sabbath: See Glossary.
through grainfields: See study note on Mt 12:1.
what is not lawful: See study note on Mt 12:2.
house of God: See study note on Mr 2:26.
loaves of presentation: See study note on Mt 12:4.
Lord of the Sabbath: See study note on Mt 12:8.
whose right hand was withered: Three Gospel writers describe Jesus’ healing of this man on a sabbath, but only Luke mentions the detail that it was the man’s right hand that was withered, or paralyzed. (Mt 12:10; Mr 3:1) Luke often supplies medical details that Matthew and Mark do not. For a similar example, compare Mt 26:51 and Mr 14:47 with Lu 22:50, 51.—See “Introduction to Luke.”
life: Or “soul.”—See Glossary, “Soul.”
apostles: See study note on Mt 10:2.
the zealous one: A designation distinguishing the apostle Simon from the apostle Simon Peter. (Lu 6:14) The Greek word used here and at Ac 1:13, ze·lo·tesʹ, means “zealot; enthusiast.” The parallel accounts at Mt 10:4 and Mr 3:18 use the designation “the Cananaean,” a term thought to be of Hebrew or Aramaic origin that likewise means “Zealot; Enthusiast.” While it is possible that Simon once belonged to the Zealots, a Jewish party opposed to the Romans, he may have been given this designation because of his zeal and enthusiasm.
who turned traitor: Or “who became a traitor.” The phrase is of interest because it suggests that Judas underwent a change. He was not a traitor when he became a disciple; nor was he a traitor when Jesus appointed him to be an apostle. He was not predestined to be a traitor. Rather, by the misuse of his own free will, he “turned traitor” sometime after his appointment. From the moment the change began to take place, Jesus was aware of it, as suggested at Joh 6:64.
and stood on a level place: As shown by the context, Jesus came down from a mountain where he had prayed all night before choosing his 12 apostles. (Lu 6:12, 13) He finds a level place on the mountainside, perhaps not far from his center of activity in Capernaum. Great crowds of people gather, and Jesus heals them all. According to the parallel account at Mt 5:1, 2, he “went up on the mountain . . . and began teaching.” This expression may refer to an elevation above the level place on the mountainside. Taken together, the accounts of Matthew and Luke evidently describe how Jesus stopped his descent at a level place, found a slight elevation on the mountainside, and began to speak. Or Mt 5:1 may be a summary that does not mention what Luke explains in more detail.
his disciples: The Greek word for “disciple,” ma·the·tesʹ, refers to a learner, or one who is taught, and implies a personal attachment to a teacher, an attachment that shapes the disciple’s whole life. Although large crowds gathered to listen to Jesus, it seems that he spoke mainly for the benefit of his disciples, who sat closest to him.—Mt 5:1, 2; 7:28, 29.
and began to say: The Sermon on the Mount is recorded both by Matthew (chapters 5-7) and by Luke (6:20-49). Luke recorded an abbreviated account of this sermon, whereas Matthew’s account is about four times longer and includes all but a few verses that appear in Luke’s presentation. The two accounts begin alike and end alike, often use identical expressions, and are generally similar in content and in the order that the subjects are presented. Where the two accounts run parallel, the wording sometimes differs considerably. Even so, the accounts are harmonious. It is worth noting that several large portions of the sermon that do not appear in Luke’s account are repeated by Jesus on other occasions. For instance, while delivering the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke about prayer (Mt 6:9-13) and about a proper view of material things (Mt 6:25-34). About a year and a half later, it seems that he repeated these statements, which were recorded by Luke. (Lu 11:2-4; 12:22-31) Moreover, since Luke was generally writing for Christians from all backgrounds, he may have omitted portions of the sermon that may have been of special interest to Jews.—Mt 5:17-27; 6:1-18.
you who are poor: The Greek expression rendered “poor” denotes being “needy; destitute; a beggar.” Luke’s version of this first happiness in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount varies somewhat from what is stated at Mt 5:3. Matthew also uses the Greek word “poor” but adds the word for “spirit,” making the whole expression literally read “poor ones (beggars) as to the spirit.” (See study notes on Mt 5:3; Lu 16:20.) This phrase conveys the idea of a strong awareness of one’s spiritual poverty and dependence on God. Luke’s account simply refers to the poor, which harmonizes with Matthew’s account in that those who are poor and downtrodden are often more inclined to recognize their spiritual need and are more fully aware of their dependence on God. In fact, Jesus said that an important reason for his coming as the Messiah was “to declare good news to the poor.” (Lu 4:18) Those who followed Jesus and were given the hope of sharing in the blessings of the Kingdom of God were primarily drawn from among the poor or common people. (1Co 1:26-29; Jas 2:5) But Matthew’s account makes it clear that simply being poor does not automatically result in having God’s favor. So the introductory statements in the two accounts of the Sermon on the Mount complement each other.
having your consolation in full: The Greek term a·peʹkho, meaning “to have in full,” often appeared on business receipts, with the sense of “paid in full.” Jesus spoke of the woe, that is, the pain, sorrow, and adverse consequences, that the rich might experience. This is not simply because they have a comfortable, or good, life. Rather, he warned that people who cherish material riches may neglect service to God and miss out on gaining true happiness. Such people would be “paid in full,” experiencing all the consolation, or comforts, that they are going to get. God will not give them anything more.—See study note on Mt 6:2.
Continue to love your enemies: See study note on Mt 5:44.
lend: That is, lend without interest. The Law forbade the Israelites from charging interest on loans to a needy fellow Jew (Ex 22:25), and it encouraged them to lend generously to the poor.—De 15:7, 8; Mt 25:27.
Keep on forgiving, and you will be forgiven: Or “Keep on releasing, and you will be released.” The Greek term rendered “to forgive” literally means “to let go free; to send away; to release (for example, a prisoner).” In this context, when used in contrast with judging and condemning, it conveys the idea of acquitting and forgiving, even when punishment or retribution might seem warranted.
Practice giving: Or “Keep giving.” The form of the Greek verb used here for “to give” denotes continuous action.
your laps: The Greek word literally means “your bosom (chest),” but in this context it likely refers to the fold formed over the belt by the loose-fitting cloth of the outer garment. ‘Pouring into the lap’ may refer to a custom of some vendors to fill this fold with the goods that had been purchased.
an illustration: Or “a parable.”—See study note on Mt 13:3.
straw . . . rafter: See study note on Mt 7:3.
Hypocrite!: The Greek word hy·po·kri·tesʹ originally referred to Greek (and later Roman) stage actors who wore large masks designed to disguise the identity of the actor and to amplify the voice. The term came to be used in a metaphoric sense. It was applied to someone who hid his real intentions or personality by putting on a pretense. At Mt 6:5, 16, Jesus refers to the Jewish religious leaders as “hypocrites.” Here (Lu 6:42) he uses the term to address any disciple who focuses on another’s faults while ignoring his own.
a flood: Sudden winter storms are not uncommon in Israel, especially during the month of Tebeth, that is, December/January. They bring high winds, torrential rains, and destructive flash floods.—See App. B15.