Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Isaiah
Book: Isaiah
Chapter: 61

The Messiah, his character and office. (1-3) His promises of
the future blessedness of the Church. (4-9) The Church praises
God for these mercies. (10,11)

1-3 The prophets had the Holy Spirit of God at times, teaching
them what to say, and causing them to say it; but Christ had the
Spirit always, without Measure, to qualify him, as Man, for the
work to which he was appointed. The Poor are commonly best
disposed to receive the Gospel, Jas 2:5; and it is only likely
to profit us when received with Meekness. To such as are Poor in
Spirit, Christ preached good tidings when he said, Blessed are
the meek. Christ's satisfaction is accepted. By the dominion of
Sin in us, we are bound under the power of Satan; but the Son is
ready, By his Spirit, to make us free; and then we shall be free
indeed. Sin and Satan were to be destroyed; and Christ triumphed
over them On his Cross. But the children of men, who stand out
against these offers, shall be dealt with as enemies. Christ was
to be a Comforter, and So he is; he is sent to comfort all who
Mourn, and who seek to him, and not to the world, for comfort.
He will do all this for his people, that they may abound in the
fruits of Righteousness, as the branches of God's planting.
Neither the Mercy of God, the Atonement of Christ, nor the
Gospel of Grace, profit the self-sufficient and proud. They must
be humbled, and led to know their own character and wants, By
the Holy Spirit, that they may see and feel their need of the
sinner's Friend and Saviour. His doctrine contains glad tidings
indeed to those who are humbled before God.

4-9 Promises are here made to the Jews returned out of
Captivity, which extend to all those who, through Grace, are
delivered out of spiritual thraldom. An unholy soul is like a
City that is broken down, and has No walls, like a House in
ruins; but By the power of Christ's Gospel and Grace, it is
fitted to be a Habitation of God, through the Spirit. When, By
the Grace of God, we attain to holy indifference as to the
affairs of this world; when, though our hands are employed about
them, our hearts are not entangled with them, but preserved
entire for God and his service, then the sons of the Alien are
our ploughmen and Vine-dressers. Those whom He sets at liberty,
he sets to work. His service is perfect Freedom; it is the
greatest honour. All believers are made, to our God, Kings and
priests; and always ought to conduct themselves as such. Those
who have the Lord for their portion, have reason to say, that
they have worthy portion, and to rejoice in it. In the Fulness
of Heaven's joys we shall receive more than double for all our
services and sufferings. God desires Truth, and therefore hates
all injustice. Nor will it justify any Man's Robbery to say, it
was for burnt-offerings; and that Robbery is most hateful which
is under this pretence. Let the children of godly parents be
such, that all may see the fruits of a good education; an answer
to the prayers for them, in the Fruit of God's blessing.

10,11 Those only shall be clothed with the garments of
Salvation hereafter, that are covered with the robe of Christ's
Righteousness now, and By the Sanctification of the Spirit have
God's image renewed upon them. These blessings shall Spring
forth for ages to come, as the fruits of the Earth. So duly, So
constantly, and with such advantage to mankind, will the Lord
God cause Righteousness and praise to Spring forth. They shall
spread far; the great Salvation shall be published and
proclaimed, to the ends of the Earth. Let us be Earnest in
Prayer, that the Lord God may cause that Righteousness to Spring
forth among us, which constitutes the excellence and Glory of
the Christian profession.