What does Luke 6:39 mean?
ESV: He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?
NIV: He also told them this parable: 'Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?
NASB: Now He also spoke a parable to them: 'A person who is blind cannot guide another who is blind, can he? Will they not both fall into a pit?
CSB: He also told them a parable: "Can the blind guide the blind? Won't they both fall into a pit?
NLT: Then Jesus gave the following illustration: 'Can one blind person lead another? Won’t they both fall into a ditch?
KJV: And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
Verse Commentary:
In the Sermon on the Plain, Jesus explains that God will reward those who suffer for following Christ. He will judge those who persecute His followers (Luke 6:20–26). Because of these rewards, Jesus explains that His followers should actively love their enemies and seek their well-being, just as our heavenly Father blesses His enemies (Luke 6:27–36). From actions, Jesus transitions to the heart-attitude we need to have toward others, to be quick to forgive and slow to judge (Luke 6:37–38).

Now, Jesus presents how we should go about spiritual growth in judging rightly. First, we need to determine if we are so blind that we have no business guiding anyone. Second, we must find a good teacher and be a faithful disciple (Luke 6:40). Finally, we carefully judge our own righteousness and discernment before attempting to help another (Luke 6:41–42).

John writes, "Whoever loves his brother abides in the light, and in him there is no cause for stumbling. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes" (1 John 2:10–11). Jesus includes "enemies" with brothers, telling us to love and forgive those who persecute us (Luke 6:27–28). Those who don't love are blind: they exist in spiritual darkness.

In the first statement, we learn that although we are called to identify ungodly behavior, we can't do so if we are consumed in our own sin. Our discernment and our actions need to reflect our Teacher's (Luke 6:40). We prove ourselves blind to Jesus' truth by being quick to judge and condemn others, refusing to forgive. If so, we show that we're unqualified to judge and condemn anyone.

It may even be that our judgmentalism is a greater sin—a "log" compared to the splinter of our enemies' persecution (Luke 6:41–42). To abuse someone for following Jesus is a lesser sin than to condemn that abuser to hell; we don't have the authority to declare another's eternal damnation (Luke 3:17). Instead, we should be ready to forgive them, giving them a taste of the reconciliation with God they need so much (Galatians 6:1).

The "pit" is literally a deep hole in the ground. The blind men will fall into a dark spiritual state without hope of rescuing themselves. Jesus applies the concept of the blind leading the blind to the Pharisees in Matthew 15:14.
Verse Context:
In Luke 6:37–42, Jesus finishes explaining precisely what it means to be His disciple. He began with a list of blessings His persecuted followers can expect. He listed consequences for those blessed by the ungodly world (Luke 6:20–26). He exhorts His followers to love their enemies with prayer and generosity (Luke 6:27–35). Here, He applies mercy (Luke 6:36) with gracious judgment and forgiveness. Finally, He calls the crowd to have good hearts and lives that are founded on Him (Luke 6:43–49). The sentiments behind Jesus' teachings here are scattered around Matthew and Mark.
Chapter Summary:
Luke 6 contains two main sections of teaching and calls to discipleship. Luke 6:1–16 continues the pattern of Luke 5. The two ways in which Jesus sets aside tradition—this time by taking authority over the Sabbath—are paired with His call for the Twelve disciples. Luke 6:17–49 records Jesus' teaching on the ''level place,'' or His ''Sermon on the Plain,'' and a call to a crowd for general discipleship. Much of this material has parallels in Matthew 5 through 7, but it's not clear if the two accounts are of the same event. As a travelling teacher, Christ likely gave the same general message multiple times.
Chapter Context:
Luke 6 completes Jesus' call for disciples and followers that started in Luke 5. Luke 5:1—6:16 consists of three calls for disciples, each paired with two revolutionary teachings about Jesus' authority that increasingly infuriate the religious leaders. Luke 6:17–49 continues the theme with a general call for followers and a description of their responsibilities. In Luke 7:1—8:3, Jesus interacts with the other: Gentiles, women, and even the dead. This is followed by another general call (Luke 8:4–21), a series of miracles (Luke 8:22—9:17), and a final call for the Twelve to follow Him even more deeply (Luke 9:18–50).
Book Summary:
Luke was a traveling companion of Paul (Acts 16:10) and a physician (Colossians 4:14). Unlike Matthew, Mark, and John, Luke writes his gospel as an historian, rather than as a first-hand eyewitness. His extensive writings also include the book of Acts (Acts 1:1–3). These are deliberately organized, carefully researched accounts of those events. The gospel of Luke focuses on the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. Luke's Gentile perspective presents Christ as a Savior for all people, offering both forgiveness and direction to those who follow Him.
Accessed 4/17/2024 11:53:38 PM
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