Luke 6:11

ESV But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.
NIV But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.
NASB But they themselves were filled with senseless rage, and began discussing together what they might do to Jesus.
CSB They, however, were filled with rage and started discussing with one another what they might do to Jesus.
NLT At this, the enemies of Jesus were wild with rage and began to discuss what to do with him.
KJV And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.

What does Luke 6:11 mean?

God told Moses, "Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day shall be put to death" (Exodus 31:15). The only time the Bible records this law being enforced is with a man who collected sticks. He deliberately broke the law so he could accumulate firewood before anyone else (Numbers 15:32–36). But God does say that the Jews neglecting the Sabbath is a significant reason that He sent the southern kingdom of Judah into exile in Babylon (Ezekiel 22:8, 15).

When the people of Judah finally returned to Jerusalem from exile, the scribes tried to make sure the people never incited God to send them into exile again. They focused on three things that not only enforced God's law but served as cultural identifiers of God's people. These were circumcision, food laws, and observing the Sabbath. To make sure the people didn't break the laws, the scribes developed the oral law, saying it included specific instructions God gave Moses on Mount Sinai that weren't written down. Included were thirty-nine regulations regarding what "work" should not be done on the Sabbath. Rabbis throughout the ages added so many notes and interpretations that Orthodox Jews today do not adjust their thermostats or push buttons on elevators.

The Pharisees were already concerned because Jesus allowed His disciples to pluck grain from a field and eat the kernels on the Sabbath (Luke 6:1–2). Now, they have watched Jesus heal a man's withered hand (Luke 6:10). This is too close to the traditional laws against straightening a limb, setting a bone, or adjusting a dislocated joint. The devout Pharisees are so angry they conspire with Herodians to destroy Jesus (Mark 3:6). They don't see the irony that planning to kill a man is a much greater breach of the Sabbath law than healing someone (Luke 6:9).

"Fury" is from the Greek word anoia and literally means "mindless," thus inferring the Pharisees' rage is irrational. The King James Version says, "filled with madness."

This ends Luke's account of Jesus' controversial actions that turned the Pharisees into enemies. It may have begun when He touched the unclean leper, which no Pharisee would ever do (Luke 5:13). He caught their attention when He declared that the sins of the paralyzed man were forgiven (Luke 5:20–21). Jesus widened the gap when He feasted with sinners and kept His disciples from fasting (Luke 5:29–30, 33). The tolerance He showed when His disciples plucked and ate grain on the Sabbath was probably less vexing than when He claimed authority over the Sabbath (Luke 6:1–5). But healing a man on the Sabbath and claiming that the Pharisees—not He—are breaking the law has driven the religious leaders over the edge.

Having made a definitive break with the Pharisees, Jesus turns to His followers. First, He finalizes the twelve men who will be His apostles. Then He teaches a crowd what He expects in His followers—including, probably not by coincidence— forgiving and blessing one's enemies. Finally, Jesus invites everyone to base their lives on Him (Luke 6:12–49). It's a far better choice than extra-scriptural, legalistic regulations.
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