεουen tēi proseuchēi tou theou). Objective genitive του τεουtou theou This phrase occurs nowhere else. ΠροσευχηProseuchē does not mean “place of prayer” or synagogue as in Acts 16:13, but the actual prayer of Jesus to the Father all night long. He needed the Father‘s guidance now in the choice of the Apostles in the morning.

Verse 13

When it was day (οτε εγενετο ημεραhote egeneto hēmera). When day came, after the long night of prayer.

He chose from them twelve (εκλεχαμενος απ αυτων δωδεκαeklexamenos ap' autōn dōdeka). The same root (λεγleg) was used for picking out, selecting and then for saying. There was a large group of “disciples” or “learners” whom he “called” to him (προσεπωνησενprosephōnēsen), and from among whom he chose (of himself, and for himself, indirect middle voice (εκλεχαμενοςeklexamenos). It was a crisis in the work of Christ. Jesus assumed full responsibility even for the choice of Judas who was not forced upon Jesus by the rest of the Twelve. “You did not choose me, but I chose you,” (John 15:16) where Jesus uses εχελεχαστεexelexasthe and εχελεχαμηνexelexamēn as here by Luke.

Whom also he named apostles (ους και αποστολους ωνομασενhous kai apostolous ōnomasen). So then Jesus gave the twelve chosen disciples this appellation. Aleph and B have these same words in Mark 3:14 besides the support of a few of the best cursives, the Bohairic Coptic Version and the Greek margin of the Harclean Syriac. Westcott and Hort print them in their text in Mark 3:14, but it remains doubtful whether they were not brought into Mark from Luke 6:13 where they are undoubtedly genuine. See note on Matthew 10:2 where the connection with sending them out by twos in the third tour of Galilee. The word is derived from αποστελλωapostellō to send (Latin, mitto) and apostle is missionary, one sent. Jesus applies the term to himself (απεστειλαςapesteilas John 17:3) as does Hebrews 3:1. The word is applied to others, like Barnabas, besides these twelve including the Apostle Paul who is on a par with them in rank and authority, and even to mere messengers of the churches (2 Corinthians 8:23). But these twelve apostles stand apart from all others in that they were all chosen at once by Jesus himself “that they might be with him” (Mark 3:14), to be trained by Jesus himself and to interpret him and his message to the world. In the nature of the case they could have no successors as they had to be personal witnesses to the life and resurrection of Jesus (Acts 1:22). The selection of Matthias to succeed Judas cannot be called a mistake, but it automatically ceased. For discussion of the names and groups in the list see notes on Matthew 10:1-4; and notes on Mark 3:14-19.

Verse 16

Which was the traitor (ος εγενετο προδοτηςhos egeneto prodotēs). Who became traitor, more exactly, εγενετοegeneto not ηνēn He gave no signs of treachery when chosen.

Verse 17

He came down with them (καταβας μετ αυτωνkatabas met' autōn). Second aorist active participle of καταβαινωkatabainō common verb. This was the night of prayer up in the mountain (Mark 3:13; Luke 6:12) and the choice of the Twelve next morning. The going up into the mountain of Matthew 5:1 may simply be a summary statement with no mention of what Luke has explained or may be a reference to the elevation, where he “sat down” (Matthew 5:1), above the plain or “level place” (επι τοπου πεδινουepi topou pedinou) on the mountain side where Jesus “stood” or “stopped” (εστηestē). It may be a level place towards the foot of the mountain. He stopped his descent at this level place and then found a slight elevation on the mountain side and began to speak. There is not the slightest reason for making Matthew locate this sermon on the mountain and Luke in the valley as if the places, audiences, and topics were different. For the unity of the sermon see notes on Matthew 5:1. The reports in Matthew and Luke begin alike, cover the same general ground and end alike. The report in Matthew is longer chiefly because in Chapter 5, he gives the argument showing the contrast between Christ‘s conception of righteousness and that of the Jewish rabbis. Undoubtedly, Jesus repeated many of the crisp sayings here at other times as in Luke 12, but it is quite gratuitous to argue that Matthew and Luke have made up this sermon out of isolated sayings of Christ at various times. Both Matthew and Luke give too much that is local of place and audience for that idea. Matthew 5:1 speaks of “the multitudes” and “his disciples.” Luke 6:17 notes “a great multitude of his disciples, and a great number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon.” They agree in the presence of disciples and crowds besides the disciples from whom the twelve apostles were chosen. It is important to note how already people were coming from “the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon” “to hear him and to be healed (ιατηναιiathēnai first aorist passive of ιαομαιiaomai) of their diseases.”

Verse 18

With unclean spirits (απο πνευματων ακαταρτωνapo pneumatōn akathartōn). In an amphibolous position for it can be construed with “troubled,” (present passive participle ενοχλουμενοιenochloumenoi) or with “were healed” (imperfect passive, ετεραπευοντοetherapeuonto). The healings were repeated as often as they came. Note here both verbs, ιαομαιiaomai and τεραπευωtherapeuō used of the miraculous cures of Jesus. ΤεραπευωTherapeuō is the verb more commonly employed of regular professional cures, but no such distinction is made here.

Verse 19

Sought to touch him (εζητουν απτεσται αυτουezētoun haptesthai autou). Imperfect active. One can see the surging, eager crowd pressing up to Jesus. Probably some of them felt that there was a sort of virtue or magic in touching his garments like the poor woman in Luke 8:43. (Mark 5:23; Matthew 9:21).

For power came forth from him (οτι δυναμις παρ αυτου εχηρχετοhoti dunamis par' autou exērcheto). Imperfect middle, power was coming out from him. This is the reason for the continual approach to Jesus.

And healed them all (και ιατο πανταςkai iāto pantas). Imperfect middle again. Was healing all, kept on healing all. The preacher today who is not a vehicle of power from Christ to men may well question why that is true. Undoubtedly the failure to get a blessing is one reason why many people stop going to church. One may turn to Paul‘s tremendous words in Philippians 4:13: “I have strength for all things in him who keeps on pouring power into me” (παντα ισχυω εν τωι ενδυναμουντι μεpanta ischuō en tōi endunamounti me). It was at a time of surpassing dynamic spiritual energy when Jesus delivered this greatest of all sermons so far as they are reported to us. The very air was electric with spiritual power. There are such times as all preachers know.

Verse 20

And he lifted up his eyes (και αυτος επαρας τους οπταλμους αυτουkai autos eparas tous opthalmous autou). First aorist active participle from επαιρωepairō Note also Luke‘s favourite use of και αυτοςkai autos in beginning a paragraph. Vivid detail alone in Luke. Jesus looked the vast audience full in the face. Matthew 5:2 mentions that “he opened his mouth and taught them” (began to teach them, inchoative imperfect, εδιδασκενedidasken). He spoke out so that the great crowd could hear. Some preachers do not open their mouths and do not look up at the people, but down at the manuscript and drawl along while the people lose interest and even go to sleep or slip out.

Ye poor (οι πτωχοιhoi ptōchoi). The poor, but “yours” (υμετεραhumetera) justifies the translation “ye.” Luke‘s report is direct address in all the four beatitudes and four woes given by him. It is useless to speculate why Luke gives only four of the eight beatitudes in Matthew or why Matthew does not give the four woes in Luke. One can only say that neither professes to give a complete report of the sermon. There is no evidence to show that either saw the report of the other. They may have used a common source like Q (the Logia of Jesus) or they may have had separate sources. Luke‘s first beatitude corresponds with Matthew‘s first, but he does not have “in spirit” after “poor.” Does Luke represent Jesus as saying that poverty itself is a blessing? It can be made so. Or does Luke represent Jesus as meaning what is in Matthew, poverty of spirit?

The kingdom of God (η βασιλεια του τεουhē basileia tou theou). Matthew 5:3 has “the kingdom of heaven” which occurs alone in Matthew though he also has the one here in Luke with no practical difference. The rabbis usually said “the kingdom of heaven.” They used it of the political Messianic kingdom when Judaism of the Pharisaic sort would triumph over the world. The idea of Jesus is in the sharpest contrast to that conception here and always. See note on Matthew 3:2 for discussion of the meaning of the word “kingdom.” It is the favourite word of Jesus for the rule of God in the heart here and now. It is both present and future and will reach a glorious consummation. Some of the sayings of Christ have apocalyptic and eschatological figures, but the heart of the matter is here in the spiritual reality of the reign of God in the hearts of those who serve him. The kingdom parables expand and enlarge upon various phases of this inward life and growth.

Verse 21

Now (νυνnun). Luke adds this adverb here and in the next sentence after “weep.” This sharpens the contrast between present sufferings and the future blessings.

Filled (χορταστησεστεchortasthēsesthe). Future passive indicative. The same verb in Matthew 5:6. Originally it was used for giving fodder (χορτοςchortos) to animals, but here it is spiritual fodder or food except in Luke 15:16; Luke 16:21. Luke here omits “and thirst after righteousness.”

Weep (κλαιοντεςklaiontes). Audible weeping. Where Matthew 5:4 has “mourn” (πεντουντεςpenthountes).

Shall laugh (γελασετεgelasete). Here Matthew 5:4 has “shall be comforted.” Luke‘s words are terse.

Verse 22

When they shall separate you (οταν απορισωσιν υμαςhotan aphorisōsin humās). First aorist active subjunctive, from αποριζωaphorizō common verb for marking off a boundary. So either in good sense or bad sense as here. The reference is to excommunication from the congregation as well as from social intercourse.

Cast out your name as evil (εχβαλωσιν το ονομα υμων ως πονηρονexbalōsin to onoma humōn hōs ponēron). Second aorist active subjunctive of εκβαλλωekballō common verb. The verb is used in Aristophanes, Sophocles, and Plato of hissing an actor off the stage. The name of Christian or disciple or Nazarene came to be a byword of contempt as shown in the Acts. It was even unlawful in the Neronian persecution when Christianity was not a religio licita.

For the Son of man‘s sake (ενεκα του υιου του αντρωπουheneka tou huiou tou anthrōpou). Jesus foretold what will befall those who are loyal to him. The Acts of the Apostles is a commentary on this prophecy. This is Christ‘s common designation of himself, never of others save by Stephen (Acts 7:56) and in the Apocalypse (Revelation 1:13; Revelation 14:14). But both Son of God and Son of man apply to him (John 1:50, 52; Matthew 26:63.). Christ was a real man though the Son of God. He is also the representative man and has authority over all men.

Verse 23

Leap for joy (σκιρτησατεskirtēsate). Old verb and in lxx, but only in Luke in the N.T. (here and Luke 1:41, Luke 1:44). It answers to Matthew‘s (Matthew 5:12) “be exceeding glad.”

Did (εποιουνepoioun). Imperfect active, the habit of “their fathers” (peculiar to both here). Matthew 5:12 has “persecuted.” Thus they will receive a prophet‘s reward (Matthew 10:41).

Verse 24

But woe unto you that are rich (Πλην ουαι υμιν τοις πλουσιοιςPlēn ouai humin tois plousiois). Sharp contrast (πληνplēn). As a matter of fact the rich Pharisees and Sadducees were the chief opposers of Christ as of the early disciples later (James 5:1-6).

Ye have received (απεχετεapechete). Receipt in full απεχωapechō means as the papyri show.

Consolation (παρακλησινparaklēsin). From παρακαλεωparakaleō to call to one‘s side, to encourage, to help, to cheer.

Verse 25

Now (νυνnun). Here twice as in Luke 6:21 in contrast with future punishment. The joys and sorrows in these two verses are turned round, measure for measure reversed. The Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) illustrate these contrasts in the present and the future.

Verse 26

In the same manner did their fathers (τα αυτα εποιουν οι πατερες αυτωνta auta epoioun hoi pateres autōn). Literally, their fathers did the same things to the false prophets. That is they spoke well (καλωςkalōs), finely of false prophets. Praise is sweet to the preacher but all sorts of preachers get it.

Of you (υμαςhumas). Accusative case after words of speaking according to regular Greek idiom, to speak one fair, to speak well of one.

Verse 27

But I say unto you that hear (Αλλα υμιν λεγω τοις ακουουσινAlla humin legō tois akouousin). There is a contrast in this use of αλλαalla like that in Matthew 5:44. This is the only one of the many examples given by Matthew 5 of the sharp antithesis between what the rabbis taught and what Jesus said. Perhaps that contrast is referred to by Luke. If necessary, αλλαalla could be coordinating or paratactic conjunction as in 2 Corinthians 7:11 rather than adversative as apparently here. See notes on Matthew 5:43. Love of enemies is in the O.T., but Jesus ennobles the word, αγαπαωagapaō and uses it of love for one‘s enemies.

Verse 28

That despitefully use you (των επηρεαζοντων υμαςtōn epēreazontōn humās). This old verb occurs here only in the N.T. and in 1 Peter 3:16, not being genuine in Matthew 5:44.

Verse 29

On the cheek (επι την σιαγοναepi tēn siagona). Matthew 5:39 has “right.” Old word meaning jaw or jawbone, but in the N.T. only here and Matthew 5:39, which see note for discussion. It seems an act of violence rather than contempt. Sticklers for extreme literalism find trouble with the conduct of Jesus in John 18:22. where Jesus, on receiving a slap in the face, protested against it.

Thy cloke (το ιματιονto himation), thy coat (τον χιτωναton chitōna). Here the upper and more valuable garment (ιματιονhimation) is first taken, the under and less valuable χιτωνchitōn last. In Matthew 5:40 the process (apparently a legal one) is reversed.

Withhold not (μη κωλυσηιςmē kōlusēis). Aorist subjunctive in prohibition against committing an act. Do not hinder him in his robbing. It is usually useless anyhow with modern armed bandits.

Verse 30

Ask them not again (μη απαιτειmē apaitei). Here the present active imperative in a prohibition, do not have the habit of asking back. This common verb only here in the N.T., for αιτουσινaitousin is the correct text in Luke 12:20. The literary flavour of Luke‘s Koiné style is seen in his frequent use of words common in the literary Greek, but appearing nowhere else in the N.T.

Verse 31

As ye would (κατως τελετεkathōs thelete). In Matthew 7:12 the Golden Rule begins: Παντα οσα εαν τελητεPanta hosa ean thelēte Luke has “likewise” (ομοιωςhomoiōs) where Matthew has ουτωςhoutōs See note on Matthew 7:12 for discussion of the saying.

Verse 32

What thank have ye? (ποια μιν χαρις εστινpoia hūmin charis estiṉ). What grace or gratitude is there to you? Matthew 5:46 has μιστονmisthon (reward).

Verse 33

Do good (αγατοποιητεagathopoiēte). Third-class condition, εανean and present subjunctive. This verb not in old Greek, but in lxx.

Even sinners (και οι αμαρτωλοιkai hoi hamartōloi). Even the sinners, the article distinguishing the class. Matthew 5:46 has “even the publicans” and Matthew 5:47 ”even the Gentiles.” That completes the list of the outcasts for “sinners” includes “harlots” and all the rest.

Verse 34

If ye lend (εαν δανισητεean danisēte). Third-class condition, first aorist active subjunctive from δανιζωdanizō (old form δανειζωdaneizō) to lend for interest in a business transaction (here in active to lend and Matthew 5:42 middle to borrow and nowhere else in N.T.), whereas κιχρημιkichrēmi (only Luke 11:5 in N.T.) means to loan as a friendly act.

To receive again as much (ινα απολαβωσιν τα ισαhina apolabōsin ta isa). Second aorist active subjunctive of απολαμβανωapolambanō old verb, to get back in full like απεχωapechō in Luke 6:24. Literally here, “that they may get back the equal” (principal and interest, apparently). It could mean “equivalent services.” No parallel in Matthew.

Verse 35

But (πληνplēn). Plain adversative like πληνplēn in Luke 6:24. Never despairing (μηδεν απελπιζοντεςmēden apelpizontes). ΜηδενMēden is read by A B L Bohairic and is the reading of Westcott and Hort. The reading μηδεναmēdena is translated “despairing of no man.” The Authorized Version has it “hoping for nothing again,” a meaning for απελπιζωapelpizō with no parallel elsewhere. Field (Otium Nor.iii. 40) insists that all the same the context demands this meaning because of απελπιζεινapelpizein in Luke 6:34, but the correct reading there is ελπιζεινelpizein not απελπιζεινapelpizein Here Field‘s argument falls to the ground. The word occurs in Polybius, Diodorus, lxx with the sense of despairing and that is the meaning here. D and Old Latin documents have nihil desperantes, but the Vulgate has nihil inde sperantes (hoping for nothing thence) and this false rendering has wrought great havoc in Europe. “On the strength of it Popes and councils have repeatedly condemned the taking of any interest whatever for loans. As loans could not be had without interest, and Christians were forbidden to take it, money lending passed into the hands of the Jews, and added greatly to the unnatural detestation in which Jews were held” (Plummer). By “never despairing” or “giving up nothing in despair” Jesus means that we are not to despair about getting the money back. We are to help the apparently hopeless cases. Medical writers use the word for desperate or hopeless cases.

Sons of the Most High (υοι υπσιστουhuoi Hupsistou). In Luke 1:32 Jesus is called “Son of the Highest” and here all real children or sons of God (Luke 20:36) are so termed. See also Luke 1:35, Luke 1:76 for the use of “the Highest” of God. He means the same thing that we see in Matthew 5:45, Matthew 5:48 by “your Father.”

Toward the unthankful and evil (επι τους αχαριστους και πονηρουςepi tous acharistous kai ponērous). God the Father is kind towards the unkind and wicked. Note the one article with both adjectives.

Verse 36

Even as your Father (κατως ο πατηρ υμωνkathōs ho patēr humōn). In Matthew 5:48 we have ως ο πατηρ υμωνhōs ho patēr humōn In both the perfection of the Father is placed as the goal before his children. In neither case is it said that they have reached it.

Verse 37

And judge not (και μη κρινετεkai mē krinete). ΜηMē and the present active imperative, forbidding the habit of criticism. The common verb κρινωkrinō to separate, we have in our English words critic, criticism, criticize, discriminate. Jesus does not mean that we are not to form opinions, but not to form them rashly, unfairly, like our prejudice.

Ye shall not be judged (ου μη κριτητεou mē krithēte). First aorist passive subjunctive with double negative μηou mē strong negative.

Condemn not (μη καταδικαζετεmē katadikazete). To give judgment (δικη διχαζωdikē καταdixazō) against (Μηkata) one. ου μη καταδικαστητεMē and present imperative. Either cease doing or do not have the habit of doing it. Old verb.

Ye shall not be condemned (απολυετεou mē katadikasthēte). First aorist passive indicative again with the double negative. Censoriousness is a bad habit.

Release (apoluete). Positive command the opposite of the censoriousness condemned.

Verse 38

Pressed down (πεπιεσμενονpepiesmenon). Perfect passive participle from πιεζωpiezō old verb, but here alone in the N.T., though the Doric form πιαζωpiazō to seize, occurs several times (John 7:30, John 7:32, John 7:44).

Shaken together (σεσαλευμενονsesaleumenon). Perfect passive participle again from common verb σαλευωsaleuō over (υπερεκχυννομενονhuperekchunnomenon). Present middle participle of this double compound verb not found elsewhere save in A Q in Joel 2:24. ΧυνωChunō is a late form of χεωcheō There is asyndeton here, no conjunction connecting these participles. The present here is in contrast to the two preceding perfects. The participles form an epexegesis or explanation of the “good measure” (μετρον καλονmetron kalon). Into your bosom (εις τον κολπον υμωνeis ton kolpon humōn). The fold of the wide upper garment bound by the girdle made a pocket in common use (Exodus 4:6; Proverbs 6:27; Psalm 79:12; Isaiah 65:6.; Jeremiah 32:18). So Isaiah 65:7: I will measure their former work unto their bosom.

Shall be measured to you again (αντιμετρητησεταιantimetrēthēsetai). Future passive indicative of the verb here only in the N.T. save late MSS. in Matthew 7:2. Even here some MSS. have μετρητησεταιmetrēthēsetai The αντιanti has the common meaning of in turn or back, measured back to you in requital.

Verse 39

Also a parable (και παραβοληνkai parabolēn). Plummer thinks that the second half of the sermon begins here as indicated by Luke‘s insertion of “And he spake (ειπεν δεeipen de) at this point. Luke has the word parable some fifteen times both for crisp proverbs and for the longer narrative comparisons. This is the only use of the term parable concerning the metaphors in the Sermon on the Mount. But in both Matthew and Luke‘s report of the discourse there are some sixteen possible applications of the word. Two come right together: The blind leading the blind, the mote and the beam. Matthew gives the parabolic proverb of the blind leading the blind later (Matthew 15:14). Jesus repeated these sayings on various occasions as every teacher does his characteristic ideas. So Luke 6:40; Matthew 10:24, Luke 6:45; Matthew 12:34.

Can (Μητι δυναταιMēti dunatai). The use of μητιmēti in the question shows that a negative answer is expected.

Guide (οδηγεινhodēgein). Common verb from οδηγοςhodēgos (guide) and this from οδοςhodos (way) and ηγεομαιhēgeomai to lead or guide.

Shall they not both fall? (ουχι αμποτεροι εμπεσουνταιouchi amphoteroi empesountai̱). ΟυχιOuchi a sharpened negative from ουκouk in a question expecting the answer Yes. Future middle indicative of the common verb εμπιπτωempiptō a pit (εις βοτυνονeis bothunon). Late word for older βοτροςbothros f0).

Verse 40

The disciple is not above his master (ουκ εστιν ματητης υπερ τον διδασκαλονouk estin mathētēs huper ton didaskalon). Literally, a learner (or pupil) is not above the teacher. Precisely so in Matthew 10:24 where “slave” is added with “lord.” But here Luke adds: “But everyone when he is perfected shall be as his master” (κατηρτισμενος δε πας εσται ως ο διδασκαλος αυτουkatērtismenos de pās estai hōs ho didaskalos autou). The state of completion, perfect passive participle, is noted in κατηρτισμενοςkatērtismenos The word is common for mending broken things or nets (Matthew 4:21) or men (Galatians 6:1). So it is a long process to get the pupil patched up to the plane of his teacher.

Verse 41

Mote (καρποςkarphos) and beam (δοκονdokon). See notes on Matthew 7:3-5 for discussion of these words in this parabolic proverb kin to several of ours today.

Verse 42

Canst thou say (δυνασαι λεγεινdunasai legein). Here Matthew 7:4 has wilt thou say (ερειςereis).

Beholdest not (ου βλεπωνou blepōn). Matthew 7:4 has “lo” (ιδουidou).

Thou hypocrite (υποκριταhupokrita). Contrast to the studied politeness of “brother” (αδελπεadelphe) above. Powerful picture of blind self-complacence and incompetence, the keyword to argument here.

Verse 44

Is known (γινωσκεταιginōsketai). The fruit of each tree reveals its actual character. It is the final test. This sentence is not in Matthew 7:17-20, but the same idea is in the repeated saying (Matthew 7:16, Matthew 7:20): “By their fruits ye shall know them,” where the verb συλλεγουσινepigno4sesthe means full knowledge. The question in Matthew 7:16 is put here in positive declarative form. The verb is in the plural for “men” or “people,” sullegousin See note on Matthew 7:16.

Bramble bush (batou). Old word, quoted from the lxx in Mark 12:26; Luke 20:37 (from Exodus 3:6) about the burning bush that Moses saw, and by Stephen (Acts 7:30, Acts 7:35) referring to the same incident. Nowhere else in the N.T. “Galen has a chapter on its medicinal uses, and the medical writings abound in prescriptions of which it is an ingredient” (Vincent).

Gather (βατουtrugōsin). A verb common in Greek writers for gathering ripe fruit. In the N.T. only here and Revelation 14:18.

Grapes (τρυγωσινstaphulēn). Cluster of grapes.

Verse 45

Bringeth forth (προπερειpropherei). In a similar saying repeated later. Matthew 12:34. has the verb εκβαλλειekballei (throws out, casts out), a bolder figure. “When men are natural, heart and mouth act in concert. But otherwise the mouth sometimes professes what the heart does not feel” (Plummer).

Verse 46

And do not (και ου ποιειτεkai ou poieite). This is the point about every sermon that counts. The two parables that follow illustrate this point.

Verse 47

Hears and does (ακουων και ποιωνakouōn kai poiōn). Present active participles. So in Matthew 7:24. (Present indicative.)

I will show you (υποδειχω υμινhupodeixō humin). Only in Luke, not Matthew.

Verse 48

Digged and went deep (εσκαπσεν και εβατυνενeskapsen kai ebathunen). Two first aorist indicatives. Not a hendiadys for dug deep. ΣκαπτωSkaptō to dig, is as old as Homer, as is βατυνωbathunō to make deep.

And laid a foundation (και ετηκεν τεμελιονkai ethēken themelion). That is the whole point. This wise builder struck the rock before he laid the foundation.

When a flood arose (πλημμυρης γενομενηςplēmmurēs genomenēs). Genitive absolute. Late word for flood, πλημμυραplēmmura only here in the N.T., though in Job 40:18.

Brake against (προσερηχενproserēxen). First aorist active indicative from προσρηγνυμιprosrēgnumi and in late writers προσρησσωprosrēssō to break against. Only here in the N.T. Matthew 7:25 has προσεπεσανprosepesan from προσπιπτωprospiptō to fall against.

Could not shake it (ουκ ισχυσεν σαλευσαι αυτηνouk ischusen saleusai autēn). Did not have strength enough to shake it.

Because it had been well builded (δια το καλως οικοδομησται αυτηνdia to kalōs oikodomēsthai autēn). Perfect passive articular infinitive after διαdia and with accusative of general reference.

Verse 49

He that heareth and doeth not (ο δε ακουσας και μη ποιησαςho de akousas kai mē poiēsas). Aorist active participle with article. Particular case singled out (punctiliar, aorist).

Like a man (ομοιος εστιν αντρωπωιhomoios estin anthrōpōi). Associative instrumental case after ομοιοςhomoios as in Luke 6:47.

Upon the earth (επι την γηνepi tēn gēn). Matthew 7:26 has “upon the sand” (επι την αμμονepi tēn ammon), more precise and worse than mere earth. But not on the rock.

Without a foundation (χωρις τεμελιουchōris themeliou). The foundation on the rock after deep digging as in Luke 6:48.

It fell in (συνεπεσενsunepesen). Second aorist active of συνπιπτωsunpiptō to fall together, to collapse. An old verb from Homer on, but only here in the N.T.

The ruin (το ρηγμαto rēgma). The crash like a giant oak in the forest resounded far and wide. An old word for a rent or fracture as in medicine for laceration of a wound. Only here in the N.T.

Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Luke 6". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.