John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

27 (Acts 14:27)

Verse 27

27.After they had called the Church together. As those who return from an embassage used to give an account of their acts, so Paul and Barnabas declared to the Church all the sum of their voyage, that it may thereby appear what good success they had, and how faithfully they behaved themselves in their office; and also that they may exhort the faithful to give thanks to God, as the thing itself gave them large matter; − (66) therefore Luke saith, Not that they did extol the things which they themselves had done, but whatsoever things the Lord had done by them. It is word for word with them; but according to the phrase of the Hebrew tongue, it is all one as if it had been said, in them, or by them, or towards them, or simply to them, in the dative case. Therefore Luke doth not say συν αυτοις , but μετα αυτων; which I say for this cause, lest any unskillful man ascribe some part of the praise to Paul and Barnabas, as if they had been partners with God in the work; whereas he doth rather make him the only author of all those famous facts which they had done. −

Luke addeth immediately after, that the Lord had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles; for though they were sent unto the Gentiles, yet the strangeness [novelty] of the matter causeth them to wonder not a little; and not only the sudden change did make the Jews astonished, but also because it was to them as it were a monster, that unclean men, and such as were strangers − (67) from the kingdom of God, should be mixed with the holy seed of Abraham, that they might both together make one and ‘the same Church of God. They are now taught by the event itself, that it was not for nothing that there were apostles sent to them. Moreover, it is said that the door of faith was set open to the Gentiles, not only because the gospel was preached to them with the external voice, but because, being illuminated by the Spirit of God, they were called effectually unto the faith. The kingdom of heaven is indeed set open to us by the external preaching of the gospel; but no man entereth in save he to whom God reacheth out his hand; no man draweth near unless he be drawn inwardly by the Spirit. Therefore, Paul and Barnabas show and prove by the effect that their calling was approved and ratified by God, because the faith of the Gentiles was, as it were, a seal engraven by the hand of God to establish the same, as Paul saith, ( Romans 16:25; 2 Corinthians 3:7.)

Amplum materiam,” ample materials.

Impuros et alienos,” impure men, aliens.

- John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible