Red Letter Year: 7/5

Luke 6:1-16

One Sabbath day as Jesus was walking through some grainfields, his disciples broke off heads of grain, rubbed off the husks in their hands, and ate the grain. But some Pharisees said, “Why are you breaking the law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath?”

Jesus replied, “Haven’t you read in the Scriptures what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He went into the house of God and broke the law by eating the sacred loaves of bread that only the priests can eat. He also gave some to his companions.” And Jesus added,“The Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath.”

On another Sabbath day, a man with a deformed right hand was in the synagogue while Jesus was teaching. The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees watched Jesus closely. If he healed the man’s hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath.

But Jesus knew their thoughts. He said to the man with the deformed hand, “Come and stand in front of everyone.” So the man came forward. Then Jesus said to his critics, “I have a question for you. Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?”

10 He looked around at them one by one and then said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! 11 At this, the enemies of Jesus were wild with rage and began to discuss what to do with him.

12 One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night. 13 At daybreak he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles. Here are their names:

14 Simon (whom he named Peter), Andrew (Peter’s brother), James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James (son of Alphaeus), Simon (who was called the zealot), 16 Judas (son of James), Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him).


In the second Sabbath story here, Mark has Jesus ask the question in v. 9. Matthew changed things and had the religious leaders ask the question. Luke changes it back to a question from Jesus – is the the Sabbath for doing good or for doing evil? More generally, should we be about doing good or doing evil? You might be thinking that a middle option is needed for things that are neither good nor evil, but Scripture is consistent that there is no middle option. Everything we dood has a moral quality. Everything we do is either good or it is evil.

Also note what Luke does in v. 12: he calls the Twelve “apostles” – a subset of a larger group of “disciples” who follow Jesus and will look to the apostles for leadership in Acts. Luke has a very specific purpose in mentioning the group of disciples and setting the Twelve apart. This will become clear next week as we read the Sermon on the Plain.

New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale HousePublishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.