|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:29-39 Wherever Christ comes, he comes to do good. He cures, that we may minister to him, and to others who are his, and for his sake. Those kept from public ordinances by sickness or other real hinderances, may expect the Saviour's gracious presence; he will soothe their sorrows, and abate their pains. Observe how numerous the patients were. When others speed well with Christ, it should quicken us in seeking after him. Christ departed into a solitary place. Though he was in no danger of distraction, or of temptation to vain-glory, yet he retired. Those who have the most business in public, and of the best kind, must yet sometimes be alone with God.
Verse 35. - And in the morning, at great while before day, he rose up and went out, and departed into a desert place, and there prayed. Our Lord thus prepared himself by prayer for his first departure on a missionary tour. This would be the morning of the first day of the week. A great while before day he left the scene of excitement. That was not a time for preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom. The miracles attracted attention to him, but they were not the object for which he came. They were necessary as means of stirring and awakening men's minds, and of fixing their attention upon him and upon the great salvation which he came to reveal. So he left the miracles to do their subordinate work; and he himself went into a desert place, that he might pray with more quiet and less distraction. He retired that he might escape the applause of men, which they were ready to lavish upon him after seeing so many miracles; that he might thus teach us to shun the praise of men. Let us learn from Christ to give the early morning to prayer, and to rise with the dawn of day, that we may have time for meditation, and give the firstfruits of the morning to God. The early morning is favorable for study; but it is specially dear to God and his angels.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And in the morning, rising up a great white before day,.... On the morrow after the sabbath, on the first day in the morning, notwithstanding the fatigue of the former day, through preaching and working miracles; yet he rose up very early while it was very much within the night, as the light and day were coming on, and before the day broke; though it might be broad day before he departed out of the house, as Luke suggests, Luke 4:42,
he went out; out of the house of Simon and Andrew, and out of the city of Capernaum, leaving his disciples and friends behind him:
and departed into a solitary place, and there he prayed; as man, to his God and Father; it may be for his disciples he had lately chosen; for himself, as man, that he might be strengthened as such for service; and for success in his ministry, and that his Gospel might run and be glorified; he chose a desert, and solitary place, for the sake of retirement, from the crowd of people that attended at Peter's door; where he could not be alone, and in private, and as most suitable for the exercise of prayer. His early and private devotion may be an example to us.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
35. And in the morning—that is, of the day after this remarkable sabbath; or, on the first day of the week. His choosing this day to inaugurate a new and glorious stage of His public work, should be noted by the reader.
rising up a great while before day—"while it was yet night," or long before daybreak.
he went out—all unperceived from Peter's house, where He slept.
and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed—or, "continued in prayer." He was about to begin His first preaching and healing circuit; and as on similar solemn occasions (Lu 5:16; 6:12; 9:18, 28, 29; Mr 6:46), He spent some time in special prayer, doubtless with a view to it. What would one not give to have been, during the stillness of those grey morning hours, within hearing—not of His "strong crying and tears," for He had scarce arrived at the stage for that—but of His calm, exalted anticipations of the work which lay immediately before Him, and the outpourings of His soul about it into the bosom of Him that sent Him! He had doubtless enjoyed some uninterrupted hours of such communings with His heavenly Father ere His friends from Capernaum arrived in search of Him. As for them, they doubtless expected, after such a day of miracles, that the next day would witness similar manifestations. When morning came, Peter, loath to break in upon the repose of his glorious Guest, would await His appearance beyond the usual hour; but at length, wondering at the stillness, and gently coming to see where the Lord lay, he finds it—like the sepulchre afterwards—empty! Speedily a party is made up to go in search of Him, Peter naturally leading the way.
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