|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:1-6 Differences of opinion prevailed even among the immediate followers of Christ and their disciples. Nor did St. Paul attempt to end them. Compelled assent to any doctrine, or conformity to outward observances without being convinced, would be hypocritical and of no avail. Attempts for producing absolute oneness of mind among Christians would be useless. Let not Christian fellowship be disturbed with strifes of words. It will be good for us to ask ourselves, when tempted to disdain and blame our brethren; Has not God owned them? and if he has, dare I disown them? Let not the Christian who uses his liberty, despise his weak brother as ignorant and superstitious. Let not the scrupulous believer find fault with his brother, for God accepted him, without regarding the distinctions of meats. We usurp the place of God, when we take upon us thus to judge the thoughts and intentions of others, which are out of our view. The case as to the observance of days was much the same. Those who knew that all these things were done away by Christ's coming, took no notice of the festivals of the Jews. But it is not enough that our consciences consent to what we do; it is necessary that it be certified from the word of God. Take heed of acting against a doubting conscience. We are all apt to make our own views the standard of truth, to deem things certain which to others appear doubtful. Thus Christians often despise or condemn each other, about doubtful matters of no moment. A thankful regard to God, the Author and Giver of all our mercies, sanctifies and sweetens them.
Verses 2, 3. - One believeth that he may eat all things (literally, believeth to - or, hath faith to - eat all things), but he that is weak eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. "He that eateth" is the one that has faith to eat all things; and it is against contempt on his part of the weak in faith that the admonition is mainly directed throughout the chapter (cf. also Romans 15:1). But the weak require an admonition too. Their temptation was to judge those who indulged in freedom which to themselves appeared unlawful; and here, in ver. 5, the apostle gives such as did so a sharp reproof. There is a tone of indignation in his σὺ τίς εῖ ὁ κρίνων; reminding us of his tone towards the Judaists in Galatia, who would have crippled Christian liberty. "God hath received him" refers evidently, as appears from its position and from the following verse, to him that eateth. God hath received him to himself in Christ, whosoever may sit in judgment on him. We observe that the verb προσελάβετο is the same as in ver. 1 and in Romans 15:7.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For one believeth that he may eat all things,.... He is fully persuaded in his mind, that there is nothing in itself common, or unclean; that the difference between clean and unclean meats, commanded to be observed by the law of Moses, is taken away; and that he may now lawfully eat any sort of food; every creature of God being good, and none to be refused, because of the ceremonial law which is abrogated, provided it, be received with thanksgiving, and used to the glory of God:
another who is weak eateth herbs; meaning not one that is sickly and unhealthful, and of a weak constitution, and therefore eats herbs for health's sake; but one that is weak in the faith, and who thinks that the laws concerning the observance of meats and drinks are still in force; and therefore, rather than break any of them, and that he may be sure he does not, will eat nothing but herbs, which are not any of them forbidden by the law: and this he did, either as choosing rather to live altogether on herbs, than to eat anything which the law forbids; or being of opinion with the Essenes among the Jews, and the Pythagoreans among the Gentiles, who thought they were to abstain from eating of all sorts of animals.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. one believeth that he may eat all things—See Ac 10:16.
another, who is weak, eateth herbs—restricting himself probably to a vegetable diet, for fear of eating what might have been offered to idols, and so would be unclean. (See 1Co 8:1-13).
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