Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

ii. Ephesus (xix. 1-41),

The disciples of John ; Teaching in the
Synagogue ;

Removal to the School of Tyrannus; The Sons of Sceva; Marvellous success of the Gospel over Magic; The

Riot caused by the Silversmiths. iii. Visit to the Churches of Macedonia and Greece

(xx. 1-3).

Plot to kill Paul.
iv. Paul's Companions : the Delegates of the

Churches (xx. 4, 5).
v. Troas (xx. 6-12).
vi. The Voyage to Miletus (xx. 13-15).

Touching at Assos, Mitylene, past Chios to

Samos, and then to Trogyllium (?).
vii. Miletus : Address to the elders of Ephesus

(xx. 16-38).
viii. Voyage to Tyre (xxi. 1-3).

Calling at Cos, Rhodes and Patara ; here

they found a vessel crossing to Phænicia. ix. Tyre (xxi. 4-6).

St. Paul warned not to go to Jerusalem ;

Farewell service on the beach. x. Cæsarea (xxi. 7-14).

From Tyre by ship to Ptolemais on to Cæsarea ;

Paul and his party stay with Philip the
Evangelist; Agabus foretells Paul's arrest at

Jerusalem.
xi. Jerusalem (xxi. 15).
Certain disciples go with them and Mnason,

with whom they are to lodge.

The Acts of Paul, the Prisoner (c. xxi. 16–xxviii. 31).
I.-PAUL AT JERUSALEM : DEFENCE TO THE
JEWS (xxi. 16–xxiii. 35).
i. His reception by James and the elders (xxi.

17-26),
ii. Paul Arrested owing to the Riot in the Temple

(27-40). iii. Paul's Defence to his own people (xxii. 1-21). iv. Appeal to his Roman Citizenship (xxii. 22-29). v. Paul before the Sanhedrin (xxii. 30-xxiii. 10). vi. Vision of Jesus (xxiii. 11). vii. Plot to kill Paul: He is sent to Cæsarea

(xxiii. 12-35).

II.-PAUL AT CÆSAREA (xxiv.-xxvi).

i. Trial before Felix (xxiv. 1-23). ii. Paul and Felix (xxiv. 24-27). iii. Festus at Jerusalem : Charge Against Paul

(xxv. 1-5). iv. First Trial before Festus : an Appeal to

Cæsar (xxv. 6-12). v. The Visit of Agrippa and Bernice (xxv. 13-22). vi. Trial before Festus and Agrippa (xxv. 23

xxvi. 32).

III.—THE VOYAGE TO ROME (xxvii.-xxviii. 15).

i. Cæsarea to Fair Havens (1-8).
ii. Fair Havens to Malta (9-26).
iii. The Shipwreck (27-44).
iv. On the Island of Malta (xxviii. 1-10).
v. From Malta to Rome (xxviii. 11-15).

IV.-AT ROME (xxviii. 16-31).

i. Paul and the Jews : Rejection of the Gospel

(16-29). ii. Two years of 'preaching of the Kingdom to all

(30, 31).

THE TEACHING OF ST. PAUL. The chief speeches of St. Paul recorded in the Acts

are :

C. XX.

[ocr errors]

To the Jews.

c. xiii. In the synagogue of Pisidian Antioch. c. xxi.

His defence to his countrymen in the Temple courts.

c. xxviii. His discourse to the leading Jews at Rome. To the Gentiles. c. xiv.

To the men of Lystra after healing the lame man. c. xvii.

To the Athenians in the Areopagus. Before the Roman Governors.

c. xxiv. Defence before Felix at Cæsarea.

c. xxvi. Defence before Festus and King Agrippa at Cæsarea. To Christians.

To the Ephesian elders at Miletus. From these we can get a fair idea of the Gospel according to St. Paul.” HIS GOSPEL FOR THE JEWS.

There was no need to teach the Jew about God, the Father, or about the Law of Moses and the Old Testament; all this they knew from childhood. What St. Paul had to do was to convince them that Jesus, whom they had crucified, was the Saviour who had been promised in the Old Testament.

To follow St. Paul's teaching we must remember that our word

Christ is the Greek for the Hebrew word Messiah,” and that at first they did not use the word as we do as a kind of surname, e.g., “ Jesus Christ”; but as a title, e.g., “Jesus, Messiah,” or “Jesus, the Messiah."

The Jews could not believe that the Messiah had come, and that they through their Rulers had actually

66

[ocr errors]

put him to death, nor could they believe that the Messiah could stoop to suffer such a death.

St. Paul's task was then to show them out of their own scriptures that the sufferings and death of Jesus had been foretold by the prophets, and also their own hardness and sin in rejecting the Messiah. He appealed to the Old Testament scriptures to show them that the Messiah would come from the house of David, be rejected, rise from the dead, and be preached to the Gentiles, as the Saviour.

JESUS OF THE HOUSE OF DAVID.

In the synagogue in Pisidian Antioch Paul showed them how God chose them for his people, and brought them forth from Egypt and afterwards gave them a king, first Saul, then David, and then promised that of this man's seed” he would raise up unto Israel a Saviour. He then showed that Jesus was this Saviour.

6

JESUS, THE MESSIAH, CRUCIFIED.

St. Paul always explained to the Jews that the Rulers had crucified Jesus because they did not know He was the Messiah, and because they did not understand the prophets who had foretold that this would happen. They that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers,” he said, “because they knew him not, nor the voices of the prophets, which are read every sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him” (xiii. 27); so also he told the Jews at Thessalonica that “it behoved the Christ to suffer" (xvii. 2).

JESUS PROVED TO BE THE MESSIAH BY THE

RESURRECTION. But if the prophets had foretold that the Jews would reject and put to death their Messiah, they had also foretold that He would rise from the dead (xvii. 2). St. Paul urged that this had happened, and that Jesus

ed to his chosen witnesses, and that the words of Psalm ii. : Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee”; and of Psalm xvi. 10, Thou wilt not give thy holy one to see corruption” were fulfilled at the Resurrection.

had app

THE REJECTION OF THE GOSPEL BY THE JEWS

AND THE PREACHING TO THE GENTILES. But St. Paul was even bolder than this ; he told the Jews that God had through the prophets foretold that they would refuse to believe the Gospel, and that therefore they would be rejected and the Gospel preached to the Gentiles.

At Pisidian Antioch he quoted the words of the prophet Habakkuk :

Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish; For I work a work in your days, A work which ye shall not believe, if one declare it unto you

(i. 5). And at Rome he quoted the great warning of Isaiah :

Go thou unto this people, and say,
By hearing ye shall hear, and shall in no wise under-

stand;
And seeing ye shall see, and shall in no wise perceive:
For this people's heart is waxed gross,
And their ears are dull of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed ;
Lest haply they should perceive with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart,
And should turn again,
And I should heal them” (vi. 9-10).

When the Jews at Pisidian Antioch refused to listen, St. Paul told them that in accordance with the prophets he would go to the Gentiles, “ for so hath the Lord commanded us, saying :

I have set thee for a light to the Gentiles.
That thou shouldest be for salvation unto the uttermost part

of the earth” (Isaiah xlix. 6).

THE GOSPEL OF REPENTANCE AND JUSTIFICA

TION FOR THE JEW. Yet he taught that all those who would repent and believe in Jesus as Messiah could have forgiveness and justification through Jesus such as the law of Moses could not give (xiii. 38).

[ocr errors]

ST. PAUL'S DEFENCE OF HIS OWN MISSION.

In c. xxii. we have a speech delivered by St. Paul on the steps leading from the Temple courts up to the tower of Antonia. In this speech he makes his great defence to his fellow countrymen of his own call by God, and his mission to the Gentiles. He claims to have been called, as their prophets of old were called, by direct vision from heaven. Jesus had appeared to him on the road to Damascus and had told him he was to be His servant (-10); and that later on in the Temple itself he had had another vision telling him to leave the city, and that he was to go to the Gentiles : Depart,” the voice had said, “ for I will send thee far hence to the Gentiles (21).

In his defence before Agrippa he makes the same claim. He tells how Jesus had appeared on the road to Damascus and said, “I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in which I will appear to thee; delivering thee from the people and from the Gentiles unto whom I now send thee. To open their eyes and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me" (xxvi. 16–18). HIS GOSPEL TO THE GENTILES.

St. Luke has kept for us two speeches of St. Paul to audiences which were not Jews.

The first at Lystra (c. xiv.) is a very simple talk on the folly of idolatry, and an exhortation to turn to the Living God who had created the world and given them the seasons and their food. It was just such a talk as a missionary might give to-day to heathen people who worshipped idols.

The second at Athens (c. xvii.) was much more learned, he was speaking to a learned people ; yet, as at Lystra, he has to teach them that God is One, the Creator and Preserver of the world, and that He ought not to be worshipped by means of idols : because as Creator He is far greater than the things He has made, and does not dwell in temples. Man himself is His Offspring, and shares the spirit of God, For in him we live, and move and have our being.' He then went on to tell the Athenians about the judgment of the world through Jesus, whom God has raised from the dead.

Both these speeches are quite different from the speeches to the Jews, because St. Paul had to begin by teaching about God the Creator and Preserver, and that idols were wrong. ST. PAUL'S DEFENCE BEFORE THE ROMAN

GOVERNORS. St. Luke has preserved three speeches of St. Paul at his trials in Cæsarea :

In the first before Felix in answer to the charges made by the Jewish advocate, Tertullus, he simply refuted the statements that he was raising insurrection or profaning the Temple ; but urged that he was worshipping the God of his fathers, believing all things which were written in the law and the prophets.” He had come to Jerusalem bringing alms and offerings to his nation.

At the first hearing before Festus, he refused to go to Jerusalem to be tried, but appealed unto the judgment seat of Cæsar.

The speech at the second hearing before Festus and Agrippa is much longer; it was addressed to Agrippa

64

« AnteriorContinuar »