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to the Son on this occasion, marks the greatness of the Father's affection for him, and distinguishes him from all others to whom the title of God's son had formerly been given. Accordingly we find our Lord alluding to it with peculiar pleasure in his intercessory prayer. John xvii. 26. "And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it, (iva nayan in aganoas us) that the love wherewith thou hast loved me, may be in them, and I in them." It was therefore the voice of God the Father that was heard at Christ's baptism, probably loud like thunder, as in the instance recorded, John xii. 29. making a sound which no human organ of speech was able to form, and consequently could not be mistaken for the whispering voice of any of the multitude present. See Frov. viii. 30. to which it is thought the voice alluded. The Son of God was one of the Messiah's known titles, (Matt. xvi. 16. Mark xiv. 61. John i. 49.) founded on Psal. ii. 7. Isa. vii. 14. where it is expressly attributed to him. And therefore, according to the received language of the Jews, Jesus was on this occasion declared from heaven to be their long expected deliverer; and his mission received a most illustrious confirmation from the Father Almighty, a confirmation on which Jesus himself laid great stress, as absolutely decisive, John v. 37. For lest the people might have applied the words of the voice to the Baptist, the Holy Spirit alighted upon Jesus, and remained visible for some time in the before-mentioned sensible symbol, John i. 33. which probably surrounded his head in the form of a large glory, and pointed him out as God's beloved Son, in whom the richest gifts and graces resided. Thus all present had an opportunity to hear and see the miraculous testimony, particularly the Baptist, who, as soon as he beheld the Spirit remaining on Jesus, cried out, John i. 15. This is he of whom I spake, when I told you, he that cometh after me is preferred before me; namely by God. Erasmus supposes that John here refers to the honours which he knew had been paid to Jesus in his infancy, by the angel who announced his birth to the Bethlehem shepherds, by the shepherds themselves, by the eastern magi, by Simeon and Anna; honours which could not be paralleled by any thing that had happened to him. But the words seem to have a more extensive meaning, comprehend
pronounced; the voice uttering the words, Thou art my beloved Son, in thee I am well pleased, while the Spirit was descending as if they had been directed to Jesus alone in answer to his prayer; and that after the Spirit rested on Jesus, the voice, speaking to the Baptist and the multitude, said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. On this supposition, which without doubt renders the miracle very remarkable, the words, Matt. iii. 16. He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon bim, may be referred to the Baptist, notwithstanding the same words, Mark i. 10. are evidently spoken of Jesus. See another solution of this difficulty in the first Prelim. Observ.
ing the superior dignity of Christ's nature, office, commission and exaltation, as mediator. This I think plain from Matt. iii. 11. the passage here referred to-For he was before me: it is fit that Jesus should be raised above me, because he is a person superior in nature to me; for though he was born after me, he existed before me.--16. And of his fulness we have all received fulness. If these are the words of the evangelist, he alludes to what he had said verse 14. namely, that the word made flesh, or the Son of God in the human nature, was full of grace and truth ; from which fulness of the divine perfections, we his apostles and ministers have derived large communications of illumination and miraculous powers, to fit us for our office and grace for grace: continual supplies of the common assistances of his Spirit, in proportion to the improvement which we have made thereof in the ordinary course of our trial.--17. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. The blessing of grace for grace, all Christians enjoy, agreeably to the benign nature of the gospel dispensation, which far exceeds the legal, both in the lenity of its terms and requisitions, in the assistances which it offers, and in the rewards which it promises. Besides, in comparing the two dispensations, this should be considered, 18. No man hath seen God at any time: neither Moses, nor any other prophet who in former ages delivered the will of od to men, ever saw the Divine Being; and therefore they could not make a full discovery of his perfections and counsels to men. The only person who ever enjoyed this privilege, was the Son of God, who is in the bosom of the Father. He always was and is the darling object of his tenderest affection, and the intimate partner of his counsels; and therefore he was able fully to declare the great purpose of God concerning the redemption of the
• Ver. 16. And grace for grace.] xegov avto yupotos, according to Sir Richard Ellis in his Fort Sac. signifies, Grace upon grace, as att anwy aviach, Theogn. V. 343. signifies, you send one affliction in place of or upon another. If this is the true interpretation, the evangelist's meaning will be, that the apostles and ministers of Christ received out of his fulness, a continued succession of gifts, one on the back of another, without interruption. Whitby interprets it thus, Grace for the sake of grace, i. e. such communications of his grace, as were necessary to prepare them for the highest insances of his favour, viz. the pardon of their sin.-Clarke thinks the meaning of the phrase is, Out of his fulness of divine perfection we have all received fulness, and grace in proportion to his grace.-Grotius translates the clause thus, Grace by grace, i. e. the freest grace imaginable. But the common translation seems to be very proper, being supported by the ordi. nary use of the preposition ayti. Thus, Rom. xii. 17. Recompence to no man (LOKOV axtı xarx) evil for evil, or in return for evil. According to this translation, the meaning of the passage is, that under the gospel dispensation all men receive grace for grace, privileges and advantages, in proportion to the improvement which they make of those already bestowed on them.
world. The only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath revealed him. Before the section is concluded, it may not be improper to observe, that the descent of the Spirit on Jesus was predicted, Isa. xlii. 1. xi. 1. In like manner, the voice from heaven is supposed to be predicted, Psal. ii. 7. The Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son."
• Ver. 18. Who is in the bosom of the Father. To be in one's bosom deNotes the greatest familiarity and intimacy; a communication of counsels and designs, an entire and tender affection. Hence it is used, Deut. xiii. 6. xxviii, 54. to signify a man's best beloved wife.
XVI. Jesus begins his ministry. His genealogy by his mother. See § 6. Luke iii. 23,-38.
JESUS having received those different testimonies from his Father, from the Spirit, and from John Baptist, all given in presence of the multitudes assembled to John's baptism, began his ministry when he was about thirty years old, the age at which the priests entered on their sacred ministrations in the temple. 23. And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age.On this occasion, Luke gives our Lord's genealogy by his mother, (see on Matt. i. § 6.) as follows: being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli, 24. Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son of Malchi, which was the son of Janna, which was the son of Joseph, 25. Which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Amos, which was the son of Naum, which was the son of Esli, which was the son of Nagge, 26. Which was the son of Maath, which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Semei, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Juda, 27. Which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was the son of Zorobabel, which was the son of Salathiel, which was the son of Neri, 28. Which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Addi, which was the son of Cosam, which ruas the son of Elmodam, which was the son of Er, 29. Which
+ Ver. 23. About thirty years of age.] To understand Luke's account of our Lord's age at his baptism aright, we must take notice that his words, verse 23. stand thus in construction: xai autos • Incas agxoueros, E) WES stav egiazovta. And Jesus himself when he began, was about thirty years of age, i. e. when he began his ministry; in opposition to the commencement of the Baptist's ministry, the history of which is given in the precedent part of the chapter. The word agxoutros is used in this sense, Acts i. 21, 22. Wherefore of those men which accompanied with us, all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning (agžausvos) from the bap tism of John, until the same day that he was taken up from us. Here Christ's ministry is evidently said to have commenced at the baptism of John, the time that John baptized him, and to have ended at the day of his ascension. So likewise, Luke xxiii. 5. He (Jesus) stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry (agapoor) having begun, namely, to teach, from Galilee to this place..
quas the son of Jose, which was the son of Eliezer, which was the son of Jorim, which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, 30. Which was the son of Simeon, which was the son of Juda, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Jonan, which was the son of Eliakim, 31. Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David, 32. Which was the son of Jesse, which was the son of Obed, which was the son of Booz, which was the son of Salının, which was the son of Naasson, 33. Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Pharez, which was the son of Juda, 34. Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor, 33. Which was the son of Saruch, which was the son of Ragau, which was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala, 36. Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Seni, which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lamech, 37. Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son of Enoch, which was the son of Jared, which was the son of Maleleel, which was the son of Cainan, 38. Which was the son of Engs, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.-In verses 36, and 37. of this
genealogy, there are two Caipans mentioned, contrary to Gen. x. 24. where the first is omitted. It is true, in the translation which the LXX. have given of that passage, both are found. But it is more than probable, that the name crept into Luke (verse 36.) through the carelessness of some blundering transcriber, who, because this evangelist mentions Cainan in his proper place, put the name down by accident before Arphaxad also. And later transcribers finding it there, foisted it into the LXX. which in early times was generally used both by Jews and Christians ; and so the error being thus handed down, has become universal. XVII. Jesus is tempted of the devil in the wilderness. Matt. iv.
1,–11, Mark i. 12, 13. Luke iv. 1,-13. Our blessed Lord began his ministry immediately after his baptism, not by going directly to Jerusalem the seat of power, preceded by the Baptist, and with the divine glory surrounding his head, but by retiring into a wilderness, that without interruption he might prepare himself for his work, by fasting, mediation and prayer, and by sustaining temptations.' Hence his journey to the wilderness is said to have been undertaken by the direction of the Spirit. Luke iv. I. And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from Jordan, and was led up of the Spirit, (Mark, to signify the strength of the impulse, expresses it thus :
immediately the Spirit driveth him) into the wilderness, 2. Being forty days tempted of the devil.--Mark adds, that in the wilderness he was with the wild beasts: a circumstance which shews that the place to which Jesus now retired was an uninhabited desert, where he had no opportunity of conversing with men. During his abode in this wilderness, which was for the space of forty days, our Lord neither ate nor drank.' It seems he was supported by miracle ; for he found no inconveniency from so long and preternatural a fast. He did not even feel the sensation of hunger, till the forty days were expired. Luke, and in these days he did eat nothing; and when they were ended, he afterwards hungered. Moses, who was a type of Jesus, made himself remarkable by fasts of this kind; for at two different times he was forty days and forty nights with the Lord, and did neither eat bread nor drink water all the while, Deut. ix. 9, 25. X. 10. In like manner Elijah, who was a type of Christ's forerunner, went in the strength of the meat he had eaten, forty days and forty nights unto Horeb, the mount of God. Moreover, as Moses, during his forty days fast, received from God the laws which he afterwards delivered to the Israelites, and by continuing so long without food, proved the reality of his intercourse with
God; so Jesus, during the whole of his fast, enjoyed continual converse with God, was instructed in the doctrine he came to preach, and in all the duties of his public life; and by the miracle of a total abstinence from food for so long a time, demonstrated the truth of his mission. It is probable, therefore, that this solemn fast of Christ, like those of Moses and Elias, was intended to prove the divinity of his mission, and to inculcate the necessity of weakening the animal passions, and of vanquishing the pleasures of sense, before a man takes on himself the high character of an instructor of others, in the knowledge of divine things.
We are told by Mark and Luke, that all the time of our Lord's retirement, he was tempted of the devil: Mark i. 12. And he was there in the wilderness forty days tempted of Satan, (Luke, of the devil) but there is no account of the various subtle arts which that evil spirit used in the course of so long a temptation. The three assaults only which he made at the expiration of the forty days are recorded, perhaps because they were more violent than the rest, or more for the instruction of mankind *.
To have a just notion of this extraordinary event, we must consider it in two lights : 1. As it was permitted by God; 2. As it was executed by the tempter. The reasons why God permitted his Son to be tempted of the devil
, were such as these : i. That he might become a faithful and merciful high priest: one who can sucior his people in time of need, and pity them when they happen to fall by tempiation. The apostle assigns this reason