The Gospel of Luke - Chapters 6 & 7

What do we read about in the sixth & seventh chapters of Luke's Gospel?
What do we learn from Luke?

What is the main focus?
Is it important to know the words from this chapter?

I am doing this in response to an Advent Reading challenge where we read 1 chapter of the Gospel of Luke per day from 1st to 24th December which will allow the whole book to be read.

If you missed The Overview or any of the chapters please click  HERE  for a list of them all.

Now let's look at the Sixth Chapter of Luke.

Today we are dividing this chapter into 5 sections

Jesus & The Sabbath v. 1-11:

Those Scribes & Pharisees really like to accuse Jesus and his followers don't they.

Lots of people are like that today as well and show judgemental attitudes instead of loving attitudes.

So in the starting verses we see the Pharisees accusing the disciples of of breaking the laws of the Sabbath and then we see them just waiting on another Sabbath Day to be able to accuse Jesus of breaking the laws.

In the first instance they don't understand that Jesus is Lord of all so the Sabbath is subject to Him.

In the second instance Jesus knowing that they were watching and waiting turned the situation round and showed that the laws that had been made to be so important around the Sabbath were being misused and that evil was coming from that instead of the good that should.

Healing a man was from the goodness of God.

Being anxious to be able to make accusations and get their own way was from the evil of Satan.

Verse 11  shows clearly the evil that was growing in their hearts.
But they were filled with rage, and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.

Such a strong statement showing the strength of the emotion they were feeling.

The Twelve Apostles v. 12-19:

Obviously there were now several followers of Jesus called disciples but this section now gives us the calling of the 12 who were to become known as the Apostles.

The 12 were:
Simon  (who Jesus named Peter)
Andrew  (Simon's brother)
James  &  John  ( mentioned previously as the sons of Zebedee)
James  (son of Alphaeus)
Simon  (the Zealot)
Judas  (son of James)
Judas  (Iscariot)

These were the ones who were to work and learn closely from Him and completed the requirements for Jesus then to be regarded as a Rabbi  -  a teacher with at least 10 male disciples/students.

We are not told what made these twelve different from the others but obviously they were particularly chosen by God.

How do we know that God was in control of this choice?

Look at verses 12-13
 12 Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.  
13 And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles

Just like we saw in the last chapter Jesus spent time in prayer before the choice was made.

After this choosing of the twelve, they all came down from the mountain and multitudes from different places were drawn to Jesus and were healed & delivered from unclean spirits.

verse 19 shows the power of the Holy Spirit through Jesus
And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.

The Beatitudes v. 20-26:

verse 20 continues by saying
Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples

It does not tell us if they went to another place or if this was another day or time but just Then.

So as Jesus stood there presumably shortly afterwards speaking these words that we refer to as the Beatitudes so He was in the same presence of the Spirit as he was during the miracles of healing and deliverance.

Surely that is something to remember as we listen to people who seek to preach to us or teach us and make sure that they are filled with the Holy Spirit and guided by God in all they say and not speaking just simply from their own thoughts.

It also says He was speaking to the disciples and does not mention all the other people so does this mean this was teaching for His own followers?

When we read the Beatitudes we normally go to Matthew's Gospel chapter 5 where we read 9 statements of the same type starting with the word  Blessed  and then 1 starting with Rejoice.
We do not find any Beatitudes in the other two gospels.

Here in Luke we have 4 starting with Blessed  and then 1 starting with Rejoice  followed by 4 statements starting with Woe

It's a bit like having the good news followed by the bad news.

In both gospels the last Blessed statement is the same and the Rejoice statement is there straight after it to show us how we are to react to it.

As for the Woes in Luke's Gospel 
they are almost like the opposite way round to the blessings.  
Is Jesus telling the disciples that the first set of attitudes is the correct way but the second is the wrong way.

Love and Do Not Judge  v. 27-42:

So often we hear things like "we are not supposed to judge others"  but mostly we use this in the wrong way - you know that thing about always reading in context!!!!

Well today we could have two questions from this section:
1.  Who should we love?
2.  Who should we not judge?

The verse below answers question 1.

I may not be an answer that is easy for us to accept because we want to love those who are loveable.
We want to love those who love us.

But God's way is better than our way.

Where is the answer to question 2?

Well Jesus used a parable to answer this one.

He talked about blind leading the blind - useless, one is as blind as the other.

He talked about the speck in someone else's eye while there is a plank in our eye.

But none of us are righteous enough to be able to judge others, there is no-one righteous except Jesus.

I think verse 36  sums up how we need to behave

Although God is a righteous God He wants us to be merciful because He is a God of mercy.

A Tree & A Rock  v. 43-49:

Here Jesus continues to teach and points to good and bad not being the result of each other.

He uses the illustration of a tree in verse 43
For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear  good fruit.

leading into the words of wisdom in verse 45

Then Jesus points out that although the disciples are learning from Him and recognise Him as Lord they do not do as He teaches.

Jesus wants us to come follow Him but that means to do His Will and that is to obey Him and if we doing this we will be like the next parable he tells.

The parable of the man who built his house on the rock - the firm foundation -  the floods could not destroy the house because it was on the right foundation unlike one that was built without a sure foundation.

Leaving us at the end of chapter 6 thinking about how we can be on the right foundation.

Answer - Jesus and the truth of God's Word must be our firm foundation and we can really only have that foundation when we wholly trust in Jesus.

Now let's look at the Seventh Chapter of Luke.

Today we are dividing this chapter into 4 sections.

In each one Jesus meets various people and the interactions between them are very significant.

Jesus Heals the Centurion's Servant  v. 1-10:

Jesus is in Capernaum.

A Centurion has a servant who is dying.
The Centurion sends elders of the Jews to ask Jesus to come to heal the servant.
The elders come and tell Jesus the centurion's request and explain that he is a worthy man because they have benefited from his generosity.

The the centurion sends friends to Jesus when he is close to his home asking Jesus not to bother to come but simply say the word and he knows his servant will be healed.
The Centurion recognises the authority Jesus has over sickness and also recognises that he is not worthy to even have Jesus in his home.

Jesus marvels at this and says He has not found such faith before and the servant is healed.

Contrasting the Jewish elders and the Centurion.
-  the former want the Centurion kept happy to continue being good to the city.
-  the latter wants to help his servant but does not think himself deserving of the attention of Jesus.

Jesus Raises the Son of the Widow of Nain  v. 11-17:

Now Jesus has gone to Nain.
The disciples and a large crowd are with Him.

There is a widow with one son who then has to endure the sorrow and worry when her son dies.
Jesus about to enter the city meets the funeral of this widow's son with a large crowd accompanying it.

What happened?
Jesus had compassion on her and brought her son back to life.

The result:
- the large crowd witnessed a miracle
- the widow was joyful
- a life was restored

but also let's not forget the fact that all that witnessed this
- experienced the fear (awe) of God
- glorified God
because they knew God was with them.

What qualities are shown in Luke chapter 7?

John the Baptist Sends Messengers to Jesus  v. 18-35:

John sends followers to Jesus to ask if Jesus is the one John was expecting.

Jesus healed and delivered people while John's followers were with Him so they actually witnessed the power of the Holy Spirit for themselves - the best way to know for certain what is happening and not by hearsay.

In verses 22-23  Jesus then told them to
22 “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard:             that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed,     the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have the gospel     preached to them.  
23 And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”

Jesus goes on to tell the multitudes that John was a great prophet.

All those who had been baptised by John were happy with this.

But not the Pharisees and lawyers the usual ones to complain or grumble about everything to do with Jesus.

Jesus knew that no matter what was done for them they were not changing and he called them out on that in verses 33-34

33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ 
34 The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a wine bibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ 

Basically Jesus was saying nothing would please them, they would find something to use as an accusation.

Jesus Forgives a Sinful Woman  v. 36-50:

Jesus goes to the home of a Pharisee for a meal.

While he is there a woman who was a well-known "sinner" does 5 things in His presence

1.  weeps
2.  washes His feet with her tears
3.  dries His feet with her hair
4.  kisses his feet
5.  pours perfume over His feet

The Pharisee immediately starts thinking of another accusation against Jesus saying to himself in verse 39b
“This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”
Jesus knows what the accusation is without hearing it and tells Simon the Pharisee the parable of the two debtors in verses 41-43  
41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.  
42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?"    
43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.”

Jesus then compares Simon with the woman:
  • Simon did not wash the feet of Jesus,  the woman did & dried them.
  • Simon did not greet Jesus with a kiss,  the woman kissed his feet repeatedly.
  • Simon did not anoint the head of Jesus with oil,  the woman anointed His feet with fragrant oil.

The woman loved greatly and receives forgiveness for her sins.

If only we were humble enough that  verses 48-50  would be the said to us
48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

The woman also receives the peace of God, is this not something we all would ask for.

What qualities stand out for me in this chapter?



Power of the Holy Spirit



If you would like to read more of the posts in this series please click  HERE  for a list of them all.


The Gospel of Luke - Chapters 4 & 5

What do we read about in the fourth & fifth chapters of Luke's Gospel?
What do we learn from Luke?

What is the main focus?
Is it important to know the words from this chapter?

I am doing this in response to an Advent Reading challenge where we read 1 chapter of the Gospel of Luke per day from 1st to 24th December which will allow the whole book to be read.

If you missed The Overview and chapter 1 please click HERE

For chapters 2 & 3 please click HERE  to read about that and then come back to continue with us for chapters 4 & 5.

Now let's look at the 

Fourth Chapter of Luke.

Today we are dividing this chapter into 5 sections

The Temptation of Jesus v. 1-13:

Remember from chapter 3 we know that the last thing Luke recorded of Jesus was His Baptism.

Now we have a very different situation.

To some this will probably seem like a very well-known passage but as we found from the previous few chapters we can never say this as sometimes we are only thinking of one version from one Gospel and each Gospel may have a unique take on the topic.

I am sure that every time we hear about this we hear people say or we think ourselves that Jesus was all alone in the wilderness.
Yes he was on his own if we think of human companionship but the first verse of this chapter tells us that He was not completely on His own.

verse 1-2a    (NKJV)
Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,  
being tempted for forty days by the devil.

above is the NKJV which states that the Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness but the NASB below states that the Spirit led Jesus around the wilderness

verse 1-2a    (NASB)
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness 
for forty days, being tempted by the devil.

Jesus was never alone - He always had the Holy Spirit with Him

The fellowship within the Godhead has always been of utmost importance.

The devil could have said anything to Jesus, he could have tempted Him in any way but Jesus being man was not one that the devil was trying to tempt.

The devil was trying to tempt Jesus the Son of God.

There was never going to be a doubt about the outcome because Jesus, part of the Triune God, was never going to be tempted by the devil.  Jesus may have allowed the devil to talk to Him and to try to make Him turn His back on the Father but he never had a chance of breaking up the Trinity.

There are three verses here which show us how to resist the devil

Notice the  "It is written..."

Notice the  "For it is written..."

Notice the  "It has been said..."

What God has already written or said is settled, is truth and is the foundation for us to rely on when we are tempted because we are not God we are human but thankfully we can depend on God's faithfulness in that His Word never changes just as He never changes.

The devil could say nothing more.

Public Ministry of Jesus in Galilee v. 14-15:

Immediately we have an important statement giving the reason for the future events.

verse 14a
Then Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee

He began teaching  -  oh that all the preaching we hear today would be done in the power of the Spirit.
What was the result of this teaching?

verse 15    (NKJV)
And He taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

verse 15    (NASB)
And He began teaching in their synagogues and was praised by all.

Public Ministry of Jesus in Nazareth v. 16-30:

He went from Galilee to Nazareth, where He had grown up, went to the synagogue on the Sabbath and read from the book of Isaiah a section which was actually about Himself.

Then in verse 23  he spoke of Capernaum.

He said to them, “You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.’ ” 

Luke has not already mentioned Jesus in Capernaum.

So what was he referring to?

Well Capernaum was in Galilee  (see verse 31)  so it must have been a reference to just before this while Jesus had taught in the synagogues in Galilee.

Obviously He had been well accepted in Capernaum, Galilee and people had talked about Him and the people of Nazareth had heard about this.

So then we have the famous verse which you can hear many people mention today.

verse 24
Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country.

He went on to tell them examples in the Old Testament where things happened when Elijah and Elisha were present in places other than their own towns and countries.

God works where He wills to work and also where the Spirit of God is recognised and accepted.

Jesus Casts Out An Unclean Spirit v. 31-37:

Back to Capernaum in Galilee and we witness the first miracle recorded by Luke.

Jesus taught in the synagogue, people were amazed at His teaching and they recognised His authority.

But something else also recognised that authority He had.  A man with an unclean spirit shouted out in recognition of Jesus as the Holy one of God and was scared that Jesus had come to destroy them - which sounded like there were other spirits either in this man or in others.

What was Jesus' reaction?

verse 35
But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him in their midst, it came out of him and did not hurt him.

There was no hesitation from Jesus to give a command on hearing the spirit but there was also no hesitation by the unclean spirit to obey on hearing Jesus.

The authority of Jesus was recognised and had to be obeyed because He was God.

It also made a good impression on the people

verse 36
Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.”

because again they were spreading the word about Jesus.

Simon Peter's Mother-in-law and Others are Healed  v. 38-44:

This is the first time Simon Peter is mentioned in Luke's Gospel - no mention of the disciples yet.

His mother-in-law had a high fever and they asked Jesus to help her.

verse 39
So He stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. And immediately she arose and served them.

I noticed 3 things here

1.  It says nothing about Jesus touching her
2.  Jesus rebuked the fever
3.  The fever went
4.  She was better immediately, back to her normal self

And I love the mention of her serving them, not because she was doing what many would see as a "woman's job in the home"  but because that action was the proof of immediate healing.

People knew what power Jesus had and brought others to be healed and set free from evil spirits.

Did the people realise He was the Son of God?
We don't know because they did not say it but we do know the demons did.

In finishing this chapter we have the first mention of Jesus going off to a secluded place.

We also have His Words in

  verse 43
but He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent.”

telling the people that His purpose was to preach the Kingdom of God.

Now let's look at the 

Fifth Chapter of Luke.

Today we are dividing this chapter into 5 sections

The First Disciples v. 1-11:

Jesus is at the Lake of Gennesaret (also known as the Sea of Galilee) so He is still in Galilee.

Here he meets Simon again and uses his boat to get out from the shore because of the crowds of people.  It says here that he sat down and began to teach the people from the boat.

After that Jesus tells Simon to go out further to the deeper part of the Lake and let down his nets. They had fished all night and caught nothing so we would expect Simon not to want to go again however Simon says

verse 5b    (NKJV)
nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.

verse 5b    (NASB)
but I will do as You say and let down the nets.

Simon had already seen the effect that Jesus had on his mother-in-law and others so I presume he reckoned Jesus was one who they may not understand but had proven Himself to be worth obeying.

They caught so much fish the nets were going to break.

They got help from the other boat that was with them and in the end both of the boats were filled with more fish than they really could hold because it says in verse 7b
And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.

This is when Simon realised the power Jesus had and he said

verse 8b
“Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord!”

Then we meet James and John who were in the other boat and we are told they were also amazed.

This is where the term fishers of men came from and the call of the first 4 disciples.

But only 3 fishermen were named in this passage.
Why do we say 4 were called here?

There is no other name noted but we do know that another person was in the boat with Peter because verses 6 & 7 both refer to they and not just Simon. 

Matthew 4 v 18  tells of 4 fishermen being called as disciples and here it says Simon Peter & Andrew his brother and verse 21 names James and John.

Mark  1 v 16 - 20  has almost the identical story to Matthew

The Gospel of John however does not mention this at all.

Jesus Heals a Leper  v. 12-16:

A leper recognises the Lordship of Jesus because he falls at His feet and says in

verse 12
“Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

Jesus responds by saying in

verse 13
“I am willing; be cleansed.”

News was spreading fast and many were gathering around Him but He also needed to be alone at times

verse 16
So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.

Even Jesus often went to pray.

Even Jesus often went to pray

Jesus Forgives & Heals a Paralytic  v. 17-26:

Here we have the well-known story of the four friends who carried the paralysed man to the house to see Jesus and could not get in because of the crowd of people.  They carried their friend up to the roof, removed part of the roof and lowered the man on his mat down into the house.

What are the things that seem to be important here?

1.  Faith  -  verse 20  -  Jesus said
When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”
2.  Accusations  -  verse 21  -  Scribes & Pharisees said
“Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
3.  Forgiveness  -  verse 22-24  -  Jesus said
“Why are you reasoning in your hearts?  
23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk’?  
24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”

4.  Healing  -  verse 25  -  by Jesus
Immediately he rose up before them, took up what he had been lying on, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.

4.  Worship  -  verse 26  -  by the crowd
And they were all amazed, and they glorified God and were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today!”

Notice all were good things except for the accusations by the pious leaders.

The crowd even though they thought these happenings were strange still gave the glory to God.

We should glorify God even when we don't fully understand but can see the goodness of what He is doing.

We should always glorify God

Matthew the Tax Collector  v. 27-32:

Previously fishermen had just left their nets and followed Jesus now we have a Tax Collector leaving his tax office to follow Jesus.

I wonder what other people thought as they watched him walk away with Jesus considering the way they would have felt about tax collectors.

Jesus and the disciples went for a meal at Matthew's home only to receive more accusations from the Scribes and Pharisees.

Jesus' response in verses 31-32 was probably not what they would have expected because they did not understand forgiveness & redemption.

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.  
32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Of course they also did not understand that we are all sinners.

We are all sinners

Jesus is Questioned about Fasting  v. 33-39:

Yet again we have the Scribes and Pharisees with something to say.

Do they change the subject because they didn't really understand the answer they got to their other question?

They want to compare Jesus to John the Baptist or at least they say the disciples of each of them.

So Jesus tells them a parable about a new material and an old garment and new wine and old wine skins.

This appears to be the first parable that Luke relates to us.
Not a parable for the people, not a parable for the disciples but a parable for the accusers.

If you would like to read more of the posts in this series please click  HERE  for a list of them all.