[1.] It will redound to our profit; for our reward shall be great, Luke 6:35. What is given, or laid out, or lent and lost on earth, from a true principle of charity, will be made up to us in the other world, unspeakably to our advantage. "You shall not only be repaid, but rewarded, greatly rewarded; it will be said to you, Come, ye blessed, inherit the kingdom."
[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 (Luke 6:36), Be merciful, as your Father is merciful; this explains Matthew 5:48, "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, Colossians 3:14. 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. 43 For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 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. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. 46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? 47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: 48 He is like a man which built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. 49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built a house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.
All these sayings of Christ we had before in Matthew; some of them in Matthew 7:1-29, 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, Luke 6:37. 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 (Luke 6:38): 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 (Hebrews 6:10), 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.