Luke 6:43-49: A Firm Foundation

2 Kings 22-23, Psalm 121, Luke 6:43-49, Philippians 4:8-13  Luke 6:43-49: As Jesus comes to the end of his famous sermon, he uses two illustrations to make two practical and profound concluding exhortations. First, he explains how it is that we are to obey Jesus without obedience itself being the defining characteristic, in a legalistic sense, of what…

Read More

Luke 6:37-42: Speck and a Log

2 Kings 20-21, Psalm 120, Luke 6:37-42, Philippians 4:1-7   Luke 6:37-42: Jesus now comes to address the thorny question of human relationships—our tendency, in particular, to judge one another, to feel superior to each other, and to cast aspersions about each other’s moral performance and spirituality. In some ways, verse 37 these days is the most famous…

Read More

Luke 6:27-36: Love Your Enemies

2 Kings 18-19, Psalm 119:169-176, Luke 6:27-36, Philippians 3:15-21 Luke 6:27-36: This famous teaching is as controversial now as it was then. Should it be taken literally? Are we truly intended to “love our enemies”? If someone takes our cloak, are we meant to also give them our tunic? Are we meant to give to everyone who begs…

Read More

Luke 6:17-26: Blessings and Woes

2 Kings 16-17, Psalm 119:161-168, Luke 6:17-26, Philippians 3:10-14   Luke 6:17-26: The so-called “sermon on the plain” or “on a level place” is in all likelihood an abridgment of the same “Sermon on the Mount” that Matthew’s Gospel records (which itself is likely to be an abridgment of the original discourse). In this sermon, as people come…

Read More

Luke 6:1-16: Sabbath and Prayer

2 Kings 14-15, Psalm 119:153-160, Luke 6:1-16, Philippians 3:1-9 Luke 6:1-16: The action in this section first of all centers around the “Sabbath.” The Sabbath day, of course, was a primary distinctive of the Old Testament religion. Because God made the world, as Genesis chapter 1 describes it, and rested on the seventh day, so God commanded that…

Read More

Luke 5:33-39: New Wine and New Wineskins

2 Kings 12-13, Psalm 119:145-152, Luke 5:33-39, Philippians 2:19-30  Luke 5:33-39: On the surface, this is a fairly prosaic question about fasting. Jesus is in the middle of a feast (5:27-31) with tax collectors and “sinners,” and the disparity between that behavior and the more ascetically minded John the Baptist, and even that of the Pharisees, is quite…

Read More

Luke 5:27-32: I Have Not Come to Call the Righteous

2 Kings 10-11, Psalm 119:137-144, Luke 5:27-32, Philippians 2:12-18 Luke 5:27-32: A beautiful story—but in its essence is quite a challenge to the religiosity of our (and any) age. Jesus calls Levi to follow him. So far, so familiar—except for the rapidity of Levi’s response (and that, with him leaving everything to follow Jesus); little about this initially…

Read More

Luke 5:17-26: Extraordinary Things Today

2 Kings 8-9, Psalm 119:129-136, Luke 5:17-26, Philippians 2:1-11 Luke 5:17-26: One of the most well-known stories about Jesus, and also one of the most important—though not always for the reasons most commonly thought. Jesus is teaching. And “the power of the Lord was with him to heal.” What does this mean? We will discover in a moment…

Read More

Luke 5:12-16: To Pray

2 Kings 6-7, Psalm 119:121-128, Luke 5:12-16, Philippians 1:21-30 Luke 5:12-16: “But he would withdraw to desolate places to pray.” In the midst of all the hurly burly of ministry, of a life that was supremely busy beyond our comprehension, of intense demands upon him, and pressure, infinite pressure, of being nothing less than the Savior of the…

Read More

Luke 5:1-11: Fishers of Men

2 Kings 4-5, Psalm 119:113-120, Luke 5:1-11, Philippians 1:12-20    Luke 5:1-11: As Jesus calls the first disciples, several points are worth underlining for us today. First of all, note how the crowd is pressing in on Jesus to hear the Word of God. Let us be like that! Let us press in, seek, work towards, seek out,…

Read More