Luke 4:22
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?
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(22) The gracious words.—Literally, the words of grace. It is noticeable that the latter noun does not occur at all in St. Matthew or St. Mark, becomes prominent in the Acts, and is afterwards the most characteristic word of the Epistles of St. Paul and St. Peter.

Luke 4:22. And all the congregation bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words, &c. — By this it appears, that our Lord proved and illustrated his assertion, (that the passage he had read was that day fulfilled,) in a discourse of considerable length, the subject of which only is mentioned by Luke. And it seems also, that on this occasion he delivered his thoughts with such strength of reason, clearness of method, and, perhaps also, beauty of expression, that his townsmen, who all knew he had not had the advantage of a liberal education, were so astonished, that in their conversation one with another they could not forbear expressing their admiration. At the same time, however, their carnal and worldly spirit, not to say the malevolence also of their disposition, led them to mingle with their praises a reflection, which they thought sufficiently confuted his pretensions of being the Messiah, and showed the absurdity of the application which he had made of Isaiah’s prophecy to himself, in that character; And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son? &c.

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.All bare him witness - All were witnesses of the power and truth of what he said. Their reason and conscience approved of it, and they were constrained to admit the force and propriety of it, and on this account they wondered.

They wondered - They were struck with the truth and force of his words; and especially when they remembered that he was a native of their own place, and that they had been long acquainted with him, and that he should "now" claim to be the Messiah, and give so much evidence that he "was" the Christ.

The gracious words - The words of grace or favor; the kind, affectionate, and tender exposition of the words, and explanation of the design of his coming, and the nature of the plan of redemption. It was so different from the harsh and unfeeling mode of the Pharisees; so different from all their expectations respecting the Messiah, who they supposed to be a prince and a bloody conqueror, that they were filled with astonishment and awe.

22. gracious words—"the words of grace," referring both to the richness of His matter and the sweetness of His manner (Ps 45:2).

Is not this, &c.—(See on [1565]Mt 13:54-56). They knew He had received no rabbinical education, and anything supernatural they seemed incapable of conceiving.

All that heard our Saviour in the synagogue bare him witness. Of what? Not that he was the Messias, much less the Son of God; but they praised his discourse in opening the prophecy: they did not believe in him, but they admired the wisdom and piety of his discourses, they admired the effects of the grace of God in him, his

gracious words. But see the wretchedness of carnal hearts, in their proneness to take no prejudices, to choke the beginnings of any convictions in themselves. They do not admire the power of Divine grace, that it could so far influence one of so mean an education as they took Christ to have had; but dreaming that the kingdom of God must come with observation, and the coming of the Messiah must be in great outward splendour and glory, they stumble at his parents, because (though of the house of David) they were of so mean a visible quality.

And all bare him witness,.... That he was right in applying the words to the Messiah; but not that he himself was the Messiah, and that he was right in applying them to himself; for they did not believe in him, as appears from what follows

and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth; not so much at the matter, the sum, and substance of them, as expressive of the love, grace, and favour of God shown in the mission and unction of the Messiah, and in that liberty, deliverance, and salvation he was sent to effect and proclaim; as at the graceful manner in which he delivered himself, and the aptness of his words, the propriety of his diction, and the majesty, power, and authority, with which his expressions were clothed; and they were more amazed at all this, since they knew his parentage and education, and in what manner he had been brought up among them; and therefore it was astonishing to them, where he had his learning, knowledge, and wisdom:

and they said, is not this Joseph's son? the carpenter, and who was brought up, by him, to his trade, and never learned letters; from whom had he this doctrine? of whom has he learned this way of address, and to speak with so much eloquence and propriety, since his education was mean, and he has never been at the feet of any of the doctors, or has been brought up in any of the academies and schools of learning?

{4} And all {e} bare him witness, and {f} wondered at the {g} gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph's son?

(4) Familiarity causes Christ to be condemned and therefore he often goes to strangers.

(e) Approved those things which he spoke with common consent and voice: for this word witness signifies in this place (and many others) to allow and approve a thing with open confession.

(f) Present at this meeting of the scriptures were not only the learned, but also the common people: and besides that, their mother tongue was used, for how else could the people have wondered? Paul appointed the same manner for doing things in the Church at Corinth; 1Co 14:1-40.

(g) Words full of the mighty power of God, which appeared in all his doings, and as well allured men marvellously unto him; see Ps 45:2, grace is poured into thy lips.

Luke 4:22. Ἐμαρτύρ. αὐτῷ] testified in His behalf, praising Him. See Kypke, Loesner, and Krebs. Frequently in the Acts, Romans 10:2, Galatians 4:15, and elsewhere.

ἐπὶ τοῖς λόγοις τῆς χάριτος] at the sayings of graciousness (genitivus qualitatis), comp. on Colossians 4:6; Hom. Od. viii. 175: χάρις ἀμφιπεριστέφεται ἐπέεσσιν; Sir 21:16; Sir 37:21.

καὶ ἔλεγον] not: at nonnulli dicebant, Kuinoel, Paulus, and older commentators; but their amazement, which ought to have been expressed simply at the matter of fact, showed itself, after the fashion of the Abderites, from the background of a limited regard for the person with whom they knew that these λόγους τ. χάριτος did not correspond.

ὁ υἱὸς Ἰωσήφ] If Luke had intended to anticipate the later history of Matthew 13. and Mark 6., for what purpose would he have omitted the brothers and sisters?

Luke 4:22-30. The sequel.

22. gracious words] Rather, words of grace. The word grace does not here mean mercy or favour (Gnade), but beauty and attractiveness (Anmuth). This verse and John 7:46 are the chief proofs that there was in our Lord’s utterance an irresistible majesty and sweetness. Comp. Psalm 45:2; John 1:14.

And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?] This points to a gradual change in the feeling of the listening Nazarenes. The Jews in their synagogues did not sit in silence, but were accustomed to give full expression to their feelings, and to discuss and make remarks aloud. Jealousy began to work among them, Matthew 13:54; John 6:42. “The village beggarly pride of the Nazarenes cannot at all comprehend the humility of the Great One.” Stier.

Luke 4:22. Ἐθαύμάζον) Θαυμάζω sometimes signifies, I praise, I express admiration in words.—τοῖς λόγοις, of the words) Luke wrote out, not an account of all the details, but a summary of the chief particulars.—τῆς χάριτος, of grace) The discourses of Christ have indeed a sweetness and a weighty impressiveness peculiar to them, and in respect to both of these qualities a certain kind of grace or becomingness, which is not to be found perceptible even in the apostles. For instance, it was not unbecoming in Paul to write in the way that he has written in 1 Corinthians 7:25, where see the notes; also in 2 Corinthians 12:13; Philemon 1:9. Moreover Christ, as is natural to expert, speaks both more weightily and more sweetly.—καὶ ἔλεγον, and they were saying) Wondering admiration is good: but such an emotion, where it is not accompanied by firm faith, is readily succeeded by perversity, so that the mental gaze degenerates from being of a spiritual to a carnal character; and often one sentence or remark flowing from this state of mind may be deserving of great censure.

Verse 22. - And they said, Is not this Joseph's Son? Quickly the preacher caught the mind and feeling of his audience. Surprise and admiration soon gave place to a spirit of unbelief. Is not this who speaks to us such words, bright and eloquent with hope, often with a ring of sure triumph and certain victory in them - is it not the young Carpenter we have known so long in our village? Luke 4:22Bare him witness

Compare Luke 4:14. They confirmed the reports which had been circulated about him. Note the imperfect tense. There was a continuous stream of admiring comment. Similarly, were wondering.

At the gracious words (λόγοις τῆς χάριτος)

Literally and correctly, as Rev., words of grace. See on Luke 1:30.

Is not (οὐχὶ)

Expecting an affirmative answer.

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