The scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him closely to see if He healed on the Sabbath, so that they might find reason to accuse Him.
Accuse him. Accusations against you will typically come from three sources: (1) the Accuser, a.k.a. Satan (see entry for Rev. 12:10), (2) law-lovers who are opposed to grace (see entry for Matt. 12:10), and (3) a conscience that is mindful of the law (Rom. 2:15). What these three things have in common is an affinity for using the law as a weapon of condemnation.
And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles:
Apostles. An apostle is someone one “sent out” as a messenger for God. Originally the word was applied to the twelve apostles chosen by Jesus (Matt. 10:2). But in the early church, others came to be recognized as apostles (e.g., Andronicus and Junias; Rom. 16:7). In a sense, we are all called to be God’s messengers or ambassadors (2 Cor. 5:20). But in the church, some are uniquely gifted and called to be apostles (1 Cor. 12:28-29). Paul was a stellar example of an apostle and displayed all the signs of an authentic apostle, namely signs and wonders and miracles (2 Cor. 12:12).
and Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot;
Simon was a common Biblical name. Since there were two disciples named Simon, they were distinguished as Simon Peter (Luke 5:8) and Simon the zealot. In addition, the New Testament names seven other Simons including Simon the step-brother of Jesus (Matt. 13:55), Simon the leper (Matt. 26:6), Simon of Cyrene (Matt. 27:32), Simon the Pharisee (Luke 7:36–40), Simon, the father of Judas Iscariot (John 13:2), Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8:9), and Simon the tanner (Acts 10:6).
“Be glad in that day and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven. For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.
Your reward is great in heaven; see entry for Matt. 6:1.
“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.
(a) Do good. When Jesus tells us to love our enemies in the hope of a great reward, the reward is that our enemies will become eternal friends. We store up treasure in heaven and earn a great reward and make eternal friends by doing good to others. “Lend, expecting nothing in return.” To give to the ungrateful with no thought of repayment is to show grace. It’s revealing the unmerited favor of a good God whose best is better than our worst and who holds nothing against us.
(b) Your reward will be great. You will have treasures in heaven.
Several types of reward are mentioned in scripture. There is the reward of eternal life that comes from trusting in Jesus (see entry for Matt. 16:27). And there is the reward or wage we get in accordance for our labor (see entry for 1 Cor. 3:14). It is the second type of reward Jesus is talking about here. What is the reward? It’s people – eternal friends and spiritual offspring.
See entry for Eternal Rewards.
(c) You will be sons of the Most High. When we give generously of ourselves expecting nothing in return, we are acting in a Christlike manner. We are revealing the spirit of Christ who loved his enemies and did good without expecting anything in return. When we shine with the light of Christ, it brings praise to our Father in heaven (Matt. 5:16).
The wrong way to read this verse is to think philanthropy qualifies us for sonship. We are saved by grace alone. We don’t imitate Christ to become children of God. Rather, we imitate God as beloved children (Eph. 5:1).
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
(a) Your Father; see entry for Luke 2:49.
(b) Merciful. The God Jesus revealed is a merciful, gracious and forgiving Father (Matt. 6:14, 18:27, Luke 7:47, 15:22, 23:34, John 1:14).
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.
(a) Do not judge because judging misrepresents God’s merciful character (Luke 6:36).
There is a time and place for righteous judgment (John 7:24), but in context Jesus is saying, “Do not judge people according to the law.” (He’s speaking to people born under law.)
Someone who hammers others with the law is acting contrary to the gracious heart of the Father. Since the law empowers sin, a judgmental type will excite the very sin they are condemning. Judgment and condemnation do not bring freedom. Only the grace of God can empower us to live godly lives (Tit, 2:11–12).
(b) Do not condemn. We reap what we sow (Rom 2:1). If we criticize and condemn others, we will come under condemnation ourselves. Our consciences will condemn us (1 John 3:20, John 8:9), the accuser will condemn us (Rev 12:10), and when our faults become known, others will condemn us as hypocrites.
“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
Lord, Lord. On three occasions, Jesus spoke about people who would cry out “Lord, Lord” yet not be received into his kingdom (Matt: 7-21-22, 25:11, Luke 6:46). On each occasion he was talking about people who did not know him or do what he says.
Further reading: “What about those who cry ‘Lord, Lord’?”
“But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great.”
Has not acted accordingly. It’s not enough to hear the good news that Jesus brings; you need to believe it. Faith in God (such as the Jews had) is dead unless accompanied by believing in the One he sent (see entry for Jas. 2:18).
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