Luke 6:1 “…on the second Sabbath after the first…”
Odd way of denoting the time. Luke is trying to be precise. He’s the only one to use this phrase. Commentaries aren’t sure exactly what is meant. The actual translation is second first Sabbath. Best consensus is the first Sabbath after the second day of Passover. Second day of Passover was the starting point for counting the seven weeks until Pentecost. So, the Sabbath at the end of the first week after Passover. Other commentaries cite reasons for other ideas, but apparently no way to know for certain.
KJV says corn fields. New translations say grain fields. Commentaries differ, but some say the corn in the KJV would actually be some type of grain, not corn. From reading what they were doing with it, it sounds more like wheat or barley grain than corn.
5 “…The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath”
This phrase emphasizes that Jesus was Lord of all, even the Sabbath. He could do as He pleased. Other gospels bring out another idea which is that all was created for man, not man for all things. God’s laws and instructions are for our benefit, not for our restriction. Bending the rules is permissible when it provides the greater benefit. Like getting the ox out of the ditch on the Sabbath. However, care must be given to not become callous. Too much exception skirts the law entirely.
7 “…Pharisees watched Him closely, whether He would heal on the Sabbath, that they might find an accusation against Him”
What is wrong with these people? Best case is they thought God was so strict as to demand total adherence to His law. But God never presented Himself to them that way. Always love and mercy for repentance.
9 “…to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy”
There was the point. The fact that it was the Sabbath didn’t make any difference. Jesus was performing a miracle, obviously from God. Who can stand and say what God does is evil?
11 “…they were filled with rage…”
Obviously more than just studious adherence to the law. They were taking this personally. Jesus was stepping on their religious system.
12 “…continued all night in prayer to God”
Even after praying all night, He still picked Judas Iscariot. Can toss that one around for ages without knowing anything. Did He know, did He not know. If He did, why choose him, if not, why didn’t He know. On and on. I think the best way to look at this and everything Jesus did is to see Him as the perfect human example. He came to show us how to live. Because of sin, even the best intentions may fail. And it may have nothing to do with the one making the decisions. We do and decide with the best info we have at the moment, then trust God with the result. Whatever happens, we watch to see what He might accomplish or teach us.
23 “…indeed your reward is great in heaven…”
Always stressed that standing up for Jesus or being persecuted because of faith in Jesus is the right thing to do. But Jesus said there is great reward in doing so. Obviously the right heart attitude is to do it because it is right, but God isn’t blind. He doesn’t need our defense, but He is pleased when we step out of ourselves and live for Him.
24-25 “…woe to you who are rich…Woe to you who are full…”
I interpret the beatitudes as a spiritual progression. It’s easier to see in Matthew’s recording as it’s more detailed. The idea is He isn’t speaking of physical conditions, but results of the spiritual. Those who recognize they are poor spiritually will see their need for Jesus. They weep over their sin, but will soon laugh in redemption. Thus the woes are for those who consider themselves rich and full spiritually and don’t need anyone or anything. One day they will hunger and mourn and weep because they rejected Christ thinking they didn’t need Him. Obviously there is nothing wrong with having money or being well fed, so I don’t think it’s over spiritualizing to say He was speaking of the spiritual.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.