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Another Chapter, full of Christ, in which, under the spirit of prophecy, the Lord Jesus is the preacher. Some precious promises are added, respecting the Church.
Had the shadow of a doubt existed as to whom this blessed scripture applies, the Lord Jesus would have fully removed it, when, in his visit to the Jewish synagogue on the sabbath, he read it, and declared its accomplishment. See Luke 4:14-21 . But, over and above this precious testimony, I pray the Reader to remark under what features of character he is described by the Prophet; and then I beg of him to look at the original, as he appeared in the days of his flesh. See those scriptures, Isaiah 11:1-3 ; Matthew 3:16-17 ; John 1:29-34 .
Every office of tenderness distinguished the person of Christ. So gentle, so gracious, and so full of compassion, was he to be, that even the bruised reed he should not break, nor quench the smoking flax. Hence all noticed the meekness of the Lamb of God, and every feature witnessed who he was.
As the Lord Jesus was so well known to his people, by the tenderness of his Person and Character; so his Church had her features from her connection with her Lord, by which she was to be known also.
This verse seems to have no immediate connection with what went before, nor with what follows. I find, in an old Bible, the translation rendered somewhat different; For I the Lord, which love right, and hate robbery (though it were offered me) shall make their work, of faithfulness and make an everlasting covenant with them. From which reading it should seem, that what is said here, of the Lord's loving right and hating robbery, is only descriptive of his distinguishing excellencies of character; that He who is so known to his people hath made, and will make their works faithful in himself; and in his everlasting covenant. But I leave the Reader to consider what sense is the most probable.
This is a blessed promise, and hath a sure fulfillment in the gracious will and pleasure of our covenant God!
I see no reason to limit this Song of joy and exultation to the Church. We shall have very blessed views of the Church's Lord and Saviour, if we accept the words as first spoken by Christ, and next as adopted by the Church, from her conscious union with Christ, and an interest in all that belongs to him. When God the Father gave Christ his Church, it is said, that it was his heart's desire, and that his glory was great in his salvation. See Psalms 21:1-6 . It is always blessed, yea, it is twice blessed, first, to behold Christ, in everything of salvation, and then his Church, as in him.
BLESSED Lord Jesus! while I read this Chapter, methinks I would beg for grace and faith to be in lively exercise, that I might figure to myself, my God and Saviour, thus speaking to my soul, and to the souls of his people, in the same gracious words, as thou didst in the Jewish synagogue in the days of thy flesh. Surely the Spirit of Jehovah was upon thee then, when thou wast anointed to preach the gospel to the poor; and surely now thou hast finished redemption work, and art returned to glory, thou wilt send down, according to thy promise before thy departure, the Spirit upon thy people, that all may bear thee witness, while receiving those gracious words which still proceed out of thy mouth. Thine arm of power is the same, and thy love is the same, all the purposes of thy salvation are the same; and thou art now daily, by the sweet influences of thy Spirit, preaching good tidings to the meek, binding up the broken in heart, proclaiming liberty to poor captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound. Hail! thou Almighty Saviour of poor lost sinners.
And oh! ye ministers of my God! behold in Jesus, what ought to be your plan of ministration. Sent by him to act as under-pastors in his name, shall not the meekness, the gentleness of Christ, be your pattern and example? Did the Son of God come to preach good tidings to the meek and will not ye, who have felt in your own souls the blessedness of those tidings of salvation, gladly go forth, and preach the gospel to every creature. Did Jesus bind up the broken in heart, and open the prison doors to them that were bound; and will not ye tell every poor broken-hearted sinner, whom ye meet with, that there is salvation for them in his name? Was Jesus mild and gracious; not breaking the bruised reed, nor quenching the smoking flax; and shall not the servant of the Lord, be apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God peradventure, will give them repentance, to the acknowledging of the truth?
Ye followers of Jesus! whose seed are known among the Gentiles, and your offspring among the people, behold, here, what is said of your Lord; yea, what he saith most graciously of himself; and put in your humble modest claim, that he may comfort all who mourn, and give unto you beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Blessed Lord Jesus? cause all thy people, thy redeemed, to rejoice in thee, as thou hast rejoiced in the salvation of Jehovah! And while thou art clothing all thine, with the garments of thy salvation, and covering them with the robe of thy righteousness; cause them to live to thy glory, and let their righteousness and praise in thee spring forth before all the nations. Amen.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 61". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24