The Sermon on the Plain

A Critical Devotional Reading of the Sermon on the Plain

Summary: Critical and Devotional Reading

  We’ve worked through Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount, and followed it up with Luke’s Sermon on the Plain. These were my objectives during the Lenten devotionals and those that followed: To show that critical reading and devotional reading can go hand-in-hand. Each begins with a different question. Critical reading asks “What did the original … Continue reading

Inner and Outer Light

  People don’t light a lamp and then put it in a closet or under a basket. Rather, they place the lamp on a lampstand so that those who enter the house can see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of … Continue reading

How Would You Treat Your Children?

    Everyone who asks, receives. Whoever seeks, finds. To everyone who knocks, the door is opened. Which father among you would give a snake to your child if the child asked for a fish? If a child asked for an egg, what father would give the child a scorpion? If you who are evil … Continue reading

“Asking for a Friend”

    He also said to them, “Imagine that one of you has a friend and you go to that friend in the middle of the night. Imagine saying, ‘Friend, loan me three loaves of bread because a friend of mine on a journey has arrived and I have nothing to set before him.’ Imagine further that … Continue reading

The Sermon on the Plain: Dig Deep

  Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and don’t do what I say? I’ll show what it’s like when someone comes to me, hears my words, and puts them into practice. It’s like a person building a house by digging deep and laying the foundation on bedrock. When the flood came, the rising water … Continue reading

The Sermon on the Plain: The Inner Self

A good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit, nor does a bad tree produce good fruit. Each tree is known by its own fruit. People don’t gather figs from thorny plants, nor do they pick grapes from prickly bushes. A good person produces good from the good treasury of the inner self, while an evil person … Continue reading

The Sermon on the Plain: A Splinter in Your Eye

Jesus also told them a riddle. “A blind person can’t lead another blind person, right? Won’t they both fall into a ditch? Disciples aren’t greater than their teacher, but whoever is fully prepared will be like their teacher. Why do you see the splinter in your brother’s or sister’s eye but don’t notice the log in … Continue reading

The Sermon on the Plain: The Clueless Leading the Helpless

Jesus also told them a riddle. “A blind person can’t lead another blind person, right? Won’t they both fall into a ditch? Disciples aren’t greater than their teacher, but whoever is fully prepared will be like their teacher.” (Luke 6:39-40 CEB). The CEB (Common English Bible) uses the word “riddle” instead of “parable” here, which I think … Continue reading

The Sermon on the Plain: Karma

  Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good portion—packed down, firmly shaken, and overflowing—will fall into your lap. The portion you give will determine the portion you receive in return. (Luke 6:37-38 … Continue reading

The Sermon on the Plain: Children of the Most High

  If you love those who love you, why should you be commended? Even sinners love those who love them.  If you do good to those who do good to you, why should you be commended? Even sinners do that. If you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, why should you be commended? … Continue reading

The Sermon on the Plain: Love Your Enemies

  But I say to you who are willing to hear: Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on the cheek, offer the other one as well. If someone takes your coat, don’t withhold your shirt either. … Continue reading

The Sermon on the Plain: The Flip Side

  But how terrible for you who are rich,    because you have already received your comfort.How terrible for you who have plenty now,    because you will be hungry.How terrible for you who laugh now,    because you will mourn and weep.How terrible for you when all speak well of you.    Their ancestors did the same things to the false prophets. … Continue reading

The Sermon on the Plain: Happy are YOU

Jesus raised his eyes to his disciples and said: “Happy are you who are poor,    because God’s kingdom is yours.Happy are you who hunger now,    because you will be satisfied.Happy are you who weep now,    because you will laugh. Happy are you when people hate you, reject you, insult you, and condemn your name as evil because of … Continue reading

The Sermon on the Plain: The Setting

Jesus came down from the mountain with them and stood on a large area of level ground. A great company of his disciples and a huge crowd of people from all around Judea and Jerusalem and the area around Tyre and Sidon joined him there. They came to hear him and to be healed from … Continue reading

The Sermon on the Plain: The Audience

During that time, Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night long. At daybreak, he called together his disciples. He chose twelve of them whom he called apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter; his brother Andrew; James; John; Philip; Bartholomew; Matthew; Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus; Simon, … Continue reading

The Sermon on the Plain: The Backstory

In Luke’s Sermon on the Plain, Jesus doesn’t talk about hypocrisy explicitly as he does in Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount. But “acting religious” is still in the background. Just before Jesus delivers his sermon, he has two disputes with religious leaders. In the first, the religious leaders complain to Jesus because they saw his … Continue reading

The Sermon on the Plain: Contradictory Gospels

Critical and Devotional Readings   Matthew has a Sermon on the Mount. Luke has a Sermon on the Plain: “Jesus came down from the mountain with them and stood on a large area of level ground” (Luke 6:17). If you pick up Luke’s story from this point, you will hear Jesus say many of the … Continue reading


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