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Commentary Special

April 1

Reading for Today:

  • Deuteronomy 25:1–26:19
  • Psalm 39:7-11
  • Proverbs 13:4-6
  • Luke 6:1-26


Deuteronomy 26:13, 14 you shall say before the LORD your God. The confession to be made in connection with the offering of this first tithe consisted of a statement of obedience (vv. 13, 14) and a prayer for God’s blessing (v. 15). In this manner, the Israelite confessed his continual dependence on God and lived in obedient expectance of God’s continued gracious blessing.

Deuteronomy 26:15 Look down from…heaven. This was the first reference to God’s dwelling place being in heaven. From His abode in heaven, God had given the Israelites the land flowing with milk and honey as He had promised to the patriarchs. His continued blessing on both the people and the land was requested.

Psalm 39:11 like a moth. The moth normally represented one of the most destructive creatures, but here the delicacy of the moth is intended (see Job 13:28; Is. 50:9; 51:8; Matt. 6:19ff.).

Luke 6:11 filled with rage. A curious response in the face of so glorious a miracle. Such irrational hatred was the scribes’ and Pharisees’ response to having been publicly humiliated—something they hated worse than anything (see Matt. 23:6, 7). They were unable to answer His reasoning (vv. 9, 10). And furthermore, by healing the man only with a command, He had performed no actual “work” that they could charge Him with. Desperately seeking a reason to accuse Him (v. 7), they could find none. Their response was blind fury.

Luke 6:12 continued all night in prayer. Luke frequently shows Jesus praying—and particularly before major events in His ministry. See 3:21; 5:16; 9:18, 28, 29; 11:1; 22:32, 40–46.

DAY 1: How similar is the sermon in Luke 6:17–49 to the Sermon on the Mount?

The similarity of the Sermon on the Plateau in Luke to the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:1–7:29) is remarkable. It is possible, of course, that Jesus simply preached the same sermon on more than one occasion. (It is evident that He often used the same material more than once—e.g., 12:58, 59; see Matt. 5:25, 26.) It appears more likely, however, that these are variant accounts of the same event. Luke’s version is abbreviated somewhat, because he omitted sections from the sermon that are uniquely Jewish (particularly Christ’s exposition of the law). Aside from that, the two sermons follow exactly the same flow of thought, beginning with the Beatitudes and ending with the parable about building on the rock. Differences in wording between the two accounts are undoubtedly owing to the fact that the sermon was originally delivered in Aramaic. Luke and Matthew translate into Greek with slight variances. Of course, both translations are equally inspired and authoritative.

Luke tells us the sermon was given on “a level place”(v. 17), after coming down from a mountain. In Matthew 5:1, it says “on a mountain.” These harmonize easily if Luke is referring to either a plateau or a level place on the mountainside. Indeed, there is such a place at the site near Capernaum where tradition says this sermon was delivered.

Luke’s account of the Beatitudes (vv. 20–23) is abbreviated (see Matt. 5:3–12). He lists only 4, and balances them with 4 parallel woes (vv. 24–26). One example of the difference in wording is in v. 20, “Blessed are you poor.” Christ’s concern for the poor and outcasts is one of Luke’s favorite themes. Luke used a personal pronoun (“you”) where Matthew 5:3 employed a definite article (“the”). Luke was underscoring the tender, personal sense of Christ’s words. A comparison of the two passages reveals that Christ was dealing with something more significant than mere material poverty and wealth, however. The poverty spoken of here refers primarily to a sense of one’s own spiritual impoverishment.

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214,