Commentary

Luke 7

Luke has just recorded the choice by the Lord of the twelve Apostles and also the instructions He gave them, particularly as to the gracious spirit that was to characterize them, and the reality that was to mark them. We find that He did not immediately dispatch them on their mission but retained them in His company, that they might further learn of Himself both by His words and His actions. The sending out to serve does not come till the beginning of the ninth chapter. We have alre...

Luke 6

As we open this chapter, we see the Pharisees and scribes attempting to confine the actions of the disciples, and then also the gracious power of the Lord, within the limits of the Jewish sabbath, as they were accustomed to enforce it. This illustrates His teaching at the close of chapter 5, and in result the "bottle" of the Jewish sabbath burst, and grace flows forth in spite of them. The words, "The second sabbath after the first," refer we believe to Leviticus 23: 9-14, and are i...

Luke 5

In the previous chapter we saw the Lord Jesus coming forth in the power of the Spirit to announce the grace of God, and being confronted at once with man's rejection. We saw that nevertheless He pursued His way of grace unmoved by it. This chapter now presents us with a series of lovely pictures, illustrating what grace accomplishes in the case of those who receive it. Four men come before us-Peter, the leper, the paralytic, Levi-and a different feature marks each. They follow one another...

Luke 4

Our chapter opens with Him returning from His baptism, full of the Holy Ghost. But before beginning His service He must for forty days be tempted of the devil. To this testing the Spirit led Him, and here we see the glorious contrast between the Second Man and the first. When the first man was created God pronounced all to be very good, but Satan came promptly on the scene, tempted man and ruined him. The Second Man has appeared, and the Father's voice has pronounced His excellence...

Luke 3

The commencement of John's ministry is very fully dated in the opening two verses. They show that things were entirely out of course, government was vested in the Gentiles, and even in Israel things were in confusion, for there were two high priests instead of one. Hence repentance was the dominant note in his preaching. Earlier prophets had reasoned with Israel and recalled them to the broken law. John no longer does this, but demands repentance. They were to acknowledge that they were...

Luke 2

The opening verse of this chapter shows how God may use the great ones of the earth, all unconsciously to themselves, for the accomplishing of His designs. The case here is the more remarkable inasmuch as the decree of Augustus was not carried out immediately but delayed until Cyrenius was governor of Syria. Prophecy however had indicated Bethlehem as the birthplace of the Messiah, and the decree of the Emperor came just at the right time to send Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, though sub...

Mark 11

Jesus now drew near to Jerusalem. His disciples were in His train, not only those who had spent three years in His company but Bartimaeus also, who had spent perhaps three hours. Bethany was the home of some who loved Him, and there He found the colt of an ass, so that He might enter the city as Zechariah had predicted. The Lord had need of that colt, and He knew who the owner was and that His need would meet with a ready response. He was the Servant of the will of God, and He knew wher...

Luke 1

In the opening verses Luke avows the object before him in writing his Gospel; he wished to bring certainty to the mind of a certain Gentile convert. God had given him a perfect understanding of all things from the outset, so now he wrote them "in order," or "with method;" and we shall see as we proceed that he sometimes ignores historical order to present things in a method that is moral and spiritual. The understanding of that moral and spiritual order, together with having the facts c...

Mark 13

The Lord's prediction that the Temple should be utterly destroyed led to His prophetic discourse. The disciples did not question the fulfilment of His words, they only wished to know the time of fulfilment and, true to their Jewish instincts, what the sign of it would be. His answer to their questions is very instructive. In the first place, He fixed no dates: any answer He gave as to the time was of an indirect sort. In the second place, He went beyond the immediate scope of their ...

Mark 14

As we open this chapter, we come back to historical details, and reach the closing moments of our Lord's life. Verses 1-11 provide us with a very striking introduction to the last scenes. In verses 1 and 2, crafty hatred rises to its climax. In verses 10 and 11, the supreme exhibition of heartless treachery is briefly recorded. The verses between tell a story of devoted love on the part of an insignificant woman-its beauty enhanced by the story standing between the record of such hatre...
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