To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God…
From the suddenly opened window of heaven into the suddenly opened ear of Paul, the ascended Jesus conveys in very brief the description of the work his gospel is to accomplish in the heart and life of the saved. The present description is fivefold. Each various representation of Christ's work in the world invites our grateful, loving attention. Each such fresh representation throws fresh hues of beauty and of loveliness upon our own appreciation of the work. Jesus says here that he sends Paul to do five things for men, in his Name, by his warrant, through aid of his power.
I. TO RESTORE A FACULTY. Whatever things men see, who see not Christ, Divine truth, the deep needs and grand opportunities of their own souls, they see the unimportant instead of the all-important. This is not to have the eye open, but shut.
II. TO TURN RESTORED VISION FROM THE DREAD VANITY OF DARKNESS TO ALL THE WEALTH OF LIGHT AND OF WHAT LIGHT CAN SHOW. The power Jesus gives he satisfies. The craving he implants he provides for. The hope he awakens he will not deceive. The eye he opens shall not wander and grope and bemoan darkness, dimness, vague mist, but field after field of higher light and Diviner prospect shall feed its rejoicing sense.
III. To RESCUE MEN FROM A FIERCE, LONG, CONFESSED THRALDOM AND STARTLE THEM WITH RENEWED TITLE OF SONS OF GOD, INSTEAD OF SLAVES OF SATAN.
IV. To GIVE THEM THE HEALING, COMFORTING, ASSURING PRESENT GIFT OF PARDON OF THE FAST. Of what a fearful load will this at once relieve them! How dreadful the outlook still is made, whatever it might be, if it is haunted by the visions of the past, nay, far more, overtaken by the dead hand of the past, and stricken down in every attempt of its own hand, because of the overwhelming arrears due! That which might be the brightest future is dashed by memories only sometimes, but much more by memories that come barbed with sternest actual pains and with demands that cannot be satisfied.
V. TO FIND THEM A PLACE AMONG A PEOPLE TRAINED BY A NEW, A SPECIAL, A HIGHEST KIND OF TRAINING. The place is found beyond a doubt here, as truly as there can be, as there is a "heaven on earth." In its perfection it is to be found, when years upon years have rolled; ever till then, holding out the thought of home, the haven of rest, the heart of perfect peace, the Church of ravishing worship, the unimaginable bliss of heaven, whatever that may be, and of God himself. How vast that contrast! What a change and growth from the first to this fifth stage! Now first our eye needs to be opened, then what will it be when each blessed one may say, "As for me, I behold thy face in righteousness; I am satisfied, awake, with thy likeness?" - B.
Parallel VersesKJV: To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
WEB: to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me.'