And after those days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem.…
I. THE DECIDED ADVANCE IN THE MINDS OF THE LEADING DISCIPLES AMONG THE JEWS.
1. They gladly welcomed Paul, and heard his narrative of missionary work, which included labor among the Gentiles. They glorified God for it.
2. They made no demand upon Paul as to renouncing his advanced position, but acquiesced in it.
3. They must have resisted the extreme Judaistic party in order to do so.
II. THE CONTRAST BETWEEN THE TIMID POLICY OF THE JAMES PARTY AND PAUL HIMSELF. They feared for him. He feared nothing for himself. Their advice was dictated by prudence, but it wrought more evil than good in result.
III. THE NOBLE EXAMPLE OF SELF-ABNEGATION AND CONCILIATION. Paul yielded to their advice, to show that the reports about him were false, and that his free position allowed him both to observe the Law and not to observe it, as expediency might dictate, because he regarded it as no longer necessary to salvation. He became a Jew to the Jews, to save the Jews. The true firmness is not obstinacy, prejudice, self-assertion, bigotry, but distinguishes between the essential and non-essential. Perhaps it was the wiser way to let the weaker brethren be convinced by the facts how hopeless it was to save Judaism.
IV. GREAT PURPOSES OF GOD ARE FULFILLLED THROUGH THE ERRORS AND INFIRMITIES OF HIS PEOPLE. Paul would meet Jewish accusations all the more firmly though his appearance in the temple put the torch to the pile. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: And after those days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem.