Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,…
I. SUPERNATURAL GUIDANCE LED THE WAY.
1. The messengers naturally inclined to continue their work within narrower limits. Much against advancing West. Unknown region. Great demands in the more educated heathenism of Europe. Possibly the Jewish element was powerful in Asia, and therefore some religious basis to work upon. But all such considerations put aside when the mind of the Spirit manifested.
2. The Spirit of Jesus clearly pointed the way Westward, whether by miraculous indications, or by providential circumstances too plain to be misunderstood. Troas was reached in a waiting, inquiring state of mind.
3. The decisive commandment was given by vision to Paul. Not a mere dream, but a prophetic vision, which, being accompanied by a supernatural impression of its Divine origin and meaning, left no doubt on the mind.
II. THE CHANGE OF THE SPHERE OF LABOR from Asia to Europe fruitful in results.
1. On the Gentile world - in the direct assault on heathenism in its stronghold.
2. On the character of Paul himself. He was fitted for a higher work than preaching to the semi-barbarous tribes of Asia Minor - where great as the success was, it would be necessarily almost limited to the region where it was obtained. To touch Greece was to open a thousand doors to the world at large.
3. On the development of the Christian Church. It was necessary that Christianity should reveal to the world its superiority to all merely human systems of philosophy; that it should satisfy the intellectual as well as the spiritual wants of man. Had Paul never visited Europe, we should not have had his Epistles to the Romans and Corinthians, nor probably that to the Ephesians; for his own views of the Church were raised to a higher level by his contact with the larger world of thought and life. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,