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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. Matt. iii, 1; Luke iii, 1

2. Mal. iii, 1

3. Isaiah xl, 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. Matt. iii, 13; Luke iii, 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. Matt. iv, 1; Luke iv, 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. Matt. iv, 12.

15. The time is fulfilled - The time of my kingdom, foretold by Daniel, expected by you, is fully come.

16. Matt. iv, 18; Luke v, 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. Luke iv, 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 with them.

29. Matt. viii, 14; Luke iv, 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. Luke iv, 42.

40. Matt. viii, 2; Luke v, 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, Lev. xiii, 17, 23, 28, 37, and accordingly allowing him to offer as Moses commanded, Lev. xiv, 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.

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