Jesus displeases the Pharisees (1-5) a. Walking through the grain fields (1) a. i. On the Sabbath day (1) a. ii. With his disciples (1) b. They plucked some heads of grain (1) b. i. They were hungry(1) b. ii. They ate the grain(1) c. The Pharisees question Jesus (2) c. i. Why are they doing something that goes against the Sabbath? (2) c. ii. Jesus asks them if they have read what David did when he was hungry (3) c. ii. 1. He entered the house of god (4) c. ii. 2. Took the bread and at it (4) c. ii. 3. It was not lawful for him and his friends to eat (4) c.
ii. 3. a. Only for the priests (4) c. iii. “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath” (5) c. iii. 1. Jesus is the Son of Man, and the Lord of the Sabbath (5) II. Jesus angers the Pharisees again (6-11) a. Jesus entered the synagogue (6) a. i. He went to teach (6) a. i. 1. On another Sabbath day (6) a. i. 2. He noticed a man (6) a. i. 2. a. This man’s right hand was wounded (6) a. i. 2. a. i. He is not supposed to heal him (6) a. i. 2. b. The Pharisees watch him closely (7) a. i. 2. b. i. Will he heal the man on the Sabbath? (7) a. i. 2. b. ii. If he does they could accuse him (7) b.
Jesus knew what they were thinking (8) b. i. He asked the man to come (8) b. i. 1. The man stood by his side (8) b. ii. He questioned the Pharisees (9) b. ii. 1. Is it lawful to do good or evil? (9) b. ii. 1. a. Is it lawful to save a life or destroy it? (9) b. ii. 2. They said nothing (10) b. iii. He asked the man to out stretch his hand (10) b. iii. 1. Jesus restores the man’s hand (10) b. iv. The Pharisees were angered and plotted against Jesus (11) Exegesis: Luke 6:1-11 This text opens with Jesus and his disciples walking through a grain field. It is the day of the Sabbath.
His disciples begin to grow hungry. They are not supposed to do any work or eat on this day. But they still grab handfuls of grain, and begin to eat them. Some of the Pharisees were watching this and questioned them as to why they were doing this, knowing it was the Sabbath and that it was not lawful. Jesus stepped forward and answered for them. He asked the Pharisees if they have ever read about what David did when he and his people were hungry; they are the bread of the Presence. No one, but the priests were allowed to eat. But his companions grew hungrier and so he fed them.
After this speech, Jesus said “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath” (Luke 6:5). Considering that Jesus is the Son of Man, this statement means that he is also the lord of the Sabbath. This title imposes that Jesus’ actions for are not in vain, therefore they are exempt from the usual expectations of this day. The next part of this text begins on a different Sabbath. Jesus enters a synagogue where he goes to teach the people. He notices that there is a man there, his right hand is mangled. Instantly when the Pharisees notice the man and Jesus’ attention on him, they begin to watch.
Anticipating that Jesus will attempt to heal the man, and if he does they want to punish him for the act he commits on this day of rest. Jesus knew exactly what they were thinking, he asks the man to come and stand beside him. The man gets up and goes to stand beside him. Jesus begins to speak to the Pharisees. He asks them if it’s okay to do good or bad on the day of the Sabbath or to save a life or to destroy it. He stares at them as they ponder his question. Jesus is angered at their passiveness, knowing that there is nothing unjust about doing the right thing on not just the day of the Sabbath, but on any day.
He looks at the man and asks that he extends his hand. The man does and he was healed. Instantly the Pharisees were ignited with fury, they began to plot against Jesus, deciding how they were to punish him. The genre of Luke’s account is clearly narrative. But when examining the text, it also seems to me that there is also a lesson to this. So looking at this abroad, it appears to be a mix between a narrative and teaching literature. I notice that this text, and all throughout Luke, you see many parables.
The parables that are in a way unique to Luke: “depict the unexpected ways in which God’s kingdom overturns the normal social order and reverses conventional beliefs” (Harris, 366). A good example of this in in Luke 6:1-11, you see Jesus pushing the guidelines of the Sabbath but for the good. His disciples were hungry, and so he fed them. A man needed to be healed, and he restored him. Though both of these incidents were looked down upon by others, the well-being of a human life should not be tossed aside for a religious practice and Jesus both believed and practiced this.
When looking closer into the narrative side of the text, you see a mixture between conflict and healing stories. As I mentioned before, you see this conflict when Jesus does not abide by the Sabbath, even though these acts were for the good. The healing narrative is seen when on another Sabbath day, Jesus sees a man who has a mangled arm. Again, going against the Sabbath, he heals the man (6:6-11). This angers the Pharisees which as a result draws conflict into this section as well. The gospel of Luke had a wide range for his historical setting.
His narrative sweeps through Israel’s history: from the conquest of Palestine, to the final destruction of the state by Titus. It’s estimated that Luke and Acts were both written sometime after 70 C. E. Luke’s gospel tends to portray Jesus’ figure as always compassionate, one who takes interest in women, the poor and the powerless. Like John, he refers to the Holy Spirit, a good Sheppard who forgives sinners. Jesus is portrayed as very attentive to social and economic issues, also taking a large interest in justice. He also brings up the running theme that God’s Kingdom demands a radical change.
Luke 6:6-11 is a very good example for this need of change. Jesus’ sets himself apart from the crowd knowing that there needs to be a change, and he embarks on it by going against the existing social order but for the good of man. The entire gospel of Luke contains a plethora of themes, but a few that stand out to me, as I stated before: the demand for radical change, and also the importance of Jerusalem, the stressing of Christianity as a universal faith, and most significantly Jesus as our Savior. Luke expresses the importance of Jerusalem by liking events in Jesus’ life to the temple.
For example, throughout Jesus’ infancy and childhood, Luke recalls these accounts at the temple in Jerusalem. Luke’s gospel account also begins in Jerusalem. When it comes time for Jesus to face his suffering, it is mentioned that there is no other place for a prophet to meet his death than in Jerusalem. The theme of Christianity as a universal faith is seen through Jesus and his successors; God directs them to achieve redemption in humanity. Luke intends that Christianity is intended for all nations. The final them that seems most significant to me, is the theme of Jesus being our all-powerful savior.
He is intended to be the savior of repentant humanity; he is the one who delivers the believers from the consequences of sin, and in some cases seen as the one who saved Israel from their military oppressors. The intentions of this text appear very clearly. When looking at 6:1-11 as a whole, you witness Jesus doing acts for the good. The only conflict with this, is that it is the day of the Sabbath, the day of rest. When he and his disciples are walking through the grain fields hungry (6:1-5), Jesus knows this and is also well aware of what day it is, yet he encourages them to eat the grain. He was simply doing what was best for them.
When he is faced with conflict after this, he recalls the story of David; much similar to what had just taken place. The next half of the text (6:6-11) grows more heated, when speaking in terms of the need for the good act and the Pharisees disapproval. Jesus enters the synagogue to teach, when he notices the man with the mangled had. He was expected to not worry about this man’s well-being, because it was the day of rest, not extraneous work allowed on the Sabbath. Again, Jesus prevails, and heals the man in need. His intentions of this passage, was to highlight this need for change in the existing social order.
By previewing Jesus’ actions and recalling his words of wisdom it was intended to open the eyes of those who were stuck in the existing status quo. He was proving that human reasoning is important too and should be taken into consideration. As holy people, you should know the difference between right/wrong, and good/bad. The day of rest, and day of holiness should also exemplify the acts of good human nature, and reinforce that the well-being of the human life takes priority. Works Cited Craddock, Fred B. Interpretation–Luke. Louisville, KT. : John Knox, 1990. Print.
Davies, Gwynne Henton. The Twentieth Century Bible Commentary,. New York: Harper, 1955. Print. Harris, Stephen L. “Part Two: The New Testament. ” Understanding the Bible. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Pub. , 1997. N. pag. Print. Holy Bible New International Version Holy Bible. N. p. : Zondervan, 2014. Print. LaVerdiere, Eugene. Luke. Wilmington, DE: Michael Glazier, 1980. Print. The New King James Bible: New Testament. Nashville: T. Nelson, 1979. Print. Throckmorton, Burton Hamilton. Gospel Parallels: A Synopsis of the First Three Gospels. Nashville, [Tenn. : Thomas Nelson, 1979. Print.