The Gospel of Luke ~ Chapter 6:1-8 ~ Jesus, the Son of Man, is the Lord of the Sabbath Who Gives Us Rest & Heals Our Sins Leading to Resurrection Life.

Vol. 18, No. 30 – August 11, 2019

8 11 19 - Luke 6 vs 1-8 - Jesus the Son of Man is The Lord of the Sabbath Who Gives Us Rest and Heals Our Sins Leading to Resurrection Life - The Word webThe Gospel of Luke
Chapter 6

Outline of the Book:

I. Preface: The Method and Purpose of Writing, Luke 1:1-4.

II. The Identification of the Son of Man with Men, Luke 1:5-4:13.
A. The Temptation of the Son of Man, Luke 4:1-13.

III. The Ministry of the Son of Man to Men, Luke 4:14-9:50.

       A. The Announcement of His Ministry, Luke 4:14-30.

       B. The Authority of His Ministry, Luke 4:31-6:11.

1. Over demons, Luke 4:31-37.

2. Over disease, Luke 4:38-44.

3. Over the disciples, Luke 5:1-11.

4. Over defilement, (a leper healed), Luke 5:12-16.

5. Over defectiveness, (a paralytic healed), Luke 5:17-26.

6. Over the despised, (the call of Matthew and parables about new vs. old), Luke 5:27-39.

7. Over days, Luke 6:1-5.

8. Over deformity, Luke 6:6-11.

IV. The Associates of His Ministry, Luke 6:12-49.

1. The call of the disciples, Luke 6:12-16.

2. The characteristics of disciples, (The Great Sermon), Luke 6:17-49.

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III. The Ministry of the Son of Man to Men, Luke 4:14-9:50.

B. The Authority of His Ministry, Luke 4:31-6:11.

7. Over days, Luke 6:1-5, (Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath). This scene is also noted in Mat 12:1-8; Mark 2:23-28.

In Jesus’ establishment of His Authority in Chapter 6, we have two confrontations with the Pharisees regarding the Sabbath; first with His own disciples, vs. 1-5, and then in healing a crippled man, vs. 6-11. The first was concerned with harvesting, the second with healing. Two themes run through these sections:

  1. The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath, vs. 5.
  2. The Son of Man will be rejected, vs 11.

Vs. 1 

Luke 6:1, “Now it happened that He was passing through some grainfields on a Sabbath; and His disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating the grain.”

Sabbath,” in the Greek is SABBATON, σάββατον. Some later manuscripts added, “The second after the first,” which some think is an allusion to the week after Passover.

We noted the Sabbath commandment by God when we studied the 10 Commandments as part of our study of Eph 6:1-3, you can visit our website for more information on it and all of the 10 Commandments under “Doctrines.”

In brief, it was the last day, 7th, of the week, which we call Saturday today. Being the 4th of the 10 Commandments, the Lord commanded it to be a day of rest, (from work), and to worship of God, Ex 20:9-11; Deut 5:12-15. After God established a covenantal relationship with Israel, He instituted the Sabbath-day observance among the Jews that was to serve as a memorial of the Exodus, Deut 5:15. It was a unique institution in the ancient Near East that testified to the covenant relationship between God and His people, cf. Ex 31:12-17; Jer 17:19-27; Ezek 20:12-21.

The Sabbath was analogous to God’s rest, cf. Gen 2:3, where no work was to be performed on the seventh day of each week, cf. Lev. 23:3. There were also additional “holiday / Feast” Sabbaths that God gave to the people of Israel to observe during the Age of the Law.

Lev 23:3, “For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a Sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation. You shall not do any work; it is a Sabbath to the LORD in all your dwellings.”

Grainfields,” is the Greek Genitive of place, Plural, Adjective SPORIMOS. In harvest analogy, it literally means, “sown” but is used in reference to fields. It is only used in Mat 12:1; Mark 2:23; and here in reference to this narrative. This word does not refer to “corn,” as the KJV translated it as we think of corn in the U.S. This word simply denotes a field “sown” and by extension in its plural form, “seed sown” or “fields sown with grain” without mention of the species of grain, which in Israel was usually wheat or barley.

“Were plucking heads of grain,” is the Imperfect, Active, Indicative of the Verb TILLIO, “to pull or pluck off.” It too is only used in this narrative by Matthew, Mark, and Luke. And, the Noun STACHUS that means, “stalks of grain or ear of grain.” Mark also used this in Mark 4:28, as an analogy for how God develops His kingdom.

Interestingly, by plucking they were in one way abiding by the law, Deut 23:25, in the fact of “loving their neighbor,” by not taking more than they needed, which would be the case if they used a sickle, cf., Deut 23:24.

Deut 23:25, “When you enter your neighbor’s standing grain, then you may pluck the heads with your hand, but you shall not wield a sickle in your neighbor’s standing grain.”

Deut 23:24, “When you enter your neighbor’s vineyard, then you may eat grapes until you are fully satisfied, but you shall not put any in your basket.”

The second accusation was that they were “rubbing in their hands,” PSOCHO HO CHEIR, the grain. Only Luke mentions this action. Being the second, it was a second witness or piece of evidence according to the Law. This was the crime.

This was another “work,” like plucking. Only Luke uses PSOCHO, ψώχω and only here. This is an hapaxlegomena. It is a very rare word in the Greek language and possibly a medical term originally. Although reaping grain by hand in a neighbor’s field was permissible under the Law, this process would be equivalent to threshing and would thus be condemned by the Pharisees as “working” on the Sabbath.

The disciples were also accused of, “eating,” the grain, ESTHIO once again, that reminds us of the false accusations prior in Luke 5:30, 33, and the connotations that come with it; an accusation of being a sinner.

Vs. 2

Luke 6:2, “But some of the Pharisees said, ‘Why do you do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?’”

Notice that the Pharisees switch it up from going by the authority of their own example in the previous chapter, to the authority of Scripture, just as Satan did with his third temptation of our Lord in Luke 4.

This was the fourth of the 10 Commandments and the constantly spying Pharisees questioned the disciples’ actions here saying it is “not lawful,” OUK EXESTIN, where the Verb EXESTIN, ἔξεστιν is in the Present, Active, Indicative. With the negative it means, “it is not lawful, it is not permitted, or it is not possible.” It is the same as EXESTI with the variable Nu at the end, which was seldom used in classical Greek. In KOINE it was common. The basis of right and wrong here is the Law of God, i.e., the Torah. Every slightest act of Jesus was submitted to a microscopic scrutiny, yet He was without sin.

Ex 34:21, “You shall work six days, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during plowing time and harvest you shall rest.”

Remember, the Pharisees’ view about righteousness was associated with obeying rules, not compassion, Mat 9:13; Hosea 6:6. “Breaking the Sabbath by working required the death penalty in ancient Israel. Because of this stiff penalty, we can well understand why faithful Israelites would want to understand exactly what is meant by “work” on the Sabbath. So they devised rules and lists for defining “work” on the Sabbath. You could not walk very far or it was considered work. You could not cook on the Sabbath. You could not light a fire. And on it went. Pretty soon, according to the Pharisees’ rules, it became almost impossible to keep the Sabbath. So to the Pharisees, walking through a field and picking a handful of grain was profaning the Sabbath.” (Christ-Centered Exposition)

From the Pharisees’ point of view, keeping the Sabbath regulations was more important than the needs of people, in this case, hunger. Because they elevate law over people, they become very hard-nosed toward people and indifferent to their needs. They want sacrificial obedience instead of loving mercy.

Our Lord will follow this up with lessons about compassion that we all need to learn, Luke 6:9, 27, 31-35, 46, 47-49; 8:21.

Vs. 3

Luke 6:3, “And Jesus answering them said, “Have you not even read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him.”

Notice that Jesus’ reply was with the Word of God, just as He had done with Satan.

Hungry,” is the verb PEINAŌ, πεινάω that means, “To hunger or be hungry,” predominately in the physical way, but also used for “spiritual hunger,” that we will see in vs. 21. Here, it is the literal physical sense, but I am sure the irony of its spiritual sense was in Jesus’ view regarding these accusing Pharisees, who were spiritually famished.

Jesus’ object lesson was that of David and his fellow companions’ flight from Saul, noted in 1 Sam 21:1-7. They took “holy bread” that was in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle, the “Show Bread” or “Bread of the Presence,” and ate it. Cf. Lev 24:5-9; Ex 25:30

Vs. 4

Luke 6:4, “How he entered the house of God, and took and ate the consecrated bread which is not lawful for any to eat except the priests alone, and gave it to his companions?”

The house of God,” was the tent structured Tabernacle that Moses had constructed in the wilderness.

Consecrated bread,” in the Greek is ARTOS, “bread,” HO PROTHESIS, πρόθεσις that means, “Setting forth, presentation, purpose.” In the Acts and Epistles it means, “purpose,” but in the synoptic Gospels, it is used only for this narrative, and means “presence.” “Consecrated” is more of a commentary of this bread, yet “showbread” or “bread of the presence,” is the actual title, cf. Heb 9:2. With the understanding of “purpose,” we see that it is God who is working all things out for good and His glory, Rom 8:28, including this bread that Jesus mentions.

Rom 8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

That is why Jesus can say He is the “Lord of the Sabbath,” in vs. 5.

Therefore, there was no bread on hand for David and his men except for the showbread. This bread was called showbread because it was “set out” or “exhibited” before YHWH. It consisted of twelve loaves, which were baked on the Sabbath, and were placed, hot, in two rows upon the showbread table every Sabbath day. The twelve old loaves which were then removed were to be eaten by the priests and no one else, Lev 24:5-9. It was these twelve old loaves which were given to David, 1 Sam 21:6.

Interestingly, this bread was baked on the Sabbath, a work itself ordered by the Law.

Vs. 5

Luke 6:5, “And He was saying to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

The Imperfect, Active, Indicative of LEGO, “was saying,” tells us Jesus kept saying this over and over again.

In Mark 2:27-28 it reads, “Jesus said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath’.”

This tells us that the Law was meant to serve us, not the other way around as the Pharisees were doing. The Law was intended to protect the Israelites from overwork and the idolatry of work. It was to protect them from the routine that regularly forgets God by reminding them for a full day that God is their God and they are His people. God gave the Sabbath to refresh the souls and bodies of His people by having them meet with Him.

In Mat 12:5-8, it reads, “Or have you not read in the Law, that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple break the Sabbath and are innocent? (i.e., They do their religious work and eat the show bread.) 6But I say to you that something greater than the temple is here. 7But if you had known what this means, ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT A SACRIFICE,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. 8For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

He is able to say this because He is the Creator of the heavens and earth who rested on the 7th day and established the 7th day Sabbath rest for Israel. In other words, He is sovereign over the Sabbath and not controlled by it.

Paul reiterated our Lord’s intent here when he stated in Col 2:16, “Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day.”

Once again He invokes “the Son of Man,” title for Himself, Luke 5:24, as He will many more times in Luke’s Gospel, which tells us He is the Messiah.

Lord of the Sabbath,” KURIOS HO SABBATON, comes first in the Greek. It reads, “The Lord of the Sabbath is the Son of Man.” Individually and combined, these statements tell us that Jesus is God.

Jesus rules the Sabbath. He can only rule the Sabbath if, in fact, He owns it. He can only own it if He is the one who made it and gave it, which He has done.

Remember, back in Luke 5:24, Jesus healed the paralytic on the Sabbath, now he was plucking, threshing, and eating on the Sabbath.

Notice how Jesus responded to the Pharisees accusations in this episode, John 5:16-17, “For this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17But He answered them, ‘My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working’.” This was on the 7th Day! God is always at work for His people and the lost. Jesus, as the God/Man was working for the salvation of many on the Sabbath too. 

Remember, observance of the Sabbath was not about the act of resting, but the relationship they had with God that they were supposed to enjoy on that day.

Compare this response to John 7:24, “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

Then in John 9, Jesus healed a blind man on the Sabbath who said in vs. 25, “one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” Legalistic Pharisees were blinded by the Law.

In Luke 13, Jesus healed a woman on the Sabbath that the Pharisees said broke the Law. Jesus’ justification was to allow her to rest too, like the animals as noted in the 4th Commandment. Cf. Luke 14:1-6.

The religious leaders of Jesus’ time emphasized the prohibitive aspect of the Sabbath and added further restrictions to it from their rabbinical tradition, Mat 12:2-7; Mark 3:2. In contrast, Jesus emphasized:

  1. That “the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath,” Mark 2:27.
  2. That He was “Lord even of the Sabbath,” Mark 2:28.
  3. That the Sabbath offered opportunity “to do good” and “to save a life,” as well as to rest, Mark 3:4.

The Sabbath in relation to Jesus’ activities includes:

  1. His healing and resultant opposition, Mat 12:9-13; Luke 13:10-17; 14:1-5; John 5:1-17; 7:22-23; 9:14-16.
  2. His teaching, Mark 1:21; Luke 4:31.
  3. His synagogue attendance to proclaim His Messiahship, Luke 4:16f.
  4. His burial, Mark 15:42-47 (cf. 16:1); John 19:31.
  5. His resurrection, Mat 28:1.

Five is the number of “Grace” in the Scriptures. And He performed 7 healings, (the number of “Spiritual Perfection” in the Bible), on the Sabbath, Mark 1:21-27, 29-31; 3:1-6 (and Mat 12:8-14); Luke 13:10-17; 14:1-6; John 5:1-9; 9:1-14.

In these depictions, we see Christ foreshadowing the coming of the Church Age when the Law, including the Sabbath, would not be a requirement to be fulfilled. We see that during His time, the Sabbath was to be kept because they were still under the Age of Israel, the Age of the Law. They were still under the Mosaic Law.

Jesus, through His acts of healing and interpreting the Law, revealed Himself as Lord. These early verses established His authority as greater than the traditions and systems of men. “Doing good” always supersedes “doing the Law,” cf. Mat 19:19; 22:38; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Rom 13:9; Gal 5:14; James 2:8.

Gal 5:14, “For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself’.”

Everyone who truly believes in Jesus, stops trying to work their way to God and turns from any hopes of self-righteousness, they enter into the true rest of God, which is an unending Sabbath, based on faith, Heb 4.

III. The Ministry of the Son of Man to Men, Luke 4:14-9:50.

B. The Authority of His Ministry, Luke 4:31-6:11.

8. Over deformity, Luke 6:6-11.

This is another work Jesus performed on the Sabbath. He healed a man with a crippled or withered hand, cf. Mat 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6. This completes a series of eight events at the outset of Jesus’ ministry as recorded by Luke. Eight is the number of new beginnings, regenerations, and resurrection.

Vs. 6

Luke 6:6, “On another Sabbath He entered the synagogue and was teaching; and there was a man there whose right hand was withered.”

Notice, first that Jesus was teaching in the synagogue as was His custom, Luke 4:16; 4:44.

Withered,” is the Adjective, XEROS, ξηρός that means, “dry or withered,” as also used in vs. 8. Here, it is used symbolically to describe a wasting disease or diseased state, e.g., a withered hand, cf. Mat 12:10; Mark 3:3, or paralysis, John 5:3. Regarding “dry” it is used for land as compared to the sea in Mat 23:15; Heb 11:29, as it is in the creation account of Gen 1:9; and the Flood episode, Gen 7:22. Having the dual usage, it was a subtle reminder of the days of creation when God then rested on the 7th day. The Flood account is somewhat of a reenactment of the creation of land coming up from the sea. This was a reminder of Jesus being the Lord of the Sabbath.

Vs. 7

Luke 6:7, “The scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him closely to see if He healed on the Sabbath, so that they might find reason to accuse Him.”

“Were watching Him closely,” is the Imperfect, Middle, Indicative of the Verb PARATEREO παρατηρέω that means, “lie in wait for, observe carefully, watch closely,” cf. Mat 14:1; 20:20; Luke 11:53, 54; 14:1; 20:20.

So, we see that they watched Jesus, not to find evidence that would lead them to believe in Him as the Messiah, but to find something to accuse Him with. They were looking for what is called “confirmation bias.” “Confirmation bias happens when a person takes whatever evidence that is contrary to their position and interprets it in a way that confirms their position. When we operate with a confirmation bias, we do not really adjust our thinking with the new evidence presented. We rearrange the evidence to leave our bias undisturbed. That is not honest thinking.” (Christ-Centered Exposition)

Now, according to the Pharisees’ rules, a physician was not allowed to give aid to the sick or practice medicine in any fashion on the Sabbath except in a few extenuating circumstances. If a woman gave birth, a midwife could assist in delivery. And, if someone was on death’s door, a physician could administer help. Otherwise, their man-made traditions forbade assistance in non-life-threatening treatments, as a withered hand was not life threatening.

PARATEREO also means, “to carefully observe laws or commandment.” Here the Pharisees were looking to see if Jesus would break any laws, so that they could, “accuse Him,” which is the Present, Active, Infinitive of the Verb, KATEGOREO κατηγορέω that means, “accuse or speak against.” It is from the Prepositional prefix KATA, “against,” that give the word a negative connotation, and the Verb AGORUO, (from AGORA, “marketplace”), and means, “to speak in the assembly.” Therefore, it literally means “to speak against (someone), to accuse, or to bring charges against,” e.g., Mat 12:10; Luke 11:54; 23:2, 10, 14.

Luke 14:1, “It happened that when He went into the house of one of the leaders of the Pharisees on the Sabbath to eat bread, they were watching Him closely.”

Luke 20:20, “So they watched Him, and sent spies who pretended to be righteous, in order that they might catch Him in some statement, so that they could deliver Him to the rule and the authority of the governor.”

Psa 37:12, “The wicked plots against (PARATEREO) the righteous and gnashes at him with his teeth.”

Luke 23:2, “And they began to accuse Him, saying, ‘We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King’.”

As you know, Satan is the great “accuser” of God’s people, who “accuses” them before God day and night. He, however, has been cast down and has been overcome by the blood of the Lamb, Rev 12:10. In the next section we will see Jesus being in league with Satan, one and the same, yet it is the Pharisees and Scribes who have as their father Satan, the great accuser.

John 8:44, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

And in fact, the Law “accuses,” it does not bring salvation. As such, the legalist stands “accused” because he or she is unable to keep the whole Law, John 5:45; cf. Rom 7; Gal 3:10ff. So, in fact the hypocritical accused Pharisees where trying to accuse an innocent man! Yet, they could not condemn Him.

Vs. 8

Luke 6:8, “But He knew what they were thinking, and He said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward!” And he got up and came forward.”

Get up” is EGEIRO once again that gives us the imagery of the resurrection life.

Come forward,” in the Greek is actually the Aorist, Active, Imperative of HISTEMI, ἵστημι that means, “stand, stand firm, etc.,” for a command from Jesus. It gives us the imagery of Eph 6:11-14. With this is the Adjective MESOS, μέσος that means, “middle, midst, in the middle, etc.” This is the word used in Luke 23:45, for the Veil of the Temple that was “torn in two,” or better, “in the middle.” As you know, that signified that the Mercy Seat is now available to all.

Combined, this man was asked to “stand firm in the middle” of this assembly for all to see Jesus perform this healing miracle. Though in the synagogue, a public forum, it also gives us a “court room” like atmosphere with the key witness being in the middle of the room for all to witness.

The righteous anger of Jesus desired to demonstrate His authority as Messiah and Lord of the Sabbath under the careful inspection of the Pharisees. He wanted to show them their sin and fault, (in this case their false accusations), while showing them true healing, (especially of our sins), found in Jesus Christ.

“He got up,” is the other word for literal “rising up” in the Bible that is also used for resurrection in Scripture, ANISTEMI, ἀνίστημι that means, “raise, raise up, bring to life, stand up, appear, to rise again.” Cf. Luke 18:33; 24:7

Luke 18:33, “And after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again.”

John 6:40, “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

Therefore, we continue to see the imagery of the new life, (the new resurrection life we receive when we believe in Jesus Christ), portrayed in all of His healings.

“Came forward” is HISTEMI once again; this time in the Aorist, Active, Indicative. It demonstrates this man’s faithful obedience to stand firm in the midst of the evil ones!!!

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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:

#19-081 & 19-082

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If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.

Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.

So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:

“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”

If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!

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