Gospel Reading Luke 5:12-16
After Jesus had gathered His 12 Apostles (Luke 5:12-16, Mt. 10:1-4, Mk 3:13-19), He begins His teachings to the multitude who gathered from Judea, Jerusalem, and the seacost of Tyre and Sidon to hear Him and be healed. This Gospel reading is the second half of the Lord’s teachings to the multitude of the peoples. The first half of the Lord’s teachings begins in Luke 6:20 (Mt. 5:1-12) with the Beautitudes. Radically, Jesus Christ is promoting a change in human behavior. He is promoting a change in the values of the people and how they should behave toward one another. For example, in the Beautitudes, the first benediction Jesus gives the people was that the poor was blessed and the Kingdom of God was theirs. Most biblical scholars say this is not because they are poor, but because their poverty causes them to rely on God for their needs. Their poverty causes them to put their hope in the Lord. Following the Beautitudes, the Woes are pronounced. The Woes are all opposites of the Beautitudes in sequence: poor-rich; hungry-full; etc.
The Lord continues to promote a change in the people’s thinking by proceeding to His precepts (Luke 27-38, Mt. 5:38-48)) which encompasses the Gospel reading of Luke 6:31-36. Jesus Christ teaches the people about loving enemies and doing good to those who hate them, blessing those who curse them, and among others things, to behave towards men as you would like them to behave towards you. The teaching of this section is in opposition to what the people had been taught by the Pharisees in the past (refer to: Mt 5:20-22, 43-44). In the end of this reading, Jesus makes the point to tell the people that God is merciful and kind even to the ungrateful and selfish, therefore, they should be merciful and kind to them as well.
References: Paul Tarazi, The New Testament, Luke and Acts, St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press; Lawrence Farley, The Gospel of Luke, Good News for the Poor, Concilliar Press; KJV.About