• The Way of the Master
  • Let Down Your Nets

    There is no exclusion put upon any tribe or clan, no classes are laid under ban, no individuals are exempted. Therefore, Church of Christ, by the love you bear to your crucified Master, by His wounds and death for you, and by His living love to you, seek out the lost and gather together the outcasts. You fishers of men, launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a draught. You sowers of holy seed, go abroad, and sow the untrodden wastes. You consecrated builders, break away from old foundations, and lay fresh groundwork for a larger temple for your God and King. Surely the Spirit of love in a church will suggest this. ~ C. H. Spurgeon

    16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. ~ Romans 1:16, 17

    28 Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: ~ Colossians 1:28

    16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. ~ 1 Timothy 3:16

    6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. ~ John 14:6

    21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:21

    25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: 26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? ~ John 11:25,26

    16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. ~ John 3:16-18

    24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. ~ Galatians 3:24

    23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. ~ Romans 6:23

    8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. ~ Ephesians 2:8-10

    3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.~ John 3:3,7

    3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; ~ 1 Timothy 2:3-5

    13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. 14 But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; 15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. ~ Acts 3:13-15

    19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. ~ Acts 3:19-21

    36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. ~ John 3:36

    11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. ~ 1 John 5:11,12

    21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. ~ John 14:21

    7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. ~ 1 John 5:7

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The Preacher’s Private Prayer

A certain preacher, whose sermons converted men by scores, received a revelation from heaven that not one of the conversions was owing to his talents or eloquence, but all to the prayers of an illiterate lay-brother, who sat on the pulpit steps, pleading all the time for the success of the sermon. It may in the all-revealing day be so with us. We may discover, after having laboured long and wearily in preaching, that all the honour belongs to another builder, whose prayers were gold, silver, and precious stones, while our sermonisings being apart from prayer, were but hay and stubble.

~ The Preacher’s Private Prayer: Lectures to My Students at page 47 by Charles H. Spurgeon

Luke 5

The miraculous draught of fishes, Peter, James, and John called.

Luk 5:1-11  And it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gennesaret,  (2)  And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.  (3)  And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon’s, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.  (4)  Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.  (5)  And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.  (6)  And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.  (7)  And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.  (8)  When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.  (9)  For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:  (10)  And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.  (11)  And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.

Luke 5:1-11 When Christ had done preaching, he told Peter to apply to the business of his calling. Time spent on week days in public exercises of religion, need be but little hinderance in time, and may be great furtherance to us in temper of mind, as to our worldly business. With what cheerfulness may we go about the duties of our calling, when we have been with God, and thus have our worldly employments sanctified to us by the word and prayer! Though they had taken nothing, yet Christ told them to let down their nets again. We must not abruptly quit our callings because we have not the success in them we desire. We are likely to speed well, when we follow the guidance of Christ’s word. The draught of fishes was by a miracle. We must all, like Peter, own ourselves to be sinful men, therefore Jesus Christ might justly depart from us. But we must beseech him that he would not depart; for woe unto us if the Saviour depart from sinners! Rather let us entreat him to come and dwell in our hearts by faith, that he may transform and cleanse them. These fishermen forsook all, and followed Jesus, when their calling prospered. When riches increase, and we are tempted to set our hearts upon them, then to quit them for Christ is thankworthy.

A leper cleansed.

Luk 5:12-16  (12)  And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.  (13)  And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.  (14)  And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.  (15)  But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities.  (16)  And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.

Luke 5:12-16 This man is said to be full of leprosy; he had that distemper in a high degree, which represents our natural pollution by sin; we are full of that leprosy; from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot there is no soundness in us. Strong confidence and deep humility are united in the words of this leper. And if any sinner, from a deep sense of vileness, says, I know the Lord can cleanse, but will he look upon such a one as me? will he apply his own precious blood for my cleansing and healing? Yes, he will. Speak not as doubting, but as humbly referring the matter to Christ. And being saved from the guilt and power of our sins, let us spread abroad Christ’s fame, and bring others to hear him and to be healed.

A paralytic cured.

Luk 5:17-26  (17)  And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.  (18)  And, behold, men brought in a bed a man which was taken with a palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him.  (19)  And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in because of the multitude, they went upon the housetop, and let him down through the tiling with his couch into the midst before Jesus.  (20)  And when he saw their faith, he said unto him, Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.  (21)  And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, Who is this which speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone?  (22)  But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answering said unto them, What reason ye in your hearts?  (23)  Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?  (24)  But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.  (25)  And immediately he rose up before them, and took up that whereon he lay, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.  (26)  And they were all amazed, and they glorified God, and were filled with fear, saying, We have seen strange things to day.

Luke 5:17-26 How many are there in our assemblies, where the gospel is preached, who do not sit under the word, but sit by! It is to them as a tale that is told them, not as a message that is sent to them. Observe the duties taught and recommended to us by the history of the paralytic. In applying to Christ, we must be very pressing and urgent; that is an evidence of faith, and is very pleasing to Christ, and prevailing with him. Give us, Lord, the same kind of faith with respect to thy ability and willingness to heal our souls. Give us to desire the pardon of sin more than any earthly blessing, or life itself. Enable us to believe thy power to forgive sins; then will our souls cheerfully arise and go where thou pleasest.

Levi called, Christ’s answer to the Pharisees.

Luk 5:27-39  (27)  And after these things he went forth, and saw a publican, named Levi, sitting at the receipt of custom: and he said unto him, Follow me.  (28)  And he left all, rose up, and followed him.  (29)  And Levi made him a great feast in his own house: and there was a great company of publicans and of others that sat down with them.  (30)  But their scribes and Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, Why do ye eat and drink with publicans and sinners?  (31)  And Jesus answering said unto them, They that are whole need not a physician; but they that are sick.  (32)  I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.  (33)  And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink?  (34)  And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them?  (35)  But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.  (36)  And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old.  (37)  And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.  (38)  But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved.  (39)  No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.

Luke 5:27-39 It was a wonder of Christ’s grace, that he would call a publican to be his disciple and follower. It was a wonder of his grace, that the call was made so effectual. It was a wonder of his grace, that he came to call sinners to repentance, and to assure them of pardon. It was a wonder of his grace, that he so patiently bore the contradiction of sinners against himself and his disciples. It was a wonder of his grace, that he fixed the services of his disciples according to their strength and standing. The Lord trains up his people gradually for the trials allotted them; we should copy his example in dealing with the weak in faith, or the tempted believer.

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e-Sword – the Sword of the LORD with an electronic edge: King James Bible with Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

He Preached His Own Funeral Sermon!

Luke 4

The temptation of Christ.

Luk 4:1-13  And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,  (2)  Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.  (3)  And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.  (4)  And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.  (5)  And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.  (6)  And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.  (7)  If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.  (8)  And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.  (9)  And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:  (10)  For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:  (11)  And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.  (12)  And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.  (13)  And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

Luke 4:1-13 Christ’s being led into the wilderness gave an advantage to the tempter; for there he was alone, none were with him by whose prayers and advice he might be helped in the hour of temptation. He who knew his own strength might give Satan advantage; but we may not, who know our own weakness. Being in all things made like unto his brethren, Jesus would, like the other children of God, live in dependence upon the Divine Providence and promise. The word of God is our sword, and faith in that word is our shield. God has many ways of providing for his people, and therefore is at all times to be depended upon in the way of duty. All Satan’s promises are deceitful; and if he is permitted to have any influence in disposing of the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, he uses them as baits to insnare men to destruction. We should reject at once and with abhorrence, every opportunity of sinful gain or advancement, as a price offered for our souls; we should seek riches, honours, and happiness in the worship and service of God only. Christ will not worship Satan; nor, when he has the kingdoms of the world delivered to him by his Father, will he suffer any remains of the worship of the devil to continue in them. Satan also tempted Jesus to be his own murderer, by unfitting confidence in his Father’s protection, such as he had no warrant for. Let not any abuse of Scripture by Satan or by men abate our esteem, or cause us to abandon its use; but let us study it still, seek to know it, and seek our defence from it in all kinds of assaults. Let this word dwell richly in us, for it is our life. Our victorious Redeemer conquered, not for himself only, but for us also. The devil ended all the temptation. Christ let him try all his force, and defeated him. Satan saw it was to no purpose to attack Christ, who had nothing in him for his fiery darts to fasten upon. And if we resist the devil, he will flee from us. Yet he departed but till the season when he was again to be let loose upon Jesus, not as a tempter, to draw him to sin, and so to strike at his head, at which he now aimed and was wholly defeated in; but as a persecutor, to bring Christ to suffer, and so to bruise his heel, which it was told him, he should have to do, and would do, though it would be the breaking of his own head, Gen_3:15. Though Satan depart for a season, we shall never be out of his reach till removed from this present evil world.

Christ in the synagogue of Nazareth.

Luk 4:14-30  (14)  And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.  (15)  And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.  (16)  And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.  (17)  And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,  (18)  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,  (19)  To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.  (20)  And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.  (21)  And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.  (22)  And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?  (23)  And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.  (24)  And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.  (25)  But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;  (26)  But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.  (27)  And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.  (28)  And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,  (29)  And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.  (30)  But he passing through the midst of them went his way,

Luke 4:14-30 Christ taught in their synagogues, their places of public worship, where they met to read, expound, and apply the word, to pray and praise. All the gifts and graces of the Spirit were upon him and on him, without measure. By Christ, sinners may be loosed from the bonds of guilt, and by his Spirit and grace from the bondage of corruption. He came by the word of his gospel, to bring light to those that sat in the dark, and by the power of his grace, to give sight to those that were blind. And he preached the acceptable year of the Lord. Let sinners attend to the Saviour’s invitation when liberty is thus proclaimed. Christ’s name was Wonderful; in nothing was he more so than in the word of his grace, and the power that went along with it. We may well wonder that he should speak such words of grace to such graceless wretches as mankind. Some prejudice often furnishes an objection against the humbling doctrine of the cross; and while it is the word of God that stirs up men’s enmity, they will blame the conduct or manner of the speaker. The doctrine of God’s sovereignty, his right to do his will, provokes proud men. They will not seek his favour in his own way; and are angry when others have the favours they neglect. Still is Jesus rejected by multitudes who hear the same message from his words. While they crucify him afresh by their sins, may we honour him as the Son of God, the Saviour of men, and seek to show we do so by our obedience.

He casts out an unclean spirit and heals the sick.

Luk 4:31-44  (31)  And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days.  (32)  And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.  (33)  And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice,  (34)  Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.  (35)  And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not.  (36)  And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! for with authority and power he commandeth the unclean spirits, and they come out.  (37)  And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.  (38)  And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her.  (39)  And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.  (40)  Now when the sun was setting, all they that had any sick with divers diseases brought them unto him; and he laid his hands on every one of them, and healed them.  (41)  And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Christ the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ.  (42)  And when it was day, he departed and went into a desert place: and the people sought him, and came unto him, and stayed him, that he should not depart from them.  (43)  And he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent.  (44)  And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee.

Luke 4:31-44 Christ’s preaching much affected the people; and a working power went with it to the consciences of men. These miracles showed Christ to be a controller and conqueror of Satan, a healer of diseases. Where Christ gives a new life, in recovery from sickness, it should be a new life, spent more than ever in his service, to his glory. Our business should be to spread abroad Christ’s fame in every place, to beseech him in behalf of those diseased in body or mind, and to use our influence in bringing sinners to him, that his hands may be laid upon them for their healing. He cast the devils out of many who were possessed. We were not sent into this world to live to ourselves only, but to glorify God, and to do good in our generation. The people sought him, and came unto him. A desert is no desert, if we are with Christ there. He will continue with us, by his word and Spirit, and extend the same blessings to other nations, till, throughout the earth, the servants and worshippers of Satan are brought to acknowledge him as the Christ, the Son of God, and to find redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.

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e-Sword – the Sword of the LORD with an electronic edge: King James Bible with Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

Luke 3

John the Baptist’s ministry.

Luk 3:1-14  Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,  (2)  Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.  (3)  And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;  (4)  As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.  (5)  Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;  (6)  And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.  (7)  Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  (8)  Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.  (9)  And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  (10)  And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?  (11)  He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.  (12)  Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?  (13)  And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.  (14)  And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

Luke 3:1-14 The scope and design of John’s ministry were, to bring the people from their sins, and to their Saviour. He came preaching, not a sect, or party, but a profession; the sign or ceremony was washing with water. By the words here used John preached the necessity of repentance, in order to the remission of sins, and that the baptism of water was an outward sign of that inward cleansing and renewal of heart, which attend, or are the effects of true repentance, as well as a profession of it. Here is the fulfilling of the Scriptures, Isa_40:3, in the ministry of John. When way is made for the gospel into the heart, by taking down high thoughts, and bringing them into obedience to Christ, by levelling the soul, and removing all that hinders us in the way of Christ and his grace, then preparation is made to welcome the salvation of God. Here are general warnings and exhortations which John gave. The guilty, corrupted race of mankind is become a generation of vipers; hateful to God, and hating one another. There is no way of fleeing from the wrath to come, but by repentance; and by the change of our way the change of our mind must be shown. If we are not really holy, both in heart and life, our profession of religion and relation to God and his church, will stand us in no stead at all; the sorer will our destruction be, if we do not bring forth fruits meet for repentance. John the Baptist gave instructions to several sorts of persons. Those that profess and promise repentance, must show it by reformation, according to their places and conditions. The gospel requires mercy, not sacrifice; and its design is, to engage us to do all the good we can, and to be just to all men. And the same principle which leads men to forego unjust gain, leads to restore that which is gained by wrong. John tells the soldiers their duty. Men should be cautioned against the temptations of their employments. These answers declared the present duty of the inquirers, and at once formed a test of their sincerity. As none can or will accept Christ’s salvation without true repentance, so the evidence and effects of this repentance are here marked out.

John the Baptist testifies concerning Christ.

Luk 3:15-20  (15)  And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;  (16)  John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:  (17)  Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.  (18)  And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.  (19)  But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done,  (20)  Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.

Luke 3:15-20 John the Baptist disowned being himself the Christ, but confirmed the people in their expectations of the long-promised Messiah. He could only exhort them to repent, and assure them of forgiveness upon repentance; but he could not work repentance in them, nor confer remission on them. Thus highly does it become us to speak of Christ, and thus humbly of ourselves. John can do no more than baptize with water, in token that they ought to purify and cleanse themselves; but Christ can, and will baptize with the Holy Ghost; he can give the Spirit, to cleanse and purify the heart, not only as water washes off the dirt on the outside, but as fire clears out the dross that is within, and melts down the metal, that it may be cast into a new mould. John was an affectionate preacher; he was beseeching; he pressed things home upon his hearers. He was a practical preacher; quickening them to their duty, and directing them in it. He was a popular preacher; he addressed the people, according to their capacity. He was an evangelical preacher. In all his exhortations, he directed people to Christ. When we press duty upon people, we must direct them to Christ, both for righteousness and strength. He was a copious preacher; he shunned not to declare the whole counsel of God. But a full stop was put to John’s preaching when he was in the midst of his usefulness. Herod being reproved by him for many evils, shut up John in prison. Those who injure the faithful servants of God, add still greater guilt to their other sins.

The baptism of Christ.

Luk 3:21-22  (21)  Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,  (22)  And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

Luke 3:21-22 Christ did not confess sin, as others did, for he had none to confess; but he prayed, as others did, and kept up communion with his Father. Observe, all the three voices from heaven, by which the Father bare witness to the Son, were pronounced while he was praying, or soon after, Luk_9:35; Joh_12:28. The Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and there came a voice from heaven, from God the Father, from the excellent glory. Thus was a proof of the Holy Trinity, of the Three Persons in the Godhead, given at the baptism of Christ.

The genealogy of Christ.

Luk 3:23-38  (23)  And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,  (24)  Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Janna, which was the son of Joseph,  (25)  Which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Amos, which was the son of Naum, which was the son of Esli, which was the son of Nagge,  (26)  Which was the son of Maath, which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Semei, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Juda,  (27)  Which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was the son of Zorobabel, which was the son of Salathiel, which was the son of Neri,  (28)  Which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Addi, which was the son of Cosam, which was the son of Elmodam, which was the son of Er,  (29)  Which was the son of Jose, which was the son of Eliezer, which was the son of Jorim, which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi,  (30)  Which was the son of Simeon, which was the son of Juda, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Jonan, which was the son of Eliakim,  (31)  Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David,  (32)  Which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Booz, which was the son of Salmon, which was the son of Naasson,  (33)  Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda,  (34)  Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor,  (35)  Which was the son of Saruch, which was the son of Ragau, which was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala,  (36)  Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem, which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lamech,  (37)  Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan,  (38)  Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.

Luke 3:23-38 Matthew’s list of the forefathers of Jesus showed that Christ was the son of Abraham, in whom all the families of the earth are blessed, and heir to the throne of David; but Luke shows that Jesus was the Seed of the woman that should break the serpent’s head, and traces the line up to Adam, beginning with Eli, or Heli, the father, not of Joseph, but of Mary. The seeming differences between the two evangelists in these lists of names have been removed by learned men. But our salvation does not depend upon our being able to solve these difficulties, nor is the Divine authority of the Gospels at all weakened by them. The list of names ends thus, “Who was the son of Adam, the son of God;” that is, the offspring of God by creation. Christ was both the son of Adam and the Son of God, that he might be a proper Mediator between God and the sons of Adam, and might bring the sons of Adam to be, through him, the sons of God. All flesh, as descended from the first Adam, is as grass, and withers as the flower of the field; but he who partakes of the Holy Spirit of life from the Second Adam, has that eternal happiness, which by the gospel is preached unto us.

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e-Sword – the Sword of the LORD with an electronic edge: King James Bible with Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

Luke 2

The birth of Christ.

Luk 2:1-7  And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.  (2)  (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)  (3)  And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.  (4)  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)  (5)  To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.  (6)  And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  (7)  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2:1-7 The fulness of time was now come, when God would send forth his Son, made of a woman, and made under the law. The circumstances of his birth were very mean. Christ was born at an inn; he came into the world to sojourn here for awhile, as at an inn, and to teach us to do likewise. We are become by sin like an outcast infant, helpless and forlorn; and such a one was Christ. He well knew how unwilling we are to be meanly lodged, clothed, or fed; how we desire to have our children decorated and indulged; how apt the poor are to envy the rich, and how prone the rich to disdain the poor. But when we by faith view the Son of God being made man and lying in a manger, our vanity, ambition, and envy are checked. We cannot, with this object rightly before us, seek great things for ourselves or our children.

It is made known to the shepherds.

Luk 2:8-20 (8)  And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  (9)  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  (10)  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  (11)  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  (12)  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  (13)  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,  (14)  Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.  (15)  And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.  (16)  And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.  (17)  And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.  (18)  And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.  (19)  But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.  (20)  And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Luke 2:8-20 Angels were heralds of the new-born Saviour, but they were only sent to some poor, humble, pious, industrious shepherds, who were in the business of their calling, keeping watch over their flock. We are not out of the way of Divine visits, when we are employed in an honest calling, and abide with God in it. Let God have the honour of this work; Glory to God in the highest. God’s good-will to men, manifested in sending the Messiah, redounds to his praise. Other works of God are for his glory, but the redemption of the world is for his glory in the highest. God’s goodwill in sending the Messiah, brought peace into this lower world. Peace is here put for all that good which flows to us from Christ’s taking our nature upon him. This is a faithful saying, attested by an innumerable company of angels, and well worthy of all acceptation, That the good-will of God toward men, is glory to God in the highest, and peace on the earth. The shepherds lost no time, but came with haste to the place. They were satisfied, and made known abroad concerning this child, that he was the Saviour, even Christ the Lord. Mary carefully observed and thought upon all these things, which were so suited to enliven her holy affections. We should be more delivered from errors in judgment and practice, did we more fully ponder these things in our hearts. It is still proclaimed in our ears that to us is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord. These should be glad tidings to all.

Christ presented in the temple.

Luk 2:21-24  (21)  And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.  (22)  And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;  (23)  (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)  (24)  And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

Luke 2:21-24 Our Lord Jesus was not born in sin, and did not need that mortification of a corrupt nature, or that renewal unto holiness, which were signified by circumcision. This ordinance was, in his case, a pledge of his future perfect obedience to the whole law, in the midst of sufferings and temptations, even unto death for us. At the end of forty days, Mary went up to the temple to offer the appointed sacrifices for her purification. Joseph also presented the holy child Jesus, because, as a first-born son, he was to be presented to the Lord, and redeemed according to the law. Let us present our children to the Lord who gave them to us, beseeching him to redeem them from sin and death, and make them holy to himself.

Simeon prophesies concerning Jesus.

Luk 2:25-35  (25)  And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.  (26)  And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.  (27)  And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,  (28)  Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,  (29)  Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:  (30)  For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,  (31)  Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;  (32)  A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.  (33)  And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.  (34)  And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;  (35)  (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

Luke 2:25-35 The same Spirit that provided for the support of Simeon’s hope, provided for his joy. Those who would see Christ must go to his temple. Here is a confession of his faith, that this Child in his arms was the Saviour, the salvation itself, the salvation of God’s appointing. He bids farewell to this world. How poor does this world look to one that has Christ in his arms, and salvation in his view! See here, how comfortable is the death of a good man; he departs in peace with God, peace with his own conscience, in peace with death. Those that have welcomed Christ, may welcome death. Joseph and Mary marvelled at the things which were spoken of this Child. Simeon shows them likewise, what reason they had to rejoice with trembling. And Jesus, his doctrine, and people, are still spoken against; his truth and holiness are still denied and blasphemed; his preached word is still the touchstone of men’s characters. The secret good affections in the minds of some, will be revealed by their embracing Christ; the secret corruptions of others will be revealed by their enmity to Christ. Men will be judged by the thoughts of their hearts concerning Christ. He shall be a suffering Jesus; his mother shall suffer with him, because of the nearness of her relation and affection.

Anna prophesies concerning him.

Luk 2:36-40  (36)  And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;  (37)  And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.  (38)  And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.  (39)  And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.  (40)  And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

Luke 2:36-40 There was much evil then in the church, yet God left not himself without witness. Anna always dwelt in, or at least attended at, the temple. She was always in a praying spirit; gave herself to prayer, and in all things she served God. Those to whom Christ is made known, have great reason to thank the Lord. She taught others concerning him. Let the example of the venerable saints, Simeon and Anna, give courage to those whose hoary heads are, like theirs, a crown of glory, being found in the way of righteousness. The lips soon to be silent in the grave, should be showing forth the praises of the Redeemer. In all things it became Christ to be made like unto his brethren, therefore he passed through infancy and childhood as other children, yet without sin, and with manifest proofs of the Divine nature in him. By the Spirit of God all his faculties performed their offices in a manner not seen in any one else. Other children have foolishness bound in their hearts, which appears in what they say or do, but he was filled with wisdom, by the influence of the Holy Ghost; every thing he said and did, was wisely said and wisely done, above his years. Other children show the corruption of their nature; nothing but the grace of God was upon him.

Christ with the learned men in the temple.

Luk 2:41-52  (41)  Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.  (42)  And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.  (43)  And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.  (44)  But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.  (45)  And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.  (46)  And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.  (47)  And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.  (48)  And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.  (49)  And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?  (50)  And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.  (51)  And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.  (52)  And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

Luke 2:41-52 It is for the honour of Christ that children should attend on public worship. His parents did not return till they had stayed all the seven days of the feast. It is well to stay to the end of an ordinance, as becomes those who say, It is good to be here. Those that have lost their comforts in Christ, and the evidences of their having a part in him, must bethink themselves where, and when, and how they lost them, and must turn back again. Those that would recover their lost acquaintance with Christ, must go to the place in which he has put his name; there they may hope to meet him. They found him in some part of the temple, where the doctors of the law kept their schools; he was sitting there, hearkening to their instructions, proposing questions, and answering inquiries, with such wisdom, that those who heard were delighted with him. Young persons should seek the knowledge of Divine truth, attend the ministry of the gospel, and ask such questions of their elders and teachers as may tend to increase their knowledge. Those who seek Christ in sorrow, shall find him with the greater joy. Know ye not that I ought to be in my Father’s house; at my Father’s work; I must be about my Father’s business. Herein is an example; for it becomes the children of God, in conformity to Christ, to attend their heavenly Father’s business, and make all other concerns give way to it. Though he was the Son of God, yet he was subject to his earthly parents; how then will the foolish and weak sons of men answer it, who are disobedient to their parents? However we may neglect men’s sayings, because they are obscure, yet we must not think so of God’s sayings. That which at first is dark, may afterwards become plain and easy. The greatest and wisest, those most eminent, may learn of this admirable and Divine Child, that it is the truest greatness of soul to know our own place and office; to deny ourselves amusements and pleasures not consistent with our state and calling.

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e-Sword – the Sword of the LORD with an electronic edge: King James Bible with Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

Luke 1

The Preface.

Luk 1:1-4  Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,  (2)  Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;  (3)  It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,  (4)  That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

Luke 1:1-4 Luke will not write of things about which Christians may safely differ from one another, and hesitate within themselves; but the things which are, and ought to be surely believed. The doctrine of Christ is what the wisest and best of men have ventured their souls upon with confidence and satisfaction. And the great events whereon our hopes depend, have been recorded by those who were from the beginning eye-witnesses and ministers of the word, and who were perfected in their understanding of them through Divine inspiration.

Zacharias and Elisabeth.

Luk 1:5-25  (5)  There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.  (6)  And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.  (7)  And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.  (8)  And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course,  (9)  According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.  (10)  And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.  (11)  And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.  (12)  And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.  (13)  But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.  (14)  And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.  (15)  For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.  (16)  And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.  (17)  And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.  (18)  And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.  (19)  And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.  (20)  And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.  (21)  And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.  (22)  And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.  (23)  And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.  (24)  And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,  (25)  Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

Luke 1:5-25 The father and mother of John the Baptist were sinners as all are, and were justified and saved in the same way as others; but they were eminent for piety and integrity. They had no children, and it could not be expected that Elisabeth should have any in her old age. While Zacharias was burning incense in the temple, the whole multitude of the people were praying without. All the prayers we offer up to God, are acceptable and successful only by Christ’s intercession in the temple of God above. We cannot expect an interest therein if we do not pray, and pray with our spirits, and are not earnest in prayer. Nor can we expect that the best of our prayers should gain acceptance, and bring an answer of peace, but through the mediation of Christ, who ever lives, making intercession. The prayers Zacharias often made, received an answer of peace. Prayers of faith are filed in heaven, and are not forgotten. Prayers made when we were young and entering into the world, may be answered when we are old and going out of the world. Mercies are doubly sweet that are given in answer to prayer. Zacharias shall have a son in his old age, who shall be instrumental in the conversion of many souls to God, and preparing them to receive the gospel of Christ. He shall go before Him with courage, zeal, holiness, and a mind dead to earthly interests and pleasures. The disobedient and rebellious would be brought back to the wisdom of their righteous forefathers, or rather, brought to attend to the wisdom of that Just One who was coming among them. Zacharias heard all that the angel said; but his unbelief spake. In striking him dumb, God dealt justly with him, because he had objected against God’s word. We may admire the patience of God towards us. God dealt kindly with him, for thus he prevented his speaking any more distrustful, unbelieving words. Thus also God confirmed his faith. If by the rebukes we are under for our sin, we are brought to give the more credit to the word of God, we have no reason to complain. Even real believers are apt to dishonour God by unbelief; and their mouths are stopped in silence and confusion, when otherwise they would have been praising God with joy and gratitude. In God’s gracious dealings with us we ought to observe his gracious regards to us. He has looked on us with compassion and favour, and therefore has thus dealt with us.

Christ’s birth announced.

Luk 1:26-38  (26)  And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,  (27)  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.  (28)  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.  (29)  And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.  (30)  And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.  (31)  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.  (32)  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:  (33)  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.  (34)  Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?  (35)  And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.  (36)  And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.  (37)  For with God nothing shall be impossible.  (38)  And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Luke 1:26-38 We have here an account of the mother of our Lord; though we are not to pray to her, yet we ought to praise God for her. Christ must be born miraculously. The angel’s address means only, Hail, thou that art the especially chosen and favoured of the Most High, to attain the honour Jewish mothers have so long desired. This wondrous salutation and appearance troubled Mary. The angel then assured her that she had found favour with God, and would become the mother of a son whose name she should call Jesus, the Son of the Highest, one in a nature and perfection with the Lord God. JESUS! the name that refreshes the fainting spirits of humbled sinners; sweet to speak and sweet to hear, Jesus, a Saviour! We know not his riches and our own poverty, therefore we run not to him; we perceive not that we are lost and perishing, therefore a Saviour is a word of little relish. Were we convinced of the huge mass of guilt that lies upon us, and the wrath that hangs over us for it, ready to fall upon us, it would be our continual thought, Is the Saviour mine? And that we might find him so, we should trample on all that hinders our way to him. Mary’s reply to the angel was the language of faith and humble admiration, and she asked no sign for the confirming her faith. Without controversy, great was the mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh, 1Ti_3:16. Christ’s human nature must be produced so, as it was fit that should be which was to be taken into union with the Divine nature. And we must, as Mary here, guide our desires by the word of God. In all conflicts, let us remember that with God nothing is impossible; and as we read and hear his promises, let us turn them into prayers, Behold the willing servant of the Lord; let it be unto me according to thy word.

Interview of Mary and Elisabeth.

Luk 1:39-56  (39)  And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;  (40)  And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.  (41)  And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:  (42)  And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.  (43)  And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?  (44)  For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.  (45)  And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.  (46)  And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,  (47)  And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.  (48)  For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.  (49)  For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.  (50)  And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.  (51)  He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.  (52)  He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.  (53)  He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.  (54)  He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;  (55)  As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.  (56)  And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.

Luke 1:39-56 It is very good for those who have the work of grace begun in their souls, to communicate one to another. On Mary’s arrival, Elisabeth was conscious of the approach of her who was to be the mother of the great Redeemer. At the same time she was filled with the Holy Ghost, and under his influence declared that Mary and her expected child were most blessed and happy, as peculiarly honoured of and dear to the Most High God. Mary, animated by Elisabeth’s address, and being also under the influence of the Holy Ghost, broke out into joy, admiration, and gratitude. She knew herself to be a sinner who needed a Saviour, and that she could no otherwise rejoice in God than as interested in his salvation through the promised Messiah. Those who see their need of Christ, and are desirous of righteousness and life in him, he fills with good things, with the best things; and they are abundantly satisfied with the blessings he gives. He will satisfy the desires of the poor in spirit who long for spiritual blessings, while the self-sufficient shall be sent empty away.

The birth of John the Baptist.

Luk 1:57-66  (57)  Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.  (58)  And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.  (59)  And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.  (60)  And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.  (61)  And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.  (62)  And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.  (63)  And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all.  (64)  And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.  (65)  And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea.  (66)  And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.

Luke 1:57-66 In these verses we have an account of the birth of John the Baptist, and the great joy among all the relations of the family. He shall be called Johanan, or “Gracious,” because he shall bring in the gospel of Christ, wherein God’s grace shines most bright. Zacharias recovered his speech. Unbelief closed his mouth, and believing opened it again: he believes, therefore he speaks. When God opens our lips, our mouths must show forth his praise; and better be without speech, than not use it in praising God. It is said, The hand of the Lord was working with John. God has ways of working on children in their infancy, which we cannot account for. We should observe the dealings of God, and wait the event.

The song of Zacharias.

Luk 1:67-80  (67)  And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,  (68)  Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,  (69)  And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;  (70)  As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:  (71)  That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;  (72)  To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;  (73)  The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,  (74)  That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,  (75)  In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.  (76)  And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;  (77)  To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,  (78)  Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,  (79)  To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.  (80)  And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.

Luke 1:67-80 Zacharias uttered a prophecy concerning the kingdom and salvation of the Messiah. The gospel brings light with it; in it the day dawns. In John the Baptist it began to break, and increased apace to the perfect day. The gospel is discovering; it shows that about which we were utterly in the dark; it is to give light to those that sit in darkness, the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. It is reviving; it brings light to those that sit in the shadow of death, as condemned prisoners in the dungeon. It is directing; it is to guide our feet in the way of peace, into that way which will bring us to peace at last, Rom_3:17. John gave proofs of strong faith, vigorous and holy affections, and of being above the fear and love of the world. Thus he ripened for usefulness; but he lived a retired life, till he came forward openly as the forerunner of the Messiah. Let us follow peace with all men, as well as seek peace with God and our own consciences. And if it be the will of God that we live unknown to the world, still let us diligently seek to grow strong in the grace of Jesus Christ.

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e-Sword – the Sword of the LORD with an electronic edge: King James Bible with Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary

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