Vol. 18, No. 36 – September 29, 2019
IV. The Associates of His Ministry, Luke 6:12-49.
B. The characteristics of disciples, (The Great Sermon), Luke 6:17-49.
1. Vs. 20-26, Blessings and Woes / Warnings – The beatitudes and anti-beatitudes.
2. Vs. 27-36, Principles of Loving.
3. Vs. 37-45, Principles of Forgiving.
4. Vs. 46-49, Principles of Obeying
Continuing His lessons on the “Golden Rule,” vs. 31, (i.e., the way you want to be treated, treat others that way, vs. 31), our Lord has also taught us to:
- Be generous to others, vs. 37-38.
- Be careful whom you follow, vs. 39-40.
- Deal with your own stuff, before you even think about dealing with other people’s stuff, vs. 41-42.
Now, having a heart of loving, giving and forgiveness, our Lord uses the analogy of good and bad trees producing good and bad fruit, to emphasize that what is truly in your heart is what you will be. In other word, this is His “garbage in, garbage out,” message!
Luke 6:43-45, “For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. 44For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. 45The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”
This passage is paralleled in Mat 7:15-20, during the Sermon on the Mount, and again in Mat 12:33-35, when our Lord was teaching on the “unpardonable sin.” In both of Matthew’s accounts, it is clearly a rebuking of the false teachers of His day; the Pharisees. Luke’s account is also a rebuke against them but presented in an indirect way, regarding the “blind guides” who lead the blind. Remember, Luke was writing to the Gentiles and did not need to get so caught up in the Jewish religion of that day, where Matthew was writing to the Jews and very much needed to.
Mat 7:15-20, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20So then, you will know them by their fruits.”
The parallel in Mat 12:33-35, is especially linked to Luke 6:45, where in Mat 12:34b-35, it is in reverse order.
Mat 12:33-35, “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. 34You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. 35The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil.”
Luke 6:43, “For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit.”
Coming right after the lesson on not judging your brother, especially when you have “a log (sin) in your own eye (life),” our Lord expands on that theme by noting “what is in a man’s heart will lead his actions.” If his heart to good or truly righteous, then he will not produce bad or evil fruit, and if his heart is truly bad or evil, then he will not be able to produce good or truly righteous fruit.
As mentioned above, this statement also echoes the saying, “blind guides of the blind.” Both are negative assertions of the failure of the religious leaders to effectively achieve the goal of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which in fact brings true righteousness into the life of the believer.
“Tree” is the Noun DENDRON that we also noted in Luke 3:9, “Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” This is also paralleled in Mat 7:19.
“Good” is the Adjective KALOS once again that means, “beautiful, good, excellent, advantageous, or noble.” It is the general term for good compared to AGATHOS that means, “good, perfect, complete, upright, kind, benevolent, useful, acceptable, etc.,” that is used for good of intrinsic value or Divine Good Production, the Fruit of the Spirit as in vs. 45. So, here KALOS is used because both the unbeliever and believer can produce some works, 1 Cor 312-15. Yet, for the unbeliever it is “bad fruit,” later called PONEROS. For the believer it is “good fruit,” later called AGATHOS.
“Bad Fruit” is SAPROS KARPOS. KARPOS means, “fruit, produce, result, outcome, or even offspring.”
SAPROS means, “rotten, corrupt, useless, unsound, worthless.” It can mean something that is disgusting and offensive too. It is only used in Matthew and Luke in the passages we are noting and in Mat 13:48 and Eph 4:29.
Mat 13:48, “And when it was filled, they drew it up on the beach; and they sat down and gathered the good fish into containers, but the bad they threw away.” This is another analogy of “cutting down the bad tree and throwing it into the fire,” Mat 7:19; Luke 3:9.
Eph 4:29, “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” This passage is another way of saying the message Jesus is giving in Luke 6. We are commanded to use our words righteously to build people up, not tear them down through unrighteous judging and condemning with an unforgiving heart.
In the first scenario, we have a good tree producing bad fruit and in the second, a bad tree producing good fruit. Neither is possible in this scenario. In other words, those who have truth / Bible doctrine circulating through their soul WILL NOT produce that which is useless and worthless; they will produce Divine Good. Likewise, those that do not have truth / God’s Word in their soul WILL NOT produce Divine Good; they will produce human good or evil that is “rotten, corrupt, useless, unsound, and worthless.”
And remember, we can only bear good fruit when we are abiding in our Lord Jesus Christ, John 15:2, 4-5, 8, 16, and filled with the Holy Spirit, Gal 5:22-23.
Therefore, we see that the distinctive mark of the disciple of Jesus Christ is behavior, especially doing good, loving enemies, showing mercy, giving to those in need, not judging or condemning, and forgiving. As Luke combines vs. 43 and 44, the disciple of Jesus is recognizable by these things rather than by allegiance to blind false teaching in religious legalism and hypocrisy, which sets up standards for judging others but ignores its own evil condition.
Luke 6:44, “For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush.”
This is the principle, “you will know them by their fruit,” Mat 7:16; 12:33, and in Matthew’s gospel it is explicitly associated with false prophets, Mat 7:15.
Mat 7:15, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”
Jesus then provides another analogy regarding “figs,” which is a good fruit for eating sought after by man, compared to “thorns,” which is not sought after and brings pain. This is followed by a similar analogy using “grapes” and “a briar bush.”
“Figs,” SUKON, σῦκον is used only four times in the NT, Mat 7:16; Mark 11:13; Luke 6:44; James 3:12. Except of Mark, it is used to discern the fruit that one produces. In Mark, it was the “fig tree” that Jesus cursed in analogy for Israel because of her rejection of the Messiah. As a result, she would no longer produce any good fruit.
“Grapes” STAPHULE, σταφυλή can mean “a grape or a bunch of grapes.” It is only used in this narrative in Mat 7:16; Luke 6:44 and Rev 14:18. In this narrative, it too means, “good fruit production,” that does not come from that which would unnaturally produce it.
Rev 14:18, “Then another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, ‘Put in your sharp sickle and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe’.” This speaks of the impending gathering of the unbelieving nations that are ripe for God’s judgment upon them during the Tribulation.
“Thorns,” is the Noun AKANTHA, ἄκανθα meaning, “thorn or briar.”
“Briar bush” is the Noun BATOS, βάτος that means, “thornbush or briar-shrub.” Used 5 times in the NT, this is the only use of an unfruitful bush. In all the others, Mark 12:26; Luke 20:37, Acts 7:30, 35, it refers to the “burning bush” that our Lord spoke to Moses through.
In the analogy of our passage, they both typify the cares of life and the riches that seduce people, Mat 13:7, that illustrates the inability of the ungodly to bring forth good fruit. Jesus condemned the hypocrisy of the Pharisees with this illustration. As such, even the unrighteous can be identified by their unspiritual fruit.
In addition, thorns remind us of the suffering of Jesus, they recall that He carried the results of the curse which befell the earth because of sin, compare Gen 3:18 with Mat 27:29; John 19:2.
The first “gather” is the Verb SULLEGO, συλλέγω that means, “collect or gather.” In all of its uses in the NT, it appears in contexts involving the separation of the good from the bad. It is only used here by Luke and then by Matthew in the parallel of Mat 7:16 and in Mat 13:28-30, 40-41, 48, which speaks to the gathering of unbelievers for eternal condemnation versus believers to be brought to the Kingdom of God.
This is linked with the Greek negative OUK to say “not gathered.” In other words, one who is a “bad tree,” (i.e., thorns or briar bushes), cannot produce Divine Good, (i.e., figs or grapes).
The second “gather” translated “pick,” is the Verb TRUGAO, τρυγάω that means, “gather ripe fruit, harvest.” It is only used here and Rev 14:18-19, the battle of Armageddon. Luke utilizes the term in a metaphoric sense to speak of the fruit of a person’s heart in this unnatural scenario.
These unnatural analogies tell us of the spiritual realties, that only those who are in Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit can produce Divine Good. The one who is not can at best produce human good and evil, which is worthless and will be burnt up, 1 Cor 3:10-15.
Luke 6:45, “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”
As we noted above, the first half of this verse is also noted in Mat 12:35, and the second half is noted in the second half of Mat 12:34.
Here, the “good man,” is AGATHOS ANTHROPOS, and “good treasure” is AGATHOS THESAUROS, “treasury, storehouse, etc.”
The place that stores the storehouse of treasures is your “heart,” KARDIA, the right lobe of your soul where you store, retain, and apply Bible Doctrine. When you have the truth of God’s Word resident within your soul, it is a treasure trove of information for you to apply to life, i.e., “brings forth what is good,” which is Divine Good Production, the Fruit of the Spirit.
Yet, the heart may be a source of good or evil. The Word of God resides in the hearts of men and women, Luke 8:12, 15, but the heart is also the location for evil intentions, Luke 5:22; 9:47. Nevertheless, God knows the hearts of men, Luke 16:15.
On the flip side, we have the second half of this verse that reads in the Greek, “and the evil, out from evil, produces the evil.” Given the context of the first half of this verse, we can associate the three evils used here and say, “and the evil man out of the evil treasures of his heart brings forth evil.” The only thing the NASB did not add was “of his heart.”
“Evil man,” is the Adjective PONEROS, πονηρός that means, “bad, wicked, evil, or depraved.” The type of fruit this evil produces is given in the last portion of this verse, “for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”
“Fills the heart,” uses KARDIA for “heart” once again, and the Noun PERISSEUMA, περίσσευμα which means, “abundance or what is left over.” It is used synonymously here for “treasures or store house” used above. It suggests the dual capacity of the heart, as it is used positively in Mark 8:8; 2 Cor 8:14, but, here and in Mat 12:34, negatively for the evil speech that comes from the evil heart; speech like, slander, gossip, maligning, lying, verbal abuse, judging, condemning, and that is unforgiving.
Therefore, it is the inner reservoir or storehouse that serves as an abundant source of all an individual’s evil judgments and spoken words. The point Jesus is making to the Pharisees is clear: “your malicious judgments come from the treasure-house of your malicious nature.”
The influence of the heart upon the spoken word is also noted in Mark 7:14-22; James 3:10-12. In comparison between the good man and the evil man, we see that based on what is in the heart of their soul determines what comes out and is evident to the world. Later in Luke 12:31-34, our Lord encourages us to seek the good of intrinsic value to produce Divine good of intrinsic value.
Luke 12:31-34, “But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you. 32Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
As Jesus said, a bad tree brings forth bad fruit because the tree is bad. A thorn or bramble bush cannot produce figs or grapes. Applying this to people, the point is the same one Jesus taught Nicodemus: “You must be born again.” Therefore, to bring forth good fruit there must be a change in a person’s nature. Reform is not enough. Rebirth is essential. As such, the “good man” must be a man of good words and good deeds. The Christian must avoid becoming influenced by “man’s” ways and learn how to live in grace demonstrated by love.
“The fruit we produce actually comes from our hearts. The invisible things of the heart are revealed by the visible actions and audible words of a person. We do not see into another person’s heart, but that does not mean the heart never reveals itself. The words and actions tell us what lies beyond natural sight in the heart.” (Christ-Centered Exposition – Exalting Jesus in Luke.)
This entire section is moving toward vs. 46: The crux of the issue is the danger of falling prey to the legalistic and judgmental pressures of religiosity, and thereby be blinded from seeing the Christ and truly living righteously in Him.
By way of reminder, the outline of the Great Sermon on the Plain, vs. 20-49:
a. Vs. 20-26, Blessings and Woes / Warnings – The beatitudes and anti-beatitudes.
b. Vs. 27-36, Principles of Loving.
c. Vs. 37-45, Principles of Forgiving.
d. Vs. 46-49, Principles of Obeying.
d. Vs. 46-49, Principles of Obeying.
Here, Our Lord is giving His final challenge of the Sermon on the Plain to follow Him rather than the blind guides of vs. 39. His first illustration, vs. 39-42, speaks to the absurdity of judging and criticizing others, using a negative example to say that all disciples, especially those in leadership, should “judge themselves rightly,” i.e., be self-critical. Now, in this illustration, we will see the issue of obedience, vs. 46-49, to our Lord Jesus Christ, i.e., His teaching / the Word of God. As such, we are exhorted by our Lord to learn God’s Word / Bible doctrine from our spiritual leaders, so that we all can judge ourselves rightly in order to serve our Lord, as we strive for obedience to Him and His Word. Bible Doctrine in the heart of your soul is the “good,” AGATHOS, “useful, beneficial, or pure,” that is within the good person who has Divine Good Production in his words and deeds.
Luke 6:46, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”
The parallel is found in Mat 7:21, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.”
Matthew gives the context of entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven when someone truly believes in Jesus Christ as the Messiah/Savior, which is demonstrated by “doing the will of the Father.” Therefore, as citizens of heaven we should be taking in and applying God’s Word.
Luke’s context is emphasizing the Divine Good Production that is either done by the faithful obedient believers or not done by the unbeliever or reversionistic believer.
“Lord, Lord,” is the Vocative use of KURIOS, κύριος that is doubled here, a typical style of Luke, and means, “Lord, master, ruler, owner, or supreme controller.” The title “Lord” honored someone having both power and authority, and the doubling of the title when calling to someone emphasizes the emotion, strongly implying complete devotion. It is the Greek equivalent of the title for God, YHWH, in the Hebrew Bible. It also is used to translate both ADHON and BA’AL, to mean, “Lord.” Of the 700 times it is used in the NT, it is used 200 times in Luke’s writings.
Remember too, that the backdrop to “Lord, Lord,” is the “blind guides” that lead their disciples to destruction, i.e., the pit. Here, our Lord is noting that disciples are not following Him as they should and too will fall into destruction.
The goal of this exhortation is to encourage the believer to place every aspect of his life under the Lordship of Christ, not for salvation but for Divine Good Production, and glorification of God. True disciples heed their Teacher’s words and then faithfully apply them. Their examinations, as Jesus will note, comes in the form of trials.
1 Peter 3:15, “But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.”
To confess Christ as Lord, one must be willing to faithfully carry out His perfect will. Yet, any distortion of His commands results in catastrophe.
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do what I say.” This is first addressing those who do not believe in Jesus as the Messiah / Savior, who are rebellious towards His teaching, especially what He has noted in this Sermon on the Plain, vs. 20-49. For those who do not listen to and obey our Lord’s teaching, (i.e., the mind of Jesus Christ, 1 Cor 1:10), Luke then follows with the calamitous results. Matthew speaks of non-entrance into the Kingdom of God and then the calamitous results. To call Jesus “Lord,” and not do what He says is to make the word Lord meaningless.
Our Lord’s second parable is found in vs. 47-49, that is paralleled in Mat 7:24-27, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. 26Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”
This is the example of the positive believer who is consistently taking in and applying God’s Word to his/her life.
Luke 6:47, “Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like:”
In this passage, we have the principles of “coming,” ERCHOMAI, to Jesus, “hearing” AKOUO, His Words, and “doing,” POIEO, applying His Words. This is the principle of the intake and application of Bible Doctrine in your life. The intake is through the ear gate as you learn God’s Word from a prepared Pastor/Teacher who is teaching the truth of God’s Word, followed by the application of that in your life towards God and mankind.
“I will show you,” uses the Verb HUPODEIKNUMI, ὑποδείκνυμι that means, “show plainly, point out, give direction, warn, set forth, inform.” We previously noted this word in parallels of Luke 3:7 and Mat 3:7, as it is also used only by Luke in Luke 12:5; Acts 9:16; 20:35. Jesus is about to give them an object lesson of this principle for both those who learn and apply His Word to their life and for those who do not.
Luke 6:48, “He is like a 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 could not shake it, because it had been well built.”
This first object lesson is the positive believer who builds up his soul with Bible Doctrine consistently within his life, and then, when the problems and difficulties of life come in, he is able to stand firm by applying what he has previously learned.
“Building” is the Greek Verb OIKODOMEO, οἰκοδομέω that means, “build (a home or building), erect, edify, encourage.” The most common meaning of OIKODOMEO in Greek literature is “to build or to erect a structure,” such as a house or a temple. It is equivalent to the Hebrew BANAH. Metaphorically, the historian Philo used OIKODOMEO to describe the function of the heart upon which the whole body rests and by which it is built up, which is equivalent to our Lord’s usage here.
It describes the activity of spiritual growth within the community of believers. It denotes the content and purpose of the Church’s life, as the Church is also, “being built into a spiritual house…offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ,” 1 Peter 2:5.
This is where we get the idea of the “Edification Complex of the Soul,” (ECS). That is, the building up of your soul through the intake and application of Bible Doctrine that leads to spiritual adulthood.
This ECS is called a “house,” OIKIA, “house, dwelling, household.” Cf. 2 Cor 5:1, “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
The process of building your ECS is described by our Lord as “who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock.”
“Dug,” is the Aorist, Active, Indicative of the Verb SKAPTO, σκάπτω that means, “dig or dig up” referring to cultivating the ground to plant. It is only used here and Luke 13:8; 16:3. This is our consistent intake of God’s Word by learning from our right Pastor/Teacher.
“Deep,” is the Aorist, Active, Indicative of the Verb BATHUNO, βαθύνω that is only used here in the NT. It means, “to deepen or make deep.” It is an idiomatic translation of a phrase which literally means, “dug and deepened (EBATHUNEN).” This is the emphasis of not just, “willy nilly” learning, which means inconsistent, not extensive, not seriously, and taking it for granted. “Digging deep” is what all believers should be doing with the Word of God, digging deep into it.
Next is “laid a foundation on the rock,” which is the obvious metaphor for our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the great corner stone and His Word that we should have resident within our souls. “Laid a foundation,” is TITHEMI THEMELIOS, where THEMEMILIOS, “foundation,” is first used in the NT and reminds us of 1 Cor 3:10-12; Eph 2:20; 1 Tim 6:19; 2 Tim 2:19; Heb 6:1, as Jesus is the “rock” PETRA by .which the Church is built upon, Mat 16:18; Rom 9:33; 1 Cor 10:4.
1 Cor 3:10-12, “According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. 11For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw.”
Eph 2:20-22, “Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.”
1 Tim 6:18-19, “Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.”
2 Tim 2:17-19, “And their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some. 19Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and, ‘Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness’.”
Heb 6:1-2, “Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.”
Rom 9:33, “Just as it is written, ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense, and he who believes in Him will not be disappointed’.”
1 Peter 2:8, “‘A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense;’ for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.”
Then we have the pressures, problems, difficulties, trials, temptations, sorrows, cares of life, etc., coming into play, where the one who has a solid foundation in Christ Jesus, i.e., His Word, will be able to withstand them. “And when a flood occurred,” uses the noun PLEMMURA, πλήμμυρα “a flood, high water.” It too is only used here in the NT and is used metaphorically, although a literal flood can be part of the pressures of life.
Then we have “the torrent burst against that house,” where “torrent” is the Noun POTAMOS that can mean, “flood, river, torrent, or stream,” and “burst,” is PROSREGUMI, “burst upon, break against,” that is used only here and in vs. 49. It speaks to the suddenness or onslaught of a calamity like the flooding of a river in this analogy, where all that water pounded against, “that house,” OIKIA. This is the house built upon the mind of Jesus Christ / Bible Doctrine.
So, the term for “torrent” literally means “river” and this torrent is an unusual, cataclysmic event that pictures end-time devastation. People, even stupid people, do not build their houses in rivers, just as no one wants to build their home in hell. Yet, those who reject Jesus Christ and His Word are building their home in hell.
Then we have, “and could not shake it,” which uses the Aorist, Active, Indicative of the Verb ISCHUO that means, “be strong, able, forceful, to prevail, power or might.” It speaks to the power or ability one possesses, the strength to overcome, Acts 19:20; Phil 4:13.
Acts 19:20, “So the word of the Lord was growing mightily and prevailing.”
Phil 4:13, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
In this case, it is the power of Bible Doctrine resident within your soul. The power of God’s Word is stronger than any pressure or calamity that Satan’ world can throw at you. The “armor of God” is stronger than any temptation Satan can throw at you, Eph 6:10-18.
In fact, persevering under pressure is by itself Divine Good Production, as you apply God’s Word to the difficult situations and temptations of life, Luke 8:15.
Luke 8:15, “But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.”
With this is the Greek negative OUK, “not,” and the Aorist, Active, Infinitive of the Verb SALEUO, σαλεύω, “shake or totter,” which we noted in vs. 38. Combined, they figuratively mean to not be able to produce instability or agitation within a person, that is, to be unshakable or permanent.
The reason this person will not be overcome by the pressures of life is “because it (his house / heart) had been well built,” DIA AUTOS KALOS OIKODOMEO, once again meaning, “build, erect, or edify.”
This person had built their Edification Complex of the Soul.
This is the example of the unbeliever or negative believer who is NOT coming to, consistently taking in, or applying God’s Word to his/her life.
Luke 6:49, “But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”
This begins with the Contrasting Conjunction DE for “but, moreover, yet in fact, etc.” This is the contrast to the believer who has built their ECS. This could be an unbeliever or reversionistic believer. These people did not learn God’s Word / Bible Doctrine, and therefore cannot apply it or its strength to their lives. Instead they built up their soul with the things of this world, as noted here, “on the ground,” that uses the Noun GE that means, “earth, ground, or soil,” “without any foundation,” CHORIS THEMELIOS. CHORIS translated “without” here, actually means, “separately, without, apart from, or besides.” It is called an “improper preposition,” because it does not form compound words with verbs. It identifies Genitive nouns as “Genitives of Separation,” as THEMELIOS is here.
Eph 2:12, “Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.”
Therefore, these people have separated themselves from Christ, and do not have Him in their life as power to overcome the pressures or calamities of life. Instead, they have built their house, edified their soul, with the “ground/earth” meaning Satan’s cosmic system of sin, human good, and evil that is foundationless.
As a result, when the pressures or calamities of life come, i.e., “the torrent burst against it,” because it had not foundation in Christ, “immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”
“Immediately it collapsed,” is EUTHUS, “immediately,” and SUMPIPTO, συμπίπτω, “fall together, collapse, fall,” in the Aorist, Active, Indicative. This verb is also only used here in the NT. This term takes its meaning from the Preposition SUN, “together,” and the Verb PIPTŌ that Matthew uses that means, “fall down.” Many nuances of meaning are associated with this term in Greek literature: “fall in with” (especially with accidents or misfortunes). Also, figuratively, in the Septuagint (LXX) and the Apocrypha, it is used of the collapse of a person’s emotional state. Therefore, both are in view. This fall is one that is combined with the fall of Satan’s cosmic system and the earth that has thorns and briar bushes because of sin coming into the world. It also leads to the individual’s fallen emotional state, as they are overcome by the pressures and calamities of life and sin inside of Satan’s cosmic system.
The extent of this fall or being overcome by life is noted in the last phrase, “and the ruin of that house (OIKIA) was great (MEGAS),” where Luke uses the Noun RHEGMA, ῥῆγμα that means, “ruin, collapse, wreck, or fracture.” It too is only used here in the NT, a hapaxlegomena. In classical Greek, it is used to describe a break in a dam, the destruction of buildings, and in similar ways to denote collapse and ruin. It was used in the LXX in 1 Kings 11:30-31, for the dividing of the kingdom of Israel. Therefore, in our passage, it means a life built on anything other than the words of Jesus Christ is destined for destruction.
Therefore, we are given the mandate to listen to Jesus, by learning His Word and applying it in our lives so that when the pressures or temptations of life come at us, we are able to withstand them as we are anchors on the “Rock of our Salvation,” thereby being overcomers.
If we are disciples of Jesus, then we must obey Him. It is hypocritical to call ourselves Christians and not do what He says. Worse than that, our disobedience proves we do not, in fact, love him. So Jesus says,
John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep my commands.”
John 14:21, “The one who has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me.”
John 14:24, “The one who does not love me will not keep my words.”
John 15:10, “If you keep my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in His love.”
John 15:14, “You are my friends if you do what I command you.”
Our obedience does not earn God’s forgiveness or acceptance. No one will obey their way to heaven. God saves sinners by grace alone through faith alone. But saving faith is never alone; it is accompanied by an obedience that comes from faith, Rom 1:5; James 1:22.
Rom 1:5, “Through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake.”
James 1:22, “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” See also, James 1:23-25; 2:14-20.
“Ultimately, Jesus describes the difference between heaven and hell. Heaven belongs to those who believe the gospel and obey Jesus. Hell is the ruin that awaits those who reject the gospel and do not obey the Lord’s words. You have to decide if Jesus is a liar, a lunatic, or your Lord. If he is telling the truth—and he is—then the only sane thing to do is accept him as Lord and follow his teachings all the days of your life.” (Christ-Centered Exposition – Exalting Jesus in Luke.)
Therefore, it is not enough just to hear the gospel; it is necessary to obey it too. Therefore, the heart of Christianity starts in the church sanctuary when the Bible is taught. But, real Christ-following occurs during the week, when the church building is miles away and we are in our home, on the road, at the office, or in cyberspace. That is where disciples genuinely follow Christ, where heavenly citizens willingly obey the King, and where leaders truly lead.
“For Jesus, discipleship involved far more than passing on knowledge from teacher to students or merely training a group of successors to continue what He had started. For Him, disciples are people called out of the present world order to become Christ-like citizens of a completely new kingdom. Christian discipleship, therefore, is the process of introducing the citizens of King Jesus to a completely foreign culture in which everything is different—governance, the role of the law, the economy, even the system of jurisprudence. What the world calls foolish is wise in the new kingdom life Jesus offers. Mercy replaces retribution. Grace supplants justice. Sacrificial giving drives the economy—not earning, borrowing, lending, buying, and hoarding (Luke 6:20-38).” (Swindoll’s Living Insights New Testament Commentary – Luke.)
Luke Chapter 7
III. The Ministry of the Son of Man to Men, Luke 4:14-9:50.
D. Activities of His Ministry, Luke 7:1-9:50.
1. Ministry in sickness, Luke 7:1-10.
2. Ministry in death, Luke 7:11-17.
3. Ministry in doubt, Luke 7:18-35.
4. Ministry to sinners, Luke 7:36-50.
1. Ministry in sickness, Luke 7:1-10, Jesus heals the Centurions servant. This is paralleled in Mat 8:5-13.
After finishing the Great Sermon on the Plain, Chapter 6, Jesus then traveled to Capernaum, a city on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee. As we have noted, this was most likely the headquarters and home of Jesus during His ministry, Mat 4:13; 9:1; Mark 2:1.
Luke 7:2, “And a centurion’s slave, who was highly regarded by him, was sick and about to die.”
“Centurion” HEKATONTARCHOS, ἑκατόνταρχος could also be called a “captain,” is from the number HEKATON, “100,” and ARCHOS (from ARCHES, “ruler”), Therefore, HEKATONTARCHOS means, “a leader of 100 men,” within a Roman legion of approximately six thousand soldiers. So, this man was also a Gentile.
HEKATONTARCHOS is used for this gentleman in our passage and Mat 8:5-13. Later, in Mat 27:54; Luke 23:47, we see another “believing” Centurion at the cross of Jesus Christ. Then in Acts, we see Centurion used in Acts 21, 22, 27.
This centurion had a “slave,” DOULOS, whom he “highly regarded,” ENTIMOS meaning, “held in honor, highly esteemed, valued or precious.” It is also used in Luke 14:8; Phil 2:29; 1 Peter 2:4, 6. It is likely the sense here is that the centurion “respected or esteemed” his servant.
This highly regarded slave “was sick and about to die,” KAKOS, “ill or sick,” with TELEUTAO, “bring to pass, finish, or die.” Matthew says this slave was, “lying or thrown down paralyzed and fearfully tormented,” which sounds more like the results of demonic possession as used in Luke 8:28. Nevertheless, Luke just says “ill and near death.”
Luke 7:3, “When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders asking Him to come and save the life of his slave.”
Here, we see that the Centurion “heard,” AKOUO, about Jesus. Apparently, he had never met Jesus nor personally listened to His teachings. But, he learned about Him from others and believed in who He was and what He could do. Such faith is actually the perspective of the contemporary Church. We must rely upon the preaching of the Word by our Pastor/Teacher, together with the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit, to evoke faith. We cannot personally “see or hear” Jesus in the literal physical sense. This reminds us of John 20:29; 1 Peter 1:8, “Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.”
1 Peter 1:8, “And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.”
Having great faith by hearing, He sent, APOSTELLO, some of the “Jewish elders,” IOUDAIOS PRESBUTEROS, to Jesus. These may have been the same men that told the Centurion about Jesus and His teachings in the synagogue there, cf. vs. 5. That Jewish elders would consent to be sent by a Gentile is strange indeed, but assuredly because of their close relationship with him in faith, as noted below by the Centurion’s deeds, they were willing to help a friend.
Matthew reads as if the Centurion went directly to petition Jesus, Mat 8:5, but in Luke, he sends the elders who are the older men of the society that are honored for their knowledge and wisdom. Later in Luke, we see different elders aligning with the Scribes, Chief Priests, and Pharisees against Jesus, See Luke 9:22; 20:1; 22:52. Yet, this group seems to have been positive towards Jesus and His ministry.
The phrase, “Asking, EROTAO, Him to come and save the life of his slave,” is like an intercessory petition prayer, yet done in person. They wanted Him to come and “save,” DIASOZO, “save, recover, heal perfectly,” the slave, cf. Mat 14:36.
Interestingly, “saving the life of the DOULOS, (servant or slave),” is exactly why Jesus came to earth. He died on the Cross for the sins of the entire world, but only those who believe upon Him are saved and become His DOULOS, Rom 1:1; Gal 1:10; Phil 1:1; Col 4:12; 2 Tim 2:24; 1 Peter 2:16.
Luke 7:4, “When they came to Jesus, they earnestly implored Him, saying, ‘He is worthy for You to grant this to him’.”
Notice these elders “came to Jesus,” PARAGINOMAI, παραγίνομαι, “arrive, come near, appear, come forward, or stand by.” It reminds us of our “drawing near” to God for salvation and when we pray, Heb 4:16; 7:25; 10:11; James 4:8.
James 4:8, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
Heb 4:16, “Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Heb 7:25, “Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
Heb 10:22, “Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”
They “implored,” PARAKALEO, “called for, exhorted, or encouraged,” Jesus to heal the slave of the Centurion. They virtually beg Jesus to come and save.
They said that the Centurion was “worthy” for Jesus to grant his request. “Worthy,” is the Adjective AXIOS, ἄξιος that means, “worthy, deserving, fit, good enough, or suitable,” based on the idea of a balanced scale. In the Jewish elders’ eyes, this man had demonstrated his worth by his actions. Here, we see the Biblical concept of true worth coming from a close relationship to Jesus, just as we should walk worthy of our calling, Eph 4:1; Phil 1:27; Col 1:10; 1 Thes 2:12.
They asked Jesus to “grant this to him,” meaning they were asking Jesus to give of Himself to the Centurion and the slave. Give them healing.
Luke 7:5, “For he loves our nation and it was he who built us our synagogue’.”
The demonstration of the Centurion’s worth is noted here. Even though he was a Gentile and occupier of Israel, they said “he loves our nation,” AGAPAO HEMEIS ETHNOS. He also, “he built us our synagogue,” which uses OIKODOMEO for “built,” and reminds us of the wise and prudent man of Luke 6:48, who dug deep and laid the foundation of his house upon the rock when building it. This speaks to the deep faith this Centurion had that was also demonstrated by his actions and deeds.
In addition, it is a foreshadowing of the Church the Gentile peoples would build through Christ during the Church Age. It is a precursor to the Gentiles being given the responsibility to build the Church, build the body of Jesus Christ, because God was about to remove that responsibility from the Jewish people. Therefore, loving Israel and building the Church, the body of Christ, is the foreshadowing of the Gentile’s responsibility for the Church Age.
Luke 7:6, “Now Jesus started on His way with them; and when He was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself further, for I am not worthy for You to come under my roof.”
“Now Jesus started on His way with them,” tells us that Jesus walks, POREUOMAI, with the faithful believers.
“The centurion sent friends,” PHILOS, “friends or loved ones.” The Centurion clearly understood that Jews do not normally enter a Gentile’s home for fear of ritual contamination. For Jesus to enter might require a time-consuming purification ritual and temporary disqualification from worship in the temple. The centurion hoped to spare Jesus the trouble.
He instructed the friends to address Jesus as “Lord,” KURIOS which too reminds us of Luke 6:46, yet this man called Him Lord and believed that Jesus was his Lord and Savior.
“Do not trouble, SKULLO, Yourself further,” is the Centurion showing his great faith. In Mark 5:35; Luke 8:48, SKULLO is used to demonstrate the Jewish religious leaders lack of faith, as they did not believe that Jesus could raise a young girl from the dead, so they did not what to trouble Him with a petition to do so. Yet, this Centurion faithfully believed that Jesus could raise the dead and heal the sick, and therefore petitioned Him to do so for his slave.
“For I am not worthy for You to come under my roof.” This demonstrates the humility of the Centurion where he recognized that he was “not worthy,” OUK HIKANOS, to have Jesus come to his home, STEGE, “roof or home,” only in Mat 8:8; Mark 2:4; Luke 7:6. The Adjective HIKANOS means, “sufficient, adequate, competent, worthy, etc.” Even though the Jews considered the Centurion worthy, he, in specific acknowledgment of Jesus’ authority by calling Him “Lord,” and as noted in vs. 8, admitted his own need before Jesus. Therefore the principle, Jesus is Lord in the heart of the humble servant; he acknowledges his own need before Him.
Luke 7:7, “For this reason I did not even consider myself worthy to come to You, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed.”
The sense of the centurion’s lack of worth is reemphasized here. In humility, the Centurion did not think that he was worthy enough to be in the presence of God, yet He has faith that Jesus could heal, “just say the word, and my servant will be healed, (IAOMAI).” We noted the Verb IAOMAI, “heal, cure, or restore,” in Luke 4:18, which was Jesus’ purpose for coming, cf. Luke 5:17; 6:19; His healing of the people of their various illnesses but really for their salvation.
Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed.”
Here, the Centurion calls his slave a “servant,” using the Noun PAIS, παῖς that means, “servant, child, son or daughter.” This demonstrates the close relationship he had with his slave, DOULOS In Mat 19:13ff., Jesus said that those who are children or who have the characteristics of children will belong to the Kingdom. In Mat 18:3, Jesus taught that people must humble themselves like children to enter the Kingdom. Therefore, the slave becomes a child, demonstrating the close relationship the believer can have with Jesus. This Centurion had demonstrated the humility of his soul and membership in the Kingdom of Heaven as a child of God.
Luke 7:8, “”For I also am a man placed under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.””
Prior to this we have seen a lot of “sending out” by the Centurion, which reminds us that God the Father has “sent forth” His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world for our healing / salvation. Here, the Centurion recognizes in humility, the authority, EXOUSIA, “authority or power,” that has been given to him by the Roman Army, “with soldiers under me.” Here, we see the Centurion based his faithful actions upon his personal experience in life. He gives an example of the authority he has been given, by describing the commands he is able to give to others and their response to his commands. Not only was he under authority himself, but he also had authority over others. Also, the authority is evaluated in terms of the spoken word, as the Word of God is the authority over our lives and all of mankind. In faith, we must also recognize the authority of Jesus Christ in our lives.
He recognizes that this authority was “appointed,” by the Roman Government and army, and thereby by God, cf. Rom 13:1. This uses the Verb TASSO, τάσσω that means, “place, fix, determine, appoint, or direct.” It reminds us that we are appointed by God for salvation, Acts 13:48, and for ministry.
Luke 7:9 “Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled at him, and turned and said to the crowd that was following Him, ‘I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith’.”
Here, Jesus is astonished by and “marvels at,” THAUMAZO, the Centurion’s “faith,” PISTIS. Previously, we have seen the crowds astonished by Jesus, His words, and His miracles, Luke 4:22, but here Jesus is blown away by this Gentile’s faith, especially in comparison to the people of Israel.
The faithful belief of this Gentile is contrasted even more harshly in Matthew’s gospel, as he also adds Jesus saying in vs. 11-12, “‘I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; 12but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’.”
This shows the unbelief of the individual Israelite who rejects Jesus as their Messiah. They will be cast into Hell / the Eternal Lake of Fire. The contrast Jesus is drawing is the great faith of the Centurion, vs. 13b, “as you have believed,” and the lack of faith found in many Israelites who have rejected the Messiah as noted by the fact that in vs. 12b, “The sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” This is a depiction of Hell or the Eternal Lake of Fire where only unbelievers are placed in that eternal state. So, Jesus is rebuking the Israelites for their lack of faith in the Messiah that brings salvation.
Nevertheless, the Centurion’s faithful willingness to believe in Jesus’ authority and to place himself under that authority resulted in unprecedented praise by Jesus of his actions. Just as the faithful believer will be praised by Jesus in the eternal state, Mat 25:31, 23; Luke 19:17.
Mat 25:21, “His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master’.”
Luke 7:10, “When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.”
Matthew expands on this part too, by noting in vs. 13, “And Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.’ And the servant was healed that very moment.”
Unlike Matthew, Luke does not mention Jesus telling the Centurion that He would answer his intercessory petition, only that He did heal his servant, as noted in the phrase, “they found the slave in good health.” This uses the Verb HUGIAINO, ὑγιαίνω that means, “be in good health, be sound, wholesome, or correct.”
We noted this Verb in Luke 5:31, “And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick’.” Therefore, we see the apropos title for Jesus as the Great Physician.
Notice that Jesus does not make an issue of the Centurion having a slave / servant; He only makes an issue of his faith, which is a lesson for us all. And this man’s faith was demonstrated through his AGAPE love, as he:
- Loved his slave, something highly unusual for a Roman soldier.
- Loved his fellow man, even those of another race that he was part of occupying.
- Loved Israel, the chosen people of God.
- Loved his church, as he used his treasures to build a new one.
- Loved his submission, having understood and respected authority, he embraced submission to God.
- Loved God, by applying faithful actions in his life, even before his encounter with Jesus.
- Loved the Word of God, as he was taught the truth about Jesus by others, he accepted it wholeheartedly.
Yet, He did not love himself. He was humble. Even though he was a man of authority and position, he did not let that go to his head. He remained humble. He did not even think he was worthy to appear before Jesus or have Jesus in his home.
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#19-099 & 19-100 & 19-101
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
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!