|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:19-24 The gospel was a mystery till made known by Divine revelation; and it is the work of Christ's ministers to declare it. The best and most eminent ministers need the prayers of believers. Those particularly should be prayed for, who are exposed to great hardships and perils in their work. Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith. By peace, understand all manner of peace; peace with God, peace of conscience, peace among themselves. And the grace of the Spirit, producing faith and love, and every grace. These he desires for those in whom they were already begun. And all grace and blessings come to the saints from God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Grace, that is, the favour of God; and all good, spiritual and temporal, which is from it, is and shall be with all those who thus love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, and with them only.
Verse 20. - For which I am an ambassador in chains. Thereby not only physically helpless, but in danger of being subdued into tameness, the ordinary effect of captivity, and thus reduced to a spirit not befitting the bearer of a great message from the King of kings. That in it - i.e., in the matter of it, of the gospel - I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For which I am an ambassador in bonds,.... The character the apostle bore was that of an ambassador; and he was an ambassador from and for Christ, in his room and stead; he represented him, he was sent by him, and entrusted by him with the Gospel; he gave him it, and a commission to preach it, and furnished him with qualifications for it; such as knowledge and faithfulness wisdom and prudence, courage and greatness of mind; and made his embassy successful: and he was chiefly an ambassador to the Gentiles, which showed great condescension in Christ to send him to them, and base ingratitude in the despisers and rejecters of the Gospel, for which he was an ambassador; for the embassy Christ's ministers are sent on, is the embassy of the Gospel of peace: their business is to declare that men by nature are enemies to God; that peace is made by the blood of Christ for such; by which means they are made useful to conciliate the minds of men to God's way of salvation and to bring them to submit to his government and laws: and when he adds, "in bonds", or "in a chain", he means, that he was in such circumstances, not for any crime, but for the Gospel, for which he was an ambassador; and therefore was not ashamed of his bonds, or chain, but rather gloried in them; and he makes mention of them to engage persons to a regard to him as an ambassador, and to his embassy; for an ambassador, especially an ambassador of Christ, that comes with his Gospel, and more especially that is suffering for it, ought to be received, heard, and honoured.
That therein I may speak boldly as I ought to speak; that is, the apostle beseeches the saints to pray for him, that since he was an ambassador for the Gospel, and in bonds, that he might speak in it, or rather of it boldly and freely; that he might have both liberty from his bonds, and liberty in his soul, and freedom of speech; and that he might use boldness in delivering his message, as became an ambassador of Jesus Christ.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. For—Greek, as in Eph 6:19, "On behalf of which."
an ambassador in bonds—a paradox. Ambassadors were held inviolable by the law of nations, and could not, without outrage to every sacred right, be put in chains. Yet Christ's "ambassador is in a chain!" The Greek is singular. The Romans used to bind a prisoner to a soldier by a single chain, in a kind of free custody. So Ac 28:16, 20, "I am bound with this chain." The term, "bonds" (plural), on the other hand, is used when the prisoner's hands or feet were bound together (Ac 26:29); compare Ac 12:6, where the plural marks the distinction. The singular is only used of the particular kind of custody described above; an undesigned coincidence [Paley].
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