|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:16-21 We must, according to our power, give to the necessities of the souls and bodies of men: God will accept these offerings with pleasure, and will accept and bless the offerers through Christ. The apostle then states what is their duty to living ministers; to obey and submit to them, so far as is agreeable to the mind and will of God, made known in his word. Christians must not think themselves too wise, too good, or too great, to learn. The people must search the Scriptures, and so far as the ministers teach according to that rule, they ought to receive their instructions as the word of God, which works in those that believe. It is the interest of hearers, that the account their ministers give of them may be with joy, and not with grief. Faithful ministers deliver their own souls, but the ruin of a fruitless and faithless people will be upon their own heads. The more earnestly the people pray for their ministers, the more benefit they may expect from their ministry. A good conscience has respect to all God's commands, and all our duty. Those who have this good conscience, yet need the prayers of others. When ministers come to a people who pray for them, they come with greater satisfaction to themselves, and success to the people. We should seek all our mercies by prayer. God is the God of peace, fully reconciled to believers; who has made a way for peace and reconciliation between himself and sinners, and who loves peace on earth, especially in his churches. He is the Author of spiritual peace in the hearts and consciences of his people. How firm a covenant is that which has its foundation in the blood of the Son of God! The perfecting of the saints in every good work, is the great thing desired by them, and for them; and that they may at length be fitted for the employment and happiness of heaven. There is no good thing wrought in us, but it is the work of God. And no good thing is wrought in us by God, but through Christ, for his sake and by his Spirit.
Verse 19. - And I beseech you the more abundantly (the Pauline word, περισσοτέρως) to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner. The author of the Epistle proceeds here for the first time to speak of himself individually; and what he thus says shows that the Epistle was addressed to some definite circle of Hebrew Christians, and one which he had been among before. What circumstances, whether of imprisonment or other hindrances, were in the way of his revisiting them does not appear. We remark that this verse again reminds us strongly of St. Paul (cf. Philemon 1:22). The possibility may be here noted (see Introduction, p. 12.) that, if the Epistle was composed by one of St. Paul's friends, and sent under his authority, he may have himself dictated this concluding portion (beginning possibly at ver. 17) which is in a more epistolary style than the rest, and contains personal allusions.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But I beseech you the rather to do this,.... To pray earnestly; to strive together in their prayers for them, Romans 15:30
that I may be restored to you the sooner: Christ's ministers are sometimes hindered from being with their people, through Satan, or his emissaries, creating troubles, or casting them into prison; which might be the apostle's case now; but God can make their way through all; and for this he should be prayed unto.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. the rather—Greek, "I the more abundantly beseech you."
to do this—to pray for me.
that I may be restored to you—(Phm 22). It is here first in the letter he mentions himself, in a way so unobtrusive, as not to prejudice his Hebrew readers against him, which would have been the result had he commenced this as his other Epistles, with authoritatively announcing his name and apostolic commission.
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