|<< Acts 14 >>|
Wesley's Notes on the Bible
1 And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.
14:1 They so spake - Persecution having increased their strength.
2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.
3 Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
4 But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles.
5 And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them,
6 They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:
7 And there they preached the gospel.
8 And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother's womb, who never had walked:
9 The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,
14:9 He had faith to be healed - He felt the power of God in his soul; and thence knew it was sufficient to heal his body also.
10 Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.
11 And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.
14:11 The gods are come down - Which the heathens supposed they frequently did; Jupiter especially. But how amazingly does the prince of darkness blind the minds of them that believe not! The Jews would not own Christ's Godhead, though they saw him work numberless miracles. On the other hand, the heathens seeing mere men work one miracle, were for deifying them immediately.
12 And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.
13 Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people.
14:13 The priest of Jupiter - Whose temple and image were just without the gate of the city, brought garlands - To put on the victims, and bulls - The usual offerings to Jupiter.
14 Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,
14:14 They sprang in among the people, crying out - As in a fire, or other sudden and great danger.
15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:
14:15 To turn from these vanities - From worshipping any but the true God. He does not deign to call them gods; unto the living God - Not like these dead idols; who made the heaven and the earth, the sea - Each of which they supposed to have its own gods.
16 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.
14:16 Who in times past - He prevents their objection, But if these things are so, we should have heard the in from our fathers. Suffered - An awful judgment, all nations - The multitude of them that err does not turn error into truth, to walk in their own ways - The idolatries which they had chosen.
17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.
14:17 He left not himself without witness - For the heathens had always from God himself a testimony both of his existence and of his providence; in that he did good - Even by punishments he testifies of himself; but more peculiarly by benefits; giving rain - By which air, earth, and sea, are, as it were, all joined together; from heaven - The seat of God; to which St. Paul probably pointed while he spoke, filling the body with food, the soul with gladness.
18 And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them.
19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.
14:19 Who persuaded the multitude - Moved with equal ease either to adore or murder him.
20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
14:20 But as the disciples stood round - Probably after sunset. The enraged multitude would scarce have suffered it in the day time: he rose and went into the city - That he should be able to do this, just after he had been left for dead, was a miracle little less than a resurrection from the dead. Especially considering the manner wherein the Jewish malefactors were stoned. The witnesses first threw as large a stone as they could lift, with all possible violence upon his head, which alone was sufficient to dash the skull in pieces. All the people then joined, as long as any motion or token of life remained.
21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
14:23 When they had ordained them presbyters in every Church - Out of those who were themselves but newly converted. So soon can God enable even a babe in Christ to build up others in the common faith: they commended them to the Lord - An expression implying faith in Christ, as well as love to the brethren.
24 And after they had passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia.
25 And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia:
14:25 Perga and Attalia were cities of Pamphylia.
26 And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled.
14:26 Recommended to the grace - Or favour, of God, for the work which they had fulfilled - This shows the nature and design of that laying on of hands, which was mentioned Acts 13:3.
27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.
28 And there they abode long time with the disciples.