42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.
42 Verse 42. A cup of cold water] υδατος, of water, is not in
the common text, but it is found in the Codex Bezae, Coptic,
Armenian, Gothic, Anglo-Saxon, Slavonic, all copies of the Itala,
Vulgate, and Origen. It is necessarily understood; the ellipsis
of the same substantive is frequent, both in the Greek and
Latin writers. See Wakefield.
Little ones] My apparently mean and generally despised
But a cup of water in the eastern countries was not a matter of
small worth. In India, the Hindoos go sometimes a great way to
fetch it, and then boil it that it may do the less hurt to
travellers when they are hot; and, after that, they stand from
morning to night in some great road, where there is neither pit
nor rivulet, and offer it, in honour of their god, to be drunk by
all passengers. This necessary work of charity, in these hot
countries, seems to have been practised by the more pious and
humane Jews; and our Lord assures them that, if they do this in
his name, they shall not lose their reward. See the Asiatic
Miscellany, vol. ii. p. 142.
Verily-he shall in no wise lose his reward.] The rabbins have a
similar saying: "He that gives food to one that studies in the
law, God will bless him in this world, and give him a lot in the
world to come." Syn. Sohar.
Love heightens the smallest actions, and gives a worth to them
which they cannot possess without it. Under a just and merciful
God every sin is either punished or pardoned, and every good
action rewarded. The most indigent may exercise the works of
mercy and charity; seeing even a cup of cold water, given in the
name of Jesus, shall not lose its reward. How astonishing is
God's kindness! It is not the rich merely whom he calls on to be
charitable; but even the poor, and the most impoverished of the
poor! God gives the power and inclination to be charitable, and
then rewards the work which, it may be truly said, God himself
hath wrought. It is the name of Jesus that sanctifies every
thing, and renders services, in themselves comparatively
contemptible, of high worth in the sight of God. See Quesnel.