|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:16-24 The apostle commends the brethren sent to collect their charity, that it might be known who they were, and how safely they might be trusted. It is the duty of all Christians to act prudently; to hinder, as far as we can, all unjust suspicions. It is needful, in the first place, to act uprightly in the sight of God, but things honest in the sight of men should also be attended to. A clear character, as well as a pure conscience, is requisite for usefulness. They brought glory to Christ as instruments, and had obtained honour from Christ to be counted faithful, and employed in his service. The good opinion others have of us, should be an argument with us to do well.
Verse 23. - Whether any do inquire of Titus; literally, whether about Titus, or, as to Titus; i.e. "if I speak about Titus." (For the phrase, comp. ch. 1:6, 8; 2 Thessalonians 2:1.) Titus, long afterwards, was delegated on a similar mission to Crete (Titus 1:1-5; Titus 2:15). My partner and fellow helper concerning you; rather, my associate (Philemon 1:17) and, as regards you, my fellow worker. Messengers; literally, apostles. The word is used in its original and untechnical sense of delegates (Philippians 2:25; Romans 16:7). The glory of Christ. Men whose work and worth redound to Christ's honour (Galatians 1:24).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Whether any do inquire of Titus,.... The apostle here sums up the characters of each of the above persons; as for Titus, he says,
he is my partner; he had been his companion in his travels, a partner with him in preaching the Gospel, as well as in the troubles and persecutions he had met with; and was one with whom he had had sweet communion and fellowship:
and fellow helper; or worker,
concerning you; he had been a joint instrument with him, either in their conversion, or consolation, and correction; or for their edification and instruction, and setting things right, which had been out of order among them:
or our brethren be inquired of; if their characters are asked after, as well as Titus's; by whom are meant not his fellow apostles, but the two brethren who were sent along with Titus; what may be truly said of them is,
they are the messengers of the churches; they were chosen and sent forth by the churches, not only to preach the Gospel, but particularly to take care of the ministration to the poor saints. They were messengers appointed by the churches for this service, and were also appointed to the service of the churches; respect seems to be had to the public minister in the synagogues, who was called "the messenger of the congregation", or "church" (z); whose business was to take care about the reading of the law and the prophets, to pray in public, and also to preach if there was no other; so we read (a) also of , "the messengers of the sanhedrim"; who were sent at the proper time to reap the sheaf of the first fruits, and of others who swore the high priest before the day of atonement (b); and of , "the messengers of the commandment" (c); who went to hear the exposition (of the traditions) and visit the head of the captivity:
and the glory of Christ: meaning either that the churches were the glory of Christ, in whom he is glorified, where his glory is seen, and his presence enjoyed; or rather the messengers of them, on whom the image of Christ was stamped, who faithfully performed the work of Christ, in all things sought his glory and not their own; and in and by whom his glory was displayed, and held forth to others.
(z) T. Bab. Sota, fol. 37. 2. Tosephot Beracot, fol. 34. 1. Misn. Beracot, c. 5. sect. 5. (a) Misn. Menachot, c. 10. 3.((b) Misn. Yoma, c. 1. 5. (c) T. Bab. Succa, fol. 26. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
23. fellow helper concerning you—Greek, "fellow worker towards you."
our brethren—the two mentioned in 2Co 8:18, 22.
messengers—rather, as the Greek, "apostles": in the less strict sense (Ac 14:14).
of the churches—sent by the churches, as we are by the Lord (Php 2:25). There was in the synagogue an ecclesiastical officer, called "the angel of the Church," whence the title seems derived (compare Re 2:1).
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