Luke 6:16-20

Luke 6:16 (KJB)
And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.

Lebbaeus (Judas) - The name means “man of heart.” His surname was “Thaddeus.” He was also identified as Jude and is the author of that Epistle. He is the least known of all the Apostles. Tradition states he died in the first century in Syria.

Judas Iscariot - The name “Judas” means “Praise of the Lord.” His surname was “Iscariot” which means “hireling.” In John 10:11-12, Jesus speaks about the hireling who cares nothing about the sheep. A surname which fit Judas well. Judas never became saved and remained an unbeliever who pilfered the money which was in the bag that was given by people to support their itinerant ministry. He betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ for 30 pieces of silver. His guilt was so great that he tried to return the money but then later hanged himself.

Luke 6:17 (KJB)
And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;

Jesus had now come down from the mountain. The traditional site being the Horns of Hattin which were twin peaks between Tiberias and Nazareth. Not only did the crowds follow Jesus from the Galilee area, but there was a great multitude from different areas which means that this crowd was made up of many Gentiles. When you look at a map and see the vast amount of area this covers, you will then get a better picture of how far the report on Jesus had gone. The region of Idumaea was over 100 miles (161 km) to the south of Galilee. Tyre and Sidon was between 30-40 miles (48-64 km) northwest of Galilee. Beyond Jordan could have been Decapolis and Perea. The verse tells us that it was a great multitude, not just a little gathering. The key phrase in this verse is “which they came to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases.“ The people had never heard such teaching about Heaven and eternal life, they were very spiritually hungry. As soon as the people heard what Jesus was doing, they came from both far and near to seek Him out. It would have looked like the people going to the Passover in Jerusalem. The roads would have been crowded with people.

Luke 6:18 (KJB)
And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.

Not only did Jesus heal those who had been stricken with diseases, wherever the crowds gathered, there were those who were possessed by devils. Jesus had healed all of them and they were delivered from their possession. Jesus had shown His power and authority over the kingdom of Satan. When Jesus commanded the devils to go, they had to go.

Luke 6:19 (KJB)
And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.

When the people saw that Jesus had such authority over the kingdom of Satan by casting out devils from the people, they realized that all they had to do was to touch Him and they would also be healed. The word “virtue” in the Greek carries with it the meaning of “power.” Many had touched Jesus and the power which exorcised the devils had gone out of Jesus and that resulted in the healing of those who touched Him. In Mark 5, the woman who had an issue of blood just touched the hem of His garment and that resulted in her healing. This also brings another Christian life principle to the surface. We must not only hear the word, but we must act upon it.

Luke 6:20 (KJB)
And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

The word “blessed” in the Greek can also be understood as “happy,” but the word “blessed” in the Sermon on the Mount goes a lot deeper than just happy. It employs the meaning of “being in favor with God.” In fact, concerning those that God blesses, He actually intervenes in their life in some manner which propels them into a greater relationship with Him. The blessings of God are never for the purpose of simple happiness but is always with joyful purpose. In the first beatitude we read that they are blessed who are poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God. Always keep in mind that being poor in any manner does not guarantee a person Heaven. Salvation comes through the Lord Jesus Christ. What is in view here are those who are poor or spiritually poverty stricken. These are the people who are receptive to the true Gospel.

(Mat 11:25 KJV) At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. In Matthew 11:25, Jesus prays and thanks His Heavenly Father that the truths of the Gospel and the Lord Jesus Christ has been withheld from the wise and prudent. The truths of the Gospel have been revealed to babes, to those who are poor in spirit. Their hope is not in worldly pleasures or riches like those who holds much of the world’s goods. (Mark 10:24 KJV) And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! A poor person in spirit, that holds no animosity toward God or propensities toward the world’s wealth will be easier to reach with the Gospel. There is also another aspect to this in that those who are poor in spirit are teachable. Try teaching something to someone who holds a Ph.D. and you will get laughed at. Those who are poor in spirit will grow according to their desire for the blessings of God. Some of the wisest people I have known in my 32 years of salvation are those who never set foot inside of a seminary.