Matthew 13:16
But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) Blessed are your eyes.—The words are spoken to the small company of disciples in the boat. They were not as the multitude. They might see but dimly, and be slow of heart to understand, but, at least, they had eyes that looked for light, and ears that were open to the divine voice.

Matthew 13:16-17. But blessed are your eyes, &c. — For you both see and hear, and understand. You have not only greater opportunities of instruction than others, but you both know how to prize, and are concerned to improve them. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets — Who prophesied of the coming of the Messiah; and righteous men — To whom God familiarly showed himself, and made known his will, as he did to Abraham and the patriarchs; and many kings, Luke 10:24; from whose seed the Messiah was to spring, and whose kingdoms and persons were types of him and his kingdom, have desired to see — Before their eyes, those things which ye thus see, and have not seen them, they only seeing them afar off in the promises made to them concerning these days. See Hebrews 11:13; and 1 Peter 1:11-12.13:1-23 Jesus entered into a boat that he might be the less pressed, and be the better heard by the people. By this he teaches us in the outward circumstances of worship not to covet that which is stately, but to make the best of the conveniences God in his providence allots to us. Christ taught in parables. Thereby the things of God were made more plain and easy to those willing to be taught, and at the same time more difficult and obscure to those who were willingly ignorant. The parable of the sower is plain. The seed sown is the word of God. The sower is our Lord Jesus Christ, by himself, or by his ministers. Preaching to a multitude is sowing the corn; we know not where it will light. Some sort of ground, though we take ever so much pains with it, brings forth no fruit to purpose, while the good soil brings forth plentifully. So it is with the hearts of men, whose different characters are here described by four sorts of ground. Careless, trifling hearers, are an easy prey to Satan; who, as he is the great murderer of souls, so he is the great thief of sermons, and will be sure to rob us of the word, if we take not care to keep it. Hypocrites, like the stony ground, often get the start of true Christians in the shows of profession. Many are glad to hear a good sermon, who do not profit by it. They are told of free salvation, of the believer's privileges, and the happiness of heaven; and, without any change of heart, without any abiding conviction of their own depravity, their need of a Saviour, or the excellence of holiness, they soon profess an unwarranted assurance. But when some heavy trial threatens them, or some sinful advantage may be had, they give up or disguise their profession, or turn to some easier system. Worldly cares are fitly compared to thorns, for they came in with sin, and are a fruit of the curse; they are good in their place to stop a gap, but a man must be well armed that has much to do with them; they are entangling, vexing, scratching, and their end is to be burned, Heb 6:8. Worldly cares are great hinderances to our profiting by the word of God. The deceitfulness of riches does the mischief; they cannot be said to deceive us unless we put our trust in them, then they choke the good seed. What distinguished the good ground was fruitfulness. By this true Christians are distinguished from hypocrites. Christ does not say that this good ground has no stones in it, or no thorns; but none that could hinder its fruitfulness. All are not alike; we should aim at the highest, to bring forth most fruit. The sense of hearing cannot be better employed than in hearing God's word; and let us look to ourselves that we may know what sort of hearers we are.Blessed are your eyes ... - That is, you are happy that you are permitted to see truth which they will not see.

You are permitted to understand the spiritual meaning of the parables, and in some degree the plan of salvation.

16. But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your cars, for they hear—that is, "Happy ye, whose eyes and ears, voluntarily and gladly opened, are drinking in the light divine." See Poole on Mt "13:17". But blessed are your eyes, for they see,.... Which is to be understood both of corporal and intellectual sight: it was their happiness to see Christ in the flesh, and converse with him in person, be eyewitnesses of his majesty, and see with their own eyes the miracles performed by him, the proofs and attestations of those doctrines they were to publish to all the world; and it was still their greater happiness, that they saw his glory, as the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth: many saw him in the flesh, as they did, with their bodily eyes, but saw no beauty, nor comeliness in him, nothing amiable and desirable in him; but these saw his personal and transcendent glories, as the Son of God, his fulness as mediator, his suitableness as a Saviour and Redeemer, and all the characters of the Messiah in him; and so believed, and were sure that he was the Christ, the Son of the living God: they saw Christ, not in the promise, as Abraham, and other patriarchs did; nor through types and shadows, as the saints of the Old Testament did; to them it was given to know and understand the mysteries of grace, respecting the person, offices, obedience, sufferings, and death of Christ.

And your ears, for they hear. This also must be understood of corporal and intellectual hearing, another branch of their present happiness. They heard the words of truth from the lips of that great prophet Moses said should rise up among them, like unto him, whom they should hear: they heard, with their own ears, a voice from heaven, declaring him to be the beloved Son of God, in whom he was well pleased. They heard the Gospel preached by him, not only so as to be affected with it, and give their assent to it, but also to understand it spiritually, and experimentally, and to bring forth the fruit of it; and so were that sort of hearers, signified by the good ground in the parable Christ had just delivered. The forms of speech, in which the happiness of the disciples is here expressed, seem to be in common use with the Jews, when they would extol the peculiar attainments of a man, especially in matters of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Thus, it being told R. Jochanan ben Zaccai of some persons that had expounded the work of Mercavah, that is, the beginning of Ezekiel's prophecy, and the mysterious passages in it, and what befell them, expressed himself thus concerning them (n);

"blessed are you, and blessed are your children, , "and blessed are the eyes that so see".''

And elsewhere (o) mention being made of a book of secrets delivered to Solomon, and which he had understanding of, it is said,

, "blessed is the eye that sees, and the ear that hears", and the heart that understands, and causes to understand, the wisdom of it.''

(n) T. Bab. Chagiga, fol. 14. 2.((o) Sepher Raziel, fol. 34. 1.

{3} But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

(3) The condition of the Church under and since Christ, is better than it was in the time of the fathers under the law.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 13:16-17. Ὑμῶν] stands first for sake of emphasis, and in contrast to the stupid multitude.

μακάριοι οἱ ὀφθαλμοί] Personification of the faculty of sight. Luke 11:27; Acts 5:9; Isaiah 52:7.

ὅτι βλέπουσιὅτι ἀκούει] The thought underlying this (and keeping in view Matthew 13:13; Matthew 13:15) may be stated thus: your intellect, as regards the apprehension of divine truth, is not unreceptive and obtuse, but susceptible and active.

γάρ] justifies the congratulation on the ground of the important nature of the matter in question.

δίκαιοι] Upright, holy men of old. Comp. Matthew 10:41, Matthew 23:29, also ἅγιοι, Matthew 27:52.

ἰδεῖν ἃ βλέπετε, κ.τ.λ.] the μυστήρια τῆς βασιλείας, Matthew 13:11; Hebrews 11:13; Hebrews 11:39. The vision of Abraham, John 8:56, is foreign to the present passage, from the fact of its not having been seen during his life in the body.

The βλέπειν in Matthew 13:16 was equivalent to, to be capable of seeing, while here it means simply to see. Comp. note on John 9:39. But there is no ground for supposing that Matthew has mixed up two distinct discourses (de Wette).Matthew 13:16-17. In Mk. (Mark 4:13) Jesus reproaches the disciples for their ignorance; here He congratulates them on their faculty of seeing and hearing (spiritually).—ὑμῶν: in emphatic position, suggesting contrast between disciples and the multitude.—μακάριοι, vide on chap. Matthew 5:3.—ὅτι βλ., because, not for what, they see.—ἀμὴν γὰρ λέγω: introducing an important statement.—προφῆται καὶ δίκαιοι, same combination as in Matthew 10:41. The felicity now consists in the things seen and heard. The perceiving senses and the things to be perceived imply each other, neither by themselves yield enjoyment. This passage is given by Lk. (Luke 10:23-24) in a more suitable connection (report on their mission by the Seventy). Here it creates an exaggerated impression as to the extent of the new departure. The parabolic teaching of Jesus, as exemplified in the Sower and other parables here collected, was not an absolutely new feature. He had always been speaking more or less in parables (“Fishers of Men,” Matthew 4:19; “Salt of the Earth,” “City on a Hill,” Matthew 5:13-14; “Two Builders,” Matthew 7:24-27; “Whole need not a Physician,” Matthew 9:12; “New Garment and New Wine,” Matthew 9:16-17, etc.). Some of the parables in this connection, the Treasure and the Pearl, e.g., may be gems preserved from some otherwise forgotten synagogue discourses, say those delivered in the preaching tour through Galilee.16. blessed are your eyes] The disciples have discernment to understand the explanation which would be thrown away on the uninstructed multitude.Matthew 13:16. Ὀφθαλμοὶὦτα, eyes—ears) i.e. those of your body, above the saints of the Old Testament; those of your soul, above the people now present. Their eyes and ears were the subject of which blessedness could be predicated.[611]

[611] “Subjectum quo beatitudinis.”—(I. B.)Verses 16, 17. - Parallel passage: Luke 10:23, 24, after the return of the seventy, and immediately following our Matthew 11:25, 27. The verses stand there, that is to say, in close connexion with the other great utterance contrasting God's revelation of spiritual things to some and his hiding them from others. Possibly he spoke the verses only once (cf. the repetitions in the Prophets), but, in view of the frequency with which Christ's utterances are placed out of their original connexion, the assumption should be the other way. If he really only spoke them once, we cannot be sure which the occasion was, but the possibility that they do not properly belong here is increased by the doubt whether also ver. 12 was originally spoken now. Verse 16. - But blessed (Matthew 5:3, note) are your eyes. Christ now returns to emphasize ver. 11a. For they see (ὅτι βλέπουσιν). This may refer to the disciples being able to see spiritual truths before God's special grace given them by way of reward to this effect, but this hardly suits the context from the phrase, "it is given" (ver. 12). It is, therefore, better to understand the verse to refer to their seeing and hearing things by virtue of grace given in reward for earlier faithfulness. Edersheim ('Life,' 1:594) gives a striking illustration of the thought of this verse from the 'Pesiqta' (edit. Buber, p. 149).
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