|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
26:12-23 Paul was made a Christian by Divine power; by a revelation of Christ both to him and in him; when in the full career of his sin. He was made a minister by Divine authority: the same Jesus who appeared to him in that glorious light, ordered him to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. A world that sits in darkness must be enlightened; those must be brought to know the things that belong to their everlasting peace, who are yet ignorant of them. A world that lies in wickedness must be sanctified and reformed; it is not enough for them to have their eyes opened, they must have their hearts renewed; not enough to be turned from darkness to light, but they must be turned from the power of Satan unto God. All who are turned from sin to God, are not only pardoned, but have a grant of a rich inheritance. The forgiveness of sins makes way for this. None can be happy who are not holy; and to be saints in heaven we must be first saints on earth. We are made holy, and saved by faith in Christ; by which we rely upon Christ as the Lord our Righteousness, and give up ourselves to him as the Lord our Ruler; by this we receive the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and eternal life. The cross of Christ was a stumbling-block to the Jews, and they were in a rage at Paul's preaching the fulfilling of the Old Testament predictions. Christ should be the first that should rise from the dead; the Head or principal One. Also, it was foretold by the prophets, that the Gentiles should be brought to the knowledge of God by the Messiah; and what in this could the Jews justly be displeased at? Thus the true convert can give a reason of his hope, and a good account of the change manifest in him. Yet for going about and calling on men thus to repent and to be converted, vast numbers have been blamed and persecuted.
Verse 16. - Arise for rise, A.V.; to this end have I, etc., for I have, etc., for this purpose, A.V.; appoint for make, A.V.; the things wherein thou hast seen me for these things which thou hast seen, A.V. and T.R.; the things wherein for those things in the which, A.V. For to this end have I appeared, etc. On comparing this statement with those in Acts 9:6 and Acts 22:10, 14, 15, it appears that in this condensed account given before King Agrippa, St. Paul blends into one message the words spoken to him when the Lord first appeared to him, and the instruction subsequently given to him through Ananias, and the words spoken to him in the trance (Acts 22:17-21). This may especially be inferred from Acts 9:6, and again from comparing Acts 22:15 with this verse.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But rise and stand upon thy feet,.... This, and what follows in this and the two next verses, are not in any of the former accounts; and these words are used not only because Saul was fallen to the earth, and are an encouragement to rise up, and stand corporeally, but to take heart, and be of good cheer; for though he had acted so vile and cruel a part by Christ, and his people, yet he had designs of grace, and good will to him; and this appearance was not for his destruction, but for his honour, comfort, and usefulness:
for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose; not to take vengeance for past offences, but for the ends hereafter mentioned: and this appearance of Christ was real, corporeal, and personal, and not imaginary, or merely visionary and intellectual; and it was to this sight of Christ he more than once refers, partly in proof of Christ's resurrection from the dead, and partly to demonstrate the truth of his apostleship, 1 Corinthians 9:1.
to make thee a minister and a witness, both of those things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee; so that he was an apostle, not of men, nor by man, but by Jesus Christ, as he himself says, Galatians 1:1. He was a minister, not of man's making, but of Christ's; and they are the only true ministers of the Gospel, who are made by Christ, who have their mission and commission, their qualifications, gifts, and abilities, their doctrine, work, and wages from him: and the apostle's work, as a minister, was to be a witness; it was to testify what he had seen of Christ corporeally; and what knowledge of his person, office, and grace was now communicated to him by the spirit of wisdom and revelation; and what should hereafter be made known to him, either mediately by Ananias, or immediately by Christ and his Spirit; for the apostle had after appearances, visions, and revelations; see Acts 22:17.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16-18. But rise, &c.—Here the apostle appears to condense into one statement various sayings of his Lord to him in visions at different times, in order to present at one view the grandeur of the commission with which his Master had clothed him [Alford].
a minister … both of these things which thou hast seen—putting him on a footing with those "eye-witnesses and ministers of the word" mentioned in Lu 1:2.
and of those in which I will appear to thee—referring to visions he was thereafter to be favored with; such as Ac 18:9, 10; 22:17-21; 23:11; 2Co 12:1-10, &c. (Ga 1:12).
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