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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Matthew 5

Verse 1

THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT OR INAUGURAL

ADDRESS TO THE CHURCH

CH. 5, 6, 7

THE BEATITUDES

V. 1-12

1) "And seeing the multitudes," (idon de tous ochlous) "Then upon seeing the crowds," that were thronging Him, Matthew 4:25, from Galilee, Jerusalem, Judea and Perea.

2) "He went up into a mountain" (anebe eis to horos) "He went up into the mountain-range," off the northwest coast of the Sea of Galilee, where He had already chosen and called His disciples, also referred to as, "The kingdom of heaven", and the church, John 15:16; John 15:27; Acts 1:21-22; Acts 10:37; Acts 15:13-15. This mountain is often called the mount of Beatitudes.

3) "And when he was set, his disciples came unto him:" (kai kathisantos autou proselthan auto hoi mathetai) "And when he had sat down his disciples came unto or approached him;" Note the "His disciples" refers specifically, restrictedly, and exclusively to the baptized believers whom He had called and chosen and who had companied with Him from the baptism of John the Baptist, among whom were the apostles. Read again John 15:16; John 15:26-27; Acts 1:21-22. This group constituted the "house" that Jesus built, which was better than the house that Moses built, Hebrews 3:1-7. The term "house" in each instance refers definitively to a program of Divinely Sanctioned and instituted order of worship and service to God. Jesus instituted, taught, established, left and purchased this church with His own blood, Matthew 16:18; John 3:28-29; Mr 13:34,35; 1 Timothy 3:15-16; Acts 20:28; Ephesians 5:25; Ephesians 3:21.

Verse 2

1) "And he opened his mouth," (kai anoiksas to stoma autou) "And opening his mouth, he taught them," as a public teacher, deliberately, in language they could understand. As the ten commandments were given to Moses for Israel as a standard of morals, ethics, and spiritual guidance, Exodus 20:1-17, so the sermon on the mount was delivered by Jesus to His church to set forth the basic moral, ethical, and spiritual standards for Christians in the church, Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29.

2) "And taught them, saying," (edidasken autous legon) "He instructed them, saying;" Note, 1) First, The "them" whom He taught was not a mixed multitude, 2) Second, it was not the sum total of all religions He addressed, 3) Third, it was not all professed believers which protestantism calls "the true church" of "The kingdom of heaven." The disciples who came to Him where His disciples, not Moses’ disciples, or John’s disciples, but "His disciples" who then had already come to constitute His church.

Verse 3

1) "Blessed are the poor in spirit:" (makaroio hoi ptochoi to pneurnati) "Blessed or spiritually prosperous (are) the poor in spirit," blessed exist those, though poor, those "who had forsaken all," Matthew 19:27. Yet who are in the spirit, in the will and work of the Spirit, as these saved, baptized, called, chosen, and obedient disciples of Jesus were at that moment.

2) "For theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (hoti auton estin he Basileia ton ouranon) "For of them is (exists, at this time) the kingdom of heaven." This phrase refers specifically, restrictedly, definitively and exclusively to the church that Jesus had just begun, not to the sum total of all believers, as erroneously held by so many universal, invisible, Protestant church people. From Matthew chapter three, at the coming of John the Baptist, protestantism has nothing honestly, or in honesty, to contribute to the right division or application of the Scriptures, 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Verse 4

1) "Blessed are they that mourn:" (makarioi hoi penthountes) "Blessed or spiritually prosperous are those who mourn;" Forsaking all, totally changing one’s course of life, is accompanied by mourning, by grief, in the flesh, but not without Divine comfort, help, and spiritual maturity. Temporary mourning, that often accompanies Spiritual decisions, is not without profit; Even our Lord wept, John 11:35.

2) "For they shall be comforted." (hoti autou paraklethesontai) "Because they shall be comforted," by the God of all comfort, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. Who comforts us in all our tribulations, or all our trembling and mourning moments. Isaiah 61:2-3; John 16:20. "Your sorrow shall be turned into joy." Those who that day mourned among those new-called and chosen "Kingdom of heaven" disciples were assured that spiritual prosperity and comfort for mourning belonged to them.

Verse 5

1) "Blessed are the meek:" (makarioi hoi praeis) "Blessed or spiritually prosperous are those who are meek:" This message was one of assurance, consolation, to arouse a firm faith in this new-formed band of followers, who like Moses, in meekness and faith, forsook Egypt and her treasures to do the bidding of God. Hebrews 11:24-29. There was a meekness on that mountainside as Jesus taught His people that day. And these words are words of assurance for those who dare obey His call to follow Him in His church labors today. True recognition of the task brings meekness Matthew 28:18-20.

2) "For they shall inherit the earth." (hoti autoi kleronomesousin ten gen) "Because they shall inherit (have an heirsetting in or upon) the earth." While Israel has a future millennial heritage in the promised land, it was just as certain and specific that Jesus has also promised heir-setting positions of reward, honor, and service to members of His church, inclusive of that providing for, 1) the twelve apostles to sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel, Luke 22:28-30, and 2) members of His church in (heirsetting), Gk. kleronomesousin, positions to reign over and judge other men and angels in that golden millennial era, Luke 19:12-27; 2 Corinthians 6:3; 2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 5:9-10.

Verse 6

1) "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:" (makarloi hoi peinontes kai dipsontes ten dikaiosunen) "Spiritually prosperous (specially blessed) are those who are hungering and thirsting continually after righteousness;" Specifically, directly, applicable was this assurance that day to the member of this new-covenant fellowship who had begun to follow Him, become "fishers of men," Matthew 4:18-25; Isaiah 55:1-3. 0 that men might crave righteousness of character and of faith, continuously.

2) "For they shall be filled." (hoti autoi chortasthesontai) "Because they shall be satisfied." Their spiritual hunger and thirst after God was to find its continual satisfaction and need supplied by Jesus Christ, who is "our sufficiency" in all things, in satisfying every need for righteousness, 2 Corinthians 3:5; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 4:19; Psalms 107:1.

Verse 7

1) "Blessed are the merciful:" (makarioi hoi eleemones) "Spiritually prosperous or very much blessed are the merciful ones;" Those who show mercy to their fellow man, after that righteous character seen in Jesus as He went about through all Galilee healing and helping those with all kinds of diseases of physical and mental nature, Matthew 4:23-25; How apt is that story of the Good Samaritan regarding mercy, Luke 10:33.

2) "For they shall obtain mercy." (hoti autoi eleethesontai) "Because they shall obtain or receive mercy." Our Lord in mercy saved the Samaritan woman who went in mercy to win fallen men of her city to Jesus ’Christ, John 4:1-54. Mercy given is mercy returned, in kind or rewards, Matthew 25:34-45; We have obtained mercy; let us show it, from God and our fellow man. Let us therefore be assured of Spiritual prosperity in daily showing mercy to all mankind, Luke 6:37; James 5:9; La 3:22,23.

Verse 8

1) "Blessed are the pure in heart:" (makarioi hoi katharoi te kardis) "Spiritually blessed or prosperous are those who are clean in heart;" those who have been saved, whose hearts have been purified, not by morality, not by ethics, not by good works, not by religious deeds, or baptism, or church membership, but by or through faith in Christ Jesus, through faith in His blood, Acts 15:9; Romans 3:24-25; Revelation 5:9-10.

2) "For they shall see God." (hoti auto! ton theon opsontai) "Because they shall see God." See Him in all His attributes, comprehend Him as Lord of their Lives, Luke 9:23. That one with a pure heart can see God’s will for his life, for his church, and comprehend spiritual things, 1 Corinthians 2:12-13; Psalms 24:3-4. One day each child of God is to awake in His likeness, Psalms 17:5. Until we awake in His likeness, we should walk in His likeness, as He walked, 1 John 3:2; Hebrews 12:14.

Verse 9

1) "Blessed are the peacemakers:" (makarloi hoi eirenopoioi) "Spiritually prosperous are the peacemakers," those who have "peace with God" and share it with men, Romans 5:1. Blessed and prosperous are those who seek to make peace, not break peace among men, Proverbs 12:20. Abraham sought it between his striving herdsmen and those of Lot and was prospered for it, Genesis 13:7-15.

2) "For they shall be called the children of God." (hoti (autoi) huioi theou klethesontai) "Because they shall be called or known as the heirs of God," heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, Romans 8:17; 2 Timothy 1:12. When peacemakers become peace-diffusers then are they known or recognized by their deeds as children of God. By their fruits are they known; Peace within is to be shared with those "who have no peace," Isaiah 57:21; Ephesians 4:30-32. Those who are children of God, especially members of His church, are called to be ambassadors for Christ, seeking to secure the reconciliation of lost men to Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:14-20; Joh 3:34,45.

Verse 10

1) "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:" (makarioi hoi dedlogmenoi eneken dikaiosunes) "Spiritually prosperous or blessed are those who have been and/or are now persecuted for righteousness’ sake," or because of righteousness, because you follow me. The "they" first, primarily referred to was not just a general generic statement, a generalization statement, though the principle is true. But our Lord was specifically applying this principle of prosperity blessings to then be resting upon those disciples (as a church), who had come up close to Him for this special hour of beatitude pronouncements to and for them, Matthew 5:1-2.

2) "For theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (hoti auton estin he basilela ton ouranon) "Because of them is, or theirs is (exists) the kingdom of heaven;" Our Lord simply asserts that this new covenant fellowship of disciples before Him (already) constituted His church, as John asserted "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom," John 3:29.

Verse 11

1) "Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you," (makarioi este hotan oneidisosi n humas kai dioksosin) "You all are blessed (as the kingdom of heaven) when they reproach you and persecute you;" The "ye" or you all here addressed, let it be noted is the called, chosen, and assembled disciples, who He addresses in this inaugural address to His church, alluded to as "The kingdom of heaven", in this address, Matthew 5:1-2; John 15:16-17.

2) "And shall say all manner of evil against you falsely," (kai eiposin pan poneron kath’ humon pseudomenoi) "And when they say all kind of wicked things against you falsely," as degrading lies. That wicked men would persecute, revile and deride the disciples of Jesus and His church was a pre-concluded matter, because of the enmity of lost men against Jesus and all that is holy. To revile is to abuse face-to-face in differing from backbiting, Mr 15:32. Evil here refers to willful misrepresentation of ones character and conduct, 1 Peter 4:14.

3) "For my sake." (eneken hemou) "For the sake of me," or for my cause, which in following me, you embrace, as members of my chosen fellowship, my church, Matthew 16:18; John 15:18; John 15:20; John 15:24; John 17:14.

Verse 12

1) "Rejoice and be exceeding glad:" (chairete kai agalliasthe) "You all ’ (the church, now referred to first as the kingdom of heaven) rejoice and be glad," be filled with a state of gladness, accept persecution as proof of your sonship and identity with the bridegroom in His work; 1 Thessalonians 5:16; Revelation 18:7-9.

2) "For great is your reward in heaven" (hot! ho misthos humon polus en tois ouranois) "Because the reward of you all is much in heaven," in spite of your being hated of all men, Matthew 10:22; Mr 13:13; Luke 21:17; 1 Corinthians 3:8; 1 Corinthians 3:14-15.

3) "For so persecuted they," (houtos gar edioksan) "For they (of the world) in like manner persecuted," they of the Messiah-rejecting world persecuted. The persecuted have an illustrious history.

4) "The prophets which were before you." (tous prophetas tous pro hymon) "The prophets (of Israel) who were before you all," in the Mosaic or law age, a matter of recorded Biblical and Secular history, 2 Chronicles 36:16; Nehemiah 9:26; Matthew 23:34; Acts 7:52; 1 Thessalonians 2:15.

The church disciples He had personally addressed in the beatitudes were now and here reminded that others in the former era had also been persecuted for their true worship and service through the house that Moses built, as surely as they should hereafter in the house or now organized program of worship and service He had built and was building, Hebrews 3:1-7; John 15:20.

THE CHURCH "YE" -- AS SALT AND LIGHT

V. 13-16

Verse 13

1) "Ye are the salt of the earth:" (humeis este to halas tes ges) "You all are (exist as) the salt of the earth:" This group of disciples He had also called "the kingdom of heaven", as "the salt of the earth". They were preservers and missionaries of his Word and work. Salt is an emblem of purity, preserves flesh, makes food more palatable or desirable, Luke 14:34; Leviticus 2:13; Mr 9:49.

2) "But if the salt have lost his savor," (Ian de halas moranthe) "Yet if the salt be or become tainted," weakened or putrefied in strength. If it loses its preservative strength or tasty quality that gives it value.

3) "Where with shall it be salted?" (en tini halisthesetai) "By what (means) shall it be salted or preserved?" Where may it receive new strength? The church of Jesus Christ, the "church ye" whom Jesus here addressed may lose its savor, if and when she loses her first love and her candlestick, Revelation 2:4-5.

Verse 14

1) "Ye are the light of the world." (humeis este to phos tou kosmou) "You all (as a body of disciples) 1) as the "kingdom of heaven," as 2) The "salt of the earth", 3) The "bride", and 4) the "church", are also 5) the "light of the world," meaning the light house, light distributor or diffuser. Jesus is the true light; The church receives light from Him and diffuses it, John 1:4-9; John 8:12; Philippians 2:15; Ephesians 5:8; Proverbs 4:18.

2) "A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid." (ou dunatai polis krubenai epano orous keimene). "A city is not able to be hid when it sets on a mountain;" Nearby, some 15 miles northwest, in clear view of the mount of beatitudes, where Jesus spoke these words is the city of Safed, high on the Galilean Anti-Lebanese mountains. Our Lord likely pointed to either this prominent mountain and place or to Mt. Tabor to the west

Verse 15

1) "Neither do men light a candle," (oude kaiousin luchnon) "Nor do men light a lamp," except for some useful purpose or intent.

2) "And put it under a bushel," (kai titheasin auton hupo ton modin) "And (then) set it under a bushel container," perhaps indicating that children of God should not let their light or influence be smothered out or darkened by commercialism, in business matters, suggested by the bushel, or standard of measure, John 2:15-17; Romans 12:1-2.

3) "But on a candlestick;" (all’ epi ten luchnian) "But they set it upon the lampstand," for useful purposes, to serve the master and the house; The idea is that those who are saved, who have the light of life, should voluntarily place its position of light reflection or diffusion, upon the candlestick, the church, Revelation 1:20.

4) "And it giveth light unwell that are in the house." (kai lampei pasin tois en te oikia) "And it lightens or makes light available to all who are in the house or residence;" It shares light in the designed place of livelihood and fellowship, in the house that Jesus built, which is better than the house that Moses built, Heb 3:1.7; 1Ti 8:15; Ephesians 2:10: Though one may be saved outside the church, the greatest degree of glory, in this age, may be given to him in the church, here described as or alluded to by terms "salt of the earth," and "light of the world;" Eph 3:31.

Verse 16

1) "Let your light so shine before men," (houtos lampsato to phos humon emprosthen ton anthropon) "Let your light shine in a like or similar manner before men," in the presence of men of the world, to influence and help men from darkness to light, Romans 12:1-2; John 13:34-35. And let your light or influence be a strength to all in your household fellowship.

2) "That they may see your good works," (hopos idosin humon ta kala erga) "So that they may see your good works," for which you were saved, created in Christ Jesus, and called, Ephesians 2:10; James 1:22. Bear and share the bread of life and seed of the Word to and with others and you shall be blessed, Ecclesiastes 11:1-6; James 2:18; James 2:24.

3) "And glorify your father which is in heaven." (kai doksasosin ton patera humon ton en tois ouranois) "And may glorify your father who is in heaven," as you serve Him, as the a) Salt of the earth, b) Light upon the candlestick, c) Diffusing agency to all in the house ­fellowship, in and through the church, Ephesians 3:21.

JESUS CAME TO FULFILL THE LAW, SUPPLANT ITS

WORSHIP WITH THE NEW CHURCH ORDER

V. 17-30

Verse 17

1) "Think not that I am come," (me nomisete hoti ethon) "Think not (within yourselves) that I came," of my own will and accord, as a civil revolutionary or insurrectionist, against either established government or religious orders.

2) "To destroy the law, or the prophets:" (katalusai ton nomon he tous prophetas) "To destroy or abrogate the law or the prophets," under which Israel had been trustee or custodian of a program of sacrifices and Divine worship and service for near 1,500 years. For these had ’pointed to Jesus Christ as the one and only hope and way of salvation from sin, Luke 16:29-31; Acts 10:43; Galatians 3:22-25.

3) "I am not come to destroy," (ouk elthon katalusai came not to destroy," abrogate, annul or demean the law or the authority and principles of the law, Luke 16:16; Luke 19:10. He came to save the bad, not to destroy the good.

4) "But to fulfill." (alla plerosai) "But instead, to fulfill," that of which the law and the prophets spoke and witnessed by word, type, shadow, and object lessons, as He Himself explained, Luke 24:44-45. Jesus came to fulfill or live up to the demands of the Holy Law, then die for all who had fallen short of its standards and demands, Galatians 3:13; 1 Peter 2:24; 2 Peter 3:18.

Jesus "made under the law", Galatians 4:4, lived in perfect obedience to meet the standards of the law, John 8:46, fulfilled the types and shadows of the law, Galatians 3:13-14; 1 Peter 2:21-23, thus establishing the holiness of the law, Galatians 6:2.

Verse 18

1) "For verily I say unto you," (amen gar lego humin) "For truly, absolutely I say to you all," as a new ­covenant, a new-called and chosen people, as a church, to be a witness of and for Him from the beginning in Galilee, Matthew 4:18-24; John 15:16; John 15:27; Acts 1:22; Acts 10:37; Acts 15:13-15.

2) "Till heaven and earth pass," (heos on parelthe ho ouranos kai he ge) "Until the heaven and the earth pass away," as it is affirmed they shall, Matthew 24:35; Isaiah 51:6; Hebrews 1:10-12.

3) "One jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law," (iota an e mia kerala ou me parelthe apo tou nomou) "Not even one iota or even one point shall by any means pass away from the law;" The whole of its elements were to stay in unified affinity for a program of worship and. service until all was fulfilled, Psalms 119:160.

4) "Till all be fulfilled." (heos an panta genetai) "Until all things (for which it was given) come to pass," or come to be fulfilled, for it is settled in heaven, Psalms 119:89, If was not taken out of the way until the death of Christ upon the cross, Colossians 2:20; 2 Corinthians 3:7-11.

Verse 19

1) “Whosoever therefore shall break," (hos ean oun luse) "Therefore whoever (anyone who) breaks," violates or treats with disregard or disrespect. Even "to know to do good and do it not," is sin before God, both in the light of the Law of Moses and the Law of Christ, the law of love, James 4:17.

2) "One of these least commandments," (mian ton entolon touton ton elachiston) "One (even one) of the least of these commandments (of the law): No commandment of God is so small that it may be disobeyed or disregarded, as it is applicable either to an individual or a nation. To offend is to be a lawbreaker, James 2:10.

3) "And shall teach men so," (kai didakse houtos anthropous) "And teaches men (by word or example) to break even one of them" or influence men to violate, break, disregard, or disrespect one commandment of the Lord.

4) "He shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven:" (elachistos klethesetai en te basilela ton ouranon) "He shall be called or identified a least one (a minor) in "the kingdom of heaven," in the fellowship of the church, the new covenant institution of worship our Lord was addressing in this sermon on the mount, that covers Matthew 5:1 to Matthew 7:29.

5) "But whosoever shall do and teach them," (hos d’an poiese Rai didakse) "Yet the one who does, keeps, or observes the moral and ethical principles of the commandments," being "doers of the word and not hearers only", James 1:22; John 14:15; John 15:14.

6) "The same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven." (houtos megas klethesetai an te basileia ton ouronon) "This one shall be called or identified by reputation, as great in the kingdom of heaven," in the church to which our Lord was delivering this Inaugural address, John 17:6; Revelation 3:10; Matthew 25:34-40. Instead of disrespecting the moral and ethical principles of the law (which was holy) our Lord certified that every member of His church was to hold those standards high Romans 7:12; Romans 7:14.

Verse 20

1) "For I say unto you," (lego gar humin) "Because I tell you all," as a body, as a church. Because I make it known as a distinct fact to you all.

2) "That except your righteousness shall exceed," (hoti ean me perriseuse humon he dikaiosune pleion) "That unless your righteousness exceeds (is above the kind or quality of that)," Ceremonial righteousness, traditional righteousness, reflected in their keeping "traditions of the elders," which had been instituted by them as a means of acquiring or retaining a saved state or condition with God, Mr 7:1-9.

3) "Of the scribes and the Pharisees," (ton grammateon kai Pharisaion) "Of the kind of righteousness of the scribes (writers and archives guardians of the law) and of the Pharisees," (pious religious populists of the Jews), Romans 10:3. They were called "hypocrites" so very frequently by the Lord because they perverted the very law that they were claiming to keep and administer, considering themselves to be righteous while "despising" or looking down upon others, Luke 18:9-12.

4) "Ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven." (ou me eiselthete eis ten basileian ton ouranon) "You all shall not at all enter into (the spirit of the work) of the kingdom of heaven," into the work of the new covenant church, He had just recently begun. His church and work and worship required repentance, and belief in Jesus Christ unto Salvation before men could be baptized and enter into the work of "The kingdom of heaven" which John the Baptist came preaching. Jesus continued it, and required that one be that kind of saved person before he could be chosen to represent Him as a fisher of men, Mt 3:11-3; Acts 19:4; Matthew 4:17; Mr 1:14, 15; Matthew 4:18-22; John 15:16; John 15:26-27.

Verse 21

1) "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time," (ekousate hoti errethe tois archalois) "You all have heard that it was said to the ancients," to those of the human race, it was Divinely said, from the early days of mankind, before the law of Moses.

2) "Thou shalt not kill," (ou phoneuseis) "One shall not kill," or you as an individual, shall not kill any other individual person, or do no murder. Because every ­human being bears the image of God, by natural birth. that image of God in every man, though marred by sin, is subject to salvation and no life is to arbitrarily, covetously or capriciously taken, Genesis 9:6.

3) "And whosoever shall kill," (hos d’an phoneuse) "And whosoever does (presume) to kill, or anyone who does kill (murder) another, without regards to the prohibitory direction of the ancients, before the law was given, as disapproved, Genesis 4:8; Genesis 4:10-13; Genesis 9:5-6.

4) "Shall be in danger of the judgment:" (enochob estsi te krisei) "He or that one shall be liable to the judgment," for his deed, Genesis 9:5-6; as provided in courts, Exodus 21:12; Deuteronomy 16:16; Leviticus 24:17.

From ancient times it has been considered a Divinely revealed principle of moral justice in judgment that "He who in premeditated malice aforethought takes the life of another person, forfeits his own right to live."

This moral principle was expressed in the law, Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17.

Verse 22

1) "But I say unto you," (ego de lego humin) "Then l tell you all," as one with administrative directive authority which the Father had given into his hand from anointing, Matthew 3:16-17; Luke 4:16-21; John 3:35.

2) "That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause," (hoti pas ho orgizomenos to adelpho autou) "That everyone being or holding anger with his brother," or harboring an attitude of malice in his soul toward his brother. Such is to be "put away," by God’s children, laid aside as an old soiled garment, Ephesians 4:30-32. The phrase "without a cause" does not appear in older manuscripts.

3) "Shall be In danger of the judgment:" (enochos estai te krisei) "Shall be liable (for such) to the judgment," under the law of God against such, Numbers 35:16-31; Deuteronomy 16:18.

4) "And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca," (hos Wan elpe to adelpho autou hraka) "Then whosoever shall say to his brother (toward Whom he holds this anger or brooding malice) Raca," a word of scorn toward one who is despised, as a worthless person, 2 Samuel 6:20-23.

5) "Shall be in danger of the council:" (enochos estai to sunedrio) "He shall be (held) liable to or before the council," before the Sanhedrin, the adjudicators of Jewish law.

6) "But whosoever shall say, thou fool," (hos d’an eipe more) "And then whoever should say you moron," or you wicked and reprobate person in whom there is no God or image of God, as the fool who said "there is (exists) no God," Psalms 14:1.

7) "Shall be in danger of hell fire." (enochos estai eis ten geennan tou puros) "He shall be liable to the fires of, hell." The image of God is in every man and such as deny it are themselves infidels, in danger of an eternal hell. Judas Iscariot was perhaps one of whom He spoke, Luke 6:16; John 6:71; John 13:2.

Verse 23

1) "Therefore If thou bring thy gift to the altar," (ean oun prosphes to doron sou epi to thusiasterion) "Therefore if you as an individual bring your gift to the altar," as an act or form of external, public worship. All brought to God’s altar is to be a gift, whether it be things or persons who appear there, Deuteronomy 16:16-17.

2) "And there rememberest," (kakei mnesthes) "And out there (before the altar) dost recall," or remember, as you should if such exists, 1 John 2:9-11.

3) "That thy brother hath ought against thee;" (hoti ho adelphos sou echei ti kata sou) "That your brother has or holds (in malice, anger, or an old grudge) something against you personally," an ill feeling that causes a breach of fellowship between you two, Ephesians 4:30-32.

Verse 24

1) "Leave there thy gift before the altar," (aphes ekei to doron sou emprosthen tou thusiasterion) "You leave out there in the presence of the altar your gift that you have brought," for a sacrifice or for a testimony.

2) "And go thy way; first," (kai hupage proton) "And go as a first priority," for spiritual worship, 1 John 1:9; Mr 11:25,26. If all church business meetings were preceded by solemn prayer and obedience here prescribed little conflict would ever arise in church business matters.

3) "Be reconciled to thy brother," (diallagethi to adelpho sou) "Be or become reconciled to or toward your brother," that both may be lifted to a higher spiritual plane, Galatians 6:1-2; 1 John 3:23. If there is a second sin against the Holy Spirit it is that of an unwillingness to be reconciled to a brother, Matthew 6:14-15.

Verse 25

1) "Agree with thine adversary quickly," (isthi enunomo to antidiko sou tachu) "Be kindly disposed toward your adversary," on matters of difference that relate to civil adjudication or civil law. Come to an understanding, make a prompt settlement of differences, for law is costly in finance and influence.

2) "Whiles thou art in the way with him;" (heos hotou ei met’autou en te hodo) "While you are with him in the way," of controversy, or at issue with him. Be fair, be honest to the extent that you may gain the highest respect with your adversary or opponent in a controversy over matters of social and business life, before you come before civil Magistrates as in Luke 12:58; 1 Corinthians 6:1-7.

3) "Lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, mepote se parado ho antidikos to krite) "Lest at any moment (of advantage) your opponent should deliver you to the judge," bring legal charges against you on an impulse.

4) "And the judge deliver thee to the officer," (kai ho krites to huperete) "And the judge should just as impulsively turn you over to the officer," for solitary confinement until the charges impulsively incited against you, by your own conduct, should be heard before the judge at a time appointed.

5) "And thou be cast into prison." (kai eis phulaken blethese) "And you be cast into prison," to the hurt of your influence and that of the church, your new covenant fellowship. To be imprisoned over controversy among brethren is a reproach to the individuals involved, their family name, their influence, and above all to their church, 1 Corinthians 6:1-7, is the best summary guide recounted regarding conflicts of brethren in the church, when civil related conflicts arise.

Verse 26

1) "Verily I say unto thee," (amen lego soi) "Truly or certainly I say to you," to each of you, to be applied personally by each of you. How wise it is then that men have all enmity between them and God removed before they come to stand before him, Luke 13:3; 1 John 1:9.

2) "That thou shalt by no means come out thence," (ou me ekselthes ekeithen) "You shall by no means come out of such confinement," brought on by your unfair treatment or unkind disposition toward your opponent, or your obstinate refusal of reconciliation with a brother, once you have gone to civil court.

3) "Till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing." (heos an apodos ton eschaton kodranten) "Until you have paid the last farthing," or the maximum penalty, whatever the civil penalty requires, and that by civil magistrates before an unfriendly world, down to a farthing, about one half cent, Isaiah 40:2; Ruth 1:21-22.

Verse 27

1) "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time," (ekousate hote errethe) "you all heard," as it has been passed on by tradition, and by word of mouth from most ancient days; "That it has been said to them," applicable to them from ancient time, from early human history, especially included in the law of Moses.

2) "Thou shalt not commit adultery:" (ou moicheuseis) "That you shall not (anyone of you) commit adultery," Exodus 20:14. Traditional perverters of this seventh commandment restricted the meaning of it to acts of criminal intercourse between, or with, married persons exclusively, shielding for themselves a liberal privilege of concubinage and lusting or coveting after the wife of another, as also specifically excluded or forbidden in the tenth commandment, Exodus 20:17.

Verse 28

1) "But I say unto you," (ego de lego humin) "Yet I tell you all;" Here Jesus returns His direct address to the body of His disciples.

2) "That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her," (hoti pas ho blepon gunaika pros to eputhumesai auten) "That everyone who fixes his eyes on a woman or looks after her with a carnal, lustful desire," as condemned or forbidden Exodus 20:17, a thing that was winked at or looked upon lightly by the Jewish leaders of that day.

3) "Hath committed adultery with her," (Hath committed adultery with her," (ede ernoicheusen auten en te kardia autou) "Has already (at that time) of carnal lustful looking, committed adultery with her in his heart;" The eye, window of the soul, can lead to the sin of adultery, against which the Word warns, 1 John 2:15-17; Job 3:11; Proverbs 6:25.

4) "Already in his heart." (ede en te kardia autou) "Already (at that moment) in his heart," in the act of his lustful longing or coveting to have her, *Exodus 20:17; Matthew 15:18-19; Mr 7:21. It is a true axiom that "one may not keep birds from flying over his head, but he can keep them from nesting in his hair." One must resist the tendency to lust after the opposite sex, apart from personal marital covenant with that one.

Verse 29

1) "And if thy right eye offend thee," (ei de ho ophthaimos sou ho deksios skandalizei se) "So if your right eye (good eyesight) should cause you to stumble or fall," in a moral sense. The right eye is the most valued organ of sense; yet, it may become an instrument of a curse, if abused or wrongly used, Mr 9:47,48.

2) "Pluck it out, and cast it from thee:" (eksele auton kai bale apo sou) "Cast or cut it out and cast it from you:" "Do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin," Romans 6:13. It is the sinful exercise of the eye of lust that is to be uprooted, cast away, not the literal dismemberment of an organ of the body. The root of unholy dispositions are to be cut off or halted for protection of the whole life influence.

3) "For it is profitable for thee," (sumpherei gar soi) "Because it is expedient for you, for your best interest morally, as an individual.

4) "That one of thy members should perish," (hina apoletai en ton melon sou) "in order that one of your body members should perish," Even from usefulness altogether, rather than be led by its lustful enticement to destroy the entire influence of your life, of your whole body, 1 Corinthians 9:27.

5) "And not that thy whole body, (kai me holon to soma sou) "And not all of your body," your entire life’s influence for good, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

6) "Should be cast into hell." (blethe eis geennan) "Should come to be cast into hell," the gehenna fire, where physical refuse of man and beast is tossed, so that one’s life’s works, as a child of God may be burned up, as he suffers loss or rewards, but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire, 1 Corinthians 3:15; 2 John 1:8.

Verse 30

1) "And if thy right hand offend thee," (kai he deksia sou cheir skandalizei se) "And if your right hand should cause you to stumble," your hand of strength should cause you to offend, in stealing, fighting or other specific wrong that involves the whole man, because you belong to Christ, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

2) "Cut it off, and cast it from thee:" (ekkopson auten kai bale apo sou) "Cut it out or away and cast it from you," withdraw it from, cut it off, or cut out the wrong it is doing. It is not just the hand that steals or hits someone, but malice; But the whole body is involved in the guilt and the entire body influence may be destroyed, if the hand is not withdrawn from the wrong, 1 Corinthians 12:14-27.

3) "For it is profitable for thee," (sumpherei gar soi) "Because it is expedient for you," advantageous to you morally and ethically; more profitable or beneficial, Mr 9:43-48.

4) "That one of thy members should perish," (hina apoletai en to melon sou) "In order that one of your body-members should perish," be lost for lustful pleasure and profit, which would deprive you of divine sanction for rewards for such bad works of the hand, must be held back, cut off or put away from offence, 1 Corinthians 9:27.

5) "And not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.” (kai me holon to soma sou eis geennan apelthe) "And not (to have) your whole body to go away into hell," the place called Gehenna, your whole body of service, everything that you do in service should be burned up, when your body works are tried by fire, 1 Corinthians 3:14-15; 2 John 1:8.

Verse 31

1) "It hath been said," (errethe de) "Then it was said," under the Mosaic law administration, yet, as amended from God’s first, original order.

2) "Whosoever shall put away his wife," (hos an apoluse ten. gunaika autou) "Whoever dismisses, releases, or puts away his wife," whom he has taken for life, according to Divine order, Mr 10:2-9. Because marriage is of Divine order, and a most sacred bond of covenant pledge as a basis of family life, Release from such should be only for a most grave or serious cause. Primary in the will of God regarding marriage is "What God hath joined together let not man put asunder," without the specific Bible reason, Mr 10:8,9; Matthew 19:9.

3) "Let him give her a writing of divorcement:" (doto aute apostasion) "Let him furnish her (without charge) a document of permanent separation," or final and full divorce; This is a legal check or restriction against reckless and tyrannical separation of two married persons. The only specified ground for such a divorcement was "some uncleanness," (Gk. aschemon pragma) which means conjugal infidelity of sexual intercourse with another or a third party, Deuteronomy 24:1; Jeremiah 3:1; 1 Corinthians 7:12-15.

Verse 32

1) "But I say unto you," (ego de lego humin) "Yet I tell you all directly, plainly," on a higher moral plane than that now generally practiced among you. So loose are marriage vows among Arabs, even today, that to divorce a wife, the man need only to say "I divorce thee."

2) "That whosoever shall put away his wife," (hot! pas ho apoluon ten gunaika auto) "That everyone (and each one) dismissing or permanently and finally divorcing his wife," putting her away or abandoning his marital vows to her.

3) "Saving for the cause of fornication," (parektos logou porneias) "Apart from anything except fornication," sexual or conjugal infidelity of relations she has engaged in with another party, Matthew 19:9. This appears to be the only Divinely, now sanctioned basis of marital divorce.

4) "Causeth her to commit adultery:" (poiei auten moicheuthenai) "Makes her commit adultery," contributes toward, incites, or causes her to commit adultery, Matthew 19:10; Luke 16:18.

5) "And whosoever shall marry her that is divorced," (kai hos ean apolelumenen gamese) "And whoever marries a woman thus dismissed (or put away)," because of fornication, moral uncleanness, Deuteronomy 24:1, or for any cause short of conjugal infidelity.

6) "Committeth adultery." (moichatai) "That one commits adultery," in the marital union with her, in inducing her to contract another marriage, 1 Corinthians 7:10-12; Matthew 19:4-9.

Shammar one Hebrew school of interpreters held that moral infidelity of a wife was the exclusive basis for a divorce, Deuteronomy 24:1, while Hillel another school of Hebrew interpreters stretches the "unclean thing" of Deuteronomy 24:1, to mean almost anything disagreeable to the husband, called "incompatibility" today, still widely, erroneously practiced.

MORAL AND ETHICAL STANDARDS OF JESUS HIGHER THAN THOSE OF THE LAW

V. 33-48

Verse 33

1) "Again, ye have heard," (palin ekousate) "Again you all heard," have heard, have been taught by interpreters of the law, included in traditions of the elders.

2) "That it hath been said of them of old time," (hoti errethe tois archaiois) "That it was said to the ancients," to those even before the law was given, and passed down by word of mouth, as a general principle of behavior, from generation to generation.

3) "Thou shalt not forswear thyself," ((ouk epiorkeseis) "You shall not perjure yourself," involve yourself in breaking promises or pledges, talking two ways about a matter, especially breaking a vow, by making some pretence for release, some empty excuse, Exodus 20:7; Deuteronomy 15:11; Leviticus 19:12; Numbers 30:2.

4) "But shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:" (apodoseis de to kurio tous orkous soul "But you shall repay or give back to the Lord what you have pledged," what you have committed by oath to do; Those who break such oaths, pledges, or vows are to be known as fools, Ecclesiastes 5:4-5; Psalms 50:14; Psalms 66:13-14; Psalms 76:11. Even free-will offerings, "faith promises," once made, were moral and ethical obligations that were to be paid, Deuteronomy 23:21-23.

Verse 34

1) "But I say unto you, swear not at all;" (ego de lego humin me omosai holos) "Yet, on the other hand, I tell you all not to swear at all," in the manner and matters here specified or pledged as security of your word, for these things do not belong to you in the first place. Have or hold too much respect and reverence for truth to swear by things that are not yours.

2) "Neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne:" (mete en to ouranon hoti thronos estin tou theou) "Neither by the heaven, because it is (exists as) the throne of God," and doesn’t belong to you, as an honest basis for a pledge or vow for the truth of your commitment, see? The heavens belong to God, not man; Therefore man cannot swear by or pledge them as pledge chattel, mortgage or pledge for the honesty of his word, Psalms 8:3.

Verse 35

1) "Nor by the earth;" (mete en te ge) "Nor by means of the earth," man’s dwelling place, For it too belongs to the Lord, not man, for a pledge, Psalms 24:1; 1 Corinthians 10:26; 1 Corinthians 10:28. To pledge an asset as a security without the knowledge, permission, or will of the actual owner of the asset or property is morally wrong, dishonest, see?

2) "For it is his footstool:" (hoto hupopodion estin ton poson sutou) "Because it is (exists as) His "footstool," Isaiah 66:1; Acts 7:49.

3) "Nor by Jerusalem;" (mete eis lerosoluma) "Nor by means of Jerusalem," the city of peace, One’s pledge or oath should be on his own name or stewardship property, not that of another, Ecclesiastes 5:4-5.

4) "For it is the city of the great King." (hoti polls estin tou megalou basileos) "Because it is (exists as) a city of the great King," Psalms 48:2, Jesus. Christ the heir to David’s throne over which He shall yet reign, Luke 1:32-34; 1 Corinthians 15:24. It is not a city property for a truth pledge for any person’s honesty or integrity. The boldest swearers are often the greatest liars, defamers or perjured persons.

Verse 36

1) "Neither shall thou swear by thy head," (mete en te kephale sou homoses) "Neither by your head are you to swear," even as an individual, for your head does not belong to you for covetous purposes, apart from the will of God for your life, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

2) "Because thou canst not make one hair white or black." (hoti ou dunasai mian tricha leuken poiesai e melainan) "Because you are not able to make even one hair white or black," or add one cubit to your own stature, Matthew 6:27; Luke 12:28. Since God’s throne, footstool, and city (heaven, the earth, and Jerusalem) are forbidden as oath-confirming things that belong to God, it is also asserted that man should have more integrity of character than to feel obligated to swear, make an oath confirmation on the basis of his (head), having it cut off, if he were not telling the truth, see? For even his body is sacred, belongs to Christ, 1 Corinthians 3:22; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

Verse 37

1) "But let your communications by, Yea, yea; Nay, nay:" (esto de ho eogos nai nai ou ou) "Instead let your word be yes, yes, or no, no;" Simple affirmation of truth, without an adjured oath. Simply tell the truth, without compromise or equivocation so that your word is your bond, James 5:12; 2 Corinthians 1:17-20. This does not preclude or forbid ones raising his hand on the Bible in pledges or oaths of civil affirmation to affirm that one is telling the truth, for even God "sware by himself." Hebrews 6:13.

2) "For whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." (to de perisson touton ek tou ponerou estin) "For anything in excess of these (simple affirmations) is (exists) out of wickedness." Whatever exceeds this matter of simplicity and truthful integrity, is wicked, out of harmony with what the reputation of a follower of Jesus should be, James 5:12. Christians should avoid the tendency to add any word of swearing, even idle slang, to try to convince anyone of the truth of what is being said. For such is wrong and man must give account for it in the day of judgment, Matthew 12:36; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; 2 Corinthians 5:11. It is vain swearing and frivolous oath-taking that is forbidden in the context of this passage.

Verse 38

1) "Ye have heard it hath been said," (ekousate hoti errethe) "You all heard that it was said," by them of ancient times, also alluding to moral and ethical standards of the law and pre-Mosaic eras, Exodus 21:24; Deuteronomy 19:21; Leviticus 24:19-20. These were statements of Hebrew criminal law justice.

2) "An eye for an eye," (ophthalmon anti ophthalmou) "An eye instead of an eye," a one-for-one exchange of judgment for injury. This was an outward form of retribution of vengeance, administered for loss by wrongs done by others, by virtue of carelessness, or by malice and anger.

3) "And a tooth for a tooth:" (kai odonta anti odontos) "And a tooth instead of a tooth," a one-of-a-kind "for" one-of-a-kind, (penalty) for a loss. This form of retributive justice, speedily executed, without any ransom or pay­off to escape justice, may have been the best safeguard for life and property, Numbers 35:21; Numbers 35:32.

Verse 39

1) "But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil:" (ego de lego humin me antistenai to ponero) "Yet I tell you all not to oppose wickedness," not to stand up against wickedness as revengers. You all are not to function as civil magistrates, taking matters of civil justice administration into your own hands; As a chosen, called, church people you are to defer such to civil rulers, Romans 13:1-7.

2) "But whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek," (all’ hostis se hrapizei eis ten deksian siagona sou) "But (in contrast) whoever strikes you on your right cheek;" Do not seek to extract the utmost civil or criminal penalty, immediately upon being wronged, by going at once, impulsively into civil courts, as a Christian. Rather, forgive, than resent, the wrong, Luke 6:29.

3) "Turn to him the other also." (strepson auto kai ten alien) "Turn also the other cheek to him," James 5:6; 1 Peter 2:20-23; 1 Peter 3:9. Be willing to endure a second injury or wrong rather than try to avenge an old wrong, for such is the spirit of Christ, Proverbs 20:22; Romans 12:17; Romans 12:19; Romans 12:21; It is better to forebear, to forgive an enemy than to strike back impulsively, either physically, or before civil magistrates. To enter a cause for justice in a civil court should be a matter of last resort for children of God, church members in particular.

Verse 40

1) "And if any man will sue thee at the law," (kai to thelonti soi krithenai) "And the one strongly wishing to judge you at the law," threatens to do so, to get something that he wants, or covets as tangible property that actually belongs to you.

2) "And take away thy coat," (kai ton chitona sou labein) "And wanting to take your tunic," or your inner garment, a personal piece of your under clothing, worn with a girdle. The under garment or tunic was girded up for travel or work, Acts 12:8; Luke 12:37; Luke 17:8.

3) "Let him have thy cloak also." (aphes auto kai to himation) "Let or allow him also to have your outer garment;" Be gracious to him, just offer to give him your top coat also, your mantle which was not to be taken in a pledge, Exodus 22:26-27. A man, even a poor man, might have several under garments or tunics but only one mantle or top coat, worn by day for comfort, then to cover with at night. This is why it could not be held as a pledge over night.

Verse 41

1) "And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile," (kai ostis se angareusei milion en) "And whoever shall impress you, or press upon you to go one mile," with him. Let your grace and goodness put covetousness and greed to shame in the life of the unbeliever of the world. It was Simeon of Cyrene who was compelled to bear Jesus’ cross, at the same time a fatiguing task and a Divine blessing, Matthew 27:32; Mr 15:21.

2) "Go with him twain." (hupage met’ autou duo) "Go on with him for two miles," be more gracious to him than his covetousness required of or from you. For where sin abounded for us "Grace did much more abound," Romans 5:20. The lesson is to cover the case of the Jews and their subjection to the Romans. The slaves in subjection to their masters, and Christians who were to show charity and grace to put to shame or bring sinners to conviction and repentance; In such one may heap coals of fire upon the head of an enemy, Romans 12:17; Romans 12:19-21.

Verse 42

1) "Give to him that asketh thee," (to autounti Se dos) "Give to the one who asks you," for "The liberal soul shall be made fat," Proverbs 11:25; Luke 6:30-34. The sense of unreasonable asking is implied here.

2) "And from him that would borrow of thee," (kai ton thelonta apo sou daneisasthai) "And he who strongly desires to borrow from you," as provided and commanded in the law, Deuteronomy 15:7-11; 1 Timothy 6:18.

3) "Turn not thou away." (me apostraphes) "Do not turn (him) away," or turn your back on him, Hebrews 13:2; 1 John 3:17. Blessings, in returned trust, come to those who give obediently to the poor in their need and to the church of Jesus Christ, Luke 6:38.

Verse 43

1) "Ye have heard that it hath been said," (ekousate hot! errethe) "You all have heard that it was said," among your people in olden days, based upon a former command from the Lord.

2) "Thou shalt love thy neighbor," (agapeseis ton plesion sou) "You shall love (receive with affection) your neighbor," Leviticus 19:18.

3) "And hate thine enemy." (kai miseiseis ton echtron sou) "And you shall hate your enemy," or hold them in a lower degree of respect, Deuteronomy 23:3-6; Deuteronomy 25:19; Ezra 9:12.

Verse 44

1) "But I say unto you, Love your enemies," (ego de lego humin agapate tous echthrous humon) "Yet I tell you that you all are to love your enemies," and that without pretence or sham, Romans 12:20-21. The command concerned their national, private, and religious enemies. For He loved us when we were yet at enmity with God. Romans 5:6; Romans 5:8; Romans 5:10.

2) "Bless them that curse you," (though not in older Gk. manuscripts the idea is set forth Romans 12:20, "Bless them which persecute you; bless and curse not;" 1 Corinthians 4:12-13; 1 Peter 2:23; 1 Peter 3:9.) The person who can rejoice under persecution can pray for his persecutor, Matthew 5:12.

3) "And do good to them that hate you" (omitted in older manuscripts), yet the idea is exemplified by our Lord in life and in His death, as David did to Saul, 1 Samuel 24:17; Psalms 7:4; Romans 12:20-21.

4) "And pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;" (kai proseuchesthe huper ton diokonton humas) "And you all are to be in a state of continual prayer for (on behalf of) those repeatedly persecuting you," as our Lord, Stephen and Paul did, Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60; Romans 10:1-4.

Verse 45

1) "That ye may be," (hopos genesthe) "So that you all may be," be recognized as, or come to be recognized as (Matthew 5:16), not “become”, for they were already His disciples Matthew 5:2, the salt of the earth, the light of the world, Matthew 5:12-16.

2) "The children of your Father which is in heaven:" (huioi tou patros humon tou en ouranois) "Sons or heirs of your Father in heaven:" Ephesians 5:11; For by such manifest love as the world has seen in Him, and saw in them, one for another, all men could recognize that they were His followers and children of the heavenly Father in deed, John 13:34-35; James 1:22.

3) "For he maketh his sun to rise," (hoti ton helion autou anatellei) "Because he causes his sun to rise," Acts 14:17; Luke 12:16-17. Because the Father shows mercy on the just and unjust, to the extent that His children show mercy and goodness to sinners, they shall recognize that Christians are real.

4) "On the evil and on the good," (epi ponerous kai agathous) "Upon wicked and good (men)," being no respector of persons with regards to His care for their physical needs, as He has provided for the redemption of all, Acts 10:34; 2 Peter 3:9; John 3:16.

5) "And sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (kai brechei epe dikaious kai adikous) "And he causes it to rain upon just and upon unjust men;" Without partiality or respect of person, in spite of differences in varieties of moral characters, simply to be an illustration of love, care, and compassion His children (and His church in particular) should show toward a lost world, Matthew 28:18-20; John 20:21.

Verse 46

1) "For if ye love them which love you," (ean gar agapesete tous agapontas humas) "Because if you all love (only) those who love you;" Publicans were morally classed with harlots or prostitutes in character in Jesus’ day. The principles of Divine love should extend farther than that self-interest love of Publicans and harlots who loved only for what they could get out of it, 2 Corinthians 5:14.

2) "What reward have ye?" (tina misthon echete) "What reward, pay, or wages do you have for that?" What merit is there in such self-interest? Deuteronomy 32:41. Is not this really selfish, self-love? Jesus desired that His followers excel the world in every moral virtue.

3) "Do not even the publicans the same?" (ouchi kai hoi telonai to auto poiousin) "Don’t you recognize, realize, or admit that the tax collectors do the same thing?" Show the same selfish partiality, self-interest? You thereby would act like or place yourself in the same class of character as the publicans, meaning sinners, Matthew 8:12.

Verse 47

1) "And if ye salute your brethren only," (kai ean aspasesthe tous adelphous humon monon) "And if you all greet your (disciple) brethren only," so do the common men of the world. Your mercy, compassion, or love thereby shown is on no higher plane than that of the profane people. To salute is a symbol of friendship.

2) "What do ye more than others?" (ti perisson poieite) "What do you all do in excess, above, or more than what they do?" Jews salute Jews only, not the Gentiles or Christians. And Moslems of the East do not salute the Christians, but one another.

3) "Do not even the publicans so?" (ouchi kai hoi ethnikoi to auto poiousin) "Don’t the Gentiles or heathen also do the same thing to their brethren?" Luke 12:48. If you all love and salute those who love and salute you, are you any better than publicans and harlots (extortioners and prostitutes)? This is the point of our Lord’s message. Like your Lord you are to love and greet your enemies, in excelling for Christ, for "greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world." John 3:16; 1 John 4:4.

Verse 48

1) "Be ye therefore perfect," (esesthe oun humeis teleloi) "You all therefore are to be or become perfect, or mature, in both your disposition and conduct, in your attitude and in what you do," Genesis 17:1; Leviticus 11:44; 1 Peter 1:15-16; James 1:4; James 3:2. For "he that would have friends (enlarge his influence) must show himself friendly," Proverbs 18:24. Though perfection in the sense of a sinless state of being may never be reached in this life, it is the standard of holiness to be sought by every child of God.

2) "Even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (hos ho pater humon ho ouranois teleios) "As your heavenly Father is (or exists) perfect, mature in every attribute of being, expressed in both what he is and what he does;" Even He has loved and does love you, Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 4:12; 2 Corinthians 13:9; Hebrews 13:21; Philippians 3:12-14; 1 Peter 5:10.

God, in all His attributes, is what He desires that His children should be as they are changed from "glory to glory," their glory to His glory, in likeness, 2 Corinthians 3:18.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Matthew 5". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/matthew-5.html. 1985.