I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the beginning of his ministry; which be exercised not in private houses, but in the synagogues of the Jews, and in the temple, whither a large concourse of people resorted, John 18:20,
from the time that it was, there am I; from the time that his ministry began there, he was in the same places, in Judea and Galilee, always publicly preaching the Gospel, and doing good: or rather, "before the time that it was, there was I" (n); Christ existed before his incarnation, before he appeared as the great Prophet in Israel; he existed as the Word and Son of God from all eternity, and was with God his Father from everlasting; he was by him, and brought up with him, and lay in his bosom so early:
and now the Lord God and his Spirit hath sent me; in the fulness of time, in the likeness of sinful flesh, to preach the Gospel, fulfil the law, and to redeem and save the Lord's people. Here is a glorious testimony of a trinity of Persons in the Godhead; Christ the Son of God is sent in human nature, and as Mediator Jehovah the Father and the Spirit are the senders of him; and so is a proof of the mission, commission, and authority of Christ, who came not of himself, but was sent of God, John 8:42, it may be rendered, "and now the Lord God hath sent me and his Spirit" (o); both were sent of God, and in this order; first, Christ, to be the Redeemer and Saviour; and then the Spirit, to be the Convincer and Comforter; see John 14:26.
(n) "ex tempore antequam fieret", V. L. "nondum existente tempore horum eventuum", Forerius. (o) "misit me et spiritum ejus", Lutherus, Castalio; "et spiritum suum", Cocceius, Vitringa.