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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments
Luke 6

 

 

Verses 1-49

Luke 6:1. On the second sabbath after the first. The Hebrew law is, Leviticus 23:11, on the morrow after the sabbath, the priest shall wave the sheaf east and west, north and south, to denote the universal gratitude which all the earth should pay to heaven for the gift of the harvest. “The Baithuseans,” says Dr. Lightfoot, “contend that the first day of the passover should be on the sabbath, that the offering of the sheaf might fall on the first day of the week. And likewise, that the feast of pentecost might fall also on the first day of the week.

“Against this the rabbins contend, that by the morrow after the sabbath must be understood the morrow after the sabbatical day, or on the first day of the week. Rabban Johanan (John) disputing with a Baithusean, says, you shall number fifty days. Leviticus 23:16. Deuteronomy 16:9. His meaning is, if the first of the seven days of the feast of the passover fall on the sabbath, then the sheaf being offered the next day, the feast of pentecost also will fall on the next day after the seventh sabbath. But if it happen in the middle of the week, then from the offering of the sheaf [of barley] we must count not seven sabbaths, but fifty days.

“The Baithuseans for this warmth of dispute, say that Master Moses loved Israel, and knowing that the feast of pentecost lasted but one day, appointed the oblation of the sheaf on the morrow after the sabbath, that the people might rejoice for two days.”

Luke 6:5. The Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath. Some ancient copies add, “And that same day, Jesus seeing a man at work on the sabbath, said to him, Friend, if thou knowest what thou art doing, thou art happy; if otherwise, thou art not happy, but a transgressor of the law.”

Luke 6:7. The scribes and pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day. This more fully illustrates their asking a sign. Burning with enmity, they affected to seek the truth; but as neither miracle nor cloud of glory will convert the devil, let us pray to be delivered from him, and seek the truth with a docile mind; for the meek he will guide in judgment. Psalms 25:9.

Luke 6:10. Stretch forth thy hand. This was a miracle of defiance to the malicious scribes, but of great mercy to the poor man, that he might now earn his bread. It was a miracle of demonstration to the Saviour’s mission, and a seal of true religion.

Luke 6:11. They were filled with madness: ανοια, distracted, deprived of mind. Violent anger has that effect: ira est furor. They were utterly confounded before God, and disgraced before the people. Awful is the state of men who fight against heaven, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

Luke 6:12. He continued all night in prayer to God. This was the night before he commissioned the twelve to preach; and nothing can more strikingly inculcate on ministers the necessity of prayer before they enter on their work, and before they ascend the pulpit. We must always go from speaking with God to speak for God. Prayer brings us into the state in which we ought to be. It humbles and prepares our minds for the reception of divine light and assistance. It gives us power to call the Lord Father, and to plead with him in the sanctuary in a way that language cannot describe. And as to preaching, knowing whose servants we are, we magnify the ministry in that spirit of faith, piety, and love, that all who hear must recognize the unction and presence of the Lord. It is thus with ministers when they are stripped of self, and clothed with the glory of the Lord.

Luke 6:18. They that were vexed with unclean spirits — were healed. “Morbo vexari,” says Albert, grievous cases of melancholy, excited by demons: a double affliction, both of body and mind.

Luke 6:21. Blessed are ye that hunger now, for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now, for ye shall laugh. These words may be regarded as fraught with consolation for the poor, provided their poverty is connected with piety. And true piety, as in the case of Lazarus, sheds a celestial glory on the most abject condition of human life.

Luke 6:24-26. Woe to you that are rich, and yet uncharitable. The four woes which here follow the four beatitudes, form a striking contrast, and illustrate the portrait by darker shades. All could not be written which the Saviour said. Those who are full, enjoying health, affluence, and ease, are difficult to be apprised of danger; and those who are applauded by the world, bear strong marks of friendship for the world. These woes are not however to be understood as execrations, but as designating an unhappy state. He said of christians flying from Jerusalem, woe to those that are pregnant, and to those that give suck in those days.

Luke 6:27-29. Love your enemies. Such is the example of providence, for our heavenly Father sends rain on the just and on the unjust. Quite the reverse is the conduct of man; he kills his enemies, and often in so doing is killed himself. We must in all things behave towards them with the kindness of God towards us; we must pray for them, and perform all good offices towards them. This extinguishes unhallowed fires by withholding fuel. We must turn the other cheek to their rebukes; and when they perceive that grace reigns, they will be awed at Jehovah’s presence.

Luke 6:31. As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them. This is called the golden rule of equity. It is a primitive law, being found among profane writers, as well as in the Hebrew scriptures. It is a law always at hand, the living umpire in every man’s breast. The most illiterate can read it, unless he be blinded by passion, or biassed by interest.

Luke 6:36. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. When injured by others we should consider the fallen state of man, and what we ourselves are, as well by practice as by nature. We should consider the provocations and strong temptations to which men are exposed, all of which should prompt mankind to show all the mercy which the safety of the state, or circumstances, will allow. In doing so, we have the promise that we shall obtain mercy.

Luke 6:37. Judge not that a man’s secret intentions are evil, unless from other parts of his conduct there be a fair ground of inference. An uncharitable judgment is proof that we ourselves have an evil heart. And where proof of evil does appear, condemn not. The offender may have bitterly repented; he may have made some reparation of his fault unknown to us. And when such favourable reforms take place, forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. Blessed is the man whose sins and iniquities are remembered no more.

Luke 6:42. Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye. The history of man is the history of crime. Factions, wars, and depredations roll in succession like the billows of the ocean. Our ethic writers abound with strong censures on public morals; their high tone assumes the hallowed toga, the robe of equity. On a nearer approach, we make the painful discovery, that beneath the robe, the heart of the censor is really not better than that of the censured. This justifies the strong language of the Holy One against all who disguise their own faults by the reprehension of other men.

Luke 6:45. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good. He sees the creation full of God; he improves the passing events so as to administer grace to those that hear, and turns the barren heath into a garden. He is mighty in the scriptures, lively in apprehension, and apt to teach. — The Reflections will be found on Matthew 5:-7.

 


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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Luke 6:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/luke-6.html. 1835.

Lectionary Calendar
Monday, October 14th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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