Blessed be ye poor - See the sermon on the mount paraphrased and explained, Matthew 5 (note), Matthew 6 (note), Matthew 7 (note),
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.
The childhood of Jesus, spent in poverty, had been uncorrupted by the artificial habits of a corrupt age. Working at the carpenter's bench, bearing the burdens of home life, learning the lessons of obedience and toil, He found recreation amidst the scenes of nature, gathering knowledge as He sought to understand nature's mysteries. He studied the word of God, and His hours of greatest happiness were found when He could turn aside from the scene of His labors to go into the fields, to meditate in the quiet valleys, to hold communion with God on the mountainside or amid the trees of the forest. The early morning often found Him in some secluded place, meditating, searching the Scriptures, or in prayer. With the voice of singing He welcomed the morning light. With songs of thanksgiving He cheered His hours of labor and brought heaven's gladness to the toilworn and disheartened. MH 52.1
During His ministry Jesus lived to a great degree an outdoor life. His journeys from place to place were made on foot, and much of His teaching was given in the open air. In training His disciples He often withdrew from the confusion of the city to the quiet of the fields, as more in harmony with the lessons of simplicity, faith, and self-abnegation He desired to teach them. It was beneath the sheltering trees of the mountainside, but a little distance from the Sea of Galilee, that the Twelve were called to the apostolate and the Sermon on the Mount was given. MH 52.2
Christ loved to gather the people about Him under the blue heavens, on some grassy hillside, or on the beach beside the lake. Here, surrounded by the works of His own creation, He could turn their thoughts from the artificial to the natural. In the growth and development of nature were revealed the principles of His kingdom. As men should lift their eyes to the hills of God and behold the wonderful works of His hand, they could learn precious lessons of divine truth. In future days the lessons of the divine Teacher would thus be repeated to them by the things of nature. The mind would be uplifted and the heart would find rest. MH 54.1Read in context »
The Sermon on the Mount is Heaven's benediction to the world—a voice from the throne of God. MB vii.1
It was given to mankind to be to them the law of duty and the light of heaven, their hope and consolation in despondency, their joy and comfort in all the vicissitudes and walks of life. Here the Prince of preachers, the Master Teacher, utters the words that the Father gave Him to speak. MB vii.2Read in context »
The Lord Jesus corrects our erring piety, giving the burden of this work for the poor and needy in the rough places to men and women of adaptability who have hearts that can feel for the ignorant and for those who are out of the way. The Lord teaches them how to meet these cases. These workers will be encouraged as they see doors opening for them to enter places where they can do medical missionary work. Having little self-confidence, they give God all the glory, taking none of it to themselves. The Saviour is present to help to make a beginning through those whose hands are rough and unskilled, but whose hearts are susceptible to pity and awakened to do something to relieve the woes so abundant. He works through those who can discern mercy in misery, gain in the loss of all things. When the Light of the world passeth by, privileges appear in all hardships, right and order in confusion, the success and wisdom of God in that which has seemed to be failure in human experience.... WM 176.1
Christ pronounces His blessing upon those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. In Luke we read, “Blessed be ye poor.” The poor have not a hundredth part of the delusive temptations of the rich. In Matthew we read, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Poverty of spirit signifies wealth to be supplied by the riches of the grace of God.—Letter 100, 1902. WM 176.2
If Poverty Were Removed From the Earth—Want and poverty there will always be. However high the standard of knowledge and morality may be, whatever heights we may reach in civilization, poverty will always continue, as a display of the riches of the grace of God, a standing memorial to the truth of the words, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.” It would not be for the benefit of Christianity for the Lord to remove poverty from the earth. Thus a door would be closed that is now open for the exercise of faith—a means whereby the hearts of the afflicted can be reached by the gospel of goodness. By Christian liberality souls are reached that could be reached in no other way. It is the helping hand of the gospel.—Letter 83, 1902. WM 177.1Read in context »