For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Hence, too, his endeavor to deal openly with men, as with God, in preaching; thus giving the Corinthians whereof to boast concerning him against his adversaries. His constraining motive is the transforming love of Christ, by whom God has wrought reconciliation between Himself and men, and has committed to the apostle the ministry of reconciliation. For—Assigning the reason for the statement 2Co , that affliction leads to exceeding glory. If this daily delivering unto death 2Co should end in actual death. It stands in contrast to "in the heavens.
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Judge not, that ye be not judged. Mt Miscellaneous Supplementary Counsels. That these verses are entirely supplementary is the simplest and most natural view of them. All attempts to make out any evident connection with the immediately preceding context are, in our judgment, forced.
But, though supplementary, these counsels are far from being of subordinate importance. On the contrary, they involve some of the most delicate and vital duties of the Christian life. In the vivid form in which they are here presented, perhaps they could not have been introduced with the same effect under any of the foregoing heads; but they spring out of the same great principles, and are but other forms and manifestations of the same evangelical "righteousness.
Judge not, that ye be not judged—To "judge" here does not exactly mean to pronounce condemnatory judgment, nor does it refer to simple judging at all, whether favorable or the reverse. The context makes it clear that the thing here condemned is that disposition to look unfavorably on the character and actions of others, which leads invariably to the pronouncing of rash, unjust, and unlovely judgments upon them.
No doubt it is the judgments so pronounced which are here spoken of; but what our Lord aims at is the spirit out of which they spring. It is the violation of the law of love involved in the exercise of a censorious disposition which alone is here condemned. And the argument against it—"that ye be not judged"—confirms this: "that your own character and actions be not pronounced upon with the like severity"; that is, at the great day.
Matthew For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. For with what judgments ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete—whatever standard of judgment ye apply to others.
Unkind judgment of others will be judicially returned upon ourselves, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ. But, as in many other cases under the divine administration, such harsh judgment gets self-punished even here.
For people shrink from contact with those who systematically deal out harsh judgment upon others—naturally concluding that they themselves may be the next victims—and feel impelled in self-defense, when exposed to it, to roll back upon the assailant his own censures. And why beholdest thou the mote—"splinter," here very well rendered "mote," denoting any small fault.
Matthew Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite—"Hypocrite. The "hypocrisy" which, not without indignation, He charges it with, consists in the pretense of a zealous and compassionate charity, which cannot possibly be real in one who suffers worse faults to lie uncorrected in himself. He only is fit to be a reprover of others who jealously and severely judges himself.
Such persons will not only be slow to undertake the office of censor on their neighbors, but, when constrained in faithfulness to deal with them, will make it evident that they do it with reluctance and not satisfaction, with moderation and not exaggeration, with love and not harshness. Prostitution of Holy Things Mt The opposite extreme to that of censoriousness is here condemned—want of discrimination of character. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs—savage or snarling haters of truth and righteousness. In the East, dogs are wilder and more gregarious, and, feeding on carrion and garbage, are coarser and fiercer than the same animals in the West.
Dogs and swine, besides being ceremonially unclean, were peculiarly repulsive to the Jews, and indeed to the ancients generally. Religion is brought into contempt, and its professors insulted, when it is forced upon those who cannot value it and will not have it. But while the indiscriminately zealous have need of this caution, let us be on our guard against too readily setting our neighbors down as dogs and swine, and excusing ourselves from endeavoring to do them good on this poor plea.
Prayer Mt Enough, one might think, had been said on this subject in Mt But the difficulty of the foregoing duties seems to have recalled the subject, and this gives it quite a new turn. Matthew Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 7. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you—Though there seems evidently a climax here, expressive of more and more importunity, yet each of these terms used presents what we desire of God in a different light.
We ask for what we wish; we seek for what we miss; we knock for that from which we feel ourselves shut out. Answering to this threefold representation is the triple assurance of success to our believing efforts. Matthew For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened—Of course, it is presumed that he asks aright—that is, in faith—and with an honest purpose to make use of what he receives.
For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord" Jas Hence, "Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts" Jas Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?
Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread—a loaf. Matthew Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? Matthew If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him!
What a heart, then, must the Father of all fathers have towards His pleading children! In the corresponding passage in Luke see on Lu , instead of "good things," our Lord asks whether He will not much more give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him.
At this early stage of His ministry, and before such an audience, He seems to avoid such sharp doctrinal teaching as was more accordant with His plan at the riper stage indicated in Luke, and in addressing His own disciples exclusively. Golden Rule Mt Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Therefore—to say all in one word. How well called "the royal law! It is true that similar maxims are found floating in the writings of the cultivated Greeks and Romans, and naturally enough in the Rabbinical writings. But so expressed as it is here—in immediate connection with, and as the sum of such duties as has been just enjoined, and such principles as had been before taught—it is to be found nowhere else.
And the best commentary upon this fact is, that never till our Lord came down thus to teach did men effectually and widely exemplify it in their practice. The precise sense of the maxim is best referred to common sense.
It is not, of course, what—in our wayward, capricious, gasping moods—we should wish that men would do to us, that we are to hold ourselves bound to do to them; but only what—in the exercise of an impartial judgment, and putting ourselves in their place—we consider it reasonable that they should do to us, that we are to do to them. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Mt Conclusion and Effect of the Sermon on the Mount.
We have here the application of the whole preceding discourse. Conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount Mt Multitudes would never face this. But it must be faced, else the consequences will be fatal. This would divide all within the sound of these truths into two classes: the many, who will follow the path of ease and self-indulgence—end where it might; and the few, who, bent on eternal safety above everything else, take the way that leads to it—at whatever cost.
This gives occasion to the two opening verses of this application. Enter ye in at the strait gate—as if hardly wide enough to admit one at all.
This expresses the difficulty of the first right step in religion, involving, as it does, a triumph over all our natural inclinations. Hence the still stronger expression in Luke Lu , "Strive to enter in at the strait gate. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life—In other words, the whole course is as difficult as the first step; and so it comes to pass that. It is sailing with a fair wind and a favorable tide. The natural inclinations are not crossed, and fears of the issue, if not easily hushed, are in the long run effectually subdued.
The one disadvantage of this course is its end—it "leadeth to destruction. He leaves it to be inferred that such a course righteously, naturally, necessarily so ends. But whether men see this or no, here He lays down the law of the kingdom, and leaves it with us.
As to the other way, the disadvantage of it lies in its narrowness and solicitude. Its very first step involves a revolution in all our purposes and plans for life, and a surrender of all that is dear to natural inclination, while all that follows is but a repetition of the first great act of self-sacrifice.
No wonder, then, that few find and few are found in it. But it has one advantage—it "leadeth unto life. But since such teaching would be as unpopular as the way itself, our Lord next forewarns His hearers that preachers of smooth things—the true heirs and representatives of the false prophets of old—would be rife enough in the new kingdom. Beware—But beware. See Ac , 30; 2Pe , 2. Matthew Ye shall know them by their fruits.
Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Ye shall know them by their fruits—not their doctrines—as many of the elder interpreters and some later ones explain it—for that corresponds to the tree itself; but the practical effect of their teaching, which is the proper fruit of the tree.
Do men gather grapes of thorns—any kind of prickly plant. The general sense is obvious—Every tree bears its own fruit. Matthew Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit: but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
Matthew A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit—Obvious as is the truth here expressed in different forms—that the heart determines and is the only proper interpreter of the actions of our life—no one who knows how the Church of Rome makes a merit of actions, quite apart from the motives that prompt them, and how the same tendency manifests itself from time to time even among Protestant Christians, can think it too obvious to be insisted on by the teachers of divine truth.
Here follows a wholesome digression. Matthew Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire— See on Mt
Judge not, that ye be not judged. Mt Miscellaneous Supplementary Counsels. That these verses are entirely supplementary is the simplest and most natural view of them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
His father, Zebedee, appears to have been in good circumstances, owning a vessel of his own and having hired servants Mr Our Evangelist, whose occupation was that of a fisherman with his father, was beyond doubt a disciple of the Baptist, and one of the two who had the first interview with Jesus. He was called while engaged at his secular occupation Mt , 22 , and again on a memorable occasion Lu , and finally chosen as one of the Twelve Apostles Mt He was the youngest of the Twelve—the "Benjamin," as Da Costa calls him—and he and James his brother were named in the native tongue by Him who knew the heart, "Boanerges," which the Evangelist Mark Mr explains to mean "Sons of thunder"; no doubt from their natural vehemence of character.