|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:19,20 After the Lord had spoken he went up into heaven. Sitting is a posture of rest, he had finished his work; and a posture of rule, he took possession of his kingdom. He sat at the right hand of God, which denotes his sovereign dignity and universal power. Whatever God does concerning us, gives to us, or accepts from us, it is by his Son. Now he is glorified with the glory he had before the world. The apostles went forth, and preached every where, far and near. Though the doctrine they preached was spiritual and heavenly, and directly contrary to the spirit and temper of the world; though it met with much opposition, and was wholly destitute of all worldly supports and advantages; yet in a few years the sound went forth unto the ends of the earth. Christ's ministers do not now need to work miracles to prove their message; the Scriptures are proved to be of Divine origin, and this renders those without excuse who reject or neglect them. The effects of the gospel, when faithfully preached, and truly believed, in changing the tempers and characters of mankind, form a constant proof, a miraculous proof, that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, of all who believe.
Verse 20. - And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen. These words are alluded to in several passages by Justin Martyr (about A.D. ), and, for the reasons given above, could not have been written later than the time of miracles being wrought. They form a fitting introduction to the Acts of the Apostles. Cornelius a Lapide concludes his Commentary upon St. Mark with the following beautiful apostrophe of St. Augustine: - "O kingdom of everlasting blessedness, where youth never grows old, where beauty never fades, where love never waxes cold, where health never fails, where joy never decreases, where life never ends!"
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they went forth,.... After this the apostles went forth, from Galilee to Jerusalem; and on the day of pentecost, they appeared publicly, and preached the Gospel in divers languages; and after the death of Stephen, and the persecution raised upon that, they went forth from Jerusalem; see Isaiah 2:3.
And preached every where; not only in Judea, and in the neighbouring countries, but all over the world, in process of time:
the Lord working with them; making their ministry useful, for the conviction and conversion of large multitudes, and for the forming and settling abundance of Gospel churches, and for the comfort and edification of the saints; all which was done, by the power and grace of Christ, without whom they could do nothing; see 1 Corinthians 3:9.
And confirming the word with signs following; the Arabic version adds "them"; or "which they did", as the Syriac and Persic versions render it; not by their own power, but, as the latter of these versions adds, "by the help of our Lord"; see Hebrews 2:4; to all which, the evangelist puts his
Amen; so let it be, or so it shall be, and so it was.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen—We have in this closing verse a most important link of connection with the Acts of the Apostles, where He who directed all the movements of the infant Church is perpetually styled "The Lord"; thus illustrating His own promise for the rounding and building up of the Church, "Lo, I AM WITH You alway!"
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