|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. The time which he willed and fixed for the redemption of his people, and in which he showed his goodwill and pleasure unto sinful men, in the gift of his Son to them, and for them; and which, as the Arabic and Syriac versions render it, was a time "acceptable to the Lord": the sufferings of Christ were according to his will; his sacrifice was of a sweet smelling savour to him; his righteousness he was well pleased with; and the satisfaction and atonement for sin he made was a plenary and complete one: all Christ did, and suffered, were grateful to God, because hereby his perfections were glorified, his purposes, counsel, and covenant were accomplished, and his people saved. The Persic version renders it, "to preach the law acceptable to God", neither agreeable to the original text, nor its sense; for Christ was sent to preach the Gospel, and not the law. In the Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions is added, "and the day of vengeance", out of the prophecy in Isaiah 61:2 but is not in any of the copies, or other versions. Our Lord did not read through all the three verses in the prophet, as it might be thought he would, and which was agreeable to the Jewish canon (c):
"he that reads in the law may not read less than three verses, and he may not read to an interpreter more than one verse, and in a prophet three; and if those three are three sections, they read everyone; they skip in a prophet, but they do not skip in the law.''
This last our Lord did, though he did not strictly attend to the former. Indeed, their rule, as elsewhere (d) given, obliged to read one and twenty verses; but this was not always observed; for
"if on a sabbath day there was an interpreter, or a preacher, they read in a prophet three verses, or five, or seven, and were not solicitous about twenty and one (e)''
(c) Misn. Megilia, c. 4. sect. 4. Massechet Sopherim, c. 11. sect. 1.((d) Piske Harosh Megilla, c. 3. art. 6. (e) Massechet Sopherim, c. 12. sect. 7.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
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.
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