IV. 1. The wilderness - Supposed by some to have been in Judea; by others to have been that great desert of Horeb or Sinai, where the children of Israel were tried for forty years, and Moses and Elijah fasted forty days. Matthew 4:1; Mark 1:12.
Verse 4. Deuteronomy 8:3.
Verse 6. I give it to whomsoever I will - Not so, Satan. It is God, not thou, that putteth down one, and setteth up another: although sometimes Satan, by God's permission, may occasion great revolutions in the world.
Verse 8. Deuteronomy 6:13.
Verse 10. Psalms 91:11.
Verse 12. Deuteronomy 6:16.
Verse 13. A convenient season - In the garden of Gethsemane, Luke 22:53.
Verse 14. Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit - Being more abundantly strengthened after his conflict.
Verse 15. Being glorified of all - So God usually gives strong cordials after strong temptations. But neither their approbation continued long, nor the outward calm which he now enjoyed.
Verse 16. He stood up - Showing thereby that he had a desire to read the Scripture to the congregation: on which the book was given to him. It was the Jewish custom to read standing, but to preach sitting. Matthew 13:54; Mark 6:1.
Verse 17. He found - It seems, opening upon it, by the particular providence of God.
Verse 18. He hath anointed me - With the Spirit. He hath by the power of his Spirit which dwelleth in me, set me apart for these offices. To preach the Gospel to the poor - Literally and spiritually. How is the doctrine of the ever-blessed trinity interwoven, even in those scriptures where one would least expect it? How clear a declaration of the great Three-One is there in those very words, The Spirit - of the Lord is upon me! To proclaim deliverance to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised - Here is a beautiful gradation, in comparing the spiritual state of men to the miserable state of those captives, who are not only cast into prison, but, like Zedekiah, had their eyes put out, and were laden and bruised with chains of iron. Isaiah 61:1.
Verse 19. The acceptable year - Plainly alluding to the year of jubilee, when all, both debtors and servants, were set free.
Verse 21. To-day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears - By what you hear me speak.
Verse 22. The gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth - A person of spiritual discernment may find in all the discourses of our Lord a peculiar sweetness, gravity, and becomingness, such as is not to be found in the same degree, not even in those of the apostles.
Verse 23. Ye will surely say - That is, your approbation now outweighs your prejudices. But it will not be so long. You will soon ask, why my love does not begin at home? Why I do not work miracles here, rather than at Capernaum? It is because of your unbelief. Nor is it any new thing for me to be despised in my own country. So were both Elijah and Elisha, and thereby driven to work miracles among heathens, rather than in Israel.
Verse 24. No prophet is acceptable in his own country - That is, in his own neighbourhood. It generally holds, that a teacher sent from God is not so acceptable to his neighbours as he is to strangers. The meanness of his family, or lowness of his circumstances, bring his office into contempt: nor can they suffer that he, who was before equal with, or below themselves, should now bear a superior character.
Verse 25. When the heaven was shut up three years and six months - Such a proof had they that God had sent him. In 1 Kings 18:1, it is said, The word of the Lord came to Elijah in the third year: namely, reckoning not from the beginning of the drought, but from the time when he began to sojourn with the widow of Sarepta. A year of drought had preceded this, while he dwelt at the brook Cherith. So that the whole time of the drought was (as St. James likewise observes) three years and six months. 1 Kings 17:19; .
Verse 27. 2 Kings 5:14.
Verse 28. And all in the synagogue were filled with fury - Perceiving the purport of his discourse, namely, that the blessing which they despised, would be offered to, and accepted by, the Gentiles. So changeable are the hearts of wicked men! So little are their starts of love to be depended on! So unable are they to bear the close application, even of a discourse which they most admire!
Verse 30. Passing through the midst of them - Perhaps invisibly; or perhaps they were overawed; so that though they saw, they could not touch him.
Verse 31. He came down to Capernaum - And dwelt there, entirely quitting his abode at Nazareth. Mark 1:21.
Verse 34. What have we to do with thee - Thy present business is with men, not with devils. I know thee who thou art - But surely he did not know a little before, that he was God over all, blessed for ever; or he would not have dared to tell him, All this power is delivered to me, and I give it to whomsoever I will. The Holy One of God - Either this confession was extorted from him by terror, (for the devils believe and tremble,) or he made it with a design to render the character of Christ suspected. Possibly it was from hence the Pharisees took occasion to say, He casteth out devils by the prince of the devils.
Verse 38. Matthew 8:14; Mark 1:29.
Verse 40. When the sun was set - And consequently the Sabbath ended, which they reckoned from sunset to sunset. Matthew 8:16; Mark 1:32.
Verse 42. Mark 1:35.