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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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Luke 4:38-44: Preaching the Good News

2 Kings 1-3, Psalm 119:105-112, Luke 4:38-44, Philippians 1:1-11 Luke 4:38-44: We see Jesus healing again—note the distinction between a healing (4:38-39) and demon possession (4:40-41)—and this time he is in the home of Simon and heals his mother-in-law. They appealed to him, and at a word of command she is healed. “Immediately.” When God says the word,…

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Luke 4:31-37: The Authority of Jesus’ Word

1 Kings 21-22, Psalm 119:97-104, Luke 4:31-37, Ephesians 6:10-24  Luke 4:31-37: Jesus’ teaching is marked by a characteristic note throughout all the Gospels, and here in this passage it is emphasized. He teaches with “authority.” That word “authority” is interesting: it suggests, in English, the key to the issue. He teaches with authority because he is the Author.…

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Luke 4:13-30: The Power of the Spirit

1 Kings 21-22, Psalm 119:89-96, Luke 4:13-30, Ephesians 4:13-30 Luke 4:13-30: The devil’s temptation has finished—for the moment. Note: when we pass one set of temptations, we are not to think that thereby such temptations will not return. While we are in this world, temptations will come. We are, as William Gurnall, the great Puritan commentator on the…

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