|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:8-18 All things are possible to those that believe. When we have faith, that most precious gift of God, we shall be delivered from the spiritual helplessness in which we were born, and from the dominion of sinful habits since formed; we shall be made able to stand upright and walk cheerfully in the ways of the Lord. When Christ, the Son of God, appeared in the likeness of men, and did many miracles, men were so far from doing sacrifice to him, that they made him a sacrifice to their pride and malice; but Paul and Barnabas, upon their working one miracle, were treated as gods. The same power of the god of this world, which closes the carnal mind against truth, makes errors and mistakes find easy admission. We do not learn that they rent their clothes when the people spake of stoning them; but when they spake of worshipping them; they could not bear it, being more concerned for God's honour than their own. God's truth needs not the services of man's falsehood. The servants of God might easily obtain undue honours if they would wink at men's errors and vices; but they must dread and detest such respect more than any reproach. When the apostles preached to the Jews, who hated idolatry, they had only to preach the grace of God in Christ; but when they had to do with the Gentiles, they must set right their mistakes in natural religion. Compare their conduct and declaration with the false opinions of those who think the worship of a God, under any name, or in any manner, is equally acceptable to the Lord Almighty. The most powerful arguments, the most earnest and affectionate addresses, even with miracles, are scarcely enough to keep men from absurdities and abominations; much less can they, without special grace, turn the hearts of sinners to God and to holiness.
Verse 9. - Speaking for speak, A.V.; fastening his eyes upon for stedfastly beholding, A.V. (see above, Acts 1:10; Acts 3:4, etc.); seeing for perceiving, A.V.; made whole for healed, A.V. Heard. The force of the imperfect ἤκουε would, perhaps, be better given by "listened" to Paul speaking. There is great resemblance between this miracle of healing, and that of the lame man laid at the gate of the temple, who was healed by Peter (Acts 3:2-10), and, not unnaturally, considerable identity of expression in the narratives. Both men were lame from their birth; the apostles fastened their eyes upon both; both, when healed, leaped and walked; and in both cases the miracle 'had a great effect upon the multitudes who beheld it. Zeller (vol. it. p. 6), with characteristic recklessness, infers that "this narrative was, merely in imitation of the early miraculous story of Peter;" and so relegates both it and the subsequent narrative to the regions of fable.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The same heard Paul speak,.... That is, preach the Gospel; he was one of his hearers, and faith came to hint by hearing; the Arabic version adds, "he cried unto him"; that is, to Paul, whom he heard:
who steadfastly beholding him; not the lame man beholding Paul, but Paul beholding the lame man, as the Syriac and Ethiopic versions both express it, as also Beza's ancient copy and others; so Peter looked on the man he cured, Acts 3:4.
And perceiving that he had faith to be healed; as he might by his looks, his gestures, his attention in hearing, and it may be by somewhat that he said, as well as by revelation, or a spirit of discerning, which he had.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. who steadfastly beholding him—as he did Elymas the sorcerer when about to work a miracle on him.
and perceiving that he had faith to be healed—Paul may have been led by the sight of this cripple to dwell on the Saviour's miracles of healing, and His present power; and perceiving from the eagerness with which the patient drank in his words, that he was prepared to put his own case into the Redeemer's hands, the Spirit of the glorified Physician came all upon Paul, and "with a loud voice" he bade him "stand upright upon his feet." The effect was instantaneous—he sprang to his feet "and walked."
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