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Our Lord now proceeds to warn us against the chief hinderances
of holiness. And how wisely does he begin with judging? wherein all
young converts are so apt to spend that zeal which is given them for
1: Judge not - any man without full, clear, certain knowledge,
without absolute necessity, without tender love.(Lu 6:37).
2: With what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you - Awful
words! So we may, as it were, choose for ourselves, whether God
shall be severe or merciful to us. God and man will favour the
candid and benevolent: but they must expect judgment without
mercy, who have showed no mercy.
3: In particular, why do you open your eyes to any fault of your
brother, while you yourself are guilty of a much greater? The
mote - The word properly signifies a splinter or shiver of wood.
This and a beam, its opposite, were proverbially used by the
Jews, to denote, the one, small infirmities, the other, gross,
palpable faults. (Lu 6:41).
4: How sayest thou - With what face?
5: Thou hypocrite - It is mere hypocrisy to pretend zeal for the
amendment of others while we have none for our own. Then - When
that which obstructed thy sight is removed.
6: Here is another instance of that transposition, where of the
two things proposed, the latter is first treated of. Give not - to
dogs - lest turning they rend you: Cast not - to swine - lest
they trample them under foot.
Yet even then, when the beam is cast out of thine own eye, Give
not - That is, talk not of the deep things of God to those whom
you know to be wallowing in sin. neither declare the great things
God hath done for your soul to the profane, furious, persecuting
wretches. Talk not of perfection, for instance, to the former;
not of your experience to the latter. But our Lord does in
nowise forbid us to reprove, as occasion is, both the one and
7: But ask - Pray for them, as well as for yourselves: in this
there can be no such danger. Seek - Add your own diligent
endeavours to your asking: and knock - Persevere importunately
in that diligence. (Lu 11:9).
8: For every one that asketh receiveth - Provided he ask aright,
and ask what is agreeable to God's will.
11: To them that ask him - But on this condition, that ye follow
the example of his goodness, by doing to all as ye would they
should do to you. For this is the law and the prophets - This is
the sum of all, exactly answering (Mt 5:17).
The whole is comprised in one word, Imitate the God of love.
Thus far proceeds the doctrinal part of the sermon. In the
next verse begins the exhortation to practise it.
12: (Lu 6:31).
13: The strait gate - The holiness described in the foregoing
chapters. And this is the narrow way. Wide is the gate, and
many there are that go in through it - They need not seek for this;
they come to it of course. Many go in through it, because strait
is the other gate - Therefore they do not care for it; they like
a wider gate. (Lu 13:24).
15: Beware of false prophets - Who in their preaching describe a
broad way to heaven: it is their prophesying, their teaching the
broad way, rather than their walking in it themselves, that is
here chiefly spoken of. All those are false prophets, who teach
any other way than that our Lord hath here marked out. In
sheep's clothing - With outside religion and fair professions of
love: Wolves - Not feeding, but destroying souls.
16: By their fruits ye shall know them - A short, plain, easy
rule, whereby to know true from false prophets: and one that
may be applied by people of the weakest capacity, who are not
accustomed to deep reasoning. True prophets convert sinners
to God, or at least confirm and strengthen those that are
converted. False prophets do not. They also are false prophets,
who though speaking the very truth, yet are not sent by the
Spirit of God, but come in their own name, to declare it: their
grand mark is, "Not turning men from the power of Satan to God."(Lu 6:43,44).
18: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither a corrupt
tree good fruit - But it is certain, the goodness or badness here
mentioned respects the doctrine, rather than the personal
character. For a bad man preaching the good doctrine here
delivered, is sometimes an instrument of converting sinners to
God. Yet I do not aver, that all are true prophets who speak
the truth, and thereby convert sinners. I only affirm, that
none are such who do not.
19: Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down
and cast into the fire - How dreadful then is the condition of
that teacher who hath brought no sinners to God!
21: Not every one - That is, no one that saith, Lord, Lord - That
makes a mere profession of me and my religion, shall enter
- Whatever their false teachers may assure them to the contrary:
He that doth the will of my Father - as I have now declared it.
Observe: every thing short of this is only saying, Lord, Lord.(Lu 6:46).
22: We have prophesied - We have declared the mysteries of thy
kingdom, wrote books; preached excellent sermons: In thy name
done many wonderful works - So that even the working of miracles
is no proof that a man has saving faith.
23: I never knew you - There never was a time that I approved
of you: so that as many souls as they had saved, they were
themselves never saved from their sins. Lord, is it my case?(Lu 13:27).
24: (Lu 6:47).
29: He taught them - The multitudes, as one having authority - With
a dignity and majesty peculiar to himself as the great Lawgiver,
and with the demonstration and power of the Spirit: and not as
the scribes - Who only expounded the law of another; and that in a
lifeless, ineffectual manner.