Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.…
Note three great facts which he was anxious to impress on their attention.
I. THAT THEIR SCRIPTURES, WHICH EXHIBITED GOD'S SPECIAL KINDNESS TO THEM AS A PEOPLE, CONTAINED THE PROMISE OF A MESSIAH. After reminding them of certain striking facts in their history, showing how wondrously kind God had been to them as a people, extending from vers. 17 to 21, he directs them at once to the great prophetic truth that there was, according to their Scriptures to, come a Messiah. He states —
1. That David was to be the progenitor of that Messiah (vers. 22, 23).
2. That John the Baptist, one of the greatest prophets of their age, was to be His forerunner (vers. 24, 25). This fact, namely, that their Scriptures pointed to a Messiah, they would be prepared, of course, readily to admit. Hence he proceeds to another fact arising out of this which would not be so easily admitted.
II. THAT THE MESSIAH PREDICTED BY THEIR SCRIPTURES HAD ACTUALLY APPEARED ON THE EARTH (ver. 26). He states facts that occurred in the history of the Messiah while here.
1. That He was crucified and buried according to their Scriptures (vers. 27-29). In their Scriptures they would find an account of just the treatment He actually met with on the earth.
2. That God actually raised Him from the dead, also, according to their Scriptures (ver. 31). He states that His resurrection formed the glad tidings which they had to declare unto them (ver. 32). He states that His resurrection was a fulfilment of their Scriptures (vers. 33-35). In quoting these passages he seemed to anticipate that some of his audience would say that they referred to David; but this he declares is impossible, as that David "was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption." The other great fact we discover in this sermon is —
III. THAT THIS MESSIAH IS THE MEDIATOR THROUGH WHOM THE WORLD IS TO BE SAVED. He states —
1. That faith in Him will secure the forgiveness of all sins (ver. 38). That the rejection of Him is of all crimes the most to be deprecated (vers. 40, 41).
(1) That sometimes the Divine judgments following the rejection of God's Word have been foretold. It is the principle of the Divine government that punishment shall ever follow unbelief. Numerous instances in the Bible might be cited. The apostle quotes a case here where such punishment had been predicted (Habakkuk 1:5). The original design of the prediction was to proclaim the ruin that would come upon the Jewish nation by the Chaldeans. The reason why that ruin came on them from God was their unbelief.
(2) That the judgments that have followed unbelief in past times should be taken as types and warnings of those that will follow the rejection of God's Word in Jesus Christ. Thus the apostle uses Divine judgment here. The passage which he quotes from the Septuagint, not by any means with literal accuracy, he cites to show, not that this particular prophecy will be fulfilled in the experience of the rejecters of Christ, but that something as terrible. From the language we may infer —
(a) That the judgment, when it comes, will fill the victim with amazement — "Behold, ye despisers, and wonder." What wild amazement seized the antediluvians, the men of Sodom, etc., when the judgment came.
(b) That the judgment, when it comes, will effect utter destruction — "perish."(c) That the judgment that is to come is incredibly tremendous. It is "a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you."
(D. Thomas, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.