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Bible Commentaries

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Acts 14

Introduction

CHAP. XIV.

Paul and Barnabas are persecuted and driven from Iconium. At Lystra Paul healeth a cripple; whereupon they are reputed as gods. Paul is stoned. They pass through divers churches, confirming the disciples in faith and patience: returning to Antioch, they report what God had done with them.

Anno Domini 46.

Verse 1

Acts 14:1. Of the Greeks Several writers suppose that these were proselytes of the gate; but it seems more probable that they were Gentiles of the place, who, though they did not usually attend the synagogues, yet might be drawn thither by the fame of such extraordinary teachers as Paul and Barnabas.

Verse 2

Acts 14:2. Brethren That is, the Christians; of whom this was one appellation before they were so called at Antioch. See on ch. Acts 11:26.

Verse 3

Acts 14:3. Long time therefore Some think the 2nd verse should be included in a parenthesis, and that the particle therefore, refers to the success which Paul and Barnabas had met with at Iconium, mentioned Act 14:1 as what induced them to continue preaching there for a long time: while others, who would make no breach in the connection, choose rather that the words Μεν ουν should be rendered for indeed; and supposing the rage of the Jews to have been exasperated by their long stay and preaching there, they would render the beginning of the verse, for indeed they had tarried a long time, &c. But the connection may properly enough be preserved, though we retain the usual sense of the particle, as in our version; if we consider what is here expressed as an account of the great firmness and undaunted zeal with which these faithful ministers pursued their work—that since the Jews were so intent upon opposing them, and laboured to incense the Gentiles too against them, they therefore thought it needful to continue preaching with the greatest boldness, and to make the longer stay there, for the establishment and confirmation of the new converts, and for the vindication of their own character, and of the cause they were engaged in, from the injurious calumnies and aspersions of their neighbours, till they proceeded to such violent methods, that they no longer could remain with any safety there.

Verse 6

Acts 14:6. They were ware of it, Having received intelligence of it, they fled, &

Verse 7

Acts 14:7. And there they preached the gospel, Some manuscripts add, And the whole multitude were moved at their doctrine; but Paul and Barnabas continued at Lystra.

Verse 8

Acts 14:8. Being a cripple from his mother's womb, This circumstance serves greatly to illustrate the miracle; for weaknesses born with a person, and continuing inveterate to a more advanced age, hardly ever give way to art. See on ch. 3:

Verse 10

Acts 14:10. Stand upright on thy feet, Some manuscripts here read, I say unto thee, in the name of Jesus Christ, stand upright, &c.

Verse 11

Acts 14:11. In the speech of Lycaonia, This, as some say, was not a dialect of the Greek, but rather approached the Syriac, as the language of Cappadocia is said to have done. It appears from numberless passages in the heathen writers, that they supposed it a very common thing for their gods to come down in the likeness of men; and Elsner on the place has shewn, that this notion particularly prevailed with respect to Jupiter and Mercury.

Verse 12

Acts 14:12. They called Barnabas, Jupiter, &c.— The heathens represented Jupiter as an old but vigorous man, of a noble and majestic aspect, and large robust make, which probably might be the form of Barnabas; whereas Mercury appeared young, lively, and active, as Paul might probably do; for he was yet but a young man. This is Chrysostome's observation: St. Luke, however, assigns another reason why the Lystrians gave the apostles these appellations. Mercury, was generally represented as the attendant on Jupiter, and was esteemed the god of eloquence. Mr. Harrington well observes, in his works, p. 330 that this persuasion might gain the more easily on the minds of Lycaonians on account of the well-known fable of Jupiter and Mercury, who are said to have descended from heaven in a human shape, and to have been entertained by Lycaon, from whom the Lycaonians received their names.

Verse 13

Acts 14:13. Then the priest of Jupiter, This might be rendered more exactly, then the priest of Jupiter, that is to say, of the image of Jupiter, before the city gate. It was customary to build temples to their idol deities in the suburbs, and to set up their images before the city, at the gates. The heathens considered their several images—of Jupiter, for instance, or any other of their gods,—as so many distinct Jupiters; that is, as having some spirit sent from the god, to whom their worship was ultimatelyreferred, to reside in them. It may, however, by a common ellipsis, be, the priest of the temple of Jupiter. Some are of opinion, that the garlands here mentioned were those which the heathens used to put on the horns of their victims, being generally made of such leaves of trees or flowers as were sacred to the gods to whom they were offered; but others have observed, that among the heathen petitioners to the idol gods, they used to supplicate them with green boughs in their hands, and crowns upon their heads, or garlands upon their necks. These boughs were commonly of laurel or olive, about which they wrapped wool; and there were what the Greeks called στεμματα, the very word made use of in the sacred text, and rendered garlands. The scholiast on Sophocles explains the word στεμμα to signify "wool wrapped about a green bough." With these boughs it was usual to touch the knees of the statue, (or sometimes of the man,) whom they addressed: if they had confidence of success, they were raised as high as its chin. This seems to have been the intention of the priest of Jupiter at this time; and the garlands mentioned were probably these boughs, not the chaplets or crowns about the horns of the unico

Verse 15

Acts 14:15. Of like passions, &c.— Obnoxious to the same common infirmities, 'Ομοιοπαθεις : so it also signifies in James 5:17. "We are only frail andmortal men, likeyourselves;liabletothecommonevils,afflictions,andinfirmities of life." The word vanities is, as we have observed in the Old Testament, frequently used for idols. It appears a bold expression when considered and addressed to a whole crowd of bigoted idolaters with their priests at their head. It naturally leads us to reflect, how unlike the conduct of the apostles was to that of the heathen philosophers, who, instead of entering a generous protest against the absurdities of the established worship, though it often led to such scandalous immoralities, meanly conformed to it themselves, and taught their disciples to esteem such conformity an essential part of a good citizen's character, which seems to have been the design even of the dying words of Socrates himself.

Verse 16

Acts 14:16. Who in times past suffered all nations, &c.— That is, all the Gentiles. God left all nations, except the Jews, to the light of the heathen dispensation. It does not appear that any prophet except Jonah, was sent to the Gentile world, from the days of Noah or Abraham. See 1 Peter 3:20; 1Pe 5:2-3 and my Annotations on the epistle to the Romans.

Verse 17

Acts 14:17. He left not himself without witness, Though left to the heathen dispensation,theGentileswereculpablefortheir idolatry, and other abuses of the light afforded them, inasmuch as the works of creation always manifest the being of the true God; and it is a plain evidence of his goodness, power, and providence, in that he, the one true God, is the author of all good, and sendeth rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons to the just and unjust; not only providing necessaries for mankind, but filling their hearts with joy and gladness, and thereby inviting sinners to repent and hope for mercy. The author of "Nature Displayed"observes very pleasingly, that, as a friend, in sending us frequent presents, expresses his remembrance of us, and affection to us, though he neither speak nor write; so all the gifts of the divine bounty, which are scattered abroad on every side, are so many witnesses sent to attest the divine care and goodness, and speak it in a very sensiblelanguage to the heart, though not to the ear. Aratus, a pagan poet, asserts particularly, that "rain is given from God:" and as St. Paul was conversant in these writings, has quoted this very poet in another speech, and was addressing himself to persons who might be no strangers to this author, his speech, among other things, may in a distant manner allude to that passage. Dr. Hammond mentions a Jewish proverb upon this place, "That thekeys of life, rain, and the resurrection, were always kept in God's own hand," by which they seem to have looked upon rain as much an incommunicable attribute of God, as either the giving or restoring of life. Hence it is frequently stiled, "the power of rain," because it descends not but by power, and it is one of the things in which the power of God shews itself. See Mat 5:45 and Jeremiah 14:22.

Verse 19

Acts 14:19. Having stoned Paul, drew him out, &c.— The remarkable humility wherewith the apostles behaved, in so uncommon an instance of popular applause as that above related, plainlyshewed by what Spirit they were actuated. This, however, could not prevent them from the attacks of envy and malice. The Jews, their most constant enemies, followed them from Antioch and Iconium; and, incensing the populace against them as impostors and ill-designing men, they prevailed with them to stone St. Paul, upon the same account as he himself had formerly consented to the stoning of St. Stephen;and when they had, not in a legal, but in a tumultuous manner, stoned him, they dragged him out of the city, thinking that he was quite dead. The apostle very probably alludes to this, 2 Corinthians 11:23-25. So short-lived are human passions, not moderated by principle, that from imagining him to be a god, the thoughtless multitude were easily persuaded to stone St. Paul, as one of the vilest of men. Thus Israel fell into idolatry within forty days from God's giving them the law from mount Sinai; nor could St. Paul expect any better treatment, when he considered that his Lord and Master was applauded as king of the Jews, and followed with the acclamations of the same multitude who, about six days after, petitioned Pilate that he might be crucified. But though St. Paul's enemies left him for dead, yet the Christians would not leave him: most probably there was something extraordinary in the appearance of his body in this circumstance, which led them to conclude he was dead, while he was yet alive; for one can hardly imagine, that such bitter persecutors would have been content with any very slight and transient inquiry whether he were dead or not. It is observable, we read of no such injury offered to Barnabas, who seems to have had no share in the effects of this popular fury: and it is probable that Paul's distinguished zeal marked him out as the object of their distinguished cr

Verse 20

Acts 14:20. He rose up, &c.— That, just after he had been stoned, dragged about the streets, and left for dead, he should rise, and walk back into the city, must certainly have been the effect of a miraculous cure, approaching as near as one can well conceive to a resurrection from the dead. This is the more illustrated by his going the next day to Derbe; whereas, in the course of nature, he would then have felt his bruises much more than at first; and probably, after the best care that could have been taken of him, would scarcely have been able to move. Possibly by coming into the city, and shewing himself to the new converts at least, if not to others, he hoped, as he reasonably might, to confirm their faith, and their holy courageous attachment to the gospel. St. Paul evidently alludes to his treatment at these places, and to the time of his being there, 2 Timothy 3:10-11. As Timothy was a Lydian, he had very probably been an eye-witness of the sufferings of St. Paul at that place, and even one of those who stood by when the apostle revived, after he was stoned, and left for dead.

Verse 23

Acts 14:23. When they had ordained them elders Though the word χειροτονειν, rendered ordain, was originally used by the Greeks in a peculiar sense, to stretch out, or lift up the hand, as the people did when they gave their votes in popular elections; yet it came, in time, to be used in a laxer sense, and to signify nothing more than barely to appoint or constitute; for it is used by several Greek authors concerning one person's appointing another to an office, as Dr. Hammond on this place has abundantly shewn; and here it is predicted of the two apostles, and not of the people. See ch. Acts 10:41.

Verse 25

Acts 14:25. Attalia: This was a maritime town on the coast of the Mediterranean sea. Some manuscripts and versions read here,—and preaching the gospel there.

Verse 26

Acts 14:26. And—sailed to Antioch, Not thinking it proper at that time to travel through Cilicia, though they were then on the borders of it, and some Christian churches had already been planted there, (see ch. Acts 9:30 Acts 15:41.) they took shipping, and sailed thence to the coast of Syria, and went up the river Orontes to Antioch in that province.

Verse 27

Acts 14:27. And how he had opened the door of faith, &c.— It is certain that the gospel was carried by the apostles, in this journey, to many celebrated countries, which it had never before reached. In the Ottoman empire at this day, when a call, or new levy of janissaries, is made, it is said to be "the opening of a door for janissaries."

Inferences.—Happy are the ministers of Christ, in the midst of labours, and of persecution too, if they have but the presence of their Master with them; if the Lord bear witness to the word of his grace. Almighty Saviour! leave us not destitute of that presence, which is our hope and our joy! but bear witness with all thy faithful servants, while they are bearing their testimony to thee.

Infinite wisdom governs those revolutions in providence, which seems most mysterious. The repeated oppositions which the apostles met with in their work, seemed to threaten their destruction; but they served in effect to render their testimony more credible when borne amid so many dangers: and while they tended especially to exercise the graces of these new converts, and to add a growing evidence to Christianity throughout the remotest ages, they were also the means of spreading the gospel to a greater variety of places, when the apostles were forced to make such short visits at many, through the inhospitality of those, from whom they deserved a far different reception.

The cure of the cripple above mentioned was but one miracle of a thousand which the power of Christ rendered common in those days. The effect of it, one way and another, was very remarkable. The multitude, struck with this exertion of an energy truly divine, by an error to which human nature is, alas! but too incident, fix their eyes on the instruments, and pay that honour to mortal men, which was due only to that God by whom the wonderful operation was wrought. Yet is there a mixture of (what shall I call it?) piety amidst all that superstition, which cannot fail to strike the mind with some pleasure, joined to the compassion we must feel, to find it so wretchedly misguided. When they thought that the gods were come down in human form, they were desirous immediately to pay honour to them. Such was the conduct of Heathens under an idea of the divine presence: what then should that of the sincere Christian be?—The Lord Jesus Christ is God manifest in the flesh; but alas! in how different a manner was he generally received? With what outrage and infamy, with what malice and contradiction of sinners, instead of that prostrate adoration and praise, to which he had so just and infinite a claim!

How different is the behaviour of the apostles before us! With an honest indignation they reject the homage offered them; they justly conceive it robbery thus to be made equal with God, and regard all these pompous solemnities with horror rather than delight. It was a courageous testimony which they bore to the vanity of those heathen deities, while surrounded with adorers and their priests. Their address in the present critical circumstance is remarkable and exemplary:—while they confess their own infirmities, as weak and mortal men, they, with heroic boldness and sacred truth, proclaim the one living and true God, Creator and Governor of the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is therein. May we follow the fair example, and adore this Almighty Being, as the author of all the blessings of providence, giving us rain from heaven and fruitful seasons; and, while our hearts are filled with food and gladness, may they rejoice to Him, and to Him devote all that vigour which we derive from his daily bounties. Above all, let us praise Him, that we have not these witnesses alone, of his presence, his power, and his goodness; but that he has revealed unto us the clear path of salvation, and given us the true Bread from heaven in a superabundant manner under our high dispensation.

Who would value himself upon the applauses of a multitude, when he sees how soon these changeable inhabitants of Lystra were instigated to assault him as a malefactor, whom but a few days before they were ready to adore as a God; and how easily they were persuaded to exchange the instruments of sacrifice for those of murder! Behold,—they stone him, and drag him out of the city for dead. And who that had seen this lamentable sight, would not have concluded that here the labours of St. Paul were ended, and that henceforward we should hear no more of him in this glorious history? But God, who amidst all their outrage secretly preserved the flame of life from being utterly extinguished, miraculously interposes to heal his wounds and bruises, and on a sudden restores him to perfect health.

And thus could he always have protected his apostles, so that, in a literal sense, not an hair of their heads should have perished: but it was more suitable to those wise maxims on which he proceeded in the government of the world, to suffer them at length to fall by the hands of their enemies, and to pour out their blood, as a seal of their doctrine, and of the sincerity with which they taught it: nor could any death be more glorious, or, when taken in its full connection, any more happy.

With pleasure let us trace these holy men in all the stages of their undaunted and successful course, converting some, confirming others, and, upon the whole, like their divine Master, scattering blessings wherever they come. Let their exhortation still have its power with us to engage our steadfast continuance in the Christian faith, through whatever tribulations we are called to pass. Be the way ever so rugged and painful, it is enough for us that it leads to the kingdom of heaven. Let us thankfully own the divine goodness, in all the assistances that we receive as we pass through life, and particularly in that which all ages derive from the Christian ministry settled in the church by the wise care of its blessed Founder, to be a perpetual blessing to it. May all the prayers which are offered for those, who in succeeding generations are set apart to the work, in those solemn devotions which attend their ordination to it, be heard and answered! And may both ministers and people flourish in knowledge and piety under the constant care of the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls!

To conclude. The success which attended these two apostles in their course, and the pleasure with which they returned to the place whence they had so affectionately been recommended to the grace of God, should be an encouragement to our prayers and our labours. Whatever we do in the advancement of the gospel, let us, with these holy men, acknowledge, that God does it by us: and pray, that the door of faith may be opened so wide, that all the nations of the earth may enter in, and be saved.

REFLECTIONS.—1st, Though the apostles were so ignominiously treated by the Jews at Antioch, yet did they not desist at Iconium from their accustomed manner of visiting their synagogues in the first place, and making them the offer of the gospel.

1. They went both together into the synagogue, as mutual fellow-helpers, and that out of the mouths of two witnesses every word might be established; and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed; so powerful was their preaching, and so mightily did the Spirit of God bless their ministrations to the conviction and conversion of their hearers.

2. This success, as usual, exasperated the infidel Jews, who spirited up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil-affected against the brethren, by representing them as dangerous men, who were carrying on some bad design. Persecutors would thus always cover malignity under specious pretences.

3. Though the apostles saw the prejudices and rancour entertained against them and their new converts, they were not disheartened, but abode a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, in his glorious cause, and supported by his power and Spirit, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands, as an attestation to the truth of the gospel which they preached. Note; (1.) The gospel is the word of Christ's grace, containing the richest discoveries of free, boundless, and undeserved mercy to the sinful sons of men. (2.) They who go forth in the strength of the Lord, will not be dismayed at the frowns of their enemies.

4. Notwithstanding the malice of the Jews, a strong party was formed for the apostles, and the city was divided, and for a time the persecution was restrained. At last, the Jewish party prevailing, an assault was made both of the Gentiles and Jews, supported by the magistrates, in order to seize the apostles, and to use them despitefully, treating them with every kind of ignominy, and then to stone them, as blasphemers and miscreants unworthy to live. Note; (1.) If the gospel makes a division in a place or city which was before at peace, it is not to be imputed to any tendency which the gracious message has to create such disturbance, but to the enmity of the natural heart against God, which cannot bear to see the power of gospel grace in the conversations of others: and far better is it to bear reproach and persecution, as the troublers of the false peace of sinners, than to suffer them to swim securely down the stream into the gulph of perdition. (2.) If the enemies of the truth are so unanimous in opposition, shall the friends of the gospel be less united in the glorious cause?

5. The apostles got intelligence of this conspiracy, and, to escape from the hands of these blood-thirsty men, fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about; and there they preached the gospel, not desisting from their labours, though compelled to fly for their lives. Thus the enmity of their persecutors contributed but the more to spread that gospel which they opposed.

2nd, During their stay at Lystra, we are told,
1. Of a remarkable cure performed by St. Paul on a man lame from his birth. In the assembly where St. Paul was preaching, the man sat attentive to his discourse, when the apostle steadfastly beholding him, and perceiving, by the spirit of discernment, that he had faith to be healed, and was persuaded of the power with which the apostles were endued to cure his lameness, incurable as it was by any human means; he said with a loud voice, that all present might hear and take notice of the miracle, Stand upright on thy feet; and instantly he leaped and walked, restored to perfect strength. Note; (1.) They who love the word of God, though they are lame, and cannot walk, will be carried to hear it. (2.) The pains which some take to attend God's worship, though lame and infirm, will rise up to condemn the sloth and negligence of those, who, though so much better able to go, remain at home through a miserable indulgence. (3.) When Jesus speaks to impotent but penitent souls in his word, then their hearts exult with holy joy, and they rise to run the way of his commandments.

2. Astonished at what they had seen, the idolatrous Gentiles who were present, concluded, according to the notions of their Pagan theology, that the gods were come down to them in the likeness of men, and, in an extacy of joy at this supposed honour done them, expressed aloud in their own language the sentiments of their hearts; and, agreeable to the absurd ideas which they had received concerning their gods, they called Barnabas, Jupiter, being probably the elder man, and his stature more majestic; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker; Mercury, according to them, being the god of eloquence, and reputed the messenger who went on the errands of Jove and the superior deities. Then the priest of Jupiter who was reputed their patron god, which was before their city, or whose temple stood in the suburbs, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, the place of concourse, where Paul and Barnabas were speaking to the people, and would have done sacrifice with the people, crowning them with their garlands, and offering their sacrifices before them.

3. With horror and indignation, when the apostles perceived their design, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, and saying, Sirs, why do ye these things?

Far from suffering the people to continue in so dangerous a mistake, though it brought them such honour, they desired to renounce all such vain-glory, and with earnestness remonstrated against a design so impious and idolatrous. Far from assuming divinity, we also are men of like passions with you, subject to all the infirmities of humanity, and poor worms of the earth, as the rest of mankind, and preach unto you, as ministers and ambassadors of Christ, which is the highest honour we claim, that ye should turn from these vanities, these absurd, useless, unprofitable deities, which are mere nothings, creatures of the fancy, which never existed, and whose worship is the height of folly, as well as impiety; and that ye should be brought unto the worship and service of the living God, who alone is worthy to be feared and adored, as the fountain of life, and the great Creator of all; which made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein, visible or invisible; who in times past, in his mysterious ways of providence, which are all righteous and just, suffered all nations to walk in their own ways, with much longsuffering bearing with their provocations. Nevertheless, he left not himself without witness, but gave them sufficient evidences of his wisdom and goodness, of his eternal power and Godhead, (Romans 1:20.) in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness, which gifts of his beneficence should have led up our hearts unto him, and left us without excuse in our ignorance, neglect, and unthankfulness towards him: to persist therefore in these abominations of idolatry, now that the gospel light was come unto them, would be peculiarly criminal. Note; (1.) All our temporal mercies should lead up our hearts to God; and, looking above all second causes, the great Author of all should be constantly seen in all the bounties of his providence, in every drop of dew that waters the earth, and in every blade that breaks the clod. (2.) The goodness of God to us should engage our hearts towards him, and, if we lived in ignorance before, we are called to improve what better light he now graciously communicates. (3.) Our gratitude is due to God, not only for the food he bestows, but for the gladness of heart which he gives to make use of his blessings.

4. With these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them; all their expostulations and entreaties with difficulty prevailed upon them to desist, so foolishly obstinate were they in their mistaken persuasion.

3rdly, How fickle is the mind of vain man! how soon are they, who have no foundation, carried about with every wind. They who are deified to-day, are thus often detested to-morrow. It becomes us, if we would have abiding honour, to seek that which cometh from God only.
1. The apostles are brought into the most imminent danger, and St. Paul stoned and left for dead. The Jews, their implacable enemies, followed them from Antioch and Iconium, on purpose to counteract their labours; and with diabolical malice to prevent, to their utmost, the progress of the gospel. And soon they found means to persuade the wavering multitude, that these men were deceivers, turbulent and seditious, and exasperated them so highly, that, seizing St. Paul, against whom they bore the bitterest grudge as the chief preacher, they stoned him in a popular tumult, and drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, lamenting over him, praying that he might be restored to life, or with an intent to bury him, he rose up, quickened by miraculous power; and, notwithstanding the late wounds and bruises that he had received, he came into the city, strengthened in his body, and not daunted in his mind by all that he had endured. Note; True disciples will not forsake their persecuted ministers, but own them in the face of every reproach and danger.

2. The next day Paul departed with Barnabas to Derbe: and when, as usual, they had preached the gospel, and taught, their ministry being blessed to the conversion of many, they returned back again to the cities of Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, confirming the souls of the disciples, settling them on Christ the great foundation, that no troubles felt or feared, no caresses or temptations, might move them away from the hope of the gospel; and exhorting them to continue in the faith of Jesus, in the belief of his office, glory, and gospel, and in the bold and open profession of his name; and saying, that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God; for which therefore they must prepare, nor count as if some strange thing happened unto them, since all that will live godly in Christ Jesus, must, more or less, share this common lot. Note; (1.) They who have received the gospel word, have still need of farther confirmation, that they may be built up on their most holy faith; and ministers must labour to establish the possessors of grace, as well as to awaken the careless. (2.) Nothing but faith can enable us to overcome the snares, the allurements, and discouragements of this present evil world; they who would stand in the evil day must continue to hold fast on Christ.

3. They ordained elders, or presbyters, in every church, to lead their devotions, administer the sacraments, preach the word, and watch over the flock of God committed to their charge; men of gravity and piety, selected from the other disciples, and judged best qualified for the arduous work of the ministry; and having prayed with fasting, for the supplies of grace and the divine benediction upon them, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed, both the elders and their congregations; begging that the Lord, who had begun the good work, would perfect the same; nourishing them up in the words of sound doctrine, and preserving them unto his everlasting kingdom. Note; (1.) The work of the ministry cannot be undertaken with too great solemnity; and they who feel the weight of it, will not fail importunately to seek, by prayer, for more than human power to carry them through. (2.) The best parting of friends is in prayer to the Lord, mutually commending each other to his care and love.

4. The apostles continued their journey to Antioch, in Syria, passing through Pisidia, till they came to Pamphylia, where they preached the word at Perga, a city of that province, and Attalia, another town on the sea-coast; and thence they sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God, for the work which they fulfilled; and now were returned from their successful expedition, bringing back a full answer to the prayers that had been put up at their departure. And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, ascribing nothing to themselves, but giving him the glory to whom alone the praise of all was due; and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles, great multitudes of whom had been converted to the faith of Jesus. And there, at Antioch, they abode long time with the disciples; comforting, establishing, strengthening them. Note; (1.) Whatever good is done by our preaching, we must remember that all the efficacy proceeds not from us, but from the grace of God. (2.) The way into the kingdom of grace and glory, lies through the door of faith.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Acts 14". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tcc/acts-14.html. 1801-1803.