Week #136; Wed, Aug 05; John 12–17

Week #136; Wed, Aug 05: John 12:1–17:26

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:

John 12:1, I. Mary Anoints Jesus at Bethany; II. The Plot to Kill Lazarus; III. The Triumphal Entry; IV. Some Greeks Seek Jesus; V. The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up; VI. The Unbelief of the People; VII. Jesus Came to Save the World

I. KEY TEXT (Mary Anoints Jesus at Bethany): “Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table.” (12:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, ‘Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?’ He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.” (12:3-6)
1. FINDINGS: “Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.'” (12:7-8)
2. CRITERIA: “Mary gave a token of love to Christ, who had given real tokens of his love to her and her family. God’s Anointed should be our Anointed. Has God poured on him the oil of gladness above his fellows, let us pour on him the ointment of our best affections.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “The grace of Christ puts kind comments on pious words and actions, makes the best of what is amiss, and the most of what is good.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The success of the gospel often makes wicked men so angry, that they speak and act as if they hoped to obtain a victory over the Almighty himself.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “. . . not that she thought of His burial, much less reserved any of her nard to anoint her dead Lord. But as the time was so near at hand when that office would have to be performed, and she was not to have that privilege even after the spices were brought for the purpose (Mark 16:1), He lovingly regards it as done now.” (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Focus on the real Treasure; Jesus.

II. KEY TEXT (The Plot to Kill Lazarus): “When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.” (12:9-10)
A. INFERENCE: “So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.” (12:11)
1. FINDINGS: “To consult to hinder the further effect of the miracle, by putting Lazarus to death, is such wickedness, malice, and folly, as cannot be explained, except by the desperate enmity of the human heart against God. John 12:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “They resolved that the man should die whom the Lord had raised to life. John 12:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “The success of the gospel often makes wicked men so angry, that they speak and act as if they hoped to obtain a victory over the Almighty himself. John 12:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Crowds of the Jerusalem Jews hastened to Bethany, not so much to see Jesus, whom they knew to be there, as to see dead Lazarus alive; and this, issuing in their accession to Christ, led to a plot against the life of Lazarus also, as the only means of arresting the triumphs of Jesus (John 12:19)” (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “. . . these chief priests come of diabolical determination to shut out the light from themselves, and quench it from the earth!” (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Trust the Light and His miracles.

III. KEY TEXT (The Triumphal Entry): “The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, ‘Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” (12:12-13)
A. INFERENCE: “And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, you king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt!” (12:14-15)
1. FINDINGS: “His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him.” (12:16)
2. CRITERIA: “The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness.” (12:17)
3. CONDITION: “The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.” (12:18)
4. CAUSE: “So the Pharisees said to one another, ‘You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.'” (12:19)
5. EFFECT: “This miracle confirmed them in the belief of his other miracles, which they had heard he wrought in Galilee: what was impossible to him that could raise the dead?” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “The Messianic predictions were trustworthy then (and now).” (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary)

IV. KEY TEXT (Some Greeks Seek Jesus): “Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, ‘Sir, we wish to see Jesus.’ Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.” (12:20-21)
A. INFERENCE: “And Jesus answered them, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (12:22-24)
1. FINDINGS: “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.'” (12:25-26)
2. CRITERIA: “Christ’s acceptance of this honor, he foretells both the honor which he himself should have in being followed and the honor which those should have who followed him.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “He foresees that plentiful harvest, in the conversion of the Gentiles, of which this was as it were the first-fruits.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “See here the fatal consequences of an inordinate love of life; many a man hugs himself to death, and loses his life by over-loving it.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “He who is so much in love with the life of the body, as to deny Christ, he shall lose it, that is, lose a real happiness in the other world, while he thinks to secure an imaginary one in this.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Follow Him.

V. KEY TEXT (The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up): “‘Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour? Father, glorify your name.’ Then a voice came from heaven: ‘I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.'” (12:27-28)
A. INFERENCE: “The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, ‘An angel has spoken to him.'” (12:29)
1. FINDINGS: “Jesus answered, ‘This voice has come for your sake, not mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.'” (12:30-32)
2. CRITERIA: “He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die. So the crowd answered him, ‘We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is the Son of Man?'” (12:33-34)
3. CONDITION: “So Jesus said to them, ‘The light is among you for a little while longer.” (12:35)
4. CAUSE: “Troubled of heart sometimes follows after great enlargements of spirit (dread, distress, feelings, short time, and acquiescence in his Father’s will and honor) ” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.'” (12:36)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Jesus could have thought, ‘Plan the work, work the plan.’

VI. KEY TEXT (The Unbelief of the People): “When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled: ‘Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?’ Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said, ‘He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and turn, and I would heal them.'” (12:36-40)
A. INFERENCE: “Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.” (12:41)
1. FINDINGS: “Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.” (12:41-43)
2. CRITERIA: “The sin of our souls was the troubled of Christ’s soul, when he undertook to redeem and save us, and to make his soul an offering for our sin. Christ was willing to suffer, yet prayed to be saved from suffering. ” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Prayer against trouble may well agree with patience under it, and submission to the will of God in it. Our Lord Jesus undertook to satisfy God’s injured honor, and he did it by humbling himself.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Christ, reconciling the world to God by the merit of his death, broke the power of death, and cast out Satan as a destroyer.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Christ, bringing the world to God by the doctrine of his cross, broke the power of sin, and cast out Satan as a deceiver. The soul that was at a distance from Christ, is brought to love him and trust him.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “There is power in the death of Christ to draw souls to him. We have heard from the gospel that which exalts free grace, and we have heard also that which enjoins duty; we must from the heart embrace both, and not separate them.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

VII. KEY TEXT (Jesus Came to Save the World): “And Jesus cried out and said, ‘Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.'” (12:44-46)
A. INFERENCE: “‘If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save it.'” (12:47)
1. FINDINGS: “‘The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.'” (12:48)
2. CRITERIA: “‘For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment–what to say and what to speak.'” (12:49)
3. CONDITION: “‘And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.'” (12:50)
4. CAUSE: “. . . save the world.” (12:47)
5. EFFECT: “. . . will judge him on the last day.” (12:48)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Know His Word and do it.

John 13:1, I. Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet; II. One of You Will Betray Me; III. A New Commandment; IV. Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial

I. KEY TEXT (Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet): “Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” (13:1-5)
A. INFERENCE: “He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?’ Jesus answered him, ‘What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.’ Peter said to him, ‘You shall never wash my feet.'” (13:6-8)
1. FINDINGS: “Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.’ Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!'” (13:7-9)
2. CRITERIA: “Jesus said to him, ‘The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean but not everyone of you.’ For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, ‘Not all of you are clean.'” (13:10-11)
3. CONDITION: “When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, ‘Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.” (13:12-14)
4. CAUSE: “For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” (13:15-16)
5. EFFECT: “If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” (13:17-20)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Scripture will be fulfilled.” (13:18)

II. KEY TEXT (One of You Will Betray Me): “After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.’ The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table close to Jesus, so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking.” (13:21-24)
A. INFERENCE: “So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, ‘Lord, who is it?'” (13:25)
1. FINDINGS: “Jesus answered, ‘It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.’ So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, ‘What you are going to do do quickly.'” (13:26-27)
2. CRITERIA: “Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, ‘Buy what we need for the feast,’ or that he should give something to the poor. ” (13:28-29)
3. CONDITION: “So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.” (13:30)
4. CAUSE: “Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly — that is, Why linger here? Thy presence is a restraint, and thy work stands still; thou hast the wages of iniquity, go work for it!” (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.'” (13:31)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Glory be to God.

III. KEY TEXT (A New Commandment): “When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once.” (13:31-32)
A. INFERENCE: “Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.'” (13:33)
1. FINDINGS: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (13:34-35)
2. CRITERIA: “That, if the followers of Christ do not love one another, they not only cast an unjust reproach upon their profession, but give just cause to suspect their own sincerity.” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible)
3. CONDITION: “It was a relief when the traitor was gone. The Lord could now speak freely of His love and of His approaching glory, expatiating on the shining tablelands, but not as yet revealing even to Peter the dark ravine which separated Him from them, and the shadows which He was already entering. Peter was most anxious to be with Jesus wherever He was. Life without Jesus seemed impossible.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Christ had been glorified in many miracles he wrought, yet he speaks of his being glorified now in his sufferings, as if that were more than all his other glories in his humbled state. John 13:31” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Satisfaction was thereby made for the wrong done to God by the sin of man. We cannot now follow our Lord to his heavenly happiness, but if we truly believe in him, we shall follow him hereafter; meanwhile we must wait his time, and do his work. John 13:31” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Love one another.

IV. KEY TEXT (Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial): “Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, where are you going?’ Jesus answered him, ‘Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.'” (13:36)
A. INFERENCE: “Peter said to him, ‘Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” (13:37)
1. FINDINGS: “Jesus answered, ‘will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.” (13:38)
2. CRITERIA: “Peter relied upon his strong resolution to keep him faithful to his Master, but found it unavailing, as we have ourselves experienced many a time. Do not vaunt in self-confidence what you will or will not do, but seek strength from the living Lord.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “What Christ had said concerning brotherly love, Peter overlooked, but spoke of that about which Christ kept them ignorant. John 13:36” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “It is common to be more eager to know about secret things, which belong to God only, than about things revealed, which belong to us and our children; to be more desirous to have our curiosity gratified, than our consciences directed; to know what is done in heaven, than what we may do to get thither. John 13:36” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Christ knows us better than we know ourselves, and has many ways of discovering those to themselves, whom he loves, and he will hide pride from them. May we endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, to love one another with a pure heart fervently, and to walk humbly with our God. John 13:36” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Follow Jesus.

John 14:1, I. I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; II. Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

I. KEY TEXT (I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life): “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.'” (14:1-4)
A. INFERENCE: “Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” (14:5)
1. FINDINGS: “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.'” (14:6-7)
2. CRITERIA: “Philip said to him, ‘Lord show us the Father, and it is enough for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Gather and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.” (14:8-11)
3. CONDITION: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. ” (14:12-13)
4. CAUSE: “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” (14:14)
5. EFFECT: “To ask in Christ’s name, is to plead his merit and intercession, and to depend upon that plea. John 14:12” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Ask in Christ’s name.

II. KEY TEXT (Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit): “If you love me, you will keep my commandment. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” (14:15-17)
A. INFERENCE: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.” (14:18-20)
1. FINDINGS: “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.'” (14:21)
2. CRITERIA: “Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world? Jesus answered him, ‘If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (14:22-24)
3. CONDITION: “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (14:25-27)
4. CAUSE: “You heard me say to you, I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.” (14:28-29)
5. EFFECT: “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise let us go from here.” (14:30-31)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Listen for the Holy Spirit and obey.

John 15:1, I. I Am the True Vine; II. The Hatred of the World

I. KEY TEXT (I Am the True Vine): “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” (15:1-4)
A. INFERENCE: “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (15:5-11)
1. FINDINGS: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” (15:12-17)
2. CRITERIA: “Jesus Christ is the Vine, the true Vine. The union of the human and Divine natures, and the fullness of the Spirit that is in him, resemble the root of the vine made fruitful by the moisture from a rich soil. Believers are branches of this Vine. The root is unseen, and our life is hid with Christ; the root bears the tree, diffuses sap to it, and in Christ are all supports and supplies. The branches of the vine are many, yet, meeting in the root, are all but one vine; thus all true Christians, though in place and opinion distant from each other, meet in Christ. John 15:1” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Those whom God loves as a Father, may despise the hatred of all the world. As the Father loved Christ, who was most worthy, so he loved his disciples, who were unworthy. All that love the Savior should continue in their love to him, and take all occasions to show it. The joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment, but the joy of those who abide in Christ’s love is a continual feast. John 15:9” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “They are to show their love to him by keeping his commandments. If the same power that first shed abroad the love of Christ in our hearts, did not keep us in that love, we should not long abide in it. Christ’s love to us should direct us to love each other. John 15:9” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “In each Christian century there has been this double witness of the Spirit in the Church. The voice of the Church has testified to the living Christ, not arguing but attesting; and to each word of testimony the Holy Spirit has borne assenting witness. Christian apologetics are of less importance than the witness of obscure but Spirit-led lives.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Bring forth fruit.

II. KEY TEXT (The Hatred of the World): “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.” (15:18-20)
A. INFERENCE: “But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.” (15:21)
1. FINDINGS: “Whoever hates me hates my Father also.” (15:23)
2. CRITERIA: “If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without cause.'” (15:24-25)
3. CONDITION: “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.” (15:26-27)
4. CAUSE: “The blessed Spirit will maintain the cause of Christ in the world, notwithstanding the opposition it meets with. Believers taught and encouraged by his influences, would bear testimony to Christ and his salvation. John 15:26” (Matthew Henry Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “. . . that the Word might be fulfilled.” (Jamieson, Fausett, Brown Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Witness while we can (Search on: Evangelist Frank Jenner George Street Sydney Australia).

John 16:1, I. The Work of the Holy Spirit; II. Your Sorrow Will Turn into Joy; III. I Have Overcome the World

I. KEY TEXT (The Work of the Holy Spirit): “I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.” (16:1-4)
A. INFERENCE: “I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” (16:5-7)
1. FINDINGS: “And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.” (16:8-11)
2. CRITERIA: “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” (16:12-13)
3. CONDITION: “He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” (16:14-15)
4. CAUSE: “Christ’s departure was necessary to the Comforter’s coming. Sending the Spirit was to be the fruit of Christ’s death, which was his going away. His bodily presence could be only in one place at one time, but his Spirit is every where, in all places, at all times, wherever two or three are gathered together in his name. John 16:7” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “See here the office of the Spirit, first to reprove, or to convince. Convincing work is the Spirit’s work; he can do it effectually, and none but he. It is the method the Holy Spirit takes, first to convince, and then to comfort. The Spirit shall convince the world, of sin; not merely tell them of it. John 16:7” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “It behooves every one to ask, whether the Holy Spirit has begun a good work in his heart? Without clear discovery of our guilt and danger, we never shall understand the value of Christ’s salvation; but when brought to know ourselves aright, we begin to see the value of the Redeemer. We should have fuller views of the Redeemer, and more lively affection to him, if we more prayed for, and depended on the Holy Spirit. John 16:7” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Your Sorrow Will Turn into Joy): “‘A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.’ So some of his disciples said to one another, ‘What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’ and, ‘because I am going to the Father”” (16:16-17)
A. INFERENCE: “So they were saying, ‘What does he mean by a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.’ Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him , so he said to them, ‘Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’?” (16:18-19)
1. FINDINGS: “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy.” (16:20)
2. CRITERIA: “When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” (16:21-22)
3. CONDITION: “In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.” (16:23)
4. CAUSE: “Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” (16:24)
5. EFFECT: “Our Lord had hitherto spoken in short and weighty sentences, or in parables, the import of which the disciples did not fully understand, but after his resurrection he intended plainly to teach them such things as related to the Father and the way to him, through his intercession. John 16:23” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Pray for the Helper.

III. KEY TEXT (I Have Overcome the World): “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father.” (16:25)
A. INFERENCE: “In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have love me and have believed that I came from God.” (16:26-27)
1. FINDINGS: “I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” (16:28)
2. CRITERIA: “His disciples said, ‘Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.'” (16:29-30)
3. CONDITION: “Jesus answered them, ‘Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me.” (16:31-32)
4. CAUSE: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (16:33)
5. EFFECT: “But in a little while, when the entire mystery of His will has been fulfilled, we shall see Him face to face, and He will speak to us plainly about the things that we do not now understand.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “We ought to be encouraged, because Christ has overcome the world before us. But while we think we stand, let us take heed lest we fall. We know not how we should act if brought into temptation; let us watch and pray without ceasing, that we may not be left to ourselves. John 16:28” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

John 17:1, I. The High Priestly Prayer

I. KEY TEXT (The High Priestly Prayer): “When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.” (17:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus whom you have sent. I glorify you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with glory that I had with you before the world existed.” (17:3-5)
1. FINDINGS: “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you.” (17:6-7)
2. CRITERIA: “For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.” (17:8-9)
3. CONDITION: “All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.” (17:10-11)
4. CAUSE: “While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that Scriptures might be fulfilled.” (17:12)
5. EFFECT: “But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, ,so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.” (17:13-26)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Amen.

Week #137; Wed, Aug 12: John 18–Acts 2

Week #137; Wed, Aug 12: John 18:1–Acts 2:47

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:

John 18:1, I. Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus; II. Jesus Faces Annas and Caiaphas; III. Peter Denys Jesus; IV. The High Priest Questions Jesus; V. Peter Denies Jesus Again; VI. Jesus Before Pilate; VII. My Kingdom Is Not of This World

I. KEY TEXT (Betrayal and Arrest of Jesus): “When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Kidron Valley, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons.” (18:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, ‘Whom do you seek?’ They answered him, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.'” (18:4-5)
1. FINDINGS: “When Jesus said to them, ‘I am he,’ They drew back and fell to the ground. So he asked them again, ‘Whom do you seek?’ And they said, ‘Jesus of Nazareth.’ Jesus answered, ‘I told you that I am he. So if you seek me, let these men go.’” (18:6-8)
2. CRITERIA: “This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: ‘Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.’” (18:9)
3. CONDITION: “Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.)” (18:10)
4. CAUSE: “So Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?’” (18:10-11)
5. EFFECT: “The presence of this band of Roman soldiers with the Jewish police gives very great force and impressiveness to this scene of Israel’s degradation and of the world’s assault upon the Divine Savior.” (The Pulpit Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Jesus could not allow himself to be delivered from the predicted death and His Father’s larger plan to restore His perfect kingdom. He was ready to be taken. We need to be ready to be taken too; follow Jesus.

II. KEY TEXT (Jesus Faces Annas and Caiaphas): “So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.” (18:12-14)
A. INFERENCE: “Though Annas’ son-in-law, Caiaphas, was the actual high priest at this time, Annas himself was far from inactive. In addition to Caiaphas, Annas had several sons who succeeded him in this office, giving this one family a monopoly on the high priesthood for over half a century. Luke is the only other writer who mentions Annas (Lk 3:2; Acts 4:6). Jewish sources label the regime of Annas as corrupt (The Wycliffe Bible Commentary)
1. FINDINGS: “When the people would have forced him to a crown, he withdrew, ch. 6:15, but when they came to force him to a cross, he offered himself; for he came into this world to suffer, and went to the other world to reign.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “He showed plainly what he could have done; when he struck them down he could have struck them dead, but he would not do so. It must have been the effect of Divine power, that the officers and soldiers let the disciples go away quietly, after the resistance which had been offered.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “From the example of our Savior we should learn how to receive our lighter afflictions, and to ask ourselves whether we ought to oppose our Father’s will, or to distrust his love.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Expediency for the Jews. They did not know that it was also expedient for the Father and His master plan to restore His perfect kingdom (God’s Strategic Plan).”
5. EFFECT: “This passage describes the first steps taken by the enemies of our Lord to conduct the examination which was to issue in a judicial murder, and therefore to provide the basis on which the charge might be laid before Pilate and that Roman court, which alone could carry into execution the malicious conclusion on which they had already resolved.” (The Pulpit Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Understand the greater Father’s Master Plan and trust Jesus to get through temporary trials.

III. KEY TEXT (Peter Denys Jesus): “Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple (likely John). Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the court of the high priest, but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in.” (18:15-16)
A. INFERENCE: “The servant girl at the door said to Peter, ‘You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you? He said, ‘I am not.’ Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.” (18:17-18)
1. FINDINGS: “The word known is found again in Lk 2:44; 23:49. This connection, to be traced, very likely, through his mother and her family, enabled John to secure admission for Peter to the inner court.” (The Wycliffe Bible Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “Christ, being made a sin-offering for us, to free us from those bonds, himself submitted to be bound for us. To his bonds we owe our liberty; thus the Son makes us free.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Peter found himself with the captors of Jesus, warming himself by a fire in the courtyard.” (The Wycliffe Bible Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The naturalness of these small details is not unworthy of notice. This other disciple first made good his own entrance on the score of acquaintance with the high priest; this secured, he goes forth again, now as a privileged person, to make interest for Peter’s admission.” (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary)
5. EFFECT: ““He denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest” (Mat_26:70) – a common form of point blank denial; “I know [supply ‘Him’] not, neither understand I what thou sayest” (Mar_14:68); “Woman, I know Him not” (Luk_22:57). This was THE FIRST DENIAL. “And he went out into the porch [thinking, perhaps, to steal away], and the cock crew,” (Mar_14:68).” (Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Don’t let the cock crow; don’t make unachievable promises.

IV. KEY TEXT (The High Priest Questions Jesus): “The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered him, ‘I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret.” (18:19-20)
A. INFERENCE: “Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.’” (18:21)
1. FINDINGS: “When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, ‘Is that how you answer the high priest?’ Jesus answered him, ‘If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?’” (18:22-23)
2. CRITERIA: “They said nothing concerning the miracles of Jesus, by which he had done so much good, and which proved his doctrine. Thus the enemies of Christ, whilst they quarrel with his truth, willfully shut their eyes against it.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.” (18:24)
4. CAUSE: “Now that he is their prisoner they have nothing to lay to his charge. Against all reason and justice, he is called on to be his own accuser.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “It was unjust to put one to death who had done so much good, therefore the Jews were willing to save themselves from reproach. Many fear the scandal of an ill thing, more than the sin of it.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Speak openly to the world about Jesus.

V. KEY TEXT (Peter Denies Jesus Again): “Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, ‘You also are not one of his disciples, are you?’ He denied it and said, ‘I am not.’” (18:25)
A. INFERENCE: “One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, ‘Did I not see you in the garden with him?” (18:26)
1. FINDINGS: “Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.” (18:27)
2. CRITERIA: “Here he was attacked by one of the servants, who was kinsman to Malchus, who exposed his lie with great assurance.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “This servant saw him with Jesus.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “Of the sin of lying in particular; it is a fruitful sin; one lie needs another to support it, and that another.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “The crowing of the rooster to others was an accidental thing, and had no significance, but to Peter it was the voice of God.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Do not lie.

VI. KEY TEXT (Jesus Before Pilate): “Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover.” (18:28-29)
A. INFERENCE: “So what accusation do you bring against this man?’ They answered him, ‘If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.’” (18:30)
1. FINDINGS: “Pilate said to them, ‘Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.’” (18:31)
2. CRITERIA: “The Jews said to him, ‘It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.’” (18:31)
3. CONDITION: “This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die.” (18:32)
4. CAUSE: “They hurried him, to get him condemned in the Roman court, and executed by the Roman power.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “There would be little danger of an uproar of the people.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Trust Scripture; time will unfold accordingly.

VII. KEY TEXT (My Kingdom Is Not of This World): “So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus answered, ‘Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?’” (18:33-34)
A. INFERENCE: “Pilate answered, ‘Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?’” (18:35)
1. FINDINGS: “Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.’” (18:36)
2. CRITERIA: “Then Pilate said to him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world–to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.’” (18:37)
3. CONDITION: “Pilate said to him, ‘What is the truth?” (18:38)
4. CAUSE: “After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, ‘I find no guilt in him. But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?’” (18:38-39)
5. EFFECT: “They cried out again, ‘Not this man, but Barabbas!’ Now Barabbas was a robber.” (18:40)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Seek justice.

John 19:1, I. Jesus Delivered to Be Crucified; II. The Crucifixion; III. The Death of Jesus; IV. Jesus’ Side is Pierced; V. Jesus Is Buried

I. KEY TEXT (Jesus Delivered to Be Crucified): “Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him saying, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ and struck him with their hands.” (19:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “Pilate went out again and said to them, ‘See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.’ So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, ‘Behold the man!” (19:4-5)
1. FINDINGS: “When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, ‘Crucify him, crucify him!’ Pilot said to them, ‘Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.’ The Jews answered him, ‘We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.’” (19:6-7)
2. CRITERIA: “When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, ‘Where are you from?’ But Jesus gave him no answer. So Pilate said to him, ‘You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?’” (19:8-10)
3. CONDITION: “Jesus answered him, ‘You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.’” (19:11)
4. CAUSE: “From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, ‘If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.’” (19:12)
5. EFFECT: “So when Pilate herd these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, ‘Behold your King! They cried out, ‘Away with him, away with him, crucify him!’ Pilate said to them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar.’ So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.” (19:13-16)
6. RECOMMENDATION: God has a master plan that cannot be denied.

II. KEY TEXT (The Crucifixion): “So they took Jesus, and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. ‘There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them. Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, ‘Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.’ Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek.” (19:17-20)
A. INFERENCE: “So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, ‘Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’” (19:21)
1. FINDINGS: “Pilot answered, ‘What I have written I have written.’” (19:22)
2. CRITERIA: “When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his garments and divided them into four parts, one part for each soldier; also his tunic. But the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom, so they said to one another, ‘Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it shall be.’ This was to fulfill the Scripture which says, ‘They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.’” (19:23-24)
3. CONDITION: “So the soldiers did these things, but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son!’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.” (19:25-27)
4. CAUSE: “The title set up above his head had much more meaning than that for the day.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “This is Jesus a Savior, dying for the good of his people, as Caiaphas had foretold.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Regardless, Christ is proclaimed king in three languages.

III. KEY TEXT (The Death of Jesus): “After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), ‘I thirst.’ A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished,’ and he bowed his head and gave up the spirit.” (19:28-30)
A. INFERENCE: “The scripture had foretold his thirst, and therefore he himself related it, because it could not otherwise be known.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
1. FINDINGS: “Little respect was shown by his persecutors by giving vinegar in lieu of water.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
2. CRITERIA: “’It is finished,’ are words of triumph and exultation.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “Ceremonial law is abolished; sin is finished, and an end made of transgression; his redemption and salvation is now completed.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “His life was not forcibly extorted from him, but given up freely.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “A fatal blow was given to the power of Satan, a fountain of grace opened that shall ever flow.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Count on grace for full pardon of sin through Jesus Christ.

IV. KEY TEXT (Jesus’ Side Is Pierced): “Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away.” (19:31)
A. INFERENCE: “So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. (19:32-34)
1. FINDINGS: “He who saw it has borne witness–his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth–that you also may believe.” (19:35)
2. CRITERIA: “For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: ‘Not one of his bones will be broken.’ And again another Scripture says, ‘They will look on him whom they have pierced.’” (19:36-37)
3. CONDITION: “Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken, and that then they might be buried out of sight.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “Their consciences was not pricked by bringing an innocent and excellent person to the cross, and yet they had scruples about letting a dead body hang on the cross.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “The accomplishment of Scripture.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Our two great ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s supper are brought to mind by the water and the blood that came from Jesus’ side.

V. KEY TEXT (Jesus Is Buried): “After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body.” (19:38)
A. INFERENCE: “Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight. So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews.” (19:39-40)
1. FINDINGS: “Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.” (19:41-42)
2. CRITERIA: “Christ was buried in a garden. It was outside the city near where he was crucified.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “They would not put off the funeral until the Sabbath day, because the Sabbath is to be a day of holy rest and joy.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “Thus without pomp or ceremony is the body of Jesus laid in the cold and silent grave.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “Here lies death itself slain, and the grave conquered.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory. (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

John 20:1, I. The Resurrection; II. Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene; III. Jesus Appears to the Disciples; IV. Jesus and Thomas; V. The Purpose of This Book

I. KEY TEXT (The Resurrection): “Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.’” (20:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.” (20:3-4)
1. FINDINGS: “And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes.” (20:5-10)
2. CRITERIA: “There was no one thing of which the apostles were more concerned to produce substantial proof than the resurrection of their Master.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “But the demonstrations of his resurrection should be reserved as a favor for his particular friends, and by them be proclaimed to the world, that those might be blessed who have not seen, and yet have believed.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “Proof of Christ’s resurrection: an angel at the empty tomb, the stone was rolled away, Peter and John find an empty tomb,” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “Because Peter and John were at a loss and seeing no angel, they went home.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Move on faith.

II. KEY TEXT (Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene): “But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet.” (20:11-12)
A. INFERENCE: “They said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’” (20:13)
1. FINDINGS: “Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking? Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, ‘Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ She turned and said to him in Aramaic, ‘Rabboni!’ (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, ‘I have seen the Lord’–and that he had said these things to her.” (20:14-18)
2. CRITERIA: “Mary saw two angels in the tomb dressed in white, seated one at the head, and the other at the feet, of the grave.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “The two angels were there to bear witness.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “Glorified saints, when they come to be as the angels, shall walk with Christ in white.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “These angelic guards, keeping possession of the tomb, when they had frightened away the guards, represents Christ’s victory over the powers of darkness.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: These two angels remind us of the two cherubim, placed one at either end of the mercy-seat, looking one at another. They direct us to the way of life. (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

III. KEY TEXT (Jesus Appears to the Disciples): “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.” (20:19-20)
A. INFERENCE: “Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.’” (20:21)
1. FINDINGS: “And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.’” (20:22-23)
2. CRITERIA: “The infallible proof of Christ’s resurrection was his showing himself alive.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “Eyewitnesses that he is alive.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “Christ was now sending the disciples to proclaim peace to the world, and he here not only confers it on them but commits it to them as a trust to be by them transmitted.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “He appointed them to go on with his work on earth. He sent them authorized with a divine warrant, armed with a diving power. Thus they were called apostles–men sent.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Go on where he left off.

IV. KEY TEXT (Jesus and Thomas): “Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.’” (20:24-25)
A. INFERENCE: “Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’” (20:26)
1. FINDINGS: “Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’” (20:27-29)
2. CRITERIA: “The disciples of Christ should endeavor to build up one another in their most holy faith, both by repeating what they have heard to those who were absent, and also by communicating what they have experienced.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “He deferred another visit by seven days that he might rebuke Thomas for his incredulity.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “That he might honor the first day of the week, and give a plain intimation of his will, that it should be observed in his church as the Christian Sabbath.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “From that time the religious observance of that day has been transmitted down to us through every age of the church.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: We should show the tender care Jesus had for Thomas.

V. KEY TEXT (The Purpose of This Book): “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (20:30-31)
A. INFERENCE: “John assures us that although many other things occurred, the things in this book are recorded that we may believe on the basis of these evidences; that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
1. FINDINGS: “The purpose of those who wrote the gospel without any view of temporal benefit to themselves or others, is to bring men to Christ and heaven, and to persuade men to believe.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
2. CRITERIA: “The purpose of those who read and hear the gospel is to believe, to embrace, the doctrine of Christ.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “To believe that Jesus is Christ, the Son of God.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “He is the Son of God, endued with the power of God and entitled to the glory of God.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “What the great gospel blessedness is which we are to hope for–That by believing we may have life through his name.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Life through Christ’s name is what we must propose to ourselves as the fulness of our joy.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

John 21:1, I. Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples; II. Jesus and Peter; III. Jesus and the Beloved Apostle

I. KEY TEXT (Jesus Appears to Seven Disciples): “After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias (Galilee), and he revealed himself in this way.” (21:1)
A. INFERENCE: “Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They said to him, ‘We will go with you.’ They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.” (21:2-3)
1. FINDINGS: “Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, ‘Children, do you have any fish? They answered him, ‘No.’ He said to them, ‘Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’ So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish.” (21:4-6)
2. CRITERIA: “That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.” (21:7-8)
3. CONDITION: “When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.’ So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish. 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ Now none of the disciples dared ask him, ‘Who are you?’ They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.” (21:9-14)
4. CAUSE: “Christ has many ways of making himself known to his people; sometimes by his Spirit he visits them when they are employed in common business.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “While only seven of the twelve saw Jesus at this event, he visited them while they were fishing, to redeem time as a business endeavor.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Speak as Jesus spoke, with the care and tenderness of a father.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

II. KEY TEXT (Jesus and Peter): “When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these? He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ He said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’” (21:15)
A. INFERENCE: “He said to him a second time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me? He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you’ He said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’” (21:16)
1. FINDINGS: “He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, ‘Do you love me? and he said to him, ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my sheep.’” (21:17)
2. CRITERIA: “Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.’” (21:18)
3. CONDITION: “(This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.)” (21:19)
4. CAUSE: “And after saying this he said to him, ‘Follow me.’” (21:19)
5. EFFECT: “His command to them was to bring their catch ashore.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Follow Him; be obedient to his command, bring our catch to him too (i.e., ‘Feed my sheep.’).

III. KEY TEXT (Jesus and the Beloved Apostle): “Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him and had said, ‘Lord, who is it that is going to betray you? When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, ‘Lord, what about this man?’ Jesus said to him, ‘If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!” (21:20-22)
A. INFERENCE: “Peter turned and saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following them, the one who had been reclining at table close to him and had said, ‘Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?” (21:23)
1. FINDINGS: “This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.” (21:24)
2. CRITERIA: “Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” (21:25)
3. CONDITION: “This is the disciple who testifies about these things to the present age, and wrote these things for the benefit of posterity.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “Those who wrote the history of Christ wrote with their own knowledge.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “The penman of this history was a disciple, one who had leaned on Chris’s breast, who had himself heard his sermons, had seen his miracles, and the proofs of his resurrection.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “We know that his testimony is true.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

Acts 1:1, I. The Promise of the Holy Spirit; II. The Ascension; III. Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas

I. KEY TEXT (The Promise of the Holy Spirit): “In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles, whom he had chosen. He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.” (1:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, ‘you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’” (1:4-5)
1. FINDINGS: “Jesus gave his apostles instructions through the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
2. CRITERIA: “He spoke about the kingdom of God. He had given them a general idea of that kingdom, but here he instructed them more in the nature of it, as a kingdom of grace in this world and of glory in the other, to prepare them to receive the Holy spirit, and to go through that which they were intended for.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “The disciples, to whom he gave many convincing proofs that he was alive, knew that it was he, not only by what he showed them, but by what he said to them. None but he could speak thus clearly, thus fully, about the kingdom of God.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “Now this gift of the Holy Spirit he speaks of was given by promise of the Father. The Spirit of God is not given as the spirit of men is given us, but by the word of God. That the gift may be the more valuable. That it may be the more sure. That is may be of grace, and may be received by faith.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “This speaks of that particular power which the first preachers of the gospel were endured with.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “By virtue of this promise we receive the New Testament as of divine inspiration.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

II. KEY TEXT (The Ascension): “So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’” (1:6)
A. INFERENCE: “He said to them, ‘It is not for your to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.’” (1:7)
1. FINDINGS: “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.” (1:8-9)
2. CRITERIA: “And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, ‘Men of Galilee why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’” (1:10-11)
3. CONDITION: “They thought Christ would restore the kingdom to Israel, whereas Christ came to set up his own kingdom, and that a kingdom of heaven, not to restore the kingdom to Israel, and earthly kingdom.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “They were inquisitive into that which their Master had never encouraged them to enquire into. They were impatient for the setting up of that kingdom in which they promised themselves so great a share.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “That mistake would soon be rectified by the pouring out of the Spirit, after which they never had any more thoughts of the temporal kingdom.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Do not have an inordinate desire for forbidden knowledge.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

III. KEY TEXT (Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas): “Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.” (1:12-14)
A. INFERENCE: “In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) and said, ‘Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. (Now this man acquired a field with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong he burst open in the middle and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the field was called in their own language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.) ‘For it is written in the Book of Psalms, ‘May his camp become desolate, and let there be no one to dwell in it’; and ‘Let another take his office.’” (1:15-20)
1. FINDINGS: “So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us–one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection.’ And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also called Justus and Matthias. And they prayed and said, You, Lord, who know the hearts of all , show which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.’” (1:21-25)
2. CRITERIA: “And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” (1:26)
3. CONDITION: “The sin of Judas made a vacancy in the group of the apostles.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “If they were but eleven, it would occasion everyone to enquire what had become of the twelfth; therefore care was taken up to fill up the vacancy.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “Per David’s foretelling, Scripture is fulfilled.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Know that Christ’s cause shall never be lost for lack of witnesses.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

Acts 2:1, I. The Coming of the Holy Spirit; II. Peter’s Sermon at Pentecost; III. The Fellowship of Believers

I. KEY TEXT (The Coming of the Holy Spirit): “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (2:1-4)
A. INFERENCE: “Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language.” (2:5-6)
1. FINDINGS: “And they were amazed and astonished, saying, ‘Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabians–we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God.’ And all were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others mocking said, They are filled with new wine.’” (2:7-13)
2. CRITERIA: “The day of Pentecost.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “There was a solemn feast, because there was then a great concourse of people to Jerusalem from all parts, which would make the fame of it to be spread the sooner and further.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “This Feast of Pentecost was kept in remembrance of the giving of the law on Mount Sinai.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “Fitly, therefore, is the Holy Spirit given at that Feast, in fire and in tongues, for the promulgation of the evangelical law, not as that to one nation, but to every creature.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Be of one accord in one place–the church.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

II. KEY TEXT (Peter’s Sermon at Pentecost): “But Peter, standing with the eleven, lifted up his voice and addressed them: ‘Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. And I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke; the sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the day of the Lord comes, the great and magnificent day. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’” (2:14-21)
A. INFERENCE: “Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in you midst, as you yourselves know–this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it. For David says concerning him, ‘I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption. You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’” (2:22-28)
1. FINDINGS: “Brothers, I may say to you with confidence about the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Being therefore a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would set one of his descendants on his throne, he foresaw and spoke about the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having receiving from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.’” (2:29-35)
2. CRITERIA: “’Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.’” (2:36)
3. CONDITION: “Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Brothers, what shall we do?’ ” (2:37)
4. CAUSE: “And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.’” (2:38-39)
5. EFFECT: “And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this crooked generation.’ So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.” (2:40-41)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Repent.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume and “Theo-metrics, a 3-D graphic view”)

III. KEY TEXT (The Fellowship of Believers): “And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common.” (2:42-44)
A. INFERENCE: “And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.” (2:43-45)
1. FINDINGS: “And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saves.” (2:46-47)
2. CRITERIA: “We have the history of the truly simple church, its state of infancy indeed, but, like that, the state of its greatest innocence.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “They kept close to holy ordinances and they were diligent and constant in their attendance on the preaching of the word. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching. They kept up the communion of saints and fellowship, the Lord’s supper, prayer, thanksgiving, loving toward each other, and raised funds for charity.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “The Lord added to the church daily.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “The Lord gave them the power to work miracles.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Endeavour to do the same with reverent preaching and living.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

Week #138; Wed, Aug 19: Acts 3–8

Week #138; Wed, Aug 19: Acts 3:1–8:40

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:

Acts 3:1, I. The Lame Beggar Healed; II. Peter Speaks in Solomon’s Portico

I. KEY TEXT (The Lame Beggar Healed): “Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. And a man lame from birth was being carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple that is called the Beautiful Gate to ask alms of those entering the temple.” (3:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “Seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked to receive alms.” (3:3)
1. FINDINGS: “And Peter directed his gaze at him, as did John, and said, ‘Look at us.’ And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, ‘I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!’ And he took him by the right hand and raised him up, and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.” (3:4-8)
2. CRITERIA: “And all the people saw him walking and praising God, and recognized him as the one who sat at the Beautiful Gate of the temple, asking for alms. And they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.” (3:9-10)
3. CONDITION: “Let us so move among men as to lead them to expect that we have something to give, and then give them Jesus. The lame man needed strength, and this is the divine gift of the gospel.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “It is the power of God unto salvation.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The Savior makes us able to walk and leap in God’s ways.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Share the gifts of the gospel.

II. KEY TEXT (Peter Speaks in Solomon’s Portico): “While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s.” (3:11)
A. INFERENCE: “And when Peter saw it he addressed the people: ‘Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him.” (3:12-13)
1. FINDINGS: “But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses.” (3:14-15)
2. CRITERIA: “And his name–by faith in his name–has made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.” (3:16)
3. CONDITION: “And now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But what God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all the things about which God spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets long ago.” (3:17-21)
4. CAUSE: “Moses said, ‘The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people.’ And all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and those who came after him, also proclaimed these days.” (3:22-24)
5. EFFECT: “You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant that God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your offspring shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness.” (3:25-26)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Turn from any and all wickedness.

Acts 4:1, I. Peter and John Before the Council; II. The Believers Pray for Boldness; III. They Had Everything in Common

I. KEY TEXT (Peter and John Before the Council): “And as they were speaking to the people, the priests and the captain of the temple and the Sadducees came upon them, greatly annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening.” (4:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “But many of those who had heard the word believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.” (4:4)
1. FINDINGS: “On the next day their rulers and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, with Annas the high priest and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of the high priestly family. And when they had set them in the midst, they inquired, ‘By what power or by what name did you do this?’” (4:5-7)
2. CRITERIA: “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers of the people and elders, if we are being examined today concerning a good deed done to a crippled man, by what means this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead–by him this man is standing before you well. This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.’” (4:8-12)
3. CONDITION: “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.” (4:13)
4. CAUSE: “But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition. But when they had commanded them to leave the council, the conferred with one another, saying, ‘What shall we do with these men? For that a notable sign has been performed through them is evident to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it. But in order that it may spread no further among the people, let us warn them to speak no more to anyone in this name.’” (4:14-17)
5. EFFECT: “So they called them and charged them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered them, ‘Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard. And when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way to punish them, because of the people, for all were praising God for what had happened. For the man on whom this sign of healing was performed was more than forty years old.” (4:18-22)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “None will enjoy peace of mind, nor act uprightly, till they have learned to guide their conduct by the fixed standard of truth, and not by the shifting opinions and fancies of men. Especially beware of a vain attempt to serve two masters, God and the world; the end will be, you can serve neither fully. Acts 4:15” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (The Believers Pray for Boldness): “When they were released, they went to their friends and reported what the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, ‘Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them, who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit, ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers were gathered together, against the Lord and against his Anointed’–for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.” (4:23-28)
A. INFERENCE: “And now, ‘Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.’” (4:29-30)
1. FINDINGS: “And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” (4:31)
2. CRITERIA: “God gave a sign of acceptance of their prayers. The place was shaken, that their faith might be established and unshaken. God gave them greater degrees of his Spirit; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, more than ever; by which they were not only encouraged, but enabled to speak the word of God with boldness. When they find the Lord God help them by his Spirit, they know they shall not be confounded, Isaiah 1:7. Acts 4:23” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “What a note of jubilant triumph was in that glorious prayer, offered by this threatened little band! They realized that they were under the special protection of God, who had made the world, had spoken by the prophets, and was the Father of Jesus.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “They thought that more miracles of healing would promote their cause; but, though they did not realize it at the time, their unity, love, hope, willingness to share their goods, coupled with their intrepid bearing, were their most potent arguments. Notice that in their consciousness, it was God’s hand that was being stretched out to heal, though their hands were the immediate channel of its beneficent operations. They had been filled before, but they were filled again. It is our privilege to claim repeated infillings to make good our leakage and evaporation.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The disciples loved one another. This was the blessed fruit of Christ’s dying precept to his disciples, and his dying prayer for them. Thus it was then, and it will be so again, when the Spirit shall be poured upon us from on high. The doctrine preached was the resurrection of Christ; a matter of fact, which being duly explained, was a summary of all the duties, privileges, and comforts of Christians. Acts 4:32” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “One of the outstanding characteristics of this Spirit-filled church was unity, a sense of oneness that manifested itself in the sharing of material resources. To meet the needs of poor Christians, the more wealthy believers sold their lands or houses and brought the money to be used for the common welfare.” (The Wycliff Bible Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (They Had Everything in Common): “Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.” (4:32-33)
A. INFERENCE: “There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.” (4:34-35)
1. FINDINGS: “Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.” (4:36-37)
2. CRITERIA: “The Spirit of God is the source of generous and liberal giving. It is a poor substitute to set up bazaars, and fairs, and ice cream suppers. When the Church is filled with the Holy Spirit, her pockets will be easily emptied before His gracious, thawing presence. Let the sun arise in the heavens, and the frozen streams are instantly liberated and begin to sing on their way to transform wildernesses into gardens.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “There were evident fruits of Christ’s grace in all they said and did. They were dead to this world. This was a great evidence of the grace of God in them. They did not take away others’ property, but they were indifferent to it. They did not call it their own; because they had, in affection, forsaken all for Christ, and were expecting to be stripped of all for cleaving to him. No marvel that they were of one heart and soul, when they sat so loose to the wealth of this world. Acts 4:32” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “In effect, they had all things common; for there was not any among them who lacked, care was taken for their supply. The money was laid at the apostles’ feet. Great care ought to be taken in the distribution of public charity, that it be given to such as have need, such as are not able to procure a maintenance for themselves; those who are reduced to want for well-doing, and for the testimony of a good conscience, ought to be provided for. Acts 4:32” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Here is one in particular mentioned, remarkable for this generous charity; it was Barnabas. As one designed to be a preacher of the gospel, he disentangled himself from the affairs of this life. When such dispositions prevail, and are exercised according to the circumstances of the times, the testimony will have very great power upon others. Acts 4:32” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Untangle from the world.

Acts 5:1, I. Ananias and Sapphira; II. Many Signs and Wonders Done; III. The Apostles Arrested and Freed

I. KEY TEXT (Ananias and Sapphira): “But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet.” (5:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “But Peter said, ‘Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.’” (5:3-4)
1. FINDINGS: “When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him. After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter said to her, ‘Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.’ And she said, ‘Yes, for so much.’ But Peter said to her, ‘How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.’ Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.” (5:5-11)
2. CRITERIA: “The falsehood was an attempt to deceive the Spirit of truth, who so manifestly spoke and acted by the apostles. The crime of Ananias was not his retaining part of the price of the land; he might have kept it all, had he pleased; but his endeavoring to impose upon the apostles with an awful lie, from a desire to make a vain show, joined with covetousness. But if we think to put a cheat upon God, we shall put a fatal cheat upon our own souls.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “The sin of Ananias and Sapphira was, that they were ambitious of being thought eminent disciples, when they were not true disciples. Hypocrites may deny themselves, may forego their worldly advantage in one instance, with a prospect of finding their account in something else.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “They were covetous of the wealth of the world, and distrustful of God and his providence. They thought they might serve both God and mammon. They thought to deceive the apostles.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “And great fear came upon all the church at the commencement of a new career. (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Do not covet.

II. KEY TEXT (Many Signs and Wonders Done): “Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them.” (5:12-15)
A. INFERENCE: “The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.” (5:16)
1. FINDINGS: “Whatever tends to the purity and reputation of the church, promotes its enlargement; but that power alone which wrought such miracles by the apostles, can rescue sinners from the power of sin and Satan, and add believers to His worshippers. Christ will work by all his faithful servants; and every one who applies to him shall be healed.” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
2. CRITERIA: “While the Holy Spirit works mightily within the Church, He co-operates with it in its outward operations by adding men and women to the Lord. None should be added to the Church roll who have not already been led into living union with Jesus. Through the Church, as His body, the risen Savior works such miracles as are here narrated, filling the hearts of the humble with love and joy, and exciting inveterate hatred in His foes.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Now the predicted greatness of Peter (Mt 16:18), as the directing spirit of the early Church, was at its height. (Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Two things are here remarkable. The one that Christianity at its beginnings was mightily helped and advanced by miracles done in the Name of Jesus Christ. The other that the authority of the apostles as the rulers of the Church was greatly strengthened by these miracles being wrought exclusively by their hands. We cannot understand either the external relations of the Church to the world, or the internal relations of the people to their spiritual rulers, unless we duly take count of these two things.” (The Pulpit Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “One great result of these numerous miracles would be to manifest that the Lord Jesus was still with his Church as truly as when he was upon the earth (Mat_28:20), and this manifestation remains for the comfort of his people.” (The Pulpit Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Believe in miracles.

III. KEY TEXT (The Apostles Arrested and Freed): “But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, ‘Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.’ And when they heard this, they entered the temple at daybreak and began to teach.” (5:17-21)
A. INFERENCE: “Now when the high priest came, and those who were with him, they called together the council and all the senate of the people of Israel and sent to the prison to have them brought.” (5:21)
1. FINDINGS: “But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, ‘We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them we found no one inside.’ Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them, wondering what this would come to. And someone came and told them, ‘Look! The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people.” (5:21-26)
2. CRITERIA: “And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, ‘We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.’” (5:27-28)
3. CONDITION: “But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.’” (5:29-32)
4. CAUSE: “When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them. But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in honor by all the people, stood up and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while.” (5:33-34)
5. EFFECT: “And he said to them, ‘Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men. For before these days Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. After him Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him. He too perished, and all who followed him were scattered. So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God! So they took his advice, and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.” (5:35-42)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Teach and preach Jesus as the Christ.

Acts 6:1, I. Seven Chosen to Serve; II. Stephen Is Seized

I. KEY TEXT (Seven Chosen to Serve): “Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.” (6:1)
A. INFERENCE: “And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, ‘It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.’” (6:2-4)
1. FINDINGS: “And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them. And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.” (6:5-7)
2. CRITERIA: “The Grecians here mentioned were Jews who had lived abroad and spoke Greek. There were as yet no Gentiles in the Church. It was regarded as an annex to Judaism, and people had to become Jews before they were admitted to its privileges.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “What a glimpse is here afforded of the simplicity and fervor of the primitive Church! The daily ministration of relief; the choice of godly men to attend to secular details; the prime importance of prayer and the ministry of the Word; the recognition by the Apostles of the rights of the people-all is so spiritual and so worthy of the era of the Holy Spirit. Alas, that so fair a dawn should ever have been overcast!” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “The Church must dedicate to God those whom she has chosen under the guidance of His Spirit. Stephen on the one hand, and Saul on the other, were the leaders of their respective parties. We see traces of the latter in the references to them of Cilicia, Act_6:9. Stephen’s enemies prevailed over him by brute force, but he was conqueror through the blood of the Lamb and the word of his testimony.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “The opposition that the preaching of the gospel met with contributed to the success of it.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “In the best-ordered church in the world there will be something amiss, some grievances, or at least some complaints; those are the best that have the least and the fewest.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

II. KEY TEXT (Stephen Is Seized): “And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen.” (6:8-9)
A. INFERENCE: “But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. Then they secretly instigated men who said, ‘We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God’” (6:10-11)
1. FINDINGS: “And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council. and they set up false witnesses who said, ‘This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law, for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us.’” (6:12-14)
2. CRITERIA: “And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.” (6:15)
3. CONDITION: “Wisdom and holiness make a man’s face shine, and yet these will not secure men from the greatest indignities.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “He is charged with blaspheming this holy place. Christ was condemned as a blasphemer for words which were thought to reflect on the temple, even when they by their wickedness had profaned it.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “He is charged with blaspheming the law.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Shine with the light of Jesus.

Acts 7:1, I. Stephen’s Speech; II. The Stoning of Stephen

I. KEY TEXT (Stephen’s Speech): “And the high priest said, ‘Are these things so?’” (7:1)
A. INFERENCE: “And Stephen said: ‘Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran, and said to him, ‘Go out from your land and from your kindred and go into the land that I will show you.’ Then he went out from the land of the Chaldeans and lived in Haran. And after his father died, God removed him from there into this land in which you are now living. Yet he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot’s length, but promised to give it to him as a possession and to his offspring after him, though he had no child. And God spoke to this effect–that his offspring would be sojourners in a land belonging to others, who would enslave them and afflict them four hundred years. But I will judge the nation that they serve,’ said God, and after that they shall come out and worship me in this place. And he gave him the covenant of circumcision. And so Abraham became the father of Isaac, and circumcised him on the eighth day, and Isaac became the father of Jacob, and Jacob of the twelve patriarchs. And the patriarchs, jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt; but God was with him and rescued him out of all his afflictions and gave him favor and wisdom before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, who made him ruler over Egypt and over all his household. Now there came a famine throughout all Egypt and Canaan, and great affliction, and our fathers could find no food. But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers on their first visit. And on the second visit Joseph made himself known to his brothers, and Joseph’s family became known to Pharaoh. And Joseph sent and summoned Jacob his father and all his kindred, seventy-five persons in all. And Jacob went down into Egypt, and he died, he and our fathers, and they were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham had bought for a sum of silver from the sons of Hamor in Shechem. But as the time of the promise drew near, which God had granted to Abraham, the people increased and multiplied in Egypt until there arose over Egypt another king who did not know Joseph. He dealt shrewdly with our race and forced our fathers to expose their infants, so that they would not be kept alive. At this time Moses was born; and he was beautiful in God’s sight. And he was brought up for three months in his father’s house, and when he was exposed, Pharaoh’s daughter adopted him and brought him up as her own son. And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and he was mighty in his words and deeds. When he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brothers, the children of Israel. And seeing one of them being wronged, he defended the oppressed man and avenged him by striking down the Egyptian. He supposed that his brothers would understand that God was giving them salvation by his hand, but they did not understand. And on the following day he appeared to them as they were quarreling and tried to reconcile them, saying, ‘Men, you are brothers. Why do you wrong each other?’ But the man who was wronging his neighbor thrust him aside, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge over us? Do you want to kill me as you killed the Egyptian yesterday?’ At this retort Moses fled and became an exile in the land of Midian, where he became the father of two sons. ‘Now when forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in a flame of fire in a bush. When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight, and as he drew near to look, there came the voice of the Lord: ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob.’ And Moses trembled and did not dare to look. Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off the sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy ground. I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send you to Egypt. This Moses, whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’–this man God sent as both ruler and redeemer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush. This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in Egypt and at the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years. This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers.’ This is the one who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. He received living oracles to give to us. Our fathers refused to obey him, but thrust him aside, and in their hearts they turned to Egypt, saying to Aaron, ‘Make for us gods who will go before us. As for this Moses who led us out from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ And they made a calf in those days, and offered a sacrifice to the idol and were rejoicing in the works of their hands. But God turned away and gave them over to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets: ‘Did you bring to me slain beasts and sacrifices, during the forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? You took up the tent of Moloch and the star of your god Rephan, the images that you made to worship; and I will send you into exile beyond Babylon.’ Our fathers had the tent of witness in the wilderness, just as he who spoke to Moses directed him to make it, according to the pattern he had seen. Our fathers in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our fathers. So it was until the days of David, who found favor in the sight of God and asked to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. But it was Solomon who built a house for him.” (7:2-47)
1. FINDINGS: “Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says, ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? Did not my hand make all these things?’ You stiff-necked people uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you, Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.’” (7:48-53)
2. CRITERIA: “Stephen was going on, it seems, to show that the temple and the temple service must come to an end, and it would be the glory of both to give way to the worship of the Father in spirit and in truth; but he perceived they would not bear it. Therefore he broke off, and by the Spirit of wisdom, courage, and power, sharply rebuked his persecutors. Acts 7:51” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “The gospel was offered now, not by angels, but from the Holy Ghost; yet they did not embrace it, for they were resolved not to comply with God, either in his law or in his gospel. Acts 7:51” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Their guilt stung them to the heart, and they sought relief in murdering their reprover, instead of sorrow and supplication for mercy. Acts 7:51” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “Words like these could not be forgiven. The growing irritation of the audience seems to have extorted those burning remonstrances, and to have hastened the final scene. But the storm that burst around Christ’s faithful confessor and first martyr could not disturb his serenity. His heart was fixed, trusting in God, Psa_108:1. The peace of God garrisoned his heart and mind. At the moment when his foes were fiercest, the presence of Jesus, who had risen from sitting to standing, in order to encourage and welcome him, was most vital.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Fix your heart on Jesus.

II. KEY TEXT (The Stoning of Stephen): “Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” (7:54-56)
A. INFERENCE: “But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul.” (7:57-58)
1. FINDINGS: “And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” (7:59-60)
2. CRITERIA: “Nothing is so comfortable to dying saints, or so encouraging to suffering saints, as to see Jesus at the right hand of God: blessed be God, by faith we may see him there. Acts 7:54” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Our Lord Jesus is God, to whom we are to seek, and in whom we are to trust and comfort ourselves, living and dying. And if this has been our care while we live, it will be our comfort when we die. Acts 7:54” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Though the sin was very great, yet if they would lay it to their hearts, God would not lay it to their charge. Stephen died as much in a hurry as ever any man did, yet, when he died, the words used are, he fell asleep; he applied himself to his dying work with as much composure as if he had been going to sleep. Acts 7:54” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “You will never know the completeness of Christ’s comradeship till you have weathered a storm in His company.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Keep continuous company with Jesus Christ.

Acts 8:1, I. Saul Ravages the Church; II. Philip Proclaims Christ in Samaria; III. Simon the Magician Believes; IV. Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch

I. KEY TEXT (Saul Ravages the Church): “And Saul approved of his execution.” (8:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles. Devout men buried Stephen and made great lamentation over him.” (8:2)
1. FINDINGS: “But Saul was ravaging the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.” (8:3)
2. CRITERIA: “Though persecution must not drive us from our work, yet it may send us to work elsewhere. Wherever the established believer is driven, he carries the knowledge of the gospel, and makes known the preciousness of Christ in every place. Acts 8:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Where a simple desire of doing good influences the heart, it will be found impossible to shut a man out from all opportunities of usefulness. Acts 8:1” (Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Evidently Stephen was beloved outside the precincts of the Church, for it would seem that the devout men who lamented his early death and carried his poor body to its burial were godly Jews who had been attracted by his earnest character.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “According to the subsequent statement of the arch-persecutor, the disciples of Jesus were dragged before the magistrate, thrust into prison, exposed to cruel torture, and compelled to blaspheme His holy Name. During those terrible days scenes were enacted which were destined to fill the heart of the future Apostle with most poignant sorrow.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Be with the devout.

II. KEY TEXT (Philip Proclaims Christ in Samaria): “Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ.” (8:4-6)
A. INFERENCE: “And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip when they heard him and saw the signs that he did.” (8:7)
1. FINDINGS: “For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was much joy in that city.” (8:8)
2. CRITERIA: “Wherever the gospel gains the admission and submission it ought to have, evil spirits are dislodged. This was signified by the casting of these unclean spirits out of the bodies of people, who came out with shrieks. They came out with great reluctance, but were forced to acknowledge themselves overcome by a superior power.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “The common people gave heed to Philip, crowds of them, not here and there one, but with one accord; they were all of a mind.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “Philip preached the good news of the kingdom of God, and he preached the name of Jesus Christ, as king of that kingdom. The people not only gave heed to what he said, but at length believed it, were fully convinced that it was from God and not from men. When they believed they were baptized. This occasioned great joy. ” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “The bringing of the gospel to any place is just matter of joy, or great joy, to that place.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Bring great joy of Jesus Christ to any place you go.

III. KEY TEXT (Simon the Magician Believes): “But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great.” (8:9)
A. INFERENCE: “They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, ‘This man is the power of God that is called Great.’ And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic.” (8:10-11)
1. FINDINGS: “But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.” (8:12-13)
2. CRITERIA: “Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (8:14-16)
3. CONDITION: “Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, ‘Give me this power also so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.’” (8:17-19)
4. CAUSE: “But Peter said to him, ‘May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.’ And Simon answered, Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.’” (8:20-24)
5. EFFECT: “Now when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.” (8:25)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Be open to the Spirit; let the Spirit enter your heart (not just your head).

IV. KEY TEXT (Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch): “Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Rise and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ This is a desert place. And he rose and went. And there was an Ethiopian, a eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, and he was reading the prophet Isaiah.” (8:26-28)
A. INFERENCE: “And the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go over and join this chariot.’ So Philip ran to him and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet and asked, ‘Do you understand what you are reading?’ And he said, ‘How can I, unless someone guides me?’ And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of the Scripture that he was reading was this: ‘Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he opens not his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who can describe his generation? For his life is taken away from the earth.’” (8:29-33)
1. FINDINGS: “And the eunuch said to Philip, ‘About whom, I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?’ Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus. And as they were going along the road they came to some water, and the eunuch said, ‘See, here is water! What prevents me from being baptized? And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him. And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord carried Philip away, and the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.” (8:34-40)
2. CRITERIA: “Doubtless there is a special providence of God conversant about the movements and settlements of ministers. He will direct those who sincerely desire to follow him into that way in which he will acknowledge them.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “Sometimes God opens a door of opportunity to his ministers in places very unlikely.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “We should not be so shy of all strangers as some effect to be. Of those of whom we know nothing else we know this, that they have souls.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “It is the duty of every one of us to converse much with the holy scriptures. Persons of quality should abound more than others in the exercises of piety, because their example will influence many.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Find lost souls and converse with them the holy scriptures.

Week #139; Wed, Aug 26: Acts 9–13

Week #139; Wed, Aug 26: Acts 9:1–13:52

CHAPTER OBSERVATIONS:

Acts 9:1, I. The Conversion of Saul; II. Saul Proclaims Jesus in Synagogues; III. Saul Escapes from Damascus; IV. Saul in Jerusalem; V. The Healing of Aeneas; VI. Dorcas Restored to Life

I. KEY TEXT (The Conversion of Saul): “But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.” (9:1-2)
A. INFERENCE: “Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ And he said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.’ The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. Saul rose from the ground, and although his eyes were opened, he saw nothing. So they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. And for three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.” (9:3-9)
1. FINDINGS: “Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ And he said, ‘Here I am, Lord.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘Rise and go the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.’ But Ananias answered, ‘Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name.’” (9:10-14)
2. CRITERIA: “But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.’ ” (9:15-16)
3. CONDITION: “So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came . . .’” (9:17)
4. CAUSE: “. . . has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’” (9:17)
5. EFFECT: “And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he regained his sight. Then he rose and was baptized; and taking food, he was strengthened.” (9:18-19)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “’the Lord, even Jesus’—This clearly shows in what sense the term “Lord” is used in this book. It is JESUS that is meant, as almost invariably in the Epistles also.” (Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown Commentary)

II. KEY TEXT (Saul Proclaims Jesus in Synagogues): “For some days he was with the disciples at Damascus. And immediately he proclaimed Jesus in the synagogues, saying, ‘He is the Son of God.’ ” (10:19-20)
A. INFERENCE: “And all who heard him were amazed and said, ‘Is not this the man who made havoc in Jerusalem of those who called upon this name? And has he not come here for this purpose, to bring them bound before the chief priests?’” (10:21)
1. FINDINGS: “But Saul increased all the more in strength, and confounded the Jews who lived in Damascus by proving that Jesus was the Christ.” (10:22)
2. CRITERIA: “How graciously God makes use of prepared souls as partners in the work of salvation! It would have been easy for the risen Lord to have Himself completed what He had begun; or He might have brought a Philip or an Apostle upon the scene. But instead of this He called a comparatively obscure man who was to give Saul the help and counsel he needed, Gal_4:19. ” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “See to it that you are of such a temper that Jesus may commission you to heal the wounds with which He brings His predestined servants to the ground. ” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
4. CAUSE: “Though not a great man Ananias was pre-eminently a good man, Act_22:12. He had his strong prepossessions, but laid them aside at the bidding of Christ.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “What a comfort Act_9:15 must have been to Paul in after-days! It was a noble act of faith for Ananias to call him brother.” (F. B Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Be alert to a commission from Jesus; you will definitely hear a voice.

III. KEY TEXT (Saul Escapes from Damascus): “When many days had passed, the Jews plotted to kill him, but their plot became known to Saul.” (9:23)
A. INFERENCE: “They were watching the gates day and night in order to kill him, . . . ” (9:23-24)
1. FINDINGS: “. . . but his disciples took him by night and let him down through an opening in the wall, lowering him in a basket.” (9:25)
2. CRITERIA: “He who feeds on Scripture must wax strong. The new convert started at once to testify of the Savior. We have no right to keep to ourselves the great treasures that we have discovered, but must copy the lepers of 2Ki_7:9.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
3. CONDITION: “Luke here makes no mention of Paul’s journey into Arabia, which he tells us himself was immediately after his conversion, Gal. 1:16-17.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “He had been such a remarkable deserter, and his being a Christian was a testimony against them.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “Now Saul was no sooner a Christian than a preacher, no sooner a preacher than a sufferer.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Where God gives grace he commonly exercises it with great trials.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

IV. KEY TEXT (Saul in Jerusalem): “And when he had come to Jerusalem, he attempted to join the disciples. And they were all afraid of him, for they did not believe that he was a disciple.” (9:26)
A. INFERENCE: “But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles and declared to them how on the road he had seen the Lord, who spoke to him, and how at Damascus he had preached boldly in the name of Jesus.” (9:27)
1. FINDINGS: “So he went in and out among them at Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of the Lord. ” (9:28)
2. CRITERIA: “And he spoke and disputed against the Hellenists.” (9:29)
3. CONDITION: “But they were seeking to kill him.” (9:29)
4. CAUSE: “And when the brothers learned this, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.” (9:30)
5. EFFECT: “So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.” (9:31)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “There is the need of the wisdom of a serpent, to keep the balance between the extremes of suspicion on the one hand and credulity on the other; yet I think it is safer to err on the charitable side.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

V. KEY TEXT (The Healing of Aeneas): “Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas, bedridden for eight years, who was paralyzed.” (9:32-33)
A. INFERENCE: “And Peter said to him, ‘Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.’” (9:34)
1. FINDINGS: “And immediately he rose. And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.” (9:34-35)
2. CRITERIA: “He (Peter) traveled about the country. As an apostle, he was not to be the resident pastor of any one church.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “He was, like a his Master, always on the move, and went about doing good; but still his headquarters were in Jerusalem, . . .” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “. . . for there we shall find him imprisoned. (12:4)” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “The cure Peter performed on Aeneas was very deplorable: He was a paralytic, the disease was extreme, for he was bedridden; it was inveterate, for he was bedridden eight years; and we may suppose that both he himself and all around him despaired of relief for him.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Err on the charitable side.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

VI. KEY TEXT (Dorcas Restored to Life): “Now there was in Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, which, translated, means Dorcas. She was full of good works and acts of charity. In those days she became ill and died, and when they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room.” (9:36-37)
A. INFERENCE: “Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him, urging him, ‘Please come to us without delay.’” (9:38)
1. FINDINGS: “So Peter rose and went with them, And when he arrived, they took him to the upper room. All the widows stood beside him weeping and showing tunics and other garments that Dorcas made while she was with them. But Peter put them all outside, and knelt down and prayed; and turning to the body he said, ‘Tabitha, arise.’ And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. And he gave her his hand and raised her up.” (9:39-40)
2. CRITERIA: “ Then calling the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. And he stayed in Joppa for many days with one Simon, a tanner.” (9:41-43)
3. CONDITION: “Tabitha was a disciple, eminent above many for works of charity. She showed her faith by her works, her good works.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “She showed her faith by her works.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “She was remarkable for helping the poor, not only her works of piety, but works of charity and beneficence, flowing from love for her neighbors.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Follow Tabitha’s example.

Acts 10:1, I. Peter and Cornelius; II. Peter’s Vision; III. Gentiles Hear the Good News; IV. The Holy Spirit Falls on the Gentiles

I. KEY TEXT (Peter and Cornelius): “At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God. About the ninth hour of the the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, ‘Cornelius.’” (10:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “And he stared at him in terror and said, ‘What is it, Lord?’ And he said to him, Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging with one Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea.’” (10:4-6)
1. FINDINGS: “When the angel who spoke to him had departed, he called two of his servants and a devout soldier from among those who attended him, and having related everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.” (10:7-8)
2. CRITERIA: When God talked, Cornelius listened. “The gospel was never yet preached to the Gentiles on purpose, nor any of them baptized–Cornelius was the first.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: Cornelius obeyed.
4. CAUSE: “Cornelius was the first-born of the Gentiles to Christ.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “It was humiliating to the Jews that not only the Gentiles were taken into the church, but that the first who was taken in was an officer of the Roman army.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Like Cornelius, follow orders.

II. KEY TEXT (Peter’s Vision): “The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, “Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour to pray. And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air.” (10:9-12)
A. INFERENCE: “And there came a voice to him: ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’” (10:13)
1. FINDINGS: “But Peter said, ‘By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” (10:14)
2. CRITERIA: “And the voice came to him again a second time, ‘What God has made clean, do not call common.’ This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.’” (10:15-16)
3. CONDITION: “Now while Peter was inwardly perplexed as to what the vision that he had seen might mean, behold, the men who were sent by Cornelius, having made inquiry for Simon’s house, stood at the gate and called out to ask whether Simon who was called Peter was lodging there.” (10:17-18)
4. CAUSE: “And while Peter was pondering the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Behold, three men are looking for you. Rise and go down and accompany them without hesitation, for I have sent them.’” (10:19-20)
5. EFFECT: “And Peter went down to the men and said, ‘I am the one you are looking for. What is the reason for your coming?’ And they said, ‘Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who is well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation, was directed by a holy angel to send for you to come to his house and to hear what you have to say.’ So he invited them in to be his guests. The next day he rose and went away with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him. And on the following day they entered Caesarea. Cornelius was expecting them and had called together his relatives and close friends. When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, ‘Stand up; I too am a man.’ And as he talked with him, he went in and found many persons gathered. And he said to them, ‘You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without objection. I ask then why you sent for me.’ And Cornelius said, ‘Four days ago, about this hour, I was praying in my house at the ninth hour, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your alms have been remembered before God. Send therefore to Joppa and ask for Simon who is called Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea.’ So I sent for you at once, and you have been kind enough to come. Now therefore we are all here in the presence of God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.” (10:21-33)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Faithful ministers do well to come to people who are desirous to receive instruction from them; to come when they are sent for.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

III. KEY TEXT (Gentiles Hear the Good News): “So Peter opened his mouth and said: ‘Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” (10:34-35)
A. INFERENCE: “As for the word that he sent to Israel, preaching good news of peace through Jesus Christ (he is Lord of all), you yourselves know what happened throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John proclaimed: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” (10:36-38)
1. FINDINGS: “And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. ‘They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.’” (10:39-43)
2. CRITERIA: “We have here Peter’s sermon. It is intimated that he expressed himself with a great deal of seriousness and gravity, but with freedom and copiousness, in that phrase, ‘he opened his mouth, and spoke.’” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “Because they were Gentiles to whom he preached. He shows that they were interested in the gospel of Ghrist, and entitled to the benefit of it, on an equal footing with the Jews.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “He therefore lays down this as an undoubted principle, that God does not show favoritism.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “But God accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Peter preached that Cornelius must also believe in Jesus Christ.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

IV. KEY TEXT (The Holy Spirit Falls on the Gentiles): “While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the word.” (10:44)
A. INFERENCE: “And the believers from among the circumcised who had come with Peter were amazed, because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles.” (10:45)
1. FINDINGS: “For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, ‘Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people, who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have?’ And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.” (10:46-48)
2. CRITERIA: “God bore witness to what he said, and accompanied it with a divine power.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “God’s acknowledging Peter’s word, by conferring the Holy Spirit on the hearers of it.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “The Holy Spirit came on others after they were baptized, for their confirmation; but on these Gentiles before they were baptized: to show that God is not tied to a method, nor confines himself to external signs.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “They were all brought home to Christ.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Instruct others to come home to Christ.

Acts 11:1, I. Peter Reports to the Church; II. The Church in Antioch

I. KEY TEXT (Peter Reports to the Church): “Now the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him, saying, ‘You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.’ But Peter began and explained it to them in order: ‘I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, something like a great sheet descending, being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to me. Looking at it closely, I observed animals and beasts of prey and reptiles and birds of the air. And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But I said, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ But the voice answered a second time from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, do not call common.’ This happened three times, and all was drawn up again into heaven. And behold, at that very moment men arrived at the house in which we were, sent to me from Caesarea. And the Spirit told me to go with them, making no distinction. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. And he told us how he had seen the angel stand in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon who is called Peter; he will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household. As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” (11:1-17)
A. INFERENCE: “When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, ‘Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.’” (11:18)
1. FINDINGS: “Information was presently brought of it to the church in Jerusalem, and thereabouts. Before he himself had returned to Jerusalem the apostles and the brothers there and in Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God, that the Gentiles also themselves, with whom it had thus far been thought unlawful to hold common conversation, had received the word of God.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
2. CRITERIA: “They looked on them as not inclined to religion, and therefore were surprised to hear that they had received the word of the Lord.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “Offence was taken at it by the believing Jews.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “He went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them; and they think he has stained in this way, if not forfeited, the honor of this apostleship.” (And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius).)
5. EFFECT: “Peter gave such a full and fair account of the matter of fact as was sufficient both to justify him, and to satisfy them. ‘He explained everything to them precisely as it happened.’” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Those who are zealous and courageous in the service of Christ must expect to be censured by those who, under pretense of being cautious, are cold and indifferent.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

II. KEY TEXT (The Church in Antioch): “Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus.” (11:19-20)
A. INFERENCE: “And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.” (11:21)
1. FINDINGS: “The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord.” (11:22-24)
2. CRITERIA: “So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.” (11:25-26)
3. CONDITION: “Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.” (11:27)
4. CAUSE: “And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius).” (11:28)
5. EFFECT: “So the disciples determined, everyone according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea. And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.” (11:29-30)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Send relief according to your ability.

Acts 12:1, I. James Killed and Peter Imprisoned; II. Peter is Rescued; III. The Death of Herod

I. KEY TEXT (James Killed and Peter Imprisoned): “About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. He killed James the brother of John with the sword, and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread.” (12:1-3)
A. INFERENCE: “And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people.” (12:4)
1. FINDINGS: “So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church.” (12:5)
2. CRITERIA: “Ever since the conversion of Paul, we have heard no more of the agency of the priests in persecuting the saints at Jerusalem. Here the storm arises from another point. The civil power acts by itself in the persecution.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “Herod arrested some who belonged to the church; he had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword; and he imprisoned Peter.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “At the Passover, when the Jews came from all parts to Jerusalem to keep the Feast, they irritated one another against the Christians, and were then more violent than at other times.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “Herod intended to put Peter on public trial after the Passover feast.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Pray for those in prison.

II. KEY TEXT (Peter is Rescued): “Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison.” (12:6)
A. INFERENCE: “And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, ‘Get up quickly.’” (12:7)
1. FINDINGS: “And the chains fell off his hands. And the angel said to him ‘Dress yourself and put on your sandals.’ And he did so. And he said to him, ‘Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.’ And he went out and followed him. He did not know that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city. It opened for them of its own accord, and they went out and went along one street, and immediately the angel left him.” (12:7-10)
2. CRITERIA: “When Peter came to himself, he said, ‘Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.’” (12:11)
3. CONDITION: “When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying. And when he knocked at the door of the gateway, a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer. Recognizing Peter’s voice, in her joy she did not open the gate but ran in and reported that Peter was standing at the gate. They said to her, ‘You are out of your mind.’ But she kept insisting that it was so, and they kept saying, ‘It is his angel!’ But Peter continued knocking, and when they opened, they saw him and were amazed. but motioning to them with his hand to be silent, he described to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, ‘Tell these things to James and to the brothers.’ Then he departed and went to another place.” (12:12-17)
4. CAUSE: “Now when day came, there was no little disturbance among the soldiers over what had become of Peter.” (12:18)
5. EFFECT: “And after Herod searched for him and did not find him, he examined the sentries and ordered that they should be put to death. Then he went down from Judea to Caesarea and spent time there.” (12:19)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Stay alert for the work of the Lord and continue to knock.

III. KEY TEXT (The Death of Herod): “Now Herod was angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon, and they came to him with one accord, and having persuaded Blastus, the king’s chamberlain, they asked for peace, because their country depended on the kings country for food. On an appointed day Herod put on his royal robes, took his seat upon the throne, and delivered an oration to them.” (12:20-21)
A. INFERENCE: “And the people were shouting, ‘The voice of a god, and not of a man!” (12:22)
1. FINDINGS: “Immediately an angel of the Lord struck him down, because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.” (12:23)
2. CRITERIA: “But the word of God increased and multiplied.” (12:24)
3. CONDITION: “And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had completed their service, bringing with them John, whose other name was Mark.” (12:25)
4. CAUSE: “Herod’s pride.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “Now Herod was reckoned with for vexing the church of Christ, killing James, imprisoning Peter, and all the other harm he had done.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “We should not pamper our bodies, for this is but feeding the worms, and feeding them for the worms.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

Acts 13:1, I. Barnabas and Saul Sent Off; II. Barnabas and Saul on Cyprus; III. Paul and Barnabas at Antioch in Pisidia

I. KEY TEXT (Barnabas and Saul Sent Off): “Now there were in the church at Antioch prophets and teachers, Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.” (13:1)
A. INFERENCE: “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.” (13:2-3)
1. FINDINGS: “We have here a divine commission to Barnabas and Saul to go and preach the gospel among the Gentiles.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
2. CRITERIA: “The matter was settled between them at Jerusalem before this, that as Peter, James, and John worked among those of the circumcision, so Paul and Barnabas should go to the heathen.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “Christ’s ministers are set apart for him and for the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “Their ordination, not to the ministry in general, but to a particular service in the ministry. Simeon, and Lucius, and Manaen, after they had fasted and prayed, placed their hands on Barnabas and Saul and sent them off. When good men are going forth about good work, they ought to be solemnly and particularly prayed for.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
5. EFFECT: “They gave them their discharge from the present service, in the church of Antioch, acknowledging that they went off not only fairly and with consent, but honorably and with good report.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Pray and bless those being sent.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)

II. KEY TEXT (Barnabas and Saul on Cyprus): “So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John to assist them. When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they came upon a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet named Bar-Jesus. He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, a man of intelligence, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God.” (13:4-7)
A. INFERENCE: “But Elymas the magician (for that is the meaning of his name) opposed them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.” (13:8)
1. FINDINGS: “But Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, ‘You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and unable to see the sun for a time.’ Immediately mist and darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking people to lead him by the hand. Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had occurred, for he was astonished at the teaching of the Lord.” (13:9-12)
2. CRITERIA: “A general account of the coming of Barnabas and Saul to the famous island of Cyprus. Barnabas was a native of that country and he was willing they should have the first fruits of his labors.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
3. CONDITION: “Their being sent forth by the Holy Spirit was the great thing that encouraged them in this undertaking.” (Matthew Henry Commentary In One Volume)
4. CAUSE: “This is one of the greatest chapters in the New Testament, making a new departure in the ministry of the gospel, which henceforth begins to pass out to the uttermost part of the earth, Act_1:8. It is likely that the mother church at Jerusalem was too conservative to lend herself to the pressure of the Holy Spirit, urging to world-wide evangelization, and that he had to employ the more mobile church at Antioch, which was more susceptible to the passion for humanity, since it stood out on the edge of the great heathen world, like a lighthouse on the shore of a desolate sea.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
5. EFFECT: “This momentous prayer meeting had apparently been convened to discover the Lord’s will as to further developments. As the names indicate, it was composed largely of Hebrew Christians. Note that the Holy Spirit speaks with authority as Christ’s Vicegerent, Act_2:33. ” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)
6. RECOMMENDATION: “Modern missions are His work and He selects His own agents. We should ever seek to co-operate with Him in discovering and setting apart chosen men and women for His work.” (F. B. Meyer Commentary)

III. KEY TEXT (Paul and Barnabas at Antioch in Pisidia): “Now Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John left them and returned to Jerusalem, but they went on from Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia. And on the Sabbath day they went into the synagogue and sat down. After reading from the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent a message to them, saying, ‘Brothers, if you have word of encouragement for the people, say it.’” (13:13-15)
A. INFERENCE: “So Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said: ‘Men of Israel and you who fear God, listen. The god of this people Israel chose our fathers and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with uplifted arm he led them out of it. And for about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness. And after destroying seven nations in the land of Canaan, he gave them their land as an inheritance. All this took about 450 years. And after that he gave them judges until Samuel the prophet. Then they asked for a king, and God gave them Saul the son of Kish, a man of the tribe of Benjamin, for forty years. And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’ Of this man’s offspring God has brought to Israel a Savior, Jesus, as he promised. Before his coming, John had proclaimed a baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel. And as John was finishing his course, he said, ‘What do you suppose that I am? I am not he No, but behold, after me one is coming, the sandals of whose feet I am not worthy to unite. Brothers, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to us has been sent the message of this salvation. For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognize him nor understand the utterances of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him. And though they found in him no guilt worthy of death, they asked Pilate to have him executed. And when they had carried out all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead, and for many days he appeared to those who had come up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are now his witnesses to the people. And we bring you the good news that what God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us their children by raising Jesus, as also it is written in the second Psalm. ‘You are my Son, today I have begotten you.’ And as for the fact that he raised him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, he has spoken in this way, ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’ Therefore he says also in another psalm, ‘You will not let you Holy One see corruption.’ For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption, but he whom God raised up did not see corruption. Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything from which you could not be freed by the law of Moses. Beware, therefore, lest what is said in the Prophets should come about: ‘Look, you scoffers, be astounded and perish; for I am doing a work in your days, a work that you will not believe, even if one tells it to you.’” (13:16-41)
1. FINDINGS: “As they went out, the people begged that these things might be told them the next Sabbath. And after the meeting of the synagogue broke up, many Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who, as they spoke with them, urged them to continue in the grace of God.” (13:42-43)
2. CRITERIA: “The next Sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord. But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him. And Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, saying, ‘It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you. Since you thrust it aside and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us, saying. ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’” (13:44-47)
3. CONDITION: “And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region.” (13:48-49)
4. CAUSE: “But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district.” (13:50)
5. EFFECT: “But they shook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” (13:51-52)
6. RECOMMENDATION: Proceed with caution in delivering God’s word.