Isaiah 61:1
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release from darkness to the prisoners,
Sermons
Messiah's Mission, to the TroubledR. Tuck Isaiah 61:1
The Coming SaviourW.M. Statham Isaiah 61:1
The Beneficent MissionW. Clarkson Isaiah 61:1, 2
A Broken HeartR. Macculloch.Isaiah 61:1-8
A Faithful Gospel MinistryR. M. McCheyne.Isaiah 61:1-8
A Trite MinistryJ. Parker, D. D.Isaiah 61:1-8
Causes of Sinners' ImprisonmentT. Boston.Isaiah 61:1-8
Jesus a Preacher of Good Tidings to the MeekT. Boston.Isaiah 61:1-8
Jesus and the Broken-HeartedJ. Vaughan, M. A.Isaiah 61:1-8
Jesus and the MeekT. Boston.Isaiah 61:1-8
Jesus Binds Up the Broken-HeartedT. Boston.Isaiah 61:1-8
Jesus Proclaims Liberty to the CaptivesT. Boston.Isaiah 61:1-8
Jesus the LiberatorJ. Vaughan, M. A.Isaiah 61:1-8
Liberty for Satan's CaptivesR. Macculloch.Isaiah 61:1-8
Liberty to the CaptiveEssex Congregational RemembrancerIsaiah 61:1-8
Satan's BandsT. Boston.Isaiah 61:1-8
Sinners Worse than CaptivesT. Boston.Isaiah 61:1-8
The Gospel ProclamationR. Macculloch.Isaiah 61:1-8
The Sinner's CaptivityR. Macculloch.Isaiah 61:1-8
The Speaker: Probably the Prophet HimselfProf. G. A. Smith, D. D., Prof. G. A. Smith, D. D.Isaiah 61:1-8
The Speaker; Probably the Servant of JonahF. Delitzch, D. D.Isaiah 61:1-8
The Spirit a Compensation for the Self-Emptying of JesusT. G. Selby.Isaiah 61:1-8
The Spirit in the Son of ManT. G. Selby.Isaiah 61:1-8
Message of Grace to ZionE. Johnson Isaiah 61:1-9

I. THE ANOINTING OF THE MESSENGER. Under the Law, the priests were anointed (Exodus 29:7; Leviticus 7:36), and also the kings (1 Samuel 9:16; 1 Samuel 10:1; 1 Samuel 16:13). It was the sign of appointment to a high office or commission from God. Hence, by a figure, it is applied to the appointment of Elisha to the prophetic office (1 Kings 19:16), and to the designation of Cyrus as the instrument of the purpose of Jehovah. Similarly, in 1 John 2:20, the use is figurative. The idea is that of consecrated dedication (cf. Psalm 45:7; Hebrews 1:9).

II. THE PURPOSE OF THE ANOINTING.

1. That he may evangelize, or preach the gospel. To whom? To those who need good tidings - the afflicted, the distressed and needy, the poor (Luke 4:18), or those borne down by long captivity or other calamity (cf. Matthew 11:5).

2. To bind up the broken-hearted. In temporal or spiritual reference, "He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds" (Psalm 147:3). And this by the proclamation of liberty. The sound of the words would remind of the great "year of jubilee" (Leviticus 25:10; cf. Ezekiel 46:17; Jeremiah 34:8). If nothing is said in the law of jubilee about the release of prisoners or the remission of debts, all the associations of the time led to its being spoken of as a symbol of manumission, emancipation, and so of universal joy.

3. To proclaim a time of grace and of retribution. A "year" of mercy, a "day" only of vengeance. Punishment descends to the third and fourth generation, but mercy to the thousandth (Exodus 20:5, 6; cf. Deuteronomy 7:9). But the coming or deliverance must ever mean also the coming in destruction (cf. Matthew 25:31-46; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10).

4. To comfort mourners. Especially those of Zion. But an application of evangelical promises must be equally larger with human need, human receptivity, human willingness, human power to receive, i.e. faith. Upon such the "coronet" is to be placed instead of ashes; the associations of the wedding (ver. 10) are to replace those of the funeral (2 Samuel 13:19), the nuptial song the former lamentation. Instead of the failing spirit," described under the image of a wick burning out, or of dimness, or faintness (Isaiah 42:3; 1 Samuel 3:2; Leviticus 13:39), there will be the "mantle of renown." In the Orient, especially, the apparel expresses the mood of the mind. See an illustration in Judges 10:3, 4: she "put on her garments of gladness, wherewith she was clad during the life of Manasses her husband."

5. To produce a vigorous and beautiful life. Men shall call them "oaks of righteousness, the plantation of Jehovah for showing himself glorious" (cf. on the simile, Psalm 92:12-14, "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree," etc.; Psalms 1:3; Jeremiah 17:8). A mystic plantation under the care of the Divine Gardener (cf. Matthew 15:13). The exiles will return, will "build up the ruins of antiquity, and raise up the desolations of the forefathers, and renew the ruined cities. As ruins suggest all the pathos of the decay of families and nations, so does the act of rebuilding remind of that ever-recreative energy which lies in the religious heart of mankind, and which breaks forth afresh after every epoch of calamity. Strangers are to feed their flocks, aliens are to be their ploughmen and vinedressers, and all classes are to partake in the Messianic blessings. The people of Israel themselves will be called the "priests of Jehovah." For the priests, as a class only, represented the idea of Israel, as a nation consecrated to the service of the Eternal, destined to perform a holy ministry to the rest of mankind. Men will take hold of the skirts of the Jew (Zechariah 8:23). There will be compensation, double compensation, in the possession of the land in increased fertility and. with enlarged boundaries.

III. THE CONFIRMATION OF JEHOVAH.

1. The principle of justice and compensation. He "hates things torn away unjustly," and will compensate his people for their past sufferings. How grand and all-consoling that truth of compensation! "All things are moral. That soul which within us is a sentiment, outside of us is a law. We feel its inspiration; yonder in history we can see its fatal strength." "It is in the world, and the world was made by it. Justice is not postponed. A perfect equity adjusts its balance in all parts of life. The dice of God are always loaded. Every secret is told, every crime is punished, every virtue rewarded, every wrong redressed, in silence and certainty. What we call retribution is the universal necessity by which the whole appears wherever a part appears" (Emerson).

2. The everlasting covenant. (Isaiah 55:3.) Part of the condition of that covenant is the securing of an illustrious position for Israel among the nations; to be "known" is to be honoured, as in Psalm 67:2; Psalm 76:1; Psalm 79:10. The time shall come in a larger sense, when the friends of the lowly and despised Nazarene shall be regarded as the favoured of the Lord; instead of being persecuted and despised, the whole earth shall regard them with confidence and esteem. Providence throws a veil of obscurity over its deepest designs, and the seed of glorious futures lies slumbering in the rough husk until the appointed time for its germination and growth. - J.







The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me.
Who is the speaker here? The Targum prefaces the passage with the words, "The prophet says," and, except a few, all modern expositors make the author of this book of consolation to be the speaker who, after having (in chap. 55.) let the Church behold the summit of her glory, now, with grateful look directed to Jehovah and rejoicing in spirit, extols his grand commission. But this view is objectionable, for the following reasons —

1. Nowhere has the prophet yet spoken of himself as such in lengthy utterances, but rather (except in the closing words, "saith my God, in Isaiah 57:21) everywhere studiously kept himself in the background.

2. On the other hand, whenever another than Jehovah began to speak, and made reference to the work of his calling and his experiences connected therewith (as in Isaiah 49:1 ff., 50:4 ff.) it was in such eases this self-same Servant of Jehovah of whom and to whom Jehovah speaks (see Isaiah 42:1 ff., 52:13 on to end of 53.).

3. All that the person here speaking says of himself is again met with in the picture of the one unique Servant of Jehovah; he has been endowed with the Spirit of Jehovah (Isaiah 42:1); Jehovah has sent him, and with him sent His Spirit (Isaiah 48:16); he has a tongue that has been taught of God, to assist with words him who is wearied (Isaiah 50:4); those who are almost despairing and destroyed he goes to spare and save, preserving the broken reed and expiring wick (Isaiah 42:3); "to open blind eyes, to lead prisoners out of the prison, those who are sitting in darkness out of the house of confinement, — this is what, above all, he has to do in word and deed for his people (Isaiah 42:7; Isaiah 49:9).

4. After the prophet has represented the Servant of Jehovah, of whom he prophesies, as speaking in such dramatic directness (as in Isaiah 49:1 ff., Isaiah 50:4 ff., and also Isaiah 48:16 b.), one could not expect that he would now place himself in the foreground and claim for himself official attributes which he has set down as characteristic features in the picture of the predicted One, who (as Vitringa well says) not merely proclaims but dispenses the new and great gifts of God. For these reasons we (with Nagelsbach, Cheyne, Driver and Orelli) consider that the Servant of Jehovah is the speaker here.

(F. Delitzch, D. D.)

The speaker is not introduced by name. Therefore he may be the prophet himself, or he may be the Servant. The present expositor, while feeling that the evidence is not conclusive against either of these... inclines to think that there is, on the whole, less objection to its being the prophet who speaks than to its being the Servant. But it is not a very important question which is intended, for the Servant was representative of prophecy; and if it be the prophet who speaks here, he also speaks with the conscience of the whole function and aim of the prophetic order. That Jesus Christ fulfilled this programme does not decide the question one way or the other; for a prophet so representative was as much the antetype and foreshadowing of Christ as the Servant Himself was. On the whole, then, we must be content to feel about this passage, what we must have already felt about many others in our prophecy, that the writer is more anxious to place before us the whole range and ideal of the prophetic gift than to make clear in whom this ideal is realized; and for the rest Jesus of Nazareth so plainly fulfilled it, that it becomes, indeed, a very minor question to ask whom the writer may have intended as its first application.

(Prof. G. A. Smith, D. D.)The lofty mission and its great results are not too lofty or great for our prophet, for Jeremiah received his orifice in terms as large. That the prophet has not yet spoken at such length in his own person is no reason why he should not do so now, especially as this is an occasion on which he sums up and enforces the whole range of prophecy.

(Prof. G. A. Smith, D. D.)

The fact that Christ's earthly life became effectual through the ministry of the Holy Spirit within Him, and not alone through the inherent virtue and power He brought with Him from His pre-existent state, has become one of the commonplaces of theology; and yet how little do we realize its true import, and cultivate that humility and dependence of soul which would distinguish us if the great truth were ever in view! In spite of our formal adhesion to this doctrine, it seems still strange to us that one whom we think of as holy and Divine should be indebted at every stage of His earthly life to that inward mystic ministry which is so necessary to us because of our sinfulness. We speak of the Holy Ghost as a Deliverer from inbred corruption, and are ready to assume, quite unwarrantably, that where there is no corruption in the nature, the stimulating forces and fervours of His benign indwelling are needless. We are accustomed to look upon this ministry, which perpetuates in our souls the saving work of the Lord Jesus, as though it were a special antidote to human depravity only. For the Spirit to abide moment by moment with Jesus Christ, and work in His humanity, seems like painting the lily, gilding fine gold, and bleaching the untrampled snow. But that is a mistaken view. When the universal Church shall have been built up and consecrated to its high uses, it be "by the Spirit that God will dwell in the temple. And the temple of Christ's sacred flesh needed this same indwelling presence. The great Sanctifier blends the essential forces of His personality into this Divinest type of goodness, to show that goodness in even the only begotten Son is not self-originated. In the less mature stages of Christ's expanding humanity implicit and docile dependence on this inward leading was the test of His entire acceptability to the Father.

(T. G. Selby.)

The Spirit seems to have been given to compensate for that renunciation of power involved in the mystery of the incarnation, and as an earnest of its coming restitution. The wonderful works accomplished by the Son of Man took their rise, not so much in the superhuman qualities of His personality as in the power of that Spirit with which He was anointed. Although there is no clearly developed doctrine of the Spirit in the older portions of the Old Testament writings, Isaiah at least in his day was made to see that the Messianic works of healing and deliverance and redemption would flow out of that anointing by the Spirit which would single out the elect Servant of the Lord from His fellows. And Peter enforces the same thought in the household of Cornelius, declaring how that "God anointed Jesus with the Holy Ghost and with power, who went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed of the devil." His own experiences in the Pentecost had taught Peter the secret of his Master's power. Perhaps the discovery had come to him through his own recent mastery over the pride and boastfulness of his nature, and may have helped to confirm him in his new habits of childlike trust upon another. In the days of his self-sufficiency it would have been quite impossible for Peter to believe that He who had been supernaturally revealed as the very Son of God, and glorified by a strange transfiguration splendour that seemed to make Him the fellow of the Most High, should need to achieve His mighty, works by leaning upon another. Could Peter have been told that his Master's marvellous gifts were held upon this tenure, he might have looked upon it as an affront to the Divine dignity of his hero, and have exclaimed, as about the death of shame, "Be it far from Thee, Lord." Sometimes Christ's miracles are quoted as proofs of His Divine nature. They are certainly proofs of His Divine authority, but they illustrate the energies of this attending Spirit rather than the attributes of Christ's own proper personality. Christ cast out devils and opened prison doors and raised the dead, but it was by the power of the Holy Ghost alone. The tempter once tried to induce Him to work in His own strength, in the power of His inherent Godhead, so that He might undo and reverse the self-renouncing humility of His own incarnation, but in vain. All He did was in loyalty to this inward Guide who made known to Him the will of the Father and gave Him power for His appointed tasks. Fools that we are, we attempt much in our own strength, but the Son in His humiliation received back His infinite forces of life and dominion only through this Divine messenger from the Father.

(T. G. Selby.)

I. THE ANOINTING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT MAKES A SUCCESSFUL GOSPEL MINISTRY. So it was in Christ's ministry.

II. THE SUBJECT-MATTER OF ALL FAITHFUL PREACHING.

1. A faithful minister preaches good tidings to all distressed consciences.

2. A faithful pastor comforts mourners in Zion.

3. A faithful watchman preaches a free Saviour to all the world.

(R. M. McCheyne.)

I. THE TRUE MINISTRY IS ALWAYS INSPIRED AND DIRECTED BY THE HOLY GHOST. "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me."

II. THE TRUE MINISTRY IS ANIMATED BY THE SUBLIMEST BENEVOLENCE. If you read the statement given by the prophet, you will find throughout a tone of kindliness, benevolence, sympathy, gentleness, pity, for all human sorrow. Therein may be known the true ministry of the Gospel.

III. THE TRUE MINISTRY, WHETHER PUBLIC OR PRIVATE, NEVER SHRINKS FROM ITS MORE AWFUL FUNCTIONS. Observe this sentence in the midst of the declarations of the text: "To proclaim the day of vengeance of our God."

(J. Parker, D. D.)

To preach good tidings unto the meek. —
I. THE WORK ITSELF IN WHICH THE SON OF GOD WAS EMPLOYED, and to which He was called. "To preach good tidings."

II. THE SPECIAL OBJECT OF THIS PART OF THE WORK. "The meek." In the parallel place, it reads "poor," and the one explains the other. By the meek here is meant the poor in spirit, those who, as being convinced by the law, have seen themselves to be poor, that they have nothing in which they could stand before God as righteous, but look on themselves as wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. And it is remarkable that our Saviour's Sermon on the Mount begins with good tidings to such persons (Matthew 5:3). Our Lord preached to all who heard Him promiscuously these good tidings, but in effect they were not good to any but to the poor in spirit among them.

(T. Boston.)

I. CONSIDER THIS MEEKNESS AND POVERTY, AND SHOW WHO ARE THESE MEEK POOR ONES. This meekness comprehends in it —

1. A pressing sense of utter emptiness in one's self (Romans 7:18).

2. A pressing sense of sinfulness.

3. A pressing sense of misery by sin. Like the prodigal, they see themselves ready to perish with hunger. Debt is a heavy burden to an honest heart, and filthiness to one that desires to be clean. Their poverty presses them down.

4. A sense of utter inability to help one's self. They find the sting in their conscience, but cannot draw it out; guilt is a burden, but they cannot throw it off; lusts are strong and uneasy, but they are not able to master them; and this presses them sore.

5. A sense of the absolute need of a Saviour, and of help from heaven.

6. A sense as to utter unworthiness of the Lord's help; they see nothing which they have to recommend them to the Lord's help.

7. An earnest desire as to the supply of soul-wants (Matthew 5:6).

8. A hearty contentment in submitting to any method of help which the Lord prescribes.

II. EXPLAIN THE GOOD TIDINGS OF THE GOSPEL, AND SHOW THAT THEY ARE GOOD AND WELCOME TIDINGS TO SUCH PERSONS.

1. Gospel tidings are tidings of a complete salvation.

2. These tidings relate to a redemption, to a ransom paid (Galatians 3:13).

3. To an indemnity, a pardon to criminals who will come to Jesus (Acts 13:38, 39).

4. To a glorious Physician of souls, who never fails to cure HIS patients.

5. These tidings are the tidings of a feast (Isaiah 25:6; Isaiah 55:2; Psalm 22:26).

6. These tidings relate to a treasure (2 Corinthians 4:7).

7. To a marriage, a most happy match for poor sinners (Hosea 2:19, 20).

8. To a glorious victory (Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 3:21).

9. To a most desirable peace (Ephesians 2:14).

III. SHOW HOW THIS GREAT WORK OF PREACHING IS, AND HATH BEEN, PERFORMED BY CHRIST.

1. He performed this work under the Old Testament dispensation,

(1)Personally, by Himself in paradise (Genesis 3:15).

(2)By His ambassador, in HIS name, the prophets, and ordinary teachers.

(3)By His written Word.

2. He preached, and preaches, under the New Testament dispensation.(1) By His own personal preaching in the days of His flesh, when He went about among the Jews, preaching to them as the Minister of the circumcision (Romans 15:8).(2) By inspiring His apostles to preach and write the doctrines of salvation contained in the New Testament, on whom He poured out His Spirit, and by their writings, they being dead, yet speak to us from Him and by Him.(3) By raising up and continuing always a Gospel ministry in the Church (Ephesians 4:11-13; Matthew 28:20).

(T. Boston.)

To bind up the broken-hearted.
I. INQUIRE WHAT IS THAT BROKENNESS OF HEART WHICH IS HERE MEANT. The broken-heartedness is of two kinds.

1. Natural, arising from natural and carnal causes merely, which worketh death (2 Corinthians 7:10). Many who arc very whole-hearted in respect of sin, complain that their hearts and spirits are broken by their crosses, afflictions, and ill-usage which they meet with in the world. Thus Ahab, Haman, and Nabal, their hearts were broken with their respective crosses.

2. Religious, which arises from religious causes, namely, sin and its consequences. There is a twofold religious breaking of heart.(1) A mere legal one (Jeremiah 23:29). When the heart is broken by the mere force of the law, it is broken as a rock in pieces by a hammer, each part remaining hard and rocky still. This breaks the heart for sin, but not from it.(2) An evangelical one, when not only the law does its part, but the Gospel also breaks the sinner's heart (Zechariah 12:10).

II. INQUIRE WHAT IT IS IN AND ABOUT SIN WHICH BREAKS THE MAN'S HEART, WHO IS THUS EVANGELICALLY BROKEN-HEARTED. There is —

1. The guilt of sin, by which he is bound over to the wrath of God.

2. The domineering power of sin, or its tyranny, by which he is led captive to

3. The contrariety which is in sin to the holy nature and law of God.

4. The indwelling of sin, and, its cleaving so close to a person that he cannot shake it off (Romans 7:24).

5. Sin's mixing itself with all he does, even with his best duties (Romans 7:21).

6. Frequent backslidings (Jeremiah 31:18).

7. Desertions, hiding of the Lord's face, and interruptions of the soul's communion with God (Isaiah 54:6; Lamentaions 3:18, 44).

8. A Christian's sinfulness, with the bitter fruits springing from his sin (Romans 7:19).

III. SHOW WHAT SORT OF A HEART A BROKEN HEART IS.

1. It is a contrite or bruised heart (Psalm 51:17). Not only broken in pieces like a rock, but broken to powder, and so fit to receive any impression. The heart is now kindly broken and bruised betwixt the upper and nether mill-stones; the upper mill-stone of the law, a sense of God's wrath against sin; and the nether millstone of the Gospel, of Divine love, mercy, and favour, manifested in word and providences.

2. An aching heart (Acts 2:37).

3. A shameful heart (Ezra 9:6; Psalm 40:12).

4. A tender heart (Ezekiel 36:26).

5. A rent heart (Joel 2:13).

6. A pliable heart.

7. A humble heart (Isaiah 57:15).

IV. SHOW HOW THE LORD CHRIST BINDS UP AND HEALS THE BROKEN-HEARTED. The great Physician uses two sorts of bands for a broken heart: He binds them up with inner and with outward bands.

1. With inner bands, which go nearest the sore, the pained broken heart. And these are two.

(1)The Spirit of adoption.

(2)Faith in Christ (the band of the covenant), which He works in the heart by His Spirit. Faith is a healing band, for it knits the soul.

2. Outward bands. There are also two.

(1)His own word, especially the promises of the Gospel.

(2)His own seals of the covenant (Acts 2:38).

(T. Boston.)

I. THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF BROKEN HEARTS — THE NATURAL AND THE SPIRITUAL. They may be united. Often they are divided. Every broken heart becomes the subject of Jesus' care, and is dear to Him, if for no other reason in the world but for this — because it is unhappy.

II. CHRIST WAS HIMSELF WELL TRAINED IN THE SCHOOL OF SUFFERING HEARTS, THAT HE MIGHT LEARN TO BIND THE MOURNERS. All which goes to break men's hearts He felt. No wonder, then, that the bindings are what they are.

1. Delicate.

2. Very wise.

3. Sure and thorough.There is no such thing as a half-cure in that treatment. No heart which has not known a breaking knows, indeed, what strength is.

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

Many things are valuable when whole, which, being broken, are little worth; but it is otherwise with the human heart.

(R. Macculloch.)

To proclaim liberty to the captives.
I. MEN'S NATURAL STATE. A state of captivity. They are captives to Satan (2 Timothy 2:26).

II. CHRIST'S WORK WITH RESPECT TO THEM. To proclaim liberty to them.

(T. Boston.)

I. SINNERS IN THEIR UNREGENERATE STATE ARE SATAN'S CAPTIVES.

II. JESUS CHRIST, WITH THE EXPRESS CONSENT OF HIS FATHER, HAS ISSUED HIS ROYAL PROCLAMATION OF LIBERTY TO SATAN'S CAPTIVES.

(R. Macculloch.)

The properties of it. It is —

1. A spiritual captivity, a captivity of the soul.

2. Universal. It extends to all the powers and faculties of the soul, the inner marl.

3. A hard and sore captivity.

4. A perpetual captivity. This conqueror will never quit his captives, unless they be taken from him by Almighty power.

5. A voluntary captivity, and thus the more hopeless. Though they were taken in war, and born captives, yet now he is their master by their own consent and choice, while they choose to serve the devil, and cannot be brought to give themselves to the Lord. It is a bewitching captivity.

(R. Macculloch.)

1. It is a jubilee proclamation (Leviticus 25:10).

2. It is a conqueror's proclamation to captives. Satan warred against mankind, he carried them all captive into his own kingdom; and there was none to deliver out of his hand. But King Jesus had engaged him, routed all his forces, overturned his kingdom, and taken the kingdom to Himself (Colossians 2:15; 1 John 3:8). And now being settled on His throne, His royal proclamation is issued, that Satan's captives may again return into the kingdom of God.

(R. Macculloch.)

Essex Congregational Remembrancer.
Our Lord Himself directs us to consider Him as speaking in these words.

I. THE DEPLORABLE OBJECTS HE REGARDS. Captives. This slavery —

1. So universal as to our species.

2. Dreadful in its operations upon the individual. Voluntary, and submitted to as though it were a blessing rather than a curse.

4. Diversified as to the degree of its influence and the manner of its operations.

5. Cruel in its present effects and inconceivably more wretched in its final results. Men are guilty as well as enslaved.

II. THE GRACIOUS DESIGN OF THE OFFICE WHICH HE SUSTAINS. To effect deliverance for the captives. To this He is consecrated by the Spirit of the Lord.

1. By Him the claims of justice are perfectly satisfied.

2. Christ dissolves or breaks the power which leads us captive.

3. He induces the captive to accept deliverance when it is offered to him.

4. He renders their deliverance permanent, and prevents them from being again entangled in the yoke of bondage.

III. THE CORRESPONDING MANNER IN WHICH HIS GRACIOUS DESIGN IS TO BE MADE KNOWN. By proclamation.

1. It indicates that His office and its design are to be made universally known.

2. It is intended to excite universal attention — to create the most deep and lively interest. It is a proclamation which at once demands and deserves attention.

3. It shows that deliverance is to be effected in a way perfectly consistent with the freedom of human agency.

4. It is in such a way as to secure the glory of their deliverance to Him who thus proclaims it.

(Essex Congregational Remembrancer.)

It is a blessed name of Jesus, and as true as it is blessed — the Liberator. We can scarcely conceive anything grander, or more delightful, than to be always going about making everything free. To this end, Christ first liberated Himself.

1. As in Him there was no sin, He never indeed could know the worst of all bondage — the bondage of the spirit to the flesh. But He did know the restraints of fear; He did feel the harassing of indecision; He did experience the irksomeness of the sense of a body too narrow for the largeness of His soul; and He did go through the contractions of all that is material, and the mortifying conventionalities of life — for He was hungry, thirsty, weary, sad, and the sport of fools. From all this Christ freed Himself — distinctly, progressively, He freed Himself. Step by step, He led captivity captive. He made for Himself a spiritual body which, in its own nature, and by the law of its being, soared at once beyond the trammels of humanity. Therefore He is the Liberator, because He was once Himself the Prisoner.

2. And all Christ did, and all Christ was, upon this earth — His whole mission — was essentially either to teach or to give liberty. His preaching was, for the most part, to change the constraint of law into the largeness of love. Every word He said, in private or in public, proved expansion.

3. When Christ burst through all the tombs — the moral tombs and the physical tombs in which we all lay buried — and when He went out into life and glory, He was not Himself alone — He was at that moment the covenanted Head of a mystical body, and all that body rose with Him. If so be you have union with Christ, you are risen; bondage is past; you are free.

(J. Vaughan, M. A.)

The opening of the prison to them that are bound.
1. They are also prisoners. Every captive is not a prisoner, but all natural men, being Satan's captives, are held prisoners.

2. They are prisoners in chains, bound in the prison.

3. They are blinded too in their prison (compare Luke 4:18). It was a custom much used in the Eastern nations to put out the eyes of some of their prisoners, adding this misery to their imprisonment. So the Philistines did with Samson (Judges 16:21); and. Nebuchadnezzar with Zedekiah (2 Kings 25:7). This, in a spiritual sense, is the case of all prisoners in their natural state.

(T. Boston.)

1. As debtors to Divine justice.

2. As malefactors condemned in law (John 3:18).

(T. Boston.)

1. The band of prejudices.

2. Of ill company.

3. Of earthly-mindedness.

4. Of unbelief.

5. Of slothfulness.

6. Of delays(Acts 24:25).

7. Of delusion (Isaiah 44:20; Revelation 3:17).

8. Of divers lusts (2 Timothy 3:6).

(T. Boston.)

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