And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles sought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.…
In this brief declaration we gather —
I. THE DELIBERATE JUDGMENT OF THE JEWS. Theirs was no hastily formed opinion. They had learned what were the central truths of the gospel, and they deliberately said, "If the Gentiles are to receive this message, we put it away from us." Abraham saw Christ's day, and was glad. The ritual of the old covenant was typical of what should come. The life and death of the Redeemer fulfilled the words of their prophets. It was such a people, with such privileges, who, in rejecting the fulfilment of their own faith, judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life, or decreed their own sentence of condemnation. The fact, historic in their case, is repeated every day. By our own deeds we decree our own judgment, by accepting or rejecting the truths of the gospel. No one will be condemned who has not by his own deliberate choice condemned himself.
II. THE DECISION OF PAUL. It must be admitted that all his sympathies had been with the Jews. He too had once rejected Christ. He stood before the great crowd in Antioch, and heard their words of blasphemy. The Jews had formed their choice as between Christ and the Gentiles; the choice of Paul was made between Christ and the Jews. He chose Christ, and weaned himself from all his early associations. How keen a rebuke to many in all ages! Every one is called upon to choose between the gospel and its enemies. The question is not concerning family or business connections, how these would be affected by our choice. "He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me." Paul's foes were "they of his own household." Thus is Christian heroism the highest of all, never asking man's opinion in order to follow it, but doing what Christ enjoins, whether men will hear or forbear.
III. THE BLESSING OF THE GENTILES. It was the early dawn of the promised day. From henceforth there should be no difference between the children of men. "The light to the Gentiles" had come. It is no wonder, therefore, that "when the Gentiles heard this they were glad." No body of men can reject the Word and cover up its truths from others. Whom and what one class rejects, another class will receive. There is no faithful minister but can find work somewhere. Whom one Church refuses, another calls. But the Gentiles, among whom we belong, may exercise the same spirit in other ways. Christ came to seek and to save the lost. It is possible that many a disciple may forget those who live in the hedges, and for whom the gospel feast has been spread. It is possible for us to become so Jewish as to think God despises whom we, in our sinfulness, despise.
(D. O. Mears.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.
WEB: So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath.