Infirmities and plagues - The following judicious note from Bp. Pearce is worthy of deep attention: "Luke mentions here νοσοι, μαϚιγες, leprosias, and πνευματα πονηρα, i.e. diseases or ill habits of body, sores or lamenesses, and evil spirits: from whence we may conclude that evil spirits are reckoned by him (who speaks of distempers with more accuracy than the other evangelists) as things different from any disorders of the body, included in the two former words."
Unto many that were blind he gave light - Rather, he kindly gave sight - εχαρισατο το βλεπειν ; or, he graciously gave sight. This is the proper meaning of the original words. In all his miracles, Jesus showed the tenderest mercy and kindness: not only the cure, but the manner in which he performed it, endeared him to those who were objects of his compassionate regards.
See this passage explained in Luke 7:29
The people - The common people.
That heard him - That heard “John.”
The publicans - The tax-gatherers, the worst kind of people, who had, however, been converted.
Justified God - Considered God as “just” or “right” in the counsel which he gave by John - to wit, in calling people to repentance, and in denouncing future wrath on the impenitent. Compare Matthew 11:19.
Being baptized - They “showed” that they approved of the message of God by submitting to the ordinance which he commanded - the ordinance of baptism. This verse and the following are not to be considered as the words of “Luke,” but the continuation of the discourse of our Lord. He is saying what took place in regard to John. Among the common people he was approved and obeyed among the rich and learned he was despised.
But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected - It appears from Matthew 3:7 that some of the Pharisees came to John to be baptized; but still this is entirely consistent with the supposition that the great mass of Pharisees and lawyers rejected him.
The counsel of God - The counsel of God toward them was the solemn admonition by John to “repent” and be baptized, and be prepared to receive the Messiah. This was the command or revealed will of God in relation to them. When it is said that they “rejected” the counsel of God, it does not mean that they could frustrate his purposes, but merely that they violated his commands. Men cannot frustrate the “real” purposes of God, but they can contemn his messages, they can violate his commands, and thus they can reject the counsel which he gives them, and treat with contempt the desire which he manifests for their welfare.
Against themselves - To their own hurt or detriment. God is wise and good. He knows what is best for us. He, therefore, that rejects what God commands, rejects it to his own injury. It “cannot” be well for any mortal to despise what God commands him to do.
See this passage explained in the notes at Matthew 11:16-19. “And the Lord said.” This clause is wanting in almost all the manuscripts, and is omitted by the best critics.
John the Baptist had been first in heralding Christ's kingdom, and he was first also in suffering. From the free air of the wilderness and the vast throngs that had hung upon his words, he was now shut in by the walls of a dungeon cell. He had become a prisoner in the fortress of Herod Antipas. In the territory east of Jordan, which was under the dominion of Antipas, much of John's ministry had been spent. Herod himself had listened to the preaching of the Baptist. The dissolute king had trembled under the call to repentance. “Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy; ... and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.” John dealt with him faithfully, denouncing his iniquitous alliance with Herodias, his brother's wife. For a time Herod feebly sought to break the chain of lust that bound him; but Herodias fastened him the more firmly in her toils, and found revenge upon the Baptist by inducing Herod to cast him into prison. DA 214.1Read in context »