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Lu 4:1-13. TEMPTATION OF CHRIST.
(See on Mt 4:1-11.)
Lu 4:14-32. JESUS ENTERING ON HIS PUBLIC MINISTRY, MAKES A CIRCUIT OF GALILEE--REJECTION AT NAZARETH.
Note.--A large gap here occurs, embracing the important transactions in Galilee and Jerusalem which are recorded in Joh 1:29-4:54, and which occurred before John's imprisonment (Joh 3:24); whereas the transactions here recorded occurred (as appears from Mt 4:12, 13) after that event. The visit to Nazareth recorded in Mt 13:54-58 (and Mr 6:1-6) we take to be not a later visit, but the same with this first one; because we cannot think that the Nazarenes, after being so enraged at His first display of wisdom as to attempt His destruction, should, on a second display of the same, wonder at it and ask how He came by it, as if they had never witnessed it before.
18, 19. To have fixed on any passage announcing His sufferings (as Isa 53:1-12), would have been unsuitable at that early stage of His ministry. But He selects a passage announcing the sublime object of His whole mission, its divine character, and His special endowments for it; expressed in the first person, and so singularly adapted to the first opening of the mouth in His prophetic capacity, that it seems as if made expressly for this occasion. It is from the well-known section of Isaiah's prophecies whose burden is that mysterious "SERVANT OF THE LORD," despised of man, abhorred of the nation, but before whom kings on seeing Him are to arise, and princes to worship; in visage more marred than any man and His form than the sons of men, yet sprinkling many nations; laboring seemingly in vain, and spending His strength for naught and in vain, yet Jehovah's Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and be His Salvation to the ends of the earth (Isa 49:1-26, &c.). The quotation is chiefly from the Septuagint version, used in the synagogues.
19. acceptable year--an allusion to the jubilee year (Le 25:10), a year of universal release for person and property. (See also Isa 49:8; 2Co 6:2.) As the maladies under which humanity groans are here set forth under the names of poverty, broken-heartedness, bondage, blindness, bruisedness (or crushedness), so, as the glorious HEALER of all these maladies, Christ announces Himself in the act of reading it, stopping the quotation just before it comes to "the day of vengeance," which was only to come on the rejecters of His message (Joh 3:17). The first words, "THE SPIRIT of the LORD is upon ME," have been noted since the days of the Church Fathers, as an illustrious example of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost being exhibited as in distinct yet harmonious action in the scheme of salvation.
22. gracious words--"the words of grace," referring both to the
richness of His matter and the sweetness of His manner
23. this proverb--like our "Charity begins at home."
24. And he said, &c.--He replies to the one proverb by another, equally familiar, which we express in a rougher form--"Too much familiarity breeds contempt." Our Lord's long residence in Nazareth merely as a townsman had made Him too common, incapacitating them for appreciating Him as others did who were less familiar with His everyday demeanor in private life. A most important principle, to which the wise will pay due regard. (See also Mt 7:6, on which our Lord Himself ever acted.)
25-27. But I tell you, &c.--falling back for support on the well-known
examples of Elijah and Elisha (Eliseus), whose miraculous power, passing
by those who were near, expended itself on those at a distance,
yea on heathens, "the two great prophets who stand at the commencement
of prophetic antiquity, and whose miracles strikingly prefigured those
of our Lord. As He intended like them to feed the poor and cleanse the
lepers, He points to these miracles of mercy, and not to the
fire from heaven and the bears that tore the mockers"
29. rose up--broke up the service irreverently and rushed forth.
30. passing through the midst, &c.--evidently in a miraculous way, though perhaps quite noiselessly, leading them to wonder afterwards what spell could have come over them, that they allowed Him to escape. (Similar escapes, however, in times of persecution, are not unexampled.)
Lu 4:33-37. DEMONIAC HEALED.
33. unclean--The frequency with which this character of impurity is applied to evil spirits is worthy of notice.
36. What a word--a word from the Lord of spirits.
Lu 4:38-41. PETER'S MOTHER-IN-LAW AND MANY OTHERS, HEALED.
(See on Mt 8:14-17.)
41. suffered them not to speak--The marginal reading ("to say that they knew him to be Christ") here is wrong. Our Lord ever refused testimony from devils, for the very reason why they were eager to give it, because He and they would thus seem to be one interest, as His enemies actually alleged. (See on Mt 12:24, &c.; see also Ac 16:16-18.)
Lu 4:42-44. JESUS SOUGHT OUT AT MORNING PRAYER, AND ENTREATED TO STAY, DECLINES FROM THE URGENCY OF HIS WORK.
43. I must, &c.--but duty only could move Him to deny entreaties so grateful to His spirit.