Luke 11:27
And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said to him, Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts which you have sucked.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(27) A certain woman of the company.—The incident is peculiar to St. Luke, and, like many other of the facts recorded by him, seems to have been derived from the company of devout women (Luke 8:1; see Introduction) with whom he came into contact. It is interesting as being the first direct fulfilment of the words of the Magnificat, “All generations shall call me blessed” (Luke 1:48), and as showing how the Son of Mary in this instance, as in Matthew 12:46-50, extended the beatitude. There is at once a singular agreement in the manner in which each incident, embodying substantially the same lesson, follows on the parable of the Unclean Spirit, and a singular difference in the forms which the incident takes in the two narratives. A possible solution of the problem thus presented may be found in supposing the exclamation which St. Luke records to have been uttered by one of the women who was present when, as St. Matthew relates (Matthew 12:47), one said unto Him, “Behold Thy mother and Thy brethren stand without . . .”

Luke 11:27-28. As he spake these things, a certain woman, &c. — While Jesus thus reasoned, in confutation of the Pharisees, a woman of the company, ravished with his wisdom, and perhaps believing him to be their long-expected Messiah, expressed her admiration of his character in an exclamation upon the happiness of the woman who had the honour of giving him birth; a thought very natural for a woman. But he said, Yea, rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it — As if he had said, The blessedness which you prize so much, and which could be enjoyed by one woman only, however great, is far inferior to a blessedness which is in every one’s power, namely, that which arises from the knowledge and practice of the will of God. If even she that bare me had not attended to this, she would have forfeited all her blessedness.11:27,28 While the scribes and Pharisees despised and blasphemed the discourses of our Lord Jesus, this good woman admired them, and the wisdom and power with which he spake. Christ led the woman to a higher consideration. Though it is a great privilege to hear the word of God, yet those only are truly blessed, that is, blessed of the Lord, that hear it, keep it in memory, and keep to it as their way and rule.A certain woman - One of the crowd.

Blessed is the womb ... - She thought that the "mother" of such a person must be especially happy in having such a son.

Yea, rather blessed ... - Jesus admits that she was happy - that it was an honor to be his mother, but he says that the chief happiness, the highest honor, was to obey the word of God. Compared with this, all earthly distinctions and honors are as nothing. Man's greatest dignity is in keeping the holy commandments of God, and in being prepared for heaven. See the notes at Luke 10:20.

27, 28. as he spake these things, a … woman of the company—of the multitude, the crowd. A charming little incident and profoundly instructive. With true womanly feeling, she envies the mother of such a wonderful Teacher. Well, and higher and better than she had said as much before her (Lu 1:28, 42); and our Lord is far from condemning it. He only holds up—as "blessed rather"—the hearers and keepers of God's word; in other words, the humblest real saint of God. (See on [1637]Mt 12:49, 50.) How utterly alien is this sentiment from the teaching of the Church of Rome, which would excommunicate any one of its members who dared to talk in the spirit of this glorious saying! (Also see on [1638]Mt 12:43.)Ver. 27,28. We are very prone to bless persons from external privileges, and the favours of Divine Providence, which do not at all change or affect the hearts of those to whom they are given; but God looketh with another eye upon persons. Christ doth not here deny his mother to have been blessed; her cousin Elisabeth (Luke 1:42) had pronounced her blessed amongst women, and the angel had before called her highly favoured, and told her that she had found favour with God. But our Saviour here declareth that her blessing did not so much lie in that her womb bare, and her paps gave suck to him, as in that she was one who heard and kept the word of God; for he pronounces all such as did so principally blessed. Nor must we separate what God hath put together; the blessing is not pronounced to those who barely hear the word of God, the blessed and the unblessed pariter adeunt, pariter audiunt, they may go to church together, and hear the word together, but the blessing is to those that hear the word of God, and keep it. See Jam 1:22,23. The word to some that hear it may be a savour of death unto death. The soul that through grace is made obedient to the will of God, is a more happy soul than the virgin Mary was, considered merely as the mother of Christ, without the consideration of her faith and holiness. And it came to pass as he spoke these things,.... That is, as Christ spoke, or "had finished these sayings", as the Persic version expresses it, before related, in vindication of himself and his miracles, from the blasphemy of the Scribes and Pharisees to their entire confusion, and had delivered the above parable concerning the unclean spirit, which had a particular regard to them:

a certain woman of the company: observing the miracle he had wrought, in casting out a devil, and being affected with his discourse, in which he so fully cleared himself, and so strongly confuted his enemies, and set them forth in so just a light:

lift up her voice, and said unto him, aloud, in the hearing of all the people, and with great earnestness and fervour:

blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked: whether this woman personally knew Mary, the mother of Christ, is not certain; it may be that she was now present, or at least not far off; and this woman hearing that she, with the brethren of Christ, were without, and desired to speak with him, might be the occasion of her uttering these words; Matthew 12:46 though they are said not so much in praise, and to the honour of Mary, as in commendation of Christ, from whom, and for the sake of bearing and suckling so great a person, she was denominated blessed as before, both by the angel and Elisabeth, This was a form of blessing among the Jews: so it is said (s) of R. Joshuah ben Chananiah, a disciple of R. Jochanan ben Zaccai, who lived about these times, , "blessed is she that bore him": and they had also a form of cursing among them, much after the same manner, as , "cursed be the paps that suckled him" (t). The Jews, in their blasphemous rage against Christ, and all that belong to him, say of Mary, the daughter of Eli, by whom they seem to design the mother of our Lord, that she hangs in the shades by the fibres of her paps (u) but this woman had a different opinion of her.

(s) Pirke Abot, c. 2. sect. 8. (t) T. Hieros. Celaim, fol. 27. 2. Bereshit Rabba, sect. 5. fol. 5. 1.((u) T. Hieros. Chagiga, fol. 77. 4. & Sanhedrin, fol. 23. 3.

{7} And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked.

(7) Christ does not seek praise for himself, but in our salvation.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 11:27-28. A woman (assuredly a mother), following without restraint her true understanding and impulse, publicly and earnestly pays to Jesus her tribute of admiration. Luke alone has this feminine type of character also (comp. Luke 10:38 ff.), which bears the stamp of originality, on the one hand, in the genuine naîveté of the woman (“bene sentit, sed muliebriter loquitur,” Bengel); on the other, in the reply of Jesus forthwith turning to the highest practical interest. This answer contains so absolutely the highest truth that lay at the heart of Jesus in His ministry, that Strauss, I. p. 719 (comp. Weizsäcker, p. 169), concludes, very erroneously, from the resemblance of the passage to Luke 8:21, that there were two different frames or moulds of the tradition in which this saying of Christ was set. The incident is not parallel even with Mark 3:31 ff. (Holtzmann), even although in its idea it is similar.

ἐπάρασα] ὑψώσασα· σφόδρα γὰρ ἀποδεξαμένη τοὺς λόγους αὐτοῦ, μεγαλοφώνως ἐμακάρισε τὴν γεννήσασαν αὐτὸν ὡς τοιούτου μητέρα γενέσθαι ἀξιωθεῖσαν, Euthymius Zigabenus.

ἐκ τοῦ ὄχλου] out of the crowd she lifted up her voice.

μακαρία κ.τ.λ.] See analogous beatitudes from the Rabbins and classical writers in Wetstein, Schoettgen, and Elsner, Obss. p. 226.

Luke 11:28. μενοῦνγε] may serve as corrective (imo vero) as well as confirmatory (utique). See generally, Hartung, Partikell. II. p. 400; Kühner, ad Xen. Mem. i. 3. 9, ii. 7. 5. In this passage it is the former, comp. Romans 9:20; Romans 10:18; Jesus does not deny His mother’s blessedness, but He defines the predicate μακάριος, not as the woman had done, as a special external relation, but as a general moral relation, which might be established in the case of every one, and under which even Mary was brought, so that thus the benediction upon the mother, merely considered as mother, is corrected. The position of μενοῦν and μενοῦνγε at the beginning of the sentence belongs to the later Greek usage. See examples in Wetstein, Sturz, Dial. Al. p. 203; Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 342.Luke 11:27-28. The woman in the crowd. In Lk. only, though reminding one of Matthew 12:46-50, Mark 3:32-35. It reports an honest matron’s blessing on the, to her probably unknown, mother of Jesus, who in this case, as in an earlier instance (Luke 8:19-21), treats the felicity of natural motherhood as entirely subordinate to that of disciplehood.27-32. The Womanly Exclamation. The Peril of Privileges abused.

27
. Blessed is the womb that bare thee] See Luke 1:28; Luke 1:48. “How many women have blessed the Holy Virgin, and desired to be such a mother as she was! What hinders them? Christ has made for us a wide way to this happiness, and not only women, but men may tread it—the way of obedience; this it is which makes such a mother, and not the throes of parturition.” St Chrysostom. It is a curious undesigned coincidence that (as we see from Matthew 12:46) the Virgin had just arrived upon the scene.Luke 11:27. Ἐπάρασα, having lifted up) It would be good, and not a thing to be laughed at, if hearers would discover the emotions of their hearts whilst hearing, in however simple a manner.—ἡ κοιλία, the womb) The woman has good sentiments, but speaks as a woman in woman’s fashion. The Saviour reduces this into due order.—μαστοὶ, the paps) Comp. concerning the Messiah, Psalm 22:10.Verse 27. - And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked! This woman seems to have expressed the popular feeling. The crowds who had seen the great miracle, had listened to the cavilling suspicions, and then heard the Master's wise and skillful reply, were evidently impressed with the wisdom as with the power of the famous but hated Teacher, for they no doubt echoed the lofty and sublime blessing of the woman here. She, perhaps, had in her own person experience of the two kinds of healing just contrasted by the Master; at all events, she had rightly comprehended his words. "How many women have blessed the holy Virgin, and desired to be such a mother as she was! What hinders them? Christ has made for us a wide way to this happiness, and not only women, but men may tread it - the way of obedience; this it is which makes such a mother, and not the throes of parturition" (St. Chrysostom). It has been ingeniously noticed that this is the first direct fulfillment of the "Magnificat" - "all generations shall call me blessed." Blessed, etc

"She speaks well, but womanly" (Bengel).

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