Luke 6:27
But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,
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(27, 28) Love your enemies.—See Notes on Matthew 5:44. It should be noted that the great command of the gospel is set forth in the Sermon on the Plain in its width and universality, without being formally contrasted with the Pharisaic gloss, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy,” as in the Sermon on the Mount.

Luke 6:27-28. But I say unto you which hear — You who hear me now, and you who in future ages shall hear my gospel. Hitherto our Lord had spoken only to particular sorts of persons; now he begins speaking to all in general. Love your enemies, &c. — The disposition which my gospel cherishes in its votaries, is that of love and kindness, even to the evil and unthankful; and therefore all who hear the gospel ought to be of this disposition. See on Matthew 5:44.

6:27-36 These are hard lessons to flesh and blood. But if we are thoroughly grounded in the faith of Christ's love, this will make his commands easy to us. Every one that comes to him for washing in his blood, and knows the greatness of the mercy and the love there is in him, can say, in truth and sincerity, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? Let us then aim to be merciful, even according to the mercy of our heavenly Father to us.See Matthew 5:44-45.27-36. (See on [1585]Mt 5:44-48; [1586]Mt 7:12; and [1587]Mt 14:12-14.)Ver. 27-29. We met also with a passage much like this in this verse, Matthew 5:39,40, the general sense of which was, as I then said, a prohibition of private revenge. It is therefore there prefaced in with a more general precept, Resist not evil. But besides this, there seems to be in it also a prohibition of vexatious suits and molestations of others, though under a colour of law; therefore Matthew saith, If any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy cloak; and it may be thought a more special precept relating to those times, when they had none but heathen magistrates, and in some measure to be expounded by 1 Corinthians 6:7, and to be a precept given with respect to the reputation of the gospel, that it might not be scandalized by Christians going to law before infidels. It is most certain it doth not forbid the use of the law, whether for the defending or recovering our just rights, only the irregular or scandalous use of it. See Poole on "Matthew 5:39".

But I say unto you which hear,.... The Ethiopic version adds "me", and the generality of interpreters understand the passage of the hearers of Christ, as distinct from the disciples, or together with them, and of the better sort of them; and of such as had ears to hear, and who heard with a desire of understanding, and of putting into practice what they heard; but I rather think it regards the hearers of the Scribes and Pharisees, then present, who had heard and received the traditions of the elders, to which the following rules of Christ are opposed; and to each of which, with others in Matthew, these words are prefixed;

ye have heard that it was said by them of old time--but I say unto you,.... Matthew 5:21 with which compare this phrase, and the sense will appear to be this; to you that hear day by day, the traditions of the elders urged upon you, and the false glosses the Scribes and Pharisees put upon the word of God; in opposition to them, I say to you what follows:

love your enemies; whereas you have heard them say, hate your enemies, keep enmity in your hearts to them, and revenge yourselves on them:

do good to them that hate you; whereas you have heard it said, that you should only do good to your friends, and should keep anger in your bosoms to such who hate you, and do you an injury; See Gill on Matthew 5:43, Matthew 5:44

{5} But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,

(5) Christian charity, which is very different from worldly charity, not only does not revenge injuries, but is even extended to our most grievous enemies, and that for our Father's sake who is in heaven: in well doing it is not at all seeking its own.

Luke 6:27-28. Nevertheless, as far as concerns your conduct, those denunciations of woe are not to deter you, etc. Hence there is here no contrast destitute of point (Köstlin), although the sayings in Luke 6:27-36 are in Matthew more originally conceived and arranged (comp. Weiss in the Jahrb. f. d. Theol. 1864, p. 55 f.).

τοῖς ἀκούουσιν] to you who hear, i.e. who give heed, τοῖς πειθομένοις μου, Euthymius Zigabenus. This is required by the contrast. Moreover, comp. Matthew 5:44.

καταρώμ.] with a dative, Hom. Od. xix. 330; Herod. iv. 184; Dem. 270. 20, 381. 15; Xen. Anab. vii. 7. 48. Elsewhere in the New Testament, in accordance with later usage (Wis 12:11; Sir 4:5 f.), with an accusative.

ἐπηρεάζειν] to afflict, is connected by the classical writers with τινί, also with τινός.

Luke 6:27-35. The law of love (Matthew 5:38-48).

27. 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 thine 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; Deuteronomy 23:6; 1 Chronicles 20:3; 2 Samuel 12:31; Psalm 137:8-9, &c. On these passages the fierce fanaticism of 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,” Tac. Hist. v. 5; Juv. Sat. xiv. 103).

do good to them which hate you] See the precept beautifully enforced in Romans 12:17; Romans 12:19-21.

27-38. The Laws of Love and Mercy.

27-30. The manifestations of Love. 31. Its formula. 32-35. Its distinctiveness. 35-36. Its model. 37-45. Love as the principle of all judgment. Godet.]

Luke 6:27Which hear

With the sense of hearing in order to heed: giving heed. Compare Matthew 11:15.

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