Acts 20:34 MEANING

Acts 20:34
(34) These hands have ministered unto my necessities.--The words clearly cover the whole three years of the Apostle's ministry at Ephesus. The partnership with Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18:3) continued. Philemon was probably a sharer in it (Philemon 1:17). And the Apostle had not been satisfied with working for himself, but ministered also to "those who were with him." His teaching in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 makes it improbable that he would have thus laboured to maintain others who were able-bodied in idleness, and the words that immediately follow make it almost certain that we must confine the statement to those who were suffering from infirmity. In 1 Corinthians 4:12, written, it will be remembered, from Ephesus, we have an undesigned coincidence confirming the statement.

Verse 34. - Ye for yea ye, A.V. and T.R.; ministered for have ministered, A.V. These hands (see 1 Corinthians 4:12, written from Ephesus a few months before).

20:28-38 If the Holy Ghost has made ministers overseers of the flock, that is, shepherds, they must be true to their trust. Let them consider their Master's concern for the flock committed to their charge. It is the church He has purchased with his own blood. The blood was his as Man; yet so close is the union between the Divine and human nature, that it is there called the blood of God, for it was the blood of Him who is God. This put such dignity and worth into it, as to ransom believers from all evil, and purchase all good. Paul spake about their souls with affection and concern. They were full of care what would become of them. Paul directs them to look up to God with faith, and commends them to the word of God's grace, not only as the foundation of their hope and the fountain of their joy, but as the rule of their walking. The most advanced Christians are capable of growing, and will find the word of grace help their growth. As those cannot be welcome guests to the holy God who are unsanctified; so heaven would be no heaven to them; but to all who are born again, and on whom the image of God is renewed, it is sure, as almighty power and eternal truth make it so. He recommends himself to them as an example of not caring as to things of the present world; this they would find help forward their comfortable passage through it. It might seem a hard saying, therefore Paul adds to it a saying of their Master's, which he would have them always remember; It is more blessed to give than to receive: it seems they were words often used to his disciples. The opinion of the children of this world, is contrary to this; they are afraid of giving, unless in hope of getting. Clear gain, is with them the most blessed thing that can be; but Christ tell us what is more blessed, more excellent. It makes us more like to God, who gives to all, and receives from none; and to the Lord Jesus, who went about doing good. This mind was in Christ Jesus, may it be in us also. It is good for friends, when they part, to part with prayer. Those who exhort and pray for one another, may have many weeping seasons and painful separations, but they will meet before the throne of God, to part no more. It was a comfort to all, that the presence of Christ both went with him and stayed with them.Yea, you yourselves know,.... So far was the apostle from desiring to have other men's money, or to wear their apparel, or to eat their bread, that he could appeal to these elders for the truth of it, they having been eyewitnesses of it:

that these hands have ministered unto my necessities; meaning, that he had wrought with his hands, which he then held up, or stretched out, at tent making, along with Aquila and Priscilla, at Ephesus, as he had done before at Corinth, Acts 18:2 and therewith supplied himself with necessaries for food and clothing; for though he had a power, as a minister of the Gospel, to forbear working, and to insist upon a maintenance from the churches, yet in some cases, and in some places, he chose rather to forego that, lest he should either any ways hinder the progress of the Gospel at the first preaching of it, or be burdensome to the churches, or give the false teachers any handle against him; and he not only supported himself in this way, but assisted others also:

and to them that were with me; as Luke, Timothy, and others; see Acts 20:4.

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