See this passage fully illustrated in the sermon on the mount, in Luke 6:21
That hunger now - Matthew has it, “that hunger and thirst after righteousness.” Matthew has expressed more fully what Luke has briefly, but there is no contradiction.
These verses have been omitted by Matthew. They seem to have been spoken to the Pharisees.
Who are rich - In this world‘s goods. They loved them; they had sought for them; they found their consolation in them. It implies, farther, that they would not seek or receive consolation from the gospel. They were proud, and would not seek it; satisfied, and did not desire it; filled with cares, and had no time or disposition to attend to it. All the consolation which they had reason to expect they had received. Alas! how poor and worthless is such consolation, compared with that which the gospel would give!
Woe unto you that are full! - Not hungry. Satisfied with their wealth, and not feeling their need of anything better than earthly wealth can give. Many, alas! are thus “full.” They profess to be satisfied. They desire nothing but wealth, and a sufficiency to satisfy the wants of the body. They have no anxiety for the riches that shall endure forever.
Ye shall hunger - Your property shall be taken away, or you shall see that it is of little value; and then you shall see the need of something better. You shall feel your want and wretchedness, and shall “hunger” for something to satisfy the desires of a dying, sinful soul.
That laugh now - Are happy, or thoughtless, or joyful, or filled with levity.
Shall mourn and weep - The time is coming when you shall sorrow deeply. In sickness, in calamity, in the prospect of death, in the fear of eternity, your laughter shall be turned into sorrow. “There is” a place where you cannot laugh, and there you will see the folly of having passed the “proper time” of preparing for such scenes in levity and folly. Alas! how many thus spend their youth! and how many weep when it is too late! God gives them over, and “laughs” at their “calamity,” and mocks when their fear comes, Proverbs 1:26. To be happy in “such scenes,” it is necessary to be sober, humble, pious in early life. “Then” we need not weep in the day of calamity; then there will be no terror in death; then there will be nothing to fear in the grave.
When all men shall speak well of you - When they shall praise or applaud you. The people of the world will not praise or applaud “my” doctrine; they are “opposed” to it, and therefore, if they speak well of “you” and of “your teachings,” it is proof that you do not teach the true doctrine. If you do “not” do this, then there will be woe upon you. If men teach false doctrines for true; if they declare that God has spoken that which he has not spoken, and if they oppose what he “has” delivered, then heavy punishments will await them.
For so did their fathers - The fathers or ancestors of this people; the ancient Jews.
To the false prophets - Men who pretended to be of God - who delivered their “own” doctrines as the truth of God, and who accommodated themselves to the desires of the people. Of this number were the prophets of Baal, the false prophets who appeared in the time of Jeremiah, etc.
Luke 6:27, Luke 6:28
See Matthew 5:44-45.
See Matthew 5:39-40.
See Matthew 5:42.
See Matthew 7:12.
See Matthew 5:46-48.
See Matthew 7:1-9.
Good measure - They shall give you good measure, or “full” measure.
Pressed down - As figs or grapes might be, and thus many more might be put into the measure.
Shaken together - To make it more compact, and thus to give more.
Running over - So full that the measure would overflow.
Shall men give - This is said to be the reward of “giving” to the poor and needy; and the meaning is that the man who is liberal will find others liberal to him in dealing with them, and when he is also in circumstances of want. A man who is himself kind to the poor - who has that “character” established - will find many who are ready to help “him” abundantly when he is in want. He that is parsimonious, close, niggardly, will find few or none who will aid him.
Into your bosom - That is, to you. The word “bosom” here has reference to a custom among Oriental nations of making the bosom or front part of their garments large, so that articles could be carried in them, answering the purpose of our pockets. Compare Exodus 4:6-7; Proverbs 6:27; Rth 3:15 .
A parable - A proverb or similitude.
Can the blind lead the blind? - See the notes at Matthew 15:14.
The disciple is not - The learner is not above his teacher, does not know more, and must expect to fare no better. This seems to have been spoken to show them that they were not to expect that their disciples would go “beyond them” in attainments; that if they were blind, their followers would be also; and that therefore it was important for them to understand fully the doctrines of the gospel, and not to be blind leaders of the blind.
Every one that is perfect - The word rendered “is perfect” means sometimes to repair or mend, and is thus applied to mending nets, Matthew 4:21; Mark 1:19. Hence, it means to repair or amend in a moral sense, or to make whole or complete. Here it means, evidently, “thoroughly instructed” or “informed.” The Christian should be like his Master - holy, harmless, and undefiled, and separate from sinners. He should copy his example, and grow into the likeness of his Redeemer. Nor can any other be a Christian.
Luke 6:41, Luke 6:42
See the notes at Matthew 7:3-5.
Luke 6:43, Luke 6:44
See the notes at Matthew 7:16-18.
This verse is not found in the sermon on the mount as recorded by Matthew, but is recorded by him in Matthew 12:35. See the notes at that passage.
See the notes at Matthew 7:21-27.