But I would you should understand, brothers…
I. THE FIRST RESULT WAS THAT IT HAD BEEN SERVICEABLE FOR THE DIFFUSION OF THE TRUTH AMONG THOSE WHO OTHERWISE MIGHT NOT HAVE HEARD OF IT. Man may be bound but not the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:9). We may almost trace his rejoicing in his chain (Acts 28:20; 2 Timothy 1:16). They were to him as links of spiritual pearls; his garb of affliction as a robe of beauty because they were manifest in Christ. He was soon seen not to be a political offender or a law breaker, but a humble patient, contented witness for Christ.
II. THE SECOND RESULT WAS THAT IT MADE THOSE WHO WERE ALREADY RELIEVERS INCREASINGLY BOLD OF SPEECH. If he could preach in fetters much more should they preach in freedom. But there is a dark shadow on the picture, Christ was preached from varying motives. Yet the apostle will rejoice that He is preached at all. In the Epistle to the Galatians the preachers of Christ of envy and strife were unsparingly denounced; but here he is not comparing party with party, but Christianity with heathenism. Even an imperfect gospel was precious in view of the nameless corruptions of Rome. The same experience is seen still in mission fields, all minor differences of Church organization and creed dwindle into nothingness in the presence of the hideous corruption of the pagan world. So ought it to be in Christian lands in view of home heathenism.
(J. Hutchinson, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;