house of God: Here referring to the tabernacle. The account Jesus refers to (1Sa 21:
loaves of presentation: Or “showbread.” The Hebrew expression literally means “bread of the face.” The bread was figuratively before Jehovah as a constant offering to him.
whose right hand was withered: Three Gospel writers describe Jesus’ healing of this man on a sabbath, but only Luke mentions the detail that it was the man’s right hand that was withered, or paralyzed. (Mt 12:10; Mr 3:1) Luke often supplies medical details that Matthew and Mark do not. For a similar example, compare Mt 26:51 and Mr 14:47 with Lu 22:50, 51.—See “Introduction to Luke.”
life: Or “soul.”—See Glossary, “Soul.”
apostles: Or “sent ones.” The Greek word a·poʹsto·los is derived from the verb a·po·stelʹlo, meaning “to send away (out).” (Mt 10:5; Lu 11:49; 14:32) Its basic meaning is clearly illustrated in Jesus’ statement at Joh 13:16, where it is rendered “one who is sent.”
the zealous one: A designation distinguishing the apostle Simon from the apostle Simon Peter. (Lu 6:14) The Greek word used here and at Ac 1:13, ze·lo·tesʹ, means “zealot; enthusiast.” The parallel accounts at Mt 10:4 and Mr 3:18 use the designation “the Cananaean,” a term thought to be of Hebrew or Aramaic origin that likewise means “Zealot; Enthusiast.” While it is possible that Simon once belonged to the Zealots, a Jewish party opposed to the Romans, he may have been given this designation because of his zeal and enthusiasm.
who turned traitor: Or “who became a traitor.” The phrase is of interest because it suggests that Judas underwent a change. He was not a traitor when he became a disciple; nor was he a traitor when Jesus appointed him to be an apostle. He was not predestined to be a traitor. Rather, by the misuse of his own free will, he “turned traitor” sometime after his appointment. From the moment the change began to take place, Jesus was aware of it, as suggested at Joh 6:64.
and stood on a level place: As shown by the context, Jesus came down from a mountain where he had prayed all night before choosing his 12 apostles. (Lu 6:12, 13) He finds a level place on the mountainside, perhaps not far from his center of activity in Capernaum. Great crowds of people gather, and Jesus heals them all. According to the parallel account at Mt 5:1, 2, he “went up on the mountain . . . and began teaching.” This expression may refer to an elevation above the level place on the mountainside. Taken together, the accounts of Matthew and Luke evidently describe how Jesus stopped his descent at a level place, found a slight elevation on the mountainside, and began to speak. Or Mt 5:1 may be a summary that does not mention what Luke explains in more detail.
his disciples: The Greek word for “disciple,” ma·the·tesʹ, refers to a learner, or one who is taught, and implies a personal attachment to a teacher, an attachment that shapes the disciple’s whole life. Although large crowds gathered to listen to Jesus, it seems that he spoke mainly for the benefit of his disciples, who sat closest to him.—Mt 5:1, 2; 7:28, 29.
and began to say: The Sermon on the Mount is recorded both by Matthew (chapters 5-7) and by Luke (6:20-49). Luke recorded an abbreviated account of this sermon, whereas Matthew’s account is about four times longer and includes all but a few verses that appear in Luke’s presentation. The two accounts begin alike and end alike, often use identical expressions, and are generally similar in content and in the order that the subjects are presented. Where the two accounts run parallel, the wording sometimes differs considerably. Even so, the accounts are harmonious. It is worth noting that several large portions of the sermon that do not appear in Luke’s account are repeated by Jesus on other occasions. For instance, while delivering the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke about prayer (Mt 6:9-13) and about a proper view of material things (Mt 6:25-34). About a year and a half later, it seems that he repeated these statements, which were recorded by Luke. (Lu 11:2-4; 12:22-31) Moreover, since Luke was generally writing for Christians from all backgrounds, he may have omitted portions of the sermon that may have been of special interest to Jews.—Mt 5:17-27; 6:1-18.
Happy: Not simply a state of lightheartedness, as when a person is enjoying a good time. Rather, when used of humans, it refers to the condition of one who is blessed by God and enjoys his favor. The term is also used as a description of God and of Jesus in his heavenly glory.
they have their reward in full: The Greek term a·peʹkho, meaning “to have in full,” often appeared on business receipts, with the sense of “paid in full.” The hypocrites gave in order to be seen by men, and they were seen and glorified by men for their charitable giving; thus, they have already received all the reward that they are going to get. They should not expect anything from God.
having your consolation in full: The Greek term a·peʹkho, meaning “to have in full,” often appeared on business receipts, with the sense of “paid in full.” Jesus spoke of woe that could come upon the rich, not simply because they have a comfortable, or good, life. Rather, he warned that people who cherish material riches may neglect service to God and miss out on gaining true happiness. Such people would be “paid in full,” experiencing all the consolation, or comforts, that they are going to get. God will not give them anything more.—See study note on Mt 6:2.
lend: That is, lend without interest. The Law forbade the Israelites from charging interest on loans to a needy fellow Jew (Ex 22:25), and it encouraged them to lend generously to the poor.
Keep on forgiving, and you will be forgiven: Or “Keep on releasing, and you will be released.” The Greek term rendered “to forgive” literally means “to let go free; to send away; to release (for example, a prisoner).” In this context, when used in contrast with judging and condemning, it conveys the idea of acquitting and forgiving, even when punishment or retribution might seem warranted.
Practice giving: Or “Keep giving.” The form of the Greek verb used here can be rendered “to give” and denotes continuous action.
your laps: The Greek word literally means “your bosom (chest),” but in this context it likely refers to the fold formed over the belt by the loose-fitting cloth of the outer garment. ‘Pouring into the lap’ may refer to a custom of some vendors to fill this fold with the goods that had been purchased.
a flood: Sudden winter storms are not uncommon in Israel, especially during the month of Tebeth, that is, December/January. They bring high winds, torrential rains, and destructive flash floods.—See App. B15.
The outer garment worn by Israelites in Bible times was voluminous over the chest. The garment might be worn so that a fold of material hung over the belt. That fold could be used as a large pocket into which a person could place grain, money, or other articles and could even carry a baby or a young lamb. (Ex 4:6, 7; Nu 11:12; 2Ki 4:39; Job 31:33; Isa 40:11) The Greek word rendered “your laps” at Lu 6:38 literally means “your bosom (chest)” but in this context refers to the folds of the garment. ‘Pouring into the lap’ may refer to a custom some vendors had of filling the fold of a person’s wide upper garment with the goods that he purchased.
Jesus no doubt carefully selected the plants he used in illustrations. For example, the fig tree (1) and the grapevine (2) are mentioned jointly in many texts, and Jesus’ words at Lu 13:6 show that fig trees were often planted in vineyards. (2Ki 18:31; Joe 2:22) The expression ‘sitting under one’s own vine and fig tree’ symbolized peaceful, prosperous, secure conditions. (1Ki 4:25; Mic 4:4; Zec 3:10) By contrast, thorns and thistles are specifically mentioned when Jehovah cursed the ground after Adam sinned. (Ge 3:17, 18) The type of thornbush that Jesus referred to at Mt 7:16 cannot be identified with certainty, but the one shown here (Centaurea iberica) (3), a type of thistle, grows wild in Israel.