Reading: Luke 6
Summary: Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) is quite well known. A parallel to it, and much lesser known, is recorded in Luke 6. Many similarities are noticeable between this and Matthew’s record, yet, some differences exist as well. For instance, in Matthew, we find the beatitudes (pronouncements of blessing), while in Luke we find both pronouncements of blessing and woe.
Much discussion has been devoted to determining if these are two records of the same preaching event or different ones. It seems silly to me, as a preacher, to think that Jesus only addressed certain points or taught certain lessons only one time. I’m convinced the Savior repeated many of His teachings numerous times. So, same or different events? It doesn’t matter.
Jesus a Law Breaker?
Jesus was accused of breaking the Law, specifically regarding the Sabbath (Luke 6:2). His response is interesting. He doesn’t refute the accusation but instead, shows the grave inconsistency of His accusers for failing to condemn their forefather David for his violation of the Law. Was Jesus suggesting that lawbreaking was no big deal? Hardly.
First things first. If they are going to accuse Jesus, they must also accuse David—which they would never do. What is more, David did violate the Law, Jesus did not. Though He was charged with doing so, the only thing He violated was the traditional interpretation of Sabbath law. He didn’t break the Law, He broke tradition.
There lies the rub. People tend to be much more in tune with religious traditions and traditional interpretations than they are with the actual word of God. Jesus never ever violated God’s word, and so, never sinned (Heb. 4:15).
May this be a cautionary incident form Jesus’ life. We must exercise care to never elevate traditions to the level of God’s word (see Matt. 15:9). It’s more challenging than we may think.