Sunday, September 26, 2010



“And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. 4 And there were some that had indignation within themselves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? 5 For it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. 6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? She hath wrought a good work on me. 7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. 8 She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. 9 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her” (Mark 14:3-9).

It seems most evangelical commentators believe, as I do, that the accounts in Matthew, Mark and John are the same, and that the woman who anointed Jesus in Bethany was Mary, sister of Lazarus. There was a somewhat similar incident recorded in Luke 7:36 when Jesus was dining with a Pharisee whose name was also Simon (a very common name in those times, as John or Bill is today in our culture). An unnamed woman came in with an alabaster box of ointment and washed His feet with her tears, putting on the ointment, and drying His feet with her hair.

There the similarity ends. This woman in Luke was a repentant sinner. (Some do think she was Mary Magdalene). Because Jesus allowed her to touch Him, Simon the Pharisee protested much. Jesus gave an illustration about forgiveness. He told the woman her sins were forgiven, and riled up the Jews. The Luke incident is much earlier in the ministry of Christ. It was not said to be in Bethany, while Luke does record Him visiting there later in Luke 10:38, where He found Martha serving, and Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet, which is so characteristic of these two women. Let us examine three main points about this second woman who anointed Jesus.


This was the last time in his earthly life that Jesus visited Bethany. Remember that Lazarus lived there with his sisters, Mary and Martha. This is where the mighty miracle was wrought by Jesus of raising Lazarus from the dead; a man who had been dead four days! Remember Jesus had told Martha (and us), I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believeth thou this?” (John 11:25, 26) Believeth thou this reader? I ask you this question. A question we will explore another time soon, D.V., along with the story of Lazarus.

This time Jesus was having dinner at the house of Simon, the leper, whom He had healed (see Mark14:3; Matthew 26:6). No, scripture doesn’t expressly say that Christ healed him, but two things are evident. First, a leper under the Mosaic law was not allowed to mingle with clean society, much less dine with them, unless healed. Second, leprosy was an almost incurable disease, meaning that only God could heal it. Evidently Simon was healed, or Jesus and other guests would not be there. Third, since only God could heal it, and Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, obviously He healed him. Simon was called “the leper” to distinguish him from other Simons, because it was a very common Hebrew name. This was similar to Matthew (Levi), still being called a tax collector, though he was no longer that, but a disciple of our Lord.

As they sat at dinner, a woman came with an alabaster box of ointment, very expensive spikenard, and she broke the box and poured it over His head.

Albert Barnes remarks: “Alabaster is a species of marble, distinguished for being light, and of a beautiful white colour, almost transparent. It was much used by the ancients for the purpose of preserving various kinds of ointment in”. (1)

This alabaster box, or cruse, was very beautiful, and the cruse itself rather costly. The ointment inside was not medicinal, but rather a perfume, pure nard from the orient, with a very pleasant odor. We are told she brake the box. Albert Barnes takes that to mean she “broke the seal”, otherwise she couldn’t have poured it easily, and some would then in reality have been wasted.(2) I do not know if he is correct or not, but either way, she cared very little how costly the perfume was, she willingly gave it for Christ.

John’s account again shows us these two women, Martha and Mary, right in character, Martha serving, and Mary worshipping. “There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with Him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.” (John 12:2, 3)

John’s account tells us several additional things. Jesus had come into Bethany six days before the Passover, yet Matthew and Mark speak of this incident being two days before the Passover. A discrepancy has been imagined. The answer is that more than likely Jesus abode there in Bethany for the difference of four days with his friends Lazarus, Martha and Mary. These were the closest friends He had on earth, besides His disciples, and He enjoyed being with them. John tells us that these three, along with some of the disciples, and perhaps others, were there at Simon the leper’s house for the dinner. Martha was serving, Lazarus was at the table (the recipient of the miracle of being raised from among the dead), and Mary was preoccupied with worship of her Lord.

So here at this table we have a healed leper, a man who had been raised from the dead, and two others that were loved by Jesus, hence all were sinners saved by His grace! What a sight, as Jesus Christ was about to go to be crucified in Jerusalem (which was about two miles away), and bring final fulfillment to 333 Old Testament prophesies concerning Himself!

But meanwhile, Mary anointed Him (for John 12:3 tells us it was Mary who took the pound of spikenard and anointed Jesus). Matthew and Mark tell us of her anointing His head, while John tells us she anointed also His feet and wiped them with her hair. It was easy to do both, because at the table in those times, one did not sit in a chair, but rather reclined on couches. The four gospels do not contradict each other, but compliment each other. John expounds on the incident by telling us that “and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment” (John 12:3b).

We are told that some were filled with indignation and complained and said “Why was this waste of the ointment made?”(Mark 14:4) Matthew says the complainers were the disciples. Mark says “some had indignation among themselves”, but John, who was no doubt there, shows Judas Iscariot as the instigator. He who was about to betray Christ was the one who had the money bag, and often cheated and stole from it. He started the complaints, pretending to be concerned about the poor. They all understood the value of this spikenard- a pound (twelve ounces in present US weight), could be sold for 300 pence (denarii’s), or about one year’s wages for the average working man of that century. Compared to today in America, that would possibly be $25,000 to $30,000. Of course wages were lower then in that part of the world, as they still are today. Even if today’s value is only equivalent to $10,000 to $15,000, it is still a considerable sum. My point is; the alabaster box and spikenard was very valuable by any standard.


When the murmuring began, our Lord spoke up immediately. He said “Let her alone; why trouble ye her? She hath wrought a good work on me” (Mark 14:6). Christ was ready to take the side of one who was intent on worshipping Him. Worship was the very thing that stirred the devil here. Sure, the ointment was costly, but Mary, so often at His feet to worship Him, wanted to honor him with all she had. Did she perceive that He was about to give His life for sinners? I believe so, because John tells us that Jesus said Let her alone; against the day of my burying she hath kept this” (John 12:7). It appears she had more spiritual perception than anyone in the room. She knew it would be the last time to do Him good. It was a deed of faith, and remember who it is that gives the gift of faith. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8, 9)

Mary and Martha both had faith, but manifested it in different ways. Martha served, Mary worshipped. Martha gets commendation as well. In his commentary on the Gospel of John, Arthur W. Pink said:

“And Martha served”-This is most blessed. This was her characteristic method of showing her affection. On a former occasion the Lord had gently reproved her for being "cumbered with much serving," and because she was anxious and troubled about many things. But she did not peevishly leave off serving altogether. No; she still served: served not the less attentively, but more wisely. Love is unselfish. We are not to feast on our own blessings in the midst of a groaning creation, rather are we to be channels of blessing to those around: John 7:38, 39. But mark here that Martha’s service is connected with the Lord: "They made him a supper and Martha served." This alone is true service. We must not seek to imitate others, still less, work for the sake of building up a reputation for zeal. It must be done to, and for, Christ: "always abounding in the work of the Lord".
(1 Corinthians 15:58).

"And Martha served": no longer outside the presence of Christ, as on a former occasion—note her "serve alone" in Luke 10:40. "In Martha’s ‘serving’ now we do not find her being ‘cumbered’, but something that is acceptable, as in the joy of resurrection, the new life, unto Him who has given it. Service is in its true place when we have first received all from Him, and the joy of it as begotten by Himself sweetly ministers to Him" (second paragraph quoted by Pink is from Malachi Taylor). (3) (Emphasis mine-cmw)

Mary’s anointing of Jesus’ body was an act of faith. God gives faith -- honors faith. Mary was seeing the moment of the cross and beyond. Remember both had been at Lazarus’ tomb. Both agreed, and both said to Jesus “If you had been here my brother would not have died.” (John 11:21; John 11:32). Mary and Martha saw that miracle power. Simon saw that miracle power. Lazarus who had been dead, yet was now alive saw that miracle power. Some had called the anointing “waste”, but that done in faith for Christ and in the faith of Christ is never waste. To the unregenerate, and unspiritual it would seem to be “waste”.

Judas, the thief and traitor, had pretended to be concerned about the poor, but Jesus, who really does care about the poor, said “For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me you have not always”( Mark 14:7).


The commendations of Jesus Christ in scripture to mere mortals are remarkable. This is because any good work He receives from us is because we have received His free grace in the first place! All of grace, all praise to Him! We are nothing without Him!

What an honor to have the Lord Christ commend you! The changed heart, (which He changed!) draws His praise. In our text in Mark, He tells all who are there (and us through the Gospels), regarding the woman who anointed Him, She hath done what she could.” He says that wherever the gospel is preached, this will be remembered as a memorial to her. Wherever-- India, China, Japan, England, the Philippines, the United States--- wherever and whenever this gospel shall be preached, what she has done shall be remembered as a memorial; she hath done what she could! Jesus, no mere teacher, but God Himself declares it and it is so! What He commends is commended still. What He curses is cursed still, now and for always!

Now in 2010 A.D., two millenniums later, we are right at this very moment having a memorial service! We are remembering a poor, trembling sinner; a creature of flesh and blood like ourselves, because He told us we would. What is done for Him in true faith, which He alone gives to His children, is never wasted! She hath done what she could! How marvelous are His ways! May He inspire us, and enable us to do what we can! We can only do that by His marvelous grace!


(1) Albert Barnes, Notes on Matthew and Mark; Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI; 1964 edition, page 276.

(2) Ibid, page 381.

(3) Exposition of the Gospel of John, Arthur W. Pink; First appearance in book form, 1945 by I.C Herendeen, Swengel, PA; quote from 1970 edition, Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI; Vol. two, page 234.

Serious students should acquire a harmony of the gospels such as A.T Robertson’s (in print), or Stevens and Burton’s (out of print). Life of Christ in Stereo is excellent, and available used, or on CD-ROM. .

Tuesday, September 14, 2010



John Newton’s autobiography introduced me to a new word: concatenation. It means a series of events (providentially) linked together. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). (The autobiography is Out of the Depths, Moody Press, Chicago, 1972 A.D. edition. The 2003 Kregel edition is revised and may not even have this word). Anyway, it is recommended reading in either edition.

God found John Newton in a strange place, as we have pointed out before. A slave trader and blasphemer saved by grace. As Arthur W. Pink said: “The high favorites of Heaven are sometimes to be located in queer and unexpected places. Joseph in prison, the descendants of Abraham laboring in the brick-kilns of Egypt, Daniel in the lions’ den, Jonah in the great fish’s belly, Paul clinging to a spar in the sea, forcibly illustrate this principle. Then let us not murmur because we do not now live in as fine a house as do some of the ungodly; our "mansions" are in Heaven!” The Life of David, Reiner Publications, Swengel, PA,1969 A.D. edition, page 79. (emphasis his).

David was a type of Christ in many ways including:
David was a prophet as well as a king; so was our Lord.
David was anointed about the 30th year of his life; so Christ, the son of David, was baptized and anointed at 30.
David in his wars had many poor men follow him such as were in debt; so Jesus Christ had many poor men who followed Him, and became His disciples, who were heavy laden under the burden of sin, called a debt.
Adapted from Preaching From Types and Metaphors by Benjamin Keach, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI, 1972 A.D. edition. Benjamin Keach was a Baptist Preacher in London who lived from 1640- 1704.This work was originally called Tropologia.

“The devil directs his fiercest batteries against those doctrines in the word, and those graces in the heart, which most exalt God, debase man, and bring men to their lowest subjection to their creator. Such is the doctrine and grace of justifying faith.” Stephen Charnock (1628-1680), The Existence and Attributes of God, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI ,1971 A.D. edition, page 106. Read some of his works- free. Click on link:

I know I am often looking at the writings of theologians of long ago, but I think it is so necessary in this day of apostasy. If you go into the average Christian bookstore, you will find so little of these classic books of yesteryear. You find a few, I know, among so much lightweight, shallow, reading. The most popular books in these stores are novels. Then there are the endless trinkets. I ask the clerks sometimes “Why don’t you carry Pink’s books, Spurgeon’s books, J.C. Ryle’s books, Lloyd-Jones’ books, or even R.C. Sproul’s books?” The usual answer, “We can order them, but most people don’t buy them.” That is sad, because if you are going to read anything beside your Bible, it ought to be, at least some of these classics.

Whatever you read, we owe a great debt to Johann Gutenberg (1400-1468). He is credited with inventing movable type, and a printing press that made mass printing easier. His first project was printing a Latin Bible. He saw the significance of unlocking the Bible’s treasures for the common man. He said “Religious truth is captive in a small number of little manuscripts which guard the common treasures, instead of expanding them. Let us break the seal which binds these holy things; let us give wings to truth that it may fly with the Word, no longer prepared at vast expense, but multitudes everlastingly by a machine which never wearies, to every soul which enters life.” More on this fascinating man and his work at the following site:

Saturday, September 04, 2010



“And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.

And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized” (Acts 9:10-18).

Ananias was possibly one of the seventy disciples, as strong tradition alludes (see Luke 10:1,17).
His name is the same as the Hebrew name Hananias, and means “Jehovah is gracious.”(1) Ananias is a devout believer, and as such he may well have heard from the Lord directly at other times. But this time he was shocked, and even questioned the Lord. Ananias had likely heard that Saul was among those who killed Stephen, the first Christian martyr. He also knew that Saul had received authority from the high priests to arrest any “found in this way”(Acts 9:2). “This is the first time in Acts that Christians are described as belonging to the Way (Gk. hodos, “road, highway, way of life”), meaning either the way of salvation (Acts 16:17); Christ (compare Jesus' teachings in Matt.7:14; John 14:6) ; or the true way of life in relation to God (cf. Acts 18:25–26; cf. Ps. 1:1, 6; 27:11).” Perhaps even a combination of these things. (2)

Jesus Christ gave Ananias a quick answer regarding Saul of Tarsus. He said “He is a chosen vessel to me.” Ananias did not argue. When Christ changes someone, they are changed! God was not through changing Saul of Tarsus yet. He was still blind. He was still stumbling around, but Saul was praying. Had he never prayed before? Undoubtedly he had, for we are told this by his own voice: “Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee. Concerning zeal. persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless” (Philippians 3:5-6).
Charles Spurgeon said about him: “Saul was a Pharisee, and therefore a man who habitually
repeated prayers. Pharisees boasted of the regularity, number, and length of their prayers.
[Probably] there had never been a day in Saul’s life from the time in which he was conscious in
which he had not gone through his prayers.” (3)

His praying was now different. Not learned prayers of a Pharisee; or recited prayers; copied prayers; long prayers; prayers of any preset time; in other words not ritualistic prayers that Pharisees were likely to pray. Remember the teaching of Jesus on the Pharisee and the publican? “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess” (Luke 18:10-12). We Christians today may think that was a very unique and rare prayer. It was not. Pharisees were self-righteous and often prayed that way. I am sure Saul had prayed similar prayers. John Gill relates "It is a tradition of R. Juda, saying, three things a man ought to say every day ‘Blessed be thou, that thou hast not made me a gentile; blessed art thou that thou hast not made me an unlearned man (or one that is vain and foolish, uncivil and uncultivated); blessed art thou that thou hast not made me a woman.” (4)

Remember that as the light shone from heaven, and Saul was knocked down, and the voice came
saying “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” Saul first asked “Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”Saul was trembling and astonished and said “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” And the Lord said unto him, “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do” (Acts 9:4-6). While not generally thought of as prayer, Saul was conversing with God, and God was conversing with him. Later when Christ told Ananias “Behold he prayeth”, what was Saul praying about? During this time as the living Christ was revealed to Saul, he was doing his first serious praying of his life. First, I believe he was praying prayers of repentance. He had been so wrong, and thinking he was right. He had to be asking Christ to forgive him. Second, he was praying for guidance. His whole life had just been rearranged (that always happens when you truly are saved). So Saul had to know where to go, and what to do. He needed instruction. He had already when on the road to Damascus said “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” The Lord had already answered that question by directing him to rise up, go into the city. There, as promised, Saul was shown what to do. He was given the vision of Ananias putting his hand on him that he might receive his sight. Third, Christ was showing him, as he prayed, what things he must suffer for His name’s sake. Would you like to know in advance of your suffering?

After this, the scales fell from his eyes. He was now a Christian with open eyes, and an open heart, never to be the same again. He was baptized (not to literally wash away his sins), but as always is the case, to show publicly that they had been washed away and that he was now a follower of the Lamb. He spent time in Arabia, being taught of God. I am sure he was praying
there.(5) He then spent some time in Damascus where he got his first taste of persecution, and had to be let down in a basket to escape. Then on to Jerusalem where they were all afraid of him, except Barnabas. He went back to Tarsus for a time, then Barnabas went after him, Then they were sent out by the Holy Ghost through the church at Antioch, and now Saul (soon to be known as Paul the apostle), and Barnabas, began the church’s greatest mission work .

Behold! He prayeth! What powerful words uttered by Christ Himself. He said that about his chosen vessel. Can He say that about you; and me? What more important thing can we do. It
is said that Satan laughs when we teach. Laughs when we witness. Laughs when we preach. But
he trembles when we pray!

Behold! He prayeth! Our prayers must be genuine. Our prayers must be sincere. Our prayers must be earnest. Our prayers must be spiritual. Our prayers must be repentant. Our prayers must not be vain words. Our prayers normally should be to the Father; in the Spirit; In the Name of Jesus Christ. I am sure Saul’s prayer was all this, and then some. They can be long (as Daniel’s prayer in Daniel 9:3-21). They can be short (as Simon Peter’s prayer; “Lord, save me!” in Matthew 14:30. Before God will hear our prayer, there is always a prayer of repentance, which God Himself leads us to. You can be on your knees; on your bed; standing with head bowed; prostrate on the floor; in the woods; in your church; in your car, but you had better pray someplace, some way.

You say you are a Christian and you never pray? Let me read Mr. Spurgeon’s sobering words to you. “Beloved, has this ever been the case with you, that you could draw the attention of the great God to yourself ? I am afraid there are many of whom it would have to be said, "Behold, he never prays !" What a sight upon earth!—a man created by his Maker who never worships his Creator, a man who is daily fed by God's bounty, and never worships him! Sir, you are a monster, you are a creature among men most loathsome. A man that lives without prayer ought not to live. It is a wonder that the earth does not open her mouth and swallow up such a wretch. And yet when he does pray, God makes a wonder of it.” (6) ; (emphasis mine; cw)

In the Bible the second mention of Paul’s praying, and many others of the apostle, are discussed in Arthur W. Pink’s book Gleanings From Paul (new edition by Banner of Truth). This is possibly the finest exposition of Paul’s prayers available. For reading about Paul’s life, I recommend The Life Of Paul by James Stalker. You can find used copies in the Revell edition, or pay the ridiculous price of $30 for the newest edition of this small, but worthy, book..

We only have space to look briefly at two of these later prayers from Paul. Let’s look at First Corinthians 1:5-8: “I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ; That in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

This is not so much a word for word reciting of his actual prayer here, but a relating to the Corinthians, and us, about his prayer for their growth in God’s grace. Paul loved the believers in this church regardless of their failures, and shortcomings, as he did in all the churches. He even spoke of Christ’s testimony being visible in them. This was early in his dealings with a church that had many problems. It is always fascinating to see later in the second epistle how far they did actually come. More fascinating to me is how this crusty Pharisee was so changed by Christ that he now radiated a love for Jesus Christ, and His church. After all, Jesus had told Saul “Why are you persecuting Me” To persecute His church is to persecute Him. Don’t ever forget that.

Also this “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now” (Philippians 1:3-5). As many of you know, I covered some of this in my sermons on Philippians. You can listen to them at our Sermon Audio site. The outstanding thing in these verses is once again the love, and the patience, Paul expresses for the church at Philippi. Philippi was from the beginning a much more disciplined, and orderly church than the one at Corinth. Paul shows love for them both. He longed to be again among the brothers and sisters at Philippi. Do not think of Paul as just an apostle, as great as that is; but think of him as a Christian, desiring fellowship with other believers. This is one thing that we all have in common; the need for fellowship. Satan has worked to destroy that great need, replacing it with other things. Too many professing believers are involved in activities that do not honor God. This is even in the churches today. Uh oh, here I am I am hammering again; let’s go back to the old paths!

One of the only things we find Paul praying for himself is found in Ephesians 6:19-29 “And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” This transformed man truly had a burning desire to serve God to the uttermost, which should be the desire of our hearts. Follow Paul as he followed Christ!
(1) A certain disciple - named Ananias - “A general opinion has prevailed in the Greek Church that this Ananias was one of the seventy-two disciples, and that he was martyred; and they celebrate his martyrdom on the first of October. It has been farther stated that his house was turned into a church, which remains to the present day, though now occupied as a Turkish mosque; but even the Mohammedans have the tradition, and treat his memory with great respect. However this may be, from Acts 22:12, we learn, what is of more importance, that he was a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews that dwelt there.” From Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the book of Acts chapter 9.

(2) Note from ESV Study Bible on Acts 9:2; copyright 2008, Good News/Crossway, Wheaton, IL

(3) Charles H. Spurgeon, “Behold, He Prayeth,” , sermon # 1860, The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 1885;
volume 31, p. 506, Pilgrim reprint, 1973

(4) I do recall, many years ago, getting this from Baptist pastor, John Gill, who was a Hebrew scholar. It is from a footnote in his commentary on Luke 18:11. The Torah definitely supports this prayer, though modern Jewish scholars insist that no insult is meant to the goyim, the unlearned ,or women.

(5) Not being satisfied how Arabia (Galatians 1:17), fit in these verses, I did some research. C.I. Scofield in the Scofield Reference Bible note on Acts 9:22 seemed to have the best answer “ It seems probable that (Acts 9:22-25) refers to Paul's labours in Damascus after his return from Arabia” (Galatians 1:17). “The ‘many days’ of verse (Acts 9:23) may represent the ‘three years’ of (Galatians 1:18); which intervened between Paul's return to Damascus and his visit to Peter.”
(The ESV Study Bible has a similar, satisfactory, answer on this order of events, pointing out that some Arabian territory of that time was very near Damascus.)

(6) Charles H. Spurgeon, “Behold He Prayeth.”, Sermon # 1860; The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 1885;
Volume 31, p. 515.; Pilgrim reprint, Pasadena, TX, 1973