on Acts 26 :16
But rise, etc. - The particulars mentioned here, and in the two following verses, are not given in Acts 9:1-9, nor in Acts 22:6-11, where he gives an account of his conversion. He has detailed the different circumstances of that important event, as he saw it necessary; and perhaps there were several others which then took place, that he had no opportunity of mentioning, because there was nothing in succeeding occurrences which rendered it necessary to produce them.
To make thee a minister - Ὑπηρετην, An under-rower; that is, one who is under the guidance and authority of another; an assistant, or servant. So Paul was to act solely under the authority of Jesus Christ; and tug hard at the oar, in order to bring the vessel, through the tempestuous ocean, to the safe harbour. See the concluding observations on John 6 (note).
And a witness - Μαρτυρα, A martyr. Though this word literally means a witness, yet we apply it only to such persons as have borne testimony to the truth of God at the hazard and expense of their lives. In this sense, also, ancient history states St. Paul to have been a witness; for it is said he was beheaded at Rome, by the command of Nero.
In the which I will appear - Here Christ gives him to understand that he should have farther communications from himself; and this may refer either to those interpositions of Divine Providence by which he was so often rescued from destruction, or to those encouragements which he received in dreams, visions, trances, etc., or to that general inspiration under which he was enabled to apprehend and reveal the secret things of God, for the edification of the Church. To all of which may be added that astonishing power by which he was so often enabled to work miracles for the confirmation of the truth.
on Acts 26 :16
But rise ... - The particulars mentioned in this verse and the two following are not recorded in the account of Paul's conversion in Acts 9; but it is not improbable that many circumstances may have occurred which are not recorded. Paul dwells on them here at length in order particularly to show his authority for doing what he had done in preaching to the Gentiles.
To make thee a minister - A minister of the gospel; a preacher of the truth.
And a witness - See the notes on Acts 22:15.
Which thou hast seen - On the road to Damascus; that is, of the Lord Jesus, and of the fact that he was risen from the dead.
And of those things ... - Of those further manifestations of my person, purposes, and will, which I will yet make to you. It is evident from this that the Lord Jesus promised to manifest himself to Paul in his ministry, and to make to him still further displays of his will and glory. Compare Acts 22:17-18. This was done by his rescuing him from destruction and danger; by inspiration; by the growing and expanding view which Paul was permitted to take of the character and perfections of the Lord Jesus. In this we see that it is the duty of ministers to bear witness not only to the truth of religion in general, or of that which they can demonstrate by argument, but more especially of that which they experience in their own hearts, and which they understand by having themselves been the subjects of it. No man is qualified to enter the ministry who has not a personal saving view of the glory and perfections of the Lord Jesus, and who does not go to his work as a witness of those things which he has felt; and no man enters the ministry with these feelings who has not, as Paul had, a promise that he shall see still brighter displays of the perfections of the Saviour, and be permitted to advance in the knowledge of him and of his work. The highest personal consolation in this work is the promise of being admitted to ever-growing and expanding views of the glory of the Lord Jesus, and of experiencing his presence, guidance, and protection.
on Acts 26 :16