6:1 And 1 it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples a plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing [them] in [their] hands.
(1) Christ shows against the superstitious, who dwell on every trifling matter, that the law of the very sabbath was not given to be kept without exception: much less that the salvation of man should consist in the outward keeping of it. 6:6 2 And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.
(a) Epiphanius notes well in his treatise, where he refutes Ebion, that the time when the disciples plucked the ears of the corn was in the feast of unleavened bread. Now, in those feasts which were kept over a period of many days, as the feast of tabernacles and passover, their first day and the last were very solemn; see ( Leviticus 23:1-44 ). Luke then fitly calls the last day the second sabbath, though Theophylact understands it to be any of the sabbaths that followed the first.
(2) Charity is the rule of all ceremonies. 6:9 Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to b destroy [it]?
(b) Whoever does not help his neighbour when he can, he kills him. 6:12 3 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
(3) In using earnest and long prayer in choosing twelve of his own company to the office of the apostleship, Christ shows how religiously we ought to behave ourselves in the choice of ecclesiastical persons. 6:17 And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the c sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;
(c) From all the sea coast, which is called Syrophoenecia. 6:20 4 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed [be ye] poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
(4) Christ teaches against all philosophers, and especially the Epicureans, that the greatest happiness of man is laid up in no place here on earth, but in heaven, and that persecution for righteousness sake is the right way to achieve it. 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall d separate you [from their company], and shall reproach [you], and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of mans sake.
6:23 Rejoice ye in that day, and e leap for joy: for, behold, your reward [is] great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
(d) Cast you out of their synagogues, as John expounds in ( John 16:2 ), which is the severest punishment the Church has, if the elders judge rightfully, and by the word of God.
(e) Leap for exceeding joy, as cattle do who are spurred on by food. 6:24 But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have f received your consolation.
6:27 5 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
(f) That is, you reap now of your riches all the convenience and blessing you are ever likely to have, and therefore you have no other reward to look for; ( Matthew 6:2 ).
(5) Christian charity, which is very different from worldly charity, not only does not revenge injuries, but is even extended to our most grievous enemies, and that for our Fathers sake who is in heaven: in well doing it is not at all seeking its own. 6:32 For if ye love them which love you, g what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.
(g) What is there in this your work that is to be accounted of? For if you look to have reward by loving, seek those rewards which are indeed rewards: love your enemies, and so will you show to the world that you look for those rewards which come from God. 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, h hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and [to] the evil.
(h) When you will lend, do it only to benefit and please with it, and not with the hope of receiving the principal again. 6:37 6 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: i forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
(6) Brotherly judgments must not proceed from curiosity nor rudeness nor malice, but they must be just, moderate and loving. 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, k pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
(i) He does not speak here of civil judgments, and therefore by the word "forgive" is meant that good nature which the Christians use in patiently suffering and pardoning wrongs.
(k) These are borrowed types of sayings, taken from those who used to measure dry things, as corn and such things, who do it in a rather forceful manner, and thrust it down and shake it together, and press it and put it into a pile. 6:39 7 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
(7) Unskillful reprehenders hurt both themselves and others: for as the teacher is, so is the student. 6:41 8 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brothers eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
(8) Hypocrites who are very severe reprehenders of others are very quick to spitefully spot other mens faults, but very blind to see their own. 6:43 9 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
(9) Skill in reprehending others does not make a good man, but rather he that proves his uprightness both in word and deed. 6:47 10 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
(10) Affliction at length discerns true godliness from false and feigned godliness.