At the gracious words - To the words of grace, επι τοις λογοις της χαριτος, or the doctrines of grace, which he then preached. It is very strange that none of the evangelists give us any account of this sermon! There was certainly more of it than is related in Luke 4:21. To-day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears; which seems to have been no more than the first sentence he spoke on the occasion. Had it been necessary for our salvation, it would have been recorded. It was a demonstration to those Jews, that Jesus, who preached to them, was the person of whom the prophet there spoke: it was not designed for general edification. Let us make a good use of what we have got, and we shalt not regret that this sermon is lost. The ear is never satisfied with hearing: we wish for another and another revelation, while sadly unacquainted with the nature and design of that which God's mercy has already given us.
All bare him witness - All were witnesses of the power and truth of what he said. Their reason and conscience approved of it, and they were constrained to admit the force and propriety of it, and on this account they wondered.
They wondered - They were struck with the truth and force of his words; and especially when they remembered that he was a native of their own place, and that they had been long acquainted with him, and that he should “now” claim to be the Messiah, and give so much evidence that he “was” the Christ.
The gracious words - The words of grace or favor; the kind, affectionate, and tender exposition of the words, and explanation of the design of his coming, and the nature of the plan of redemption. It was so different from the harsh and unfeeling mode of the Pharisees; so different from all their expectations respecting the Messiah, who they supposed to be a prince and a bloody conqueror, that they were filled with astonishment and awe.
Time is passing, and God calls for every watchman to be in his place. He has been pleased to lead us to a crisis greater than any since our Saviour's first advent. What shall we do? God's Holy Spirit has told us what to do; but, as the Jews in Christ's day rejected light and chose darkness, so will the religious world reject the message for today. Men professing godliness have despised Christ in the person of His messengers. Like the Jews, they reject God's message. The Jews asked regarding Christ, “Who is this? Is not this Joseph's son?” He was not the Christ that the Jews looked for. So today the agencies that God sends are not what men have looked for. But the Lord will not ask any man by whom to send. He will send by whom He will. Men may not be able to understand why God sends this one or that one. His work may be a matter of curiosity. God will not satisfy this curiosity; and His word will not return unto Him void. FE 472.1
Let the work of preparing a people to stand in the day of God's preparation be entered upon by all who believe the word. During the last few years serious work has been done. Serious questions have agitated the minds of those who believe present truth. The light of the Son of Righteousness has been shining in every place, and by some it has been received, and perseveringly held. The work has been carried forward in Christ's lines. FE 472.2
Every soul that names the name of Christ should be under service. All should say, “Here I am; send me.” The lips that are willing to speak, though unclean, will be touched with the living coal, and purified. They will be enabled to speak words that will burn their way to the soul. The time will come when men will be called to give an account for the souls to whom they should have communicated light, but who have not received it. Those who have thus failed in their duty, who have been given light, but who have not cherished it, so that they have none to impart, are classed in the books of heaven with those that are at enmity with God, not subject to His will or under His guidance. FE 472.3Read in context »
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 416.3Read in context »