Luke 6: Controversy, Choices, and Contrasts

by Bob Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

Today's Bible Reading: Luke 6

Selected Biblical Text
And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all. And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets. But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets." (Luke 6:19-26 ESV)

Reflecting and Thinking
Luke 6 has three major sections. Jesus' identity as the Lord of the Sabbath is central to a controversy with the Jews; Jesus chooses the Twelve; and Jesus preaches an extended sermon. Luke's account of the Sermon on the Plain has many obvious parallels to Matthew's Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) and almost certainly refers to the same event. Jesus stood on a level place, perhaps a mountain plateau or a flat overlook. These options would satisfy any perceived discrepancy between the "plain" and the "mount." Of course, there also exists the possibility that Jesus gave similar sermons on different occasions, as still happens with preachers today. The crowds have been attracted by his power. The sermon in Luke begins by contrasting blessings and woes. The woes are point by point answers that correspond to the blessings.

What strikes you about the themes Jesus addresses in this short series of blessings and woes? If you had to paraphrase the sermon in entirely different words, what synonyms and parallel concepts would you use? What themes or common subjects can you identify in the sermon? Or, is this merely a miscellaneous series of topics? How can we apply these teachings of Jesus in our lives each day?

Father God, we want to be your followers. We want to recognize you clearly, to walk closely, to understand your will and way, and to participate in your work. Give us wisdom. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Devotionals Index

Return to Home Page

Last updated January 2019