Acts 26:22, 23
Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue to this day, witnessing both to small and great…
Reference to and support from Holy Scripture was a characteristic feature of the apostle's public teachings and preachings. To understand the importance of this feature of his work we should take into consideration not only the general views entertained of Scripture as the revealed and authoritative Word of God, but also, and more particularly, the sentiment concerning Scripture cherished by pious Jews. It is almost impossible to exaggerate in speaking of their reverence for it. It was their final court of appeal. It was the voice of their God to them. It was the ground of their hope that Messiah, the Deliverer and Prince, would come. It may also be noticed that they much more readily found Messianic references in prophecy and promise than we can do; and we find it difficult to see the points which even the New Testament writers make, probably because our characteristic logical and critical qualities of mind differ so materially from the figurative and imaginative characteristics of the Eastern mind. How St. Paul used appeals to Scripture, and especially Scripture prophecy, may be illustrated from his speech at Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 13:16-41), and from his Epistles. Further illustration of the method, as peculiar to the apostles and Christian teachers, may be found in St. Peter's speech at Pentecost, and the Epistle to the Hebrews. In our text Moses is mentioned with the prophets, because there were some who placed the Pentateuch in a higher rank than the rest of the Old Testament Scriptures. St. Paul gives the leading points of his preaching, and affirms, what he would be prepared quite fully to illustrate and to prove, that these points are not really new, but have been all foreshadowed and declared by Jehovah's prophets. He takes three topics.
1. Messiah was to suffer.
2. Messiah was to rise from the dead.
3. Messiah was to be the Light of life to both Jew and Gentile.
I. MESSIAH WAS TO SUFFER, or should be capable of suffering. "The great body of the Jews had fixed their thoughts only on the prophetic visions of the glories of the Messiah's kingdom. Even the disciples of Jesus were slow to receive any other thought than that of conquest and triumph. It was not until they were led, after the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, into our Lord's own school of prophetic interpretation, and l aught to recognize the under-current of types and prophecies that pointed to a righteous Sufferer as well as to a righteous King, that they were able to receive the truth." Show
(1) the prophetic figure of a suffering Messiah from Psalm 22. and Isaiah lilt., with references to passages in Jeremiah and Lamentations; and
(2) point out how precisely the historical facts of our Lord's sufferings fit into the preparatory prophecy.
II. MESSIAH WAS TO RISE FROM THE DEAD. Illustrate the prophecies on this point from Psalm 16:10; Psalm 30:3; Psalm 41:10; Psalm 118:7; Hosea 6:2, etc. Show how the fact of his resurrection answers to the prophecy. Aid may be found in St. Peter's speeches recorded in Acts 2. and 3.
III. MESSIAH WAS TO BE THE LIGHT OF LIFE TO BOTH JEW AND GENTILE. This had been one of St. Paul's strongest points, and he had abundant Old Testament references to show that Messiah's mission was not limited to Jews. Refer in illustration to Psalm 45.; Isaiah 11:10; Isaiah 42:1, etc. Show that the apostle could direct attention to the fact that God had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles by the vision given to St. Peter at Joppa, and the admission of Cornelius to the Church. He could also plead that in the Gentile cities God had attended the preaching of his gospel with the power of the Holy Ghost, and Churches among the Gentiles had been founded on the faith of Christ. So prophecy had been fulfilled; it was satisfied in Jesus of Nazareth, who suffered for our sins, rose again for our justification, and is preached in all the world as the all-sufficient Savior. - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: