Notwithstanding you have well done, that you did communicate with my affliction.…
I. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THOSE who GIVE AND THOSE WHO RECEIVE ALMS IS ONE OF COMMUNION. (Ver. 15.) It is a mistake to suppose that the benefit of almsgiving is all on the side of the recipients. They who possess, possess in order that they may show their brotherhood with those who possess not. To receive is just as much an act of brotherhood as to give. Never regard the bestowing of alms as an act of patronage, or the receiving of them as an act of homage.
II. THE BENEFIT OF ALMSGIVING TO THE ALMSGIVER. It is fruit (ver. 17), which abounds to his account. Fruit is the production of life.
III. ALMSGIVING IN THE SIGHT OF GOD. A sacrifice well-pleasing to him (ver. 18). He sees in every act of self-denial a reflection of the sacrifice of his dearly beloved Son in whom he is well pleased.
IV. ALMSGIVING A PART OF CHRISTIAN WORSHIP. Worship is the offering of ourselves and our substance to God. We can only do this through receiving of his grace. We give him back in offerings what he gives us in bounty He returns our offerings multiplied with his blessing and full of his grace (ver. 19). There is a Divine circulation of grace as there is a natural circulation of the blood. So long as we are true to Jesus, who is the very heart of God, so long does he pour forth his grace into us the living members of his body. We return that grace to him in the shape of our poor prayers and deeds of service, and we are again quickened by him from the boundless riches of his grace. - V.W.H.
Parallel VersesKJV: Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.