Life-Study of Lukeby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In this message we come to 6:12-49. This portion of the Gospel of Luke covers two matters: the Lord’s appointing twelve apostles (vv. 12-16) and His teaching His disciples the highest morality (vv. 17-49).
Luke 6:12 says, “And it came about in these days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.” On the next day, He called His disciples and chose twelve to be His apostles. The Lord Jesus prayed in order to have fellowship with God and seek God’s will and pleasure concerning His ministry. The Man-Savior did not carry out His ministry by Himself in a way that was independent of God or according to His own will. Rather, He fulfilled His ministry according to God’s will and pleasure by being one with God to fulfill His purpose. In particular, the Lord Jesus did not appoint the twelve by Himself. In this matter He acted as a man who was one with God.
When the Lord Jesus was baptized, He put Himself aside. This indicates that in His ministry He would not do anything by Himself, but would do everything by God and with God. In 6:12 we have the application of the Lord’s baptism. In His prayer the Lord rejected Himself and put Himself aside. In the crucial matter of appointing certain ones to be His helpers, to be the apostles sent out to reach others, the Lord did not act in Himself or by Himself. He did this absolutely in God and with God. The main point in the choosing of the twelve as described in 6:13-16 is that the Lord Jesus set Himself aside and did not act by Himself. In appointing the twelve, He acted in God, by God, and with God.
In 6:17-20 we see that the Lord’s word in the remainder of this chapter was addressed to His disciples (v. 20) in the presence of a great multitude (v. 17), probably composed largely of unbelievers. Hence, there were two groups with the Lord as He was teaching. The first group was His disciples; the second was the crowd of unbelievers. We need to remember this if we would understand the Lord’s teaching here. Sometimes His word refers to the believers, and at other times it refers to the unbelievers.
Much of the Lord’s teaching in 6:17-49 is similar to that in chapters five through seven of the Gospel of Matthew. Whatever is decreed in Matthew 5—7, as the constitution of the kingdom of the heavens, constitutes the reality of the kingdom of the heavens. Whatever is cited in Luke 6:20-49, as principles of the character of God’s children, governs and measures the behavior of the believers, who have been born of God and possess His life and nature. At the time of speaking, this portion, except verses 24 through 26 and 39, applied to the believing remnant of the Jews.
We have seen that in chapters five through seven of Matthew we have the constitution of the kingdom of the heavens. The teaching in chapter six of Luke is not a constitution, but it is the principles of the character of those who believe in the Lord, of those who have been born of God and possess His life and nature. As those who have been regenerated by God, we, the believers, have God’s life and nature. Now we need to see what principles should govern our character, our behavior. How should we conduct ourselves? How should we act and have our being? The principles given in this chapter answer these questions. All the aspects of the Lord’s teaching here are principles that should govern our Christian behavior. If we see this, we shall see the difference between the constitution of the kingdom of the heavens in Matthew 5 through 7 and the principles of Christian behavior in Luke 6.
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