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Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Gospel
LUKE 6:36-42
[2.] It will redound to our honour; for herein we shall resemble God in his goodness, which is the greatest glory: "Ye shall be the children of the Highest, shall be owned by him as his children, being like him." It is the glory of God that he is kind to the unthankful and to the evil, bestows the gifts of common providence even upon the worst of men, who are every day provoking him, and rebelling against him, and using those very gifts to his dishonour. Hence he infers (v. 36), Be merciful, as your Father is merciful; this explains Matt. v. 48, "Be perfect, as our Father is perfect. Imitate your Father in those things that are his brightest perfections." Those that are merciful as God is merciful, even to the evil and the unthankful, are perfect as God is perfect; so he is pleased graciously to accept it, though infinitely falling short. Charity is called the bond of perfectness, Col. iii. 14. This should strongly engage us to be merciful to our brethren, even such as have been injurious to us, not only that God is so to others, but that he is so to us, though we have been, and are, evil and unthankful; it is of his mercies that we are not consumed. 

Exhortations to Justice and Sincerity. 

37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: 38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, 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. 39 And he spake a parable unto them, Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch? 40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. 41 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 42 Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.  

All these sayings of Christ we had before in Matthew; some of them in ch. vii., others in other places. They were sayings that Christ often used; they needed only to be mentioned, it was easy to apply them. Grotius thinks that we need not be critical here in seeking for the coherence: they are golden sentences, like Solomon's proverbs or parables. Let us observe here, 

I. We ought to be very candid in our censures of others, because we need grains of allowance ourselves: "Therefore judge not others, because then you yourselves shall not be judged; therefore condemn not others, because then you yourselves shall not be condemned, v. 37. Exercise towards others that charity which thinks no evil, which bears all things, believes and hopes all things; and then others will exercise that charity towards you. God will not judge and condemn you, men will not." They that are merciful to other people's names shall find others merciful to theirs. 

II. If we are of a giving and a forgiving spirit, we shall ourselves reap the benefit of it: Forgive and you shall be forgiven. If we forgive the injuries done to us by others, others will forgive our inadvertencies. If we forgive others' trespasses against us, God will forgive our trespasses against him. And he will be no less mindful of the liberal that devise liberal things (v. 38): Give, and it shall be given to you. God, in his providence, will recompense it to you; it is lent to him, and he is not unrighteous to forget it (Heb. vi. 10), but he will pay it again. Men shall return it into your bosom; for God often makes use of men as instruments, not only of his avenging, but of his rewarding justice. If we in a right manner give to others when they need, God will incline the hearts of others to give to us when we need, and to give liberally, good measure pressed down and shaken together. They that sow plentifully shall reap plentifully. Whom God recompenses he recompenses abundantly. 

III. We must expect to be dealt with ourselves as we deal with others: With the same measure that ye mete it shall be measured to you again. Those that deal hardly with others must acknowledge, as Adoni-bezek did (Judg. i. 7), that God is righteous, if others deal hardly with them, and they may expect to be paid in their own coin; but they that deal kindly with others have reason to hope that, when they have occasion, God will raise them up friends who will deal kindly with them. Though Providence does not always go by this rule, because the full and exact retributions are reserved for another world, yet, ordinarily, it observes a proportion sufficient to deter us from all acts of rigour and to encourage us in all acts of beneficence. 

IV. Those who put themselves under the guidance of the ignorant and erroneous are likely to perish with them (v. 39): Can the blind lead the blind? Can the Pharisees, who are blinded with pride, prejudice, and bigotry, lead the blind people into the right way? Shall not both fall together into the ditch? How can they expect any other? Those that are led by the common opinion, course, and custom, of this world, are themselves blind, and are led by the blind, and will perish with the world that sits in darkness. Those that ignorantly, and at a venture, follow the multitude to do evil, follow the blind in the broad way that leads the many to destruction. 

V. Christ's followers cannot expect better treatment in the world than their Master had, v. 40. Let them not promise themselves more honour or pleasure in the world than Christ had, nor aim at the worldly pomp and grandeur which he was never ambitious of, but always declined, nor affect that power in secular things which he would not assume; but every one that would show himself perfect, an established disciple, let him be as his Master--dead to the world, and every thing in it, as his Master is; let him live a life of labour and self-denial as his Master doth, and make himself a servant of all; let him stoop, and let him toil, and do all the good he can, and then he will be a complete disciple. 

VI. Those who take upon them to rebuke and reform others are concerned to look to it that they be themselves blameless, and harmless, and without rebuke, v. 41, 42. 1. Those with a very ill grace censure the faults of others who are not aware of their own faults. It is very absurd for any to pretend to be so quick-sighted as to spy small faults in others, like a mote in the eye, when they are themselves so perfectly past feeling as not to perceive a beam in their own eye. 2. Those are altogether unfit to help to reform others whose reforming charity does not begin at home. How canst thou offer thy service to thy brother, to pull out the mote from his eye, which requires a good eye as well as a good hand, when thou thyself hast a beam in thine own eye, and makest no complaint of it? 3. Those therefore who would be serviceable to the souls of others must first make it appear that they are solicitous about their own souls. To help to pull the mote out of our brother's eye is a good work, but then we must qualify ourselves for it by beginning with ourselves; and our reforming our own lives may, by the influence of example, contribute to others reforming theirs.