|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:20-26 Here begins a discourse of Christ, most of which is also found in Mt 5; 7. But some think that this was preached at another time and place. All believers that take the precepts of the gospel to themselves, and live by them, may take the promises of the gospel to themselves, and live upon them. Woes are denounced against prosperous sinners as miserable people, though the world envies them. Those are blessed indeed whom Christ blesses, but those must be dreadfully miserable who fall under his woe and curse! What a vast advantage will the saint have over the sinner in the other world! and what a wide difference will there be in their rewards, how much soever the sinner may prosper, and the saint be afflicted here!
Verse 24. - But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. These "rich" referred to here signify men of good social position. These, as a class, opposed Jesus with a bitter and unreasoning opposition. Again the same warning cry to the so-called fortunate ones of this world is re-echoed with greater force in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. "Thou in thy lifetime," said Abraham, speaking from Paradise to the poor lost Dives, "receivedst thy good things;" and yet the very characters represented in that most awful of the parable-stories of the pitiful Lord correct any false notion which, from words like these, men may entertain respecting the condemnation of the rich and great because they are rich and great. Abraham, who speaks the grave stern words, was himself a sheik of great power and consideration, and at the same time very rich. Prophets and apostles, as well as the Son of God, never ceased to warn men of the danger of misusing wealth and power; but at the same time they always represented these dangerous gifts as gifts from God, capable of a noble use, and, if nobly used, these teachers sent by God pointed out, these gifts would bring to the men who so used them a proportional reward.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But woe unto you that are rich,.... Not in worldly riches and substance, for some of these have been, and are happy persons in a spiritual sense; and at most, it can only mean such, who trust in their riches, and place their, happiness in them; but it chiefly regards such, as are rich in their own opinion, and stand in need of nothing; who place their confidence in their own righteousness, and do not apply to Christ, in whom alone are durable riches and righteousness:
for ye have received your consolation; which they take from their own works, and a very unstable and short lived one it is; for while they are crying Peace, Peace, to themselves, from their own services, sudden destruction comes upon them, and all their comforts vanish away: for there is no true solid comfort but in Christ, and in his righteousness; that administers consolation now, and lays a foundation for everlasting comfort hereafter.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
24, 25. rich … full … laugh—who have all their good things and joyous feelings here and now, in perishable objects.
received your consolation—(see on Lu 16:25).
shall hunger—their inward craving strong as ever, but the materials of satisfaction forever gone.
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