Ver. 36,37. Some understand by idle words here, lying and deceitful words; others, contumelious and reproachful words. But the best interpreters here extend the sense further, not only from the sense of the word argon, here used, but because they judge our Saviour is here arguing from the less to the greater, convincing the Pharisees what a dreadful account they had to give for their blasphemous and reproachful words, when all must give an account even for those words which they speak to no good purpose, but vainly, without respect either to the glory of God, or the good of others, or their own necessary and lawful occasions. Hence the apostle doth not only forbid filthiness, foolish talking, and jestings, Eph_5:1, and corrupt communication, Eph_4:29, but in the same verse commandeth that Christians’ speech should be to the use of edifying, that it may administer grace to the hearers; and to the Colossians, Col_4:6, Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt. Nor will this seem too strict to those who consider, that any thing is abused when it is not used to the right end and use. God hath not given unto man his faculty of speech to fill the world with idle tattle and impertinent discourse, but that by it;
1. We might bless God, by prayers and praises, talking of his words and wondrous works.
2. That we might communicate our minds to men, in their or our own concerns, and so be mutually helpful one to another.
For by thy words thou shall be justified, &c.: what justified here signifies, appears by the word condemned, to which it is opposed. God will pronounce sentence for or against men in the last day, not only according to their other actions, but accordingly as they have used their tongues. If there were no other text in the Bible to prove that we have need of another righteousness, than any of our own, wherein to stand before God, this text alone would be enough, for if a man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, Jam_3:2.