|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:8-18 Paul had express warning of his troubles, that when they came, they might be no surprise or terror to him. The general notice given us, that through much tribulation we must enter into the kingdom of God, should be of the same use to us. Their weeping began to weaken and slacken his resolution Has not our Master told us to take up our cross? It was a trouble to him, that they should so earnestly press him to do that in which he could not gratify them without wronging his conscience. When we see trouble coming, it becomes us to say, not only, The will of the Lord must be done, and there is no remedy; but, Let the will of the Lord be done; for his will is his wisdom, and he doeth all according to the counsel of it. When a trouble is come, this must allay our griefs, that the will of the Lord is done; when we see it coming, this must silence our fears, that the will of the Lord shall be done; and we ought to say, Amen, let it be done. It is honourable to be an old disciple of Jesus Christ, to have been enabled by the grace of God to continue long in a course of duty, stedfast in the faith, growing more and more experienced, to a good old age. And with these old disciples one would choose to lodge; for the multitude of their years shall teach wisdom. Many brethren at Jerusalem received Paul gladly. We think, perhaps, that if we had him among us, we should gladly receive him; but we should not, if, having his doctrine, we do not gladly receive that.
Verse 18. - Went in with us unto James. Nothing can mark more distinctly the position of James as Bishop of Jerusalem than this visit of Paul to him, and the finding him surrounded with all the elders of Jerusalem. It is a most distinct evidence of the apostolic origin of the episcopal office.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the day following,.... After they were come into Jerusalem:
Paul went in with us to James; not the son of Zebedee and brother of John, for he was killed by Herod some years ago; but James the son of Alphaeus, and brother of our Lord, who presided over this church; it seems there were no other apostles now at Jerusalem, but they were all dispersed abroad that were living, preaching the Gospel in the several parts of the world: Paul took the first opportunity Of paying a visit to James, very likely at his own house, to give him an account of his success among the Gentiles, and to know the state of the church at Jerusalem, and confer with him about what might be most proper and serviceable to promote the interest of Christ; and he took with him those who had been companions with him in his travels, partly to show respect to James, and partly to be witnesses of what he should relate unto him:
and all the elders were present: by whom are meant, not the ancient private members of the church, but the ministers of the word in this church: who hearing of the coming of the apostle, and of his visit to James, assembled together to see him, and converse with him.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
18. Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present—to "report himself" formally to the acknowledged head of the church at Jerusalem, and his associates in office. See on Ac 15:13. Had any other of the apostles been in Jerusalem on that occasion, it could hardly fail to have been noted.
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