|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:1-8 Those who are beloved of Christ, will love the brethren for his sake. Soul prosperity is the greatest blessing on this side heaven. Grace and health are rich companions. Grace will employ health. A rich soul may be lodged in a weak body; and grace must then be exercised in submitting to such a dispensation. But we may wish and pray that those who have prosperous souls, may have healthful bodies; that their grace may shine where there is still more room for activity. How many professors there are, about whom the apostle's words must be reversed, and we must earnestly wish and pray that their souls might prosper, as their health and circumstances do! True faith will work by love. A good report is due from those who receive good; they could not but testify to the church, what they found and felt. Good men will rejoice in the soul prosperity of others; and they are glad to hear of the grace and goodness of others. And as it is a joy to good parents, it will be a joy to good ministers, to see their people adorn their profession. Gaius overlooked petty differences among serious Christians, and freely helped all who bore the image, and did the work of Christ. He was upright in what he did, as a faithful servant. Faithful souls can hear their own praises without being puffed up; the commendation of what is good in them, lays them at the foot of the cross of Christ. Christians should consider not only what they must do, but what they may do; and should do even the common actions of life, and of good-will, after a godly sort, serving God therein, and designing his glory. Those who freely make known Christ's gospel, should be helped by others to whom God gives the means. Those who cannot themselves proclaim it, may yet receive, help, and countenance those who do so.
Ver. 7. - For the sake of THE NAME. Such is the exact rendering of the true text; the insertion of "his" before "Name" weakens the effect. There was no need to say more. Just as to a Jew "the Name" must mean "Jehovah," so to a Christian "the Name" must mean "Jesus Christ" (comp. Acts 5:41; James 2:7). St. Ignatius writes to the Ephesians, "I am in bonds for the Name's sake" (3); and "Some are wont of malicious guile to hawk about the Name" (7); and again to the Philadelphians, "It is becoming for you, as a Church of God, to appoint a deacon to go thither as God's ambassador, that he may congratulate them when they are assembled together, and may glorify the Name" (10.). Taking nothing of the Gentiles, lest the heathen should suspect their motives, and think, "Like all the quack priests and philosophers, you make a mere trade of your doctrine, and preach to fill your bellies." Nothing wins men over so much as clear proofs of disinterestedness. The missionary who is suspected of self-seeking will preach in vain. That οἱ ἐθνικοί here must mean "heathen" seems clear from Matthew 5:47; Matthew 6:7; Matthew 18:17, the only other places in the New Testament where the word is found; moreover, the context requires it. There is no need to ask whether the word may not mean "Gentile Christians." The missionary brethren would, therefore, have been in great straits but for the courage and generosity of Gains; Diotrephes turned them out of doors and forbade others to succour them; and they themselves made it a rule not to ask for help from Gentiles.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Because that for his name's sake they went forth,.... From Judea; either of their own accord to preach the Gospel, or being drove out by the unbelieving Jews, for professing the name of Christ; and be it which it will, there was good reason why they should be regarded, and especially since they did as follows,
taking nothing of the Gentiles; even of those who were converted, though their preaching the Gospel, to whom they ministered, for of others, the unconverted Gentiles, they could not expect to receive; and this they did, as the apostles before them, because they would not be chargeable to them, and lest it should be thought they sought their own worldly interest, and not the good of souls and glory of Christ, and so a stumblingblock be laid in the way of the Gospel, to hinder the progress of it. The Ethiopic version reads this in the singular number, "and I went forth for his name's sake, taking nothing of the Gentiles".
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. his name's sake—Christ's.
went forth—as missionaries.
taking nothing—refusing to receive aught by way of pay, or maintenance, though justly entitled to it, as Paul at Corinth and at Thessalonica.
Gentiles—the Christians just gathered out by their labors from among the heathen. As Gaius himself was a Gentile convert, "the Gentiles" here must mean the converts just made from the heathen, the Gentiles to whom they had gone forth. It would have been inexpedient to have taken aught (the Greek "meden" implies, not that they got nothing, though they had desired it, but that it was of their own choice they took nothing) from the infant churches among the heathen: the case was different in receiving hospitality from Gaius.
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