And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.…
I. IT CONSISTED OF MEN OF MANY LANDS. The fifteen countries remind us of the dispersion of the Jews. They had been scattered on account of their sins; but the mercy of God was shown in making this punishment a way for the gospel. Jews and proselytes would return and tell their kindred of the wonders of this day. Some without design would convey to the heathen saving truth; just as fugitive traitors may build a bridge over which the saviours of their country afterwards pass; others doubtless saw here the fulfilment of their prayers that they might benefit the perishing Gentiles among whom they dwelt.
II. IT REPRESENTED THE WHOLE WORLD. When the glorious news which God designed for all had to be declared for the first time, it was fitting that all should thus be represented. But on the ground of the unity of the race every congregation represents the whole world, and he who leads one soul to the Saviour makes a contribution to the aggregate of human good. What value does this put on the work of Christian agents of every class.
III. IT EXEMPLIFIED VARIOUS MORAL CHARACTERISTICS.
1. The God-fearing and worthy. They looked on the wonders with careful and devout inquiry. In seeking the salvation of sinners it is necessary to elicit the question, "What may this be?"
2. The frivolous. They preferred the vain charge of drunkenness. No doubt the excitement in part accounted for it, but it is probable that jesting was resorted to that the impressions of the moment might be resisted. This obvious way of grieving the Spirit is sometimes exhibited in criticisms on preachers.
3. The haughty who could not bear the idea of being taught by Galileans. So David had doubt cast on his ability to show any good, and our Lord was received with suspicion because He belonged to Nazareth. But a servant has sometimes been able to teach his master the truth of God, and an illiterate preacher has often convinced men of learning whom their equals had failed to reach.
Parallel VersesKJV: And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.