Mark 1:24
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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(24) What have we to do with thee?—The cry is identical with that of the Gadarene demoniacs (Matthew 8:29). Here, as there, the possessed man has a preternatural intuition of our Lord’s greatness.

The Holy One of God.—The name occurs, as applied to Christ, only here, in the parallel passage of Luke 4:34, and in the better MSS. of John 6:69. It probably had its origin in the Messianic application of “Thy Holy One” in Psalm 16:10. Its strict meaning is “the Holy One whom God owns as such,” who has attained, i.e., the highest form of holiness.

1:23-28 The devil is an unclean spirit, because he has lost all the purity of his nature, because he acts in direct opposition to the Holy Spirit of God, and by his suggestions defiles the spirits of men. There are many in our assemblies who quietly attend under merely formal teachers; but if the Lord come with faithful ministers and holy doctrine, and by his convincing Spirit, they are ready to say, like this man, What have we to do with thee, Jesus of Nazareth! No disorder could enable a man to know Jesus to be the Holy One of God. He desires to have nothing to do with Jesus, for he despairs of being saved by him, and dreads being destroyed by him. See whose language those speak, that say to the Almighty, Depart from us. This unclean spirit hated and dreaded Christ, because he knew him to be a Holy One; for the carnal mind is enmity against God, especially against his holiness. When Christ by his grace delivers souls out of the hands of Satan, it is not without tumult in the soul; for that spiteful enemy will disquiet those whom he cannot destroy. This put all who saw it upon considering, What is this new doctrine? A work as great often is wrought now, yet men treat it with contempt and neglect. If this were not so, the conversion of a notorious wicked man to a sober, righteous, and godly life, by the preaching of a crucified Saviour, would cause many to ask, What doctrine is this?Let us alone - Though only one impure spirit is mentioned as possessing this man, yet that spirit speaks also in the name of others.

They were leagued together in the work of evil, and this one knew that if he was punished, others would also share the same fate.

What have we to do with thee? - See the notes at Matthew 8:29. By this the spirit meant to say that, if Jesus cast him out, he would use an improper interference. But this was untrue. The possession of the man was a direct assault upon God and his works. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, and Jesus had a right, therefore, to liberate the captive, and to punish him who had possessed him. So Satan still considers it an infringement of his rights when God frees a "sinner" from bondage and destroys his influence over the soul. So he still asks to be let alone, and to be suffered to lead people captive at his will.

Art thou come to destroy us? - Implying that this could not be the intention of the "benevolent" Messiah; that to be cast out of that man would, in fact, be his destruction, and that therefore he might be suffered still to remain. Or it may imply, as in Matthew 8:29, that the time of their destruction had not come, and that he ought not to destroy them before that.

I know thee who thou art - Evil spirits seem to have been acquainted at once with the Messiah. Besides, they had learned from his miracles that he was the Messiah, and had power over them.

The Holy One of God - The Messiah. See Daniel 9:24. Jesus is called "the Holy One of God" because:

1. Jesus was eminently pure.

2. Because Jesus was the only begotten Son of God - equal with the Father. And,

3. Because Jesus was anointed (set apart) to the work of the Messiah, the mediator between God and man.

24. Saying, Let us alone—or rather, perhaps, "ah!" expressive of mingled astonishment and terror.

what have we to do with thee—an expression of frequent occurrence in the Old Testament (1Ki 17:18; 2Ki 3:13; 2Ch 35:21, &c.). It denotes entire separation of interests:—that is, "Thou and we have nothing in common; we want not Thee; what wouldst Thou with us?" For the analogous application of it by our Lord to His mother, see on [1402]Joh 2:4.

thou Jesus of Nazareth—"Jesus, Nazarene!" an epithet originally given to express contempt, but soon adopted as the current designation by those who held our Lord in honor (Lu 18:37; Mr 16:6; Ac 2:22).

art thou come to destroy us?—In the case of the Gadarene demoniac the question was, "Art Thou come hither to torment us before the time?" (Mt 8:29). Themselves tormentors and destroyers of their victims, they discern in Jesus their own destined tormentor and destroyer, anticipating and dreading what they know and feel to be awaiting them! Conscious, too, that their power was but permitted and temporary, and perceiving in Him, perhaps, the woman's Seed that was to bruise the head and destroy the works of the devil, they regard His approach to them on this occasion as a signal to let go their grasp of this miserable victim.

I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God—This and other even more glorious testimonies to our Lord were given, as we know, with no good will, but in hope that, by the acceptance of them, He might appear to the people to be in league with evil spirits—a calumny which His enemies were ready enough to throw out against Him. But a Wiser than either was here, who invariably rejected and silenced the testimonies that came to Him from beneath, and thus was able to rebut the imputations of His enemies against Him (Mt 12:24-30). The expression, "Holy One of God," seems evidently taken from that Messianic Psalm (Ps 16:10), in which He is styled "Thine Holy One."

See Poole on "Mark 1:23"

Saying, let us alone, &c. Meaning with himself, the rest of the unclean spirits, that had possessed the bodies of men in Galilee, and in all Judea; knowing that Christ had power to dislodge them, and fearing he would, entreats him he would let them alone, quietly to dwell in their beloved habitations:

what have we to do with thee? They had nothing to do with Christ, as a Saviour; they had no interest in him, nor in his redemption, but he had something to do with them, to show his power over them, and to deliver men out of their hands:

thou Jesus of Nazareth: calling him so, from the place where he was educated, and had lived the greatest part of his life, though he knew he was born at Bethlehem; but this he said, according to the common notion of the people, and it being the usual appellation of him:

art thou come to destroy us? not to annihilate them, but either to turn them out of the bodies of men, which to them was a sort of a destruction of them, and was really a destroying that power, which they had for some time exercised over men; or to shut them up in the prison of hell, and inflict that full punishment on them, which is in reserve for them:

I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God: he whom God had called his Holy One, Psalm 16:10, and who is so, both in his divine nature, as the Son of God, the Holy One of Israel; and as the Son of man, being the holy thing born of the virgin, and is without the least stain of original sin, or blemish of actual transgression; and also as the mediator, whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, the true Messiah; and all this the devil knew from his wonderful incarnation, by the voice from heaven at his baptism, from the conquest over him in the wilderness, and by the miracles he had already wrought: in the high priest's mitre was written, , which may be rendered, "the Holy One of the Lord": the high priest was an eminent type of him.

Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou {m} Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the {n} Holy One of God.

(m) He was born in Bethlehem, but through the error of the people he was called a Nazarene, because he was brought up in Nazareth.

(n) He alludes to the name that was written in the golden plate which the high Priest wore; Ex 28:36

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Mark 1:24. τί ἡμῖν καὶ σοί, what to us and to Thee. The diseased man speaks for the demon in him, and the demon speaks for the fraternity as all having one interest. For the phrase used in a similar sense vide 1 Kings 17:18.—Ναζαρηνέ: first certain intimation (cf. Mark 1:9) that Jesus belonged to Nazareth. The corresponding adjective in Matthew is Ναζωραῖος (Mark 2:23).—ἦλθες ἀ. . may be either a question or an assertion, the sense of the whole passage being: Thou art come to destroy us, for I know well who Thou art—the Holy One of God (Fritzsche). The epithet, ἅγιος, applied to Jesus is in antithesis to ἀκαθάρτῳ.

24. Let us alone] Many MSS. omit the Greek word thus translated. Even if genuine, it appears to be rather an exclamation of horror = the Latin vah! heu! It is not the man who cries out so much as the Evil Spirit which had usurped dominion over him.

Jesus of Nazareth] As the angels had in songs of rapture recognised their King (Luke 2:13-14), so the evil spirits instantly recognise Him, but with cries of despair. They evince no hope and no submission, only inveterate hostility. They believe and tremble (James 2:19). Man alone recognises not the “King in His beauty” (Isaiah 33:17). “He was in the world and the world was made by Him,” and yet “the world knew Him not” (John 1:10).

Mark 1:24. Ἔα, permit) that is, permit us to speak, [but Engl. Vers., Let us alone]: Luke 4:34; Luke 4:41.—τὶ, what) A most miserable state; that he should desire not to have anything to do with Jesus [comp. Revelation 6:15].—Ναζαρηνὲ, of Nazareth) It is probable that the great Enemy had very closely observed what Jesus did at Nazareth during His youth.—ἀπολέσαι, to destroy) well said! comp. 1 John 3:8.—ἡμᾶς, us)[12] The demons have a common cause among them [one common interest].—οἶδα, I know) He does not say, we know. He speaks of himself, not of the rest. The demons who were in those possessed, seem to have perceived sooner than the rest who Jesus was [yea, sooner even than most of the men with whom He walked at that time.—Harm., p. 256].

[12] The mark of interrogation after this word ought to be removed.—Not. Crit. Both Lachm. and Tischend. retain it.—ED.

Verse 24. - The expression, Ἔα, incorrectly rendered Let us alone, has not sufficient authority to be retained here, though it is rightly retained in the parallel passage in St. Luke (Luke 4:34), where it is rendered in the Revised Version "Ah!" or "Ha!" If rendered, "Let us alone," or "Let alone," it must be assumed to be the imperative of ἐάω. It will be observed that this cry of the unclean spirit is spontaneous, before our Lord has addressed him. In real truth, the preaching of Jesus has already thrown the whole world of evil spirits into a state of excitement and alarm. The powers of darkness are beginning to tremble. They resent this intrusion into their domain. They feel that One greater than Satan has appeared, and they ask, What have we to do with thee? Wherein have we injured thee, that thou shouldest seek to drive us out of our possession? We have nothing to do with thee, thou Holy One of God; but we have a right to take possession of sinners. Beds says that the evil spirits, perceiving that "our Lord had come into the world, believed that they were about at once to be judged. They knew that dispossession would be their entrance upon a condition of torment, and therefore it is that they deprecate it." I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God. St. Mark is very careful to bring out the hidden knowledge possessed by evil spirits, which enabled them at once to recognize the personality of Jesus (see Mark 1:34; Mark 3:11). It was given to them by him who has supreme power over the spiritual as well as the material world, to know as much as he saw fit that they should know; and he was pleased to make known as much as was needful. "But he made himself known to them, not as he makes himself known to the holy angels, who know him as the Word of God, and rejoice in his eternity, of which they partake. To the evil spirits he made himself known only so far as was requisite to strike with terror the beings from whose tyranny he was about to free those who were predestinated unto his kingdom and the glory of it" (see St. Augustine, 'City of God,' bk. 9:§ 21). Mark 1:24Us

Me and those like me. "The demons," says Bengel, "make common cause."

The Holy One of God

The demon names him as giving to the destruction the impress of hopeless certainty.

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