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1: The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ - The
evangelist speaks with strict propriety: for the beginning of
the Gospel is in the account of John the Baptist, contained in
the first paragraph; the Gospel itself in the rest of the book.(Mt 3:1,Lu 3:1)
2: (Mal 3:1)
3: (Isa 40:3).
4: Preaching the baptism of repentance - That is, preaching
repentance, and baptizing as a sign and means of it.
7: The latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose - That
is, to do him the very meanest service.
9: (Mt 3:13,Lu 3:21).
12: And immediately the Spirit thrusteth him out into the
wilderness - So in all the children of God, extraordinary
manifestations of his favour are wont to be followed by
extraordinary temptations. (Mt 4:1,Lu 4:1).
13: And he was there forty days, tempted by Satan - Invisibly.
After this followed the temptation by him in a visible shape,
related by St. Matthew. And he was with the wild beasts - Though
they had no power to hurt him. St. Mark not only gives us a
compendium of St. Matthew's Gospel, but likewise several
valuable particulars, which the other evangelists have omitted.
14: (Mt 4:12).
15: The time is fulfilled - The time of my kingdom, foretold by
Daniel, expected by you, is fully come.
16: (Mt 4:18,Lu 5:1).
18: Straightway leaving their nets, they followed him - From this
time they forsook their employ, and constantly attended him.
Happy they who follow Christ at the first call!
21: (Lu 4:31).
26: A loud noise - For he was forbidden to speak. Christ would
neither suffer those evil spirits to speak in opposition, nor
yet in favour of him. He needed not their testimony, nor would
encourage it, lest any should infer that he acted in concert
29: (Mt 8:14,Lu 4:38).
32: When the sun was set - And, consequently, the Sabbath was
ended, which they reckoned from sunset to sunset.
33: And the whole city was gathered together at the door - O what
a fair prospect was here! Who could then have imagined that all
these blossoms would die away without fruit?
34: He suffered not the devils to say that they knew him - That
is, according to Dr. Mead's hypothesis, (that the Scriptural
demoniacs were only diseased persons,) He suffered not the
diseases to say that they knew him!
35: Rising a great while before day - So did he labour for us,
both day and night. (Lu 4:42).
40: (Mt 8:2,Lu 5:12).
44: See thou say nothing to any man - But our blessed Lord gives
no such charge to us. If he has made us clean from our leprosy
of sin, we are not commanded to conceal it. On the contrary, it
is our duty to publish it abroad, both for the honour of our
Benefactor, and that others who are sick of sin may be encouraged
to ask and hope for the same benefit. But go, show thyself to
the priest, and offer for thy cleansing what Moses commanded
for a testimony to them - The priests seeing him, pronouncing him
clean, (Le 13:17,23,28,37), and accordingly allowing him to
offer as Moses commanded, (Le 14:2,7), was such a proof against
them, that they durst never say the leper was not cleansed; which
out of envy or malice against our Saviour they might have been
ready to say, upon his presenting himself to be viewed, according
to the law, if by the cleansed person's talking much about his
cure, the account of it had reached their ears before he came in
person. This is one great reason why our Lord commanded this man
to say nothing.
45: So that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city - It
was also to prevent this inconvenience that our Lord had
enjoined him silence.