And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.…
In a worldly point of view, nothing could be considered more imprudent, than for a prominent man, in a Pagan empire, to recognise the claims of the prophet of Galilee, who had so lately been crucified at Jerusalem. Sergius Paulus ran the risk of losing, not only his office, but his life, and yet the Divine record describes him as "A prudent man." The cunning, artful man is not prudent, neither is he always prudent who is most successful in the pursuit of worldly gain. Prudence is discovered in the preference which it gives to every object according to its relative value. And what better evidence can we have of it, than the choice of an everlasting portion in heaven, instead of being content with the short-lived pleasures of sin? How fearfully, in the great day of account, will the Holy Spirit of God vindicate this use of the term, when all other wisdom shall be proved to have been folly, and all other prudence insanity, except that which leads men too seek diligently for the pearl of great price, and when they have found it, to sell all that they have to purchase it! Are you acting the part of "a prudent man," in God's sight? Alas! in how many hundred ways has this point been brought home to the conscience of some thoughtless worldling, who is hardening his heart against it now! One can almost hear his imprudent resolution to delay, although he does not put it into words. A railway passenger observed three persons in the same car with himself, in three very different conditions. The first was a maniac, guarded by his keepers, who was on his way to an asylum, perhaps to spend weary years. Another was a culprit, in chains, on whom the iron hand of justice had seized. The third was a bride, gay and joyous, speeding onward to her new home, where a warm welcome awaited her. Thus are we all flying towards eternity; some, the veriest madmen, because they neglect to care for their souls; some, condemned culprits, for grievous violations of Divine law; and some, prepared for a Father's welcome to the heavenly city. We all belong to one of these classes. Which one?
(J. N. Norton, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.