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Luke 4:17

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

And when he had opened the book - Αναπτυξας, When he had unrolled it. The Sacred Writings used to this day, in all the Jewish synagogues, are written on skins of basil, parchment, or vellum, sewed end to end, and rolled on two rollers, beginning at each end; so that, in reading from right to left, they roll off with the left, while they roll on with the right. Probably the place in the Prophet Isaiah, here referred to, was the lesson for that day; and Jesus unrolled the manuscript till he came to the place: then, after having read, he rolled it up again, and returned it to the officer, Luke 4:20, the ruler of the synagogue, or his servant, whose business it was to take care of it. The place that he opened was probably the section for the day. See the table at the end of Deuteronomy, and the note at the end of that table.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

There was delivered unto him - By the minister of the synagogue, or the keeper of the sacred books. They were kept in an “ark” or chest, not far from the pulpit, and the minister gave them to whomsoever he chose, to read them publicly.

The book - The volume contained the prophecy of Isaiah. It would seem, from this, that the books were kept separate, and not united into one as with us.

When he had opened the book - Literally, when he had “unrolled” the book. Books, among the ancients, were written on parchments or vellum that is, skins of beasts, and were “rolled” together on two rollers, beginning at each end, so that while reading they rolled off from one to the other. Different forms of books were indeed used, but this was the most common. When used the reader unrolled the manuscript as far as the place which he wished to find, and kept before him just so much as he would read. When the roller was done with, it was carefully deposited in a case.

The place where it was written - Isaiah 61:1-2.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Christ taught in their synagogues, their places of public worship, where they met to read, expound, and apply the word, to pray and praise. All the gifts and graces of the Spirit were upon him and on him, without measure. By Christ, sinners may be loosed from the bonds of guilt, and by his Spirit and grace from the bondage of corruption. He came by the word of his gospel, to bring light to those that sat in the dark, and by the power of his grace, to give sight to those that were blind. And he preached the acceptable year of the Lord. Let sinners attend to the Saviour's invitation when liberty is thus proclaimed. Christ's name was Wonderful; in nothing was he more so than in the word of his grace, and the power that went along with it. We may well wonder that he should speak such words of grace to such graceless wretches as mankind. Some prejudice often furnishes an objection against the humbling doctrine of the cross; and while it is the word of God that stirs up men's enmity, they will blame the conduct or manner of the speaker. The doctrine of God's sovereignty, his right to do his will, provokes proud men. They will not seek his favour in his own way; and are angry when others have the favours they neglect. Still is Jesus rejected by multitudes who hear the same message from his words. While they crucify him afresh by their sins, may we honour him as the Son of God, the Saviour of men, and seek to show we do so by our obedience.
Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 236-43

This chapter is based on Luke 4:16-30.

Across the bright days of Christ's ministry in Galilee, one shadow lay. The people of Nazareth rejected Him. “Is not this the carpenter's son?” they said. DA 236.1

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Ellen G. White
The Acts of the Apostles, 416-7

After reading the communication, Felix inquired to what province the prisoner belonged, and being informed that he was of Cilicia, said: “I will hear thee ... when thine accusers are also come. And he commanded him to be kept in Herod's judgment hall.” AA 416.1

The case of Paul was not the first in which a servant of God had found among the heathen an asylum from the malice of the professed people of Jehovah. In their rage against Paul the Jews had added another crime to the dark catalogue which marked the history of that people. They had still further hardened their hearts against the truth and had rendered their doom more certain. AA 416.2

Few realize the full meaning of the words that Christ spoke when, in the synagogue at Nazareth, He announced Himself as the Anointed One. He declared His mission to comfort, bless, and save the sorrowing and the sinful; and then, seeing that pride and unbelief controlled the hearts of His hearers, He reminded them that in time past God had turned away from His chosen people because of their unbelief and rebellion, and had manifested Himself to those in heathen lands who had not rejected the light of heaven. The widow of Sarepta and Naaman the Syrian had lived up to all the light they had; hence they were accounted more righteous than God's chosen people who had backslidden from Him and had sacrificed principle to convenience and worldly honor. AA 416.3

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Ellen G. White
Welfare Ministry, 170-2

Jesus Associated Himself With the Poor—It has become fashionable to look down upon the poor.... But Jesus, the Master, was poor, and He sympathizes with the poor, the discarded, the oppressed, and declares that every insult shown to them is as if shown to Himself. I am more and more surprised as I see those who claim to be children of God possessing so little of the sympathy, tenderness, and love which actuated Christ. Would that every church, North and South, were imbued with the spirit of our Lord's teaching!—Manuscript 6, 1891. WM 170.1

Christ Came to Minister to the Poor—Christ stood at the head of humanity in the garb of humanity. So full of sympathy and love was His attitude that the poorest was not afraid to come to Him. He was kind to all, easily approached by the most lowly. He went from house to house, healing the sick, feeding the hungry, comforting the mourners, soothing the afflicted, speaking peace to the distressed.—Letter 117, 1903. WM 170.2

“And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up: and, as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto Him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” WM 170.3

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Ellen G. White
Testimonies on Sexual Behavior, Adultery, and Divorce, 149.3

A Diverging Path With Satan as Leader—From that time he began to walk in darkness, contrary to light and truth. He had a molding influence upon Sister N. She felt at one time that she could never be free, unless she made a humble confession. But Elder M molded matters to please himself. He might have made straightforward work; he might have come out of darkness into the light; he might have drawn near to God; and the Lord would have forgiven his sins, and lifted up a standard for him against the enemy. But he has verily turned away from the light and the convictions of the Spirit of God, as did the assembly of the Jews at Nazareth, when Christ announced Himself as the Anointed One.... It is a dangerous thing under circumstances like these to open the heart to unbelief, which causes the Spirit of God to depart.... TSB 149.3

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Jesus' Ministry in Galilee and Journey to Jerusalem