Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.…
In these verses there are many inferential lessons: e.g., ver. 26. We are not to cast our pearls before swine; it was to those who feared God that Paul spoke of the great salvation. To him that hath shall be given; those who fear God shall be led to the knowledge of His truth. Ver. 27. Ignorance is a frequent cause of crime; hence the importance of educational effort. It is possible for us to misunderstand the things with which we are most familiar. How little we know of the tendencies of our actions; they may actually accomplish the very opposite of what we intended. Ver. 28. A blameless life will not necessarily exempt from hatred and persecution. Hatred is irrational; let us be on our guard against its perverting influences. Ver. 29. There is a limit to all that men can do to us, and it is soon reached. Ver. 34. The men of the greatest influence and activity soon reach the end of their course and pass away; only Christ remains the same efficient power in all generations. Note here —
I. PAUL'S METHOD OF PREACHING THE GOSPEL TO THE JEWS. He urged them to accept it because —
1. In Christ were fulfilled the promises made to their fathers. This Paul used to establish by copious quotations from the Old Testament, his object being always to prove that Jesus was not the founder of a new religion, but the Messiah of whom the prophets had spoken.
2. The ignorance and wickedness of the Jewish rulers had led to the accomplishment of predictions that could not otherwise have been fulfilled.
3. By the resurrection of Christ God had completely reversed this condemnation by men.
4. Christ confers on them who believe on Him greater blessings than could be obtained from the Mosaic law.
II. LESSONS TO BE LEARNED FROM THIS METHOD.
1. Let us endeavour to conciliate those whom we seek to convert.
2. Let us make Christ the central theme of our teaching.
3. In our presentation of Christ and all truth, let us adapt ourselves to our hearers. What a contrast between this address and that on Mars Hill!
4. Yet no fear of offending the prejudices of our hearers must lead us to keep back any portion of the truth.
5. While always maintaining the spirit of love, let us not hesitate, if need be, to persuade our hearers by the terrors of the Lord.
(R. A. Bertram.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.