The “Jerusalem Council” Begins – Acts 15

Nicolaes Pietersz. Berchem's depiction of Paul...

Nicolaes Pietersz. Berchem’s depiction of Paul and Barnabas at Lystra, an incident which has often been compared to the Qur’anic narrative of the “Companions of the City” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After Peter had his revelation by vision, and then witnessed the Holy Spirit coming upon the Gentiles in Cornelius’ house (Acts 10), The “Gentile question” would have already been settled. But it wasn’t so easy. Members of the “Circumcision Party,” and other conservative Jews came to Antioch in Syria (where Paul and Barnabas were) teaching the necessity of adhering to the whole Mosaic Law. In Acts 6:7, Luke writes about a number of priests that had been converted. Many of these would be Pharisees as in verse 5. There were people being taught that all had to be circumcised and to keep the law of Moses, causing Christianity to be looked upon as a sect of Judaism (and to some, a sect that had gone very wrong). The time had come to deal with this issue once and for all.

Paul had been given his revelation on the matter, and the Lord had told Ananias in Acts 9:15 that “he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles…” He and Barnabas and others were appointed to go to Jerusalem to speak to the apostles and elders about the matter. In verse 3, we have them passing through Phoenicia and Samaria, bringing great joy as they describe the conversion of the Gentiles.

Peter spoke to the council in verses 7-11, reminding them of the gift of the Holy Spirit. Then Paul and Barnabas related the signs and wonders God had done through them on their journey. James, the Lord’s brother, then affirms by quoting Amos 9:11-12 in verses 16-18.

After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen;
I will rebuild its ruins,
and I will restore it,
that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord,
and all the Gentiles who are called by my name,
says the Lord, who makes these things known from of old.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week

Read or listen to audio of this week’s selection from Acts here
Read or listen to audio of this weeks selection from 2 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy

some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

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All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.





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