|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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, Ro 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.
Verses 74, 75. - Might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. What Zacharias looked on to was a glorious theocracy based upon national holiness. Israel, freed from foreign oppression and internal dissensions, would serve God with a worship at once uninterrupted and undefiled.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
That he would grant unto us,.... What is said in this and the following verse, is the substance of the promised mercy, covenant, and oath:
that we being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, as before, in Luke 1:71.
might serve him without fear. One principal end of deliverance from spiritual enemies by Christ, is the service of God; and nothing lays a greater obligation on men to serve the Lord, and glorify him, than redemption by Christ; nor is there any thing that makes men more zealous of good works: spiritual and evangelical service, in distinction from the legal service, and worship of God, is here meant; since it is said to be "without fear", which the threatenings and curses of the law filled men with; but being delivered from it, they become free from that spirit of bondage unto fear, it genders to; as being delivered also from sin and Satan, they are without fear of hell and damnation; and from the world, they are without fear of men; and from death, they are without fear of that, through which many under the legal dispensation, were all their lifetime subject to bondage. It is a saying of the Jews (y), that:
"greater is he that serves from love, than he that serves from fear.
But such sort of service is not of a man's self, or performed by his own power and strength, but is a "grant" from God, and owing to the influence of his Spirit and grace,
(y) T. Bab. Sota, fol. 31. 1. Vid. Maimon. Hilch. Teshuva, c. 10, sect. 1, 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
74, 75. That he would grant us, &c.—How comprehensive is the view here given! (1) The purpose of all redemption—"that we should serve Him"—that is, "the Lord God of Israel" (Lu 1:68). The word signifies religious service distinctively—"the priesthood of the New Testament" [Bengel]. (2) The nature of this service—"in holiness and righteousness before Him" (Lu 1:75)—or, as in His presence (compare Ps 56:13). (3) Its freedom—"being delivered out of the hand of our enemies." (4) Its fearlessness—"might serve Him without fear." (5) Its duration—"all the days of our life."
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