on Acts 13 :46
Waxed bold - Παρῥησιασαμενοι; Having great liberty of speech; a strong, persuasive, and overpowering eloquence. They had eternal truth for the basis of this discourse; a multitude of incontestable facts to support it; an all-persuading eloquence to illustrate and maintain what they had asserted.
Should first have been spoken to you - When our Lord gave his apostles their commission to go into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature, he told them they must begin first at Jerusalem, Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47. In obedience therefore to this command, the apostles (in every place where they preached) made their first offers of the Gospel to the Jews.
Ye put it from you - Απωθεισθε αυτον, Ye disdain this doctrine, and consider it contemptible: so the word is frequently used.
And judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life - Was this meant as a strong irony? "Ye have such humbling thoughts of yourselves, that ye think the blessings of the Gospel too good to be bestowed on such worthless wretches as ye are." Or did the apostle mean that, by their words and conduct on this occasion, they had passed sentence on themselves, and, in effect, had decided that they were unworthy of the grace of the Gospel; and God now ratifies that judgment by removing those blessings from them, and sending them to the Gentiles?
on Acts 13 :46
Waxed bold - Became bold; spake boldly and openly. They were not terrified by their strife, or alarmed by their opposition. The contradictions and blasphemies of sinners often show that their consciences are alarmed; that the truth has taken effect; and then is not the time to shrink, but to declare more fearlessly the truth.
It was necessary - It was so designed; so commanded. They regarded it as their duty to offer the gospel first to their own countrymen. See the notes on Luke 24:47.
Ye put it from you - You reject it.
And judge yourselves - By your conduct, by your rejecting it, you declare this. The word "judge" here does not mean they "expressed such an opinion," or that "they regarded themselves" as unworthy of eternal life - for they thought just the reverse; but that by their conduct they condemned themselves. By such conduct they did, in fact, pass sentence on themselves, and show that they were unworthy of eternal life, and of having the offer of salvation any further made to them. Sinners by their conduct do, in fact, condemn themselves, and show that they are not only unfit to be saved, but that they have advanced so far in wickedness that there is no hope of their salvation, and no propriety in offering them, any further, eternal life. See the notes on Matthew 7:6.
Unworthy ... - Unfit to be saved. They had deliberately and solemnly rejected the gospel, and thus shown that they were not suited to enter into everlasting life. We may remark here:
(1) When people, even but once, deliberately and solemnly reject the offers of God's mercy, it greatly endangers their salvation. The probability is, that they then put the cup of salvation forever away from themselves.
(2) the gospel produces an effect wherever it is preached.
(3) when sinners are hardened, and spurn the gospel, it may often be the duty of ministers to turn their efforts toward others where they may have more prospect of success. A man will not long labor on a rocky, batten, sterile soil, when there is near him a rich and fertile valley that will abundantly reward the pains of cultivation.
Lo, we turn ... - We shall offer the gospel to them, and devote ourselves to seeking their salvation.
on Acts 13 :46
13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas speaking boldly, said - Those who hinder others must be publicly reproved. It was necessary - Though ye are not worthy: he shows that he had not preached to them, from any confidence of their believing, but seeing ye judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life - They indeed judged none but themselves worthy of it. Yet their rejecting of the Gospel was the same as saying, We are unworthy of eternal life. Behold! - A thing now present! An astonishing revolution! We turn to the Gentiles - Not that they left off preaching to the Jews in other places. But they now determined to lose no more time at Antioch on their ungrateful countrymen, but to employ themselves wholly in doing what they could for the conversion of the Gentiles there.