The bull of St Luke


Luke 6,12-49: Overview

Our overview of chapter 6 will be just the second part of the chapter 6,12-49 because we have read the first part, 6,1-11 already. We read the first part with chapter 5 because the two sabbath controversies were part of the sequence, 5,12-6,11, which began after the call of the disciples at the beginning of chapter 5. The climax for this sequence comes in 6,11 where we are told that the scribes and the Pharisees were furious with Jesus and considering what to do about him. Consider how it is that breakdown of relations which leads into the next stage of the Gospel, the presentation which we are now exploring.

Note therefore the new beginning in 6,12 and then what is stated in 7,1 (compare Mt 7,28). Read through from 6,12 through to 7,1. Note how there is continuity running through until the conclusion in 7,1.
As this presentation unfolds, we can note that it is made up of three sections, two short and one long.
For the third and longest section, look for the three markers which begin its three parts.

Consider our reading plan resulting from this exploration. (A look at the Sunday lectionary for cycle C will be a guide.)

Look now at my response.

Two Sermons: Luke and Matthew

It is inevitable that Luke's Sermon on the Plain is compared with Matthew's Sermon on the Mount, Mt 5-7. This is often to the disadvantage of Luke's Sermon. For a start, Luke's sermon is much shorter, a mere 30 verses compared to 107 in the Sermon on the Mount (there is no need to count the verses; it is easy though to spot that Matthew's sermon takes three chapters whilst Luke's is less than one).

Making a comparison of the two sermons will highlight how Luke's sermon is distinctive and therefore needs to be read on its own terms. List out therefore the various teachings in the Sermon on the Plain and then locate them in the the Sermon on the Mount.

Some questions arise as a result:
Where are the two sermons located within their Gospels?
The Sermon on the Mount is the keynote speech for Matthew. What is the keynote speech for Luke?
Who are present at the two sermons?
What is the significance of the different settings?
Look as well at the limits of the two sermons. What is common to both?
Broadly speaking therefore what has Luke left out?

Look again at my response.

We are now ready to read the first two parts, 6,12-19. of the presentation which give us the background to the sermon.