Luke 6:36-42 and Waldenström’s Commentary

translated by Tommy Carlson and by Paul Peter Waldenström

Dr. Paul Peter Waldenström based his comments on a Greek New Testament text which he translated into Swedish. Tommy Carlson has translated both the Biblical text and Waldenström’s comments from the Swedish text, 2nd Edition, 1902. — Ed.

Verse 36—Be1 compassionate, as your Father is compassionate.

1. For the disciples is is important to be what God is. The main goal of their spiritual development is to be like God is in every respect.

Verse 37—And judge not, and you shall not be judged; and condemn not, and you shall not be condemned; find not guilty1 and you shall be found not guilty. (Romans 2:1; I Corinthians 4:5.)

1. To be found not guilty is the opposite of condemnation. The Lord does not say forgive because the believer can only forgive when someone has sinned against him. Acquittal, on the other hand, has a far reaching meaning and means, like judgement, practically an offence in general. It is the believers duty, as far as possible, not to judge but to excuse and acquit, whether the sin was against him or not. The word in the original text actually means to release, to set free (see for example Matthew 27:17).

Verse 38—Give, and it shall be given to you. A good1 measure, packed, shaken, over flowing shall be given2 in your care3, because with the amount you measure, shall be measured out to you again4. (Proverbs 19:17)

1. Verbatim: beautiful.
2. The object is the eternal reward in God’s kingdom. The Lord continually turns His eyes in that direction. He does not say who are those who shall give. Because in God’s kingdom each and everyone receives again, through all the others, the good he or she has done. Each and everyone shall be the subject of everyone’s goodness. Some Bible scholars believe that the givers are the angels who shall administer God’s judgement (Matthew 13:30), but this explanation seems far-fetched. Others Think it is God who is the giver. But, if so, it would have been expressed. When the Lord says they, one has to understand many. This does not deny that the reward ultimately comes from God.
3. Measure refers to the size of the fold in the mantle that develops when the belt is tightened around the waist. This fold is used as a pocket in which to place things.
4. This is a common expression, which can be used with different meanings (see Mark 4:24). Here the Lord explains to the disciples that when judgement comes and the kingdom comes again, what they have done here, whether good or bad, is measured one at a time. As the sowing, so will be the harvest (Galatians 6:7 ff.). Have they judged? They shall be judged. Have they acquitted? They will be acquitted. Have they done good things? They will receive riches again in the kingdom, etc.

Verse 39—But He also told them a parable: Is it possible for a blind1 person to lead another blind person? Shall they not both fall in a pit?2.

1. The one who is spiritually blind, that is to say, lives in error and sin (Matthew 4:16), cannot lead another to salvation who is also blind.
2. That is into condemnation. (See Matthew 15:14.)

Verse 40­—The disciple is not above the teacher,1 but each and everyone shall, when he is complete, become like his teacher.2

1. This is a common phrase which has different meanings. Here the Lord intends to say: one can not expect any better from the disciples than from the teacher. If the teaching leads astray, they will go astray, appearing to be lead by him. The same word is is used in Matthew 10:24 ff. with another meaning. It is the context that always decides the meaning of common expressions that can have several meanings.
2. In the best of circumstances, the disciple will catch up and be like the teacher. If the teacher falls in the pit, the disciple will go the same way. In this the Lord naturally does not deny that a disciple can surpass the teacher after he has left his school and begun to study on his own. But here he talks about a disciple, who is still a disciple and chooses to be a follower of the teacher.

Verse 41—But1 why do you see the grain that is in your brother’s eye, but you do not notice the beam which is in your own eye?

1. The following words are found in Matthew 7:3 ff. in another context. There it points to self righteous and hypocritical judgement. Here, again, they mean: If you do not want to be blind leaders leading the blind, you must learn to know yourselves and discard your own sins before you judge and correct others.

Verse 42—How can you say to your brother: Brother let me throw out the grain that is in your eye, you who can not see the beam that is in your eye? You hypocrite, first throw first the beam in your own eye, then you will see well enough to remove the grain which is in your brother’s eye.