Acts 26:17 MEANING

Acts 26:17
(17) From the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee.--The distinct mission to the Gentiles seems, in Acts 22:21, to be connected with the trance in the Temple, three years after the conversion. Galatians 1:15-16, however, agrees with what we find hero in connecting it with the very time when the Son of God was first "revealed in him." The distinction between "the people," i.e., Israel, as emphatically entitled to that name, and "nations," the "Gentiles," should be noted. (Comp. Note on Acts 4:25.) The relative "whom" probably refers to the latter of the two nouns rather than to both. In the Greek word for "send" (apostello), we find the warrant for St. Paul's claim to be considered an Apostle "not of men, neither by man," but by the direct personal call of the Lord Jesus (Galatians 1:1). The word that had been used of the Twelve (Matthew 10:16) was used also of him; and the pronoun "I" is specially emphasised.

Verse 17. - Unto whom for unto whom note, A.V. Unto [the Gentiles]. These seem to be the words heard in the trance reported in Acts 22:21, the sequel to which, as contained in ver. 18, the apostle would then have recited, had he not been cut short by the furious cries of the Jews.

26:12-23 Paul was made a Christian by Divine power; by a revelation of Christ both to him and in him; when in the full career of his sin. He was made a minister by Divine authority: the same Jesus who appeared to him in that glorious light, ordered him to preach the gospel to the Gentiles. A world that sits in darkness must be enlightened; those must be brought to know the things that belong to their everlasting peace, who are yet ignorant of them. A world that lies in wickedness must be sanctified and reformed; it is not enough for them to have their eyes opened, they must have their hearts renewed; not enough to be turned from darkness to light, but they must be turned from the power of Satan unto God. All who are turned from sin to God, are not only pardoned, but have a grant of a rich inheritance. The forgiveness of sins makes way for this. None can be happy who are not holy; and to be saints in heaven we must be first saints on earth. We are made holy, and saved by faith in Christ; by which we rely upon Christ as the Lord our Righteousness, and give up ourselves to him as the Lord our Ruler; by this we receive the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and eternal life. The cross of Christ was a stumbling-block to the Jews, and they were in a rage at Paul's preaching the fulfilling of the Old Testament predictions. Christ should be the first that should rise from the dead; the Head or principal One. Also, it was foretold by the prophets, that the Gentiles should be brought to the knowledge of God by the Messiah; and what in this could the Jews justly be displeased at? Thus the true convert can give a reason of his hope, and a good account of the change manifest in him. Yet for going about and calling on men thus to repent and to be converted, vast numbers have been blamed and persecuted.Delivering thee from the people,.... That is, the people of the Jews, as they are distinguished from the Gentiles; and so the Syriac version, and two of Beza's copies, and two of Stephens's, read; for the Lord knew, that as soon as ever Saul was converted and professed his name, and preached his Gospel, the people of the Jews would immediately become his implacable enemies, and seek to destroy him; wherefore he promises him before hand deliverance, and security from them:

and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee; to both Jews and Gentiles; to the Jews first, and then to the Gentiles; which method the apostle observed, and which course he steered, until the Jews put away the Gospel from them; and then he turned to the Gentiles, to whom he chiefly preached, as their apostle, and was saved from many dangers among them, as is here promised.

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