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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE - Chapter 11 - Verse 41

Verse 41. Alms. Charity. Benefactions to the poor.

Such things as ye have. Your property; though it has been gained unjustly: though you have lived by rapine, and have amassed wealth in an improper manner, yet, since you have it, it is your duty to make the best of it and do good. By giving to the poor, you may show your repentance for your crimes in amassing money in this manner. You may show that you disapprove of your former course of life, and are disposed henceforward to live honestly. If this be the meaning of this passage, then it shows what is the duty of those who have by unjust gains become wealthy, and who are then converted to God. It may not be possible for them in every case to make exact restitution to those whom they have injured; thousands of instances of wrong they may have forgotten; many persons whom they have injured may have died; but still they may show, by giving to others, that they do not think their gains acquired honestly, and that they truly repent. They may devote their property to God; distribute it to the poor; or give it to send the gospel to the heathen world. Thus may they show that they disapprove of their former conduct; and thus may be seen one great principle of God's government —that good finally comes out of evil.

And behold, &c. Doing this will show that you are a true penitent, and the remainder of your property you will enjoy with a feeling that you have done your duty, and no longer be smitten with the consciousness of hoarding unjust gains. The object of the Saviour here seems to have been to bring the Pharisee to repentance. Repentance consists in sorrow for sin, and in forsaking it. This he endeavoured to produce by showing him—

1st, the evil and hypocrisy of his conduct; and,

2nd, by exhorting him to forsake his sins, and to show this by doing good. Thus doing, he would evince that the mind was clean as well the body; the inside as well as the outside.

{a} "rather give alms" Is 58:7; Lu 12:22 {6} "alms" or, "as you are able"

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