|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
12:22-40 Christ largely insisted upon this caution not to give way to disquieting, perplexing cares, Mt 6:25-34. The arguments here used are for our encouragement to cast our care upon God, which is the right way to get ease. As in our stature, so in our state, it is our wisdom to take it as it is. An eager, anxious pursuit of the things of this world, even necessary things, ill becomes the disciples of Christ. Fears must not prevail; when we frighten ourselves with thoughts of evil to come, and put ourselves upon needless cares how to avoid it. If we value the beauty of holiness, we shall not crave the luxuries of life. Let us then examine whether we belong to this little flock. Christ is our Master, and we are his servants; not only working servants, but waiting servants. We must be as men that wait for their lord, that sit up while he stays out late, to be ready to receive him. In this Christ alluded to his own ascension to heaven, his coming to call his people to him by death, and his return to judge the world. We are uncertain as to the time of his coming to us, we should therefore be always ready. If men thus take care of their houses, let us be thus wise for our souls. Be ye therefore ready also; as ready as the good man of the house would be, if he knew at what hour the thief would come.
Verse 32. - Fear not, little flock. Another term of tender endearment addressed to his own who were grouped near him. In the earlier part of this discourse (vet. 4) he had called them "my friends." He had told them of the troublous life which awaited them, but at the same time wished to show them how dear they were to him. It was as though he said, "Endure the thought of these necessary trials for my sake; are you not my chosen friends, for whom so glorious a future, if ye endure to the end, is reserved?"
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Fear not little flock,.... these words are particularly directed to the immediate apostles and disciples of Christ; but are true of all the saints in all ages of time, who are compared to a "flock of sheep", being separated from the rest of the world in election, redemption, and the effectual calling, and being folded together in a Gospel church state; and also for their patience, meekness, humility, and harmlessness: these are a "little" flock; few in number, when compared with the wicked of the world; and mean and despicable in the account of men; and little in their own eyes: these are subject to many "fears"; some relate to their outward state, and condition, as that they shall want food and raiment, and not have the necessaries of life; which seems to be in the first place here intended, as appears from the context: and some regard their spiritual and eternal estate, as lest they should have no interest in the love of God, and in the covenant, in the blessings and promises of his grace; lest they should not belong to Christ; or the good work of grace should not be begun in them; or that they should not persevere to the end, and should at last miscarry of eternal life and happiness: and these fears arise from a body of sin, from the temptations of Satan, the hidings of God's face, and the prevalence of unbelief; for they have no true reason for them: God is on their side, and will not leave, nor forsake them, nor shall they want any good thing Christ is their shepherd, and he has bought them, with his own blood, and will lose none of them; and therefore they need not fear being taken care of both in soul and body, for time and eternity: and especially when what follows is considered,
for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom; not only the Gospel, and the knowledge of the mysteries of it; nor the Gospel church state, and a right to all its ordinances; nor only the kingdom of grace, which cannot be moved; but the kingdom of glory: and which is a gift unto them, not obtained by any deserts or works of theirs; nor is their right unto, and enjoyment of it depending upon any such thing: and it their Father's gift, who is so by adopting grace, and through Christ Jesus their Lord; and which he gives according to his sovereign will and pleasure, and with a good will, delighting in them, and rejoicing over them to do them good, both here and hereafter: so that they may depend upon every good thing needful for them both in this world, and in the world to come; nor should they indulge anxious cares, or slavish fears.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
32. little flock, &c.—How sublime and touching a contrast between this tender and pitying appellation, "Little flock" (in the original a double diminutive, which in German can be expressed, but not in English)—and the "good pleasure" of the Father to give them the Kingdom; the one recalling the insignificance and helplessness of that then literal handful of disciples, the other holding up to their view the eternal love that encircled them, the everlasting arms that were underneath them, and the high inheritance awaiting them!—"the kingdom"; grand word; then why not "bread" (Lu 12:31 [Bengel]). Well might He say, "Fear not!"
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