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to those which are bound the opening of ,לאסורים פקת-קוה Words
Julian Pe 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath Nazareth. riod, 4740. Vulgar Æra,
It is to be remarked here, that our Saviour closed the book
Having thus asserted himself to be the Messiah, our Lord
We have hero an account of our Saviour's preaching for the first time in his own city of Nazareth. He asserts himself to be the Messiah-he then declines working a miracle, though he had done so elsewhere. What was the cause of this refusal ?
Our Lord's conduct on this occasion appears to me to afford one of the most powerful evidences of the truth of his lofty claims, and a most striking instance of that part of the plan of the divine government, which denies to man more evidences in support of any truth than are sufficient to satisfy an unbiassed mind. As the commentators have not alluded to this idea, I give it with diffidence; but to me it appears satisfactory. Our Lord had lived at Nazareth nearly thirty years. At the end of that time he commenced his office with supernatural evidences that his mission was from above. He worked miracles to demonstrate this truth, in places where he was less known than at Nazareth, and between which and the latter city there must have been a constant communication. The people of Nazareth bad known bim from infancy, pure, holy, and undefiled—a man, like other men, sin only excepted. They had heard of his miracles, they knew, from the testimony of others, that he had given undeniable proofs of his power, and he now came among them to announce himself as their Messiah, appealing to them by the purity and holniess of his life, and by applying to himself, and fulfilling in his own person, the predictions of their prophets. He asserted himself to be the Messiah, and required them to believe on account of their previous knowledge of his motives, life and conduct, and by the power they acknow
Julian Pe- anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor 16; he hath Nazareth. 4740.
sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance VulgarÆra,
to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to
19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the
21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this
23 And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself": whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.
24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.
25 But I tell you of a truth, Many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up
Hedged he possessed of working miracles. Nothing can more
(a) Lamy's Jewish Calendar, App. bibl. b. i. c. iv. p. 116. 4to. (6)
16 That the Jews applied this passage, Isa. Ixi. 1 and 42. to the Messiah, see the quotations in Whitby, in loc. Schoetgen, vol. ii. p. 68. and p. 192. where Kimchi is quoted, as referring the words to the Messiah. Also p. 3, &c. where, in the chapter de nominibus Messiæ, the subject is fully discussed (a). The Greek original of this passage hints at the reason for which our Lord was called Christ, and his doctrine the Gospel, Éveka 'ΕΧΡΙΣΕ με 'ΕΥΑΓΓΕΛΙΖΕΣΘΑΙ πτωχούς, &c. &c.
(a) See on the subject of this note Lightfoot, third part of the Harmony of the Evangelists, vol. i. works, folio.
17 Dan. Heinsius, in loc, in his exercitationes sacræ, a book
θεράπευσον ώ ιατρέ την σαυτά νόσον. .
Dr. Gill, in loc. quotes another of the same kind from Zohas
Solian Pe three years and six months, when great famine was
Nazareth. riod, 4740, throughout all the land" Vulgar Æra, 27.
26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.
27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.
28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,
29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.
30 But he, passing through the midst of them, went his way.
18 Our Lord's conduct in selecting this topic is worthy our particular consideration. In the very first address which he made to his fellow townsmen, and through them to the wbolc of the Jewish people, he preached the deliverance of the Gentiles from their bondage and darkness. This doctrine was for some time inexplicable, and, when understood, intolerable to his own disciples : but Christ was the Divine Being who was to redeem all his creatures, and we are assured—“known unto God are all bis ways, from the beginning to the end;" and Christ, at the commencement of his ministry, declared at once the
whole design of his coming—as Elias was sent to the widow of Zarepta, in preference to those of Israel, and as Naaman the Syrian was the only leper healed in the days of Eliseus the prophet, so was Christ, a greater than these, commissioned to heal the diseases of those people and those nations who should believe on him. The transaction here recorded affords us a sufficient explanation of the motives of one part of our Lord's conduct, which has sometimes been considered as inexplicable. He is represented as not informing the people, in various instances, of the full ex. tent of his claims-as not calling himself the Messiah-as charging those who were healed “to tell no man”-as keeping back from the people, and even from the apostles, many things which they were desirous to learn. The necessity and wisdom of this caution is here made evident. On this occasion, when he declared himself to be the Messialı, we see the service of the synagogie was hastily and indecently terminated by the fury of the people, who became intent upon the destruction of their teacher. His ministry would have been repeatedly disturbed by similar interruptions, if our Lord bad not adopted this conduct. In what manner Christ delivered himself from the fury of his enraged persecutors, we know not. Whether they were overawed by some supernatural glory, or whether they were paralyzed by a sudden exertion of Almighty power, we are not informed. The brevity of the account given us by the Evangelist, like the teaching of our Lord himself, only reveals to us what is essential to faith and salvation. It never satisfies an useless curiosity.
Christ sojourns at Capernaum".
LUKE iv. 31, 32. Julian Pe
81 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, Capernaum. riod, 4740. and taught them on the sabbath-days. Vulgar Æra,
32 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his 27.
word was with power.
The miraculous Draught of Fishes ; and the calling of
Andrew, and Peter, James, and John. MATT. iv. 18. MARK i. 17-20. LUKE V. 1-11. 18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two Sea of Ga
19 The wisdom of our Lord's choice of Capernaum (after be had left Nazareth) as his fixed place of residence, is evident on many accounts. He placed himself by so doing under the protection of the nobleman whose son had been healed, John iv. 46. and whose presence was an undeniable testimony to his almighty power. Capernaum, from its situation, being surrounded with numerous and populous towns and villages, on the border of the sea of Galilce, or the lake of Tiberias, enabled him to remove with the utmost facility either by sea or land; either for the purpose of instruction, or to avoid the persecutions, the importunities, or the efforts of his adherents, to make him their king. It was here also he again met his first disciples, who for somo reason unknown to us, had resumed their former occupation. It is not improbable that they had been directed by our Lord to leave him after the miracle of Cana, in Galilee. He did not require their presence at Nazareth, as he had not purposed to work miracles at that place. By dwelling, at Capernaum, he still continued to fulfil the prophecy of Isai. ix. 1, &c. as that city was situated in the tribe of Napthali.
That our Lord came to Capernaum after he left Nazareth, is expressly asserted by St. Luke, chap. iv. 30, 31. The order of tbis section is the same with all the harmonists.
20 This event is inserted here on the united authorities of Lightfoot, Newcome, Doddridge, and Dr. Townson, who refers also to Grotius, Hammond, Spanheim, dub Evang. par. 3. Dub. 72. p. 338. Chemnitius, Cradock, and Le Clerc, to confirm his opinion. Osiander, as he was compelled to do by his plan, which has been already given, has supposed that the transaction recorded in Luke v. 1-12. was different from that related in the parallel passages (Mark i. 16. Matt. iv. 19, &c.) In reply to this part of his hypothesis, Spanheim remarks,-Non temere multiplicandas esse historias, quæ eadem deprehenduntur, quod cum Osiandro sine necessitate faciunt illi, qui nullas ύστε σεις, et προλήψεις apud sacros riptores admittunt. And it is as absurd to suppose that the inspired writers never followed the example of their predecessors in the Old Testament ; and sometimes disregarded chronological order, as it would be to proceed to the opposite extremo, and to mangle the text with
Julian Pe- brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, Sea of riod, 4740. casting a net into the sea : for they were fishers“.
Galilee. Valgarðra, 27.
Whiston and Mann. The apparent differences between the
The narrative in this section is arranged on the plan of Dod-
Eichhorn has supposed that the passages in tbis section de not refer to the same event, he has not inserted either the calling of Audrew, Peter, James, and John, or the miraculous draught of fishes, among the events which are related by all the three Evangelists (b).
Pilkington separates the account of the miraculous draught of fishes, from the calling of these disciples, for two reasons. One, because it is said in Mark i. 17. they forsook all, and followed him; and in Luke v. 1-11. they are represented as again pursuing their occupation-the other, because St. Peter calls our
Lord étiofáta. Both these objections, however, are obviated by Newcome, Doddridge, and Townson.
The word tuotára, which is used chap. viii. 24, 45. and ix. 33. 49. may imply only submission of the apostle to our Lord, as his master, without any actual previous obedience. It certainly is used in the sense of overseer, or superintendant, but it was also applied by St. Luke as expressing more correctly the word 37, the usual epithet of respect among the Jews. In Mark ix. 5. wo read 'Pabbi, kalóv totiv vuãs de elvai. Rabbi, it is good for us to be here ; and in St. Luke ix. 33. the very same words are given, excepting that énusára is put in the place of Rabbi(c).
Michaclis has strangely placed this miraculous draught of fishes, after the raising of the widow's son at Nain ; an arrangement for which there is not the least authority that I have been able to discover, although much time has been devoted to the attempt. It appears merely arbitrary, equally inconsistent with the evangelical aocount, and the decision of all the harmonizers. Nain was upwards of twenty miles from the sea of Tiberias. Yet Michaelis supposes tbat our Lord on the same day left Capernaum, travelled to Nain, a distance of more than thirty miles, and, after raising the widow's son to life, proceeded to the sea of Tiberias, the nearest point of which is distant twenty miles from Nain. Bisbop Marsb, his learned editor, has been aware of this difficulty, as he remarks, “ Our autbor has not assigned his reasons for each particular transposition, and the propriety of some of them may be justly questioned.” Michaelis, in his defence, I suppose, observes, there is no note of time to inform us when this event took place (d).
The narratives of the three Evangelists are thus reconciled by Dr. Townson, who observes, this account (Luke v. l-12.) will be found on a near inspection to tally marvellously with the preceding (Matt. iv. 18—22. and Mark'i. 16-20.) and to be one of the evidences, that the Evangelists vary only in the number or choice of circumstances, and write from the same idea of the fact which they lay before us.
Every one knows that the sea of Galilee and the lake of Gennesareth are the same. And though St. Matthew and St. Mark do not expressly tell us, that St. Peter was in bis vessel when he was called by Christ, they signify as much, in saying that he was casting a net into the sea; for this supposes him to be aboard, and our Lord in the vessel with him, as St. Luke relates. The latter does not mention St. Andrew, either here or elsewhere, except in the catalogue of the apostles (vi. 14.) St. Luke furs