CONTEXT: Matthew Henry comments on this chapter as follows: In this chapter, the apostle treats that great article of Christianity—the resurrection of the dead. I. He establishes the certainty of our Saviour’s resurrection (v. 1-11). II. He, from this truth, sets himself to refute those who said, There is no resurrection of the dead (v. 12-19). III. From our Saviour’s resurrection, he establishes the resurrection of the dead and confirms the Corinthians in the belief of it by some other considerations (v. 20-34). IV. He answers an objection against this truth and takes occasion thence to show what a vast change will be made in the bodies of believers at the resurrection (v. 35-50). V. He informs us what a change will be made in those who shall be living at the sound of the last trumpet, and the complete conquest the just shall then obtain over death and the grave (v. 51-57). And, VI. He sums up the argument with a very serious exhortation to Christians, to be resolved and diligent in their Lord’s service, because they know they shall be so gloriously rewarded by him (v. 58).
Our text for today, KJV, And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. Is Paul’s final declaration and eyewitness account of the resurrected Christ. Note the choice of words Paul uses to describe himself, as of one born out of due time.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary: One born out of due time—Greek, “the one abortively born”: the abortion in the family of the apostles. As a child born before the due time is puny, and though born alive, yet not of the proper size, and scarcely worthy of the name of man, so “I am the least of the apostles,” scarcely “meet to be called an apostle”; a supernumerary taken into the college of apostles out of regular course, not led to Christ by long instruction, like a natural birth, but by a sudden power, as those prematurely born [Grotius]. Compare the similar image from childbirth, and by the same spiritual power, the resurrection of Christ (1Pe 1:3). “Begotten again by the resurrection of Jesus.” Jesus’ appearance to Paul, on the way to Damascus, is the one here referred to.
Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible: one born out of due time: or “as an abortive”; not that he was really one, but like one: several learned interpreters think the apostle refers to a proverbial way of speaking among the common people at Rome, who used to call such supernumerary senators in the times of Augustus Caesar, who got into the senate house by favour or bribery, “abortives” (i), they being generally very unworthy persons; and therefore calls himself by this name, as being in his own opinion a supernumerary apostle, and very unworthy of that office: though others rather think that he refers to a “posthumous” birth, to one that is born after the death of his father; because that the rest of the apostles were all chosen, and called, and sent forth, whilst Christ, their everlasting Father, was living on earth, but he not till after his death, resurrection from the dead, and ascension to heaven: but it seems best to understand him of an abortion, a miscarriage, or birth before its time; and may respect either the manner of his conversion, which was done both suddenly, immediately, and at once, by a sudden light from heaven, when he little thought of it, and had no expectation of it, which is commonly the case of abortions; and also powerfully and irresistibly, being effected by mighty and efficacious grace, as births before the full time are often occasioned by blows or outward force, and are violent extrusions of the foetus; or else the state and condition in which he was when Christ was first seen by him: as to his bodily state, as soon as ever he saw the light about him, and the object by it, he was struck blind, and continued so some days, like an hidden untimely birth, and like an infant that never saw light, Job 3:16. And as to his spiritual estate, his soul was like an unshapen foetus, Christ being not yet formed in him, his image stamped on him, and his grace implanted in him; yea, it may be applied to the present apprehensions he had of himself, and which he expresses without a figure in the next verse, though in a beautiful manner, with a view to what he here says, when he observes that he was “the least of the apostles, and not meet to be called” one; as an abortive, or one born before its time, is imperfect in one respect or another, is not come to its proper size and shape, and scarcely is to be reckoned in the class and number of men.
The Bible tells us nothing else really about Paul’s birth, parents, etc. What this does tell us is they chose to carry him to full term. Like when Mary became pregnant via the Holy Spirit and Joseph faced a choice, become an adjunct father, reject Mary, or force an abortion upon Mary. Paul’s parents may have faced a similar situation due to health or other reasons. The important thing is these folks coveted LIFE.
Am I making a BIG leap here, I think not. Today society is completely turned around. The motto is “It’s all about me” my right and damn the person living inside me. PRAY, this evil can be truned.
INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD’S-DAY, FEBRUARY 25, 1900
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON
ON LORD’S-DAY EVENING, FEBRUARY 29, 1880
“One born out of due time.”
1 Corinthians 15:8