Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has ought against you;…
I. That a worshipper of God may be in a state of discord in reference to his brother.
II. That public worship rightly used is one of the means to detect and remove this wrong affection. It leads to reflection.
III. Conciliation is of superior value even to public worship.
IV. That it is the duty of brethren to be immediately conciliated.
I. In order to worship God acceptably, we must do justice to our fellow-men. Our worship will not be acceptable, unless we do all we can to live peaceably with others.
II. It is our duty to seek reconciliation with others when we have injured them.
III. This should be done before we attempt to worship God. This is often the reason why God does not accept our offerings, and we go empty away from our devotions. We do not do what we ought to do to others; we cherish improper feelings, or refuse to make proper acknowledgments, and God will not accept such attempts to worship Him.
(Dr. A. Barnes.)
I. Observe the word brother.
1. So God teaches thee to call every one.
2. Think with what tenderness and love thou oughtest, and perhaps wouldst behave to him, if he really were such.
II. Does not Christ Himself call the Scribes and Pharisees fools? Truly; but with Divine compassion, to rouse them to a consideration of their state.
(1) The sin is in the anger, the scorn,
(2) the pride of heart in one sinner towards another.
III. Nothing will be accepted from thee in this disposition.
1. Agree with thy brother.
2. The loss of an hour may be the loss of thy soul.
Parallel VersesKJV: Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;