Then spoke the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not your peace:…
I. THE SAVIOUR'S DECLARATION — "I have much people in this city." As if He said, "There are many people here dead in trespasses and sins, ignorant of Me, opposed to Me; these are to be enlightened, subjected to Me, and in time to come will constitute My people." Notice —
1. The Saviour's classification of men. Those who are the people of Christ, and those who are not. There are other distinctions, personal, social, educational, and civil; but all these affect only the external part of humanity, and that only for a time, but Christ's classification will last forever. To be Christ's means the subjugation of our nature, our mind, and reflective powers to Him.
2. Christ has a perfect knowledge of the human race. Paul was anxious to do good; he was soon to be discouraged. Jesus told him, "I have much people in this city." I know the present position and future history of every individual.
3. Jesus appoints means for the salvation of man. One evidence of this is the fact that He continues the living ministry suitable to the wants of our spiritual nature.
II. THE SAVIOUR'S COMMAND. "Speak, hold not thy peace." The authority assumed here by Christ should teach us that we are not to do just as we please; we must go where He commands.
1. He was to exercise the power of speech. One of the most wonderful endowments of man is that grand organ of communication between mind and mind, heart and heart. It is of no use to philosophise; God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of Christ.
2. He was to banish fear. The apostle was not to be afraid of the intellectualism of the place. The debilitating effect of fear is known to every man; it divides, and distracts, and enfeebles the faculties of manhood. Be not afraid, the plan is fixed, success is certain — the government is Mine.
III. THE SAVIOUR'S PROMISE. "For I am with thee." The apostle felt the force of the guarantee ever after this, and spake the Word with authority.
1. In the production of miracles.
2. In turning the heart to God.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace: