Lord of the Sabbath1 Jesus ▼ was going through the grain fields on ▼
▼ Grk “Now it happened that on.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.a Sabbath, ▼
▼ Most later mss (A C D Θ Ψ [f13] Maj. lat) read ἐν σαββάτῳ δευτεροπρώτῳ (en sabbatō deuteroprōtō, “a second-first Sabbath”), while the earlier and better witnesses have simply ἐν σαββάτῳ (Ƥ4 א B L W f1 33 579 1241 2542 it sa). The longer reading is most likely secondary, though various explanations may account for it (for discussion, see TCGNT 116).and his disciples picked some heads of wheat, ▼
▼ Or “heads of grain.” While the generic term στάχυς (stacus) can refer to the cluster of seeds at the top of grain such as barley or wheat, in the NT the term is restricted to wheat (L&N 3.40; BDAG 941 s.v. 1).rubbed them in their hands, and ate them. ▼
▼ Grk “picked and ate some heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands.” The participle ψώχοντες (yōchontes) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style, and the order of the clauses has been transposed to reflect the logical order, which sounds more natural in English.2 But some of the Pharisees ▼ said, “Why are you ▼
▼ Note that the verb is second person plural (with an understood plural pronominal subject in Greek). The charge is again indirectly made against Jesus by charging the disciples.doing what is against the law ▼
▼ The alleged violation expressed by the phrase what is against the law is performing work on the Sabbath. That the disciples ate from such a field is no problem given Deut 23:25, but Sabbath activity is another matter in the leaders’ view (Exod 20:8-11 and Mishnah, m. Shabbat 7.2). The supposed violation involved reaping, threshing, winnowing, and preparing food. This probably explains why the clause describing the disciples “rubbing” the heads of grain in their hands is mentioned last, in emphatic position. This was preparation of food.on the Sabbath?” 3 Jesus ▼
▼ Grk “And Jesus.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.answered them, ▼
▼ Grk “Jesus, answering them, said.” This is redundant in contemporary English and has been simplified to “Jesus answered them.”“Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry – 4 how he entered the house of God, took ▼
▼ Grk “and took.”and ate the sacred bread, ▼
▼ Grk “the bread of presentation.”▼
▼ The sacred bread refers to the “bread of presentation,” “showbread,” or “bread of the Presence,” twelve loaves prepared weekly for the tabernacle and later, the temple. See Exod 25:30; 35:13; 39:36; Lev 24:5–9. Each loaf was made from 3 quarts (3.5 liters; Heb “two tenths of an ephah”) of fine flour. The loaves were placed on a table in the holy place of the tabernacle, on the north side opposite the lampstand (Exod 26:35). It was the duty of the priest each Sabbath to place fresh bread on the table; the loaves from the previous week were then given to Aaron and his descendants, who ate them in the holy place, because they were considered sacred (Lev 24:9). These were the loaves that David requested from Ahimelech for himself and his men (1 Sam 21:1–6; cf. also Matt 12:1–8; Mark 2:23–28).which is not lawful ▼
▼ Jesus’ response to the charge that what his disciples were doing was not lawful is one of analogy: ‘If David did it for his troops in a time of need, then so can I with my disciples.’ Jesus is clear that on the surface there was a violation here. What is not as clear is whether he is arguing a “greater need” makes this permissible or that this was within the intention of the law all along.for any to eat but the priests alone, and ▼ gave it to his companions?” ▼
▼ The Western ms D adds here a full saying that reads, “On the same day, as he saw someone working on the Sabbath he said, ‘Man, if you know what you are doing, you are blessed, but if you do not know, you are cursed and a violator of the law.’” Though this is not well enough attested to be considered authentic, many commentators have debated whether this saying might go back to Jesus. Most reject it, though it does have wording that looks like Rom 2:25, 27 and Jas 2:11.▼ 5 Then ▼ he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord ▼
▼ The term “lord” is in emphatic position in the Greek text. To make this point even clearer a few mss add “also” before the reference to the Son of Man, while a few others add it before the reference to the Sabbath.▼
▼ A second point in Jesus’ defense of his disciples’ actions was that his authority as Son of Man also allowed it, since as Son of Man he was lord of the Sabbath.of the Sabbath.”
Healing a Withered Hand6 On ▼
▼ Grk “Now it happened that on.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.another Sabbath, Jesus ▼ entered the synagogue ▼ and was teaching. Now ▼
▼ Here καί (kai) has been translated as “now” to indicate the transition to a new topic. In addition, because the Greek sentence is rather long and complex, a new sentence was started here in the translation.a man was there whose right hand was withered. ▼
▼ Grk “a man was there and his right hand was withered.”▼
▼ Withered means the man’s hand was shrunken and paralyzed.7 The experts in the law ▼ and the Pharisees ▼ watched ▼
▼ The term translated watched…closely is emotive, since it carries negative connotations. It means they were watching him out of the corner of their eye or spying on him.Jesus ▼
▼ Grk “him”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity.closely to see if ▼
▼ This is a first class condition in the Greek text; Jesus’ opponents anticipated he would do this.he would heal on the Sabbath, ▼
▼ The background for this is the view that only if life was endangered should one attempt to heal on the Sabbath (see the Mishnah, m. Shabbat 6.3; 12.1; 18.3; 19.2; m. Yoma 8.6).so that they could find a reason to accuse him. 8 But ▼
▼ Here the conjunction δέ (de) has been translated as contrastive.he knew ▼ their thoughts, ▼
▼ Grk “their reasonings.” The implication is that Jesus knew his opponents’ plans and motives, so the translation “thoughts” was used here.and said to the man who had the withered hand, “Get up and stand here.” ▼
▼ Most likely synagogues were arranged with benches along the walls and open space in the center for seating on the floor.So ▼
▼ Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the man’s action was a result of Jesus’ order.he rose and stood there. 9 Then ▼
▼ Here δέ (de) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence of events within the narrative.Jesus said to them, “I ask you, ▼
▼ With the use of the plural pronoun (“you”), Jesus addressed not just the leaders but the crowd with his question to challenge what the leadership was doing. There is irony as well. As Jesus sought to restore on the Sabbath (but improperly according to the leaders’ complaints) the leaders were seeking to destroy, which surely is wrong. The implied critique recalls the OT: Isa 1:1–17; 58:6–14.is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath or to do evil, to save a life or to destroy it?” 10 After ▼
▼ Grk “And after.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.looking around ▼
▼ The aorist participle περιβλεψάμενος (peribleyamenos) has been translated as antecedent (prior) to the action of the main verb. It could also be translated as contemporaneous (“Looking around… he said”).at them all, he said to the man, ▼
▼ Grk “him”; the referent (the man with the withered hand) has been specified in the translation for clarity.“Stretch out your hand.” The man ▼
▼ Grk “he”; the referent (the man) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Here δέ (de) has not been translated.did so, and his hand was restored. ▼
▼ The passive was restored points to healing by God. Now the question became: Would God exercise his power through Jesus, if what Jesus was doing were wrong? Note also Jesus’ “labor.” He simply spoke and it was so.11 But they were filled with mindless rage ▼
▼ The term ἄνοια (anoia) denotes a kind of insane or mindless fury; the opponents were beside themselves with rage. They could not rejoice in the healing, but could only react against Jesus.and began debating with one another what they would do ▼
▼ The use of the optative (ποιήσαιεν, poiēsaien, “might do”) in an indirect question indicates that the formal opposition and planning of Jesus’ enemies started here (BDF ##385.1; 386.1).to Jesus.
Choosing the Twelve Apostles12 Now ▼
▼ Grk “Now it happened that in.” The introductory phrase ἐγένετο (egeneto, “it happened that”), common in Luke (69 times) and Acts (54 times), is redundant in contemporary English and has not been translated.it was during this time that Jesus ▼ went out to the mountain ▼
▼ Or “to a mountain” (εἰς τὸ ὅρος, eis to horos).▼ to pray, and he spent all night ▼
▼ This is the only time all night prayer is mentioned in the NT.in prayer to God. ▼
▼ This is an objective genitive, so prayer “to God.”13 When ▼
▼ Grk “And when.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.morning came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles: ▼ 14 Simon ▼ (whom he named Peter), and his brother Andrew; and James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, ▼ 15 Matthew, Thomas, ▼ James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, ▼
▼ The designation Zealot means that Simon was a political nationalist before coming to follow Jesus. He may not have been technically a member of the particular Jewish nationalistic party known as “Zealots” (since according to some scholars this party had not been organized at that time), but simply someone who was zealous for Jewish independence from Rome, in which case the descriptive term applied to Simon means something like “Simon the patriot” (see L&N 25.77 and especially 11.88).16 Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, ▼
▼ There is some debate about what the name Iscariot means. It probably alludes to a region in Judea and thus might make Judas the only non-Galilean in the group. Several explanations for the name Iscariot have been proposed, but it is probably transliterated Hebrew with the meaning “man of Kerioth” (there are at least two villages that had that name). For further discussion see D. L. Bock, Luke (BECNT), 1:546; also D. A. Carson, John, 304.who became a traitor.
The Sermon on the Plain17 Then ▼ he came down with them and stood on a level place. ▼ And a large number ▼
▼ Grk “large crowd.”of his disciples had gathered ▼
▼ There is no verb in Greek at this point, but since “a large crowd” (see preceding [T]) is in the nominative case, one needs to be supplied.along with ▼
▼ Grk “and.”a vast multitude from all over Judea, from ▼
▼ Grk “and from,” but καί (kai) has not been translated since English normally uses a coordinating conjunction only between the last two elements in a series of three or more.Jerusalem, ▼ and from the seacoast of Tyre ▼ and Sidon. ▼
▼ These last two locations, Tyre and Sidon, represented an expansion outside of traditional Jewish territory. Jesus’ reputation continued to expand into new regions.▼ They came to hear him and to be healed ▼
▼ To hear him and to be healed. Jesus had a two-level ministry: The word and then wondrous acts of service that showed his message of God’s care were real.of their diseases, 18 and those who suffered from ▼
▼ Or “were oppressed by,” “were troubled with.” See L&N 22.17.unclean ▼ spirits were cured. 19 The ▼
▼ Grk “And the.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.whole crowd was trying to touch him, because power ▼ was coming out from him and healing them all.
20 Then ▼ he looked up ▼
▼ Grk “lifting up his eyes” (an idiom). The participle ἐπάρας (eparas) has been translated as a finite verb due to requirements of contemporary English style.at his disciples and said:
▼ The term Blessed introduces the first of several beatitudes promising blessing to those whom God cares for. They serve as an invitation to come into the grace God offers.are you who are poor, ▼ for the kingdom of God belongs ▼
▼ The present tense (belongs) here is significant. Jesus makes the kingdom and its blessings currently available. This phrase is unlike the others in the list with the possessive pronoun being emphasized. Jesus was saying, in effect, “the kingdom belongs even now to people like you.”to you.
21 “Blessed are you who hunger ▼ now, for you will be satisfied. ▼
▼ The promise you will be satisfied is the first of several “reversals” noted in these promises. The beatitudes and the reversals that accompany them serve in the sermon as an invitation to enter into God’s care, because one can know God cares for those who turn to him.
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. ▼
▼ You will laugh alludes to the joy that comes to God’s people in the salvation to come.
22 “Blessed are you when people ▼ hate you, and when they exclude you and insult you and reject you as evil ▼
▼ Or “disdain you”; Grk “cast out your name as evil.” The word “name” is used here as a figure of speech to refer to the person as a whole.▼
▼ The phrase when they exclude you and insult you and reject you as evil alludes to a person being ostracized and socially isolated because of association with the Son of Man, Jesus.on account of the Son of Man! 23 Rejoice in that day, and jump for joy, because ▼
▼ Grk “because behold.” The Greek word ἰδού (idou) at the beginning of this clause has not been translated because it has no exact English equivalent here, but adds interest and emphasis (BDAG 468 s.v. 1).your reward is great in heaven. For their ancestors ▼
▼ Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”did the same things to the prophets. ▼
24 “But woe ▼ to you who are rich, for you have received ▼
▼ Ironically the language of reward shows that what the rich have received is all they will get. This result looks at a current situation, just as the start of the beatitudes did. The rest of the conclusions to the woes look to the future at the time of judgment.your comfort ▼
▼ Grk “your consolation.”already.
25 “Woe to you who are well satisfied with food ▼
▼ Grk “who are filled.” See L&N 23.18 for the translation “well satisfied with food.”now, for you will be hungry.
“Woe to you ▼
▼ The wording “to you” (ὑμῖν, humin) is lacking in several witnesses (א B K L T W Θ Ξ 0147 f1, 13 579 700 892 1241 2542 al), though found in most (Ƥ75 A D Q Ψ 33 Maj. lat co). The longer reading looks to be a clarifying addition; nevertheless, “to you” is included in the translation because of English requirements.who laugh ▼
▼ That is, laugh with happiness and joy.now, for you will mourn and weep.
26 “Woe to you ▼
▼ The wording “to you” (ὑμῖν, humin) is lacking throughout the ms tradition except for a few witnesses (D W* Δ 1424 pc co). The Western witnesses tend to add freely to the text. Supported by the vast majority of witnesses and the likelihood that “to you” is a clarifying addition, the shorter reading should be considered original; nevertheless, “to you” is included in the translation because of English requirements.when all people ▼ speak well of you, for their ancestors ▼
▼ Or “forefathers”; Grk “fathers.”did the same things to the false prophets.
27 “But I say to you who are listening: Love your enemies, ▼
▼ Love your enemies is the first of four short exhortations that call for an unusual response to those who are persecuting disciples. Disciples are to relate to hostility in a completely unprecedented manner.do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat ▼
▼ The substantival participle ἐπηρεαζόντων (epēreazontōn), sometimes translated “those who abuse” (NRSV), is better rendered “those who mistreat,” a more general term (see L&N 88.129).you. 29 To the person who strikes you on the cheek, ▼
▼ The phrase strikes you on the cheek probably pictures public rejection, like the act that indicated expulsion from the synagogue.offer the other as well, ▼
▼ This command to offer the other cheek as well is often misunderstood. It means that there is risk involved in reaching out to people with God’s hope. But if one is struck down in rejection, the disciple is to continue reaching out.and from the person who takes away your coat, ▼
▼ Or “cloak.”do not withhold your tunic ▼ either. ▼
▼ The command do not withhold your tunic either is again an image of continually being totally at risk as one tries to keep contact with those who are hostile to what Jesus and his disciples offer.30 Give to everyone who asks you, ▼ and do not ask for your possessions ▼
▼ Grk “your things,” sometimes translated “what is yours” or “what belongs to you.”back ▼ from the person who takes them away. 31 Treat others ▼ in the same way that you would want them to treat you. ▼
▼ Jesus’ teaching as reflected in the phrase treat others in the same way you would want them to treat you, known generally as the Golden Rule, is not completely unique in the ancient world, but it is stated here in its most emphatic, selfless form.
32 “If ▼
▼ Grk “And if.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style. This is a first class condition, but the next two conditional clauses are third class conditions, so that stylistic variation is probably at work.you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners ▼
▼ Here the term sinners may refer to people who had no concern for observing the details of the Mosaic law; these were often treated as social outcasts. See L&N 88.295.love those who love them. ▼ 33 And ▼
▼ ‡ Three key mss (Ƥ75 א* B) have “for” here, but it is unlikely that it was present originally. The addition of conjunctions, especially to the beginning of a clause, are typically suspect because they fit the pattern of Koine tendencies toward greater explicitness. NA27 has the word in brackets, indicating doubts as to its authenticity.if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ▼
▼ Most mss (A D L Θ Ξ Ψ f13 33 Maj. lat) include γάρ (gar, “for”) following καί (kai, here translated “even”), but a few important mss (א B W 700 892* 1241 pc) lack the conjunction. The inclusion of the conjunction seems to be motivated by clarity and should probably be considered inauthentic.sinners ▼ do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to be repaid, ▼
▼ Grk “to receive”; but in context the repayment of the amount lent is implied. Jesus was noting that utilitarian motives are the way of the world.what credit is that to you? Even sinners ▼ lend to sinners, so that they may be repaid in full. ▼
▼ Grk “to receive as much again.”35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back. ▼
▼ Or “in return.”Then ▼
▼ Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the outcome or result. Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started in the translation at this point.your reward will be great, and you will be sons ▼
▼ The character of these actions reflects the grace and kindness of God, bearing witness to a “line of descent” or relationship of the individual to God (sons of the Most High). There is to be a unique kind of ethic at work with disciples. Jesus refers specifically to sons here because in the ancient world sons had special privileges which were rarely accorded to daughters. However, Jesus is most likely addressing both men and women in this context, so women too would receive these same privileges.of the Most High, ▼
▼ That is, “sons of God.”because he is kind to ungrateful and evil people. ▼
▼ Or “to the ungrateful and immoral.” The word “people” is not in the Greek text, but is implied.36 Be merciful, ▼ just as your Father is merciful.
Do Not Judge Others37 “Do ▼
▼ Grk “And do.” Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.not judge, ▼
▼ As the Gospel makes clear, with the statement do not judge Jesus had in mind making a judgment that caused one to cut oneself off from someone so that they ceased to be reached out to (5:27–32; 15:1–32). Jesus himself did make judgments about where people stand (11:37–54), but not in such a way that he ceased to continue to offer them God’s grace.and you will not be judged; ▼
▼ The point of the statement do not judge, and you will not be judged is that the standards one applies to others God applies back. The passive verbs in this verse look to God’s action.do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; forgive, ▼ and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you: A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, ▼
▼ The background to the image pressed down, shaken together, running over is pouring out grain for measure in the marketplace. One often poured the grain into a container, shook it to level out the grain and then poured in some more. Those who are generous have generosity running over for them.will be poured ▼
▼ Grk “they will give”; that is, “pour.” The third person plural has been replaced by the passive in the translation.into your lap. For the measure you use will be the measure you receive.” ▼
▼ Grk “by [the measure] with which you measure it will be measured back to you.”
39 He also told them a parable: “Someone who is blind cannot lead another who is blind, can he? ▼
▼ Questions prefaced with μή (mē) in Greek anticipate a negative answer. This can sometimes be indicated by using a “tag” at the end in English (here it is “can he?”).Won’t they both fall ▼
▼ The picture of a blind man leading a blind man is a warning to watch who one follows: Won’t they both fall into a pit? The sermon has been about religious choices and reacting graciously to those who oppose the followers of Jesus. Here Jesus’ point was to be careful who you follow and where they are taking you.into a pit? 40 A disciple ▼
▼ Or “student.”is not greater than ▼
▼ Or “significantly different.” The idea, as the next phrase shows, is that teachers build followers who go the same direction they do.his teacher, but everyone when fully trained will be like his teacher. 41 Why ▼ do you see the speck ▼ in your brother’s eye, but fail to see ▼
▼ Or “do not notice.”the beam of wood ▼ in your own? 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.
43 “For ▼ no good tree bears bad ▼
▼ Grk “rotten.” The word σαπρός, modifying both “fruit” and “tree,” can also mean “diseased” (L&N 65.28).fruit, nor again ▼
▼ Most mss, especially later ones (A C D Θ Ψ 33 Maj. lat sy sa), lack the adverb πάλιν (palin, “again”) here. Its presence is attested, however, by several good witnesses (Ƥ75 א B L W Ξ f1, 13 579 892 1241 2542).does a bad tree bear good fruit, 44 for each tree is known ▼
▼ The principle of the passage is that one produces what one is.by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered ▼
▼ Grk “they do not gather”; this has been simplified to the passive voice in the translation since the subject “they” is not specified further in the context.from thorns, nor are grapes picked ▼
▼ This is a different verb (τρυγῶσιν, trugōsin) for gathering from the previous one (συλλέγουσιν, sullegousin).from brambles. ▼
▼ This is a different term (βάτος, batos) for a thorn or bramble bush than the previous one (ἄκανθα, akantha).▼
▼ The statement nor are grapes picked from brambles illustrates the principle: That which cannot produce fruit, does not produce fruit.45 The good person out of the good treasury of his ▼
▼ Grk “the”; the Greek article has been translated here and in the following clause (“out of the evil”) as a possessive pronoun (ExSyn 215).heart ▼
▼ Mention of the heart shows that Jesus is not interested in what is done, but why. Motives are more important than actions for him.produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasury ▼
▼ The word “treasury” is not repeated in the Greek text at this point, but is implied.produces evil, for his mouth speaks ▼ from what fills ▼
▼ Grk “for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”his heart.
46 “Why ▼ do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ ▼
▼ The double use of the vocative is normally used in situations of high emotion or emphasis. Even an emphatic confession without action means little.and don’t do what I tell you? ▼
▼ Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do what I tell you? Respect is not a matter of mere words, but is reflected in obedient action. This short saying, which is much simpler than its more developed conceptual parallel in Matt 7:21–23, serves in this form to simply warn and issue a call to hear and obey, as the last parable also does in vv. 47–49.
47 “Everyone who comes to me and listens to my words and puts them into practice ▼
▼ Grk “and does them.”– I will show you what he is like: 48 He is like a man ▼ building a house, who dug down deep, ▼
▼ There are actually two different Greek verbs used here: “who dug (ἔσκαψεν, eskayen) and dug deep (ἐβάθυνεν, ebathunen).” Jesus is placing emphasis on the effort to which the man went to prepare his foundation.and laid the foundation on bedrock. When ▼ a flood came, the river ▼
▼ The picture here is of a river overflowing its banks and causing flooding and chaos.burst against that house but ▼
▼ Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in the context.could not shake it, because it had been well built. ▼
▼ Most mss, especially later ones (A C D Θ Ψ f1, 13 Maj. latt), read “because he built [it] on the rock” rather than “because it had been well built” (Ƥ75vid א B L W Ξ 33 579 892 1241 2542 pc sa). The reading of the later mss seems to be a harmonization to Matt 7:25, rendering it most likely secondary.49 But the person who hears and does not put my words into practice ▼
▼ Grk “does not do [them].”is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When ▼
▼ Grk “against which”; because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, the relative clause was converted to a temporal clause in the translation and a new sentence started here.the river burst against that house, ▼
▼ Grk “it”; the referent (that house) has been specified in the translation for clarity.it collapsed immediately, and was utterly destroyed!” ▼
▼ Grk “and its crash was great.”▼
▼ The extra phrase at the end of this description (and was utterly destroyed) portrays the great disappointment that the destruction of the house caused as it crashed and was swept away.
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