The Principles of Jesus’ Ministry: the Sermon on the Plain
- The Election of the Twelve Disciples (6:12-16)
- Setting of the Sermon (6:17-19)
- Blessings and Woes: The Character and Position of the Disciples (6:20-26)
- The Gracious Spirit They Were to Have in Respect to the Government of God (6:27-38)
- Parable of the Blind Leading the Blind: Warning About Hypocrisy (6:39-42)
- Parable of the Trees: Men’s Hearts are Known by their Fruits (6:43-45)
- Parable of the Builders: Importance of Hearing and Doing (6:46-49)
The Election of the Twelve Disciples (6:12-16)
12 And it came to pass in those days that he went out into the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. v.12 Even the Lord, before a new step in ministry, spent all night in prayer. How much more should we!
13 And when it was day he called his disciples, and having chosen out twelve from them, whom also he named apostles: 14 Simon, to whom also he gave the name of Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip and Bartholomew, 15 and Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon who was called Zealot, 16 and Judas brother of James, and Judas Iscariote, who was also his betrayer; vv.13-16 It’s hard to know if this was the time when He chose the disciples, or called those He had previously chosen. In either case, there as a moral reason for listing the names here. They are grouped in pairs. When Matthew writes he flips the order, puts Thomas before Matthew, taking the lower place.
Setting of the Sermon (6:17-19)
17 and having descended with them, he stood on a level place, and a crowd of his disciples, and a great multitude of the people from all Judaea and Jerusalem, and the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases; 18 and those that were beset by unclean spirits were healed. 19 And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power went out from him and healed all.
Blessings and Woes: The Character and Position of the Disciples (6:20-26)
20 And “he”, lifting up his eyes upon his disciples, said, Blessed are ye poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 Blessed ye that hunger now, for ye shall be filled. Blessed ye that weep now, for ye shall laugh. 22 Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from them, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as wicked, for the Son of man’s sake: 23 rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in the heaven, for after this manner did their fathers act toward the prophets.
24 But woe to you rich, for ye have received your consolation. 25 Woe to you that are filled, for ye shall hunger. Woe to you who laugh now, for ye shall mourn and weep. 26 Woe, when all men speak well of you, for after this manner did their fathers to the false prophets.
The Gracious Spirit They Were to Have in Respect to the Government of God (6:27-38)
27 But to you that hear I say, Love your enemies; do good to those that hate you; 28 bless those that curse you; pray for those who use you despitefully.
29 To him that smites thee on the cheek, offer also the other; and from him that would take away thy garment, forbid not thy body-coat also.
30 To every one that asks of thee, give; and from him that takes away what is thine, ask it not back. 31 And as ye wish that men should do to you, do “ye” also to them in like manner. 32 And if ye love those that love you, what thank is it to you? for even sinners love those that love them. 33 And if ye do good to those that do good to you, what thank is it to you? for even sinners do the same. 34 And if ye lend to those from whom ye hope to receive, what thank is it to you? for even sinners lend to sinners that they may receive the like. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return, and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be sons of the Highest; for “he” is good to the unthankful and wicked. 36 Be ye therefore merciful, even as your Father also is merciful.
37 And judge not, and ye shall not be judged; condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned. Remit, and it shall be remitted to you. 38 Give, and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall be given into your bosom: for with the same measure with which ye mete it shall be measured to you again.
Parable of the Blind Leading the Blind: Warning About Hypocrisy (6:39-42)
39 And he spoke also a parable to them: Can a blind man lead a blind man? shall not both fall into the ditch? 40 The disciple is not above his teacher, but every one that is perfected shall be as his teacher. 41 But why lookest thou on the mote which is in the eye of thy brother, but perceivest not the beam which is in thine own eye? 42 or how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, allow me, I will cast out the mote that is in thine eye, thyself not seeing the beam that is in thine eye? Hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine eye, and then thou shalt see clear to cast out the mote which is in the eye of thy brother.
Parable of the Trees: Men’s Hearts are Known by their Fruits (6:43-45)
43 For there is no good tree which produces corrupt fruit, nor a corrupt tree which produces good fruit; 44 for every tree is known by its own fruit, for figs are not gathered from thorns, nor grapes vintaged from a bramble. 45 The good man, out of the good treasure of his heart, brings forth good; and the wicked man out of the wicked, brings forth what is wicked: for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
Parable of the Builders: Importance of Hearing and Doing (6:46-49)
46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I say? 47 Every one that comes to me, and hears my words and does them, I will shew you to whom he is like. 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug and went deep, and laid a foundation on the rock; but a great rain coming, the stream broke upon that house, and could not shake it, for it had been founded on the rock. 49 And he that has heard and not done, is like a man who has built a house on the ground without a foundation, on which the stream broke, and immediately it fell, and the breach of that house was great.