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The Fourfold Gospel

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6:1  Now it came to pass on a sabbath1, that he was going through the grainfields; and his disciples plucked the ears, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands.

    JESUS DEFENDS DISCIPLES WHO PLUCK GRAIN ON THE SABBATH. (Probably while on the way from Jerusalem to Galilee.) Matthew 12:1-8; Mark 2:23-28; Luke 6:1-5

  1. Now it came to pass on a sabbath, etc. See Mark 2:23.

6:2  But certain of the Pharisees said, Why do ye that which it is not lawful to do on the sabbath day1?

  1. Why do ye that which it is not lawful to do on the sabbath day? See Mark 2:24.

6:3  And Jesus answering them said1, Have ye not read even this, what David did, when he was hungry, he, and they that were with him;

  1. And Jesus answering them said, etc. See Mark 2:25

6:4  how he entered into the house of God, and took and ate the showbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat save for the priests alone?

  1. How he went into the house of God, etc. See Mark 2:26.

6:5  And he said unto them, The Son of man is lord of the sabbath1.

  1. The Son of man is Lord of the sabbath. See Mark 2:28.

6:6  And it came to pass on another sabbath1, that he entered into the synagogue2 and taught: and there was a man there, and his right hand was withered.

    JESUS DEFENDS HEALING A WITHERED HAND ON THE SABBATH. (Probably Galilee.) Matthew 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 6:6-11

  1. And it came to pass on another sabbath. Another sabbath than that on which the disciples plucked the grain (Luke 6:1).

  2. That he entered into the synagogue, etc. See Mark 3:1.

6:7  And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him1, whether he would heal on the sabbath; that they might find how to accuse him.

  1. And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, etc. See Mark 3:2.

6:8  But he knew their thoughts1; and he said to the man that had his hand withered, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst2. And he arose and stood forth.

  1. But he knew their thoughts. Omnisciently.

  2. And he said to the man that had his hand withered, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. See Mark 3:3.

6:9  And Jesus said unto them, I ask you, Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good, or to do harm? to save a life, or to destroy it?

  1. Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good, or to do harm? to save a life, or to destroy it? See Mark 3:4.

6:10  And he looked round about on them all, and said unto him, Stretch forth thy hand1. And he did [so]: and his hand was restored.

  1. And he looked round about on them all, and said unto him, Stretch forth thy hand. See Mark 3:5.

6:11  But they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus1.

  1. And communed one with another what they might do to Jesus. See Mark 3:6.

6:12  And it came to pass in these days, that he went out into the mountain to pray; and he continued all night in prayer to God1.

    AFTER PRAYER JESUS SELECTS TWELVE APOSTLES. (Near Capernaum.) Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:12-16

  1. And it came to pass in these days, that he went out into the mountain to pray; and he continued all night in prayer to God. It was a momentous occasion. He was about to choose those to whom he was to entrust the planting, organizing, and training of that church which was to be the purchase of his own blood. Jesus used such important crises, not as occasions for anxiety and worry, but as fitting times to seek and obtain the Father's grace and blessing.

6:13  And when it was day, he called his disciples; and he chose from them twelve1, whom also he named apostles2:

  1. And when it was day, he called his disciples; and he chose from them twelve. See Mark 3:14.

  2. Whom also he named apostles. See Matthew 10:2.

6:14  Simon, whom he also named Peter1, and Andrew his brother2, and James and John3, and Philip4 and Bartholomew5,

  1. Simon, whom he also named Peter. See Mark 3:16.

  2. Andrew his brother. See Matthew 10:2.

  3. James and John. See Mark 3:17.

  4. Philip. See John 1:43.

  5. Bartholomew. See Mark 3:18.

6:15  and Matthew and Thomas, and James [the son] of Alphaeus1, and Simon who was called the Zealot2,

  1. Matthew and Thomas, and James [the son] of Alphaeus. See Mark 3:18.

  2. Simon who was called the Zealot. See Mark 3:18 on Simon the Canaanite.

6:16  and Judas [the son] of James1, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor2;

  1. Judas [the son] of James. See Mark 3:18 on Thaddaeus.

  2. Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. See Mark 3:19.

6:17  and he came down with them1, and stood on a level place2, and a great multitude of his disciples, and a great number of the people from all Judaea and Jerusalem3, and the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon4, who came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;

    THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT. (A mountain plateau not far from Capernaum.) A. INTRODUCTORY STATEMENTS. Matthew 5:1,2; Luke 6:17-20

  1. And he came down with them. The twelve apostles whom he had just chosen.

  2. And stood on a level place. Harmonists who wish to make this sermon in Luke identical with the sermon on the mount recorded by Matthew, say that Jesus stood during the healing of the multitude, and that he afterwards went a little way up the mountain-side and sat down when he taught (Matthew 5:1). The plain is meant by our translators to indicate a plateau on the side of the mountain, and not the plain at its base. In this translation they were influenced somewhat by a desire to make the two sermons one. It is more likely that the sermons were not identical, yet they were probably delivered about the same time, for in each Evangelist the sermon is followed by an account of the healing of the centurion's servant. As it is a matter of no great importance whether there was one sermon or two, and as they contain many things in common, we have taken the liberty of combining them to save time and space. The sermon is an announcement of certain distinctive features of the kingdom of heaven, which was said to be at hand.

  3. From all Judaea and Jerusalem. See Mark 1:5.

  4. Tyre and Sidon. See Matthew 11:21.

6:18  and they that were troubled with unclean spirits1 were healed.

  1. Unclean spirits. See Mark 1:23.

6:19  And all the multitude sought to touch him1; for power came forth from him, and healed [them] all.

  1. And all the multitude sought to touch him. By comparing this with the foregoing section, we shall find that Mark had described this same crowd (Mark 3:10); the only difference between him and Luke being that he tells about it the day before Jesus chose the twelve apostles, while Luke describes its presence on the day after the event. Thus one substantiates the other.

6:20  And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples1, and said, Blessed [are] ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God2.

  1. And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples. Luke notes the eloquent look of Jesus here and elsewhere (Luke 22:61). While spoken to all, the sermon was addressed to the disciples, revealing to them the nature of the kingdom, and contrasting with it: (1) popular expectation; (2) the Mosaic system; (3) Pharisaic hypocrisy.

    THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT. (A mountain plateau not far from Capernaum.) B. BEATITUDES: PROMISES TO MESSIAH'S SUBJECTS Matthew 5:3-12; Luke 6:20-26

  2. Blessed [are] ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. See Matthew 5:3.

6:21  Blessed [are] ye that hunger now1: for ye shall be filled. Blessed [are] ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

  1. Blessed [are] ye that hunger now, etc. These three beatitudes given by Luke (Luke 6:20,21), like the two closing beatitudes of Matthew 5:9-11 are pronounced not upon character, but upon those in certain trying conditions. They are addressed to the disciples (Luke 6:17), and are meant to strengthen and encourage them to continue in the life of sacrifice when discipleship demanded. For light upon the meaning of these beatitudes, see such passages as these: Matthew 10:37-39; Matthew 16:24-26 Mark 10:28-30; Matthew 10:22-25. The service to which Jesus called meant poverty, hunger, and tears, but it led to rich reward (1 Corinthians 11:23-33 1 Corinthians 12:1-5).

6:22  Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you1, and when they shall separate you [from their company], and reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.

  1. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, etc. See Matthew 5:11.

6:23  Rejoice in that day, and leap [for joy]1: for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for in the same manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

  1. Rejoice in that day, and leap [for joy]. See Matthew 5:12.

6:24  But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation1.

    Luke 6:24,25

    These three woes are respectively the converse of the three beatitudes recorded in Luke 6:20,21. This converse is to be expected, for as long as sin lasts woes stand over against beatitudes as Ebal against Gerizim. See Deuteronomy 11:29; Joshua 8:33. But the woes here expressed by the Savior is more of a cry of compassion than a denunciation, and may be translated, "Alas for you"!

  1. But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. The first woe applied to those who love and trust in riches (Mark 10:24). Jesus does not clearly define the line beyond which the possession of riches becomes a danger, lest any, fancying himself to be on the safe side of the line, should lull himself to repose and be taken off his guard. Riches are "always" dangerous, and we must be ever watchful against their seduction.

6:25  Woe unto you, ye that are full now! for ye shall hunger. Woe [unto you], ye that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep.

  1. Woe to you that are full! for ye shall hunger. The second woe is kindred to the first. Righteousness is the soul's true food. Those who feast upon it shall be satisfied, but those who satiate themselves with this world shall waken some day to a sense of emptiness, since they have filled themselves with vanity. (Ecclesiastes 2:1-11; James 5:1-6).

  2. Woe to you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. The third woe is not pronounced upon those who make merriment an occasional relief; (Proverbs 17:22; Proverbs 15:13,15). but upon those who, through lack of earnestness, make it a constant aim. Half the world has no higher object in life than to be amused. (Proverbs 13:14; Ecclesiastes 7:6). Those who sow folly shall reap a harvest of tears. The truth of this saying was abundantly fulfilled in the Jewish wars, which culminated in the destruction of Jerusalem about forty years later.

6:26  Woe [unto you], when all men shall speak well of you! for in the same manner did their fathers to the false prophets1.

  1. Woe [unto you], when all men shall speak well of you! for in the same manner did their fathers to the false prophets. This is the converse to the beatitudes pronounced upon those who are reviled, etc. A righteous life rebukes an evil one, and the general tendency of evil is to deride that which rebukes it. This tendency caused the wicked of Christ's times to say that he had a demon (Matthew 11:18,; Luke 7:33 (Matthew 12:24; Mark 3:22; Luke 11:15). If our lives draw to themselves no reproach, they cannot be right in the sight of God. A good name is more to be desired than great riches; but we must not sacrifice our fidelity to Christ in order to attain it. If we adhere strictly to the virtues which Christ enjoined, we shall find that the world has an evil name for every one of them. Earnest contention for his truth is called bigotry; loyalty to his ordinances is dubbed narrowness; strict conformity to the laws of purity is named puritanism; liberality is looked upon as an effort to court praise; piety is scorned as hypocrisy; and faith is regarded as fanaticism.

6:27  But I say unto you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you1,

    THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT. (A mountain plateau not far from Capernaum.) D. RELATION OF MESSIANIC TEACHING TO OLD TESTAMENT AND TRADITIONAL TEACHING. Matthew 5:17-48; Luke 6:27-30,32-36

  1. Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you. See Matthew 5:44.

6:28  bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you.

  1. Love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you. See Matthew 5:44.

6:29  To him that smiteth thee on the [one] cheek offer also the other1; and from him that taketh away thy cloak withhold not thy coat also2.

  1. To him that smiteth thee on the [one] cheek offer also the other. See Matthew 5:39.

  2. And from him that taketh away thy cloak withhold not thy coat also. See Matthew 5:40.

6:30  Give to every one that asketh thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.

  1. Give to every man that asketh of thee. See Matthew 5:42.

6:31  And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise1.

    THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT. (A mountain plateau not far from Capernaum.) I. THE GOLDEN RULE Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31

  1. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. See Matthew 7:12. The great sages* Socrates, Buddha, Confucius, and Hillel each groped after this truth, but they stated it thus: "Do not do to others what you would not have done to you"; thus making it a rule of "not doing" rather than of doing. But the striking difference between these teachers and Christ lies not in the statements so much as in the exemplification. Jesus "lived" the Golden Rule in his conduct toward men, and maintained perfect righteousness before God in addition thereto.

    *NOTE.--It is instructive to consider the statements of these philosophers and teachers referred to by McGarvey and Pendleton. The Greek rhetorician and orator, Socrates (469-399 B.C.), in his "Advice to Nicocles", states,

    "What stirs your anger when done to you by others, that do not to others."

    According to the Talmud Shabbath, Hillel (fl. 30 B.C.-A.D. 10), the renowned Jewish rabbi, proposes,

    "What is hateful to you do not to your neighbor. This is the whole Law, the rest is Commentary."

    The Chinese philosopher and teacher Confucius (551-479 B.C.) in his Analects 15:23 says, in what is called "The Silver Rule",

    "What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others."

    Using ordinary research tools, I have not been able to locate the quotation attribted to Buddha. Perhaps McGarvey was referring to the Hindu epic poem, "The Mahabharata", which states,

    "Do nothing to thy neighbor which thou wouldst not have him do to thee hereafter." [E.S.]

6:32  And if ye love them that love you, what thank have ye1? for even sinners love those that love them.

  1. And if ye love them that love you, what thank have ye? See Matthew 5:46.

6:33  And if ye do good to them that do good to you, what thank have ye1? for even sinners do the same.

  1. And if ye do good to them that do good to you, what thank have ye? Compare Matthew 5:42,44.

6:34  And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye1? even sinners lend to sinners, to receive again as much.

  1. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? Compare Matthew 5:42.

6:35  But love your enemies, and do [them] good, and lend, never despairing1; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be sons of the Most High2: for he is kind toward the unthankful and evil.

  1. But love your enemies, and do [them] good, and lend, never despairing. See Matthew 5:44. Clarke writes,

    "To make our neighbor purchase, in any way, the assistance which we give him is to profit by his misery; and, by laying him under obligations which we expect him in some way or other to discharge, we increase his wretchedness under the pretense of relieving him."

  2. And ye shall be sons of the Most High, etc. See Matthew 5:45.

6:36  Be ye merciful, even as your Father is merciful1.

  1. Be ye merciful, even as your Father is merciful. See Matthew 5:48.

6:37  And judge not, and ye shall not be judged1: and condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: release, and ye shall be released:

    THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT. (A mountain plateau not far from Capernaum.) G. LAW CONCERNING JUDGING. Matthew 7:1-6; Luke 6:37-42

  1. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged. See Matthew 7:1.

6:38  give, and it shall be given unto you1; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over2, shall they give into your bosom3. For with what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again.

  1. Give, and it shall be given unto you. This not necessarily a promise of the return of our gift in kind. It rather means that we shall receive an equivalent in joy and in that blessedness which Jesus meant when he said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).

  2. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over. The figurative language is borrowed from the market where the salesman, grateful for past kindnesses, endeavors, by pressing, shaking, and piling up, to put more grain into the measure for us that it will contain.

  3. Shall they give into your bosom. Pockets were unknown to the ancients, and what they wished to take with them was carried in the fold in the bosom of the coat, the girdle below holding it up. Ruth bore this a heavy burden in her mantle which, in the Authorized Version is mistakenly called the "veil" (Ruth 3:15).

6:39  And he spake also a parable unto them, Can the blind guide the blind? shall they not both fall into a pit2?

  1. Can the blind guide the blind? Whoso lacks the knowledge of divine truth cannot so lead others that they shall find it.

  2. Shall they not both fall into a pit? They shall both fall into the pitfalls of moral error and confusion.

6:40  The disciple is not above his teacher1: but every one when he is perfected shall be as his teacher2.

  1. The disciple is not above his teacher. Pupils do not surpass their teachers, or, if they do, they are self-taught, and hence do not owe to their teachers that wherein they rise superior to them.

  2. But every one when he is perfected shall be as his teacher. All that the scholar can hope from his teacher is that when he is perfectly instructed he shall be as his teacher. But if the teacher is a blind man floundering in a ditch (Luke 6:39), he affords but a dismal prospect for his pupils. The perfection of such teaching is certainly not desirable.

6:41  And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye1?

    Luke 6:41,42

  1. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? See Matthew 7:3. In Matthew and Luke Jesus gives slightly varying applications to this allegorical passage by setting it in different connections. In Luke, as we see it, he places it after the words which describe the disastrous effect of being blind leaders of the blind (Luke 6:39,40). It therefore signifies in this connection that we ourselves should first see if we would teach others to see. In Matthew he places it after the words about censorious judgment (Matthew 7:1,2), where it means that we must judge ourselves before we can be fit judges of others. The thought is practically the same, for there is little difference between correcting others as their teachers or as their self-appointed judges.

6:43  For there is no good tree that bringeth forth corrupt fruit; nor again a corrupt tree that bringeth forth good fruit1.

    THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT. (A mountain plateau not far from Capernaum.) J. THE TWO WAYS AND THE FALSE PROPHETS. Matthew 7:13-23; Luke 6:43-45

  1. For there is no good tree that bringeth forth corrupt fruit; nor again a corrupt tree that bringeth forth good fruit. Compare with Matthew 7:16-18,20.

6:44  For each tree is known by its own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes1.

  1. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. Compare

6:45  The good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and the evil [man] out of the evil [treasure] bringeth forth that which is evil: for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh1.

  1. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. Teachers are to be judged by their conduct as men, and also by the effect of their teaching. If either be predominantly bad, the man must be avoided. But we must not judge hastily, nor by slight and trivial actions, for some specimens of bad fruit grow on good trees. See

6:46  And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say1?

    THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT. (A mountain plateau not far from Capernaum.) K. CONCLUSION AND APPLICATION: TWO BUILDERS. Matthew 7:24-29; Luke 6:46-49

  1. And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Why do ye give me the title, but withhold the service which should go with it? See Malachi 1:6.

6:47  Every one that cometh unto me, and heareth my words, and doeth them1, I will show you to whom he is like:

  1. Every one that cometh unto me, and heareth my words, and doeth them. See Matthew 7:24.

6:48  he is like a man building a house, who digged and went deep, and laid a foundation upon the rock1: and when a flood arose, the stream brake against that house, and could not shake it2: because it had been well builded.

  1. He is like a man building a house, who digged and went deep, and laid a foundation upon the rock. See Matthew 7:24.

  2. And when a flood arose, the stream brake against that house, and could not shake it. See Matthew 7:25.

6:49  But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that built a house upon the earth without a foundation1; against which the stream brake, and straightway it fell in; and the ruin of that house was great2.

  1. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that built a house upon the earth without a foundation. See Matthew 7:26.

  2. Against which the stream brake, and straightway it fell in; and the ruin of that house was great. See Matthew 7:27.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website. These files were made available by Mr. Ernie Stefanik. First published online in 1996 at The Restoration Movement Pages.

Bibliography Information
J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. "Commentary on Luke 6". "The Fourfold Gospel". <http://classic.studylight.org/com/tfg/view.cgi?book=lu&chapter=006>. Standard Publishing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 1914.  

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