"Somehow of all the Gospel writers, one would have liked to meet Luke best of all." - William Barclay

(1907 - 1978)
Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow, Barclay dedicated
his life to "making the best biblical scholarship available to the average reader."

The result was the Daily Study Bible, a set of commentaries on the New Testament, exploring verse by verse through Barclay's own translation of the New Testament, listing and examining every possible interpretation known to Barclay and providing all the background information he considered possibly relevant.

The 17 volumes of the set were all instant best-sellers and continue to be so to this day.

Barclay wrote many other popular books, mostly in the same accessible but scholarly style. In The Mind of Jesus (1960) he states that his aim was "to make the figure of Jesus more vividly alive, so that we may know him better and love him more."


The Words of Jesus Christ
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No. 303-B
Lacey, WA 98503




Chapters Five and Six

Jesus answered, "Those who are healthy have no need of a doctor but those who are ill have. I did not come to invite the righteous but sinners to repentance."

Jesus was standing on the shore of the Lake of Gennesaret while the crowds pressed in upon him to listen to the word of God. He saw two boats riding close to the shore. The fishermen had disembarked from them and were washing their nets. He embarked on one of the boats, which belonged to Simon, and asked him to push out a little from the land. He sat down and continued to teach the crowds from the boat. When he stopped speaking, he said to Simon, "Push out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." Simon answered, "Master, we have toiled all night long and we caught nothing; but, if you say so, I will let down the nets." When they had done so they enclosed a great crowd of fishes; their nets were torn with the numbers; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came and they filled both the boats so that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this he fell at Jesus' knees. "Leave me, Lord," he said, "because I am a sinful man." Wonder gripped him and all who were with him at the number of fishes they had caught. It was the same with James and John, Zebedee's sons, who were partners with Simon. Jesus said to Simon, "From now on you will be catching men." So they brought the boats to land and they left everything and followed him.

While Jesus was in one of the towns - look you - a man who was a severe case of leprosy saw him. He fell before him and besought him, "Lord, if you are willing to do so you are able to cleanse me." Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. "I am willing," he said. "Be cleansed." Immediately the leprosy left him. Jesus enjoined him to tell no one. "But," he said, "go and show yourself to the priest, and bring the offering for cleansing, as Moses's law laid it down, to prove to them that you are cured."

Jesus withdrew into the desert places and he continued in prayer. On a certain day he was teaching and, sitting listening, there were Pharisees and experts in the law who had come from every village in Galilee and from Judaea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was there to enable him to heal.

Now - look you - there came men bearing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were trying to carry him in and to lay him before Jesus. When they could find no way to carry him in because of the crowd they climbed up on to the roof and they let him down, bed and all, through the tiles right into the middle of them in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, "Man, your sins are forgiven you."

The scribes and Pharisees began to raise questions. "Who," they said, "is this who insults God? Who can forgive sins but God alone?" Jesus was well aware of what they were thinking. He answered, "What are you thinking about in your hearts? Which is easier - to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins (he said to the paralyzed man), I tell you rise, take up your bed, and go to your own house." And immediately he stood up in front of them and lifted up the bedding on which he was lying and went away to his house, glorifying God. Astonishment gripped them all and they glorified God and were filled with awe. "Today," they said, "we have seen amazing things."

After that Jesus went out, and he saw a tax collector, called Levi, sitting at his tax collector's table. He said to him, "Follow me!" He left everything and rose and followed him. And Levi made a great feast for him in his house; and a great crowd of tax collectors and others who were their friends sat down at table with them. The Pharisees and scribes complained at this, and said to the disciples, "Why do you eat and drink with tax-collectors and sinners?" Jesus answered, "Those who are healthy have no need of a doctor but those who are ill have. I did not come to invite the righteous but sinners to repentance."

They said to him, "John's disciples fast frequently and pray. So do the disciples of the Pharisees; but your disciples eat and drink." Jesus said to them, "You cannot make the children of the bridechamber fast while the bridegroom is with them. But the days will come - and when the bridegroom is taken away from them in those days they will fast."

He spoke a parable to them like this; "Nobody puts a patch from a new garment on an old garment. If he does the new will tear it and the patch from the new will not match the old. No one puts new wine into old skins. If he does the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled and the skins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new skins, and no one who drinks old wine wishes for new for he says, 'The old is good.'"

One Sabbath day, Jesus happened to be going through the cornfields, and his disciples were plucking the ears of corn and rubbing them in their hands and eating them. Some of the Pharisees said, "Why are you doing what is illegal to do on the Sabbath?" Jesus answered, "Have you not read what David did when he and his comrades were hungry? - how he went into the house of God and took the loaves of the presence and ate them and gave them to his comrades, although it is not legal for any but the priests to eat them. The Son of Man," he said to them, "is the Lord of the Sabbath."

On another Sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and was teaching, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The Scribes and the Pharisees watched him to see if he would heal on the Sabbath day in order to find a charge against him. He knew well what they were thinking. He said to the man with the withered hand, "Rise, and stand in the midst." He rose and stood. Jesus said to them, "Here is a question for you - is it legal to do good on the Sabbath day or to do evil? To save a life or to destroy it?" He looked round on them and said to him, "Stretch out your hand." He did so and his hand was restored. They were filled with insane anger, and they discussed with each other what they could do to Jesus.

In these days Jesus went away into a mountain to pray; and he spent the whole night in prayer to God. When day came he called his disciples. From them he chose twelve, whom he also called apostles - Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. He came down with them and took his stand with them on a place in the plain; and there was a great crowd of his disciples there, and a great crowd of people from all Judaea and Jerusalem and from the coastal district of Tyre and Sidon, who had come to listen to him and to be healed from their diseases; and those who were distressed by unclean spirits were healed and the whole crowd sought to touch him because power went out from him, and he healed all.

Jesus lifted up his eyes upon his disciples and said, "Happy are you poor, because yours is the Kingdom of God. Happy are you who are hungry now because you will be filled. Happy are you who weep now because you will laugh. Happy are you when men will hate you and shut you off from their company and insult you and cast out your name as an evil name, for the sake of the Son of Man; for - look you - your reward in heaven will be great. Their fathers used to treat the prophets in the same way. But woe to you who are rich because you have all the comfort you are going to get. Woe to you who are filled because you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now because you will grieve and weep. Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is what your fathers used to do to the false prophets."

Jesus said, "But to you who are listening I say, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who ill-use you. To him who strikes you on one cheek offer the other cheek also. If anyone takes away your cloak, do not stop him taking your tunic, too. Give to everyone who asks you; if anyone takes away your belongings, do not demand them back again. As you would like men to act towards you, so do you act towards them. If you love those who love you, what special grace is there in that? Even sinners love those who love them. If you are kind to those who are kind to you, what special grace is there in that? Even sinners love those who love them. If you are kind to those who are kind to you, what special grace is there in that? Even sinners do that. If you lend to those from whom you wish to get, what special grace is in that? Even sinners lend to sinners in order to get as much back again. But you must love your enemies; and do good to them; and lend with no hope of getting anything in return. Your reward will be great and you will be the sons of the Most High, because he is kind both to the thankless and to the wicked. Be merciful as your Father in heaven is merciful; do not judge and you will not be judged; do not condemn and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and it will be given to you. People will give into your bosom, good measure pressed together, shaken down, running over; for with what measure you measure it will be measured to you back again."

Jesus spoke a parable to them: "Surely a blind man cannot lead a blind man? If he tries to do so will not both fall into the ditch? The disciple cannot advance beyond his teacher, but every disciple will be equipped as his teacher is. Why do you look at the speck of dust that is in your brother's eye and never notice the plank that is in your own eye? Or, how can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take out the speck of dust that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not notice the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite! First put the plank out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to put out the speck of dust that is in your brother's eye. There is no good tree which produces rotten fruit; nor again, is there a rotten tree which produces good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not gather figs from thistles nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. The good man produces good from the treasure of his heart. The evil man produces evil from the evil. The mouth speaks out of whatever abounds in the heart."

Jesus said, "Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not what I say? I will show you what everyone who comes to me and listens to my words and does them is like. He is like a man building a house, who dug deep down into the earth and laid the foundation on a rock. When the flood rose the river dashed against that house but it could not shake it because it was well founded. But he who has listened to me and has not done what I say is like a man who built his house on the top of earth without any foundation. The river dashed against it and immediately it collapsed, and great was the fall of it."

turn to chapters seven and eight

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