1:2 1 As it is written in the a prophets, Behold, b I send my messenger c before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
(1) John goes before Christ as it was foretold by the prophets. 1:4 2 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the d baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
(a) This is the figure of speech called metonymy, by which is meant the books of the prophets Malachi and Isaiah.
(b) The prophet uses the present tense when he speaks of a thing to come, as he is as sure of it as if he had already seen it.
(c) A metaphor taken from the practice of kings, who used to have ushers go before them.
(2) The sum of Johns doctrine, or rather Christs, is remission of sins and amendment of life. 1:7 3 And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to e stoop down and unloose.
(d) The Jews used many kinds of washings: but here a peculiar kind of washing is spoken of, which contains within it true baptism, amendment of life, and forgiveness of sins.
(3) John and all ministers cast their eyes upon Christ the Lord. 1:8 I indeed have f baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
(e) The evangelist is expressing here the condition of the basest servant.
(f) He shows that all the power of baptism proceeds from Christ, who baptizes the inner man. 1:9 4 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.
(4) Christ consecrates our baptism in himself. 1:10 5 And straightway g coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
(5) The vocation of Christ from heaven, as head of the Church. 1:11 And there came a voice from heaven, [saying], Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am h well pleased.
(g) John, who went down into the water with Christ.
(h) See Matthew 3:17 1:12 6 And immediately the Spirit i driveth him into the wilderness.
(6) Christ being tempted overcomes. 1:14 7 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
(i) "Driveth" here does not refer to something violent and forcible: but the divine power clothes Christ (who had lived until this time as a private man) with a new person, and prepares him for the battle that was at hand, and for his ministry.
(7) After John is taken Christ shows himself more fully. 1:16 8 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.
(8) The calling of Simon and Andrew. 1:19 9 And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the [son] of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship mending their nets.
(9) The calling of James and John. 1:21 And they went into k Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.
(k) From the city of Nazareth. 1:23 10 And there was in their synagogue a man l with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,
1:24 Saying, Let [us] alone; what have we to do with thee, thou m Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the n Holy One of God.
(10) He preaches that doctrine by which alone Satan is driven out of the world, which he also confirms by a miracle.
(l) Literally, "a man in an unclean spirit", that is to say, possessed with an evil spirit.
(m) He was born in Bethlehem, but through the error of the people he was called a Nazarene, because he was brought up in Nazareth. 1:26 And when the unclean spirit o had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.
(n) He alludes to the name that was written in the golden plate which the high Priest wore; ( Exodus 28:36 )
1:27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned p among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine [is] this? for with authority q commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.
(o) See below, ( Mark 9:20 ).
(p) As men who were amazed. 1:28 And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region r round about Galilee.
(q) By his own authority, or as a lord.
(r) Not only into Galilee, but also into the countries bordering upon it. 1:29 11 And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
1:34 And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and f suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.
(11) By healing different diseases he shows that he has brought true life into the world.
1:38 And he said unto them, Let us go into the t next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.
(s) For it is not proper for the demons to preach the gospel; ( Acts 16:18 )
(t) Villages which were like cities. 1:40 12 And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
1:44 13 And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the u priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
(12) By healing the leprous he shows that he came for this reason: to wipe out the sins of the world with his touch.
(13) He shows that he was not motivated by ambition, but only by the desire for his Fathers glory, and by his love towards poor sinners.
(u) All the posterity of Aaron had the authority to judge a leper.