Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Little Harsh

Let’s pick up our study in Galatians 2:6, “But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:” In this verse, Paul is referring to the apostles whom he had never sought in regards to the revelations that he had received after his conversion on the Damascus Road in Acts 9. At first glance, it seems a little harsh. However, most believe that the literal translation is a little harsher than what Paul really meant for it to be. He is just stating that they agreed with him and acknowledged that all men are the same before God. Paul had no hostility toward the other apostles as the verse would seem to indicate.

Notice vv.7-8, “But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision (Gentiles) was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision (Jews) was unto Peter; (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)” Paul was known as the apostle to the Gentiles while Peter was known as the apostle to the Jews. However, it was the same gospel. Gentiles aren’t saved one way and Jews another.

Notice v.9, “And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.” Again, the translation about them “seeming to be pillars” is a little harsh. He is simply saying that an agreement was made about who was to go with whom.

Notice v.10, “Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.” Part of the agreement was also that the poor should be remembered. Jesus had a very special place in his heart for the poor. He said in Mark 14:7, “For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always.” James also said in James 1:27, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.”

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