“And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?”
King James Version (KJV)
5:47 And if ye salute your friends only - Our Lord probably glances at those prejudices, which different sects had against each other, and intimates, that he would not have his followers imbibe that narrow spirit. Would to God this had been more attended to among the unhappy divisions and subdivisions, into which his Church has been crumbled! And that we might at least advance so far, as cordially to embrace our brethren in Christ, of whatever party or denomination they are!
Mt 5:47 Salute your brethren only. The Jews usually disdained to speak to a Gentile, a publican, or a "sinner", but would salute orthodox Jews. Even the Gentiles, the heathen nations, had enough of love for this. Unless the disciples could love better than the Jews, they would be on a level with publicans and heathen.