And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called to him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia.…
Diligent service of Christ —
I. EXERTS WIDE AND VARIED INFLUENCES. Not all noble lives become famous, but any determined man, fully possessed by great truths, may move the world. No purpose was ever so sublimely conceived or more nobly realised than the one which Paul was carrying out by this journey. In accomplishing his task Paul —
1. Shrunk from no physical exertion. The Divine enthusiasm possessed his body as well as his soul.
2. Delivered his message constantly and confidently (ver. 2). He could not help it. Once, at least, he talked all night. To speak interestingly men must be filled with great themes. The most trying talkers about religion are those whose thoughts cling mainly about their own experiences.
3. Studied as faithfully as he preached, Men who make progress in teaching must grow in knowledge. No books give evidence of more close and masterful mental toil than the letters written during this tour (2 Corinthians, Romans, Galatians). It is a common mistake to suppose that scholarship is confined to the seclusion of the study. Preaching and teaching and a wide acquaintance with men are as essential as the study of books in attaining the scholarship which leads to a clear and profound comprehension of Divine truths.
II. DEVELOPS SPECIAL GIFTS AND GRACES OF CHARACTER IN THE CHURCHES. Among those cultivated by Paul we notice —
1. Systematic giving. It is comparatively easy now to raise money to carry the gospel to the heathen. But we find Paul exciting the practical interest of the new Churches on missionary ground in the needs of the Christians in the home field . He sent forth the choicest men, such as Titus and Timothy, to be collecting agents; and, so far from regarding them as beggars, he called them "the glory of Christ." He sought by this to bring about unity between bodies of Christians separated by distance, race, language, and prejudice.
2. Christian love (ver. 7). Through the love of one man, begetting love in all the rest, the Churches of Achaia, Thessaly and Judaea joined as one Church in acts of mutual affection in efforts to spread the gospel through the world.
III. ESTABLISHES PERMANENT INSTITUTIONS. Wherever Paul journeyed he established Churches. Then he revisited and strengthened them. He also encouraged the institutions which would give the Churches permanence. He observed the Lord's Supper, and taught by example the observance of the first day of the week as the Christian Sabbath.
IV. FORMS AND CONFIRMS ITS OWN CHARACTER IN LIKENESS TO CHRIST. Paul was ripening himself as he was building up the Churches.
(A. E. Dunning.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia.