Jesus's Words

Chapter 9: Paul Disbelieved Continued.—Jerusalem Visit IV. and Last Invasion Visit. The Purpose Concealed: Opposition Universal; Among His Own Disciples, and Among Those of the Apostles

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Section 4: Opposition Made to It by His Own Attendants and Other Adherents

To find so much as the colour of a reason for this perfidy, was too much for the ingenuity of his attendant panegyrist. In the eyes of the whole body of his attendants, of whom the historian was one, so completely unjustifiable was his design in every point of view,—they joined in a remonstrance to him, beseeching him to give it up.

And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus. And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.Acts 21:12-14

At no such loss, however, was Paul himself: for this, and for everything else it was his will to do, he had a reason ready made. It was no less concise and economical than convenient: a word, and no more than a word, was the price paid for it:—revelation was that word.50 So he assures his "foolish" Galatians: and if they were foolish enough to believe it, these, though first, have not been last, in the career of foolishness.

Allow a man but the use of this one word, so it be in the sense in which Paul here uses it—admit the matter of fact, of which it contains the assertion,—the will of that man is not only sufficient reason, but sufficient law, for everything: in all places, and to all persons, his will is law. The will of this man is the will of that God, by whom this revelation of it has been made to him: the will of God, what man shall be audacious enough to dispute?

The motives, which gave birth to this act of perfidy and hostility, will now be visible enough, to every eye, that dares to open itself to them. At the time in question, they were too manifest to need mentioning: and at the same time too unjustifiable, to bear to be mentioned by his dependent historian, when speaking of the opposition, which, even on the part of his own dependents, it produced. They besought him—with tears they besought him: but, as to the reflections by which these tears were produced, they could not bear the light: it was not for a declared adherent to give them utterance. The sort of colour, put upon the project by Paul, with the help of one of his phrases—this was the only colour that could be found for it. It was for the name of the Lord Jesus that he was ready—for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to dieActs 21:13 For the name? O, yes, for the name at all times; for, in the name of Jesus, he beheld from first to last his necessary support: and of the Lord Jesus, nothing, as we shall find,—nothing from first to last, did he ever employ but the name. But, to be bound at Jerusalem—to die at Jerusalem—to be bound—to die—supposing this to take place,—where—to the religion of Jesus—would be, where could be, the use of it? There, at Jerusalem, the Apostles—the real Apostles of Jesus:—executing, without either dying or being bound for it, the commission, which to them had been really given by Jesus.


50 And I went up by revelation.Galatians 2:2

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