|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:21-26 Death is a great loss to a carnal, worldly man, for he loses all his earthly comforts and all his hopes; but to a true believer it is gain, for it is the end of all his weakness and misery. It delivers him from all the evils of life, and brings him to possess the chief good. The apostle's difficulty was not between living in this world and living in heaven; between these two there is no comparison; but between serving Christ in this world and enjoying him in another. Not between two evil things, but between two good things; living to Christ and being with him. See the power of faith and of Divine grace; it can make us willing to die. In this world we are compassed with sin; but when with Christ, we shall escape sin and temptation, sorrow and death, for ever. But those who have most reason to desire to depart, should be willing to remain in the world as long as God has any work for them to do. And the more unexpected mercies are before they come, the more of God will be seen in them.
Verse 26. - That your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ for me by my coming to you again. Glorying or boasting (καύχημα), not rejoicing. Perhaps rather, as Meyer," That the matter in which you have to glory [i.e. the bliss in which you rejoice as Christians] may increase abundantly in Christ Jesus [as the element or sphere of the glorying] in me [as the instrument or cause]."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
That your rejoicing may be more abundant,.... They had rejoiced greatly on his account already, blessing God that ever they had seen his face, or heard his voice; as they had great reason to do, he being the happy instrument of first bringing the Gospel to them, and of their conversion; and now he hoped he should be delivered out of prison, and see them again, that their joy might be increased and abound yet more and more, upon his deliverance, they had so earnestly prayed and so much longed for, and at the sight of him they so dearly loved: and yet to show that this their joy was not looked upon by him as a carnal one, or as arising from a natural affection, he observes that it was
in Jesus Christ; though they rejoiced in him as an instrument, and therefore he adds,
for me; yet it was on account of Jesus Christ, the subject of his ministry; their joy did not centre in the apostle, but had Christ for its object, whose person, righteousness, and salvation were held forth by him to their view and comfort; and though they would still more and more rejoice should he return to them once more,
by my coming to you again; yet still it would he in Christ, and because of the fulness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ, in which he should come to them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. Translate, "That your matter of glorying (or rejoicing) may abound in Christ Jesus in me (that is, in my case; in respect to me, or for me who have been granted to your prayers, Php 1:19) through my presence again among you." Alford makes the "matter of glorying," the possession of the Gospel, received from Paul, which would abound, be assured and increased, by his presence among them; thus, "in me," implies that Paul is the worker of the material of abounding in Christ Jesus. But "my rejoicing over you" (Php 2:16), answers plainly to "your rejoicing in respect to me" here.
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