The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The disciple is not above his master.—See Notes on Matthew 10:24, John 15:20. Here the application of the proverb is obviously very different. The connection of thought is somewhat obscure, and we may not unreasonably believe that some links have been omitted. As it is, however, we can infer something from what precedes and follows. We are still in that section of the discourse which warns the disciples against taking on themselves the office of a judge. They were in this to follow the example of their Master. He, in His work on earth, taught, but did not judge (John 8:11-15; John 12:47; perhaps, also, Luke 12:14). Were they above their Master that they should do what He had refrained from doing?
Every one that is perfect.—Better, every one that is perfected. The marginal rendering, “Every one shall be perfected,” is hardly tenable grammatically The implied thought is that the disciple or scholar who has been perfected by the education through which his Master has led him, will be like the Master in character and temper, i.e., in this special application of the maxim, will abstain from needless, or hasty, or uncharitable judgment.
Every one that is perfect - The word rendered "is perfect" means sometimes to repair or mend, and is thus applied to mending nets, Matthew 4:21; Mark 1:19. Hence, it means to repair or amend in a moral sense, or to make whole or complete. Here it means, evidently, "thoroughly instructed" or "informed." The Christian should be like his Master - holy, harmless, and undefiled, and separate from sinners. He should copy his example, and grow into the likeness of his Redeemer. Nor can any other be a Christian.Matthew 10:24 John 15:20, to comfort his disciples concerning their sufferings, because he was first in suffering: here he applies it to signify their duty in doing. Some apply this with reference to the Pharisees, and so make a connexion between this and the former verse, where he had said, If the blind lead the blind, they shall both fall into the ditch; for
the disciple is not above his master, none must look to learn of another more than the teacher knoweth himself. But it is better applied to Christ, and is as much as if our Lord had said, I am your Master, you are my disciples, and by that relation engaged to learn of me, and to follow me. I have taught you no more than I am ready to practise; I am merciful, I forgive, I give, looking for nothing again. I do not look that you should do any thing above me, any thing as to which I have not set you, or shall not set you, an example; but your perfection lieth in coming as near to me as you can, in being as your Master. Matthew 10:24. See Gill on Matthew 10:24.
but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. The Vulgate Latin reads it, "every one shall be perfect if he is as his master"; that is, if his master is a man of general learning, and a complete scholar, if he is like him, he will be so too: the Persic version renders it, "every disciple that desires perfection shall be as his master": whoever is ambitious of being a thorough scholar, and is diligent and industrious, by all ways and means, to obtain such a character, shall be even as good an one as his master, under whom he learns, and better he cannot well expect to be; and this is sufficient; and so the Ethiopic version renders it, "is it not enough that every one be as his master?" agreeably to Matthew 10:25
Maimonides (i) has an expression much like this:
"he that learns, shall not be greater than he of whom he learns, but shall be, "as he".''
Christ, in this last clause, seems to design his own disciples, who, when perfect in knowledge, which is not to be expected in this state, unless in a comparative sense, will be like himself.The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Luke 6:40. The rationale of the preceding statement: Both shall fall into a ditch,—therefore not merely the teacher, but the disciple also. Otherwise the disciple must surpass his teacher—a result which, even in the most fortunate circumstances, is not usually attained. This is thus expressed: A disciple is not above his teacher, but every one that is fully prepared shall be AS his teacher, i.e. when he has received the complete preparation in the school of his teacher he will be equal to his teacher. He will not surpass him. But the disciple must surpass his teacher (in knowledge, wisdom, disposition, etc.) if he were not to fall into perdition along with him. The view: he will be trained as his teacher (Kuinoel, de Wette, Bleek, and others), i.e. he will be like him in knowledge, disposition, etc., satisfies neither the idea of the specially chosen word κατηρτ., nor its emphatic position, nor the correlation of ὑπέρ and ὡς. As to κατηρτισμ., see on 1 Corinthians 1:10. The saying in Matthew 10:24 f. has a different significance and reference, and cannot be used to limit the meaning here (in opposition to Linder’s misinterpretation in the Stud. u. Krit. 1862, p. 562).Luke 6:40. The connection here also is obscure; the adage might be taken as directed against the conceit of scholars presuming to criticise their teachers, which is checked by the reminder that the utmost height that can be reached by the fully equipped (κατηρτισμένος, a Pauline word, 1 Corinthians 1:10, cf. 2 Timothy 3:17, ἐξηρτισμένος) scholar is to be on a level with his teacher.40. every one that is perfect shall be as his master] Rather, who has been perfected, 2 Timothy 3:17. A favourite quotation of St John’s, Luke 13:16, Luke 15:20. See Matthew 10:25.Luke 6:40. Κατηρτισμένος, perfect, perfected) Every disciple who has reached the highest goal of a particular discipline, whether that discipline be a perfect one or imperfect, will be as his Master: moreover, in so far as he is a disciple, he will not exceed his Master. For which reason a disciple who has gotten a blind master, will with him fall into the pit. [He who evinces the desire to instruct others with admonitions concerning salvation, must by all means see clearly the way of life, be free from the “beam in the eye,” be a good tree? and lay up and keep good treasure in his heart.—V. g.]Verse 40. - The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. "Both," he went on to say, "will be lost hopelessly. You cannot expect the disciples of these mistaken men, surely, to be wiser than their teachers; for you know the oft-repeated saying, 'Every one that is perfect [better rendered, that has been perfected] shall be as his master;' in other words, the pupils of these censorious, evil-judging, narrow-minded, bitter men will grow up - as they become perfected in this teaching - in their turn equally narrow-minded and bitter as their masters." The conclusion, felt though not expressed, of course, is, "But my followers must be something different to these; another and nobler spirit, nobler because more generous, must rule in their hearts."
Rev., rendering the participle more literally, perfected. See on Matthew 4:21. The word signifies to readjust, restore, set to rights, whether in a physical or a moral sense. See 1 Corinthians 1:10, where Paul exhorts to be perfectly joined together (κατηρτισμένοι) in opposition to being divided. In Galatians 6:1, it is used of restoring a brother taken in a fault. Hence the meaning to perfect, as Ephesians 4:12. Used in medical language of setting a bone or joint.
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