12 At that particular time Jesus went through the grainfields on the [a]Sabbath, and His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them.(A) 2 But when the Pharisees saw this, they said to Him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what [b]is unlawful on the Sabbath.”(B) 3 He said to them, “Have you not read [in the Scriptures] what David did when he was hungry, he and those who accompanied him—(C) 4 how he went into the house of God, and they ate the [c]consecrated bread, which was not lawful for him to eat nor for those with him, but for the priests only? 5 Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break [the sanctity of] the Sabbath and yet are innocent?(D) 6 But I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. 7 And if you had only known what this statement means, ‘I desire compassion [for those in distress], [d]and not [animal] sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.(E)
Lord of the Sabbath
8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
9 Leaving there, He went into their synagogue.(F) 10 A man was there whose hand was withered. And they asked Jesus, “Is it lawful and permissible to heal on the Sabbath?”—they asked this so that they might accuse Him and bring charges into court. 11 But He said to them, “What man is there among you who, if he has only one sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful and permissible to do good on the Sabbath.” 13 Then He said to the man, “Reach out your hand!” The man reached out and it was restored, as normal and healthy as the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and conspired against Him, discussing how they could destroy Him.
15 Being aware of this, Jesus left there. Many followed Him, and He healed all of them [who were sick], 16 and warned them not to tell [publicly] who He was. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:
“Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen;
My Beloved in whom My soul is well-pleased;
I will put My Spirit upon Him,
And He will proclaim justice to the nations.
“He will not quarrel, nor cry out loudly;
Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.
“A battered reed He will not break,
And a smoldering wick He will not extinguish,
Until He leads justice to victory.
“And in His name the Gentiles (all the nations of the world) will hope [with confidence].”(G)
- Matthew 12:1 The seventh day of the week, the day of worship.
- Matthew 12:2 Picking grain to eat was not forbidden on the Sabbath. It was ridiculous for the Pharisees to try to equate gleaning for food with reaping a harvest (which was forbidden on the Sabbath).
- Matthew 12:4 The bread of the Presence, the twelve fresh loaves presented each Sabbath to the Lord in the Holy Place.
- Matthew 12:7 I.e. more than.
Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
3 Again Jesus went into a synagogue; and a man was there whose hand was [a]withered.(A) 2 The Pharisees were watching Jesus closely to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him [in the Jewish high court]. 3 He said to the man whose hand was withered, “Get up and come forward!” 4 He asked them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save a life or to kill?” But they kept silent. 5 After looking around at them with anger, grieved at the hardness and arrogance of their hearts, He told the man, “Hold out your hand.” And he held it out, and his hand was [completely] restored. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and immediately began conspiring with the [b]Herodians [to plot] against Him, as to how [c]they might [fabricate some legal grounds to] put Him to death.
7 Jesus withdrew to the sea with His disciples; and a large crowd from Galilee followed Him; and also people from Judea, 8 and from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and [from the region] beyond the Jordan, and around Tyre and Sidon; a vast number of people came to Him because they were hearing about all [the things] that He was doing. 9 And He told His disciples to have a small boat stand ready for Him because of the many people, so that they would not crowd Him; 10 for He had healed many, and as a result all who had diseases pressed around Him to touch Him. 11 Whenever the unclean spirits saw Him, they fell down before Him and screamed out, “You are the Son of God!” 12 Jesus sternly warned them [again and again] not to tell who He was.
The Twelve Are Chosen
13 He went up on the hillside and called those whom He Himself wanted and chose; and they came to Him. 14 And He appointed [d]twelve [disciples], so that they would be with Him [for instruction] and so that He could send them out to preach [the gospel as apostles—that is, as His special messengers, personally chosen representatives], 15 and to have authority and power to cast out demons. 16 He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter),(B) 17 and James, the son of [e]Zebedee, and John the brother of James (to them He gave the name Boanerges, that is, “Sons of Thunder”); 18 and [He also appointed] Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew (Nathanael), and Matthew (Levi the tax collector), and Thomas, and [f]James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus (Judas the son of James), and Simon the Zealot; 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Him.
20 Then He came to a [g]house [in Capernaum], and a crowd formed again, so [many people] that Jesus and His disciples could not even eat a meal [together]. 21 When His own family heard this they went to take custody of Him; for they were saying, “He is out of His mind.” 22 The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by [h]Beelzebul (Satan),” and “He is driving out the demons by the [power of the] ruler of the demons.”(C) 23 So He called them to Himself and spoke to them in [i]parables, “How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided [split into factions and rebelling] against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. 27 But no one can go into a strong man’s house and steal his property unless he first overpowers and ties up the strong man, and then he will ransack and rob his house.(D)
28 “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and all the abusive and blasphemous things they say; 29 but whoever [j]blasphemes against the Holy Spirit and His power [by attributing the miracles done by Me to Satan] never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin [a sin which is unforgivable in this present age as well as in the age to come]”—(E) 30 [Jesus said this] because the scribes and Pharisees were [attributing His miracles to Satan by] saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”
31 Then His mother and His brothers arrived, and standing outside they sent word to Him and called for Him.(F) 32 A crowd was sitting around Him, and they said to Him, “Look! Your mother and Your brothers are outside asking for You.” 33 And He replied, “Who are My mother and My brothers?” 34 Looking at those who were sitting in a circle around Him, He said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! 35 For [k]whoever does the will of God [by believing in Me, and following Me], he is My brother and sister and mother.”
- Mark 3:1 The Greek word also means “to dry out” and may indicate that the condition resulted from disease or an accident.
- Mark 3:6 A secular political party of Jews that strongly supported Herod Antipas and Rome, and opposed the Pharisees on most issues.
- Mark 3:6 The Pharisees and Herodians set aside their religious and political differences to form a conspiracy.
- Mark 3:14 See notes Matt 10:2-4.
- Mark 3:17 It is believed that Salome, Zebedee’s wife and the mother of James and John, was a sister of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
- Mark 3:18 Also called James the Less or James the Younger. It is believed that his mother, Mary (Gr Maria), was a sister or sister-in-law of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
- Mark 3:20 Probably Simon Peter’s house; cf 2:1, 2.
- Mark 3:22 I.e. an idol worshiped in the Philistine city of Ekron: Baal Zebul, lord of the high places or Baal Zebub, lord of the flies.
- Mark 3:23 Parables ordinarily were used for clarification, but Jesus often used them to hide sacred truths from unbelievers (see 4:11, 12).
- Mark 3:29 Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is denying all the work of the Holy Spirit. This leads ultimately to rejecting the deity of Christ.
- Mark 3:35 A universal offer.
Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath
6 One Sabbath while Jesus was passing through fields of standing grain, it happened that His disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating them.(A) 2 But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what [a]is unlawful on the Sabbath?”(B) 3 Jesus replied to them, “Have you not even read [in the Scriptures] what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him—(C) 4 how he went into the house of God, and took and ate the [b]consecrated bread, which is not lawful [for anyone] to eat except the priests alone, and [how he also] gave it to the men who were with him?”(D) 5 Jesus was saying to them, “The Son of Man (the Messiah) is Lord [even] of the Sabbath.”
6 On another Sabbath He went into the synagogue and taught, and a man was present whose right hand was withered.(E) 7 The scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him closely [with malicious intent], to see if He would [actually] heal [someone] on the Sabbath, so that they might find a reason to accuse Him. 8 But He was aware of their thoughts, and He said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward.” So he got up and stood there. 9 Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you directly: Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath or to do evil, to save a life or to destroy it?” 10 After looking around at them all, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand!” And he did, and his hand was [fully] restored. 11 But the scribes and Pharisees were filled with senseless rage [and lacked spiritual insight], and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.
Choosing the Twelve
12 Now at this time Jesus went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. 13 When day came, He called His disciples and selected twelve of them, whom He also named [c]apostles (special messengers, personally chosen representatives):(F) 14 Simon, whom He also named Peter, and his brother Andrew; and [the brothers] [d]James and John; and Philip, and Bartholomew [also called Nathanael]; 15 and Matthew (Levi, the tax collector) and Thomas; and [e]James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot; 16 Judas [also called Thaddaeus] the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor [to the Lord].
17 Then Jesus came down with them and stood on a level place; and there was a large crowd of His disciples, and a vast multitude of people from all over Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to listen to Him and to be healed of their diseases. Even those who were troubled by unclean spirits (demons) were being healed. 19 All the people were trying to touch Him, because [healing] power was coming from Him and healing them all.
20 And looking toward His disciples, He began [f]speaking: “Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are you who are poor [in spirit, those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for the kingdom of God is yours [both now and forever].(G) 21 Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are you who hunger now [for righteousness, actively seeking right standing with God], for you will be [completely] satisfied. Blessed [forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace] are you who weep now [over your sins and repent], for you will laugh [when the burden of sin is lifted]. 22 Blessed [morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness] are you when people hate you, and exclude you [from their fellowship], and insult you, and scorn your name as evil because of [your association with] the Son of Man. 23 Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for your reward in heaven is great [absolutely inexhaustible]; for their fathers used to treat the prophets in the same way. 24 But [g]woe (judgment is coming) to you who are rich [and place your faith in possessions while remaining spiritually impoverished], for you are [already] receiving your comfort in full [and there is nothing left to be awarded to you]. 25 Woe to you who are well-fed (gorged, satiated) now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now [enjoying a life of self-indulgence], for you will mourn and weep [and deeply long for God]. 26 Woe to you when all the people speak well of you and praise you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.
27 “But I say to you who hear [Me and pay attention to My words]: [h]Love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, [make it a practice to] do good to those who hate you, 28 bless and show kindness to those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 Whoever [i]strikes you on the cheek, offer him the other one also [simply ignore insignificant insults or losses and do not bother to retaliate—maintain your dignity]. Whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either.(H) 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. [j]Whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31 Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. 32 If you [only] love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 If you lend [money] to those from whom you expect to receive [it back], what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners expecting to receive back the same amount. 35 But love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, and do good, and lend, [k]expecting nothing in return; for your reward will be great (rich, abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High; because He Himself is kind and gracious and good to the ungrateful and the wicked. 36 Be merciful (responsive, compassionate, tender) just as your [heavenly] Father is merciful.
37 “[l]Do not judge [others self-righteously], and you will not be judged; do not condemn [others when you are guilty and unrepentant], and you will not be condemned [for your hypocrisy]; pardon [others when they truly repent and change], and you will be pardoned [when you truly repent and change].(I) 38 Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over [with no space left for more]. For with the standard of measurement you use [when you do good to others], it will be measured to you in return.”
39 He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man guide [another] blind man? Will they not both fall into a hole in the ground? 40 A student is not superior to his teacher; but everyone, after he has been completely trained, will be like his teacher. 41 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice or consider the log that is in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, allow me to take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite (play actor, pretender), first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye. 43 For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit.(J) 44 For each tree is known and identified by its own fruit. For figs are not picked from thorn bushes, nor is a cluster of grapes picked from a briar bush. 45 The [intrinsically] good man produces what is good and honorable and moral out of the good treasure [stored] in his heart; and the [intrinsically] evil man produces what is wicked and depraved out of the evil [in his heart]; for his mouth speaks from the overflow of his heart.
A Secure Foundation
46 “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not practice what I tell you? 47 Everyone who comes to Me and listens to My words and obeys them, I will show you whom he is like:(K) 48 he is like a [far-sighted, practical, and sensible] man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and yet could not shake it, because it had been securely built and founded on the rock. 49 But the one who has [merely] heard and has not practiced [what I say], is like a [foolish] man who built a house on the ground without any foundation, and the torrent burst against it; and it immediately collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”
- Luke 6:2 See note Matt 12:2.
- Luke 6:4 Or showbread; lit bread of presentation.
- Luke 6:13 In general usage the word “apostle” (Gr apostolos) means “sent one” or “messenger.” In this passage and others in reference to the “twelve,” the word “apostles” is used in a technical sense of the twelve disciples, and later Paul, whom Jesus chose. An apostle was one who had witnessed Christ’s resurrection (Acts 1:21, 22) or (in Paul’s case) had seen the resurrected Christ (1 Cor 9:1, 2). They validated their apostleship by performing “signs and wonders and miracles” (2 Cor 12:12), and were the foundation of the church.
- Luke 6:14 The sons of Zebedee and Salome. Salome is believed to be a sister of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
- Luke 6:15 Also called James the Less or James the Younger. His mother Mary (Gr Maria) is believed to be a sister or sister-in-law of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
- Luke 6:20 In vv 20-22 Luke lists four of the nine Beatitudes recorded by Matthew and follows them with four antithetical woes in vv 24-26.
- Luke 6:24 The four woes (vv 24-26) are addressed to those who lack spiritual perception and are oblivious to the importance of Jesus’ message of salvation.
- Luke 6:27 The key to understanding this and other statements about love is to know that this love (the Greek word agape) is not so much a matter of emotion as it is of doing things for the benefit of another person, that is, having an unselfish concern for another and a willingness to seek the higher good for another.
- Luke 6:29 In this context the “slap” is not an act of violence, but more likely an insult or violation of one’s rights.
- Luke 6:30 Probably a prohibition against frivolous legal action.
- Luke 6:35 Or not despairing at all.
- Luke 6:37 This is not a prohibition of judgment, nor is it a command to stop using godly wisdom, common sense, and moral courage together with God’s written word to discern right from wrong, to distinguish between morality and immorality, and to judge doctrinal truth. There are many judgments that are not only legitimate, but are commanded (cf John 7:24; 1 Cor 5:5, 12; Gal 1:8, 9; 1 John 4:1-3; 2 John 10); however, you cannot judge another if you are committing the same type of sin.