1The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.2As it is written in the Prophets: Behold, I send My messenger before Your face, who will prepare Your way before You.3The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight.4John came immersing in the wilderness and preaching an immersion of repentance for the remission of sins.5And all the land of Judea, and those from Jerusalem, went out to him and were all immersed by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.6Now John was clothed with camel's hair and with a leather waistband around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.7And he preached, saying, There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose.8I indeed immerse you in water, but He will immerse you in the Holy Spirit.9And it came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was immersed by John in the Jordan.10And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove.11And a voice came from Heaven, You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.12And immediately the Spirit drove Him into the wilderness.13And He was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan, and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to Him.14Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,15and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.16And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.17And Jesus said to them, Come after Me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.18And they immediately left their nets and followed Him.19And when He had gone a little farther from there, He saw Jacob the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets.20And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.21And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.22And they were astonished at His doctrine, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.23Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out,24saying, Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are; the Holy One of God!25But Jesus rebuked him, saying, Be quiet, and come out of him!26And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him.27And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.28And immediately His fame spread throughout all the region around Galilee.29And as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with Jacob and John.30But Simon's wife's mother lay sick with a fever, and at once they told Him about her.31So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them.32And at evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed.33And the whole city was gathered together at the door.34And He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him.35And in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there prayed.36And Simon and those who were with Him followed after Him.37And when they found Him, they said to Him, Everyone is looking for You.38But He said to them, Let us go into the neighboring towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.39And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and casting out demons.40Now a leper came to Him, begging Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, If You are willing, You can make me clean.41And Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, I am willing; be made clean.42And as soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.43And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once,44and said to him, See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.45However, he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the matter, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city, but was outside in deserted places; and they came to Him from every direction.
Matthew Henry - Concise Commentary 1
Isaiah and Malachi each spake concerning the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, in the ministry of John. From these prophets we may observe, that Christ, in his gospel, comes among us, bringing with him a treasure of grace, and a sceptre of government. Such is the corruption of the world, that there is great opposition to his progress. When God sent his Son into the world, he took care, and when he sends him into the heart, he takes care, to prepare his way before him. John thinks himself unworthy of the meanest office about Christ. The most eminent saints have always been the most humble. They feel their need of Christ's atoning blood and sanctifying Spirit, more than others. The great promise Christ makes in his gospel to those who have repented, and have had their sins forgiven them, is, they shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost; shall be purified by his graces, and refreshed by his comforts. We use the ordinances, word, and sacraments without profit and comfort, for the most part, because we have not of that Divine light within us; and we have it not because we ask it not; for we have his word that cannot fail, that our heavenly Father will give this light, his Holy Spirit, to those that ask it. 9
Christ's baptism was his first public appearance, after he had long lived unknown. How much hidden worth is there, which in this world is not known! But sooner or later it shall be known, as Christ was. He took upon himself the likeness of sinful flesh; and thus, for our sakes, he sanctified himself, that we also might be sanctified, and be baptized with him, John 17:19
. See how honourably God owned him, when he submitted to John's baptism. He saw the Spirit descending upon him like a dove. We may see heaven opened to us, when we perceive the Spirit descending and working upon us. God's good work in us, is sure evidence of his good will towards us, and preparations for us. As to Christ's temptation, Mark notices his being in the wilderness and that he was with the wild beasts. It was an instance of his Father's care of him, which encouraged him the more that his Father would provide for him. Special protections are earnests of seasonable supplies. The serpent tempted the first Adam in the garden, the Second Adam in the wilderness; with different success indeed; and ever since he still tempts the children of both, in all places and conditions. Company and conversation have their temptations; and being alone, even in a wilderness, has its own also. No place or state exempts, no business, not lawful labouring, eating, or drinking, not even fasting and praying; often in these duties there are the most assaults, but in them is the sweetest victory. The ministration of the good angels is matter of great comfort in reference to the malignant designs of the evil angels; but much more does it comfort us, to have the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit in our hearts. 14
Jesus began to preach in Galilee, after that John was put in prison. If some be laid aside, others shall be raised up, to carry on the same work. Observe the great truths Christ preached. By repentance we give glory to our Creator whom we have offended; by faith we give glory to our Redeemer who came to save us from our sins. Christ has joined these two together, and let no man think to put them asunder. Christ puts honour upon those who, though mean in this world, are diligent in their business and kind to one another. Industry and unity are good and pleasant, and the Lord Jesus commands a blessing on them. Those whom Christ calls, must leave all to follow him; and by his grace he makes them willing to do so. Not that we must needs go out of the world, but we must sit loose to the world; forsake every thing that is against our duty to Christ, and that cannot be kept without hurt to our souls. Jesus strictly kept the sabbath day, by applying himself unto, and abounding in the sabbath work, in order to which the sabbath rest was appointed. There is much in the doctrine of Christ that is astonishing; and the more we hear it, the more cause we see to admire it. 23
The devil is an unclean spirit, because he has lost all the purity of his nature, because he acts in direct opposition to the Holy Spirit of God, and by his suggestions defiles the spirits of men. There are many in our assemblies who quietly attend under merely formal teachers; but if the Lord come with faithful ministers and holy doctrine, and by his convincing Spirit, they are ready to say, like this man, What have we to do with thee, Jesus of Nazareth! No disorder could enable a man to know Jesus to be the Holy One of God. He desires to have nothing to do with Jesus, for he despairs of being saved by him, and dreads being destroyed by him. See whose language those speak, that say to the Almighty, Depart from us. This unclean spirit hated and dreaded Christ, because he knew him to be a Holy One; for the carnal mind is enmity against God, especially against his holiness. When Christ by his grace delivers souls out of the hands of Satan, it is not without tumult in the soul; for that spiteful enemy will disquiet those whom he cannot destroy. This put all who saw it upon considering, What is this new doctrine? A work as great often is wrought now, yet men treat it with contempt and neglect. If this were not so, the conversion of a notorious wicked man to a sober, righteous, and godly life, by the preaching of a crucified Saviour, would cause many to ask, What doctrine is this? 29
Wherever Christ comes, he comes to do good. He cures, that we may minister to him, and to others who are his, and for his sake. Those kept from public ordinances by sickness or other real hinderances, may expect the Saviour's gracious presence; he will soothe their sorrows, and abate their pains. Observe how numerous the patients were. When others speed well with Christ, it should quicken us in seeking after him. Christ departed into a solitary place. Though he was in no danger of distraction, or of temptation to vain-glory, yet he retired. Those who have the most business in public, and of the best kind, must yet sometimes be alone with God. 40
We have here Christ's cleansing of a leper. It teaches us to apply to the Saviour with great humility, and with full submission to his will, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, without any doubt of Christ's readiness to help the distressed. See also what to expect from Christ; that according to our faith it shall be to us. The poor leper said, If thou wilt. Christ readily wills favours to those who readily refer themselves to his will. Christ would have nothing done that looked like seeking praise of the people. But no reasons now exist why we should hesitate to spread the praises of Christ.