13:1-3 What an assemblage was here! In these names we see that the Lord raises up instruments for his work, from various places and stations in life; and zeal for his glory induces men to give up flattering connexions and prospects to promote his cause. It is by the Spirit of Christ that his ministers are made both able and willing for his service, and taken from other cares that would hinder in it. Christ's ministers are to be employed in Christ's work, and, under the Spirit's guidance, to act for the glory of God the Father. They are separated to take pains, and not to take state. A blessing upon Barnabas and Saul in their present undertaking was sought for, and that they might be filled with the Holy Ghost in their work. Whatever means are used, or rules observed, the Holy Ghost alone can fit ministers for their important work, and call them to it.
2. As they ministered to the Lord—The word denotes the performance of official duties of any kind, and was used to express the priestly functions under the Old Testament. Here it signifies the corresponding ministrations of the Christian Church.
and fasted—As this was done in other cases on special occasions (Ac 13:3, 14, 23), it is not improbable that they had been led to expect some such prophetic announcement at this time.
the Holy Ghost said—through some of the prophets mentioned in Ac 13:1.
Separate me—So Ro 1:1.
for the work whereunto I have called them—by some communication, perhaps, to themselves: in the case of Saul at least, such a designation was indicated from the first (Ac 22:21). Note.—While the personality of the Holy Ghost is manifest from this language, His supreme divinity will appear equally so by comparing it with Heb 5:4.