Choosing the Twelve
Now at this time Jesus went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. When day came, He called His disciples and selected twelve of them, whom He also named [a]apostles (special messengers, personally chosen representatives): Simon, whom He also named Peter, and his brother Andrew; and [the brothers] [b]James and John; and Philip, and Bartholomew [also called Nathanael]; and Matthew (Levi, the tax collector) and Thomas; and [c]James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot; Judas [also called Thaddaeus] the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor [to the Lord].
Then Jesus came down with them and stood on a level place; and there was a large crowd of His disciples, and a vast multitude of people from all over Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon, who had come to listen to Him and to be healed of their diseases. Even those who were troubled by unclean spirits (demons) were being healed. All the people were trying to touch Him, because [healing] power was coming from Him and healing them all.
And looking toward His disciples, He began [d]speaking: “Blessed [spiritually prosperous, happy, to be admired] are you who are poor [in spirit, those devoid of spiritual arrogance, those who regard themselves as insignificant], for the kingdom of God is yours [both now and forever]. Blessed [joyful, nourished by God’s goodness] are you who hunger now [for righteousness, actively seeking right standing with God], for you will be [completely] satisfied. Blessed [forgiven, refreshed by God’s grace] are you who weep now [over your sins and repent], for you will laugh [when the burden of sin is lifted]. Blessed [morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness] are you when people hate you, and exclude you [from their fellowship], and insult you, and scorn your name as evil because of [your association with] the Son of Man. Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for your reward in heaven is great [absolutely inexhaustible]; for their fathers used to treat the prophets in the same way. But [e]woe (judgment is coming) to you who are rich [and place your faith in possessions while remaining spiritually impoverished], for you are [already] receiving your comfort in full [and there is nothing left to be awarded to you]. Woe to you who are well-fed (gorged, satiated) now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now [enjoying a life of self-indulgence], for you will mourn and weep [and deeply long for God]. Woe to you when all the people speak well of you and praise you, for their fathers used to treat the false prophets in the same way.
“But I say to you who hear [Me and pay attention to My words]: [f]Love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, [make it a practice to] do good to those who hate you, bless and show kindness to those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. Whoever [g]strikes you on the cheek, offer him the other one also [simply ignore insignificant insults or losses and do not bother to retaliate—maintain your dignity]. Whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either. Give to everyone who asks of you. [h]Whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. Treat others the same way you want them to treat you. If you [only] love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. If you lend [money] to those from whom you expect to receive [it back], what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners expecting to receive back the same amount. But love [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for] your enemies, and do good, and lend, [i]expecting nothing in return; for your reward will be great (rich, abundant), and you will be sons of the Most High; because He Himself is kind and gracious and good to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful (responsive, compassionate, tender) just as your [heavenly] Father is merciful.
- Luke 6:13 In general usage the word “apostle” (Gr apostolos) means “sent one” or “messenger.” In this passage and others in reference to the “twelve,” the word “apostles” is used in a technical sense of the twelve disciples, and later Paul, whom Jesus chose. An apostle was one who had witnessed Christ’s resurrection (Acts 1:21, 22) or (in Paul’s case) had seen the resurrected Christ (1 Cor 9:1, 2). They validated their apostleship by performing “signs and wonders and miracles” (2 Cor 12:12), and were the foundation of the church.
- Luke 6:14 The sons of Zebedee and Salome. Salome is believed to be a sister of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
- Luke 6:15 Also called James the Less or James the Younger. His mother Mary (Gr Maria) is believed to be a sister or sister-in-law of Mary, the mother of Jesus.
- Luke 6:20 In vv 20-22 Luke lists four of the nine Beatitudes recorded by Matthew and follows them with four antithetical woes in vv 24-26.
- Luke 6:24 The four woes (vv 24-26) are addressed to those who lack spiritual perception and are oblivious to the importance of Jesus’ message of salvation.
- Luke 6:27 The key to understanding this and other statements about love is to know that this love (the Greek word agape) is not so much a matter of emotion as it is of doing things for the benefit of another person, that is, having an unselfish concern for another and a willingness to seek the higher good for another.
- Luke 6:29 In this context the “slap” is not an act of violence, but more likely an insult or violation of one’s rights.
- Luke 6:30 Probably a prohibition against frivolous legal action.
- Luke 6:35 Or not despairing at all.