Luke 6:33

33 If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that.

Luke 6:33 Meaning and Commentary

Luke 6:33

And if ye do good to them which do good to you
As one good turn deserves another:

what thank have ye?
what grace or goodness is there in such an action? what glory or merit is there in it?

for sinners also do even the same:
wherefore no man should conclude himself a righteous man, or better than sinners, on such an account: this is to be found among the worst of men, and is natural to them, unless they are brutes indeed, to be kind to such as are kind to them. And yet, this was the whole of the doctrine of the Jews about doing good to men: for so they say F21,

``an Israelite is obliged to do good to an Israelite his companion, and to lend without usury: this is kindness and goodness, and a greater good it is than a gift; for many men are ashamed to take a gift, and are not ashamed to take a loan: but not so an Israelite to a Gentile; for he is not bound to do good, or show kindness to him, or to lend him his money freely; for many of them hate the Israelites; but it must be owned, that if a Gentile does a kindness, or good, to an Israelite; the Israelite is also bound to show kindness to him, and do him good.''

In direct opposition to such narrow sentiments does our Lord deliver himself in this, and the following verses.


F21 Kimchi in Psal. xv. apud Huls. Theolog. Jud. par. 1. p. 420.

Luke 6:33 In-Context

31 "Here is a simple rule of thumb for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you; then grab the initiative and do it for them!
32 If you only love the lovable, do you expect a pat on the back? Run-of-the-mill sinners do that.
33 If you only help those who help you, do you expect a medal? Garden-variety sinners do that.
34 If you only give for what you hope to get out of it, do you think that's charity? The stingiest of pawnbrokers does that.
35 "I tell you, love your enemies. Help and give without expecting a return. You'll never - I promise - regret it. Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we're at our worst.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.