From:  Over 50 Interpreters Explain the Gospel of Luke Return to Home 

By Roland H. Worth, Jr.  © 2015


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Verses 27-49




Books Utilized Code Numbers at End of Chapter




6:27                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    "But to you who are listening to me I say, Love your enemies; seek the welfare of those who hate you;

WEB:              "But I tell you who hear: love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,

Young’s:         'But I say to you who are hearing, Love your enemies, do good to those hating you,
Conte (RC):   But I say to you who are listening: Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you.


6:27                 But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies.  This had been distinctly the spirit of the highest part of the Law and the Old Testament.  Exodus 23:4, “If thou meet thin enemy’s ox or ass going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again.”  Proverbs 25:21, “If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat.”  Yet in many passages it had practically been said “to men of old time,” at any rate in some cases, “thou shalt hate thine enemy,” Deuteronomy 7:2, 23:6; 1 Chronicles 20:3; 2 Samuel 12:31; Psalms cxxxvii. 8, 9, etc.  On these passages the Pharisaic Jews, after the Exile, had so exclusively fed, that we find the Talmud ringing with precepts of hatred the most bitter against all Gentiles, and the ancients had, not unnaturally, been led to the conclusion that detestation of all but Jews was a part of the Jewish religion (“adversus omnes alios hostile odium,” Tacitus, Histories, v. 5; Juvenal Sat., xiv. 103).  [56]

                        do good to them which hate you.  The love enjoined is, essentially, good will.  It expresses itself in prayer to God for their welfare, in kindness of word, and in benevolence of act.  [52]

                        See the precept beautifully enforced in Romans 12:17, 19-21.  [56]



6:28                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    bless those who curse you; pray for those who revile you.

WEB:              bless those who curse you, and pray for those who mistreat you. 

Young’s:         bless those cursing you, and pray for those accusing you falsely;
Conte (RC):   Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who slander you.


6:28                 Bless them that curse you.  Do not give back to them what you have received from them.  In a very real sense this is one form of the “turning the other cheek” that is enjoined in the next verse:   enduring unjust insult without returning the excessive and unjustified behavior.  [rw]

and pray for them which despitefully use you.  Those that have “done us dirty” through lies, prejudice, ignorance, or simply because they have the power to do so.  Rather than praying for a meteorite to hit them on the head, pray that they might learn justice and equity.  Once I happened upon in the church files where I attended a letter “disfellowshipping” a certain individual.  I was deeply amused since it was the same person who had played a significant role in having it done to me a few years earlier!  I could have prayed, “Thank you Lord!” but instead I prayed, “Lord, may he learn from this never to treat people that unjustly again.”  (For the accusations against him bore an uncanny parallel to those against me.)

It certainly was never intended for us to pray that they might prosper in their continued doing wrong nor for the well being and success which will be taken by them as confirmation that their behavior is blessed by God.  But for their growth in knowledge and insight and that they might repent and change their behavior--that is profoundly different. 

Nor did Jesus’ insistence on them being prayed for do away with our obligations to treat them decently and right—think of the wandering ox being returned to the enemy in the Old Testament.  When Jesus first said “bless them” before giving this additional admonition, he surely was not referring to mere polite language in dealing with their excess, but in doing right to them (and their possessions) as well. [rw]

                        despitefully use you.  The Greek word implies the coarsest insults, and is found in 1 Peter 3:16.  Luke alone records our Lord’s prayer for His murderers, 23:34, from which Stephen learnt his, Acts 7:60.  [56]



6:29                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    To him who gives you a blow on one side of the face offer the other side also; and to him who is robbing you of your outer garment refuse not the under one also.

WEB:              To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer also the other; and from him who takes away your cloak, don't withhold your coat also.  

Young’s:         and to him smiting thee upon the cheek, give also the other, and from him taking away from thee the mantle, also the coat thou mayest not keep back.
Conte (RC):   And to him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your coat, do not withhold even your tunic.


6:29                 And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other.  Instead of using it as a reason to “smack his own head off.”  Again, don’t return aggression for aggression.  [rw]

Our Lord, for instance, himself did not offer himself to be stricken again (John xviii. 22, 23), but firmly, though with exquisite courtesy, rebuked the one who struck him.  St. Paul, too (Acts xxiii. 3), never dreamed of obeying the letter of this charge.  It is but an assertion of a great principle, and so, with the exception of a very few mistaken fanatics, all the great teachers of Christianity have understood it.  [18]

                        and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also.  Be willing to give him even more than he demands.  [rw]



6:30                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    To every one who asks, give; and from him who takes away your property, do not demand it back.

WEB:              Give to everyone who asks you, and don't ask him who takes away your goods to give them back again.       

Young’s:         'And to every one who is asking of thee, be giving; and from him who is taking away thy goods, be not asking again;
Conte (RC):   But distribute to all who ask of you. And do not ask again of him who takes away what is yours.


6:30                 Give to every man that asketh thee.  Literally, “be giving,” implying a habit, not a [single] act.  [56]

St Augustine:  "He says not, 'Give all things to him that asks,' but 'Give  to every one that asketh'; that you shall only give what you can give honestly and rightly.  For what if one man asks for money to be employed in oppressing the innocent man?  What if he ask your consent to unclean sin?  We must give then, only what will hurt neither ourselves nor others, as far as man can judge; and when you have refused an inadmissible request, that you may not send away empty him that asked, show the righteousness of your refusal, and such conviction of the unlawful petitioner will often be a better gift than the granting his suit."  [30]

                        Remember, that, as God approveth not alms, or any other work, without charity [love], so neither charity itself without discretion. Relieve the poor; but those, who are poor indeed; and the poor indeed are they, who not only want the things they ask, but want also the means to get without asking.  1 Tim. v. 3; Ecclus. xii. 1-7-— Bp. Sanderson.  [36]

                        and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again.  Theft seems unlikely to be under consideration:  a thief normally does not leave his name behind so you’ll know who to protest to!  Hence Jesus seems to have in mind when individuals “under color of law”—presumably using it as a pretext—seizes one’s goods.  Asking for them back isn’t going to get them back; it may even cause them to laugh at your lack of power.  Better to suffer injustice with dignity than to suffer injustice and be insulted as well.  [rw]



6:31                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    And behave to your fellow men just as you would have them behave to you.

WEB:              "As you would like people to do to you, do exactly so to them.  

Young’s:         and as ye wish that men may do to you, do ye also to them in like manner;
Conte (RC):   And exactly as you would want people to treat you, treat them also the same.


6:31                 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.  The golden rule of Christianity of which our Lord said that it was “the Law and the Prophets,” Matthew 7:12.  The modern “Altruism” [is] but a mutilated reproduction of this.  [56]

                        Most humans expect good treatment and become quite upset when they do not receive it.  Ironically the same individuals are oblivious when they are “giving out” such treatment to others.  The world does not exist for either you or me.  It exists for all of us.  [rw] 



6:32                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    "If you love those who love you, what credit is it to you? Why, even bad men love those who love them.

WEB:              If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.          

Young’s:         and -- if ye love those loving you, what grace have ye? for also the sinful love those loving them;
Conte (RC):   And if you love those who love you, what credit is due to you? For even sinners love those who love them.


6:32                 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye [what credit is that to you]?  You aren’t deserving of praise in such circumstances.  You are doing what is natural habit.  Treating others well who we do not have any special ties to, that is a learned behavior and we have to go out of our way to develop it.  [rw]

for sinners also love those that love them.  Where Matthew (5:46, 47), writing for Jews, uses the term “tax-gatherers” or “Gentile persons” (ethnikoi), Luke naturally substitutes the nearest equivalents of those words in this connection, because he is writing for Gentiles.  Our Lord meant that our standard must rise above the ordinary dead level of law, habit, custom, which prevail in the world.  [56]



6:33                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    And if you are kind to those who are kind to you, what credit is it to you? Even bad men act thus.

WEB:              If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.  

Young’s:         and if ye do good to those doing good to you, what grace have ye? for also the sinful do the same;
Conte (RC):   And if you will do good to those who do good to you, what credit is due to you? Indeed, even sinners behave this way.


6:33                 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.  A restatement of the point made in the previous verse with “do(ing) good” being substituted for “love.”  If one is merely responding to what others “do” (positively) for us, it is the same even if the more positive word / concept of “love” does not attach to it.  Indeed one can easily imagine “do(ing) good” for those we inwardly hate—in order to get them to “return the favor” when we would find it useful.  The modern adage “rub my back and I’ll rub yours,” describes the phenomena quite well.  [rw]



6:34                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is it to you? Even bad men lend to their fellows so as to receive back an equal amount.

WEB:              If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive back as much.   

Young’s:         and if ye lend to those of whom ye hope to receive back, what grace have ye? for also the sinful lend to sinners -- that they may receive again as much.
Conte (RC):   And if you will loan to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is due to you? For even sinners lend to sinners, in order to receive the same in return.


6:34                 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye [what credit is that to you]?  It may refer to looking for interest on one's money, or perhaps only to get the principal back again, hoping, that is, that one will not lose what one has advanced.   Perhaps the more obvious thought is that of lending to others who want money, with the thought that when we have need to borrow, they will accommodate us in like manner.  [30]

                        for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.  Those the quite consciously “righteous” were actually nowhere near what they thought they were when they acted in the same way and out of the same purpose as those who were unquestionably “sinners.”  What was actually required was to act out of motives superior to such people—the kind Jesus is trying to instill in them.  [rw]  



6:35                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    Nevertheless love your enemies, be beneficent; and lend without hoping for any repayment. Then your recompense shall be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

WEB:              But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back; and your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind toward the unthankful and evil.           

Young’s:         'But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again, and your reward will be great, and ye shall be sons of the Highest, because He is kind unto the ungracious and evil;
Conte (RC):   So truly, love your enemies. Do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return. And then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and to the wicked.


6:35                 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great.  Because you did it without any motive of getting something out of it.  [rw]

and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.  By imitating this example of God—giving even to those He will not even receive courteous respect from—we become His children.  We imitate Him.  We share His attitude.  “Godliness” is not merely a matter of overt religion; it is also a matter of everyday behavior in the “world” in which we live.  [rw]



6:36                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate.

WEB:              Therefore be merciful, even as your Father is also merciful.         

Young’s:         be ye therefore merciful, as also your Father is merciful.
Conte (RC):   Therefore, be merciful, just as your Father is also merciful.


6:36                 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.  Unless we—in incredible blindness—claim to be wiser than the Creator, then it is only from Him that we can possibly hope to learn the right standard of behavior.  When we meditate upon how merciful He is in relation to a mankind that is chronically in rebellion against both His religious and moral standards, we should be awed into practicing “mercy” on the far, far more limited scale that it is required of us.       

                        Matthew has “perfect” [of both man and God] (5:48); but that there is no essential difference between the two Evangelists we may see in such expression as “the Father of Mercies,” 2 Corinthians 1:3; “The Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy,” James 5:11; “Put on therefore as the elect of God . . . bowels of mercies, kindness,” Colossians 3:12; Isaiah 30:18.  “God can only be our ideal in His moral attributes, of which Love is the center.”  Van Oosterzee.  “It is an attribute to God Himself, / And earthly power doth then show likest God’s / When mercy seasons justice.”  --Shakespeare.  [56]



6:37                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    "Judge not, and you shall not be judged; condemn not, and you shall not be condemned; pardon, and you shall be pardoned;

WEB:              Don't judge, and you won't be judged. Don't condemn, and you won't be condemned. Set free, and you will be set free.

Young’s:         'And judge not, and ye may not be judged; condemn not, and ye may not be condemned; release, and ye shall be released.
Conte (RC):   Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.


6:37                 Judge not.  There are four kinds of mercy to be exercised.  The first consists in not judging of secret intentions when they do not appear by the actions; in renouncing that inquisitive, rash, and malicious desire which puts us upon searching into the heart.  [27]

                        For comment read Romans 2:1-3, 14:10, “Why dost thou judge thy brother? . . .  for we shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ;” 1 Corinthians 4:3-5, [chapter] 13, and the Lord’s prayer; James 2:13, “he shall have judgment without mercy that hath showed no mercy.”  Hence a “righteous judgment” of others is not forbidden, so long as it be made in a forbearing and tender spirit, John 7:24.  [56]

                        and ye shall not be judged.  The best way to keep other people from putting a harsh evaluation on what you do and say is by avoiding treating them in that manner.  It doesn’t guarantee it, of course; but the best way to assure that you will have the worst motive and intention attributed to you is by having the reputation of regularly treating others with the assumption of malicious intent.  [rw]

                        condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned.  If you are known as always condemning others, why should any one else seek a reason not to provide the harshest condemnation of your actions and rhetoric as well?  It’s somewhat like training a dog:  train them to be mean and they’ll be mean.  Dogs may be cowed into submission out of fear, but humans have the nasty habit of waiting until they can “bite” with a vengeance.  [rw]     

                        forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.  The “judge” and the “condemn” involve negative language and behavior toward others.  Here Jesus shifts to the positive of forgiveness.  The simple truth of the matter is that every one of us either has or will—or both!—done something to others that we have to apologize for and ask their forgiveness (whether the specific term is invoked or not).  It is sometimes called “eating crow.”  But regardless of the language we are in a moral debt to others and know it and seek to have the debt—well, forgiven.  [rw]



6:38                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    give, and gifts shall be bestowed on you. Full measure, pressed, shaken down, and running over, shall they pour into your laps; for with the same measure that you use they shall measure to you in return."

WEB:              "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be given to you. For with the same measure you measure it will be measured back to you."

Young’s:         'Give, and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed, and shaken, and running over, they shall give into your bosom; for with that measure with which ye measure, it shall be measured to you again.'
Conte (RC):   Give, and it will be given to you: a good measure, pressed down and shaken together and overflowing, they will place upon your lap. Certainly, the same measure that you use to measure out, will be used to measure back to you again."


6:38                 Give.  What?  All possible help, by word, deed, sympathy, and material contributions.  It is a comprehensive restatement of the law of love in practice.  [52]

                        and it shall be given unto you. You will reap what you sow.  [rw]

                        good measure, pressed down.  As figs or grapes might be, and thus many more be put into the measure.   [11]

                        and shaken together.  To make it more compact and thus to give more.  [11]

                        and running over.  Even when it is full and more is successfully added to the volume—even then more is added so it overflows.  Such is the abundance one reaps.  [rw]

shall men give 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; Ruth 3:15.  [11]

                        The image is an Eastern one.  In the dress then worn, a large bag-shaped fold in the robe above the cincture or girdle was used instead of a pocket.  [18]

                        For with the same measure that ye mete withal [the same measure that you use, NKJV], it shall be measured to you again.  The same words we find in the Jerusalem Targum on Genesis 38:26.  [1] 

                        A proverb almost verbally identical with this is found in the Talmud, but it must be remembered that the earliest parts of the Talmud were not committed to writing till more than two centuries after Christ, and long before that time His sayings may have been “in the air,” i.e., they may have passed unconsciously into the store of the national wisdom even among His enemies.  [56]



6:39                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    He also spoke to them in figurative language. "Can a blind man lead a blind man?" He asked; "would not both fall into the ditch?

WEB:              He spoke a parable to them. "Can the blind guide the blind? Won't they both fall into a pit?  

Young’s:         And he spake a simile to them, 'Is blind able to lead blind? shall they not both fall into a pit?
Conte (RC):   Now he told them another comparison: "How can the blind lead the blind? Would they not both fall into a pit?


6:39                 And He spake a parable unto them.  Luke calls this “a parable” in the broader sense; and in this Gospel the Sermon thus ends with four vivid “parables” or similes taken from the sights of daily life—blind leaders of blind; the mote and the beam; good and bad fruit; the two houses.  [56]

Can the blind lead the blind?  Not in the Sermon on the Mount, but recorded by Matthew in another and very striking connection (15:14).  [16]

                         Proverbs 19:27, “Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err.”  Paul taunts the Jew with professing to be “a guide of the blind,” Romans 2:19.  [56]  

                        shall they not both fall into the ditch?  Falling flat on their face would have said it too or any other physical misadventure caused by the lack of sight.  But falling into a ditch has a certain element of drama to it—it is a major fall (ditches aren’t a mere inch or two deep), the fall will inflict pain and quite easily significant injury, there is likely “mess” of one kind or another at the bottom, and help will likely be needed to get out of it.  Elements that, on a spiritual level, will be the result if either teacher or disciple persists in turning their back on Jesus’ teaching.  In short, without it the only question is when and not whether one will fall into major error of either belief or behavior.  [rw] 



6:40                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    There is no disciple who is superior to his teacher; but every one whose instruction is complete will be like his teacher.

WEB:              A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.                     

Young’s:         A disciple is not above his teacher, but every one perfected shall be as his teacher.
Conte (RC):   The disciple is not above his teacher. But each one will be perfected, if he is like his teacher.


6:40                 The disciple is not above his master.  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 that if they were blind, their followers would be also; and that, therefore, it was important for them to fully understand the [fundamentals] of the gospel and not to be blind leaders of the blind.  [11]

                        but every one that is perfect [perfectly trained, NKJV] shall be as his master.  Any student may feel despair and tossed about in concern as they wrestle with the teaching they are hearing.  But if they take the time and effort to become “perfect”—complete—in their understanding of it, then they will become reliable teachers as well.  [rw]   



6:41                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    "And why look at the splinter in your brother's eye instead of giving careful attention to the beam in your own?

WEB:              Why do you see the speck of chaff that is in your brother's eye, but don't consider the beam that is in your own eye?

Young’s:         And why dost thou behold the mote that is in thy brother's eye, and the beam that is in thine own eye dost not consider?
Conte (RC):   And why do you see the straw that is in your brother's eye, while the log that is in your own eye, you do not consider?


6:41                 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  The hypocrite sees (blepei) at the slightest glance the mote in his brother’s eye; but not the most careful inspection enables him to observe (katanoein) the very obvious beam.  [56]

                        mote . . . beam.  The entire illustration is Jewish and was used to express impatience of just reproof so that “mote” and “beam” became proverbial for little and great faults.  The proverb also implies, “How can you see others faults properly with a beam in the depth of your eye (Matthew 7:5)?  How dare you condemn when you are so much worse?  [56] 


6:42                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take that splinter out of your eye,' when all the while you yourself do not see the beam in your own eye? Vain pretender! take the beam out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother's eye.

WEB:              Or how can you tell your brother, 'Brother, let me remove the speck of chaff that is in your eye,' when you yourself don't see the beam that is in your own eye? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck of chaff that is in your brother's eye.           

Young’s:         or how art thou able to say to thy brother, Brother, suffer, I may take out the mote that is in thine eye -- thyself the beam in thine own eye not beholding? Hypocrite, take first the beam out of thine own eye, and then thou shalt see clearly to take out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.
Conte (RC):   Or how can you say to your brother, 'Brother, allow me to remove the straw from your eye,' while you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? Hypocrite, first remove the log from your own eye, and then will you see clearly, so that you may lead out the straw from your brother's eye.


6:42                 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?  It is a strange folly, that men will not endeavor to instruct and heal themselves before they undertake to instruct and heal others.  It is no other than a continual state of hypocrisy, for a man to take upon him a ministry which consists in directing and instructing souls, and to make a show of exercising  these functions, when he is altogether unable to perform them by reason of his ignorance, his want of application, and perhaps his incapacity to learn the several duties of his station.  [27]

                        to thy brother, Brother.  The word shows that Jesus has in view the relation of members of His kingdom and is concerned lest the spirit of Pharisaism should establish itself there.  [52] 

                        mote.  A difference between how we should evaluate other’s sins and our own?:   I know there is a difference of sins.  Our Saviour tells us there is a beam, and there is a mote; but withal this I know, that the best way to keep us from sin is to fear and to loathe even the least, as if it were the greatest.  If we look through this glass, it will make every mote a beam.  Sins, in themselves, are unequal; but, in regard of us, and of our endeavors to avoid them, they are all equal— J. Hales. [36] 

Thou hypocrite.  Romans 2:1, “Wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself.”  “If we condemn others when we are worse than they, we are like bad trees pretending to bear good fruit.”  Bengel.

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.  Start with self-correction:  It always seems easier to “help” fix other people’s problems, than our own even when they are worse.  It is so easy to dismiss excuses and dodges and explanations when we would find the same reactions as adequate reasons to avoid any changes on our own part.  By the fact that we have changed, we have the moral right to urge others to do so as well.  [rw] 



6:43                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    "There is no good tree that yields unsound fruit, nor again any unsound tree that yields good fruit.

WEB:              For there is no good tree that brings forth rotten fruit; nor again a rotten tree that brings forth good fruit.         

Young’s:         'For there is not a good tree making bad fruit, nor a bad tree making good fruit;
Conte (RC):   For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor does an evil tree produce good fruit.


6:43                 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.  Our behavior manifests what we truly are.  However righteous and godly and Bible obeying we claim to be, we show it all to be a pretence when our behavior manifests attitudes and actions contrary to its teachings.  We may blind ourselves to the gap because our “orthodoxy” is unquestionable—and on abstract teaching it might even be so!—but that is never enough, standing alone, to make us acceptable to God.  [rw]  



6:44                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    Every tree is known by its own fruit. It is not from thorns that men gather figs, nor from the bramble that they can get a bunch of grapes.

WEB:              For each tree is known by its own fruit. For people don't gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush.          

Young’s:         for each tree from its own fruit is known, for not from thorns do they gather figs, nor from a bramble do they crop a grape.
Conte (RC):  For each and every tree is known by its fruit. For they do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather the grape from the bramble bush.


6:44                 For every tree is known by his own fruit.  For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.  Our nature is judged by what we do and not merely by what we believe.  Indeed, our excess in behavior can easily be used as an excuse to reject the truth we hold as well.  Many a time it has been said:  “If that is what it means to be a Christian, I don’t want to be one!  Why should others go to Hell just because we are determined to send ourselves there?  [rw] 


                        In depth:  Good and bad and the Manichean heresy [18].  This portion of the report of the great sermon, at one period of the Church's history, possessed a special importance.  It was used as one of the foundations of the system of dualism taught in the once widespread Manichaean heresy, which apparently reached its culminating period of popularity in the fifth century.  This heretical school taught that there were two original principles--one good, from which good proceeded; one evil, from which evil came; that there were two races of men, having severally their descent from the one and from the other.  The Manichaean teachers, while rejecting many of the Christian doctrines, made much of the sermon on the mount, calling it the  "Divine discourse,"  mainly on account of the statement we are here discussing.  Yet here, when the words of Jesus are carefully considered, there is no assertion of Manichaean dualism, neither does the Master hint that there is anything irrevocably fixed in men's natures, so that some can never become good, and others never evil, but only that, so long as a man is as an evil tree, he cannot bring forth good fruit; that if he would do good he must first be good  



6:45                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    A good man from the good stored up in his heart brings out what is good; and an evil man from the evil stored up brings out what is evil; for from the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

WEB:              The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings out that which is good, and the evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings out that which is evil, for out of the abundance of the heart, his mouth speaks. 

Young’s:         The good man out of the good treasure of his heart doth bring forth that which is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart doth bring forth that which is evil; for out of the abounding of the heart doth his mouth speak.
Conte (RC):  A good man, from the good storehouse of his heart, offers what is good. And an evil man, from the evil storehouse, offers what is evil. For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.


6:45                 A good man.  This verse is not found in the Sermon on the Mount, as recorded by Matthew, but is recorded by him in chapter 12:35.  [11]

                        out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good.  It reflects the essence of the person.  If your character is fundamentally sound and praiseworthy, how you act toward others will reflect that value system.  [rw]

                        and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil.  What you are is inevitably reflected in how you act:  that is true not only in those cases when behavior is beneficial and constructive to others (as in the first example), but also when it is destructive and hurts and injures others.  When it does that, no plea of inner purity and good will is of any value:  you have stripped the pretense from your claims and revealed you, in your nakedness, as fundamentally flawed in character.  [rw]  

                        for of the abundance of the heart.  “O veneration of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things?”  Matthew 12:34; “the vile person will speak villany,” Isaiah 32:6.  [56]

It is not true, as some allege, that no one can know anything of the state of another's heart, and that, although men are living wickedly, they have good hearts.  If a man's conversation [= behavior] is carnal, worldly, irreligious or profane, his heart is of a corresponding character.  [9]

                        his mouth speaketh.  Words are our means of communication.  Whether intended or not, they are revelations of our own true character.  When our heart is a bubbling pot of suspicion, contempt, and conceit what comes out of our mouth will reflect that reality.  When our words encourage others to live up to their own full potential for good, when we are more interested in their reformation than their censure—in such cases we see a heart interested in what is noble and praiseworthy.  [rw]



6:46                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    "And why do you all call me 'Master, Master' and yet not do what I tell you?

WEB:              "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and don't do the things which I say?

Young’s:         'And why do ye call me, Lord, Lord, and do not what I say?
Conte (RC):   But why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and not do what I say?


6:46                 And why call ye Me, Lord, Lord.  [This] suggests the vain effort to make up in loudness and persistency of lip-service for the absence of good works.  The foolish virgins cry "Lord, Lord" at the door of the house where the wedding is being celebrated; and the souls of the lost cry "Lord, Lord" at the bar of judgment [Matthew 25], yet in every case that plea is in vain despite its [repetition].  [30] 

                        “If I be a master, where is my fear, saith the Lord of hosts?”  Malachi 1:6.  Painful comments are supplied by the language of two parables, Matthew 25:11, 12; Luke 13:25.  [56]      

                        and do not the things which I say?  Even in earthly matters one obeyed one’s earthly master whether slave to owner or employee to boss or student to teacher.  The respectful words are repudiated by behavior that undercuts or refuses to do what one has been told to do.  [rw] 



6:47                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    Every one who comes to me and listens to my words and puts them in practice, I will show you whom he is like.

WEB:              Everyone who comes to me, and hears my words, and does them, I will show you who he is like.       

Young’s:         Every one who is coming unto me, and is hearing my words, and is doing them, I will shew you to whom he is like;
Conte (RC):   Anyone who comes to me, and listens to my words, and does them: I will reveal to you what he is like.


6:47                 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like.  John 13:17.  “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only,” James 1:22.  [56]

To "hear" the saying of Christ is just to have them addressed to us, to have an opportunity of becoming  acquainted with them.  To "do" these sayings is something more than merely to perform the actions which he requires; it is to conform the whole inward and outward life to them, to form our whole character by them, to fashion our habits of thought, feeling and action in accordance with them.  [9]



6:48                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    He is like a man building a house, who digs and goes deep, and lays the foundation on the rock; and when a flood comes, the torrent bursts upon that house, but is unable to shake it, because it is securely built.

WEB:              He is like a man building a house, who dug and went deep, and laid a foundation on the rock. When a flood arose, the stream broke against that house, and could not shake it, because it was founded on the rock.  

Young’s:         he is like to a man building a house, who did dig, and deepen, and laid a foundation upon the rock, and a flood having come, the stream broke forth on that house, and was not able to shake it, for it had been founded upon the rock.
Conte (RC):   He is like a man building a house, who has dug deep and has laid the foundation upon the rock. Then, when the floodwaters came, the river was rushing against that house, and it was not able to move it. For it was founded upon the rock.  


6:48                 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock.  The E.V. here loses all the picturesque force of the original.  Rather, “he is like a man building a house, who dug, and kept deepening, and laid a foundation on the rock.”  The rock is Christ and the teaching of Christ (1 Corinth-ians 10:4).  Whether tested by flood, or by fire (1 Corinthians 3:11-15), only the genuine building stands.  [56] 

                        and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.  Such a thing as the Saviour here describes might happen in our land, but it was far more likely to happen in Judea, where the rains are periodical.  When they descend they often descend in torrents, and continue to do so with unabated violence for a number of days.  In consequence of this a deluge rushes down with dreadful impetuosity from the high grounds to the plains.  The huts of the inhabitants--generally formed of clay hardened in the sun--are exposed to great danger.  They are often literally melted down by the heavy rains, or undermined, and then overturned by the furious gusts of wind, and when not founded on the solid rock are swept away by the resistless torrent.  [9]

                        Not only is the true believer, however, destined to trials and afflictions, but so is the man, also, whose religion is false.  [9]                  



6:49                                                     Translations

Weymouth:    But he who has heard and not practised is like a man who has built a house upon the soft soil without a foundation, against which the torrent bursts, and immediately it collapses, and terrible is the wreck and ruin of that house."

WEB:              But he who hears, and doesn't do, is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream broke, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great."           

Young’s:         'And he who heard and did not, is like to a man having builded a house upon the earth, without a foundation, against which the stream brake forth, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house became great.'
Conte (RC):   But whoever hears and does not do: he is like a man building his house upon the soil, without a foundation. The river rushed against it, and it soon fell down, and the ruin of that house was great."


6:49                 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.  On this passage, father Quesnel, who was a most rigid predestinarian, makes the following judicious remark, “It is neither by the speculations of astrologers, nor by the Calvinian assurance of predestination, that we can discover what will be our portion for ever:  but it is by the examination of our heart, and the consideration of our life, that we may in some measure [predict] our eternal state.  Without a holy heart and a holy life, all is ruinous in the hour of temptation, and in the day of wrath.”  To this may be added, “he that believeth on the Son of God, hath the witness in himself” (1 John 5:10).” [1]

                        upon the earth.  In St. Matthew, more graphically, “upon the sand;” e.g. the sand of superficial intellectual acceptance.  [56]


                        In depth:  How a person might indeed make the mistake of the unwise builder [18].  "The surrounding scenery may, in this as in other instances, have suggested the illustration.  As in all hilly countries, the streams of Galilee rush down the torrent-beds during the winter and early spring, sweep all before them, overflow their banks, and leave beds of alluvial deposit on either side.  When summer comes their waters fail (comp. Jer. xv. 18; Job vi. 15), and what had seemed a goodly river is then a tract covered with debris of stones and sand.  A stranger coming to build might be attracted by the ready-prepared level surface of the sand.  It would be easier to build there instead of working upon the hard and rugged rock.  But the people of the land would know and mock the folly of such a builder, and he would pass (our Lord's words may possibly refer to something that had actually occurred) into a byword of reproach.  On such a house the winter torrent had swept down in its fury, and the storms had raged, and then the fair fabric, on which time and money had been expended, had given way and fallen into a heap of ruins" (Dean Plumptre). 







Books Utilized

(with number code)



1          =          Adam Clarke.  The New Testament . . . with a Commentary and

Critical Notes.  Volume I:   Matthew to the Acts.   Reprint, Nashville,

Tennessee:  Abingdon Press.


2          =          Marvin R. Vincent.  Word Studies in the New Testament.  Volume I:

The Synoptic  Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, Epistles of Peter, James,

and Jude.  New York:  Charles Scribner's Sons, 1887; 1911 printing.


3          =          J. S. Lamar.  Luke.  [Eugene S. Smith, Publisher; reprint, 1977 (?)]


4          =          Charles H. Hall.  Notes, Practical and Expository on the Gospels;

volume two:  Luke-John.  New York:  Hurd and Houghton, 1856,



5          =          John Kitto.  Daily Bible Illustrations.  Volume II:  Evening Series: 

The Life and Death of Our Lord.  New York:  Robert Carter and

Brothers, 1881.


6          =          Thomas M. Lindsay.  The Gospel According to St. Luke.  Two

volumes.  New York:  Scribner & Welford, 1887.


7          =          W. H. van Doren.  A Suggestive Commentary on the New Testament: 

Saint Luke.  Two volumes.  New York:  D. Appleton and Company,



8          =          Melancthon W. Jacobus.  Notes on the Gospels, Critical and

Explanatory:  Luke and John.  New York:  Robert Carter &

Brothers, 1856; 1872 reprint.


9          =          Alfred Nevin.  Popular Expositor of the Gospels and Acts:  Luke. 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:  Ziegler & McCurdy, 1872.


10        =          Alfred Nevin.  The Parables of Jesus.  Philadelphia:  Presbyterian

Board of Publication, 1881.


11        =          Albert Barnes.  "Luke."  In Barnes' Notes on the New Testament.

Reprint, Kregel Publications, 1980.


12        =          Alexander B. Bruce.  The Synoptic Gospels.  In The Expositor's

Greek Testament, edited by W. Robertson Nicoll.  Reprint, Grand

Rapids, Michigan:  Wm. B.   Eerdmans Publishing Company.


13        =          F. Godet.  A Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke.  Translated

from the Second French Edition by E. W. Shalders and M. D. Cusin.

New York:  I. K. Funk & Company, 1881.


14        =          D. D. Whedon.  Commentary on the Gospels:  Luke-John.   New

York:  Carlton & Lanahan, 1866; 1870 reprint.   


15        =          Henry Alford.  The Greek Testament.  Volume I:  The Four Gospels.

Fifth Edition.  London:  Rivingtons, 1863.  


16        =          David Brown.   "Luke" in Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and

David Brown,  A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the

Old and New Testaments.  Volume II:  New Testament.  Hartford:

S. S. Scranton Company, no date.


17        =          Dr. [no first name provided] MacEvilly.  An Exposition of the Gospel

of St. Luke.  New York:  Benziger Brothers, 1886.


18        =          H. D. M. Spence.  “Luke.”  In the Pulpit Commentary, edited by H. D.

M. Spence.  Reprinted by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company,



19        =          John Calvin.  Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists,

Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  Translated by William Pringle.  Reprint,

Grand Rapids, Michigan:  Wm. B.    Eerdmans Publishing Company.


20        =          Thomas Scott.  The Holy Bible . . . with Explanatory Notes (and)

Practical Observations.  Boston:  Crocker and Brewster.


21        =          Henry T. Sell.  Bible Studies in the Life of Christ:  Historical and

Constructive.  New York:  Fleming H. Revell Company, 1902.


22        =          Philip Vollmer.  The Modern Student's Life of Christ.  New York:

Fleming H. Revell Company, 1912.


23        =          Heinrich A. W. Meyer.  Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the

Gospels of Mark and Luke.  Translated from the Fifth German

Edition by Robert Ernest Wallis.  N. Y.:  Funk and Wagnalls,

1884; 1893 printing. 


24        =          John Albert Bengel. Gnomon of the New Testament.  A New

                        Translation by Charlton T. Lewis and Marvin R. Vincent. 

Volume One.  Philadelphia:  Perkinpine & Higgins, 1860.


25        =          John Cummings.  Sabbath Evening Readers on the New Testa-

ment:  St. Luke.  London:  Arthur Hall, Virtue & Co,1854.


26        =          Walter F. Adeney, editor.  The Century Bible:  A Modern  

Commentary--Luke.  New York:  H. Frowdey, 1901.  Title page

missing from copy.


27        =          Pasquier Quesnel.  The Gospels with Reflections on Each Verse.

Volumes I and II.  (Luke is in part of both).  New York:  Anson

D. F. Randolph, 1855; 1867 reprint. 


28        =          Charles R. Erdman.  The Gospel of Luke:  An Exposition.

Philadelphia:  Westminster   Press, 1921; 1936 reprint.


29        =          Elvira J. Slack.  Jesus:  The Man of Galilee.  New York:  National

Board of the Young Womens Christian Associations, 1911.


30        =          Arthur Ritchie.  Spiritual Studies in St. Luke's Gospel.  Milwaukee:

The Young Churchman Company, 1906.


31        =          Bernhard Weiss.  A Commentary on the New Testament.  Volume

Two:  Luke-The Acts.  New York:  Funk & Wagnalls Company,1906.


32        =          Matthew Henry.  Commentary on the Whole Bible.  Volume V:

Matthew to John.  17--.  Reprint, New York:  Fleming H. Revell

Company, no date.


33        =          C. G. Barth.  The Bible Manual:  An Expository and Practical

Commentary on the Books of Scripture.  Second Edition.

London:  James Nisbet and Company, 1865.


34        =          Nathaniel S. Folsom.  The Four Gospels:  Translated . . . and with

Critical and Expository Notes.  Third Edition.  Boston:  Cupples,

Upham, and Company, 1871; 1885 reprint.


35        =          Henry Burton.  The Gospel according to Luke.  In the Expositor's

Bible series.  New York:  A. C. Armstrong and Son, 1895. 


36        =          [Anonymous].  Choice Notes on the Gospel of S. Luke, Drawn from

Old and New Sources.  London:  Macmillan & Company, 1869.


37        =          Marcus Dods.  The Parables of Our Lord.  New York:  Fleming H.

Revell Company, 18--. 


38        =          Alfred Edersheim.  The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah.  

Second Edition.  New York:  Anson D. F. Randolph and Company,



39        =          A. T. Robertson.  Luke the Historian in the Light of Research. 

New York:  Charles Scribner's Sons, 1920; 1930 reprint. 


40        =          James R. Gray.  Christian Workers' Commentary on the Old and

New Testaments.  Chicago:  Bible Institute Colportage Associat-

ion/Fleming H. Revell Company, 1915.


41        =          W. Sanday.  Outlines of the Life of Christ.  New York:  Charles

Scribner's Sons, 1905.


42        =          Halford E. Luccock.  Studies in the Parables of Jesus.  New York:

Methodist Book Concern, 1917.


43        =          George H. Hubbard.  The Teaching of Jesus in Parables.  New

York:  Pilgrim Press, 1907. 


44        =          Charles S. Robinson.  Studies in Luke's Gospel.  Second Series.

New York:American Tract Society, 1890.  


45        =          John Laidlaw.  The Miracles of Our Lord.  New York:  Funk &

Wagnalls Company,   1892.


46        =          William M. Taylor.  The Miracles of Our Saviour.  Fifth Edition.

New York:  A. C. Armstrong & Son, 1890; 1903 reprint.


47        =          Alexander Maclaren.  Expositions of Holy Scripture:  St. Luke.

New York:  George H. Doran Company, [no date].


48        =          George MacDonald.  The Miracles of Our Lord.  New York:

George Routledge & Sons, 1878. 


49        =          Joseph Parker.  The People's Bibles:  Discourses upon Holy Scrip-

                        tureMark-Luke.    New York:  Funk & Wagnalls Company, 18--.


50        =          Daniel Whitby and Moses Lowman.  A Critical Commentary and

Paraphrase on the New Testament:  The Four Gospels and the Acts

of the Apostles.  Philadelphia:  Carey & Hart, 1846.


51        =          Matthew Poole.  Annotations on the Holy Bible.  1600s.



52        =          George R. Bliss.  Luke.  In An American Commentary on the New

Testament.  Philadelphia:  American Baptist Publication Society,



53        =          J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton.  The Fourfold Gospel. 

1914.  Computerized.


54        =          John Trapp.  Commentary on the Old and New Testaments.  1654.



55        =          Ernest D. Burton and Shailer Matthews.  The Life of Christ.

Chicago, Illinois:  University of Chicago Press, 1900; 5th reprint,



56        =          Frederic W. Farrar.  The Gospel According to St. Luke.  In “The

Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges” series.  Cambridge:  At

the University Press, 1882.