Matthew Henry’s “Notes”

Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged I’ve been using Matthew Henry’s commentaries for sermon prep around ten years.  I appreciate Henry because he had such a great knowledge of Scripture that he constantly alluded to other Bible passages in his commentary.  Also, I like Henry because he understood the doctrines of grace and highlighted them in his comments.  One other reason I keep on using Henry’s commentaries is because he always worked to apply the text.  Although (in my opinion) sometimes his application seems like a stretch, the desire to apply God’s word is a good one to have! Preachers can learn a lot about application from Henry.

Speaking of application in Henry’s commentaries, I’ve noticed that Henry loved to use the word “note” to introduce a short application.  If my search is right, Henry used the term “note” this way around 8,000 times in his commentaries! When preaching through Luke here are a few of Henry’s “notes” I found:

On Luke 1:57-66: “Note, God has ways of operating upon children in their infancy, which we cannot account for.”

On Luke 1:67-80: “Note, the great design of gospel grace is not to discharge us from, but to engage us to, and encourage us in, the service of God.”

On Luke 2:25-40: “Note, those that have welcomed Christ may welcome death.”

On Luke 4:1-13: “Note, we must not do anything that looks like ‘giving place to the devil.'”

On Luke 5:1-11: “Note, we must not abruptly quit the callings wherein we are called because we have not the success in them we promised ourselves.”

On Luke 8:40-56: “Note, our faith in Christ should be bold and daring, as well as our zeal for him.”

On Luke 10:17-24: “Note, all our victories over Satan are obtained by power derived from Jesus Christ.”

On Luke 11:1-13: “Note, the gifts and graces of others should excite us to covet earnestly the same.”

On Luke 11:14-26: “Note, hypocrisy is the high road to apostasy.”

On Luke 13:10-16: “Note, Even bodily infirmities, unless they be very grievous indeed, should not keep us from public worship on the sabbath days; for God can help us, beyond our expectation.”

On Luke 15:11-32: “Note, It becomes sinners to acknowledge themselves unworthy to receive any favor from God, and to humble and abase themselves before him.”

On Luke 15:19-31: “Note, the day is coming when those that make light of divine mercy will beg hard for it.”

And the list goes on.  The next time you read Matthew Henry’s commentaries, be sure to note his “Notes!”

Shane Lems
Hammond, WI

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