Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Acts
Book: Acts
Chapter: 18

Paul at Corinth, with Aquila and Priscilla. (1-6) He continues
to preach at Corinth. (7-11) Paul before Gallio. (12-17) He
visits Jerusalem. (18-23) Apollos teaches at Ephesus and in
Achaia. (24-28)

1-6 Though Paul was entitled to support from the churches he
planted, and from the people to whom he preached, yet he worked
at his Calling. An honest trade, By which a Man may get his
Bread, is not to be looked upon with contempt By any. It was the
Custom of the Jews to bring up their children to some trade,
though they gave them learning or estates. Paul was careful to
prevent prejudices, even the most unreasonable. The Love of
Christ is the best Bond of the saints; and the communings of the
saints with each other, sweeten labour, contempt, and even
Persecution. Most of the Jews persisted in contradicting the
Gospel of Christ, and blasphemed. They would not believe
themselves, and did all they could to keep others from
believing. Paul hereupon left them. He did not give over his
work; for though Israel be not gathered, Christ and his Gospel
shall be glorious. The Jews could not complain, for they had the
first offer. When some oppose the Gospel, we must turn to
others. Grief that many persist in unbelief should not prevent
gratitude for the Conversion of some to Christ.

7-11 The Lord knows those that are his, yea, and those that
shall be his; for it is By his work upon them that they become
his. Let us not despair concerning any place, when even in
wicked Corinth Christ had much people. He will gather in his
Chosen flock from the places where they are scattered. Thus
encouraged, the Apostle continued at Corinth, and a numerous and
flourishing Church grew up.

12-17 Paul was about to show that he did not teach men to
Worship God contrary to Law; but the Judge would not allow the
Jews to complain to him of what was not within his office. It
was right in Gallio that he left the Jews to themselves in
matters relating to their religion, but yet would not let them,
under pretence of that, persecute another. But it was wrong to
speak slightly of a Law and religion which he might have known
to be of God, and which he ought to have acquainted himself
with. In what way God is to be worshipped, whether Jesus be the
Messiah, and whether the Gospel be a Divine Revelation, are not
questions of words and names, they are questions of vast
importance. Gallio spoke as if he boasted of his ignorance of
the Scriptures, as if the Law of God was beneath his notice.
Gallio cared for none of these things. If he cared not for the
affronts of bad men, it was commendable; but if he concerned not
himself for the abuses done to good men, his indifference was
carried too far. And those who see and hear of the sufferings of
God's people, and have No feeling with them, or care for them,
who do not pity and pray for them, are of the same Spirit as
Gallio, who cared for none of these things.

18-23 While Paul found he laboured not in vain, he continued
labouring. Our times are in God's Hand; we purpose, but he
disposes; therefore we must make all promises with submission to
the will of God; not only if Providence permits, but if God does
not otherwise direct our motions. A very good refreshment it is
to a Faithful Minister, to have for awhile the society of his
brethren. Disciples are compassed about with infirmity;
ministers must do what they can to strengthen them, By directing
them to Christ, who is their Strength. Let us earnestly seek, in
our several places, to promote the cause of Christ, forming
plans that appear to us most proper, but relying On the Lord to
bring them to pass if he sees good.

24-28 Apollos taught in the Gospel of Christ, as far as John's
ministry would carry him, and No further. We cannot but think he
had heard of Christ's Death and resurrection, but he was not
informed as to the Mystery of them. Though he had not the
miraculous Gifts of the Spirit, as the apostles, he made use of
the Gifts he had. The Dispensation of the Spirit, whatever the
Measure of it may be, is given to every Man to profit withal. He
was a lively, affectionate preacher; fervent in Spirit. He was
full of zeal for the Glory of God and the Salvation of precious
souls. Here was a complete Man of God, thoroughly furnished for
his work. Aquila and Priscilla encouraged his ministry, By
attendance upon it. They did not despise Apollos themselves, or
undervalue him to others; but considered the disadvantages he
had laboured under. And having themselves got knowledge in the
truths of the Gospel By their long intercourse with Paul, they
told what they knew to him. Young scholars may gain a great Deal
By conversing with old Christians. Those who do believe through
Grace, yet still need help. As long as they are in this world,
there are remainders of unbelief, and something lacking in their
Faith to be perfected, and the work of Faith to be fulfilled. If
the Jews were convinced that Jesus is Christ, even their own Law
would teach them to hear him. The business of ministers is to
preach Christ. Not only to preach the Truth, but to prove and
defend it, with Meekness, yet with power.