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The Sabbath Day


6:1 Jesus was going through the grain fields on a Sabbath, and his disciples picked some heads of wheat, rubbed them in their hands, and ate them.


t is not certain what is meant by the second Sabbath after the first and commentators are divided on it. The point is that it was on a Sabbath day that Jesus and His disciples were walking through cornfields and the disciples feeling hungry plucked off the heads of grain rubbed them in the hands to clean off the husks and ate them.


6:2 But some of the Pharisees said, "Why are you doing what is against the law on the Sabbath?"


Some of the Pharisees that seem to be forever dogging the feet of Jesus saw them and brought them to task for breaking the law about working on the Sabbath.   Rubbing the corn in their hands was work (Exodus 20: 10).


6:3-4 Jesus answered them, "Haven't you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry - how he entered the house of God, took and ate the sacred bread, which is not lawful for any to eat but the priests alone, and gave it to his companions?"


Jesus in answer to them referred to an event when King David and those who were with him became hungry. David went into the house of God and broke the law by taking and eating the showbread and giving it to his companions.   It was only the priests that were allowed to eat the showbread (Lev. 24:5-9).


6:5 Then he said to them, "The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath."


Jesus also added that He, the Son of Man, was Lord of the Sabbath (Exodus 16:29 and Mark 2:27).


6:6 On another Sabbath, Jesus entered the synagogue and was teaching. Now a man was there whose right hand was withered.


On another Sabbath Day Jesus entered a synagogue to teach where a man with a withered hand worshipped.


:7 The experts in the law and the Pharisees watched Jesus closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath, so that they could find a reason to accuse him.


The scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him very closely to see if He would healed this man's  hand so that they could accuse Him of working on the Sabbath Day.


6:8 But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man who had the withered hand, "Get up and stand here." So he rose and stood there.


Jesus knew what was in their thoughts so He called to the man with the withered hand to come and stand before Him so that all could see him.


6:9 Then Jesus said to them, "I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath or to do evil, to save a life or to destroy it?"


Turning to His critics Jesus asks them whether it is lawful on the Sabbath Day to do good or evil to save a life or destroy it.


6:10 After looking around at them all, he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." The man did so, and his hand was restored.


When He had looked around at them all He told the man to stretch out his hand and as he did so it was completely healed as good as the other hand.


6:11 But they were filled with mindless rage and began debating with one another what they would do to Jesus.


At this Jesus' enemies were wild with rage and began to discuss what they could do with Him.


Choosing the Twelve Disciples


6:12 Now it was during this time that Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and he spent all night in prayer to God.




It was while Jesus was still by the sea of Galilee that He went up into a mountain to be alone to pray. He spent the whole night in prayer to God concerning the choosing of the twelve men that would be His special disciples.




6:13 When morning came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles.




When the day came He went down and called the whole company of His disciples to Him and from among those He choose twelve and called them apostles, which literally means "a sent one" (Vine).




6:14-15 Simon (whom he named Peter), and his brother Andrew; and James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot.




They were, Simon who He also called Peter (a rock), Andrew his brother (Andreas, manly), the brothers James ( from Jacob) and John;  Philip and Bartholomew (thought to be Nathanael). Matthew also called Levi, Thomas (the twin also had the name Didymus); James the son of Alphaeus (sometimes called James the less) and Simon the Canaanite who belonged to a group of Jewish fanatics called Zealots.




6:16 Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.




Judas the brother of James the less who was also called Thaddaeus and Lebbaeus. Finally Judas Iscariot the traitor who betrayed Jesus. You will have noticed that they are all named in pairs for Jesus sent them out two by two (Matt. 6:7).




6:17-18 Then he came down with them and stood on a level place. And a large number of his disciples had gathered along with a vast multitude from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon. They came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases, and those who suffered from unclean spirits were cured.


Jesus came down from the mountainside with the twelve disciples to a large level place  with a crowd of His other disciples. A great number of people from all over Judea, Jerusalem and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases. Also those who were tormented by evil spirits.


6:19 The whole crowd was trying to touch him, because power was coming out from him and healing them all.


Everybody tried to touch for healing power was coming out from Him. Jesus healed everyone of them.


Jesus Teaches His Disciples


6:20 Then he looked up at his disciples and said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God belongs to you.


Turning to His disciples and fixing His gaze upon them He began to teach them. Blessed or happy are those who recognise their spiritual poverty, for the meaning does not just mean those that are poor in this worlds goods. For the Kingdom of Heaven shall belong to them in and through the Lord Jesus Christ.


6:21 Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. "Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.


Blessed, happy are those who have an hunger and thirst after righteousness, spiritual things, for God, for they will be fully satisfied with the food and drink of Heaven, the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. Blessed, happy are those who weep for their sins, who suffer persecution and affliction for they shall know joy unspeakable and pleasures for evermore (Psalm 16:11).


6:22 Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you and insult you and reject you as evil on account of the Son of Man!


Blessed, happy are those who are hated, despised who are insulted and slandered because they belong to Christ.


6:23 Rejoice in that day, and jump for joy, because your reward is great in heaven. For their ancestors did the same things to the prophets.


At such times rejoice and be glad or correctly leap for joy, be very happy for your reward in heaven will be great.   The prophets of pass days were also treated in the same way.


6:24 But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your comfort already.


Turning aside from His disciples Jesus addresses the vast crowd among whom would have the been the ever present Pharisees and scribes. To those who are rich, in this world's goods and are self righteous and self satisfied who do not  think they are sinners and therefore need a Saviour. They already have their temporal comfort and consolation in this present life. What sorrows await them.


6:25 Woe to you who are well satisfied with food now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.


What sorrows await those who are full and satisfied now for they shall know an hunger that will never be satisfied in hell. Those who laugh and make merry now shall know a grief and sorrow that no amount of bewailing and crying will bring any release.


6:26 Woe to you when all people speak well of you, for their ancestors did the same things to the false prophets.


How horrible it will be for those whom people say nice things about because they say the things that please them rather than the truth (2 Timothy 1:4). That is how they treated the false prophets.


6:27-28 But I say to you who are listening: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.


To those who are willing to hear and respond to His words He tells them that they must "love their enemies and do good to those who hate them. To bless those who curse them and pray for those who treat them in a malicious and spiteful manner" (Rom. 12:14-21).


6:29 To the person who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other as well, and from the person who takes away your coat, do not withhold your tunic either.


If someone slaps you across the one cheek turn to him the other cheek to slap also. If  someone comes and takes your coat off you and also tries to take your shirt as well, then let him. In other words do not retaliate and hit back but leave the matter in the hands of God.


6:30 Give to everyone who asks you, and do not ask for your possessions back from the person who takes them away.


If someone comes begging give him what he asks for and if someone does not return what you have lent or he has borrowed without asking (this would seem to be the meaning otherwise the person would be a thief and would be accountable under the law) do not ask for it back or do not go begging for it back.


6:31 Treat others in the same way that you would want them to treat you.


Do for other people what you would have do for you.


6:32-33 If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same.


If you love only those who love you in return and do good to those who do good to you what grace is there in that for even sinners love those who love them.


6:34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to be repaid, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, so that they may be repaid in full.


Again if you lend to those to whom you expect to receive back what grace is there in this for  even sinners will do this.  


6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to ungrateful and evil people.


This verse sums the last few verses up. Love your enemies do good to them; lend without expecting to be paid back. If you do this then your reward in heaven will be great and you will be called the sons of the most High God.  For He is kind to those who unthankful and wicked,


6:36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.


So be merciful, compassionate just as your heavenly Father is compassionate and merciful.


6:37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven.


Judge not. This does not mean the judgment meted out in law courts or in the church of Jesus Christ but, to quote Gill "of rash judgment, interpreting men's words and deeds to the worst sense, and censuring them in a very severe manner; even passing sentence on them, with respect to their eternal state and condition". Do not condemn others and you will not be condemned yourself. Forgive offenses committed against you and God will forgive you (Matt. 6:14-15).


6:38 Give, and it will be given to you: A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure you use will be the measure you receive.


As you give to others so you will receive back in full abundance. The amount you give will determine the amount you will get back.    


Hearing and Doing


6:39 He also told them a parable: "Someone who is blind cannot lead another who is blind, can he? Won't they both fall into a pit?


Jesus illustrated the truths that He imparted by uses parables, that is a story of common life to convey a truth.   Here he uses the illustration of one blind man trying to lead another the result is that both of them would land up in a ditch. It is impossible for a person who is blind or ignorant of spiritual things, the truths of God, to teach or impart anything spiritual to another one for they are both in darkness.


6:40 A disciple is not greater than his teacher, but everyone when fully trained will be like his teacher.


A disciple is not greater than his teacher but when he is fully trained he will be like his teacher.   Jesus taught His disciples in preparation for the time when He would no longer be in the world so that they could teach His truths.


6:41 Why do you see the speck in your brother's eye, but fail to see the beam of wood in your own?


Jesus highlights what all people are prone to do that is; to see the faults in another person but cannot see the greater fault in themselves.


6:42 How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me remove the speck from your eye,' while you yourself don't see the beam in your own? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.


No one can reprove a brother or sister about a sin in their lives if they ignore the sin in their own life. Such people Jesus calls hypocrites, actors, pretenders. Before we can deal with sin in other peoples lives we need to repent of the sin in our own lives.


6:43 For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit.


A good tree - the person who is born again of the Spirit of God, who has Christ within (Rom. 8:9) will have the nature of Christ (1 John 3:9, 1 Peter 1:3 and Gal. 2:20). Those that are not Christ's cannot do any other but live according to the dictates of an unregenerate nature, of the law of sin in them.


6:44 For each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from brambles.


A tree is known by the fruit it bears, a Christian is known by the Christ like life they live. You will not find figs on a thorn tree and you cannot gather grapes from a bramble bush. Do not expect to see or receive good things from an unbeliever.


6:45 The good person out of the good treasury of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasury produces evil, for his mouth speaks from what fills his heart.


From the goodness that is within his heart a good person will say and do good things. From the evil that is within his heart an evil person will say and do evil things. What you say reflects what is in your heart.


6:46 Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord,' and don't do what I tell you?


If a person doesn't do the things that Jesus Christ says how can he indeed call Him Lord.   If He is Lord of our lives that we will do when He commands us to do and not our own thing.


6:47 Everyone who comes to me and listens to my words and puts them into practice — I will show you what he is like.


Jesus gives an illustration of a person who listens to what He teaches and then walks accordingly and of a person who does not.The one who listens and then obeys is like a person who builds his house on a firm and strong foundation, a rock, that is, Jesus Christ and His teachings.  When the troubles of life come up against him he will not fall and fail.


6:49 But the person who hears and does not put my words into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against that house, it collapsed immediately, and was utterly destroyed!


The one who listens and does not obey is like a person who builds his house,  without a foundation and on sand, that is upon the uncertain things of the world. When troubles come they have nothing to sustain or keep them so they completely collapse.


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