Sabbath Controversies - Luke 6

Sabbath Controversies - Luke 6

As we read Luke 6. we see Jesus embroiled in controversies concerning how the Sabbath should be observed. This was a current and ongoing debate among the Jewish teachers. These debates resulted in lists of specifics that THEY concluded were violations of the commandment. Jesus stood in opposition to their conclusions. In plucking and eating as they went through the grain fields, he claimed to be Lord of the Sabbath (vs. 5). Entering into a synagogue and knowing that he was being 'inspected', he claimed simply that it is Lawful to do good on the Sabbath and healed a man with a withered arm (vs. 10).

The response of the Jewish leaders was rage (vs. 11). Louw-Nida define this word as meaning "a state of such extreme anger as to suggest an incapacity to use one’s mind—‘extreme fury, great rage.’ With such a mindset, we see the beginning of plans for His demise. We have heard the end of this story and know that this rage ends with Him being crucified. Jesus KNEW from the beginning what was coming. This adds insight into the depth of the temptation to receive 'glory and power' the easy way rather than through the Father's plan.

What was His response? Prayer. He went off by himself and spent the whole night in prayer! He didn't respond in kind to their anger. He instead connects and communes with the Father. He is here not for his own will, but to do the will of the Father. Prayer was at the heart of his relationship with the Father.

Then, He chose 12 men and sent them forth to continue preaching / teaching. Instead of backing down and retreating, He expands the onslaught against the power of darkness.

He then continued preaching / healing (confirmation of His claims). It is instructive to see what is included in His teaching.

             22 - You are blessed when men hate you - rejoice.

             27 - You are to love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.

             31 - You are to treat others the same way you want them to treat you.

             35 - Again, you are to love your enemies, and do good.

             36 - You are to be merciful.

             37 - You are not to be judgmental.

             40 - He gives a solemn WARNING: it will happen to the disciples as it was happening to HIM.

             43 - YET you must discern the good trees from bad trees. This discerning is done by inspecting their fruit. While doing this, you must not be a hypocrite that 'says and does not', but rather, disciples MUST BE GOOD TREES BRINGING FORTH GOOD FRUIT.

As Barbara Walter asked: 'What kind of tree are you?" It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher. We are to be like Jesus in our character and conduct, particularly in the face of evil and opposition. 

Hugh DeLong